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Isio Knows Better: Make Up Mishaps



When my friend Uddy told me the secret to her flawless facial skin was not wearing a lot of make-up, I looked at her like, huh?

She urged me to do the same, and I wasn’t quite sure how that would work out for me, based on my job, until I did. It wasn’t so difficult, really. The ritual of wearing make-up every day was as pleasant as wearing a tight costé in the humid Lagos air every single day. To be honest, I had begun to find sitting in front of my mirror mixing and matching make-up to cover my face, taxing and time consuming.
And so I learnt to just wash my face clean, darken my eye-brows a little bit and ready I was.


I did this for a few months, and limited my foundation/powder use for “special occasions” like red-carpet events. I watched my skin clear up. It wasn’t perfect, but it was definitely better. And then I was booked for a job. It meant I had to be a model again. It meant that I was going to get a face-beat soon. I looked forward to the shoot. It was going to be a “fun” shoot.

Fast forward to that awkward moment on the day of the shoot that I looked at myself in the hand-held mirror. I tried not to wince “Oh God, not again…” My chestnut complexion had been darkened to an ashy-black walnut, and she had sprinkled this shimmery gold-dust all over my face.


I summed up the courage to look myself in the mirror again. I didn’t recognise myself. I hated… no HATED that shimmering pigmented gold-dust that covered my eye-lids all the way to my eye-brows. And what in God’s name was up with the eyebrows anyway? They were so high up, they might as well be shooting for the stars. Those semi-circular symbols she drew where nature put my eye-brows were blasphemous. And the lips… Chineke God Himself did not create people with bright yellow lips for a reason. The yellow lips I saw in the mirror when I looked at my face made my mouth tremble in horror.

I swallowed my saliva. Like my fore-fathers say, no be my mouth dem go talk say Teacher mouth dey smell. My only hope was that the designer – who hired the make-up artist would be equally aghast and save us all, because the make-up artist was mightily pleased with her work. She smiled at it lovingly and called it a “golden face-beat”.

I smiled charmingly, and brought out the chinchin in my bag and chewed it with pawa.

Walahi no be my mouth dem go talk say Teacher mouth dey smell.

Lucky for me the designer disliked the golden face-beat make-up too and ordered the make-up artist to change it. I don’t think she was very happy. In the process of cleaning the “goldenness” from my face I “ouched” and “yeeeee-d” a couple of times. Such strong hands she had. It wasn’t until she applied some kind of mattifier to my face that I really did yelp in pain. IT BURNT!

What the hell was that?! She showed me one big-brand “expensive” stuff like that. Whatever it was made of had caused an irritant contact dermatitis, which is an itching or burning reaction that occurs when the skin reacts to certain harsh chemicals found in make-up or beauty products.

Choi, choi, choi… But I have suffered in the hands of some make-up artists sha! Fourteen years since I became a model. Fourteen years of fashion shows, editorials, ad campaigns, photo-shoots. Fourteen years of being rubbed and scrubbed and mattified. From being cut by newly-opened sharp razors to having the life carved out of my brows, to being chooked in the eye in the name of applying that cream that is supposed to let the eyeshadow stay in one place. I’ve learnt to expect the best but prepare for the worst. I can honestly say that I have had the privilege of meeting some of the best make-up artists in the country, and the opportunity of meeting some… not-so-amazing ones.

So what are my top three make-up mishaps? Madam golden-face applier was definitely one of them. And then there are all those make up assistants at Fashion Week who wield that ONE brush they use to “touch-up” each and every model waiting in line back-stage. Pimple-faced/eczema-faced/zits-popping/cold-sores/sweaty necks/craw-craw-faced that one no consain our Fashion Week/show make-up artist o. Their own is sha to stop by each model and dust each model’s sweaty face and neck with that ONE brush. There is no discrimination, these make-up artists. They swat us all.

The third would be one make-up artist I had the pleasure *side-eyes* of working with a few years ago. It was a shoot for a magazine cover. Anyways, after applying gbogbo e, she wanted to “focus” on my eyes. Next thing I knew, I saw the glistering edges of the scissors’ blades…

You need to see the way I jumped off the chair with full speed!

Me: “Ahhhhhhhan! Aunty! Ki le le yii ti e fe she?!” { Ha! What is this that you intend to do?!}

Aunty: Don’t worry, I just want to trim your eye-lashes so that it will be sharp.

Me: Mba o. No sharp. Please leave it scatter-scatter for me like that. Thank you.

