Stephanie Debes

Lipstick Angel Volunteer, Disability Awareness Activist, & Founder of the Makeup on Wheels Foundation

Over the past 11 years, the Lipstick Angels have met thousands of awe inspiring, courageous individuals who continually redefine the meaning of perseverance and positivity. Stephanie’s strength and determination to overcome daily obstacles and be of service to the community is simply incredible. We are so lucky to have her in the Lipstick Angels family and share her powerful story. 

Stephanie! We are in awe of your talent, perseverance and your foundation Makeup on Wheels, dedicated to servicing the needs of the disabled community. Tell us more about your mission. What was your "aha" moment and your inspiration for creating this incredible organization?

 I never technically had that “aha” moment. Living with my condition, I’ve had to go through many hurdles and adapt to my life’s journey, and that sometimes can be frustrating, to say the least. My frustration led me to become inspired to help others in similar situations like myself. I feel that my community is so often judged by the stigma that we can’t do anything, when in reality we can do anything we want. I wanted to create a non-profit that was dedicated to the disabled community so they can have their chance to shine. 

You are refreshingly candid about your very challenging, daily struggles with Cerebral Palsy. How do you persevere in some of those darkest moments?

My biggest motivation is the saying “Giving up is not an option”, and I will continue to remind myself that I’m going to make it in this world- that I have a purpose. My goal is to get stronger in my physical mobility so that way I can achieve my biggest dream of all- motherhood. I want to do anything and everything for my children and not let my disability get in the way.

We are so excited to have you on the Lipstick Angels Virtual Volunteer Team! What is it about Lipstick Angels that resonated with you? How do you think our missions are aligned?

When I came across this wonderful organization, I immediately felt connected because our missions are pretty much in the same direction because our organizations are always looking to help those in need. Our organizations are on a mission to help those who are feeling low and are experiencing their darkest days feel beautiful.

At Lipstick Angels, we are inspired to further support the needs of the disabled community as well. You have spearheaded this idea! What advice do you have for us to accomplish this effort?

My advice is to never assume that someone of the disabled community is not capable of doing their job. Always be willing to give them an equal chance to prove to the world that they have what it takes.

Not only are you a makeup artist, but you are also an esthetician and a special effects artist, and an event planner! How do you manage to wear all those hats?

My dream for my career is to plan a wedding, do the bridal makeup, and pamper the bride. Unfortunately due to my disability, no one has given me the chance to make my dream a reality. Instead of giving up, I decided to work towards becoming a salon owner that is open to all walks of life and gives individuals of the disabled world a chance to feel beautiful, pampered, and independent. I also aspire to create many events where the disabled community can come together and brace their inner beauty. 

What advice do you have for someone who thinks their disability makes a dream impossible?

Nothing is impossible. Just because you are not “the average Joe”, it doesn’t mean you can’t aspire to be what you want to be. You may need things to be modified, but that doesn’t make you any less of a human who is worthy of achieving their dreams.

Stephanie, your words and story are an inspiration to so many! We could not be happier to have you on our team. Thank you for everything you continue to do in the spirit of empowering and motivating others.