It’s true what they say: don’t judge a book by its cover. In a recent episode of my Couch Conversations series, I got the chance to talk with, and get my make up done, by Michelle Oblitey, aka “Marley” or the “Glam Goth”. There is so much more than meets the eye with this tattooed beauty. She talked with me about rising above her struggles of being judged by her looks, and the ups and downs of the world of glam.
Marley is the daughter of immigrants from Ghana, she found her passion for the “art of glam” early in life. In high school, she would do her friends hair and makeup for parties. Marley has a loyal fan base around the world. One of her greatest career moments thus far came after college. She was asked to travel to New York and do special effects for a movie.
Out of all the places she’s traveled, the big apple is her favorite. She believes “everyone should see different parts of the world.” “It’s how you grow,” says Marley. Practicing what she preaches, Marley recently decided to move to Los Angeles to take her career to the next level.
Being in the City of Angels seems like a great fit. After all her name means god like! Marley’s successful online business includes 100% vegan and cruelty-free makeup, clothing, and accessories. She can run it from anywhere. Being on the west coast means her celebrity clients will now be closer to her, and she has plans to expand her brand by offering makeup classes.
Marley is tattooed from head to toe. Her personal style is inspired by styles from rock and roll music, powerful women like Madonna, Rihanna, and the 50s and 60s. But she can do all different types of makeup. For me, she did a simple beach glam.
Over the last decade of her career, she has had to “prove herself” at times. She identifies as a bisexual black woman. A goofy girl, who is eccentric, and youthful. Not your “cookie cutter” makeup artist. Some of the challenges that she has experienced include:
- People seeing her online personality and have expectations of what she will be like when they meet her in person
- Arriving to do a clients makeup and them being nervous about her being able to do another glam look other than the bold style she is known for doing on herself
- Finding brands that offer makeup options, tutorials, and examples of different looks in all skin tones
How does Marley handle these challenges? She remains professional and rises above. She’s seen other makeup artists who get feedback on their work do the opposite and get upset. She says that if you really want to learn, you have to “take a step back, and assess your work” as you go. She goes on to say that you’re not truly in your field until you can do makeup for “every skin tone and every gender.”
Some last words of advice from this Queen:
“Never limit yourself.”
Thanks for the makeup session and the inspo Marley 💖 Make sure to follow this beauty on Instagram to stay updated on her latest moves and don’t miss any of my couch conversations by turning on notifications for the Tropicult Instagram. Next up I chat with local favorite Nikki Bravo!