Photos courtesy of Paulina Serrano Career and Technical Education Adviser and makeup artist Paulina Serrano uses brushes to prepare her bridal clients in 2019 (left) and 2020 (right). Serrano purchases her equipment and materials from local vendors who are also women with small businesses.

Blending two worlds: cosmetology, education

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After a virtual workday as the Career and Technical Education (CTE) Adviser, Paulina Serrano scrambles onto the set of Gente-fied, an upcoming Netflix series, to execute actress Annie Gonzalez’s makeup. Organized sets of brushes and kits are strewn across the vanity mirror as she races against the ticking clock. Before she knew it, Serrano had helped create six looks on the small screen. 

With over a decade of cosmetology experience under her belt, Serrano balances being the CTE Adviser and a professional makeup artist. Since 2009, Serrano has been a part of a two-person glam team, Le Hair Shack, alongside hair stylist and colorist April Savala. Savala and Serrano primarily work at weddings and bridal events but are slowly expanding their services. They can be found on Instagram @lehairshack and online at lehairshack.com.

“We would do small, little photoshoots for people who just want to get their pictures out there,” Serrano said. “I was just doing whatever I could and whatever anyone offered me at the time.” 

Doing makeup is an exciting, creative passion for Serrano. Despite being bombarded with other daily obligations as a CTE Adviser and a mother, she continues to make time for her makeup career as it is a crucial part of her identity.  

“Because being a makeup artist means a lot to me, I’m able to juggle everything,” Serrano said. “It’s a very rewarding experience when you are able to do something for someone and it just makes them feel beautiful inside and out.” 

Serrano brings several strengths into her world of makeup and advising. From possessing strong organizational skills to being personable, these skills help her navigate the various intricacies of both career paths.  

“I’m a natural counselor and I use that as a CTE Adviser and makeup artist,” Serrano said. “I’m very organized and love working with all age groups so both careers provide that opportunity for me. These careers stem from who I am as a person.”

Now, she strives to pass on the lessons learned from both of her careers to her young daughter and continue expressing her artistry through makeup.

“I had to learn how to let things flow and that things don’t always have to be structured,” Serrano said. “It’s important for me to show my daughter that and that you have to honor all parts of yourself. For me, that’s keeping my creative side thriving.”

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