Hello Creative And Moving people !
This week, my post will be dedicated to a very talented Cameroonian lady. She is one of those scarce people who’ve got the gift to make your inner beauty shine outwardly. She is gorgeous, young and vibrant and her name is Bih-Youty…
Hello, Creative And Moving glam fairy and thanks for agreeing to answer my questions… First of all, can you please, tell us more about you? Who is Bih-Youty?
Hello to you Ivy and to all the Creative And Moving readers. My names are Sandra Bih Ekukole. I’m from the South-West region of Cameroon. I am a freelance makeup artist and actually, Bih-youty was coined from my middle name “Bih”, to give the word “beauty” a personalised twist. I am an outgoing person, I love to make new friends and just feel free to have a good laugh whenever!
Your passion for make-up is evident… When and how did the love-story start?
Uhmm… I have always been good at drawing. I had the most fun drawing maps and diagrams back in secondary school. My interest in makeup started in University. I would groom my eyebrows and those of my friends with so much ease and precision. I used offer to do makeup for contestants during beauty pageants as well as local fashion shows in Buea, where I studied.
I would get positive remarks from guests at such events but I never took those seriously (besides, I was focused on getting my Journalism degree and finding a job thereafter)
A few years later, after my studies in Marketing, I decided to kick-start my career in makeup artistry. I realised it was a much needed service in Cameroon which many people have began paying attention to. Now, I do makeup full-time
Do you think of it as a long-term career? Like opening a saloon, creating your own brand of comestics… What are your future plans?
Makeup artistry is what I do. I make brides look their best on their special day, I work with clients who just want to feel pampered and need a facial makeover and I sell makeup products as well.
I would love to train ladies (and why not, gentlemen) who have a passion for makeup. I believe they are out there, seeking such avenues. I would be glad to contribute in making their dreams come true. I would definitely love to have my own makeup studio; ladies could swing by and get their makeup done before an event and they could also buy their favourite makeup items from the shelves.
There is a huge need for variety of products in the cosmetics sector in Cameroon. I would love to offer unique brands and items to my clients.
Talking about makeovers…What is the minimum price a person should be ready to pay for your services?
I offer different kinds of services; personal makeovers for daytime, night time and special events like birthday parties. I also offer bridal makeup services and makeup for fashion photography.
Well, the least I could charge could be FCFA 10.000 and that will be for more personalised services. Bridals and photoshoots are more complex and involve a lot more people and time
What are Bih-Youty’s hidden talents?
I have a free hand so I’m pretty good at cake decoration. I learned that from my aunt last year and before I knew it, I would occasionally be awake at 1am or 2am helping her decorate wedding and birthday cakes. I just love artwork, colour blending and colour blocking… hahahaha. I love writing too… (I can’t wait to launch my own blog. Watch out for it!)
I will be your most faithful reader, trust me! Now, there’s something I’ve been dying to ask since I discovered your work… Your skin is so beautiful! Could you share some of your beauty secrets/routines with us?
Thank you… Well, I have a pretty simple routine. I really do not like applying a lot of products to my skin, especially my face.
I use apricot facial scrub once a week to get rid of dead cells. This may sound funny, but I love using “Savon” (locally made washing soap) during shower time. I recently fell in love with it; I like how it leaves my face and body smooth and it doesn’t contain any harsh ingredients.
For body lotion I use raw unrefined African Shea Butter. I get it from the market or beauty store. I like it for its sun-blocking properties and deep moisturising nature. That’s it! I am a huge fan of natural hair and skin-care products (wink!)
There are so many brands to choose from, it takes me hours just to buy a lipstick or mascara… Which cosmetics do you prefer/ work with?
Hmmm… okay. Allow me mention that I have never been satisfied with all the products in a range offered by a single brand. Meaning I could love lipsticks from a particular brand but dislike their foundations, for example, so I work with a mix of products to achieve desired results.
I must say I love eyeshadows by the Wet n’ Wild brand as well as the Sleek Makeup brand. They over a wide array of colours that last for more than 8 hours. Eyeshadows by Wet n’ Wild can be found in Cameroon. There aren’t many products here form the Sleek Makeup brand.
I also love liquid foundations and compact powders by the Black Radiance brand. They are formulated for light brown, medium and dark brown skin tones, which is really what ladies need in Cameroon. Some of their products can be found here as well.
There are a bunch of items I would love to use here in Cameroon but have to be imported, such as makeup brushes from the ELF Studio range, makeup brushes by the Real Techinques brand as well as liquid foundations, powders and lipsticks from MAC Cosmetics. These are in high demand but almost inexistent on the Cameroon market.
I know I am overdoing it but this is the kind of opportunity I’ll be stupid not to seize : could you please give me some basic make-up tips?
Oh with pleasure!
My favourite tip to ladies is to know your skin type and master your facial features. That’s the secret to perfect makeup application and hassle-free makeup shopping.
If you have long eyelashes, get a voluminising mascara to make them more apparent.
If you have small lips, using a lip pencil before/after lipstick will make them appear even smaller.
If you have fuller lips, lining them lightly with a pencil that is slightly darker than your lipstick wil make your lips appear smaller and more defined.
If you have dry, chapped lips, matte lipsticks may not be good for you.
When buying liquid or crème foundations, if you have oily skin, get an oil-free foundation, if you have dry skin, get one with SPF (sun protection factor) They tend to have moisturising ingredients.
So the secret here is always read what the container says. 80% of the times, these descriptions are true.
What level of competition are you facing and how do people perceive the profession of make-up artist in Cameroon?
I would not say competition is fierce in the makeup industry in Cameroon. True, many hair salons offer makeup services as part of the beauty package, but there aren’t many people in Cameroon who offer bespoke makeup services as a core business, just like I do.
Makeup artistry, sadly, is still regarded as a profession for school drop-outs and for lazy people. The perception might change some day but such views only motivate me to stand out and make a difference in my community. When my client smiles at the mirror when I am done working, I know I have done more than sweep powder on her cheeks. I feel like I have made her day and that makes me happy beyond words.
Now,let’s talk about another very serious issue: skin bleaching. As a make-up artist and woman of colour, what’s your opinion and the advices you would give to people considering it as a beauty enhancer?
Living in Cameroon, I walk around and realise the craze for skin bleaching is on the rise. Friends and acquaintances are two or more shades lighter in skin tone than when we were in school. Well, there are different skin bleaching procedures and people’s reasons for doing so vary from the need to even their skin tone to other beauty concerns.
However,our skin is sensitive and ages with time, I urge that ladies do research on the impact of skin bleaching before attempting and also think about how these procedures may alter their skin’s appearance, texture and elasticity in the future. Remember,make-up application might be a waste of time and money if the underlying skin has been damaged by skin bleaching.
As women of colour (whether light brown, medium or dark), we are unique and beautiful. There are tons of way of enhancing our beauty rather than depleting the layers of our skin. You are beautiful…
Wow! Girl,you preached it!… I’m sure there are people out there wishing to know more about you and your services: how could they get hold of you?
For makeup services and other inquiries, please call me directly +237 9963 4110. My email address is email@example.com
You can view my work on Facebook
I will launch my beauty blog before this year runs out and there I will post makeup videos showing how I achieve certain looks, I will share my thoughts on my favourite and least favourite products, as well as answer beauty and makeup-related questions from you all!
Thanks for having me and stay blessed!
From Pretoria To The World,
Let’s Keep Moving!