And then I sat back down- and the shoot continued.

So that was it. My top three make-up “mishaps”. What are yours?

Ps: oh, and I treated the burn with a Nivea, coconut oil and olive-oil mix. I applied it for two days and the burn didn’t leave a Batman patch, luckily.

A beautiful, lovely and terrific Tuesday to you all my lovelies!


Isio De-laVega Wanogho is a Nigerian supermodel, a multi-award winning media personality and an interior architect who is a creative-expressionist at her core. She uses words, wit and her paintings to tell stories that entertain, yet convey a deeper meaning. Follow her on Instagram @isiodelavega and visit her website: to see her professional body of work.


  1. chifire

    June 9, 2015 at 8:57 am

    I luv luv luv luv luv u isio

  2. Grown Woman

    June 9, 2015 at 9:30 am

    Oh dear some of the make up artists can really be rough and untidy… thank God i do my own make up most times.

  3. Thatgidigirl

    June 9, 2015 at 9:33 am

    isio u know u are bae right? But today’s own, idongerrit….at all. It was like smelling dodo on the fire and then being served Eba and old soup.

  4. Busarni

    June 9, 2015 at 9:33 am

    Isio ooooh!! Some babes develop low self esteem without their heavy made up face.

  5. divea

    June 9, 2015 at 9:52 am

    Never had one. I do my make up by myself and i prefer light make up.

  6. A Real Nigerian

    June 9, 2015 at 9:53 am

    I yawned about 20 times before I finished reading this article.
    That has got to be a record for me…

    • concerned

      June 9, 2015 at 10:47 am

      You are always yawning. Are you sure you don’t have a health problem?

    • A Real Nigerian

      June 9, 2015 at 11:53 am

      I am a healthy and happy person.

    • Blackbeauty

      June 9, 2015 at 3:40 pm

      Hilarious! I cant stop laughing. Very well said.

    • Below average

      June 9, 2015 at 11:50 am

      Tryst me, I yawned even more reading your comment. Next…,

  7. Jules

    June 9, 2015 at 9:54 am

    I rili do have loweeesssst self esteem (permit me) but since i got pregnant and the first trimester dealt with me so bad that I now have high self esteem without makeup, body cream and even a bath.

    • nene

      June 9, 2015 at 8:17 pm


  8. Busarni

    June 9, 2015 at 10:09 am

    Isio ooooh!! Some babes have develop low self esteem without their heavy made up face.

  9. Enkay

    June 9, 2015 at 10:27 am

    Isio De-la sharp! Keep making my Tuesdays better.

  10. nammy

    June 9, 2015 at 10:37 am

    I do not have any make up experience cos i do my make up myself, i restrict my everyday make up to just darkening my brows and applying a little lipstick but if i have a special event to attend i go all out with my make up then i look really different and unique, which happens once in a while. like on Saturday, i did a photo shoot for my friend, Yani,you guys can check out the pic on my IG page-nanshalln.

  11. Ocean Beauty

    June 9, 2015 at 10:41 am

    This week is make up free for me. I am loving the breeze on my face.
    Try applying your make up under that yellow bulb and come out. You will fear yourself. That was how i applied white powder on my sweaty face and gbam I was good to go. I try to avoid early morning traffic, so I leave the house 6am to get to the brt queue. I was getting funny stares but do I care, I’m pretty and i know it. Inside the bus, i brought out my phone to press, my screen had mirror like screen guard and what i saw was horrifying. Better left unexplained, the maps that this powder left on my face ehn. Shame catch me. Since then, whether there is light or not, there must be additional torchight on around my face.

    Or is it when i applied false lashes and one eye came off. Tried as hard as I could, the second lash refused to fall off oh. I carried it like that for about a week before the thing obeyed.

    Now my make up is really light because i am outdoors most of the time.
    When I see those sales babes at places like Casa bella and the other beauty shops with their perfectly made up faces, I dey hail them sha

    • Pretty girl

      June 9, 2015 at 11:55 pm

      U no go kill person oh u need to see the way my father is looking at me now as if I am going mad

  12. Mz Brown

    June 9, 2015 at 10:51 am

    up till 2013 i was not into heavy make up..normal powder,eyeshadow and mascara and lipstick. shikena. d basic university make up of those days. Then one sunday morning in hotr, i saw one girl apply primer and mary kay foundation with a brush and all d pimples and spots on her face just vanished. she transformed! i felt cheated and decieved! so that was it! i got hooked. i couldnt leave my house without foundation. for me it was stupid cos i have a dry skin that allows pimples to not thrive. only problem was d dark circles i had. ffwd 2015 my mum told me abt this cream that helped me clear d spots(cant say d name cos some ppl wee say im bleaching nw,to each his own, nd d cream doesnt even do that magic for most) and then small small i started breaking d habit. i got plenty stares from men when i go completely without make up! its stressless mehn and the feeling of being naturally beautiful is awesome! it boosts ur self esteem mehn!

