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Make-up artists share their bitter-sweet tales

Makeup artists share their bitter-sweet stories

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Make-up artists share their bitter-sweet tales


Magnificence, they are saying, is within the eye of the beholder. However the stakes are excessive and never all people, particularly ladies are prepared to go away their attractiveness to likelihood, thus leaving no stone unturned to reinforce their magnificence.

Certainly, the sweetness business has developed through the years, from the times when ladies tied their gele (head gear) in easy kinds for occasions and nonetheless felt assured to the present days of avant garde gele. Nowadays, with the assistance of social media, the society has raised the bar on the enterprise of wanting good, a state of affairs that has created a noble supply of revenue for a lot of younger women and men within the nation, now often called make-up artists or MUAs.

At this time, Chisom Okere is blissful to be known as a make-up artist; she calls herself MUA when she introduces herself to a brand new shopper. Energetic and vibrant, she has all the time had a aptitude for making use of make-up, at the same time as a toddler.

Now as graduate of mass communication, she has been in a position to make use of the information she gained as a pupil to construct her model. However that didn’t occur till she stop her nine-to-five job.

“When different youngsters have been pondering of turning into medical doctors, pharmacists and pilots, I instructed my mother and father I needed to change into a make-up artist however my dad mentioned no. My elder sister was once a make-up artist and I used to comply with her in every single place. I all the time watched her, and something she did, I all the time needed to do the identical factor.

“I bear in mind designing my eyebrows after I was 9 years previous and my father beating the hell out of me. Mainly, it was by my sister that I grew to become considering make-up. My predominant supply of revenue is making folks up; I began it as one thing I used to be doing alongside my nine-to-five job in 2015. It was fairly taxing for me; I’d be on the workplace on weekdays and on Saturdays and Sundays, I’d be making folks up.

“Nonetheless in some unspecified time in the future, my work began affecting my make-up enterprise at weekends and I misplaced a whole lot of shoppers throughout that interval. Then at some point, I made a decision to stop my job and face my ardour. I’ve a make-up studio now and other people I prepare. I get a whole lot of calls to make folks up for films, picture shoots, bridal events and others.

“I began by practising what I noticed my sister doing on my face. Then she launched me to YouTube movies of find out how to apply make-up,” she mentioned.

© Roy Rochlin/Getty Photographs
FILE: A make-up artist prepares a mannequin with make-up offered by Maybelline New York backstage Gallery I for Cushnie runway present throughout New York Style Week: The Exhibits at Spring Studios on February 8, 2019 in New York Metropolis.

Eniola Ayoola broke her mother and father’ hearts when she swapped her robe and wig for brush and make-up merchandise after ending from legislation faculty.

In keeping with the dark-skinned beautician, following her ardour was extra necessary to her than being within the courtroom.

“I used to be nonetheless within the college after I began my make-up enterprise; I’ve all the time beloved it. Within the college, I began making my mates up once they had events. Numerous girls used to commend my work. There was a day my sister and I have been at a marriage, and the make-up artist utilized by the bride counseled the person who did my sister’s make-up, which was me.

“She requested me to return to her studio for additional coaching. And since then, I’ve been doing make-up. Once I went to legislation faculty, there was a break, however I nonetheless used to do make-up regardless. After I completed from legislation faculty, I began the enterprise full-time. I by no means practised legislation.

“Apparently, it was my mum that paid for my coaching however after I determined to not practise legislation, my mother and father weren’t blissful about it in any respect. They didn’t like the truth that I used to be not all the time at residence throughout weekends. My dad confronted me about it, asking why I’d wish to abandon legislation for make-up enterprise. Fortunately, they don’t have any downside with it anymore,” she mentioned.

Labisi Sijuwade described her journey into make-up enterprise as a easy trip.

“I used to make folks up randomly in class. I knew the influence of make-up on ladies; it has the ability to spice up their confidence, so after I completed my grasp’s diploma programme in monetary consulting in London, I got here to Lagos and labored as an funding banker for about three years. Then, I took a break and went to do a make-up course in London. The course was for about one month and half. Once I got here again, I began my craft. Nonetheless, I had it in the back of my thoughts that if it didn’t work out, I’d depend on my certificates.

“My siblings have been very supportive however my mum initially had reservations. She would ask if I used to be positive of what I used to be doing. Once I began, I used to cost slightly amount of cash, however as I began to develop, I began charging extra; my mum even takes bookings for me now.

“I began formally in 2014. I nonetheless love funding banking and finance; I simply needed to strive one thing totally different. I didn’t also have a identify for the model on the time. I got here again to Lagos, began it and the referrals began coming.”

However not like Ayoola and Sijwuade, who’ve numerous levels to their names, Kingsley Gabriel, a 24-year-old man from Delta State, described make-up enterprise as an possibility he explored in any case else had failed.

