QC Makeup Academy Graduate: Cynthia Okafor
Location: Calgary, Alberta
QC Courses you’ve taken: Master Makeup Artistry
Your website: www.cynthiaokaformua.com
Tell us a little bit about yourself!
I was born and raised in Calgary, Alberta and began my part-time career in makeup artistry in 2013.
I actually work as Community Social Worker on a full-time basis and work as a makeup artist on the side. I have this running joke where I tell people “I’m a social worker by day and a makeup artist by night”.
I started off my career by completing the Master Makeup Artistry course through QC Makeup Academy. Shortly after finishing the course, I landed a position with MAC Cosmetics where I worked as a sales consultant and artist for about a year before branching off and starting my own business as a freelance makeup artist.
What does makeup artistry mean to you? How did you decide to pursue this career?
Makeup to me is my personal sanctuary. Being the artistic and creative type by nature, makeup has given me an opportunity to tap into my creative side and express myself. I decided to pursue a career in makeup artistry based on the fact that it provided a safe haven for me express myself and do something that keeps me sane and happy.
What’s the most important piece of advice you’ve received since you started in the makeup industry?
The best piece of advice, and one I’m sure we’ve all heard before in the industry, is to “learn the rules of the art, before you break them”. There are basic rules of makeup artistry that have stood the test of time and these are rules that will continue as long as there is a place for makeup. I think it’s important as an artist to devote the time and energy to learn about the art and commit oneself to learning the tricks of the trade. It not only helps you grow as a makeup artist but to evolve your craft.
You’ve worked on high-profile projects, from fashion shows to Miss Teen Canada! What has been your favorite experience working as a makeup artist?
My favorite experience has been working with vulnerable, low-income women each year as part of a community “Spa-Day” and giving these women an opportunity to pamper and spoil themselves for the day.
These women rarely have an opportunity to treat themselves by getting their hair done, a massage, facial or makeup application, so this is a great opportunity for me and the partners I work with in the community to give back and do something nice for these women.
What did you learn at QC Makeup Academy that helped prepare you for such a successful makeup career?
I think one of the most overlooked areas of the artistry is a sound, solid understanding of the business side of the industry. QC Makeup Academy’s business modules gave me a really good understanding and appreciation of how to run an effective business when working as an artist; everything from coming up with a business plan, to drafting up a contract, right down to managing the financial side of your business.
I took away so much valuable information from these modules and it’s really helped me in setting up and managing my business as a freelance makeup artist.
What is your absolute favorite makeup look to apply on clients?
When it comes to my favorite makeup look, there’s nothing like a classic smoky eye. It’s the one look that’s timeless and looks good on everyone! Everyone!
Will you tell us your most trusted product that’s in your makeup kit right now?
La Roche Posay Hydraphase Intense Serum for moisturizing the skin. Skin care is everything to me when it comes to a good makeup application and this product has made all the difference in preparing one’s face for makeup.