    • Sonia

      June 9, 2015 at 12:20 pm

      please can you send me the name of the cream on my personal email because I have been suffering the same thing as you before your mum remedied you. Thanks

    • Doxa

      June 9, 2015 at 10:35 pm

      I agree, I used make-up to cover dark spots on me face for a quite a while. The whole make-up process became too cumbersome and time wasting, especially doing my brows, I became tired of it. I remember confiding in a friend (who rarely ever uses make-up and has such clear skin) once that I was tired of using make-up but had to because of spots. She said something about how it doesn’t matter anyway.
      So I took some time to grow back my eyebrows and now I go almost bare-faced to work everyday. After moisturising with jojoba oil, next is white powder and I am good to go.
      The funny thing is that I actually believe I look younger and fresher and those spots have faded considerably (thanks to tea tree oil that I use for treating acne, it leaves no spots or scars).
      I love how confident I feel and how beautiful I look now. I only use make-up for special occasions and sunday service.
      I feel as free as a bird.

  13. amy

    June 9, 2015 at 11:01 am

    I love love loved dis! Pple differ shaa..seen some comments saying dey dint..i hate making up..i hate washing my face nd seeing d yellow looking grime wash into the tub..i feel like a cheat wen it hav been tinkin about it a lot now…u go out nd evrybody..even d woman selling pepper is covered wit sumtin! Am one of the peopke dat tink dey look better witout make up..buh my esteem wont let me..d zits nd spots I think I need to cover
    .am ready to undertake anything to get at least clear skin!pls bellanaijarians help me! No matter the cost pls…easy steps dat will manifest as good results.

    • whocares

      June 9, 2015 at 11:32 am

      I discovered aloe vera gel last year. If you live in Nigeria, then it should be easy for you to get the plant itself.. If not head to your nearest health store. They are quite cheap as well. It literally dries up pimples (i break out every time i eat fries and I will never stop eating fries, so I speak from experience ) and the dark spots, it dries them up too. Its cheap and just all over nice. That’s the cheapest remedy I know. I still have some black heads (but it clears your skin. I dont know how to describe it) my skin glows (no word of a lie, I have been stopped on different occasions by lovely strangers who tell me my skin looks amazing when I did not have makeup on (*pats hair) and this is even with the random black heads o. Lots of water helps A LOT. It might be the water more than the aloe vera to be fair. I always have water with me.

    • Bobosteke & Lara Bian

      June 9, 2015 at 2:58 pm

      Try Bentonite Clay.

      You can get from Natural Nigerian at N1800 or thereabouts, or @N500.

    • Doxa

      June 9, 2015 at 10:42 pm

      Or just ask your grandma in the village to send u ‘raw’ native chalk (by raw I mean fresly dug from the river bank and not yet moulded with salt or any other ingredient). Igbos callmit NZU, calabar people call it NDOM, others call it CALABAR. Thsey day I discovered that bentonite clay was NZU I felt like I had been duped. My mum still laughs at me saying “yyou went to buy nzu for N1,500” Something I have known since I had sense. Never again.

  14. whocares

    June 9, 2015 at 11:06 am

    Lool. I never thought about how the makeup aspect might be a hassle for models. I think I might cry if the same brush used for twenty other people was used on my face too without cleaning of any sort. When I was in college, I decided to line my eyebrow with a blue liner (I have been delivered since then) but boy did I feel like a babe rocking to college with my blue eyebrow. I remember sitting for lunch with my friend and he was like “is that blue?” lool.. I still wear random coloured lipsticks that are sometimes hits and misses. Blue, Green, yellow, orange (I looked terrible and washed out) I don’t foresee stopping anytime soon either. But what makes me cringe is when I have to hug guys wearing white clothes and my makeup stains them. I deny, deny deny #it wasntmehowmanygirlshaveyoubeenhugging? Even if I and the guy both know its me. I still refuse to confess. Its worse when its with strangers. I just pretend like it didn’t happen and I sharply vamoose from the place.

