Doris Onyema is a fast growing celebrity make-up artist in Lagos. Though she studied Mass Communication, the passion for Make-up artistry has always been running in her. This influenced her decision to delve into Make-up artistry after graduation. She was trained at the Unveil Institute, Lagos. This boisterous and amiable lady talks to Azuka Ogujiuba of ThisDay about her Passion. Enjoy.
How did it all start as a makeup artist?
When I was in school, I spent my pastime making up for my female friends in the hostel. And I won the hearts of most of my female friends with my little make up skills. This prompted me to enroll at Unveil Institute in Lagos. So, after I graduated from Unveil Institute, I was employed by Bunmi Oyeniyi as a makeup instructor after which I was made to head the Institute.
What was it like working for Unveil Institute? What did you learn and how has the experience influenced your work?
Working for Unveil Institute was very challenging and it helped to develop and sharpen my skills. But most of all, I was able to carve a niche for myself and create my own identity.
When did you realize you could adopt makeup artistry as a career?
After I finished my training as a makeup artist at unveil, I went back to my salon in Ogun State. I had a salon school and I combine my salon with my makeup artistry. My boss later called me for a job in Lagos and when I met her, she told me to work for her and that it would help build my career in the makeup industry. So, I went back to school and thought deeply about it and few months later I started working for unveil. I worked for her for a year and six months after which I quit the job to set up my own make up company called Beauty Switch. That is when I realized that there was something else out there for me.
What makes your own work unique and how did you develop your own style.
I found out that my work was unique when people started telling me. At first, I was surprised but then everyone said the same thing, I became convinced. I did not realise I had a style until people pointed out a common denominator with my images. It’s funny when people start with their craft and say what their style is. Others ended up telling me what style they saw .
Then, I sat back and looked. I ended up realizing later what my style was. Before hand, I made the conscious decision not to look at the makeup that others did. I did not want to sub-consciously have someone else’s work in my head. I think that as an artist, it really helped my work and style grow into my own. Sometimes my photographer, ‘Di Act Photographer’ will show me a reference on what he wanted, but I will ask questions to find out the basis for the elements he wanted and make it my own. What makes me unique is the way my makeup jobs transform my clients, because I must not make my clients look like a drama queen before I’m a makeup artist.
Name your five top makeup brands that you work with most times?
Unveil, Mac, Nyx, Sleek and Black Pp
Which is your favourite kind of make up?
I will choose bridal make up because I like the switch I do to brides. They always come out amazing. To all my clients, I always give them a beauty switch but I love the outcomes of my beautiful brides.
Which celebrity dead or alive would you like to work with?
In Nigeria, I will love to work with Omotola Jalade Ekehinde or Genevieve Nnaji, while I will be challenged to work with Beyonce on a global level.
Who in the world will you like to dine and wine with?
It will be Oprah Winfrey. She’s an icon I really want to spend time with her.
Which star in the world you like to flip through her phone?
I think that would be Rihana.
Which celebrity in the world do you think has a near complete perfect lifestyle?
That should be Beyonce, because she has a good career, family life and loved by many around the world and devoid of scandals
Which celebrity in the world do you think has the sexiest body?
I will still go to Beyonce.
If a fashion police searches your wardrobe, would you be arrested for any fashion blunder?
Well, probably, because no one is perfect. But I know that the sentence will be very light
Who is Doris Onyema?
Doris Onyema is an enigmatic make up artist who is very grounded in her job and does it with style and ease. I’m a God fearing lady and very friendly. I’m easy going and very passionate about my job.
How old are you?
I am in my early thirties.
Tell us about your background?
I am from Imo State, but was born and raised in Lagos. I had my secondary school education at Eric Moore High School, Surulere and proceeded to study Mass Communications at the Olabisi Onabanjo University in Ogun State.
If you are to go on an island for an exotic weekend, what are the five things you will take along?
My bible, phones, makeup box, camera and toiletries.
What is the most memorable valentine gift you have ever received from a man?
A beautiful necklace
Are you in any relationship now or when are you planning to walk down the aisle?
Of course, in a relationship and will soon tie the knot
What does the word ‘love’ mean to you?
It means being selfless, total dedication and submission to my man
What is your most expensive fashion accessory?
It’s my shoe.
What is your fashion fetish?
What do you crave about all the time?
It is doing makeup on my clients. It gives me joy.
Which is the most favorite part of your body?
What is your present blackberry ring tone?
Heaven sent by Keisha Cole.
Apart from your job, what else do you like to indulge in?
I like watching movies and documentaries.
If you were Mr President, what will be the first law you will implement?
A law that will make it compulsory for every child to have education.
Which celebrity in the world would you describe as a sexy siren?
I will go for Beyonce
Which designer will you love to wear his or her outfit?
I will love to wear Jimmy Choo outfits.
Who is your favorite designer in the world?
It’s Coco Chanel.