Over the course of the month, we will be spotlighting the winners of Beauty Launchpad’s 25 Under 50K for 2022.
Here, you will get to know Elijah Cordova. Cordova is a makeup artist, hairstylist and colorist at Bleach Party in Fort Collins, Colorado. In his Q&A, you will learn his favorite hair trends, a fun fact about him, his proudest accomplishment and more.
Beauty Launchpad (BLP): What is a fun fact about you?
Elijah Cordova (EC): My love for doing hair and makeup started early on from drawing portraits. Hair is truly my favorite thing to draw.
BLP: What is your proudest accomplishment?
EC: My proudest accomplishment is being able to work for myself full time and building a community of people who love and support me.
BLP: What is your current favorite hairstyle trend?
EC: My favorite trend is the fact that if you wear something with confidence, it's in. It's liberating when people do whatever they want with their hair. As stylists, we have had to learn the rules to break them, and I see at least one hairstyle, color or trend daily that I could've only ever dreamed possible.
BLP: What is a hair tip you have for your fellow stylists?
EC: My biggest tip for fellow salon professionals is this: Energy matches energy. Building a book of clients who [make you] smile means showing up with the attitude you wish to receive in return. It also means asking for what you want, seeking out your dream opportunities, pitching the idea to the client, and trying something out of your comfort zone. Mostly, don't let impostor syndrome get in your way. If the chance has come your way, you must be ready for it!
BLP: What inspires you?
EC: I'm inspired by self-expression, and the ability to show the outside world how you feel on the inside is a very brave and vulnerable thing to do. I'm deeply inspired by the clients who trust me to manifest their vision.
BLP: What do you love about your work?
EC: Many days, I have a hard time believing I get paid to do what I do because it's just so much fun. What I love most about my work is the freedom to create constantly.
BLP: What motivates you about the industry you are in?
EC: I'm motivated by the beauty industry in so many ways, but what I love most is being able to specialize in the niche I'm interested in; being able to hone in on exactly what I'm passionate about and finding clients who align.
BLP: What is a professional goal you have for yourself?
EC: A professional goal I have is to do styling/makeup at Paris Fashion Week. I started my career doing work for Denver Fashion Week, and I was so grateful to find a connection to work Thailand Fashion Week. I just want to travel everywhere, appreciating and creating beauty wherever I go!
BLP: Who is a role model you have in the industry?
EC: My biggest role model in the industry is @naeemahlafond, a Brooklyn-based Haitian-American hairstylist and global artistic director of amika. I first discovered Naeemah by taking a virtual education session from Texpert Collective on working with textured hair. The proceeds from this particular course were donated to the Black Lives Matter Movement. I'm continuously inspired by her editorial work and how she makes high-fashion styling accessible for multiple hair textures, making diversity visible and celebrated.
BLP: What is your favorite career-/work-related memory from this year?
EC: After leaving a traditional job years ago, I was terrified to start this new journey into building my brand and working as an individual, so I decided to shake off some of the stress and nerves by getting tickets to see one of my favorite DJs, Opiuo. Fast-forward a few years into my career—I have an inquiry in my inbox seeking hair and makeup services for a music video, and when I arrived at the shoot, I was briefed by the team that it was a video for Opiuo. It was a truly full circle moment for not only me, personally, but it was validating for my career and the work I put into it from that very first day.
To see our full spread for this year’s 25 Under 50K recipients, you can read Beauty Launchpad's November/December 2022 digital magazine.