LANSING, Mich. — Kierra Lanice was always passionate about makeup. In high school, she would do her friend's makeup in the bathroom. Now she does makeup backstage at award shows.
"She's like I need to get you paid, so she's like find a printer, print out these forms, fill them out, and send it back to me and welcome to Viacom," said Lanice.
She remembers that moment at the 2015 BET Awards like it was just yesterday. It changed her life for the better.
"I'm really living my dreams, you know like I'm really doing everything that I said that I wanted to do," she said.
Lanice has been a freelance makeup artist for the BET Awards for 5 years now. This year, she did makeup for Rhapsody's Queen Latifah tribute.
"Five years in the game but this is my first year doing a performer, let alone a tribute for a lifetime achievement award like that," Lanice said she's proud of herself.
A lot of her success comes from her fearless attitude.
"I'm always looking for people. You know, like, oh, I have an Excel spreadsheet. These are all my dream clients, and every time I reach out to one whether I slide in their DMS or I find their publicist information," she explained. "I don't feel like anything is unattainable."
Her experience goes beyond the BET Awards, she's done work for New York Fashion Week and the Grammys.
"I met Maura Chanz. She was one of those people that was on my list and I did her makeup for the first time last year for the Grammys, and that was like, oh my goodness I mean it's like we became friends on Twitter, of all places."
Maura Chanz is the Director of Creative Media for 7th Sun Productions, a company owned by actress Yara Shahidi.
Chanz recalled feeling heard, while Lanice did her makeup. "She listened to me. She knew that like I wasn't trying to do too much."
She believes Lanice's knowledge of skin and makeup makes her a "gem" in the industry.
"A lot of times there are people who can do a really amazing glam, but may not be able to convert that over to all women of color. And Kierra really being a brown-skinned, darker-skinned woman, she knows that palette so well."
Lanice is proud to be from Lansing and by sharing her talent with the world, she feels she's representing her city well.
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