A few weeks back, I received on WhatsApp, before and after images of several women who have been transformed from plain Janes into smouldering cover girls simply via the deft hands of a creative makeup artist.
Their blemishes having been carefully concealed with different shades of neutral tones, ugly ducklings like me, were transformed into swans, literally. I forwarded the images to my male contacts and all of them replied, saying; women were vain, that they would dump any girlfriend, wife or partner if they discovered they were masking under makeup. They wondered why women always felt a need to makeup even when not necessary, like when they go jogging, knowing full well the sweat will wash it all off…
Now, why do we like makeup?
Here’s an insight I found interesting. Titled Makeup Addiction it was submitted by someone called Mowski and the story is believed to have happened during the holocaust, in one of Germany’s concentration camp where hundreds of Jews were murdered back in the 1940s – ‘It was shortly after the British Red Cross arrived, though it may have no connection, that a very large quantity of lipstick arrived. This was not at all what we men wanted, we were screaming for hundreds and thousands of other things and I don’t know who asked for lipstick. I wish so much that I could discover who did it, it was the action of genius, sheer unadulterated brilliance. I believe nothing did more for those internees than the lipstick. Women lay in bed with no sheets and no nightie but with scarlet red lips, you saw them wandering about with nothing but a blanket over their shoulders, but with scarlet red lips. I saw a woman dead on the post mortem table and clutched in her hand was a piece of lipstick. At last someone had done something to make them individuals again, they were someone, no longer merely the number tattooed on the arm. At last they could take an interest in their appearance. That lipstick started to give them back their humanity.”
So, yes, for us women, wanting to improve our looks is part of our genetic makeup, no pun intended. We want to look good, which is why even a dab of powder and lip gloss would do just fine for those who say they don’t like wearing makeup.
Making up feeds our vanities while making us feel whole; that’s the premise the industry is built upon; that’s why it’s a multibillion-dollar business today!
I wanted a piece of that last summer holidays, so I approached one of the many makeup studios that dot our community to have my daughter apprentice there.
I had figured I would have to pay a substantial fee for her apprenticeship; I was also aware my daughter would probably be their errand girl, ‘goan buy rice, goan buy pure water, goan do this or that.’
I had prepared her for that by telling her it’s a rite of passage; same thing I told her when she was going into boarding school. ‘Don’t be rude to your seniors, when they send you on errands, go. It’s when they hit you that I’ll step in and woe betide the senior who lays a finger on you!’ beyond that, I was prepared for a few angry responses from even customers…it’s life.
I had in mind a sum of N20,000 or worst-case scenario, N30,000 which I would have paid after making the necessary noises, condemning the high price and insisting on being given a discount. I would have paid.
But I figured wrong! I was asked to pay 75k! That asking price brought out the witch in me!
Tufiakwa! For wetin na? To learn ordinary make up for one month! Haba! What will she do with it sef? Na mammy water she want use am paint? She’s barely 13 years sef, I just want her to be engaged…!
All my hollering fell on deaf ears at the studio; they insisted that would be the cost of training my daughter for the summer.
“She would be needing her own kit,” one said.
“She’ll learn a lot” another added.
It fell on ears that had turned deaf to their argument…
Needless to say, I waka comot…very angry!
Then I understood why makeup charges are this high; these days, you don’t need to be a celebrity to hire a makeup artist to give you that “look” before you step out of your home and the fees range from N5,000 to 25, 000. You can meet the artist in her studio or shop or you call her for home service, and that, of course, attracts higher fees. At the end of the day, you are mostly glad you spent that money as you’re certain to achieve that amazing look, even though many times, the ‘look’ can be so far from what you truly look like but then, who cares?
Now some two years back, I was one of the writers recruited to write the story of 100 girls whose lives had been transformed simply by learning the art of makeup from the House of Tara. Shebi we all know Tara Fela-Durotoye, that lady who turned our attention to the lucrative side of the art of makeup? Yeah, same dynamo.
Anyway, on that project tagged 100 voices, I learned first-hand and met with more than a few, several young women across Nigeria, whose lives were literally transformed when they picked interest in makeup art. These were women who hitherto had nothing but found purpose when they learned the art of makeup and began charging a fee for it and oh, what amazing stories I heard!
Rags to riches stories that tell of how satisfying seemingly insignificant vanities can earn you serious cash!
So guys, makeup is here to stay, live with it!