“Make-up enterprise wasn’t one thing I needed to do. After I used to be finished with highschool, I attempted to realize admission into college, however it didn’t work out. My good friend suggested me to amass a talent. He inspired me to learn to apply make-up however I instructed him I wasn’t .

“However now that I’m in it, after I estimate how a lot I earn in a month as revenue, the minimal is all the time between N250,000 and N300,000. I’m okay with it contemplating the truth that some individuals are sitting of their places of work they usually don’t earn that a lot. So I’m not even considering a nine-to-five job for now as a result of I’m doing very effectively for myself.

“I intend to return to highschool, however it needs to be on a part-time foundation. I can by no means do a full-time programme as a result of I want time for my enterprise. I’m not bothered in regards to the charge of unemployment within the nation; it doesn’t have an effect on me. My purpose is to create extra jobs for folks by my craft.

“Once I determined to begin my make-up enterprise, my mother and father weren’t pleased with me. In reality, they invited a pastor to the home to counsel me. However fortunately, the pastor was discovered and uncovered, so he suggested them to permit me comply with my ardour.

“They warned me that I used to be going to be the one to sponsor myself. I began my enterprise with N200.000. There was a time I nearly received hit by a automotive as a result of I used to be practising how to attract eye brows on the street. Once I began creating wealth, my mom confessed that she by no means knew the job was so profitable,” he mentioned.

Like Gabriel, Ronald Mmeka is a person who’s into the enterprise of creating ladies look stunning. Though his mom was by no means in help of his craft on the preliminary stage, he was capable of show to her that his ardour was definitely worth the stress.

“I began watching find out how to do make-up on-line and began by practising on my sisters and their mates. After I graduated from faculty, I moved to Abuja and I labored in a magnificence retail retailer the place I received interpersonal relationship expertise. I began my enterprise in 2016. It has been extra of apply for me than coaching. After I graduated from college, I didn’t trouble to search for job as a result of I knew I needed to begin make-up enterprise.

“My dad was in help, however my mum hated the entire thought. She mentioned there was no manner she can be pleased with me being a make-up artist as a graduate. However I instructed her that she can be alive to see me succeed. When the occupation began paying my payments, I began shopping for her items and she or he was shocked,” he instructed Saturday PUNCH.

“I’ve by no means considered relocating to a different nation as a result of Nigeria is a really profitable place for the enterprise. I really feel I’d undergo if I depart Nigeria as my providers will not be wanted there. I’ve been contracted to deal with a whole lot of weddings in Dubai, South Africa and Greece. Such weddings are often all expense paid. On the common, i make up for about 100 folks in a month. Folks don’t know there are hazards on the job, the stress and all,” he added.

Challenges of the job

Past their glamorous enterprise pages on social media, make-up artists face some challenges on the job. So the enterprise can’t be mentioned to be all rosy, as a number of the make-up artists have famous. As an illustration, being a make-up artist has fetched Okere an affordable amount of cash, however it has additionally uncovered her to some dangers.

“This job is as scary as some other job; there isn’t a job that isn’t dangerous. Typically when I’m flying and there may be turbulence, I get scared. There was a day I used to be alleged to journey to Owerri, Imo State to make a bride up and my flight was cancelled, so I needed to journey by bus in a single day to have the ability to meet up. It was actually scary however I had no different possibility.

“As soon as Nigerians have paid you cash for a service, you don’t have any excuse; it’s a must to make your self obtainable. The job is sort of dangerous however I’ve to keep up my integrity and shield my model.

“There was a time I used to be travelling and there was a theft assault on the street. I’ve had so many horrible experiences on this job. There have been occasions my gear broke, particularly after I travelled out of Lagos and the gear doesn’t come low-cost.

“Additionally, going to the homes of shoppers you don’t actually know is one other danger we take, as a result of if something occurs, we might be on our personal. Earlier than I’m going to a shopper’s place, I all the time pray and I all the time use the map on my cell phone to ensure I’m on the proper place and to make sure I’m not being misled as there are many tales about make-up artists being kidnapped and robbed,” she mentioned.

Apart from being concerned in an accident on the Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway, by which she narrowly escaped unharmed, Ayoola has misplaced costly merchandise on the job.

“We’re often in danger as a result of we journey lots. Typically, we get up as early as 4am to exit early; some make-up artists have died on the street. There was a time I used to be concerned in an accident, I thank God I survived.

“I’ve heard of circumstances the place makeup-artists have been robbed and kidnapped. Nonetheless, I’ve misplaced a few of my costly merchandise in the midst of travelling to do my job. It has change into a norm; there was a time I misplaced my telephone whereas making use of make-up for a bride, and I used to be within the room with the bride, bridesmaids and the photographer,” she mentioned.

