In Honor of Black History Month…
I want to introduce a phenomenal, amazing, and remarkable woman, Ms. Darlene Story. Anyone who has had the pleasure of speaking with her, the founder of Li Pigments, you would know how charismatic and authentic she is. She’s been on the permanent makeup scene since 1985, and she’s got days of stories about her involvement in the evolution of PMU. It’s not until you get the opportunity to hear her speak about why she’s recently launched Queen Pigments® (a brow line for people of color) that you start to understand why Darlene Story gets to hold the crown among the women of PMU.
When Darlene lights up about the history of her business, she’ll tell you first and foremost that the foundation is the lasting impression she wants to have on clients around the world. She’ll recall countless women who’ve completed their mastectomy augmentations with the finishing touches of nipple/areola art or the number of men who’ve regained confidence in life with scalp and jawline enhancements while navigating alopecia.
It wouldn’t take long for your conversation with Darlene to hear how proud she is of the 30+ years she has been active in research and development and safety standards. She’ll tell you that science is the key to her teams’ success, and much has been done through the contributions of Mytia Story, Chemist and Vice President of Li Pigments. Together, this mother-daughter duo maintains their pigment manufacturing company that Darlene started with just a few boxes in her dining room in 1992!
With how fascinating it is to talk about her company’s success today, I wanted insight into what really drives Darlene’s passion for this industry. Her stories started with her adversities as an immigrant to the US and the discrimination she encountered when entering the job market as a woman of color at just fourteen years old. She continued with challenging tales of her development as an adult during the civil rights movement. Yet, despite having experienced everything from separate water fountains to being rushed out of sight from customers during business hours, she held her faith and spirits high that there was something profound in store for her journey.
Upon hearing of her triumphs as a single mother of two, permanent makeup found its way into her life at the perfect time to take risks. At the time, PMU was in its mere infancy, and she’ll tell you even she had no idea the ways it would change her life. Once she grasped how permanent makeup improved the lives of clients who received procedures, the gratification of enhancing peoples’ lives became infectious. With the industry’s growth over time, she observed a positive and entirely unaccounted-for side effect, that PMU would not only allow clients to feel great about themselves but provide the opportunity for people around the world to take charge of their own lives in unimaginable ways.
After learning about the many trials and tribulations that Darlene has encountered throughout her entrepreneurial journey, it’s easy to understand why she would want to create a line designed for women of color. Creating such representation in PMU will help transcend permanent makeup. Queen Pigments® is a pigment line created to celebrate and address the needs of women of color. Darlene’s passion for permanent cosmetics and formulations has greatly enhanced the permanent cosmetic industry.
Darlene would tell you herself that she feels extremely blessed to have the ability to share this and support the efforts of each one of you, who are making strides in your own lives to keep moving forward in a positive direction and have a voice that can be heard worldwide. In her own words,
“Remain proud foxy Momma, and go on to influence the world with your beautiful brows!”
Julia Alexander, CPCP
SPCP Director, Ethics Chairperson
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