L u Rodrigues is the name of beauty for Brazilian celebrities. She founded the first unit of her successful business, Lu Make Up, in 2010 in Curitiba. The brand has become the most important center of dermopigmentation in Brazil and currently has 8 units in five different Brazilian capitals.
With over 20 years of experience in the area, Lu started her career at 18 when she was living in Europe and where she worked for 5 years in Germany, France and Switzerland. It was in that continent that Lu had the insight to start her own method, later called Long-lasting Makeup. The method changed the micropigmentation market and quickly attracted a lot of VIP clients. Brazilian celebrities like Bruna Marquezine, Deborah Secco, Giovanna Antonelli, Grazi Massafera, Anitta, Claudia Leitte, Laís Ribeiro, Ivete Sangalo and Sabrina Sato are on the list.
Because she believes that beauty can change people’s lives, Lu Rodrigues is really into helping people to feel happier, more confident and empowered by improving their self-esteem. Based on techniques that work with each strand of hair individually and pointillism, Lu gives her clients new expressions, mostly through eyebrows, eyes and lips. Her techniques are also used to rebuild women’s nipples after breast cancer and coverage of scars, vitiligo, stretch marks and other skin patches. Since it was founded, Lu Make Up has worked on philanthropic actions and partnerships with organizations that promote those procedures.
The brand Lu Make Up employs more than 30 professionals around Brazil, but clients who want to see Lu must go to the unit in Jardins, São Paulo. The long-lasting makeup can cost from $256 to $1.620 and it lasts for about 8 months. We talked to Lu about her career, her plans for the future and more.
LU RODRIGUES INTERVIEW
How did you find out that the micropigmentation area was your path?
Like any child, I loved drawing. When I was 11, I found out my true passion… I didn’t want to draw on a sheet of paper, I wanted to draw on women’s faces, highlighting their individual beauty. I used to work for one of my grandma’s friend, who was a hairdresser, helping with the clients’ makeup. I loved working on their eyes, eyebrows and lips. That’s when I started thinking about how wonderful it would be if women could have that forever because, in my point of view, the secret of beauty is in outlined eyes, beautiful eyebrows and healthy lips. I started thinking about tattoos and bought my first machine when I was 14. My clients liked the results, but I wasn’t satisfied. I went searching for development through new techniques and lot of studies. During this search, when I was in Germany, I learned about micropigmentation, that I called long-lasting makeup. And that’s when my journey started, to offer men and women a way to make them feel beautiful and natural.
When did you become famous?
I don’t think I’m famous. I think I’m a hard worker, motivated and passionate for what I do. I believe that I can show clients the best they have. I see my work as something that brings what is already inside people, because the drawing is there, I just highlight it… but the drawing is already on a person’s face. That’s how I see all my procedures. The other day I worked on a lip that shows exactly what I’m saying: part of a woman’s lips was very down. I saw that but at the same time I saw it corrected and had it in my mind. Then I prepared a first drawing of her lips and showed her. She said: “That’s exactly what I want”. Every woman knows what’s missing on her appearance and I believe I can understand their minds, and also men’s. The perfect drawing lives inside each person and what my work does is just to make it real.
Which micropigmentation services do celebrities prefer?
Eyebrows, lips and eyes. They like all of them because there are little details that make the whole image. I usually say that if I change two hair strands from the eyebrows or a little line on the eye or the lip, I can change everything. Drawing people’s faces requires a lot of sensibility and the secret is in details, I always teach this to my makeup artists… the method is there but we must pay attention to details. This careful attitude is what makes all my clients happy. It’s like they could reborn after one of my treatments.
How does your work impact women’s confidence?
I’m convinced that I do something that helps men and women to develop their self-esteem. I believe a woman with high self-esteem is able to find out and show her best. She may feel more attractive, sexier, more confident and empowered. It’s like they are wearing some dirty glasses and can’t see. My role is to “clean those glasses”. This is what I love the most. I remember one day that a client came to see for an eyebrow procedure. I realized she had some skin stains on her legs because of leukoderma. I asked if she wanted to try something on those stains. She agreed and by the end of the treatment she was speechless. She couldn’t explain how her life was going to change because of my work. She now wears high heels and short skirts… I offer people possibilities to rescue their (each one’s) potential. It’s amazing what my work can do to people’s lives.
Tell us about the procedures focused on diseases.
That’s the part that really means a lot to me. It’s interesting because I feel very emotional when I talk about it, even more than when I’m working on a case, because at that moment, it’s really fast and intuitive. The drawings come to my mind almost immediately. There are some cases of women who had suffered from breast cancer and I had the opportunity to reconstruct their breast, the nipples. Once I received a lady who had a big scar on her head and because of that she always had the same hairstyle, with bangs. After the procedure she came to see me and told me how happy she was because she could finally have a ponytail. These reactions make me very emotional, because it’s about life, about happiness.
Do you see any new possibilities to use micropigmentation for other beauty services in the future?
Many! In the future I think we’ll be able to highlight the skin and make a better use of dermopigmentation on scars, for instance. Besides that, I believe the techniques will improve a lot more. I love my work but I always think it’s possible to make it even better, then I start thinking about new creations, new colors, machines and materials. That motivates me. I feel very happy to make people’s lives better and because of that I think there’s still a lot to grow, many things will happen in this area.
In less than 10 years, your brand became a successful case. What’s the main reason for that?
I love my work as if it was my child. It’s tough sometimes but the chance to be part of people’s lives in a very sensitive way and doing what I really love is very satisfying. I believe this is the secret for my success.
What’s the next city to receive a unit of Lu Make Up?
It’s not the moment to open one more unit in Brazil. Now I want the best professionals of the world to know the Lu Make Up method and use this idea to work with more love; to take care of the clients and help these people to feel happier and more confident, instead of thinking solely about the financial return. When I started, I used to pay for some women to try my techniques. They paid for the drawings and the procedure was on me. I did it for a long time and didn’t have any kind of profits, all the money was used to pay for the dermopigmentation products.
Do you plan to take Lu Make Up to other countries?
Definitely. I want to take my brand to the world. I want people to change the way they think and work in this area. There’s a lot to evolve. I can see more confident and more responsible professionals who do it for love and not only for money. And mostly, I want these professionals to use my products, my techniques, my method so we can have a great experience exchanging knowledge. That’s how I think we’re going to evolve.
How did you come up with the philanthropic actions?
One of my main motivations is to work in order to make people happy. Having the chance to contribute in the life of a person who is going through a hard time because of any disease is wonderful and exciting because to me it’s very simple to do a procedure. I don’t feel tired of my work, so it’s a pleasure to do it and collaborate to make people happier and stronger is priceless. But you need to give yourself to it… and do it with love. And then people will feel your essence and realize you’re doing something really genuine. I believe in it and I think it’s the best way to express God’s presence in other people’s lives.