Casa Ruby Covergirls

Makeup artist lends support to local LGBT center with cosmetology-certification courses

A local makeup artist who recently launched his new brand of cosmetics is giving back to the local LGBT community, offering makeup and fashion instruction, as well as giving a share of proceeds from his nail-polish line to LGBT community center Casa Ruby.

The artist, Eduardo Carcamo, officially launched his new cosmetics brand, V*Glam Cosmetics Sept. 21, offering various types of lipstick, lip liner, eyeliner and eye shadow. He will also launch a line of men’s skincare products Nov. 1. But Carcamo’s biggest impact, as far as the D.C. metropolitan area’s LGBT community is concerned, is his partnership with Casa Ruby, in which he offers certification classes to interested clients of the center, particularly transgender women seeking to pursue new employment opportunities.

”Our mission is to empower those interested in a field of cosmetics and makeup artistry,” Elvia Hernandez, creative and marketing director for V*Glam, said of the certification course. ”Once the certification is done, we would like to start working with salons to say, ‘Listen, we have students who are willing and able to do makeup for your salon,’ and they can start there. And to also use the makeup line to launch them as entrepreneurs to sell that on their own, to do makeup, various events, so they, too, can one day do something like we’re doing now, but on their own.”

Carcamo, who has been involved in makeup and fashion design for the past 10 years, was trained at the Paul Mitchell School. He’s been involved with projects ranging from Latin Fashion Week in Washington to beauty contests like Miss El Salvador and Miss Peru. Carcamo said he will be implementing two programs at Casa Ruby: one to help transgender people transitioning from male to female learn how to do their own makeup; and another, which will be an eight- to nine-week certification course for those interested in professional cosmetology.

Carcamo said he will donate V*Glam’s products for the participants to use in the certification course. He also told Metro Weekly he has plans to launch a nail-polish line specifically for Casa Ruby by Oct. 10. All proceeds from sales of the nail-polish line will go directly to Casa Ruby, he said.

Carcamo said he heard about Casa Ruby through friends, and saw participants from the center perform in a drag show fundraiser. Eventually, his curiosity led him to contact the center’s founder, local transgender activist Ruby Corado, and offer his services to the center.

Corado said she is grateful to Carcamo for his willingness to volunteer his time and donate his own cosmetics line to program participants.

”For most people in this city, there’s no school for makeup artistry in D.C.,” Corado said. ”And it’s very hard and very expensive to get certified.”

Corado estimated that, without the certification course offered at Casa Ruby, participants would have to pay $3,000 to 5,000 for equivalent training elsewhere. Corado, who has been a strong supporter of the District’s Project Empowerment program, which has provided employment training to many transgender Washingtonians, said the Casa Ruby cosmetics certification will help participants, both transgender and non-transgender, to market their skills to local salons and businesses.

”They will be able to work anywhere,” Corado said. ”Because they will have the basic skills that are needed. And it’s a curriculum, so they aren’t just learning how to do drag makeup. They’re actually learning different techniques and kinds of makeup.”

John Riley is the local news reporter for Metro Weekly. He can be reached at jriley@metroweekly.com