Meet Monica Rodriguez, Co-owner of Four Corner’s Beauty Bar, Miami’s newest beauty bar specializing in ageless skin, beauty, and clothes. Monica was only 19 when she started doing makeup for her first freelance client. After a year in college, Monica took a leap of faith, left school, and decided to focus on mastering the art of beauty. At just 24 years old, she started her own company with her cousin, Gabrielle Torres, who manages the administrative side of the company.
Four Corners Beauty Bar offers a wide variety of services, making it a one-stop shop for beauty. Monica strongly believes that people can take care of their skin without having to spend a fortune. I sat down with Monica before being treated to a luxurious Hydrafacial, her most popular service, to learn more about her professional journey and get a few beauty tips along the way!
Read about how this rising beauty guru is dominating Miami one beauty treatment at a time.
Nat: What’s your story? How did you get in the makeup industry and how did you start your own beauty company?
Monica: I started off just like every other girl today by looking at beauty tutorials on YouTube in an effort to make my makeup better for going out. I ended up really falling in love with makeup application and would practice it all time. I would buy hundreds and hundreds of dollars worth of makeup. Finally, I just got to the point where I was like, “Maybe I should start doing make up and charging people for it.” Once I started doing freelance work, I realized how difficult it can be to maintain a steady stream of income. I therefore decided to go to school to become an aesthetician. Initially, I focused solely on applying eyelash extensions, but then realized that I do not have the patience for this type of painstaking work, which led to me to falling in love with skincare. Once I got my license, I was lucky enough to meet two young female entrepreneurs that had started this express laser facial and teeth whitening company. There, I started learning skincare techniques from their nurse practitioner. I then went into dermatology full time with Dr. Zaiac, a top Miami-based dermatologist at Mount Sinai. During that time, my cousin, Gaby, and I were brainstorming ideas of businesses we could start together, when eventually we came up with the concept of a beauty bar- a one stop shop where you can come in and get everything you need to get done for whatever occasion. That’s how Four Corners Beauty Bar was born.
Nat: That’s amazing. Can you describe to me what the “Four Corners” name represents?
Monica: Every corner of our beauty bar has a purpose. You have an ageless corner, which is the skincare corner. Another corner is the beauty corner, where makeup and hair is done. Now we’re implementing a boutique where you can buy clothes and products. The concept is that you go through every corner. Skin, make up, clothes, and you’re out the door!
Nat: What made you leap into starting your own company?
Monica: I don’t know how to describe it. It’s that drive of you wanting to do more and keep growing. It’s the ambition of it. I could work for a dermatologist forever and watch Gaby manage her practice forever, but I would just keep asking myself “what else can I do?” It’s really hard, definitely not easy, but every day we come up with new ideas and concepts, and we want to see our thoughts flourish into something that’s attached to our name and that we’re proud of.
Nat: Who are your biggest beauty guru inspirations?
Monica: For make up, I would say Mario Dedivanovic, a celebrity makeup artist who’s best known for his work with the Kardashians. I’ve done some master classes with him and Kim Kardashian. I think he’s very tasteful, but he also steps outside of the box whenever he has to go more editorial. He knows when and how to switch it up whenever his clients need it. For skin, it depends. Personally, I work for Dr. Zaiac, who is one of the top dermatologists in Miami. He and his PA, Annabelle Clement, are both people that I’ve learned a lot from and admire. Another person in skincare who inspires me is Shani Darden. She’s a celebrity aesthetician who has a great following on Instagram. She gives really amazing tips.
Nat: What cosmetic or beauty treatment could you not live without?
Monica: I can’t live without Hydrafacials, which is what we’re going to do to you today. Essentially, it’s a hydradermabrasion, which is a more advanced microdermabrasion with hydration. The machine that we have here, the Hydrafacial MD, goes a little bit above and beyond the typical machine. It has a vortex tip, which is a patented technology that vacuums the skin and also infuses it with moisture. This technology makes the first step of the facial an exfoliation with glucosamine, which is going to help break down dead skin cells. The second step is a glycolic and salicylic acid peel. It contains a very light percentage of the glycolic and salicylic acid so you won’t actually peel, but it will help further brighten your skin and help the products used later in the process penetrate deeper into the skin. Step three is extraction, which is done completely through the vortex tip. It’s like a vacuum. While the tip is vacuuming, it’s infusing salicylic acid into your pores to help kill and fight bacteria. The last step is the infusion of hyaluronic acid, antioxidants and peptides. We always finish off with a sunscreen.
Nat: That sound’s like a dream.
Monica: It’s one of the lightest versions of skin resurfacing that you can do without getting to a laser or surgery level.
Nat: How would you describe your professional and personal growth from your first job in the beauty industry until now?
Monica: Haha. I always say that I feel badly for my first client because only God knows what she came out looking like. It’s really just about overcoming your fear of doing something wrong. There will always be clients that don’t like your work. When you’re starting off, there will inevitably be clients who you don’t do your best work on. It’s all a learning process. It’s growth. From my first client to now, it’s a complete 180. You just have to value your craft and be humble. Don’t think that you’re too good. Even now, I still go to seminars and try to teach myself new techniques from people that I admire.
Nat: What are your future plans for the growth of your brand?
Monica: Right now, we’re trying to get brand awareness, as I’m sure you guys know about well with your startup, Slay. Little by little, we’re going to start implementing more services and features. Hopefully, down the line, we’ll have multiple locations and our own product line associated with this business.
Nat: That’s so awesome to hear. What is a piece of beauty advice that you wish you had known when you were younger?
Monica: Don’t sleep with your make up on. Everything you do in your teens shows up on your skin in your twenties. Everything you do in your twenties shows up on your skin in your thirties. So just always remind yourself: don’t sleep with your makeup on and wear spf. It’s the best prevention.
Nat: One last question. I know you’re a fan of false lashes. Do you have any tips on applying them?
Monica: Well, my favorite lashes are the Ardell Demi Wispies because they’re the most natural looking. Before you put them on, you NEED to cut the band to make them shorter and to fit them to your eye shape. Then place the glue on the lash band and let it dry for thirty seconds until it gets tacky. That’s when they stick on the best. Don’t put the glue on and try to put them on right away because they’ll just move around and make a hot mess.
Talk about a real life #GIRLBOSS.
Don’t forget to follow Monica and Gabrielle on Instagram at @monicarodd, @gabyperezz, & @fourcornersbeautybar.
Watch the clip below for a sneak peak at what your typical Hydrafacial look like. Big thank you to Monica for treating me so well. Enjoy!