The doorbell rings, I open up and a friendly woman in a UPS-outfit askes me to sign for a huge, heavy box which I can hardly carry. It is the PR package from one of my favorite cosmetic companies. The package is filled to the brim with the newest collection of their make-up, most of these items are not even in stores yet. I feel like a kid in a candy-store, can you imagine? All of this make-up, for me to use and do what I love the most is a dream came true. I don’t know if I ever get used to this abundance of luxury and make-up, but what I can tell you is that it hasn’t been like this all my life..
Born Yelizaveta Kondrevich in the spring of 1982 in a small village in the west of Ukraine, left me no other option than growing up in one of the constituent republics of the Soviet Union. I remember me walking through the woods, with my family, searching for mushrooms to eat because there was no food of any kind. We walked for miles, day after day, with our worn clothes and shoes. As far back as I can remember I always had to rely on myself, learn life the hard way, and fight for my dreams. Those days, I remember my parents hardly having anything to eat themselves, never the less they never stopped supporting my creative talent. Miraculously they always provided me some kind of material and tools to continue what I excelled in: drawing! No matter the circumstances, I still don’t know how they did it, but I am thankful to them every day of my life.
Drawing to me was escaping the hard life, I loved to draw for hours and hours, as young as I was. This was my true passion. However, another passion developed that didn’t get the same support as my talent of drawing. It was my secret desire to turn myself into a little princes with make-up. Make-up, as you can imagine, in that time and place, with us collecting mushrooms to eat, was scares, extreme luxurious and absolutely NOT to be touched by little me. The small amount my mother owned (and never used, by the way) was carefully put away somewhere high in the closet, not to be found! Obedient as I was, I never touched it! At least, not when my parents where around. But as soon as they left the house for half a day or more, I went all in, climbed a chair, grabbed the small make-up bag and went off like crazy! Did I just admit I ‘stole’ my mother’s make up? I guess I did and if there is one thing I regret, it would be that no pictures were made of the result…
I never got caught for this, luckily, and even to this day on the scent of make-up takes me back to those days. Those days I dreamt that, when I grew up, as soon as possible, I would own and consume tons of make-up. And that remained a dream for decades!
Shortly after finishing the Academy of Fine Arts, I left Ukraine, set path to Europe and ended up living in the Netherlands. I learned the Dutch language, graduated on ‘Teacher of Visual Arts and Design’ and started jobs like ‘cleaning lady’ in factories. To keep my dreams alive, I went to study at one of Europe most prominent make-up academies in Amsterdam. During study, while raising my son as a single mom, I found fulltime jobs at international (non-cosmetic) companies in positions from Head Costumer Service and Sales Representative on an international market. For this I was thankful but to be completely honest with you, this made me very unhappy. Every hour spilled on an office filling in forms, talking about concrete or potatoes, felt like wasting valuable time and I needed to create from the bottom of my soul. I needed to draw, to make-up and to be happy. I had to figure out a way to combine these three things that were important to me: drawing art, my passion for make-up and making some money.
I still remember the day I woke up telling this weird idea to myself: “I am going to draw realistic facecharts with make-up!” There where face charts and there where realistic drawings, but never the two of them combined. From the day I started doing this and posting them on Instagram, my life has never been the same! I could have never imagined that two years from then I would have meet some of the most important people in the industry and collaborate with the most popular brands on the planet. Ending up today with these heavy boxes filled with make-up. Facecharts did change my live. My message to you would be: Never give up on your dreams and keep them alive….