Must We Make Up?



A few months after I left my job in corporate I enrolled for a 6 month ITEC certificate course in bridal make up. I wanted to re-awaken my creativity as well as feed my insatiable appetite for learning something new. I thought it would be a proverbial “walk in the park”. I thought I would be given brushes and cosmetic product on the first day of school. It was two months after beginning the course, after doing anatomy and physiology studies and fully understanding hygiene, diseases and disorders of the skin, the layers of the skin, circulatory and musculo-skeletal systems (identifying all the muscles and all the bones of the face and skull) that we were finally allowed to start applying any product on another person’s face. It was indeed an adventure, but it was not as easy as I, as a degreed professional, imagined.


German professional make up house Kryolan’s trump line is “make-up is a science”. A masterful make up artist can completely change a person’s look or can bring out a person’s natural beauty and make one look like they have little or no make up. In pursuit of creating an ideal professional image I prefer to do the latter. One of my lecturers at the time said something I never forgot. She said if you’ve done your make up and someone says “your make up looks beautiful” you’ve missed the mark. However, if someone comments that “you look beautiful” then you have done good make up. An observer must notice the beauty and not the make up.


What is make up?


Make up products are made up of organic(such as plant wax) or cosmetic (chemical compounds, minerals) products that a person uses to enhance or camouflage facial or body features.


Why do we wear make up?


There are many reasons why people wear make up. The most common reasons are that people want to look good, they want to look younger, they want to attract attention. People may want to hide blemishes, lesions and scars, unhealthy skin, birth marks, tattoos or piercings and give the impression of even skin tone or even complexion.


I am yet to meet a woman who does not want to wear any make up. The few I have met who do not wear make up actually want to wear make up but are afraid of skin reactions. With the right product knowledge women with sensitive skin can get products that are hypoallergenic and less harsh. To them I say try mineral make up – Langa Cosmetics is one local mineral make up product house we recommend.


For women who are afraid to look unnatural or fear appearing as if they’re trying too hard to get a certain look, I say get the right training – Professional Presence offers an introduction to basic make up module to help you bring out your natural beauty and improve your image.


How to wear make up correctly


Professional make up application has 17 (seventeen) steps from cleansing the face to applying setting spray and everything in-between. However, for daily application it is impractical to go through all 17 steps. There are certain essential steps to get flawless day time make up, namely:


  1. Application of foundation

  2. Application of eyebrow make up

  3. Eyeshadow application

  4. Eyeliner and mascara

  5. Lipstick/lipgloss application


It is also important to mention that the quality of your make up products will affect the outcome of your look and the image you portray. So invest in make up products – do not just purchase without careful consideration. Poor quality make up products or those that have been stored incorrectly can grow rancid and result in skin irritation. Know that make up products also have expiry dates.


For busy women, and those who are “cash rich and time poor” I recommend the following:


  • Micro-blading, so that you don’t have to do your eyebrows “on fleek” daily

  • Eyeliner tattoo, saves you daily eyeliner application

  • Artificial lashes,save on mascara application. Note that these come in both subtle and dramatic options. Choose the age and career appropriate option that enhances your image.

  • Engage a professional make up artist for those meetings when you need to look powerful, or the media events when you need to look ultra polished. We highly recommend Audrey Paradza the make up artist.

Permanent and semi-permanent make up services can be obtained from professionally trained beauty therapists in accredited beauty salons. Professional Presence can refer you to accredited beauty salons with qualified trained staff who provide a hygienic service from our database of service providers.


Make up for the workplace


When considering the ideal make up for your workplace it is important to first know whether the organisation you work for follows a professional business dress code, business dress code, casual business dress code or smart casual dress code.


If you are not provided with a dress code as part of your induction process you will have to go the observation route. Assess what the culture of the organisation is. When in doubt, ask. Generally, for the workplace less is more when it comes to make up. Do not allow it to be a distraction from your work.


Remember to always wash off make up at the end of the day. Invest in a facial cleanser that thoroughly removes make up. If you are totally exhausted and cannot wash your face for whatever reason then use facial cleansing wipes. Make up may look good but it generally has no nutritional value for your skin. Remove it without fail before you go to bed, give your skin room to breathe and to re-generate. After all, the healthier your skin – the better the outcome of any make up application.


Engage Professional Presence to train your customer-facing employees on correct workplace make up.