Just a small town girl


Hey you, it’s me again. I’ve been writing this column for a while now and if you’re a frequent reader, you know the next few hundred words will be about makeup but, this time, we’ll go off script because I haven’t ever really told you about myself.

Backstory! It’s no surprise that I’ve always wanted to be a makeup artist. I was always fascinated with how makeup could give you an instant confidence boost and since all of the women in my life were such powerhouses, it made me admire makeup from a young age. My mom would often do different TV gigs and I remember when I got to be a part of the make-up room it felt like such a special time.

Fast forward to the day my appendix ruptured in high school and I was put on life-support at Sick Kids hospital. The doctors told my parents that I might not make it through the night. I was really sick and there were tubes everywhere including an IV in my neck feeding me medicine. This IV ended up damaging the vein going to my right eye which developed into Horner syndrome. Horner syndrome is when your pupil doesn’t dilate properly and the eye starts to change colour from your other eye. Going through this in high school gave me a newfound love for makeup and I started using makeup as an amazing tool. I would start manipulating my features and make my eye look bigger with different hacks like putting white in my waterline and a darker colour in my other waterline. It was then I realized that makeup was such a powerful craft that was so much more than just making somebody feel beautiful. From that point on I knew that I not only wanted to be a makeup artist but I knew that I wanted to do something big.

I grew up in a little town called Greenbank—there is literally only one restaurant in my whole town. So yes, I’m a small town country girl but I always had a burning passion for makeup and I knew I needed to impact more people’s lives. I went to makeup school, left for the big city and never looked back.

You may be thinking, “Julia, why are you giving me your life story?” I get it, I feel like I’ve told it 100 times but I wanted to share a bit about my life with you because a little old me is currently touring with Avril Lavigne. I remember doing dance routines in my house to Sk8er Boi and making all of my family sit through my different routines (sorry fam). It’s truly been a full circle moment the past few months from doing the Met Gala with Lizzo, the Juno awards with Avril Lavigne, and then getting asked to be a part of her tour.

If you’re wondering, “Julia, how did you get here?” It wasn’t luck. It wasn’t because of the people I knew. It was by hard work. I always remind myself why I started—it was so much more than just putting makeup on somebody’s face. I wanted to make a difference, and I wanted to make an impact on other people’s lives. Whenever I have bad days I draw from that reminder in the back of my head—why I started, and the experiences that I’ve gone through, from being in the lowest places in my life to where I am now. It’s important to reflect on yourself, on your life, and on how far you’ve come. You can’t compare yourself to other people, but you can compare yourself to who you were yesterday, last month or last year.

The moral of the story is, you can’t let something like where you live or experiences you’ve gone through dictate your life. If you have passion, drive, and the willingness to never give up, anything is possible. This is my PSA—start doing that side hustle; quit your job; post that story on Instagram; or do whatever it is that sets your soul on fire. You only have one life, you’re always going to be your biggest cheerleader, and you can do this.



Julia Dantas

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