Faces of Long Island celebrates the uniqueness of everyday Long Islanders. In their own words, they tell us about their life experiences, challenges and triumphs. Newsday launched this social media journey into the human experience to shine a light on the diverse people of this wonderful place we call home.

‘I really do want to put Long Island on the map for beauty.’

Tierra Hawkins, East Meadow

“In 2019, I took my very first lash class because I decided I wanted to have a beauty business. Not even a year after taking my class, I was ready to start my own journey being a lash tech, but my family and I lost our home due to COVID. Last year is when we finally got a good home that was equal to what we had where everybody’s comfortable. Now I feel like it’s a whole new beginning for me. I have more time to just work on myself and what I already wanted to start: my business @lukes.wave on Instagram.

“I finally started esthetician school mid-November. The biggest issue I hear is a lot of women go to beauty school because they live in a state that requires them to have a license to do anything. In school they mainly teach you about facials. Facials are growing on me, but that was never my goal. I started out wanting to do lashes, but I didn’t learn anything about lashes.

“So my goal now is to start my own school after esthetician school. It will be a mini trade school, so you can learn everything that you can do under your license. I want to fill that gap. They’ll learn everything that I provide: brows, lashes, teeth and hair. We’re working on laser. But aside from my own services, I would like to invite other entrepreneurs over to my school, make classes and talk to my students so they’ll be more comfortable. I just want to make girls feel happy. The whole journey of going to school and deciding to start and educate yourself on a business should be happy. You don’t want your schooling to be miserable, because why would you want to come out and do your business?

So my goal now is to start my own school after esthetician school.

“I really do want to put Long Island on the map for beauty. A lot of women drive over an hour to get beauty services. I hear a lot of people go to Queens and Brooklyn, but I don’t think that we should have to use a half a tank of gas just to go get a service. That’s another gap that I want to fill: to let the girls who want services done that are from Long Island feel comfortable still staying on Long Island.”

Interviewed by Victoria Bell