Today we’d like to introduce you to Sabella Reyes.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
As a child, I remember wishing that the discussion of my childhood sexual trauma didn’t come with severe consequences. I was made aware that talking to anyone about what was happening to me would jeopardize my family’s well-being and our quality of life. I then joined the United States Navy in the efforts of starting a new life, but during my ten plus years of honorable service, I was betrayed by a fellow servicemember and sexually assaulted again.
Shortly after my military sexual trauma occurred, I learned that my experience of childhood sexual trauma had conditioned me to function normally during the reporting and investigation processes. The combination of Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) and reengaging in my spirituality were the prime movers of my healing, although my commitment to my country made it impossible for me to prioritize my healing. As a result of my experience with these processes, I concluded that servicemembers who experience any type of trauma are better supported after their service obligation.
I soon became attracted to Art Therapy, an intervention that many trauma survivors have benefited from. Instead of painting on paper or other objects, I chose the face of women. Therefore, I became a Make-up Designory (MUD) Certified Makeup Artist. Make-up artistry helped me to maintain the progress of my recovery when my schedule wouldn’t permit therapist-led interventions. During my experience with Art Therapy, I discovered that my life and cosmetics both suffered from the same condition: conformity. Often, I found myself using cosmetics to hide a woman’s “imperfections” to make the people that will see it comfortable, while completely disregarding what the woman admired about her own features. To me, this was no different than me being made to believe that I had to refrain from discussing my adversities with others because of how uncomfortable it could make them feel, even though it would make me feel much better.
Shortly after this revelation, I began to empower my clients by asking them what their favorite facial feature is before starting their makeup. Whatever part of their face was identified, I was sure to enhance it. I realized quickly the impact this made on the beautiful experience I provided to my clients. My goal had suddenly become to help each woman love herself a little more once she walked away from my chair. This new delivery of my service changed the entire dynamic of my sessions with my clients. We were now bonding and learning more about each other on a personal level. We naturally began sharing our vulnerabilities and hardships with one another. I learned that they each had unique, beautiful stories of adversity that share many of the same characteristics as mine. This rewarding experience is what led me to obtain a master’s degree in Social Worker.
I strongly believe that the burden of shame and stigma should be removed from survivors, and the most effective way to accomplish this would be for the survivors to be able to discuss their adversities as casually as we do our cosmetics. This became the foundation of Covert Beauty. The storybook packaging of the eyelashes hints that each eyelash style is inspired by an amazing story. Each eyelash style’s story is broadcasted on Covert Beauty’s podcast, It’s Time To Uncovert, which is available on Spotify and YouTube. The guest selects their own alias, which becomes the title of the podcast episode, and each podcast episode highlights the survivor’s healing process.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Covert Beauty’s journey has been far from smooth! This was mainly because I spent the first year of operation behind the scenes. Covert Beauty was literally a covert operation during that time, which made it difficult for my consumers to identify with the mission and with the brand. I have learned that my consumers are much more engaged in having a face to identify with the brand. I can honestly say that the initial tactic was derived from the fear of scrutiny. In all fairness, it was very difficult for me to ask my consumers to share their vulnerabilities with me while I hid behind mine. Upon this journey, I’ve learned that I have far more supporters than I do critics, which tells me that I’m doing the right thing.
So, as you know, we’re impressed with Covert Beauty – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of and what sets you apart from others.
Covert Beauty aims to minimize the need for utilizing the cosmetic industry to hide one’s “imperfections” or vulnerabilities and to embrace them. I believe this can be accomplished by providing a platform for people to share their vulnerabilities while inspiring others with their stories. So, Covert Beauty is currently serving three different populations; the consumers who are solely interested in quality cosmetic products, the consumers who are primarily interested in the company’s mission via the podcast and the consumers who appreciate the brand in its entirety. For each eyelash style, Covert Beauty has pledged to donate 10% of the proceeds for every 100 pairs of eyelashes sold to a non-profit organization of the Story Owner’s choice. The Story Owner selects this non-profit from the list of non-profit organizations within Covert Beauty’s network.
Currently, Covert Beauty is partnered with Aunt Bertha, an organization that provides people with access to free and reduced-cost social service programs within their communities. Considering the content of our podcast episodes consist of everyday struggles/challenges that our consumers or someone they care about can relate to, we frequently encourage our consumer to utilize this resource. All the consumer needs to do is type in their zip code in the Aunt Betha search engine on the “Contact Us” page of our website to find services. These services include but are not limited to mental health counseling, local homeless and domestic violence shelters, employment resources, and food pantries. I am proud to be the owner of a beauty brand that promotes “holistic makeup,” which acknowledges the consumer’s physical, emotional, mental and spiritual healing. I believe Covert Beauty’s mission enhances the beauty of our consumers from the inside out.
So, what’s next? Any big plans?
I am currently a Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW) in the State of Texas. This year I plan to initiate the process of completing the necessary requirements to become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) so that I can offer teletherapy as a service on Covert Beauty’s website. This would be an option for any consumer who may become triggered when listening to the content of our It’s Time To Uncovert podcast. Additionally, I have noticed that our podcast has acquired a substantial male following which has inspired me to launch Covert Beauty Men soon! The Covert Beauty Men’s line will consist of essential grooming tools and possibly fragrances.
- NEVER JUDGE A BOOK BY ITS COVERT: CHAPTER ONE, $12.99, Natural Mink Eyelash, Podcast Episode One: “G.I. Pain” available on Spotify and YouTube, Non-Profit Proceeds: Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAIN)
- OPERATION COVERT: CHAPTER ONE, $12.99, Dramatic Mink Eyelash, Podcast Episode Seven: “Reason 17” available on Spotify and YouTube, Non-Profit Proceeds: National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)
- SELF-REFLECTION MIRROR, $14.99, LED Mirror, Easily fits in your purse!
- Address: 2918 W Grand Pkwy N
Katy, TX 77449
- Website: www.covertbeauties.com
- Phone: 832-210-3570
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Photos by Jacobe Rashaun Photography and Token Photography