27 year old Josephine Apiyo is a freelance makeup artist and runway model based in Kisumu. She has a degree in Public Relations from The University of Nairobi. She shares her journey with Kenyawest
How long have you been doing makeup and how did you get started?
Well, my journey as a makeup artist began in August last year (2016) and it was triggered by a heartbreak. Someone I truly loved just woke up one day and told me he no longer felt anything for me. It was one of the most distressing moment in my life since I had been in a relationship with him for over 5 years. People react differently in such situations. Some may opt to commit suicide, others simply move on, some choose revenge as the only alternative but I chose to put my heart into something. I went to YouTube and started learning how to apply makeup professionally. Anytime I thought of him I learnt more and more on YouTube. So coming to think of it, the heart break helped me a lot. Something good came out of the heartbreak. I’m now good at what I do.
What do you love most about doing makeup?
I believe that beauty is universal, and makeup is one way to let it shine through! I love the effect makeup can have on a person’s overall style and attitude, and I strive to enhance both with my work. I relish working with color and texture and finding ways to enhance the face in front of me, and I enjoy the collaborative process involved in a wedding, shoot, or any professional work that I do.
Who do you work best with?
Currently, my only focus is on occasional makeup for weddings, graduations, birthdays, baby-showers, but I’m going to up my game in 2018 and learn how to do special effects makeup. I’m also in the process of setting up a beauty shop in Kisumu in February 2018.
What sets you apart from other makeup artists?
What sets me apart is that my services are fully mobile. I come to you with my kit and make you feel like the V.I.P. you are. You don’t have to take time out of an already stressful day to go to a salon to get your makeup done. Just sit back at your home, hotel room or wherever, relax and enjoy while I work my magic.
Which is your favourite beauty product?
I have a huge variety of favourite products from different companies. Each product has a certain unique touch while some clients prefer specific products. So far I can vouch for Becca, Lancome, Nouba, Revlon, Millani and Maybelline.
How would you rate the beauty industry in Kisumu?
I would give it 7/10 but this is only because we still lack access to beauty shops that sell quality original products. Makeup artists therefore have to outsource products from Nairobi or Mombasa. My advice for for anyone planning to join this industry is for her/him to know it’s quite interesting and fun at the same time. It’s not for the faint hearted neither because you get to meet different personalities which only mean different opinions about your work and products. It’s also a learning process. If you don’t change for the better, somebody else will and your clients will move to her/him. So never stop perfecting your makeup skills.
You have the perfect body for a model. Have you ever tried out modeling?
Well, thank you. I’m actually a model. I started modeling way much earlier before being a makeup artist. I’ve been a runway model since 2013. Some of the events I have participated in are Kenya Worldwide Fashion Show, Fashion High Tea, Safari Fashion Week, Miss Malindi 2013, Miss Tourism Kenya Kisumu County, Lady Crane International Fashion Show in Uganda among many others. I have also modeled crotchet bikinis for Joheartyarns. When I’m not doing makeup or modeling, I spend most of my time swimming. I’m quite a good swimmer. Maybe I should pursue that as a career too 😂
Whom do you look up to?
Definitely my mother. We may not be in the same career but seeing what she goes through each day and never gives up makes me a stronger woman. I pray God grants her longer years on earth.
Any luck with love after the heartbreak?
Right now am SINGLE, but maybe when this interview gets published I’ll be in a relationship you never know😂.