We had the good fortune of connecting with Diane Lorenzana Held and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Diane , we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
For the longest time, I’ve wanted to set up a business in my home country, the Philippines. After living and working in Los Angeles for 6 years, I have learned so much about myself and my industry, and want to share what I’ve learned through setting up a studio that will offer my services as well as my husband’s. My husband is a professional body piercer and we plan on opening a piercing and beauty studio in the Philippines that will offer the cleanest, most sanitary and highest quality of body jewelry, piercing and as well as microblading and makeup services.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I started off as a beauty and special effects makeup artist in the Philippines last 2012, in 2014 I went to Los Angeles to study at Cinema Makeup School then earned my cosmetology certificate and license from Los Angeles Trade Tech in 2016. During those times, I competed at the international Makeup Artist Trade Show (IMATS 2015) and also won a National Makeup Artist Championship the following year, all held in Los Angeles, California. Since then, I have broadened my skill set and learned permanent makeup at Elite Permanent Makeup Center in Santa Monica. It is around this time that I have started thinking of using the knowledge I acquired here to build my own business. For 8 years, I was mostly freelancing and working with different companies and ultimately, I want the financial freedom of having a business and this is something both my husband and I are working on at the moment. One company I worked for called SevenLook Productions was what allowed me to continue working in the US after my education, and I filmed a couple of movies with them that are still set out to release in the next couple of years. So please watch out for those! I plan to continue making movies and doing makeup whenever I can, and work with independent companies that showcase films that I enjoy as well. Moving to a new country, pursuing your dreams and shifting ideas and goals along the way would be the biggest challenges for me. When I first arrived in Los Angeles, I dreamt of becoming part of the makeup artist union. Unfortunately, it isn’t as easy for foreigners like me, so I had to adapt and look for other ways to become successful while still doing what I love to do. I also had to put myself out there in so many situations that if I was shy or if I held back, I wouldn’t have been able to pursue it. I would say that moving and living in Los Angeles has given me not only the best experiences, but also the confidence to connect to people. Early this year was great also because I got married! I now work for MAC Cosmetics and one of the biggest Bridal Makeup beauty salons in Reno, Nevada after moving here with my husband, while keeping my connections to work in Los Angeles and San Francisco. At the same time, my husband and I are starting our plans for our own business, a fusion of both our expertise: body piercing/jewelry and makeup/beauty. I want the world to know that I am a dreamer. And that whatever I pursue is pursued with passion and hard work, none of what I have now was given to me easily. I had to experience living by myself in a new country, learned to put myself out there to work and make connections, and at 29, my story is just beginning, In the coming year or so, my husband Bambi and I are planning to formally set up our studio in the Philippines. We aim for it to be the cleanest, most sanitary and highest quality piercing and permanent makeup studio in the city of Manila, and we are definitely looking forward to using both of our expertise to bring something new to the Asian market from the United States.
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?
Los Angeles is a very big city with almost endless things to do. One of my favorite things to do is hike – and there are so many beautiful hiking trails all over LA that I really loved. Culver City stairs, Ferndell park trail to the Griffith Observatory, Malibu hiking trails – all of these places are so beautiful. After that, the best taco trust in the country can be found in Mid City, so that’s something that people should definitely try out. Cafes and bakeries like Urth Caffe and Porto’s are must haves as well. It is almost impossible to be bored in Los Angeles, with the amount of things you can do. One notion though that people think is that you have to spend money to have fun, but that is not always the case. There are so many film previews that allow people to come in for free! There are also so many shows being taped, and I enjoyed those! I have watched Conan O’Brien live a couple of times and it was always amazing.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My husband Michael “Bambi” Held is my life and business partner, he plays a big role in the step to open up the studio.
Raphael Yu, Francis Gum