To Top

Meet Leah Christiansen of GroomerGirl in Sorrento Valley

Today we’d like to introduce you to Leah Christiansen.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
While modeling in high school I always admired the hair & make-up artist’s that I worked with. It was during one of these modeling sessions I had my “a-ha” moment and I realized I actually wanted to become a make-up artist. During one particular shoot a makeup artist had just returned from a photo shoot in Egypt and she shared her published work from a magazine. It was then I realized that this industry was for me. I was encouraged by her enthusiasm. There was just one small problem, breaking the news to my parents that I was changing directions which meant dropping out of already enrolled university and applying to Cosmetology school. I ended up going to and having the most amazing beauty school experience at the Aveda Institute, Minneapolis. And, after I graduated from there, I took my freshly cut red/orange beauty school bob with bangs in my 1989 Nissan, and packed my car, threw out all my sweaters and headed to California. California or bust! I continued my education with my next school Joe Blasco, an internationally acclaimed Hollywood make-up academy.

Upon arriving in Californian a wonderful family hosted me while I finished my professional makeup schooling. Fun fact: for part of my childhood I grew up in the country in Wisconsin. I had a quirky neighbor who would stop by and visit with his pet chicken and a harmonica. When he heard I was moving to LA he connected me with his family who ended up hosting me while I attended college. Think Fresh Prince of Belair, well, I was in heaven and felt like the Princess of Pasadena. Ends up, my friends family lived in somewhat of a McMansion! Perks included, tennis courts, pool, game room, guest house….!

I met many interesting people and interestingly enough some of the first people I met and became friends with in California were actually Wisconsin natives or from the Midwest. We are still friends to this day. When you follow your heart you never know where it will lead or whom you will meet along the way in adventures of life. I find it so important to take chances in life as opportunities to grow, meet new people and have amazing life experiences 🙂

I learned many techniques in make-up school including special effects, monster make-up, bald caps, bruises and facial beards (yes I have been a bearded lady before in make-up school). In spite of learning many techniques I realized I actually like making people look pretty, natural, organic and more true to who they are…. monster make-up is cool but it’s not for me but knowing all of these techniques helps me with advanced makeup skills if needed for special projects. I decided to focus my career on beauty. After I graduated, I heart New York and had dreams of moving to New York and work in runway fashion, but after almost a year of living in Cali the sunshine and ocean stole my heart. This laid the groundwork to becoming a Hollywood Make-up artist and Hair stylist to the stars!

I followed my dreams and it became a passion. I’ve worked bread and butter jobs in salons but through hard work, experience, persistence and building strong connections I had the opportunity to work with rockstars of the band U2 and also Lionel Richie. As well as super models Amber Valletta, Molly Sims and Josie Maran to name a few.

Living the Hollywood lifestyle is a lot of fun and a lot of hustle and bustle….it really is. If you want to make a successful career and become a trusted confident and amazing artist it takes a lot of skill but also a lot of grit. It’s no part-time hobby. You have to push yourself, hone your skills, meet new people, be willing to grow and cater to your client needs in the moment. And, there are many moments! So, ask yourself first if you are detail oriented, a people pleaser, and truly have people’s best interest? You will have to learn to say “yes” to your client and not argue your artist perspective. You can guide your clientele with your suggestions, however they are paying you to give a desired result with what they ultimately want. Sometimes the artistic vision gets sacrificed for what a client wants. You have to learn to be a “yes” artist if you want to succeed with high-end clients. Do what they say, not what you want to do!!!!

How did I end up in San Diego making up brides? Well, I can’t make this stuff up! While on the road as Lionel Richie’s Groomer Girl and Executive Personal Assistant, my appendix burst in Nashville. One of my most favorite all time positions in my life was traveling and touring with Lionel Richie as his GroomerGirl and executive personal assistant. I’ve groomed him for the Grammy’s and red carpet events in LA. I also was on the road with him as he recorded his country duet album. It was while on the road with the crew recording his Tuskeegee album that this happened to me. After that I decided to change directions. Glamorous, yes, but I also managed his luggage and carrying heavy luggage was out for a while. Enter bridal hair and makeup! That’s what’s great about this career there are many directions you can take to be successful. I decided to use my gifts and talents in San Diego. I realized there is an amazing bridal community that I could treat just like my celebrities in LA. So, I took my Hollywood hair and make-up talent to San Diego making brides my new Stars! And, that’s exactly what I have done.

