Yarra Fong, a San Fernando resident, is the first artist in the Caribbean to train in Magic Ink Medical Tattooing, specialising in stretch marks, vitiligo and burns. She also specialises in medical and aesthetic tattooing and permanent makeup as a full-time profession. Yarra works closely with cancer patients for areola restoration tattooing. Added to that, she is the CEO of Soigné Beauty, Aesthetics and Academy. She believes in empowering women and as such, she has a full female team – from web designer to legal team, printers, employees and partners.
Her passion for her current career path stemmed from a love of assisting women to gain confidence in themselves. She started her career in retail and opened a boutique in Gulf View in 2013. Soon, she gained requests from customers for makeup application. She told WE Mag, “Being someone who strongly believes in possessing the qualifications in the fields, I denied those requests until I did makeup artistry, training with my makeup artist at the time, Arlene Villarule. I have been surrounded by beauty from an early age. I began my professional career in makeup artistry and soon after discovered the art of lash extensions. My first lash certification came when international makeup artist, Buntricia Bastien, visited Trinidad with trainers, Shaunell Kennard and Christina Miller. I became certified in Classic Lash Extensions by both trainers in 2014, perfected my art and further went on to Volume Lash Extensions with Bella Lash in 2016.”
In 2017, she further perfected her skill set at the Baltic Brows Conference in Punta Cana where she underwent mentorship with London Brows’, Kim Filion. “At this conference,” she disclosed, “I discovered happily, by accident, the world of permanent makeup through masters from Eastern Europe and Brazil. I left Punta Cana with eight certifications in Eyebrows, Areola Restorative Tattooing, Tattoo Removal, Lips, Scalp Restoration and multiple techniques of eyeliner.” After she discovered her love for machine work, Yarra journeyed to Los Angeles to train with industry powerhouse, Sharon Vu, in an attempt to further her education in eyebrows. She then pursued training for lash lifting, first with Dream Lash of Canada, Ellebana USA and finally, found her home with YUMI Lashes France. She began her international career as a YUMI Lash Artist working at the International Beauty Show in Las Vegas in 2018 as a YUMI Ambassador, educating prospective students and showcasing product and product knowledge. She is currently a regional ambassador for YUMI Lashes.
“Soon after,” Yarra explained, “I started getting requests for training within the lash extension industry in Trinidad. In keeping with the moral and ethical values within the international industry, my preparation of introducing my eyelash extension training to Trinidad and Tobago commenced.” Yarra became a certified educator with the National Association for Lash Artists in the United States and received her City & Guilds Award in Education and Training. “In one year, I have successfully educated over 20 students, many of whom have gone on to open their own businesses” she said. This year, she was invited to attend a Master class with Anastasia Roganova and Nouveau Contour in Orlando, where she was mentored in Stardust Brows, a celebrity brow treatment in Russia. In May, Yarra completed her training as a master artist by attending her fourth certification with world famous artist, Ruben, who is also known as “Brow Daddy” in the midst of completing her academy. Also in May, she journeyed to New York to receive certification in Medical Tattooing by Brazilian Master, Fernanda Jaffre and her signature Magic Ink technique. Throughout the years, Yarra has also trained with Samer Khouzami (Egypt), Tamanna Roshann (USA) and Mario Dedivanovic. “My techniques in every aspect of my career are a combination of some of my favourite methods learnt throughout my career combined to give women the best possible outcome” stated Yarra. “Fast forward to today, I am the founder and head artist at Soigné Beauty, Aesthetics and Academy in San Fernando, the home of beauty, medical aesthetic treatments and education based on international standards and regulations.” The academy offers a wide range of services including lash extensions, YUMI Lashes, Brows and Feet, Permanent Makeup, medical tattooing, chemical peels, fillers, botox, microneedling, dermaplaning, a full scale nail bar and certified massage therapy services.
Truly passionate about what she does, Yarra’s job has taken her on years of adventures. She said, “There is no greater feeling to me than that of serving others and I believe in doing so, I am fulfilling my life’s purpose.” Here is some more on Trinidad’s Yarra Fong as she shared with WE Mag:
What is one thing your customers rely on you for?
“I think it has to be my work ethic. There is something magical about enriching someone’s life through beauty. Clients become more confident, assertive and fall in love with their lives all over again. I don’t take my role for granted and I give each client 150 percent of my effort and undivided attention. I always work towards not only reaching their expectations but surpassing them. A client who visits me knows the quality of results they get and how much research and practice has gone into perfecting the service they acquire.
What are three best achievements/milestones of your life/profession?
– My family – my parents, sister, partner and daughter. I keep them in mind in everything I do and strive to achieve. Raising a child, especially a daughter, is very daunting at times but by far (she is) my life’s greatest achievement.
– Opening my academy. Soigné is the first of its kind to the Caribbean. As an industry that’s still evolving, there aren’t any institutions solely designed to not only offer lashes, YUMI, permanent makeup and medical tattooing services, but to teach these in a school setting to the budding career individual.
– Working at the International Beauty Show in Las Vegas last year as a YUMI Ambassador. I was truly shocked to have been even a choice among the top technicians all over the US yet alone hired by YUMI Lashes USA. Working in my element alongside the owners of our company, mastering my craft and sharing my passion with others – I was a child in a candy store!
Can you offer to us three beauty tips?
– Wear sunscreen. Preservation of the skin is better than a cure for damage. The sun is the number one culprit of age spots, dark spots, premature ageing, skin cancer and keratin loss in the skin. With our temperatures rising daily, I recommend SPF 50 and higher.
– Drink water. Water, also known as nature’s beauty serum, can resolve or assist in a lot of beauty-related issues. Dark circles? Water. Dull complexion? Acne? Water. Hair thinning? Water. Eight glasses a day – stay hydrated friends.
– Avoid waterproof mascara if possible. Constantly wearing waterproof mascara can dehydrate the natural lash and make them brittle. Due to lack of proper removal, a build-up of bacteria can also occur leading to irritations/infections. Unless you’re partaking in water activities – please skip.
By Bavina Sookdeo