Sharing a few of his ugly experiences, Gabriel mentioned, “Folks don’t perceive that we’ve got to face for about eight hours to do the job, and we’re all the time beneath strain to ship on time.

“The fixed danger I face is leaving my consolation zone to journey. There was a time I went to Abuja due to a shopper. Once I received there, I wasn’t capable of attain the shopper as a result of her telephones have been switched off and she or he didn’t give me the total particulars of her location. She used to vary her numbers typically, so it was troublesome preserving in contact together with her. It was unusual to me however I used to be within the job since she had already paid in full.

“I needed to fly again to Lagos that day as a result of there was no manner I may attain her and I had one other shopper anticipating me in Lagos the subsequent day. After her marriage ceremony, she instructed me I must refund her, however there was no manner I may do this as a result of I really confirmed up in Abuja,” he mentioned.

Additionally, Gabriel has needed to take care of misconceptions from folks pondering he’s homosexual due to his occupation.

“Folks all the time say guys within the make-up enterprise are homosexual, however it doesn’t get to me as a result of I’m not responsible. Apparently, I used to be with my girlfriend earlier than I ventured into make-up enterprise and she or he was blissful as a result of I’d be doing make-up for her free of charge,” he added.

Because of the danger of falling prey to kidnappers and others with sinister intentions, Sijuwade has a coverage to solely do residence service for shoppers who had referrals.

“I’ve a coverage attributable to safety causes; I solely do residence service based mostly on referrals. I can’t simply go to folks’s properties due to the humorous tales I hear as of late. I used to try this earlier than however I don’t do this anymore,” she mentioned.

Initially, Roland needed to take care of males who received jealous seeing him touching their wive’s faces, however in response to him, that has modified.

“Once I began, I had issues with males who didn’t like me to be touching the faces of their wives. Nonetheless, individuals are extra civilised now they usually know it’s simply in regards to the occupation and the artwork. Typically, I don’t get to eat in any respect when I’m very busy, even when I’m hungry,” he mentioned.

Folks don’t perceive why our providers are costly – Make-up artists

However with the dangers additionally come some silver lining for make-up artists within the nation. In keeping with Ayoola, she costs her shoppers N100,000 a day and extra when she has to journey. She famous that her service charges have been decided by the price of the sweetness merchandise she would use, including that she had paid her dues as she initially provided her service free of charge or nearly free.

“Some shoppers don’t perceive that the service is pricey as a result of the important merchandise we use are very dear. There shall be an enormous distinction within the appears of a shopper who wears pretend and low-cost make-up and somebody who wears high quality make-up. Some folks don’t know the distinction between the costly merchandise and a budget ones.

“Once I began, I used to do free jobs for folks. There was a time I travelled to Ibadan, Oyo State simply to tie gele for 5 ladies on the charge of N1,000 every. I received to the venue late that day as a result of my dad made positive I cooked as a result of he didn’t need me to exit early. I left Lagos at 6am, and after I received to Ibadan, the girl mentioned I ought to return to Lagos as a result of I used to be already late. I needed to beg her as a result of I didn’t have a alternative.

“I’ve sacrificed lots to get to the place I’m right this moment. My model will get higher by the day. We spend a whole lot of time with brides on their marriage ceremony day, so there isn’t a manner I’d cost lower than I cost. It isn’t simply in regards to the make-up alone, the time spent with the shopper additionally counts. I’ve misplaced rely of the folks I’ve skilled on this job. In every week; I get to coach about 10 folks.

“I cost about N100, 000 per day for a bride, I cost additional charges when I’m travelling. Nonetheless, I don’t like travelling generally due to the poor lodging some shoppers present for me. I’ve slept in horrible motels earlier than on this job, however now I’m extra cautious. I’ve learnt find out how to handle folks on this job as a result of we take care of impolite shoppers generally.

“There was a bride I made up, and her father instructed me that I used to be the satan that needed to destroy the wedding as a result of I used to be spending time on her make-up. I cost N10, 000-N12,000 for get together visitors, and I cost greater for residence service. I get shut to 6 shoppers each Saturday. Make-up enterprise could be very profitable if one is hard-working.”

Gabriel mentioned he had grown used to having folks describe his providers as costly.

“Folks all the time say I’m costly, I’m used to it, however my recommendation to folks is that they need to keep on with their price range. There may be all the time a make-up artist for each price range.

“I cost for my expertise, merchandise and time. I spend over N1m on shopping for merchandise each six months. I purchase merchandise each day. If I’m shopping for ‘basis’, for instance, I’ve to purchase them in all shades, as a result of we’ve got various complexions in Nigeria.

“There are totally different merchandise for various pores and skin sorts. Some girls have bleached pores and skin and zits on their face, so I’ve to purchase merchandise that may conceal all their blemishes and make them look good,” he instructed Saturday PUNCH.

