Dara Omenubwa is the lovely soft spoken brilliant head makeup artist for MTV base Nigeria. She is also the creative director of her beauty brand/studio, Dara Effects. In this exclusive chat with MILLICENT AREBUN ONUOHA and BEATRICE ALADI, the proud beauty enthusiast that is always seeking ways to improve her skills and self, reveals some of the survival tricks of her trade as well as her passion for enhancing natural beauty.
Can you introduce yourself?
My name is Dara Omenubwa, a makeup artist who happens to be the head makeup artist for MTV base. I am married to an Ibo man.
What influenced your choice to become a makeup artist and how did your career begin?
I have always loved make up but I was inspired by a lady, Kemi, whom I used to work with, years back. Around 2005, when I modeled, she was a model too, but she wasn’t tall so she became a media and print model. She loved to apply makeup nicely and I worked closely with her. I was like her personal assistant. From working with her I began to develop the passion for makeup.
I started applying makeup like she did and found out that I could actually do it. Then, in 2007, I decided to go into it without any form of formal training.
How old were you when you became obsessed with make up?
I think I was 19 when I started. Yes! I was a teenager when I got into modelling. I met Kemi at one of the photo-shoots. I did some soap operas with her, she is someone I looked up to.
What do you love most about make up?
I love the after effect. I love how I can transform someone into something so beautiful. Although, every woman is beautiful, I like how I enhance a woman’s natural beauty.
What are some common beauty mistakes that women make?
Make-up, basically, can be applied just the way you know how to. The mistake could be applying wrong products at the wrong places or right products at the wrong places. Some women don’t even know what a product is for but they use it anyway. Then, you tend to see the mistakes. For instance, the harshness of a particular product that is meant to be used at the base is used somewhere else which spoils the whole thing. Also, using the wrong tools could also become a mistake.
What are the biggest challenges you’ve faced as a makeup artist?
Make up artistry is challenging but, I love the fact that you just have to keep improving. As the years go by, there’s so much you have to improve on, so many new tools are out, so many makeup artist I have had to learn from, some were trained abroad.
So, the challenge there is, when you’re not updated and then, you see something new, you might not know what it’s used for. It could be challenging, that’s why you need to be up to date and know for sure, what the new trend is.
Which is your personal favourite cosmetic brand?
I work with lots of brands. What I may like in this brand, may not be what I like in another. So, there are a lot of good brands out there. I love Mac products and Zaron, for some specific products. I’ve always loved Mary Kay foundation, it’s just ever green. Most makeup artists still use Mary Kay products. I love that product.
What is the most memorable job you’ve ever done?
The big Friday show with MTV base, where I got to meet and work with lots of celebrities.
Are you a member of the Makeup Artist Guild of Nigeria (MAGN)?
Not yet! But now that you have reminded me, I think I would love to be a part of it. I need to be identified.
Three makeup items a woman should leave home without.
First things first, a powder, mascara and a lip gloss.
What’s Your favourite makeup brush?
I love my fan brush. I like the fact that I’m able to do a lot with it. When I’m able to just sweep over the cheek bone, you know every woman likes to sparkle these days. Recently, I fell in love with the fan brush.
What methods do you use to clean your tools?
Most times when I check my schedule and I’m not really doing so much during the week, I just wash them. If I have so much to do, I use my liquid brush cleanser.
What are some of your experiences as a makeup artist?
I have had beautiful experiences. You know, when you do something you love, you’ll enjoy it. I love everything about make up. The brows just gets me. I recently made-up a top on-air personality and I was like, her brows are so good. If I see a brow and I’m like wow, I already know what I’m going to bring out of it. It’s exciting.
Have you ever made a huge mistake when applying makeup on a client? If so how did you handle it?
Personally, I always teach students, there’s always a way out. That’s why I tell them to always start with less products and increase intensity. So, the moment I find out that I’ve added too much of products I just blend over, I keep blending till I get the desired result.
What is the most important beauty advice that you would give to women?
Women should have good skin, try to take care if your skin. The bottom line of a good makeup, lies in good skin. Just eat the right food, take fruits and take plenty of water. Even when you’re just wearing only foundation, you’re going to just look flawless.
What is fashion to you?
I think your style is fashion. Your style is what suits you and fashion is what suits you. Your style is fashion to you because your style might not be someone else’s style. For instance, it’s trendy to wear natural unrelaxed hair but it might not be someone else’s style. Your style is what suits you.
Personal fashion signature?
I’m still working on it so, watch out.
Beauty secrets and routine?
I’m trying to drink plenty of water. Therapists advice you drink plenty of water with plenty of fruits. So, once I do that in the morning, it helps me flush and before I sleep at night, I try to massage my face. So that, as soon as I wake up in the morning, I’ll have soft looking skin.
What is your signature fragrance?
I’ve been looking for it, it’s called Queen by Queen Latifah. I just love that soft floral feminine smell and it lasts too.
Fashion items you will go back home for, if forgotten.
I think that would be my bracelets and earrings. Yes, I like bracelets and earrings.
Glasses! I’m beginning to fall in love with glasses. I have several of them. I also love hair.
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