by Zanna Shapiro

SFC Today had the pleasure of interviewing Refa Noor, fulltime make up artist at Sephora on Joralemon St.

Refa is currently in her senior year at New York City College of Technology, and is majoring in Fashion Marketing.

She balances being a full time student as well as working full time at Sephora.

Her interest in art, and makeup, had evolved over time:

“For all of grade school, my father enrolled me in art schools so that I can practice my hand in art. The visual arts are something that ran strongly through my family.

“Once in college, however, I realized that painting was not going to be much of a practical career choice for me considering my cultural and religious beliefs.”

Refa then turned to makeup, which she had always been interested in “as a side hobby.”

She started doing makeup for her friends and family, “I saw it as another way of continuing my painting.”

In regards to managing work as a makeup artist and academics at school, Refa says it’s all about being organized.

“My cheat at this is by having a giant monthly calendar dry erase board hung up in my room and just popping in due dates, events, clients, and work shifts into the current month. It really helps me have a good visual for what to expect for the following days or weeks as soon as I wake up or right before I leave my room.”

SFC Today asked about any interesting stories Refa can share about her work at Sephora:

“Working at Sephora is like a dream-come-true for me. I am so blessed to work with a company and team that is so inclusive and accepting of everyone’s perfect flaws.

“I once had a client for a makeover that told me her daughter had sent her for her 50th birthday as a pick-me-up since she does not wear makeup herself. Once we were finished and she took a peek, she cried and revealed that that day was her first day out in eight months after being in bed rest due to post-surgical depression from removing a cancerous tumor

“It’s moments like that that makes juggling being a full-time student with having a full-time job that much more worthwhile,” Refa said.

Refa’s future goals combine aesthetics and cosmetics:

“My ultimate goal is to open up an estheticians-licensing school in my home country of Bangladesh to try and promote proper hygiene techniques, good skincare, and more advanced makeup application to the women of the country.”

According to Refa, “ultimately, if you look good, you feel good. If you feel good, you’re more likely to help the person next to you. And Bangladesh is a country that needs more feel-good people that are kind and helpful.”

Her advice for college students is as follows:

“If you love it, you will always find a way to it. I never had support with my love of the arts, but once my parents saw that I was determined to make something out of myself and once they saw my rising success, they became my biggest fans.”

She also encouraged readers to “never stop believing in what you love. Be your own light switch, because happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, when one only remembers to turn on the light.”

Feel free to view Refa’s work on instagram, @refa_noor.

She does take take clients outside of Sephora and is based in Brooklyn.

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