In keeping with Sijuwade, folks mustn’t make an enormous deal out of the price of the providers of make-up artists as occasions have modified.

“I’d say there’s a culture-shift, the times of our moms and grandmothers have been totally different. Our moms used to tie their gele however as of late, ladies are extra aware about their appears. That’s simply the best way issues at the moment are; which isn’t a nasty factor. It’s a good factor so long as it isn’t finished excessively.

“The market determines my worth; I found that when a person costs too low, some folks might imagine the individual is just not skilled sufficient. When the value is simply too excessive, they might nonetheless say there may be nothing particular in regards to the make-up. I believe it’s higher to discover a steadiness and other people will respect your craft and worth what they’re paying for. It’s higher to cost in response to the worth positioned on one’s model.

“I purchase make-up merchandise each day; I spend about N50,000 month-to-month. I began my enterprise with £2,000 to £2,500 (about N950,000 to N1.2m). I purchased most of my merchandise from London after I was coming again. My colleagues at work weren’t stunned after I left as a result of they knew I had a aptitude for it, nonetheless, I instructed them I would come again to the workplace if it didn’t work out.

“When going right into a enterprise like this, there isn’t a certainty that it’s going to work out high-quality. That’s the reason it’s all the time good to have a certificates. I all the time inform younger folks to get their diploma earlier than studying a craft. It doesn’t make sense to drop out of college due to a craft. Getting a level additionally helps in enterprise as a result of the distinction in the best way you’ll go about it is going to be there.

“My worth is set by the kind of bundle the shopper needs. On common, I cost between N150,000 and N220,000 per day for bridal make-up.

“I cost my get together visitors between N15, 000 and N25, 000; I can select to cost extra as a result of I’ve grown my model. The cash is secondary to me; I benefit from the course of much more. And being a part of a bride’s journey is a really emotional and non secular factor to me. I used to journey lots however now that I’ve a child, I can’t actually do this anymore. The variety of jobs I get relies on the time of yr. For instance, in December, I can have two bridal make-ups in a day,” she instructed Saturday PUNCH.

For Gabriel, he’s very inexpensive in comparison with what a few of his colleagues cost for his or her service.

“I cost brides about N90, 000 per day. If I’m booked for 2 days for a bride, I cost N150,000. I cost N20,000 for a celebration visitor; I don’t go beneath that. I get a whole lot of prospects frequently,” he mentioned.

Ronald’s defence to being tagged ridiculously costly is that he has positioned a price on himself.

“To some folks, I’m low-cost and to others I’m ridiculously costly. If I’ve positioned a price on myself, then I can’t go beneath my requirements. Typically some individuals are impolite to me due to my worth; they all the time say they don’t know what I’m doing in another way. I all the time attempt to hold my cool regardless.

“I cost the best way I cost as a result of I’m an professional at what I do, and due to my expertise and merchandise. I take care of luxurious manufacturers which can be local weather pleasant and dermatologically examined. I verify the pores and skin kind earlier than I take advantage of the merchandise on the pores and skin.

“I’m particularly reasonable with my worth. For my bridal make-up, I cost between $500 and $800 (about N180,000 to N300,000); it relies on the variety of occasions the shopper wants my service for. For get together visitors, I cost about N20, 000 after which for residence providers, it’s about $100 (about N36,000). I cost in {dollars} as a result of I purchase my merchandise in {dollars} so I don’t shortchange myself,” he mentioned.

In keeping with a professor of Economics, Shamsudeen Tella, the federal government has a whole lot of function to play in supporting younger entrepreneurs like make-up artists in Nigeria, including that it’s authorities’s obligation to offer fundamental facilities like sufficient electrical energy provide for residents.

“Enterprise ventures like this present the significance of entrepreneurship training in universities, however then, finance has all the time been a constraint. I really feel the federal government ought to empower entrepreneurs like this. What drives the financial system is sufficient infrastructure; as a result of if we glance deeply, we could uncover that the price of floating their enterprise could also be excessive attributable to insufficient electrical energy provide, which may pose as a serious downside to those make-up artists.

“This might make them spend extra on various energy provide like turbines and gas to maintain the enterprise. It’s spectacular that they’re discovering different means to generate revenue however nonetheless, the federal government wants to help them.”

He additionally added that such enterprise ventures couldn’t be mentioned to have actually solved the issue of unemployment within the nation as a result of they don’t seem to be many.

“This has probably not helped the state of affairs of unemployment within the nation as a result of they don’t seem to be fairly many but, however I believe another youths are creating different varieties of vocation for themselves. Now we have not seen the impact but as a result of it’s simply beginning, however in one other 10 years, we are going to begin seeing the fruits of entrepreneurship if the federal government continues to help when it comes to finance and infrastructural amenities,” he mentioned.



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