Popular Caribbean makeup artist Korena Baggan has taken her beauty influencer reach to another level.
The beloved Trinbagonian social media sensation, who has amassed almost 50,000 followers across her Twitter, YouTube and Instagram pages, was hand-picked to attend an exclusive Halloween party in Los Angeles California last weekend, hosted by billion-dollar global makeup conglomerate Anastasia Beverly Hills (ABH). Known as @korenarebecca to her beloved fans and supporters, Korena was humbled by the opportunity to be invited on her first influencer trip to the United States.
“It’s so important for me to always represent the red, white and black wherever I go.”— Korena
In an exclusive interview with BUZZ, Korena explained that most of the company’s popular influencers and a few micro-influencers like herself were invited to mix and mingle at the hot-ticket event.
“I met people like Amra Olević Reyes, one of the first big influencers who made me want to go into this field,” she explained.
The Trinbagonian beauty was initially discovered online for her talent by Norvina Soare, daughter of the Founder of ABH, Anastasia Soare. Describing her as “very sweet”, Korena said: “I interact with her a lot on Twitter and that’s what got me noticed a few months back. I was then placed on their PR list.”
“It is admittedly very hard for a Caribbean-based person to be noticed.”— Korena
Korena is one of the few Caribbean-based influencers to be invited to the annual lavish affair.
“Not many people push to be in the global scene, and it is admittedly very hard for a Caribbean-based person to be noticed. Having that privilege to represent our local makeup community and be authentically Caribbean at an event like this made my heart explode,” she said.
She was grateful for superstar TRIBE Carnival designer Solange Govia, who offered her a free costume to wear at the Halloween Party on short notice.
“It’s so important for me to always represent the red, white and black wherever I go. I have to say thank you to Solange for allowing me to further insert my homeland flavour into the event with the ‘Adelita’ costume she provided. I couldn’t have worn a better costume to represent Caribbean culture,” the influencer said.
Now that Korena has hit this milestone achievement, she intends to keep pushing for bigger and better opportunities. Saying that the event was more than what she could ever ask for, Korena intends to stay true to her Caribbean flair.
“You have your own lane, everyone does. Don’t try to be like someone else or work like someone else because you’ll be selling yourself short,” she told BUZZ.
In the same breath she admits that getting the attention of global companies is hard work, so staying motivated is the key to success.
“I think I give this advice to myself too because in the world of influencers, sometimes the younger or smaller artists are influenced negatively with respect to how we look, how we dress and how we live. We’re so caught up in looking and being like other larger influencers because we think that that’s how we’ll grow our platform, when really in this day and age the audiences we’re trying to appeal to want something different and real,” Korena said.
While the journey to influencer success can be a lonely road, Korena reveals that her makeup followers really want someone they can truly relate to.
“It’s so important to stay true to you – don’t change because you want more people to like you. Once you’re authentic, you will be a positive influence with people who see you exactly for who you are. And for me, I’ll always be a Caribbean girl with big dreams,” she said.
Tenille Clarke is an avid wanderlust, Carnivalist and cultural enthusiast who pens about her ongoing love affair with travel, culture and entertainment through a Caribbean lens. She is the Principal Publicist of Chambers Media Solutions and Managing Director of Industry 360. (@tenilleclarke1 on Instagram/Twitter)