We had the good fortune of connecting with Kiyana Riley and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kiyana, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
That’s an easy answer! Because I like to make people feel good. Makeup isn’t about making one “prettier “ or “more beautiful”, it’s about having fun and feeling more confident. It’s the impactful moments like a bride crying because her dream look came to life, and I aided in that dream to reality moment that she will remember forever. These moments, and many other like them, mean more to me than anything. I’m their outlet, their therapist, their friend and confidant when they are in my chair. My clients get to escape for an hour, and be serviced, feeling nothing but good by the end. Instilling confidence in my clients is always my goal, and that’s what the power of makeup and good skin care does. We bond and build lasting relationships and moments all behind a brush, that’s the beauty of it all.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
When clients book an appointment or consultation, for makeup or skin care treatments, they expect instant results from the treatments and for my brushes to be magic wands during the makeup application. One of the things that doesn’t necessarily set me apart, however, I feel it keeps my clients coming back, is my brutal honesty. I will talk through realistic expectations with them and I will even tell them NO, if something won’t work. I think my clients respect my honesty, therefore they trust me and keep coming back. Because of that, I literally have clients around the globe, who still contact me for their skin care and makeup needs. I am excited and anxious about a project I’m working on now, that can’t be disclosed. It makes me smile just writing that. Hopefully I will get to share it with you guys in the near future. I do still work a ft job along with running my business pt, and I feel like I got here by faith. The job I am in was one I prayed for, and one I feel past jobs prepared me for. And I feel this one is preparation for my next move independently. Was/is it easy, no! Challenges still arise. Being “newer “ to Cali and now during a pandemic, has slowed down my personal business and the opportunities to network. Starting over when moving to a new city is never easy, but to know me, is to know I move at any moment lol! As for the lessons I’ve learned along the way, there are so many. Be kind, be observant, stand your ground, be flexible at times, absorb all you can in a room full of those you either look up to or this that have been in the game longer, never stop learning your craft, and have fun! Lastly, I want people to know that me and my brand stand for feeling good. There is no crazy back story. I’m just a girl with a few God given talents that all happen to make people feel good. And when they leave my chair/table or have a random conversation with me, I want them to leave better than they came in. Feeling good, confident, encouraged, powerful, and loved! Because all of this things are true with The Riley brand.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Living in SoCal there are endless places to go and things to see. Because I am a mermaid, we would certainly stop at all the necessary beaches. Laguna Beach, Santa Monica, Malibu, & Manhattan Beach. Then we would eat brunch at some of my favorite places like The Nest, The Attic, Second & Saint, The Overland Café, EP&LP, Perch, and many more. Maybe some dinners and/or drinks at places like Tao, Katana, Employees Only, Spire 73, Joey and again, so many more. I’m not crazy about the taco trucks but I always take friends to them when they visit. Of course you have to do a hike or two, Runyon Canyon is a visitors must lol! And lastly, find some nice day parties and evening live music spots, and if I must, I will go to a club for them! There is literally always something to do. It’s a great city to say the least, and the weather certainly helps.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Wow, so many people deserve credit. First and foremost, my Mother. Even when she didn’t agree with a decision, she found a way to support it, and for that I love her endlessly. Of course my family in general, my father and siblings(Karl, Kraig, William, Summer, & Azilee). My absolute number one ride or die best friend Deja S, and my other besties Kendra H, Sasha S, & Rachel S. My Japan family- My pastors and spiritual parents who didn’t let me give up on myself, in Christ more specifically. And the many friends/clients I made there who supported my business and dreams. S/O to my “Oldies” for holding me down. And lastly, I can’t forget my bro Jawann. There are so many people who have played roles good and bad, because you learn from both. These particular people just held me very accountable at a very specific time in my life, and they still do. It’s hard to let your loved ones down when they have expectations of you! And boy are they high lol! Church is my organization, and “The Secret” opened my eyes. A few other books after that helped me threw some rough times as well. Meditation is a huge part of my life, you have to know how to be still with yourself. And although I slack on it now, working out contributed to my success and I plan give that to myself again in the near future. Without these things and people, I would still be something, just not who I am today!