We had the good fortune of connecting with Marlena Robbins and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Marlena, how do you think about risk?
To me risk is a necessary factor in anything you pursue in life. Regardless if it’s personal or professional. Without risk, there is no change and without change there is no growth and without growth there is no potential for success. And even though risk is scary and success is not guaranteed, it’s always worth taking. Nothing I’ve had or experienced in my life that has been wonderful didn’t come with some amount of risk. And even when the risk hasn’t panned out, and believe me there’s been plenty of that, there was always an important lesson learned that in turn helped me when taking other risks. My parents have a saying that I’ve heard my entire life and has stayed with me with every risk I’ve had to take, “nothing worth while comes easy”. When you take a risk, when you take that leap of faith, it’s never easy. But when you see the other end and are met with success it’s always that much sweeter and that much more worth while.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
For years I’ve tried to figure out what my niche is in a beauty community that is filled with countless other talented make-up artists. I love being creative, I love making people feel amazing when they leave my chair and I love bringing out the natural beauty in each client that I am privileged to work with. When I was able to narrow down those things that I love I realized that that was my niche. I’m a makeup artist that doesn’t just bring my creative side, I bring my heart into each job as well. And so usually my approach to any makeup that I do is less is more. I love doing makeup applications that bring out the best features of a client. A makeup that doesn’t mask their appearance but rather enhance the beauty that is already there. It’s this mindset that I feel has helped to bring me to the career I have today. When I started pursuing this industry I didn’t know anyone. But I stayed true to myself. I led with not only my mind but my heart and kept my eyes open to what kind of artist I am and wanted to be. And in addition to that I took every job offered in the beginning to gain experience and explored many different avenues in which I could do my job. In doing so I learned lessons along the way that have guided me to where I am today. The biggest lesson being that it’s ok to fail. When you fail you have the opportunity not just to learn from that particular failure, but the opportunity to get back up and explore a different path that may take you to where you are trying to go. I’m grateful for every stepping stone I’ve stopped at. Each led me to the next chapter of my career and each chapter taught me invaluable lessons that I have taken with me to this day. None of this has been easy but it’s been incredibly rewarding. I’m proud of the career I have built and excited for what is still to come.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
What I love most about living in Los Angeles is the endless amount of places to explore, to have fun and to eat! Some of my favorite places to explore are the many the hiking trails around L.A. Some will take you to The Hollywood Sign and some may take you to the beach. No matter which path you choose you’re in for a beautiful day! I love going to museums. The Broad and LACMA are my favorites and always leave me inspired. Not to mention all the theaters and outdoor concert venues. My absolute favorite place to go to in the summer here in L.A. is The Hollywood Bowl. There’s nothing like being under the stars, picnicking with friends and enjoying some amazing entertainment. Now onto one of my favorite parts of LA, the food. From Michelin Star restaurants to food trucks this city is packed with amazing places to eat. My husband who is currently the Exec. Chef of The Soho House in West Hollywood has introduced me to some of the most delicious places to go eat. Of course any restaurant of his is always my favorite place to go, but after that here is my list of other amazing restaurants to try when you’re in L.A. Gjelina, Mozza, Sugar Fish, Republique, Jon and Vinnys, Food Fair By Diego, Casa Vega, Howlin Rays, Slab, Jitlada, Anarbagh, Felix Trattoria, Tacos 1986, Cecconi’s, Vintage Studio City, Yeastie Boys Bagels, Burgers Never Say Die, Go Get Em Tiger, Aroma Cafe in Studio City, M Street Coffee, Sqirl, La Guelaguetza, Ms Chi Cafe, Milk Bar, Cross Roads Kitchen, Little Pine, Bay Cities and Italia Deli and Bakery…just to name a few!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I wouldn’t have any of the successes I have had without the love and support I have been given since day one. Starting with my parents who always were and still are my cheerleaders. Believing in me with everything I have ever taken on in my life. Not to mention the rest of my family, the one that I was born into, the one I married into and those that are family by choice who have always been there cheering me on. My very best friends who have always been a constant source of unconditional love and support. They give me a space to bounce ideas off of, and to vent both the let downs and the successes. And through my job, there are some very important people in my life that I have been lucky enough to meet that have not only believed in me but who gave me and continue to give me opportunities to shine. Jorge Carreon, who not only is a colleague has since become one of my best friends, gave me one of my first big breaks. Without him I wouldn’t have met some of the most amazing people that I have loved getting to work with, one of which is Mishel Brownlee. She not only has become one of my best friends but my agent as well. Signing with her agency, Maven Artists Agency, changed my life and I’ll forever be grateful for her encouragement, her unwavering belief in me, and for the opportunities that I have had and continue to have being one of her artists. And last but not least, my amazing husband Aaron and my incredible daughter Sadie. Everything I do is for both of them. They are my reason and my why and the love, support and encouragement I receive daily from them is the fuel I use to keep pursuing my dreams.