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Taryn Dean’s soul-searching journey from aspiring screenwriter to tarot-reading eyelash extensions artist has been a magical one. Long before attracting a starry clientele that includes Ava DuVernay, Jada Pinkett Smith and Constance Wu, the Los Angeles aesthetician had her sights set on Tinseltown by way of the writers room.
“I thought I wanted to go onto screenwriting and work in Hollywood, making TV shows,” Dean tells The Hollywood Reporter. She landed a full ride to the University of Southern California to study creative writing, but decided to drop out because “college really made me hate writing; [it felt] formulaic and it seemed to go against the whole notion of creativity.”
Instead, Dean built a career in fashion that spanned over a decade, working in retail and eventually as a personal shopper and stylist for clients like former Atlantic Records president of A&R Darrale Jones and cinematographer Matthew Libatique, among others.
Fast-forward to today and the lash wiz has opened Beauty Mage, her first metaphysical beauty studio in downtown L.A. Tucked away behind a bespoke fashion atelier at Maker City L.A. (the 11th floor workspaces at creative hub The Reef), Dean offers her full range of self-care services, such as the transcendental classic lash session (starting at $275) that she describes as one part beauty, two parts spiritual therapy. (You can also book lash time with her at Silver Lake studio GBY Beauty.)
Translation? She will upgrade your lash line with silk or mink hairs in the style of your choice (from natural-looking to red carpet-ready volume), align your chakras with reiki and crystal healing and offer sage advice with a tarot card reading — complete with aromatherapy and a sound bath.
The signature service takes approximately three hours and is designed to help clients rid themselves of negative energy, find inner peace and see the world with empowered eyes. (A fuller flutter certainly helps, too.)
Also on the menu are solo lash services ($125 to $500) as well as reiki sessions ($100 for 60 minutes), while microblading ($500 and up) is coming soon. Lashes are applied individually using safe, medical-grade adhesive to ensure a longer-lasting fringe.
The self-professed witch pivoted into beauty eight years ago when her fashion career hit a wall. A side job at a friend’s lash extensions studio evolved into Dean becoming an expert and licensed aesthetician. A natural intuitive, Dean began “doling out little pearls of wisdom” to longtime clients who sought her unfiltered guidance beyond beauty. Simultaneously, she began exploring the spiritual traditions of her Native American and African ancestry.
“As I expanded my spiritual scope of getting into witchcraft and really understanding the religious practices of my ancestors, it clicked that I can combine all of these things that I’ve always been interested in,” Dean says. That led her to hoodoo, “a closed practice that’s not something that you typically are supposed to be able to learn about or practice if you aren’t of black or African ancestry,” she says. “I try to be respectful of that; I don’t want to ever encroach upon anyone’s culture or identity or impose myself because it is not my right to.”
#FBF to that time I did lashes on @ava She was on her way out of town to New Orleans to start filming on a show she had just developed for OWN. One guess what show that was! She was a gem. We do not deserve her. #grateful #lashesbyme #magebabes #thebeautymage #gbygirlsrule
A post shared by Taryn Dean (@thebeautymage) on
Dean still isn’t quite sure how she caught Hollywood’s eye, but she does remember the exact moment when DuVernay booked her for lashes. “I was literally getting ready to buy a car when I got the notification [on] my phone,” she says. “It was right before she went to New Orleans to start [filming] Queen Sugar, so a lot of people didn’t even really know who she was. I knew who she was because I had seen Selma, and I stay pretty abreast of entertainment and culture and lifestyle, [especially] when a black female is taking on these types of roles and leadership.”
Dean landed at Maker City thanks to its ample parking, security (“For women, safety is always a top priority and I felt like my clients would feel safe here”) and bevy of resources, such as photo and podcast studios, event space and the ability to move into a larger office for when she outgrows her current digs.
She also foresees more expansion in her future: “The new location will support my goal of creating a product line with an eventual goal of growing into a full apothecary and beauty and wellness center.”
The Beauty Mage at Maker City L.A. at The Reef, 1933 South Broadway, Suite 1107-E, Los Angeles; (310) 754-0249; thebeautymage.com.
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