By Ana Martinez-Ortiz
Destiny Williams didn’t always wear makeup, but one day that changed. Her confidence level was down, so she put on makeup. At first she struggled but after a few YouTube videos she tried again and this time she liked what she saw.
For Williams, putting on makeup isn’t a practice of vanity, it’s an act of empowerment, self-care and love. It gives her clarity and strength to get through her day.
In 2021, Williams began working on her makeup line known as the Flawless Boss Collection. The line includes products such as eyelashes, lipsticks and lip liners. In addition, the products are deliberately named as words or statements as affirmation.
Lashes, for example, are named My Story, Freedom, Healing and Girl Get Up. Other product names include Fearless, Brave, Self-Worth, Break the Silence, FLY – First Love Yourself and more.
“The names are basically meant to inspire and encourage women,” Williams said. “Often we let others tell our stories when they are our stories. So I call it My Story for people to tell their own story. Freedom is the freedom to speak, the freedom to be oneself.
She continued, “When they put these products on, it gives them that inspiration.”
In 2018, Williams developed postpartum depression after the birth of her third child. During this time, he was diagnosed with clinical depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and trauma. Part of this stems from the domestic abuse Williams suffered in a previous relationship.
Her business, Flawless Boss Collection, is just one of the ways Williams heals herself and others. At first it started as a hobby – a way to keep her mind busy and deal with her anxiety and depression. But when people showed interest in her products, Williams began to think of them as a business.
When Williams’ job at a call center informed her that it could no longer offer her disability benefits because mental health was no longer considered a disability, she decided to go for it. front with Flawless Boss Collection.
Starting a small business and creating the products, however, was no small feat.
Williams wanted to make sure she had the right colors and the right names.
“It was very stressful and very overwhelming trying to play with all the colors,” she said.
There was also the underlying fear of publishing his story. Some people knew what she had been through, but not everyone knew the details.
“I know people can relate to me,” she said. “But it felt like people were going to judge me for telling my story. There was a fear of letting people know what I’m dealing with. I was very afraid to do that.”
People didn’t realize how much her experiences had affected her, she said, but she knew she had to share her story. We don’t talk a lot about mental health, she says, and there are a lot of people who commit suicide because of depression and fear of sharing their story.
The world is passing judgment, she said, recalling the time she told a relative she was going to therapy. There’s a fear there, she explained, people are afraid to talk about their mental health and afraid to ask for help.
There’s nothing wrong with therapy, Williams said. A professional can help find the root of the problem or identify certain things, she said.
“Mental health is real,” she said. “There is nothing to play with. People think it’s a game, and it’s really not a game. I need people to start coming out and accepting that they’re not always OK. There is nothing wrong with saying “I need help”. We all need help.
Flawless Boss Collection is Williams’ way of saying it’s okay to not be okay.
The products and social media posts aren’t just for other women, but remind Williams that depression or anxiety doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with her and doesn’t define her.
When it comes to maintaining her own sanity, Williams makes time to practice self-love and care. Putting on makeup is an act of self-care, Williams said.
“It’s taking the time to make sure you’re feeling your best, to give yourself the extra boost you need to feel beautiful,” she said. “A lot of us don’t take care of ourselves, and I feel like putting on makeup helps us. It gives us time for ourselves to boost our confidence, it calms us down.
When she wears makeup, Williams leans into her favorite products like Girl Get Up lashes and Strength or Fearless lip glosses. Girl Get Up is about finding the motivation to get up and walk through that dark place, she said. Fearless is her everyday look and Force is when she needs an extra boost or a pop of color.
As Williams struggled in the dark, she made it to the other side. Her business has helped her cope with her anxieties and depression. She hopes her story and bravery will encourage others to take the first step on their journey to mental health.
“If other people can do it, you can do it,” she said. “If I can do it, you can do it. You’re not alone. Believe me, you are not alone. Just keep pushing, even on days when you don’t feel like pushing. Keep pushing, stay consistent, and be transparent – just be yourself.
The Flawless Boss Collection is available at FlawlessBossCollection.com. The company is also present on Instagram, Facebook and TikTok.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24/7 at 1-800-273-8255.
For more information about mental health resources in Milwaukee, call or text 2-1-1.