2017 has been a critical year for the Nigerian Makeup Industry. Makeup Artists have risen to prominence in the last decade plus, the concept of Makeup Artistry as an industry is one in evolution. With the industry on the cusp of defining a collective vision, collaboration now more than ever is a crucial aspect of that process. Events like the Makeup Fair and 1000 Voices by House of Tara gave credence to the indispensability of collaboration as an industry -building tool. While ethically speaking, veterans and beauty powerhouses are expected to be at the vanguard of such initiatives, seeing newer names and voices take on this responsibility and drive such efforts is an awe-inspiring feat.
One of such initiatives to awe and make a case for the importance of collaboration was the Makeup Artist Extra Ordinaire 2017 Competition. Hosted by ex-Model and CEO of Chic Media, Emelda Remi, The Makeup Artist Extra Ordinaire Competition launched with the goal of empowering rising Makeup Artists through the community platform. MUA Extra as it came to be dubbed promised to offer training, mentorship and funding to the tune of N1, 000, 000 to the winner of the Competition.
The competition which was run initially via social media and primarily on Instagram was powered by sponsorship from Maybelline Nigeria, Zikel Cosmetics, Flawless Faces by Jane, Voan Lashes, Nerakoma Skincare and Taos Cosmetics. The mix of established, rising and new brands sponsoring this competition spoke to an understanding across the board of the importance of collaboration as well as empowerment in industry building.
Maybelline Nigeria who is building inroads in the region as the premier Beauty Brand for Lifestyle projects threw its weight behind what the regional brand manager Mrs Ofor, described as a brilliant initiative. The ability for Makeup to be a platform for empowerment and job creation beyond just building self-esteem was a key motivator for Zikel Cosmetics and Voan Lashes. Jane Ogu of Flawless Faces by Jane; a Pro Makeup Artist was enthusiastic about this competition. Jane was quoted explaining that opportunities of this magnitude were not available at the time her and many of her contemporaries started out.
A former contender for Face of Sleek, Emelda Remi was inspired by the role Makeup Artistry played in her Career as a model. Ms Remi noted that many talented Makeup Artists around the country only lack the platform and funding to make it past a certain point. Makeup Artist Extra Ordinaire was a vision that sought to solve this problem.
Open to contestants nationwide; rising MakeupArtist were asked to create a look of their choice and upload images and videos of this look on Instagram, Facebook at Twitter.Of almost 50 applicants, 16 Semi-Finalists from all over the Country emerged. Semi-Finalists from Kano, Anambra, Akwa Ibom, Abuja, Lagos, Ondo state and more made their way down to Lagos for the final leg of the competition.
Maybelline Nigeria, Flawless Faces by Jane and Zikel Cosmetics were on hand to provide professional Makeup Training to the Semi-Finalists as part of the three-day training programme. Celebrity Makeup Artist Joyce Jacobs of Joyce Jacobs Beauty, Omontese Akhetuamen of Beautycook Studios and CEO of Flawless Faces by Jane, Jane Ogu, mentored Contestants through the training programme providing insight on what it takes to build a successful beauty business and brand.
Nerakoma took a session teaching skincare as a foundation for great Makeup Artistry, and a Beauty Photography class by IjuAnosibe of New Jerusalem Creations was held to help Contestants understand how to leverage photography as a great digital marketing tool. A branding masterclass powered by Phenom Communications, the company managing the competition and training sessions was also on offer.
After three days of mentorship and training, five Finalists were selected and a grand finale held at Maison Fahrenheit in Victoria Island. Jane Ogu, Omontese Akhetuamen, Miss Earth Nigeria (2015), Marie Miller and IjuAnosibe, sat as judges to determine the winner of the competition. After live Makeup Sessions, Makeup Artist Ann Olere emerged as the winner. Idorenyin Emmanuel and Patience Akwubo came in as the first and second runners-up respectively. The occasion had some famous faces including former Mr Nigeria Bryan Okwara. In the end, an entire competition that enriched and empowered 15 Makeup Artists executed on the platform of collaboration.