Most of the high profile personalities we see around have someone to thank for the glow on their faces. It is usually the result of patient work in the background by professionals such as Sonnie Kamau.
A make-up artist and cosmetic dermatologist, Sonnie has seen it all in trying to meet the demands of her clients, including keeping a 10-hour shift on most days. She believes it takes a calling for one to succeed.
“You must be passionate, selfless, a good listener, have patience with clients and a rich heart,” she says.
Trained by a professional dermatologist from France - who visited the country during her tenure as a make-up and hair specialist at Linton’s Beauty in Nairobi - Sonnie says she realised the need to upgrade her skills beyond cosmetology.
“I felt the urge to venture beyond the cosmetology course I studied at Vera Beauty College for a period of three years to be able to render services required in both areas.”
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Master the skills
Her zeal to learn and ability to master the skills saw her appointed an ambassador for a French hair product, Black Up.
Since then, Sonnie has racked up a client list that includes prominent musicians, politicians and business people. But dealing with such clientele means that she has had to bend her rules to meet their requirements.
“A number of them are always late for their appointments so I have to exercise patience, even if it means going beyond my ten-hour schedule because they are my employers. They have made me what I am today,” she says.
She recently established her own business on Mombasa road after resigning from a city hotel.
For one to become a cosmetic dermatologist, one must be at par with the knowledge of the beauty products in the market.
“Meeting the expectations of some clients is not easy owing to the fact that they want immediate results upon using the product, which is impossible because products don’t work magic,” says Sonnie.
“I constantly try to urge them to exercise patience, making it clear that a skin condition is a journey that takes time to get the best results – as long as one uses the prescribed products correctly.”
Some skin conditions also require the attention of a skin doctor rather than a cosmetic dermatologist like herself.
“More often, people assume that every person sitting behind the counter of a beauty shop is an expert, which is not the case.
“They end up spending lots of money, only to be disappointed. That is why I advise that it is important to visit an expert to be on the safe side,” says Sonnie.
The third born in family of five, Sonnie encountered cosmetics at an early age as her mother always carried beauty products in her handbag.
“I admired her a lot, not to mention the numerous compliments from admirers on her long hair and her well-manicured nails.”
She would then apply ‘make-up’ using her crayons on her dolls, which later inspired her journey into cosmetology.