We spent a few minutes getting to know the Nigerian-born, Cape Town-based makeup artist and blogger better. Here, she reveals what it’s really like being an MUA, her favourite shade of lippie 💄 and the importance of self-worth…
How did you get started in your career as a makeup artist? And what inspired you to start your eponymous blog and YouTube channel?
I’ve always had a passion for the more glamourous things in life, so when my friends needed their makeup done in high school or in university, I was often the first one they called for help. But after attending my cousin’s wedding in Lagos in 2015 and having a professional do my face, I fell in love with the feeling and wanted to help others feel the same way. That’s when I started taking it more seriously, building up my kit and going to a makeup school in Lagos. My blog and YouTube channel were born out of the frustration of not having a creative outlet and feeling like there was so much more for me outside of my sheltered life. I felt like I wanted my voice to be heard, so I handed myself the mic.
What are some big wins and challenges you’ve had while growing your brand?
I’d definitely say I’ve had a lot of challenges balancing work and school – because school always comes first – and keeping up with technological changes, like the Instagram algorithm (which made it very difficult for my content to be viewed by my own audience, let alone reach new ones). However, despite my relatively small following, I’ve made some really great connections and had some amazing opportunities to work with larger brands. I also recently worked with Woolworths and got to meet Sir John, Beyoncé’s makeup artist, and worked with Netflix.
What does a typical day look like for you?
I’m a creature of habit and I thrive on routine, so I like to plan my weeks and schedule when I shoot and film content. I wake up early-ish in the mornings and go to gym, and then after I’ve showered and eaten, I reply to emails and catch up on social media. If it’s a filming day, I select the makeup that I want to use to film and get set up and go for it! After that, I get into editing mode on my laptop and let my YouTube videos upload for the next day’s publishing. I try to film two videos at a time so that even if they’re not full-length YouTube videos, I have content for my Instagram as well. But since I now work full time, my shooting days are likely my weekends now.
Tell us a bit about your must-do beauty routines…
My morning routine and my makeup removal routine are my absolute favourites. I’ve recently gained a serious appreciation for skincare and making sure my skin looks good, because makeup is a whole lot easier when you have a better canvas to work with. My morning routine includes exfoliating, toning, using a vitamin C serum, a hydrating moisturiser and sunscreen. Sunscreen is severely underrated. My makeup removal routine is similar – I use an oil cleanser or micellar water, cleanse/exfoliate, tone and then moisturise afterwards.
What’s your holy grail makeup product and why?
A good dark lipstick! A beautiful plum or maroon colour really makes me feel more confident. I own the same colour in several different brands because I’m so drawn to it.
What’s your favourite makeup trend of the moment? And any trends you don’t love right now?
I’m really loving the return to softer makeup: showing freckles, fluffy brows, lip gloss, dewy skin, etc. It’s so refreshing! At the same time, hardcore Instagram makeup is still trending and I’m not the biggest fan... While I love me a good cut crease every now and then, the overdone ones, paired with a harsh contour and unblended highlighter, put me off to say the least.
What’s the coolest shoot you’ve ever done?
My favourite shoot that was a little autumn-inspired beauty editorial that I shot (for myself) in a local park. It involved glossy eyelids and a stained lipstick; I loved how the images turned out – almost like it was shot on film!
If you weren’t in beauty, what would you be doing?
Probably what I already do! Ha! I’d be working in marketing.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
Own race, own pace. Everyone’s time will come, so just keep your head down, focus on your work and make sure you’re adding value.
Any advice for someone who wants to become a makeup artist?
Going to a makeup school isn’t essential – some of my favourite makeup artists never went to school. Let your passion drive you, always be willing to learn, ask to shadow successful professionals and don’t spend too much money all at once. Good technique is not dependent on the price tag of your products! However, invest in yourself and know that social media is your best friend.
And finally, what does beauty mean to you?
Beauty means being my best self. I feel the most beautiful when I’m taking care of myself mentally and physically, because there comes a glow that only being healthy and happy can bring.