Melinda Solares©Melinda Solares

Melinda Solares

Honoring her grandfather’s legacy by being Sephora’s first Cuban Beauty Director.

Melinda Solares has a direct hand in shaping beauty, working in one of the biggest beauty stores in the world. She’s the beauty director at Sephora, and one of the company’s beauty experts, often making appearances on Sephora’s social media sites and providing followers with helpful tutorials and suggestions.

Solares has had a long history with Sephora. While she’s currently in charge of representing the brand, providing beauty advice, giving product and trend recommendations and more, she started working at Sephora at the makeup merchandising department. It was through hard work and the willingness to take chances that she ended up working her current position, something that demanded a move to Los Angeles.

“I was obsessed with video. I used to do a YouTube trend report for the merchandising department just because I was passionate about it. Video has always been where my heart is because I get to connect with our audience,” she said in an interview with Byrdie.

Solares has Cuban heritage and a personal bond with beauty. Her father grew up in Cuba and her grandfather was one of the founders of Seventeen, one of the first Cuban beauty brands. She believes by working within the beauty industry that she’s continuing to build on her grandfather’s legacy, honoring it by being Sephora’s first Cuban Beauty Director.

“My Cuban heritage gives me so much drive and strength in the way that I unapologetically approach beauty.”

Solares acquired her job while the Covid-19 pandemic was starting, which pushed her to use different skills she’d never used before. She had to become a cameraperson, a lighting person, and more, all while not having her co-workers nearby to guide her through the process. Still, Solares found a community online, standing out by opening herself up and showing her followers vulnerabilities and sharing impassioned Instagram captions.

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