Adesua Etomi’s Makeup Artiste, Tito Madu shares her success story
By Teresa Aligbe
Anybody can identify success stories and IT Girls in full bloom, but it’s the foretelling of a rising star just before the break of dawn that makes for a remarkable story.
While we know one of the three fantastic Makeup Artists on the cover, one made her International Debut in Vogue just last month. It might amuse you to know that we had tapped this Artisan as far back as 2018 for this cover.
In this interview Tito Madu Ibeleme of T’alamode Beauty, popularly known as Adesuwa Etomi’s Makeup Artiste shares her success story.
TITO MADU IBELEME: CREATING DIFFRERENT PERSONALITIES
Tito Madu Ibeleme is the Makeup Artist responsible for every jaw dropping makeup look on Nigeria’s own sweetheart; Adesuwa Etomi Wellington.
A Vogue Published Makeup Artist and the brain behind T’alamode Beauty, we talk educational background, her conscious rise to celebrity MUA status and her sentiments about the Wellingtons.
Tito Madu Ibeleme hails from Imo state, Nigeria. She is the third of four girls and a boy. She is married and a mother to the cutest son. She grew up in Umuahia, Abia state where she had and secondary education in F.G.G.C, Owerri. She studied Insurance and Actuarial Science, at Imo State University and a Masters Degree in Economics, from Swansea University, UK.
How did you get your start as a Makeup Artist?
Makeup for me started as a hobby at first. I was fascinated by colours and how makeup was used to enhance a person’s beauty. I like to say that it all started with my mother’s room. With all her fashion fair products then, she had loads of those that my aunty would always send her, and whenever no one was looking, I would sneak into her room and have a ball. I would create different personalities from applying her blush as eye shadows and put clear glosses over it. From the moment my parents allowed me to start wearing makeup I bought my first set of Lancome lip gloss in 2003, I had never been happier, and from then I told myself that I would explore this in future.
What inspired your decision to go into Makeup Artistry?
The love and passion I had for the artistry of makeup made me decide that I wanted to be a makeup artist. I would watch makeup videos and read makeup books, and I would never realise how much time passed. It made me happy. I chose my passion and happiness.
What was your first big break?
My First big break was in 2015 after I had returned to Nigeria after my Master’s Degree. I had done a bridal style shoot with (Gazmadu photography) and (Brides n More) which went Viral. All the big blogs posted the pictures from the shoot. That was when I started getting a lot of bookings.
What’s the most challenging part of working in the Nigerian environment?
Everything about working in a Nigerian environment is challenging, but the most challenging problem for me will have to be electricity as makeup needs should be applied in a relaxed environment and also with light whether natural or artificial. We need a constant power supply for our clients to enjoy the process.
Who was the first significant client you had and how did you land the gig?
All my clients have been significant and are essential to me, but the job that has brought me the most publicity to my brand was the makeup job for the Wellingtons. I have been Adesua Etomi Wellington’s makeup artist since March 2015 and honoured when she asked me to do her wedding makeup. That was a significant turning point in my career. I will forever be grateful to them for trusting my brand and me.
What’s one rookie mistake you used to make at the beginning of your career that you’ll never make again?
Booking dates without collecting deposits.
Was the journey to becoming a celebrity MUA a deliberate or accidental one?
It was a deliberate one, but I must say that God directed me right.
What has been the most important principle for you in building a successful business?
The most important principle for me will have to be treating people right and kind because I am in an industry with a lot of outstanding makeup artists. People might not remember how good you are or were, but will never forget how you made them feel.
What’s the one rule with regards to managing customers in the Nigerian environment no MUA should break?
A makeup artist should never disrespect their client.
What’s your take on the future of the Nigerian and African Makeup Industry?
Makeup Artistry is getting a lot of attention now, so the future is very bright for our industry. It will get to a point where schools will start to offer makeup courses. I’m happy that the people after us wouldn’t have to work as much to convince their families that being a makeup artist is a real career you can make money. Hopefully, in the future, there is more structure and regulation to the industry as to who is qualified to be called a professional makeup artist.
If you had to give one piece of advice to rising MUAs what would it be?
My advice will be to allow yourself to grow, don’t be in a hurry and don’t let social media dictate your pace. It’s a process that is an enjoyable experience. The sky is big enough for all of us, don’t let the fear of the industry’s oversaturation dissuade you from following your passion.