by Shamkoe Pilé
Women are still spending hundreds of dollars on their appearance in an effort to look attractive despite the economic crisis and unemployment figures.
This is one of the reasons why the Barbados Vocational Training Board’s beginners and advance make-up artistry evening courses have become so popular. In fact, tutor of the programme, D’borah Blenman, has pointed out that beauty is big business.
Describing the field as viable, Blenman noted that the ingredients for success in cosmetology were hard work, excellent customer service, passion and continuous training. She insisted that regardless of personal finances, image was critical to an individual’s wellbeing. It is for this reason that she believes people continue to invest in beauty.
“Even in an economy where things are tight, you would find women are still able to squeeze out some dollars to take care of their physical appearance,” she said.
Declaring there was nothing vain about this, she explained: “It is a necessary thing because first impressions count; especially if you are in business or if you are going for a job interview. People will judge you based on your looks. When you are ‘well put together’ a certain level of respect and favour is given to you, as opposed to if you are not well made-up and look untidy.
“Everybody wants to look good; everyone wants to look their best, and in most cases, persons are not able to accomplish that look on their own. So, they seek advice, guidance or help from professionals,” the make-up artistry tutor pointed out.
Speaking about the upsurge of interest in the beauty industry, Blenman reasoned that a lot of young people gravitated towards the field because it appeared to be easy and glamorous.
Admitting that while the beauty industry was indeed glamorous, she warned that it wasn’t easy: “A lot of hard work goes into this if you want to excel and be successful. It is not just playing with somebody’s hair or face. You need to know the chemistry and biology behind it as well.”
She explained that with consistent customers, make-up artistry could be viable. However, she advised that success also depended on the quality of the artist’s products, application and finished looks.
“As an artist, you should use a high quality product. You should not use a cheap store brand because that could affect your final look,” she stressed.
The tutor explained that the price for regular make-up application usually started at $125 per person, but could increase to $200 and more. The higher cost, she noted, depended on whether the customer needed heavier coverage because of blemishes or vitiligo.
She pointed out that events, shows and films were a good way to generate income since these activities required the artist to stay on set for long periods, therefore, starting rates ranged from $800 to $1,200.
“Sometimes you are on set and you only did three faces for the entire day, but material, labour and time, especially time, need to be factored into the overall cost,” she explained.
The tutor’s make-up artistry classes at BVTB are extremely hands-on, but participants also gain theoretical knowledge.
Praising the board for providing the 12-week evening classes, she said: “At the end of the course, participants should be able to do make-up at a professional level. They can actually leave and start their own small businesses or offer the service individually at graduations, weddings, carnivals and other events.”
She added that the course enrolment fee of $300 was a small investment compared to the amount of money a person could earn in the field. Further elaborating, the tutor said that the field was perfect for entrepreneurs and employed persons, who wished to gain additional income.