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My name is Ciera Thompson (Cici Damali) & I’m an aspiring make-up artist & freelance model. I first started pursuing modeling when I entered my first beauty pageant in my senior year of high school, that my mother put herself further into debt to let me have the opportunity. It was also at my first pageant competition that I had to apply my own makeup since I didn’t have the money for a make-up artist to do it. I was very much a beginner when it came to applying make-up so I wasn’t that pleased with the outcome, but I didn’t have a choice. Ever since then I’ve been self taught learning about different products (especially since I have sensitive skin/allergies), basic/intermediate make-up trends/techniques through YouTube and my own creativity. Life was no easy breeze for me, in fact quite the opposite. I had to work for everything, my mother was always struggling to put my twin sister and I through college/take care of us prior (and she struggled with health issues then, she’s a breast cancer survivor), and it always seemed like my dreams/goals were out of reach because of money. Modeling after I left college was a big struggle with the “paying dues”- not making any money for shows or photoshoots for up and coming designers, maintaining my weight/struggling to find opportunity because of my slim yet curvy figure, working part time jobs (from retail to office assisting to waitressing to temp staffing) to make an income, and struggling to find better opportunities. Over time, things just seemed to get even tougher when I lost a waitress job due to business shutdown in October 2015, a friend passed away in March 2016, then 3 months later my grandmother passed away from lung cancer in June 2016 after taking care of her full time since I was out of work. Such unfortunate events happening so fast recently all in such little time took a toll on me, and I knew I had to make a fresh start for myself.

When I realized I wanted to incorporate make-up artistry with my modeling and business pursuits (to help make a brand for myself as well as make more opportunity for myself), it was hard finding a beauty school close to home that was just for makeup artistry, not focused on cosmetology (hair styling/esthetician training) and that wasn’t too expensive. My credit is definitely lacking from medical bills (I’ve had 5 medical surgeries- 2 on my right knee from sports/basketball injuries, 2 on my breasts to remove lumps [fibroids/phyllodes tumors], and my wisdom teeth had to be surgically removed), and other bills that I couldn’t afford to keep up with when I was in college/student loans and from helping out at home. Hence, I was not approved for a PayPal credit loan. I know what you may be thinking, “why not apply for grants/scholarships?” I most certainly have tried, and still am researching for grants/scholarships for private career schools or that will award a 25 year old adult with no kids trying to attend makeup school, not a cosmetology (hair-styling) school. That is a big part of the financial hardship I am facing right now.

When I found CHICSTUDIOS NYC on an online search, I knew it was going to be the perfect fit for me with elevating my education in the field of make-up artistry and honing my talent. CHICSTUDIOS NYC Makeup School is a Professional Makeup Artistry School, licensed by the New York State Education Department (NYSED). CHIC’s 5 week Master Make-Up Artistry & 6 week Master Advanced Makeup programs have everything an aspiring MUA could ask for! From intensive hands-on courses on many techniques/trends/education (application, skin care, sanitation, airbrush, bridal, tv, fashion, face painting, tattoo coverage, building business, marketing etc) to flexible schedules to an included make-up kit! I don’t even own a laptop, but I know just the specialized training I will receive from CHIC as well as their after care program (CHIC Pro Community- which helps with jobs, accessing the CHIC Lab for clients, hiring fairs, fashion shows, and more), will allow me to succeed in my efforts of becoming an established make-up artist and making a suitable income for myself so I can help my mother at home and be more independent. I would also be able to become a pioneer in the beauty industry for woman of color (not just Black women even though I am black) with sensitive skin/allergies, and want to use that knowledge to help bring awareness of products that better suit our needs and concerns. I would love to attend the Master Advanced Makeup July day session which starts July 10th, so I can get a great head-start for my business to be and to turn my goals into achievements!

There will be fees for each donation, so the goal is 6142.70 to cover all of that plus tuition ($5795 tuition + estimated 6% total campaign fees of $347.70 = $6142.70). Thank you to any who support me in any way! Visit http://chicstudiosnyc.com/master-makeup-artistry-course-nyc/ or http://chicstudiosnyc.com/master-advanced-makeup/ for more information about the training session I’m interested in attending or to learn more about the school (can also contact the school via PHONE: 917-974-8755 or EMAIL: INFO@CHICSTUDIOSNYC.com). To verify the school’s NYSED license, visit: http://eservices.nysed.gov/bpss/bpsspublic/BPSSPublicSearch.do , under “Please select search criteria” drop down menu, select “school”, and in the “school name” field enter CHIC STUDIOS NYC.