She died this morning after battling with an undisclosed sickness. A single mum of one, Yewande Peregrino is one of the celebrity make-up artists in Lagos. For 10 years , she runs Beyond Faces, a makeover outfit and in this interview with Kemiashefonlovehaven, she talks on the art of make-up and other sundry issues
Q: For a graduate of Mass Communication from the University of Lagos, what pushed you into make-up artistry?
A: Everything started from the thought of being my own boss. I am not interested in a 9-5 job. I just wanted to be in control of my time, having time to work and play, time for the family and friends, most especially, time for me. One morning, I told my mother, I wanted to learn make-up artistry. She wondered why. Also, I told my friend, she said, ‘who do you want to make-up for? When I was working casually as a make-up artist for BLACK UP, a cosmetic company, Alali Hart was my boss and I loved the general make-up session. I took so much pride in the whole make-up application. With me, every job tells its story. Just make it exciting and worth looking forward to.
Q: What attracted you to make-up artistry?
A: I am obsessed with pretty things and people. I have folders of bookmarks for different websites, blogs, and social engines. There are piles of magazines, books, cut out pictures and make-up clips cut out from everywhere. Before, I was offering professional make-up artistry for special occasions. Now, I do so much—bridal hair styling, mobile make-up bar, pro-master class, DIY classes (Do it yourself) organise workshops and seminar for some women empowerment programmes, and I also teach the techniques of tying headgear. It’s all-embracing. So far, I have done over a thousand brides’ faces.
Q: So, you dumped your degree and stuck to the art of make-up?
A: While At BLACK-UP, I began giving clients ‘quick makeovers’ in order to sell my products and meet the stipulated target by the month end. There were three branches where they had make-up stands. I worked in all the branches. One thing led to another and I kept getting offers for weddings or party makeovers. Then, I thought, ‘this could be a good business.’ So, I set up a business name, logo and began promotions. I started reading books, studying on the internet, watching makeover DVDs and got into so many international fora and researching.
Q: So, how rewarding is a make-up business to a graduate of mass communication?
A: Well, it has been rewardingly challenging, putting food on my table, putting smile and good memories in clients, family and friends. No regret! I still write for some magazines in my leisure.
Q: There are so many misconceptions about make-up artistry; can you shed light on that?
A: The first is that make-up should be thick and heavy! It should not! Good make-up should be subtle but most detailed. So many women have had bad experiences and ended up looking like clowns! They always think a make-up artist can fix everything but there are limitations. Though you should allow the creative ability of the artist, let her know what you want and how you want to look.
Q: What does it entail being a make-up artist?
A: First, you need to be trained. You need the skill, and experience. Patience comes in too and tolerance. I believe in prayers too. Being a make-up artist means starting from the bottom and working hard to prove yourself. It means sacrificing your social life. You need to be consistent in treating everyone as a Very Important Personality, especially brides. So, make them feel important—tie their bows, help with their sandals, and treat them like royals. You have to be open to opportunities – they are your learning curve. Don’t forget social networking too.
Q: Don’t you think the market is saturated?
A: Indeed but there’s always room for everyone to identify what it’s good for them, where they can put up their best and keep up with it. On the other hand, there are more people in the industry and they are really diversifying to different specialties. It’s expanding— make-up tools, bridal make-up, body painting, high fashion make-up, runaway etc.
Q: Are you married?
A: No, but I’m engaged to my best friend, who helps in nurturing my dreams.
Q: Do you think women apply make-up well?
A: Well, I think they should seek more knowledge on how to apply their make-up. Know the right shade of powder that will suit your facial skin type— be it oily, dry or normal. Eyelashes are any girl’s best friend, it can be tricky learning to apply falsies but get good mascara and look glam!
Q: Challenges? Or has it been smooth all the way?
A: There are and the one which recur most is the attitude to time. Nigerians are not time conscious. A client would tell you their event starts at 10am, only to get there and discover the event would not start until 2pm! Your day is ruined and can’t plan on other things. I could end up doing two jobs when I could have conveniently done three or more. A wrong timing is very costly. That is why I prefer sending some of my workers but some clients would insist on having you in attendance. I tell them to trust in whichever brand they are dealing with. If your make-up artist promises to send a good hand, they should trust that person.