I created an elite Bridal hair and make-up company that travels to brides the day of their wedding. I have an entirely trained team. I focus on the bride as my Bridal Star for the day and my team helps take care of the bridal party and any additional guests. My studio is located in the lush and gorgeous area of Sorrento Valley. Located off the 5 FWY, just south of the 56. Between Del Mar and La Jolla.

And, so that’s been my gig for the past 5 years in San Diego! I still have my Hollywood clients however, my passion for making brides beautiful, making other peoples days through beauty and empowering others is where my heart flourishes!

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
I think this question was answered with my last response 🙂

We’d love to hear more about your business.
Groomer Girl is an elite mobile hair and make-up company. Specializing in hair styling and airbrush make-up for brides, high-end clientele, celebrities, and advertising gigs. We offer top of the line high-definition vegan airbrush makeup, along with top quality tried and true products. Only the very best for those who chose the Groomer Girl Beauty team! I’m most proud that we are Professional Day Makers (PDM’s) making people’s days through beauty. Allowing individuals to shine and live into the best version of themselves. Creating a unique and star treatment, every session! Also, an additional added value service, we have added to our experience is our Beauty and Branding sessions. Upleveling your look through hair and make-up and branding your look through photography! Contact us for more for details!

What were you like growing up?
I was and always have been a free spirit and social butterfly. I am a connector in life. I pay attention to details and I pay attention to open doors. I listen, and I create. I live into gratitude and happiness. I enjoy team building and creating teams that work well together. I like meeting new and interesting people. I like making people laugh, I love making people feel good through

Contact Info:

  • Address: 3421 Tripp Ct.
    Suite 3San Diego,CA 92121
  • Website:
  • Phone: 323-806-4677
  • Email:

Image Credit:
Ania Volovique, Resolusean, Troy Braj,kovich of Laura Swan, Emilio Azevedo, Stewart Bertrand,
Acqua photo, John Trice for Fitness magazine

Getting in touch: SDVoyager 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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in

  • San Diego’s Most Inspiring Stories

    The heart of our mission is to find the amazing souls that breathe life into our communities. In the recent weeks,...

    Local StoriesMarch 27, 2023
  • Hidden Gems: Local Businesses & Creatives You Should Know

    Every day we have a choice. We can support an up and coming podcaster, try a new family-run restaurant, join a...

    Local StoriesMarch 20, 2023
  • Community Member Spotlights

    It’s more important to understand someone than to judge them. We think the first step to understanding someone is asking them...

    Partners SeriesMarch 16, 2023
  • Fashion, Selling Online, Charity & Nonprofits

    SDVoyager Podcast Episode 5 We’ve got some incredible guests on on the podcast today.  Lindsey Radoff, Sybil Golin and Madison Pollard...

    Partners SeriesFebruary 15, 2023
  • Portraits of San Diego

    It’s more important to understand someone than to judge them. We think the first step to understanding someone is asking them...

    Local StoriesJanuary 13, 2023
  • SDVoyager Holiday Guide

    Discover truly unique gift ideas that will leave your friends and family smiling all season through our Holiday Gift Guide below....

    Local StoriesDecember 8, 2022
  • San Diego’s Most Inspiring Stories

    Every neighborhood in San Diego has its own vibe, style, culture and history, but what consistently amazes us is not what...

    Local StoriesNovember 8, 2021
  • The Folks Solving The Problems You Need Solved

    One of the most important benefits of a thriving small business ecosystem is the myriad of problems and niche issues that...

    Local StoriesOctober 31, 2021
  • Community Member Spotlights

    It’s more important to understand someone than to judge them. We think the first step to understanding someone is asking them...

    Local StoriesOctober 11, 2021