A lot of people in the Beauty Industry told me if I keep sharing on social media that I have Lupus that I would lose a lot of work. But how can I hide what I’m battling everyday. It’s my life, it’s what I’m going through everyday. So why should I hide it because it makes my peers uncomfortable and with many not really understand what Lupus is I have to educate and help bring awareness. For so long, I kept it hidden and I finally decided that I want to speak out, that I should use my platform to help bring awareness to Lupus. So I selected to share my story with Caribbean Posh magazine readers and hopefully my story can help someone who’s battling some form of an auto-immune disease.
In 2000-2005, I knew something was going on with my body. All of my doctors kept telling me that I was just stressed because of my career, working with celebrities and traveling around the world. So, I believed them because what did I know, I’m just a makeup artist. But in August 2005, as I stepped inside the elevator at New Orleans City Hall. I received a call from my new doctor and she said, “I need to see you right away because your numbers were elevated and I’m very concerned”. I’m never going to forget that day and that call. I went in to see my doctor, she told me she wanted to do more testing on me but she was afraid that I had Lupus. I knew what it was because my mother twin sister died from Lupus complications very fast after being diagnosed. Fast forward, Hurricane Katrina happen, that I put that news far far away. I didn’t have time to deal with that. So, I went through life in extreme pain and was always exhausted as I rebuild my life. In 2014, I’m now living in Connecticut and I couldn’t tolerate what was going on with me anymore. This superwoman couldn’t bare being miserable so I went to see a doctor. After the first blood work came back she immediately said you have Lupus and I’m going to refer you to a Rheumatologist.
Fast forward again, I learned that moving up North to an extreme cold climate it trigger a flare up that refuse to go away. I’ve had so many scary challenges from an enlarged heart, kidney problems, blood clotting, stomach problems due to the prednisone, blurry vision, lost my sense of smell and taste and now pulmonary challenges that I’m relocating back to New Orleans for a few months during the winter so that my lungs can heal and so I don’t have to use my breathing machine 2x’s a day.
In 2019, I plan to work hard at bringing awareness to Lupus. Yeah, a lot of beauty brands and companies have released me from working with them but they can’t stop me from doing makeup. I’m going to always be a talented makeup artist and they can’t take that away. No, I don’t look sick but know that living with Lupus is a lonely disease and it’s a disease that you have to be a fighter because it’s a horrible disease. The things your body goes through is hard and doctors give us meds that’s not the right meds, it’s something to help with a similar symptoms.
I launched a makeup line in 2017 called Entitled Beauty Cosmetics that keeps me busy along with loyal clients and production companies. Ladies, if you feel that something is going on with your body, something is. Fight until you find a doctor that will listen to you. If you have to lose, family, friends and co-workers it’s ok, don’t let them tell you that nothing is wrong with you. Cuz if your body is going through something you need to be stress free, so take a break from people who bring stress to your life. Cuz it’s the last thing you need.
As a makeup artist living with lupus, I often turn to mineral makeup. My must-have items include color correctors to help with discoloration and hyper-pigmentation; a primer with a brightener to bring radiance to my dull skin; mineral mascara, which is good for sensitive eyes; and foundation and moisturizer that’s loaded with SPF. My focus is always finding great skin-care products that will not cause inflammation of the skin.
Here are 8 beauty items that as a Lupus Warrior I can wear on my skin and it doesn’t trigger anything.
1. FIRST AID BEAUTY Hello Fab Coconut Micellar Makeup Melter
2. HOURGLASS Veil Mineral Primer
3. LAURA MERCIER Mineral Powder
4. ALGENIST Splash Hydrating Setting Mist
5. TARTE Gifted Amazonian Clay Smart Mascara
6. STILA Stay All Day Foundation + Concealer
7. ENTITLED BEAUTY Spotlight Highlighters
8. CAUDALIE Vinoperfect Radiance Serum
New Orleans Makeup Artist Brandy Gomez-Duplessis has 22 years of experience in the Beauty & Entertainment industry. Gomez-Duplessis is a wife and a mother of 2 adult kids living in Connecticut. In 2014, Brandy was diagnosed with Lupus, Lyme & RA.