"Passion is one great force that unleashes creativity, because if you're passionate about something, then you're more willing to take risks". Yo-Yo Ma
Did you set out to be a makeup artist?
Haha! No actually, I didn’t set out wanting to be a makeup artist. I have a first degree in Economics and a Masters in Entrepreneurship and innovation management. All during my studies, I was really passionate about makeup and practiced it as well, but I always had at the back of my mind that once I was done with school, I was going to work in finance.
What got you into makeup and how have you been able to sustain that desire?
I have been interested in beauty from as early as I can remember, not just makeup. I always watched the women I grew up around doing their makeup, getting their hair done, etc. My mum also worked as a makeup artist over 10 years ago, so I had access to a lot of makeup and I would practice on my brothers (LOL), my friends and on myself. I was always the go-to person when anyone wanted to get their makeup or hair done from when I was in secondary school and this went on to when I was in university.
At this point, I got into watching YouTube makeup tutorials and started buying some of the products I saw being used and I would use them on my friends and some of them, I would sell. Along the line, strangers would ask if I would do their makeup and how much I would charge and that’s how it became a business for me while at the university.
I made the decision to be a full-time makeup artist during my national service year. I was working as a business development officer at an IT and trading company and I didn't quite like it. I got an offer to work at a family friend's beauty studio and I thought, "why not? Why not do something I'll enjoy during my service year before I go away to do my masters then return home and hopefully get a good job".
Working at the beauty studio was my first real experience with a high number of clients of different skin tones, makeup preferences, etc and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I came home one day and told my parents; "This is it, this is what I want to do! I want to be a full-time makeup artist".
Sustaining the desire for me has been relatively easy because I'm truly passionate about it. I'm always watching or reading something about makeup, hair, and skincare but makeup is my number one love.
What was the biggest challenge you have experienced in your career? How did you overcome this challenge?
The biggest challenge I have experienced in my career so far, I would say was actually starting out on my own. It was very easy for me to say "I want to be a full-time makeup artist" but when it came to actually doing it- putting myself and my work out there, I dealt with a lot of fear.
Fear of failure, fear that I wouldn’t get any clients, fear that my work wasn’t good enough, comparing myself to other artists within the same age range and what they had achieved while I was just “trying” to start.
It took me a while to get out of this phase, and even after I had completed makeup school, I was still so afraid.
So I took some time off work and social media and started to have some hard, yet positive conversations with myself.
I knew how much I loved makeup and I had a vision of what I wanted to do with this talent God has blessed me with and no one else could make that come true for me if I didn’t overcome my fear, get up and do the work. I decided to look at the positives; feedback on my work I had gotten from clients and others who had seen my work.
Telling myself to stop pressuring myself by comparing, cause everyone’s journey is different and beautiful in its own way and age is nothing but a number.
I also took time to study artists and businesses I admired and most of all I prayed and pushed myself to “do it afraid”, to feel the fear and do it anyway, take it one step at a time and just keep getting better at my craft and making sure I fight to give value to my clients, students, the industry and the world at large.
What is the biggest highlight of your career?
Knowing that the little successes matter as well, what’s the earliest accomplishment you had in business that inspired you to know there was so much more?
I would say gaining industry recognition- being reposted by top makeup/ wedding blogs; Having clients who live in different cities book me and pay to fly me to their cities to get their makeup done.
These are 2 things that have happened that encouraged me and inspired me to know there’s so much more to come on my journey as a makeup artist.
What advice would you give a new business owner/entrepreneur?
I would advise that you make sure you love what it is that you do cause this will keep you going on the hard days. There WILL be difficult days.
Make sure you are offering your clients/customers value; you are solving a problem for them.
Do your market research, focus on what you are good at and keep getting better and most importantly, my dad always says to make and keep good relationships with people cause you just never know how you can be of help to each other especially in business.
Have you bagged any awards so far?
I have bagged 2 awards so far, both from the international students association during my time as a part-time makeup artist while I was in school.
Makeup artist of the year in 2012
Female Entrepreneur of the year in 2014
Since I became a full-time makeup artist, no awards yet.
Can we also talk about your makeup style or signature ?
Of course we can! My makeup style I would say, developed from how I like to do my makeup; I like my makeup to look as flawless in reality as in photos and I want to look like an enhanced/ “snatched” version of myself.
Over the years, I’ve grown to add a bit more drama, play with colors, take something from my clients’ outfits/personalities but overall, I like my work to look timeless. So my everyday clients and brides can look back at their photos in years to come and still love the look they wore on their special occasions.
Are there any products or tools you can’t do without while at work?
Oh yes there are. I’m big on hydration and moisture; they help create the perfect canvas for makeup application, allowing the products you apply on the skin to go in smoothly and you can blend a lot easier until you’re satisfied.
For hydration, I love the mario badescu facial spray and Mac cosmetics charged water. For moisturizer, I love the neutrogena oil free moisturizer for sensitive skin, COS rx oil free moisturizer and kiehls creme d'elegance repairateur.
I can’t do without my makeup sponges as well; I use a lot of brushes but ultimately, a sponge does the most seamless blending for me. My favorites are the original beauty blender sponge and the real techniques miracle complexion sponge which are the only two I’ve tried honestly.
Lastly, I can’t do without my Evita Joseph expert brow liner, I have 6 in my kit and one in my hand bag. That’s how much I love it.
Instagram : @kaladata_
Inspiring and insightful…I definitely picked up some lessons and would appreciate more content like this.