Meet Ariana Covarrubias
Name: Ariana Covarrubias
Occupation: Full time college student
Skin condition: Recessive Dystrophic Epidermolysis Bullosa
I feel like people with skin conditions often have a one-line explanation that they use to explain their skin condition to others. Tell us yours.
What I typically tell people is that I have a rare skin disorder that causes my skin to be extremely fragile.
What are you up to in life right now?
I’m currently on summer break. In the fall I’ll be starting my third year at California State University Los Angeles as a Mass Communications major with a minor in Social Media. While I wait for the new school year to approach, I’ll be working at UCLA Medical Center as an office assistant and during my free time I write as much as I can to spread awareness of my rare skin condition.
You have great style, and you're also a big-time make-up expert. Tell us your fashion philosophy. How do you make sure your clothes and makeup work for your skin?
Thank you so much for taking a notice of my passion for fashion and makeup! It’s for sure been a challenge trying to find clothes that won’t tear my skin because as mentioned above, my skin is extremely fragile and will tear open with pretty much anything. It’s frustrating seeing new trends coming out in the fashion industry that I can’t take part of because they either interfere with my bandages and/or the material damages my skin. In terms of makeup, I’ve been lucky enough that none of the products I’ve used have caused any harm. However, I’m still very cautious when applying makeup because the brushes have sometimes created small tearing in my eyelids or if I dab too hard with a sponge, I’ll create a blister in my face. My love for makeup is huge though so even though these small incidents occur, I still enjoy doing it.
You participate really actively in beauty culture: going to conferences, meeting major beauty bloggers, posting beauty videos on YouTube. As a woman with EB, what is that like? Do you think there's room in beauty culture for people with skin diseases?
Without a doubt, it’s been extremely challenging. As you mentioned, I’ve attended several beauty events and not everyone is as accepting as you may think. The beauty industry (& any industry for that matter) tends to be extremely competitive and often times when they see someone that looks “different,” they try to push us away as if we didn’t belong there. I tend to attend these events in my wheelchair as I can’t stand or walk for long periods of time and that makes it even more challenging due to the lack of accessibility. My love for makeup and the beauty industry as a whole is HUGE and I aspire to take initiative and represent those with an illness or a disability in the beauty industry. There IS room for individuals with skin conditions but there are always ways to grow and for society to be more accepting of those who don’t fit society’s “norms” of beautiful.
EB is a tough disease and going to college while managing your skin is no mean feat. I've also learned through my reporting that there aren't great resources for people with EB as they transition into adulthood and begin living independently. How is that all going for you?
That is correct! Because EB is so rare, there is a lack of resources and knowledgeable professionals to assist us in transitioning into adulthood. By having a strong connection with the EB community, I’ve been able to gain insight of what resources are out there and what could possibly be beneficial to me. I’m also blessed enough to live in a state where individuals with disabilities have a strong support system through different programs. It’s been a learning process but so worth it seeing as I’ve been able to succeed in college and adulthood.
Your eyebrows look amazing! What's your secret?
Hahaha! Thank you for your compliment. It’s funny that you mention my eyebrows because I’ve received a lot of comments on them through the years and they’re not always positive. But as I always say, it’s my face and I can decided how I want to do things with my own appearance. To answer your question, I’m far from perfect or from the eyebrows I wish to eventually have but YouTube videos and practicing come in handy!
Where can we keep up with you?
I have two social media platforms where I actively share my journey with EB. My Instagram is @the0nlyariana & that’s where I post more often! I also do YouTube videos on makeup and what it’s like to live with EB! My YouTube channel is LivingWithAri .