This month's Legend has dedicated herself to helping everyone around her be the best they can possibly be-- whether they are her clients, associates or especially herself.
By Erica T. Miller
Author's Note: I've had the pleasure of writing several of the Legend articles, yet none gives me more satisfaction than writing this one. I am certainly far from objective because this Legend is my business partner and friend, Paula Dean. Over the past five years, Paula has given our company a new and wonderful direction, a brightness that was lacking and an energy that is obvious even to our clients. Allow me to introduce Paula Dean, a living Legend.
Paula Dean is a devout Christian above and beyond all other professional attribute. Her peace of mind and gentle character exemplify what it means to be a Christian. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Criswell College in biblical studies and in library science. A large part of her adult life has been dedicated to the church while developing her professional esthetic training and work experience.
Her beauty career began in 1977 when she worked three jobs to put her husband through the Seminary and several degrees. She worked as a companion for the elderly, in the Dallas Seminary Library and for Mary Kay cosmetics. At one point, she was the fourteenth ranked salesperson in the Dallas Mary Kay network. She worked three jobs for about three years and found the beauty work the most rewarding -- hence her future career.
But let's go back to her childhood. She was not the outdoors, tomboy type. She loved coloring and paper dolls. To this day Paula loves coloring and beautiful dolls. She has an incredible collection of fine porcelain dolls from the Franklin Mint and the largest collection of Crayolas imaginable. She has nearly every variation of color box, colors, and Crayola products available.
"As a child, I always admired my grandmother and color is the first thing I can remember about her." That is what Paula says influenced her love of beauty, fashion, and color.
"She was always so beautiful and I remember so will her lipstick. I think she had the greatest influence on my whole life for beauty and fashion. Maybe that's why my favorite makeup product is lipstick. I think it really brightens up a woman's face. I own over 50 lipstick colors and over 25 different colors of lip lining pencils."
The Early Years
After the Seminar, the Deans were sent to pastor a church in the Houston area. Paula went to work again to help her husband further his studies. She wounded up working for noted color consultant, Carla Kay, after she had gone to her as a client. She became Carla Kay's administrative assistant and also worked as a makeup artist on occasion. Paula began doing the models' makeup for runway fashion shows at the Carla Kay Expos with noted consultant, Nancy Elorduy.
During this time, Paula had her first professional facial treatment and enjoyed it so much she became a regular facial client of the then popular Houston salon, Karen Benbow. Carla Kay also sent clients to Karen Benbow's salon for facial treatments. One day Karen asked Carla to loan her Paula's services for some extra work. While on loan to Karen Benbow, Paula was fortunate enough to work with the world- famous Elizabeth Arden make-up artist, Pablo. She assisted him when he made special trips to Houston for private client consultations at Karen Benbow's.
Between working for Carla, who influenced Paula in fashion, color, and value contrast, and working for Karen in the aesthetic salon, Paula became committed to developing a stronger beauty career.
But first she had to get her husband through school. The Deans were soon transferred back to Dallas. The opportunity finally had arrived for Paula to finish her bachelor's degree at Criswell College. Her grandparents gave her money as a graduation present. Two days later, Paula used that money to enroll in cosmetology school. The experience was a disappointment. She graduated but didn't feel that she had learned enough to consider herself a true professional aesthetician. She was determined to continue learning.
She began working for Dr. Lawrence Meyerson, a well-respected dermatologist in the Dallas area. Here her interest in para-medical makeup began to evolve. Since Dr. Meyerson's clinic didn't specialize in this type of makeup, Paula turned to Debra Fisher and the Face of the Nation Clinic and Linda Seidel's camouflage products. Paula took more camouflage courses in Houston from Anita Ricca of Esteem cosmetics. She worked with burn victims at Camp Janus of Humana hospitals; teaching them make-up techniques and helping them feel better about themselves.
