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Meet Trailblazer Selina Diiacova-Montoya

Today we’d like to introduce you to Selina Diiacova-Montoya.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Selina. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I can’t think of an actual moment where I knew with all my heart that I belonged in the beauty industry. I grew up with strict parents that didn’t like the idea of their thirteen-year-old daughter wearing makeup but I was a rebel by nature and I wore my dark eyeliner with purple eyeshadow with no hesitation. Growing up with extremely low self-esteem, I turned to makeup as an outlet for creative expression and a way to feel good about myself. Although I was a makeup fanatic, I never looked at it as a career choice. Growing up, you’re taught to strive for a secure 9-5 job. During high school, I took many art classes and was especially interested in literature, my plan for my life was to be a teacher for art students or an English teacher for young kids. By my last year of high school, I came to the realization that I didn’t what I was conditioned to want.

When I turned eighteen, I enrolled in cosmetology school. I found out almost immediately that hair was not my passion! So yes, I am a beauty school drop out! What I did love was the makeup portion. My first job in the beauty industry was as a beauty consultant for Estee Lauder. I had extreme social anxiety and a fear of touching people’s faces. I already felt like a failure for not finishing cosmetology school so by the time I landed this job, I was a nervous wreck. I would practice meditations and give myself pep-talks before every shift for a year. It was dreadful at the time, but I’m glad I got through it. It was at my year and a half mark that I found out I was pregnant with my beautiful daughter. I was twenty years old, excited, and completely terrified! You hear people talk about how having kids is the beginning of the end of your dreams. I was sure that was my case when I was forced to quit due to complications. But it’s true what people say, everything happens for a reason. I saw this as an opportunity to begin my profession as a freelance makeup artist.

Thanks to a very good friend of mine, I got a job at a salon called Opulent Beauty doing makeup for weddings. Two years later, I began working with Kiss This Makeup as an independent artist. Before I knew it, I was doing weddings all the time. I had women I went to high school with contacting me for their special day. I never in my life thought I would be doing this and I never thought people would actually think I was any good! I love what I do. I help women feel beautiful on one of their most memorable days. The feeling of making your clients feel good is addictive. I found myself wanting to do more, wanting to help my clients more. I recently got my license as an esthetician and I am beyond excited to start another journey in the beauty industry! Not only will I be beautifying my clients, I will be giving them skincare advice and facials to help maintain the beautiful canvas underneath.

Has it been a smooth road?
Being a young mom pursuing a dream as an independent has been anything but a smooth road. I struggled a lot with being consistently motivated. I want to be involved in my family’s life as much as I can but I also want to achieve the goals I set out for myself. Finding a balance between that and my own sanity has been a roller-coaster of chaos. Just when I thought I got the hang of being a mother, a wife, and a freelancer, I threw in being a student and another pregnancy into the mix. It took a strain on my family and my mental health. I was in school four to five days a week and working every weekend on top of it. I had days where I would leave my house at six in the morning and not get home until eleven at night. It was hard to manage but it wasn’t impossible. One of the main reasons I push so hard is so that I am able to show my kids that dreams do come true if you really want them to. I also want to be an example of a young mom that was able to have their dream career.

My advice for young women is to hold on. Even when it seems like there is no point in keeping things moving, hold on to the feeling you have when things are at their best. I’d like for the young mothers out there to know that their dreams do matter. Yes, your kids are your world but what momma wants, momma CAN and WILL have. You should never stop making new connections and never stop supporting your local talent.

We’d love to hear more about Artistry by Selina.
I am a licensed esthetician and freelance makeup artist for weddings and special events. I specialize in bridal makeup and I am known for achieving natural looks although I do love a good smokey eye! I try to give my clients a good experience every time, I make sure to make thorough consultations and to listen as accurately as I can to bring their vision to life. I’m proud of being an artist with an easy going personality. I believe what sets me apart from others is my ability to make people feel at ease. I’ve dealt with high anxiety all my life so I try to give my clients a calm and judge-free zone to come into.

Do you recommend any apps, books or podcasts that have been helpful to you?
Books that have helped me are The Worry Trick by David Carbonell and You Are A Badass by Jen Sincero.


  • Makeup starting at $85
  • Bridal Makeup starting at $100
  • Halloween makeup starting at $95
  • Lash Lift at $60
  • Lash Tint at $25
  • Brow Shape at $15
  • Brow Tint at $15
  • Facial Waxing starting at $15

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Jason Adrian Photography, Trail Head Creative, Jessica D Stylist, Eternally Yours Collective

Getting in touch: VoyageChicago is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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