She sat quietly across from me at the table on set of a film production, and somehow caught my gaze and smiled back; I knew instantly that we were going to get along well on set! Her soft spoken demeanor and prowess when it comes to advising a client on the kind of makeup that’s suitable for their skin, made me realize that when it comes to makeup, it’s not all about trying to transform into someone you’re not, but rather a way of enhancing your beauty. I finally got a chance to have a one-on-one makeup and interview session with her recently, and got to learn more about Laura, the “queen of eyebrows” as many refer to her in Mombasa!
• How long have you been doing makeup professionally?
I can say makeup has always been my passion ever since I can remember, but I decided to turn my passion into profit in 2010, and I’ve never regretted my decision ever since!
• Where did the passion come from, did you just wake up one morning and decide that you were going to be a makeup artist?
Since high school, I’ve always been keen on makeup; I remember my former schoolmates would always line up at my dormitory on weekends or whenever we had an event, just to have me shape their eyebrows and apply black eye liner(back in the day, we used to call it Wanja) on their lips. The reaction in their faces afterwards, made me realize what my passion truly was; and that’s when I decided to pursue it fully!
• What challenges do you face as a makeup artist in Mombasa?
Most people here don’t appreciate professionally done makeup; people want to look good, but they don’t want to spend on it, more often than not, they tend to undervalue the amount of time and effort you have put it in when it comes to paying for services rendered.
• You seem to do a lot of Production Makeup, how is it working on set?
Production makeup is fun; it has its own pressure but it’s manageable, and working with actors is usually interesting since they are always flexible and allow you to be creative with the makeup.
• Which products work best on African skin, considering the humid weather in Mombasa especially?
I love using Mac products as they tend to be very weather friendly, as well as Sleek, Glam gals, Artistry and Suzie Beauty which tend to blend in well with our skin complexion and humid weather!
• When it comes to bridal makeup, how do you make sure that both you and the bride are happy with the outcome before the wedding day?
I always do a trial with the bride a few days before the wedding, that way the bride and I are always on the same page, as well as experiment with different colors to blend in well with the theme of her wedding. It also ensures I get to achieve the perfect look before, since my reputation as a makeup artist is also at stake if a bride’s makeup is horribly wrong on her wedding day!
• Do you do makeup workshops or sessions for any ladies who might be interested in learning the basics of how to apply makeup the right way?
I’m planning on doing workshops soon, but I do offer basic training for people who are interested in basic makeup tutorials, as well as professional makeup classes on request.
• What’s the one feature that always needs to be enhanced when it comes to makeup?
They always say the eyes are the keys to one’s soul, and I believe when it comes to makeup, the eyes should always draw the right kind of attention especially when it comes to your eyebrows; once you get it right, you can get away with everything after that!
• Any future plans for Makeup Touch by Laura?
Definitely, I’m working on opening my own makeup studio soon, and eventually coming up with a product line for women with sensitive skin who always have a hard time finding the right products that work well with their skin.
• What advice would you give someone out there who wants to venture into the makeup industry?
Be passionate about what you do, be patient; it takes time for your business to pick, but as long as you’re consistent and never give up on your dream, it will eventually pay off! Believe in yourself and use social media as a tool to market your work.
I enjoyed how she did my makeup for a random photo shoot;bold, yet it didn’t feel too cakey on my face.
For more of her work, do visit her page on Facebook : Makeup Touch by Laura.