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Conversations with Vanessa Luna-Baird

Today we’d like to introduce you to Vanessa Luna-Baird.

Hi Vanessa, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself
My name is Vanessa Luna Baird and I am an artist. Since I can remember I have always been an artist, moving from one creative project that called my heart, to the next. My love of beauty and the Beauty Industry started at the early age of 18, where my search of self and art began as a makeup artist. Over the next 16 years I would weave in and out of other creative skills such as hairstyling, editorial and interior designing, and now as a permanent makeup artist. As I experienced life, grew and reflected, I started noticing similarities between my experiences of success, defeat and burnout. I observed reoccurring patterns in my own life that showed up as obstacles and sometimes horror stories. The more I turned away or fought these moments, the more I remained the same, unchanged, and stuck in a pattern. After many years of resisting and denying the Universes plea to shift, I was ready to take a leap of faith, which led to rebirth and reinvention.

The Beauty Industry ( and art community) is as inspiring and creative as it can be cruel and ritualistic. On one hand, you can feel like you have finally found your creative home and place to be unapologetically you. On the other, you can feel competition and rivalry from your community and from your self, relentless to become seen and celebrated, and to remain that way by any means necessary. I have both witnessed these aspects, and participated in them. All of them. Facebook, Instagram and other social media platforms have intensified this cycle, as its algorithm heightens our desire to be accepted and adored by others, all while lowering our acceptance and love of self, just as we are. We are lost and confused and infinitely distracted to even realize it.

It’s not shameful for any of us to become wrapped up in what our cultural norms are, and continue the cycle that has been solidified for decades. We are taught these habits, and It takes both awareness and discipline to stand alone and break the cycle that you have been mirrored. This is difficult and at time feels impossible, but not only is it very possible, it is deeply necessary for ourselves and for our together collective to break free from. I know from experience how the lack of self worth takes shape through the culture of competition, resentment, jealousy, and judgment. How the feelings of less than and not good enough erode the artist heart and spirit. It is both painful and lethal to your love of self and love of creating.

Here I am 16 years later, with a completely transformed and ever evolving perspective and awareness. Shifting further away from conforming my art or my ideas to be accepted by others, and coming closer to myself through celebration and acceptance of MY art and artist heart discovery.

To help inspire the love and creativity of others experiences, I launched Bon Beauté which focuses on the fresh and beautiful art of microblading. Our ethos is inspired by our Artist Heart philosophy framework that inspires courage in creating, acceptance of our journey and artistic growth, and commitment to celebrating community and ourselves.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
Most would cringe at some of the chapters experienced in the road to development, but I commit to always practicing holding my growth edges with both peace and tribute.

Through my years of challenges and triumphs, I can honestly say that I have fully accepted this difficult and beautiful truth; We cannot bypass our experiences of the arduous and uncomfortable, and still get to the gifts at the end of each chapter. We must lean in, and lean hard into the depths of the vulnerable and difficult, to hold them as important and necessary pieces that define who we are.

Through my years of studying multiple aspects of creating for a living, the first and most vulnerable challenge we all face is that of being a novice, a non expert. The dreaded beginner. Unfortunately, our culture has set us up to experience this inevitable stage as an act of failure. We live our lives reading and watching growth represented through seconds rather years. We get fed only the most filtered versions of others, their work, and their experience of becoming. Quickly and subconsciously, we accept 15 second reels as reality, and compare our slow natural journey of starting, learning and then finally knowing, as being less than and unacceptable. To put frankly, we are being tailored to feel inadequate before even beginning.

I’ve studied this. I’ve studied this within myself and through watching others. This cycle often leads us to two major outcomes. We either hide ourselves, ashamed of our work and our journey, until we find ourselves at an “acceptable ” place of artist worthiness to be seen. Or we quit and remain hidden. BOTH are sad truths for many artists who NEED to create, and who deserve to be accepted through all their growing stages and chapters.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
In all my creative career, it has never been just a job, but more of a calling. In my luckier cases it would feel like a dream come true, a perfect move and perfect match. However sometimes, and by sometimes I mean almost always, its comes in in the form of a radical awakening. In 2021 when the world shifted on its head, I was one of many who received a life altering “call to action”, and shifted my creative journey drastically. I braved through many unknown factors, took a deep breath and launched Bon Beauté in the biggest chapter of uncertainty of my life.

