Usually, makeup artists are categorized by their specialties –  runway, editorials, celebrity et al, but, not this Lagos-based breakout beauty artist, Kemi Awoyemi, known to most as Jordanna. Kemi defies categorization as she works every corner of the beauty and fashion worlds much like renowned makeup artist, Pat McGrath. A self taught makeup artist whose budding career was influenced by her knowledge of drawing and painting from her early years, Kemi’s many-sided artistry has led her to work with numerous household fashion brands in Nigeria like Maybelline for Lagos Fashion Week (2017), Maxivive, Wana Sambo, as well as being digitally featured on platforms like CNN Africa, Contributor magazine, Hunger magazine, Oxosi, to name a few.

Kemi may only be three years into a professional makeup career but she is definitely a rising star in the world of beauty. We caught up with Kemi as she shared her journey so far, her love for Mykie and who she’d kill for to get in her chair.

 

IT ALL BEGAN THIS WAY

Growing up, I had a knack for drawing . I’ve always loved to depict my emotions and thoughts through drawings and paintings which I was very good at the time. Getting into the university, I gained admission to study a course I had no interest in and as a result that made me realize that there were more ways to go about my passion for art than painting on boards and canvas . So, I started off as a girl wanting to explore the beauty industry and now I’m an actual artist. I’ve worked on numerous projects which have been published within and outside the country. My strong points are editorials which basically deal with my artistic views.

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A MAKEUP ARTIST AND HOW DID YOU GET YOUR START IN THE INDUSTRY?

I’ve been in the industry for three years now. I always had this eccentric way of expressing my creativity. I wore the weirdest hairstyles and clothes at the time and as a result I became known in school as “the weird one”. It was as a result of my “weirdness” that a model approached me and asked if I was either a hairstylist, a makeup artist or a fashion designer and I really had to give it a thought. I soon figured that makeup was something I could do since I had prior knowledge of painting. I received funds for my business and officially started makeup in my second year in college. I later signed up for the Fayrouz l’originale competition that year, but didn’t place. This piqued my interest in the industry.

WHEN DID YOU KNOW A CAREER IN BEAUTY WAS FOR YOU?

I became confident in my field when my projects started getting appreciated by international platforms. This happened about late 2016.

 WHERE DO YOU GET YOUR INSPIRATION FROM?

Anything really. my latest project titled “makeup for moodboards”is based on strictly editorial and high fashion looks. These looks are inspired by everything: my emotions, the model, a background and even other artists.

WHO ARE SOME PEOPLE THAT HAVE INSPIRED YOU THROUGHOUT YOUR CAREER?

I find the works of Danessa Myricks very interesting and inspiring. I love that she creates distinctive looks using different highlight and contour techniques. I also love her use of color, its quite simple and eccentric at the same time. I also admire Pennalope Gwen. Her works always have this gothic, really fascinating vibe. Ultimately, I love Mykie, she’s always been my number one. She’s more of the gore (special effects) babe. She creates various zombie, gory looks using household items. Her videos? Attention-getters!

 WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT MAKEUP?

I love the fact that some products have dual purpose.

 IF YOU WEREN’T A MAKEUP ARTIST, WHAT ELSE WOULD YOU DO?

I think I’d be a photographer.

 SO FAR, WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE RUNWAY BEAUTY TREND IN 2018?

Graphic liners man! I mean it’s just another dimension of art.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR SIGNATURE LOOK AND WHAT IS IT ABOUT YOUR STYLE THAT SETS YOU APART FROM OTHER MAKEUP ARTISTS?
My signature look is quite simple. Never heavy, really appropriate (unless it’s editorial). I’m not really  a fan of using a lot of products cause of skin health so I’m the little to no makeup kind of girl.

WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT BEAUTY ADVICE THAT YOU CAN GIVE TO WOMEN?

Before great makeup, good skin is key. Hydrate with water always, eat a lot of fruits and use trusted skin products. This aids skin health and allows makeup sit appropriately.

WHAT ARE SOME COMMON BEAUTY MISTAKES THAT AFRICAN WOMEN MAKE?

Shaving off all the eyebrows and drawing it back. That is just wrong.

THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE YOU’VE FACED IN YOUR CAREER AS YET? 

I really am not a fan I’ve over edited photographs so seeing my work over edited is a big challenge.

WHAT PRODUCTS DO YOU THINK SHOULD BE A STAPLE IN EVERY WOMAN’S PURSE?
Lip gloss.

WHAT MAKEUP PRODUCT ARE YOU CRAZY ABOUT ATM?
Face illuminators! I especially like the embryolisse cream complexion illuminating veil.

WHO HAVE YOU NOT WORKED ON THAT YOU WOULD KILL TO GET IN YOUR CHAIR?
Slick Woods and Uglyworldwide


Follow Kemi Awoyemi on INSTAGRAM

Feature Image by Cliff Views