    Nowadays, I am like you and I don’t wear much makeup. It took a while to get to this level of confidence as I have friends that go to the gym with a face full of makeup. My face has never looked better, and on those days when you get home from work too tired to even eat, I can forgive myself if I go to sleep without washing my face.

  15. vivi

    June 9, 2015 at 11:12 am

    Nice write up#it’s better to av a beautiful skin than a made up 1#please I need a good cream for a dark skin to make me glow#tips…..thanks

  16. Funmi

    June 9, 2015 at 11:17 am

    Darling, sorry about your plight but you are really funny. I enjoyed the write up keep it up.

  17. Grace

    June 9, 2015 at 11:27 am


  18. Lea

    June 9, 2015 at 11:34 am

    Isio I love this new picture.

    Well I will talk about my skin. I have VERY sensitive skin. I don’t use makeup a lot, but when I do my skin just starts irritating (itching) me. I have used Mac and Bobby brown I don’t think the brand has anything to do with it, but has this happened to anyone else? Do you ever feel irritated by makeup?

    • Anon

      June 9, 2015 at 3:48 pm

      The brand has a lot to do with irritating the skin. MAC is notoriously bad for sensitive skin. Stay away from their powder and foundation. Bobbi Brown is better, but not very good for masking oily skin. The cheaper products are better for sensitive skin. Revlon, Bourjois, Body Shop products to name a few. If you want an equally priced product like MAC and Bobbi Brown, try Bare Minerals.

    • SimSim

      June 9, 2015 at 8:29 pm

      Mac powder definitely irritates skin. But the cost won’t let me throw it away so I go back to it every couple weeks. I have to finish it o. Hian

  19. Zayt

    June 9, 2015 at 11:35 am

    Couldn’t stop laughing @ Ahhhhhhhan! Aunty! Ki le le yii ti e fe she?!” Don’t worry, I just want to trim your eye-lashes so that it will be sharp. loooool.
    Isio you are the best!

  20. Aibee

    June 9, 2015 at 11:56 am

    Wait oh! Someone tried to trim your “eye lashes”? God forbid bad thing. Even I would run away from that!
    I’ve only had professional makeup done when I was on bridal trains and for my wedding. I sweated like hell on my engagement day, all that primer ish didn’t stop nada. I liked the makeup better in the evening when I’d sweated off all the foundation and powder and my face had that nice sheen to it. The pictures we took then were finer too than the ones I took in the morning after the full face beat! These days, what with breakouts and all, with my E.L.F. lipgloss, collossal kajal on my waterline, and Davies colour 3 pencil on my brows, I’m good to go.

  21. MissCaramelD

    June 9, 2015 at 11:59 am

    When I see ladies go full throttle everyday, I salute them! I just can’t, and I worry about my skin being covered with so much product day after day. Just eyebrows, eye pencil and lip gloss for the office. Full throttle for special events.

  22. me12u

    June 9, 2015 at 1:50 pm

    Isio love, naa you fall hand today. make-up kwa?

    • Tiny colored miracle

      June 9, 2015 at 3:03 pm

      U r on ur own!!…..

  23. Iris

    June 9, 2015 at 2:56 pm

    After a good friend of mine convinced me to start wearing makeup when I was about twenty, I started bugging one of my other friends to do the same, but she absolutely hated it and would never bother. After a while I gave up. Now I look at her mum who is in her sixties and could easily pass for forty (maybe even younger sef) and marvel. Her mum doesn’t wear makeup either. My friend too sometimes looks like a teenager (fresh faced sumtin). I’ve told her to carry go. I shall never disturb her again.

    • Anon

      June 9, 2015 at 3:51 pm

      It’s in their genes. Good genes.

  24. Bobosteke & Lara Bian

    June 9, 2015 at 3:54 pm

    I never really considered the make-up session in priming a model. Mine has always been the hair. All that pulling, jerking, combing, flat-tonging. Lordy! Saw a picture of Naomi Campbell recently, The wind had blown some parts of her weave high up in the air. Lets just say the “Lord is my barber” is putting it mildly.

  25. Blackbeauty

    June 9, 2015 at 4:02 pm

    I cant go anywhere important( work, church, social visits) without foundation and powder. I’m dark skinned with uneven pigmentation and I need the foundation to even it out. Even on days, I want to go makeup free, I still dust on my brown powder. Translucent or white powder, leave me looking ashy. So, until I find the cure for my uneven skin tone, the barest minimum for me is brown powder. I would appreciate any helpful suggestions. Thanks people.

