As Nigerian women become more fashion conscious, make-up has become a booming business for professional artists and dealers in make-up items
| By Chinwe Okafor | Sep. 30, 2013 @ 01:00 GMT
SOPULUCHI Ugwu, a corps member, is never in a haste for any event. She takes her time standing before a mirror to apply powder-foundation, eye shadow, mascara, lip gloss or lipstick and maybe some blush to her face. She believes that her make-up is what brings out her beauty and gives her confidence.
She said that make-up is the whole idea of her good looks and that a day without it is like a day without the sun. She said that wearing make-ups makes her look younger, beautiful and very attractive to her opposite sex. ‘‘I do think that people do treat me differently when I’m on make-ups because I’m usually very attractive. I like to draw attention to my big brown eyes and just feel better and attractive when I do have it on. I do not wear make-up because I have to but rather because I just love make up and it accentuates my features. It makes me feel the woman that I am,” Ugwu said.
For Uche Obidiegwu, a part-time student of Delta State University, doing make-up for people is her hobby. She combines her studies with making people up for occasions and events. Her passion for make-up business made her to build an enviable career in the business. “I was just doing the business for the fun of it because of my keen passion for making up. The rapid increase of clients made me plunge into the business. People pay me good money for catching my fun and doing my hobby. I must say that it has been fun all the way.
“My clients consider me a born-make-up artist due to my expertise in the art, yet I consider myself an up-coming make-up artist, as I continue to add value to myself, enlarge my coast in the business and continue catching my fun. The future of the make-up business is overly bright as Nigerian women are more fashion conscious now than ever, while shows, beauty pageantries, filmmaking, among other events, continue to lubricate the wheels of the business. The creativity and versatility of the make-over business have made it one that would last,’’ Obidiegwu said.
Can ladies do without make-up is the question on everybody’s lip? There is hardly any lady who does not add an artificial touch to her face, from their eyebrows down to the lips. Some even believe that non-application of make-up by a woman is not lady-like. It is almost impossible to look into a woman’s handbag without seeing a make-up purse with coloured eye shadows, blushers, lip gloss, mascara, eyeliners and concealers.
Jane Peters, a make-up artist, said make-up is not just a facial art, but an entire body art. It elevates the woman and gives a total transformation to her looks if done properly by a professional. She advised against make-ups being applied carelessly. Rather, it should be approached with all the seriousness it deserves and with specific attention to details. There are different kinds of make-ups appropriate for day time and also for the night. Many ladies do not know the difference and that is why they end up looking too loud on make-ups.
Akachukwu Ijoma, an event manager, said he likes to see women wear make-up because that’s what makes them women. “Make-up is meant to enhance their beauty and give them a stunning look. I love to see my wife with make-up. It makes me proud of her beauty,” he said. Whereas Ijoma loves women on make-up, it is not same with Yusuf Adebayo, a banker. He said he cannot allow his wife to make-up because it will make her look like a drama queen. I told her that if she wants to be seen around me in the public, that she must not apply any make-up aside a lip balm and white powder, I am not totally against make-ups but it should be applied moderately,” he said.
Some ladies who desire expert make-up but are unskilled in the art have found a remedy. They now use the services of professionals who know the kind of make-up that fit different skin tone and facial features. Chy Ejike, a trained make-up artist with Kristabels Beauty Home, Delta State, said the service of a professional make-up artist is particularly necessary when attending an important occassion. “A lot of women have little knowledge about make-ups; so it is very necessary that they consult trained cosmetologists, those who know the kind of look that fits into any occasion,” she said.
Olufunmi Olanrewaju, a bead designer, said that she loves patronising professional make-up artists. She said that on her wedding day, she employed a make-up artist and the unique look she had on that day was a beauty to behold. “I had a sense of satisfaction and confidence and I felt good to know that I had a professional touch on my make-up, and that kept me happy throughout the day. I had no worries about how I looked,” she said.
Folake Olagunju, a make-up artist with Sleek Make-Up Beauty Studio, Lagos State, has offered a quick make up tip: “It does not take too much hard work to get a perfect made-up face. All you need is a well balanced colour foundation with the right loose powder to top it up. This instantly gives a natural look. “Then, define the eyebrows with a well carved pencil, apply eye shadow with neutral colours, use eye liner to define the eye and apply mascara on the eyelashes. A neutral coloured lip stick or lip gloss should be applied to the lips so as to get a simple and natural look.”
“Learning the terrain takes between two weeks and three months, depending on how deep one wants to master it, one’s seriousness and how fast he or she can grasp the training. The training fees also vary depending on the teacher and the aspect one wants to learn,” Olagunju said. According to her, movie make-ups and special effects generally require more time for training than working as a make-up specialist for women getting ready for a big date or event. She added that some big wigs in the business charge N150, 000 for a month’s training with kits while the upcoming ones charge N50, 000.
Starting a make-up business does not require much capital. With N20, 000, anybody can begin to explore the business. That amount will get her the basic tools of average quality needed for the business which includes; a set of make-up brushes, eyeshadows in different textures and colours, powder and foundations for different skin colour, , blush, mascara, eye liner, primer, lip sticks and lip gloss available in different colours and mirror. The product quality and brand name determines the price of the tools. There are high end products, which are usually more expensive, medium end products, which are quite affordable as well as low end product, which are usually very cheap.
Make-up application is now a booming and a profitable venture. A make-up artist can make up to N30, 000 and above for one event or wedding depending on the quality of service he or she renders and the class of his or her clients. Sale of make-up items which is also a good business has improved the income of dealers. Popular brands include; MAC, Sleek, Mary Kay, Black Opal among others.