Keesha Maitland-Barreau
Naturalista of the Week

Who is Keesha Maitland-Barreau?

Keesha is the head makeup artist for AVD Photography, founded by her husband Tony Barreau. They have one son, Mason Liam Barreau, who has made her see things and people in a different light. Nurturing her career and her son has increased her patience, broadened her mind and has made her want to be a better person in all areas of  life.

She attended the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale where she majored in Fashion Design; however, she stopped short of graduating because she could no longer afford tuition. This did not deter her.

It was 2008 when she first experimented with brushes, shadows and rouges. She met her husband in the latter part of that year who introduced her to International Makeup Artist Rory Lee – now her mentor. Rory offered her an internship and gave her a hands-on approach to learning the craft. “I had the best ground work teaching ever that no school could have ever afforded me and for that I'm forever grateful,” Keesha says.

Keesha is originally from the island of Jamaica and describes her people as “colorful and vibrant, extremely passionate, ​resilient, versatile, creative and strong.”

In her spare time, she​ volunteers with the Miami Heart Gallery and Operation Smile; she also mentors young women.

She believes that one should always give people the benefit of the doubt, allowing them to prove who they are. “Be kind to others and forgive, even though sometimes it's hard,” Keesha says.

How long have you been natural?

I was in 2003 then relaxed again in 2008. Back again since December 2013.

Why did you decide to go natural?

I did it before in 2003 and it was fun and then I relaxed it in 2008. ​After I had Mason, I was just not in the mood to be going to the salon and sitting and waiting, so I decided to do the "big chop" and go natural. I'm very good at styling my own hair (relaxed or otherwise) so, I'm looking forward to the many things that I will do with my hair being natural again. There are so many different tutorials out there that I also watch and learn from like "My Natural Sistas" and "Coloured Beautiful." I love those girls, their versatility is out of this world. So once I watch their videos once or twice, I'll master the look in no time and, of course, put my own spin on it. I'm excited about what the future holds as it relates to my hair in its "natural state." I'm trying my best not to cut it again because I tend to be extremely "scissor happy." My goal is a big old afro.

What is your fave styling product?

My EcoStyler Gel and Hicks Edge Control.​

What is your fave natural hairstyle?

Right now, my hair is in the growing out stage. So my hair style is pretty simple. Wash, condition, olive or coconut oil, sometimes gel and go. Now i'm able to twist the top because the top of my hair is longer than the sides (purposely shaped and cut that way). Sometimes i'll use a pick to raise it a little, but that's just about it.​

- Week of June 9, 2014

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