Five years ago, claiming to be a professional makeup artist in Kenya would have resulted in odd looks and questions such as, “But what do you really do for money?” Many, including your own parents, would have shrugged this off as a phase and others wouldn’t have placed it as a “smart” career move. Let’s face it, back then it could only be perceived as a hobby or at best, a side hustle.
Fast forward to 2015 and this creative arena is evolving at an impressive rate: beauty enthusiasts have collections in their name, international makeup brands have set up stores in Kenya and makeup artists get a chance to represent beauty giants.
On Monday 9th February, Maybelline New York Kenya officially announced that Muthoni Njoba, one of Kenya’s leading professional makeup artists, was their Lead Brand Ambassador and Official Make-up Artist: one step forward for makeup artists! This makes her the 3rd Make-up Artist in all of Africa, recruited by L’Oreal, to hold this title.
One can’t deny that the atmosphere in Kenya is becoming more conducive for creatives and, in this case, makeup artists. We sat down with Muthoni Njoba to get an exclusive interview on her new role.
Read on to discover her inspiring story.
Your passion opens up more opportunities than you would ever imagine.
CFM: How long have you been a makeup artist for?
MJ: I left my corporate job in the Investment world in December 2009 to pursue my passion as a Make-up Artist. Everyone thought I was making a huge mistake being a single parent and chasing a career in an industry which at the time was not the “ideal” job. I knew I had to give it all my attention if I was going to be great at it, I had no idea what opportunities would come from it so being here today at 30years old, a single mother and now the Lead Brand Ambassador& Official Make-up Artist of such an iconic international brand is a true testimony that your passion opens up more opportunities than you would ever imagine.
CFM: What does it mean to you to have been placed in this position?
MJ: I feel incredibly blessed to be part of the Maybelline family. It’s extra special because unlike any other Brand Maybelline New York recruits one Official Make-up Artist per country and they carry the role of being a Brand Ambassador. This is clear it’s a title that carries a great responsibility – one that I am very grateful for. It captures the true essence of the brand in which its greatest value is to empower women and encourage them to dare a little more every day. It doesn’t discriminate, it’s accessible and always trending. It is with great pleasure I took on the role to be part of a Maybelline brand working with cosmetics that are accessible, innovative and effortless.
CFM: What would your role entail?
MJ: My professional relationship with Maybelline New York Kenya began a couple of years ago when powder samples were sent to me to do some research on how well they suit the Kenyan woman’s needs. I absolutely loved the fact that Maybelline was particularly interested in providing the Kenyan women with a product specially designed to suit their skin type, tone and environment. Besides having loved the brand as a child, this specific assignment inspired me to play a larger role and it gained my loyalty on a deeper level. All-in-one Clear smooth powder is now available in the market.
My role is to share my love for Make-up with women in Kenya, educating them on how to make use of this fantastic make-up brand. It’s an incredible role because I also get to train the beauty advisors at the Maybelline New York Kenya outlets, empowering other make-up lovers is something I have always been passionate about and now they can do it while showcasing/using the #1 Colour Cosmetics Make-up Brand in the world. It’s a brand that is for every woman!
I also get to be a judge in the final selection of the ‘MAY BE ITS YOU’ Competition winner.
CFM: Where do you hope to see your brand five-ten years from now?
MJ: Taking over the International Make-up scene! I will be travelling the world doing what I love best, working on faces of the most Influential people around the world and eventually 10yrs from now for my 40th Birthday launch an authentic Kenyan Luxury Make-up Brand of my own. I’m giving myself the next ten years to work with the best and learn from the most successful Make-up brands so that when I develop my own cosmetic line it’s giving Kenyan women the highest quality of product and most importantly a brand they can confidently own as their own.