Bon Beauté is a permanent makeup studio with the focus on the natural and creative style of Microblade Brow Art. Art is very much my life, and through it I offer pieces of myself, beautifully infused within each creative project I put into the world.

Though the development of my Microblade skill, I journeyed through very difficult learning curves and hard lessons. My first year I was constantly battling pain of feeling alone and fearful that my art wasn’t good enough. That I wasn’t good enough. With the gentle guidance of my mentor and business coach, I pulled insights from my vulnerable beginner stages, and noticed how deep my art journey correlated with my true self. The more I leaned into my discomfort, the more I learned how to infuse the deep parts of myself through my Microblade work. Transforming it into one harmonious experience and masterpiece.

From a once scared and defeated artist, hiding my work and drowning in doubt and comparison. To a dedicated creator who holds my art journey sacred and committed to always be authentically intertwined within it. I am experiencing a calling yet again, to ignite more Artist Heart within others. It is my deepest belief that through authentic art we can unlock pieces of ourselves, that we can come back home to ourselves with less fear and more love. This is a need for many, many who are brunt out from their fear and overwhelm, who abandoned their art and their artist heart throughout their lives.

Bon Beauté is committed to reorienting brow art and education towards a celebration of humanity and individualism. To explore the depths of our intuition and our story in our search of knowing and harnessing skills, and to replace our internal demand for perfection and fear of failure with the discovery of our true authentic self.

Do you any memories from childhood that you can share with us?
There are very few moments in our youth where we can actually recall a dance with our fear. I was always an observant child, and I can recall a number of pivotal moments in my life where the Universe called out my inner warrior. I couldn’t have been older than 7 when I had my first memorable A-ha moment. My sister and I were at my dads for the weekend in one of his many dumpy apartments. I remember this particular apartment because it had a pool. My childhood memory is kind, and paints it like a perfect Palm Beach summer pool. The pool was in the shape of rectangle and the mere look of it was quenching and inviting for anyones inner child who loved a good canon ball. However, at 7 It’s still a time where the pool can be either friend or foe, and as a deeply timid and emotional child, I was terrified.

Here is the thing about my dad, if he even got a whiff that you might be intimidated or afraid of something, he would make it his high priority to have that fear faced and defeated by the end of the day.

My sister splashed into the water and I made my delicate way to the stairs. Im not sure when exactly my dad sniffed out my complicated relationship with water, but he knew. My dad immediately stopped me. Dad was obviously NOT a toe dipper when it came to pools, and that weekend, he wasn’t about me being either. He crouched down with such a suave demeanor and so gently said, you can only enter the pool by way of jumping. My dad was as fierce as he was interesting, and certainly not to be trifled with. There was no way I was going to be able to get in that water without doing it his way.

I stood there, feet at the very edge of the pool, for 10 minutes. I wasn’t crying, I wasn’t pouting. I was dazed. Staring not at the water, but through it. As if I were attempting to understand it, perhaps even make friends with it so it didn’t swallow me up on contact. My dad sat there in a cool dude kind of way, legs crossed, peeking from the corner of his paper to see the progress I had made. He said nothing. No words of encouragement, no taunting, just nothing. Meanwhile, my sister was splashing me and cooing me to come and play. I paced back and forth, having moments of bravery as I felt my body merge into the air, but to my surprise my feet would still be completely rooted to the ground. I just couldn’t bring myself to brave that jump in the water. I was frozen. The fear of the unknown, and the fear itself was paralyzing me, body and soul. In that moment of wanting, I started to weep. I have memories of my dad being a tyrant, but equally an emotional man. He had so much gentle depth to his soul, it was clear in very authentic moments. In the midst of my crying, he placed his paper down though never left his chair. He leaned forward as if to make better eye contact and just looked at me. No, not just look. He was seeing me, all of me. Smiling softly, he never said the words “it’s okay” but I felt it in his eyes. In our moment of just staring at each other in silence, I felt the permission to feel afraid, but the cruel truth that if I wasn’t careful, fear would ultimately end up running my life and keeping me from doing things I not only could do, but I yearned to do. The left side of my dads mouth smirked all the way to his ear as he gently said, “Ness. Just jump in the damn pool.”

Big breath, full body, eyes closed, hands clenched. I jumped in that damn pool.

Pricing:

  • Microblading $450
  • Microblading+Shading $500
  • Consultations $25

Contact Info:

Image Credits
@peculiarmisspie @jackiesterna.photo

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