    • Mima

      June 9, 2015 at 4:35 pm

      u can try ivory caps, it will even ur skintone out; but stop using after 3 weeks, cuz continued use will bleach u.

  26. theurbanegirl

    June 9, 2015 at 4:48 pm


  27. ferrari

    June 9, 2015 at 5:08 pm

    first time le boo saw me without makeup he gushed all day about how beautiful i am without make up but the habit is now too strong to break. Can’t leave the house without foundation and eyeliner at least.

  28. Noms

    June 9, 2015 at 5:10 pm

    Oniovo, I like this your “pishure”.

    My major makeup mishap will be uneven eyebrows. I came across a quote that consoles me on the days I don’t get my eyebrows evenly…my eyebrows are sister not twins” so they don’t have to look exactly the same.

    On weekends and some week days, I make free but acne treatment has left my face with some discoloration so I don’t leave my face bare as often as I would have loved.

  29. le coco

    June 9, 2015 at 5:50 pm

    lovely writeup isio… i am a makeup artist, but the odd thing is i rarely put on makeup.. like most of you ladies i am just unable to fit, lool.. things like foundation really clog up your pores, which doesnt allow the skin to breathe.. walahi for me to put makeup someone better me getting married, or graduating nd that person better be my personal person.. if not.. ahh sorry… not having makeup on regularly also comes in handy because you are not deceiving anybody.. nobody is shouting ‘MOGBE’ when they see you without makeup lol… i am dark skinned and i love it, i dnt have any skin issues which is great and even in the off chance that i am wearing foundation, you cld barely tell..
    side note for those trying to even out their skin tone, try johnsons pure tissue oil,. i know its mostly used for stretchmarks, but spray some into your daily body lotion and TRUST AND BELIEVE that glow tht people are trying to achieve through foundation will be yours

  30. arikeagbe

    June 9, 2015 at 5:52 pm

    I’ve never been able to wear make-up. Whenever I buy make-up I use it a few times and just leave it till it expires. It’s too stressful abeg. Plus I have this fear of looking different. I feel like I’m deceiving people when I wear make-up. I have very oily skin plus zits and a few spots but nna mehn….I don’t have the time or patience to be painting my face. I just kent. It’s not that serious. I do like how people look with make-up but I think it becomes a problem when you cannot leave the house to buy guguru and epa across the road without wearing make-up.

  31. Teawine Penner

    June 9, 2015 at 6:53 pm

    LOL! This part jus killed it! “Ahhhhhhhan! Aunty! Ki le le yii ti e fe she?!”
    Like Kilode! On top wetin?!

  32. Kay

    June 9, 2015 at 10:54 pm

    Choi, ayaf laugh tire…. make-up’s can either make or mar your face, that is one thing i fear sef more than rat.
    My policy ‘touch not my face, and do it no makeup’, been part of the bridal train or MOH, can b tempting but i cant fit biko.
    My face is the temple of my body!
    After bathing, its vaseline all the way… glossy lipgloss, sure!
    To reduce the appearance of black spot and its siblings, 1. mix some drops of lemon juice and little water because of the acidity in lemon, dip a cotton wool and rub on d spot 2. mix 5tablespoon of lemon juice, honey and milk. Apply the paste on a clean face, leave for 10-20mins, wash off and mosturize ur face. Do every night before going to bed, u will notice a gradual change.
    Make una no vex, e dey long but you can summarize using APA style!

  33. ah

    June 10, 2015 at 12:25 am

    Hi Isio. Please could you do an article for disabled/unusual people like the one you did for the Parkinsons man inside the plane. Some people are really passionate about spreading the message because of how it relates to us.

  34. ah

    June 10, 2015 at 12:25 am

    Hi Isio. PLEASE NAU, please could you do an article for disabled/unusual people like the one you did for the Parkinsons man inside the plane. Some people are really passionate about spreading the message because of how it relates to us.

  35. ah

    June 10, 2015 at 12:25 am

    Hi Isio. Please could you do an article for disabled/unusual people like the one you did for the Parkinsons man inside the plane. Some people are really passionate about spreading the message because of how it relates to us.


  36. Funmilola

    June 10, 2015 at 12:37 am

    miz S.A,where art thou please?

  37. Anie

    September 27, 2016 at 12:28 pm

    Contact 08166243282 for Turmeric, Camwood, and citrus powder and Kaolin Clay at N300 each, all handmade and fresh ingredients, no chemicals, additives or colouring.

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