The feeling of getting dolled up is a fond one for many women. Whether it’s a trip to the salon to get your hair done, or it’s a manicure and pedicure day self-care is satisfying.
But knowing how to apply make-up properly comes with practice, experience, and sometimes even specialised education.
Several make-up artists spoke to Spice FM’s Olivia Otieno in an all-about-make-up sit-down. They broke down how to wear make-up for different occasions, from the everyday, office look, a night out look to special effects and costume make-up.
Wanyaga Kiki: Everyday office look
The essentials for this look are skincare products, primer, foundation, powder, concealer, bronzer, gloss, and eyebrow make-up.
Kiki did the everyday look on the radio host, leaving her looking simple, but still, well put together. It was something like a “no-makeup makeup look.”
She explained though, that just because it’s everyday makeup, doesn’t mean it is any less than makeup for other occasions.
“When we say makeup for everyday looks, or for the office, It doesn’t mean that you miss any of the steps, it just means that you still do every step of your make-up application- but with minimal product,” she said.
Kiki is a certified, professional make-up artiste. She started out experimenting and playing with her sister’s make-up as a child.
“I then began watching YouTube videos, tutorials etc. Later, I saw an opening for Mac cosmetics, they had a job interview. At the time I didn’t get the position because I wasn’t skilled enough yet. I didn’t know much about eyebrows, I was only about skincare. I don’t fault them at all,” she said.
“I decided if I want to be serious about this, let me go to college for it or something. I was keen to get a certificate that would be viable and get me ahead.”
Kiki went to college at Lintons Beauty for six months. She then interviewed again for Mac cosmetics and got the job this time. Now, she has branched out as a freelance make-up artist.
One of the key takeaways is that you should be as simple as possible with your daily make-up routine.
It should be easy, convenient, and fast in order to fit into your possibly hectic schedule as an office worker at any professional workplace.
“If you are working at a bank, hospital, or any other busy working environment, you need something that is easy and fast to do,” Kiki said.
The main feature for an office look should be the skin. That’s where you should put in the effort.
You need a primer- one that’s suited to your skin type, a good foundation that is in your shade, a concealer to correct pigmentation issues, powder, lipstick, and a setting spray.
Wearing too much eye shadow, using too much bronzer, or even contouring- is unnecessary.
Also avoid contouring that is harsh and chiseled, dramatic eyelashes, or smoky eye.
Kiki said a person who wears makeup daily should have some products handy in case they need to touch it up in the course of the day. These will ensure that your look remains fresh throughout the day.
“In your bag, carry a powder, especially if you have oily skin, your setting spray-sometimes that helps if you want to have a refreshed look, lipstick, or a gloss just to touch up.”
Margaret Wambui AKA Meg Beauty: The night look
Margaret Wambui, who goes by Megs Beauty Touch on social media currently works as a make-up artist at Standard Group. She has been doing make-up for the last five years, four of those professionally.
“I went to school for it,” she said.
“I went to school for cosmetology- I studied hair, nails, and make-up, everything to do with beauty. The course was a year long.”
Meg explained that the first step in make-up application is preparing, or “prepping” the face.
“When any client talks to me about doing their make-up, I have to know their skincare routine. It is a key point for anyone who loves make-up. You can’t just add make-up to look good when you don’t take care of your face,” she said.
The beauty professional said that some crucial information for her is how one takes care of their face, skin type, and age.
“With my work you get a lot of exposure, working with different types of people, I learn how to socialise with them,” she said about some of the perks of her job.
When doing the demonstration, she prepped the skin with moisturiser and primer. “Primer helps a lot for the longevity of the make-up,” she said.
“You’ll be active, dancing, and perhaps be in a crowded place, so the primer keeps the makeup on longer in good condition.”
Meg used a primer as her base. She then went in with a good moisturiser. “After that apply good foundation, good concealer, do the eyes and lips and that’s it,” she said.
Lashes. “If you are not a fan of lashes, make sure you wear a good waterproof mascara,” Meg said.
Never sleep with make-up on, as this will clog your pores.
“Try your best to have an oil-based cleanser and some wipes, no matter how you feel after a night out.”
Explaining the look she did on her model, which featured a popping, pink eyeshadow look, Meg said it is important for an artist to consider what his/her client is wearing and try to do make-up that flows with the outfit too.
“We were going for a pink shade because of what the model is wearing. I went with pink eyes and nude pink lips,” she said.
Meg said mascara is good for those who don’t like using lash extensions, as it darkens the lashes after they have been covered in other products like foundation and concealer.
Mascara is applied even with lash extensions on.
“You have to use mascara for your lashes to be dark enough. Also, if your lashes are facing down you have to curl them,” she said.
Mokeira Oyaro: Costumes and special effects
Mokeira Oyaro holds a degree in Fine Arts and Interior Design.
“I used to do painting, and then I thought that perhaps I can transfer what I do on canvas on my face. It started as a joke but now it became a hobby, people were loving it and I continued,” Mokeira said.
The special effects and costume makeup professional said she would be demonstrating a creative make-up look during the interview, one that she described as “out of this world.”
“I usually take about two hours when doing a creative costume look, because I go into details,” she said.
Mokeria began doing creative, special effects make-up when she was in her second year of university. Now, she’s in her sixth year of doing professional make-up.
“I don’t just do costume or party makeup, I actually do all types of makeup and had a bride this morning,” she said, adding that the type of makeup used for special effects is specialised, and can’t just be found at any store.
“I use special make-up, it is like face paint- but it has the foundation consistency. It’s heavy. It’s used for special effects in film.”
The make-up artiste said one of the biggest moments in her career so far was when she won Project FX Africa. Winners were set to be flown out to the UK to work on Game Of Thrones stars, but that was halted by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“One of the biggest challenges I face is getting products in Kenya,” she said about the lows, “Sometimes you’ll get products in Kenya and find that they are not legit or real. So you have to import. They are a bit pricey too.”
The make-up artiste said her diverse expertise in all makeup looks allows her to make an income from all types of looks. She often gets calls for bridal looks, everyday looks, and special effects looks.
“I’ll work with about three brides in a month. Halloween is usually crazy for this kind of look (the special effects/costume look). I’ll often get calls to work at music videos,” she said.
Mokeira explained that she created the costume/special effects look at the sit-down by doing a base coat and then getting into the details. She also wore contacts to seal off the creative look.
“You must always wash your hands before you touch your eyes and contacts,” she said.