The whole time she was commuting to Houston to work with Carla on special clients and her annual expos. On one of these trips Paula was introduced to Kath Driscoll, who owned the Christine Valmy salon in Houston. This was during the summer of 1986, six years after first meeting Carla Kay. Kath Driscoll would be the next great influence in Paula's professional life.
Hard Work Pays Off
A few months after meeting Paula, Kathy recommended her to the group that was setting up the state's aesthetics committee for the Texas chapter of the National Cosmetology Association. Paula was so surprised and honored to be invited that she nearly didn't join, feeling that she wasn't qualified. She very much wanted to be a member of this committee but hesitated for almost a month before sending in her resume. A month or so later, she received a letter pf acceptance from Ron Renee, then-chairman of the Esthetics Texas Committee. She was invited to a meeting in February 1987 to prepare for the state show.
"I was so excited. It was the happiest day of my life, but I felt so unworthy of the honor," Paula said several years ago about receiving that letter. Little did she know how much work would go into this honor. Paula and I first met at the February meeting. We worked together at the show but mainly she worked under Jon Parker... and boy did she work hard!
Her first assignment was to apply body makeup to a group of four body builders for a fashion extravaganza. She had never seen a real body builder, much less applied make-up to their almost-naked bodies! But she took the job in stride. This attitude is one of Paula's basic characteristics. When given a job, consider it done and done well. She did such a good job that a few months later Jon Parker asked her to teach a class for the coming summer convention.
She interviewed me for the class and we spent several hours talking. We immediately became friends. I helped her with the class and later worked with her on a project for Dr. Meyerson.
Several months later, Paula began her private para-medical makeup practice and needed office space. I rented her the front makeup area of my building and she began spending a lot of time around the office, helping me with other committee work. What a great help she was, too!
In June 1988, while she was helping me produce an educational video, one of my staff members resigned. I asked Paula to join my staff. I didn't really think she'd take the job but she did. As our work together progresses, Paula's seriousness and dedication to the field of para-medical work grew to the point where she was determined to go to the Westmore Academy in Los Angeles. This is where they taught the nation's most advanced course in para-medical work. She was gone a little over a month and graduated as one of the best in the country.
In 1988, Correlations lost our key administrative bookkeeper. I couldn't make the computer system work, so Paula called her parents for help. The entire bookkeeping system had to be taken back to hand books and rebuilt. Paula's father took over that department and her mother helped in shipping. They never left, and today, they are the backbone of our operation.
Paula's hard work, dedication, loyalty and total commitment convinced me to make her my partner in 1989. Soon Paula's sister, Debbie, went to beauty school and became a licensed aesthetician. She also worked for us a short time until her husband was transferred. Then her brother, Andy, came aboard, initially part-time, but a year or so later full-time. Eventually he also went to beauty school and is now a licensed aesthetician. Paula and I lead what is possibly the world's most effective family-based operation. All because of Paula's special qualities that make each of us dedicated.
Reaching Higher Goals
Paula has a slogan, or a belief that describes her entire work experience. "In my work, I want to help every person I come in contact with be the very best they can be in this industry. I want professionals to really appreciate their investment and training and to expand and stretch all the time to make this a better, more professional industry."
She exemplifies this perfectly. She wasn't satisfied with graduating from Marvin Westmore's Academy or with her college degree. She was determined to take the CIDESCO International Examination. And she wanted to take t in Europe where she knew it would be harder and more demanding. She took the exam in Amsterdam in 1990 and passed. She alter went back to school and got her nail technician's license. Paula is currently Vice-President and Director of Education for Correlations and is in charge of all our makeup training programs. She also helps me with other classes we offer. She is a consummate teacher and giver. She continues to work with burn victims, accident survivors and cancer patients in the Look Good - Feel Better program and with a group of private clients who need special help.
Paula Dean is an extraordinary person. She is a true professional striving every day to be the very best she can be, a true legend in this industry, and one of the people I most respect in this business. Paula, you richly deserve this great honor. You are a Legend!