Saturday, 16 January 2010

My life of make-up

With her selection as one of the four make-up professionals that participated in the just-concluded MTN-Project Fame talent hunt, Seun Ogunsiku, CEO, MyDazzle Make-up outfit, finally established herself in the industry. Although she has been on the scene for quite a while and has already made her mark, Seun has many reasons to feel particularly triumphant now. Not only is she making a success of a vocation she is passionate about, has also discovered a channel through which she can express herself and her talents. She took CHIEMEREM-NNEKA UMENNE on the journey that led to fulfilment.

Background/ Education
I am the first girl and fifth child from a family of 10 children. I spent most part of my life in Ebute- metta, Lagos where I attended St. Jude Primary School. Later, I proceeded to Imeko Senior Secondary School in Ogun State. I undertook a National Diploma (ND) course in Mass Communication at Moshood Abiola Polytechnic in 1999.
Thereafter, I attended the National Institute of Information Technology (NIIT) in 2002, Oprah Benson Beauty Training Institute in 2005 and later to Unveil Make- up Studios, Ikeja because I realised I needed to learn more. I also went to the Nigerian Film Institute in Jos, Plateau State to read make-up for television/ stage.

Growing up

It was a mixture of fun and the not so fun. It was a fair one considering the intrigues that usually play out in a polygamous home. I can still recall all the childhood plays and fun. My parents were also considerate too.
How come you started with Mass Communication through Technology only to end up with

making up?

At a point, I was confused not knowing what to do with my life. At that point, I just wanted to leave Nigeria because I was dabbling into a whole lot of things at the same time.
After my Industrial Training in 2000, I had the opportunity of either leaving the country to study or stay back. I really did not know what I wanted out of life and that gave me some concern.
I sincerely asked myself about the things that gave me joy and satisfaction. I longed for an answer. Before then, a lot of people were already tired of my indecision concerning the career I desired.
In 2004, however, I attended a church programme at DayStar Ministry with the theme: “discovering yourself- your purpose, passion in life”. That was when it clicked. I suddenly realized my passion was for making people look beautiful and helping them highlight their facial features.

Starting point

I started professionally in 2005. But by the time I decided to go into make-up, I couldn’t tell anyone at home. So, I had to divert my NIIT exam fee to enroll at Oprah Benson Centre. This was because my daddy once asked me if I.T was what I wanted to read to which I replied in the affirmative.
So I didn’t have the courage to go back to him to tell him something to the contrary. It wouldn’t have gone down well with him.
Before then, I had always made people look stunning though I wasn’t a professional. I started with my mother’s clients in her beauty salon in 2002 and most of them always wanted me to do their hair and they kept asking for me because of the stylish touch I had. Health and safety in make-up
Most centres don’t teach their students about health and safety roles in make-up artistry. This is lacking among some practitioners and could be very dangerous. It just means that as a professional, one should never, for whatsoever reason, apply products directly from the container on your patron or client.
As professionals, we assume that everybody is carrying something on the skin and we don’t want to give or contract anything. So every practitioner ought to disinfect or wash the hands thoroughly before working on a patron’s face to avoid spreading infection.
Another thing is that after using an eyeliner for a patron, it is either you sanitize it or use another one for another patron.
I have never, for instance, had any patron complaining of skin reaction after service and that gives me joy. In the studio where I was taught, you dare dnot touch anyone without washing the hands because no one knows what and whom you must have touched during the day.
This is so to avoid passage of germs into people’s skin. This is where some professionals are missing out. Some don’t even understand these safety rules not to mention adhering to it.
Common errors on facials
Undefined eyebrow is common among women. It is never advisable to use black, wine or red eye-pencils on the eyebrow. For light complexion, brown eye-pencil depending on the shade will do the trick because it won’t appear the person is making too much effort and the hair at that spot isn’t black anyway.
For a dark person, dark brown eye-pencil can be used for the eyebrow and colors for eye shadow should depend on the mood, personality and event. It is somewhat a challenge though for those with dark skin.
Wear and tear caused by using substandard make-up products is another problem. It gives a separation effect, which doesn’t stay long. Not lining the eye-lid after applying eye shadow makes the eyes look incomplete.
Then, there is the inability to blend the foundation properly, which makes the wearer appear as though she is wearing a mask. It should be blended from the face down to the neck because one is not supposed to see the starting and finishing line of a make-up.
It should also be a flawless looking skin. Using incorrect shades of foundation is another problem.
The overall output may be good but something is definitely wrong. However, using quality products is the life-wire in beauty industry.
Whenever I’m on the road, I observe the kind of make-up people wear. Any time I come across a billboard, I look out for the make-up type used and how they are applied. If it looks good, I know immediately that the artist must be a professional.

Fundamental imbalance in make-up

They are light eyes / light lips for reserved personalities. Light eyes/ accentuated lips where there is colour(s) on the lips. Accentuated eyes/ light lips for bold personalities who love colours and want to be noticed anywhere.
However, there is a limit to where such looks should be worn. Accentuated eyes/ accentuated lips are for the glamorous. And whatever look a practitioner is trying to create must fall into these four categories regardless of the complexion.

What is loud make-up?

There is nothing like loud make-up although some people are reserved and will not use very bright colours. That is simply their personality.
But for a dark person, I encourage them to use little colours depending on their desire. Colours are good provided they are well applied. The important thing is that the client is comfortable wearing that look.


I was one of the four make-up teams that worked for the recent MTN Project Fame along with Babes Make-up outfit. I have worked for pastor Nike Adeyemi. I do their photo-shoot makeup. I do the make up for Bisi Shola- Connect, an LTV programme on Saturday morning at 7am. I also do the make up for Sola Saloko among others.

Nigeria make-up industry

It is fast growing. There are a lot of opportunities for those who are really willing to go the extra mile. New techniques are fast coming up. It is a vast industry. The sky is just a starting point.
However, only hard working ones will be standing at the end of the day because everyone wants to look good these days including even the guys.

Men’s make-up

Obviously, guys too now want to look good. Male models for all sorts of adverts wear make up. Theirs differs a bit from that of the ladies. I usually use foundation, non-glossy lip balm and powder for them.
I never use white powder for the guys because white powder has grey-fillers and that is a common error in home video films. I arrange their eyebrows though I don’t shape or define them. I also do their moustache.

Trial make-up

This is a must rule for any professional. I engage my patron on a trial fit look before the eventual date of event. This helps to understand what the client wants, purpose of the event, the personality of the client, what kind of make up he/she likes to wear, likes and dislikes on colours to avoid the client developing anxiety, coupled with other challenges in the course of preparing for an occasion.
But the trial make-up is not allowed to be worn outside except on the day of the event. So we wipe it off after confirmation.


I hope to undergo another training in Canada in 2011 and I am working hard towards that.

Challenges/ charges

The initial challenge was people looking down on me and I used to somehow wonder if I was really cut out for this. There is also the issue of late or non-payment by customers.
But now, we are resolved on clients paying fully before services. Till now, I still have clients who owe us for wedding make-up we serviced them three years ago.

1 comment:

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