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Jennifer Obiuwevbi: Not Always Beat?! I’m A Beauty Editor & Here’s Why I Don’t Always Wear Makeup



BN Beauty Jennifer Obiuwevbi - BellaNaija - July2015

So every now and then as a Beauty Editor, I do this thing where I go into my posts from last year and the year before that, just to see what has changed and what hasn’t. I like to think it helps guide me for the future and helps record what areas I’ve grown. It’s also fun to read my old posts again – like meeting an old friend after a long time.

Anyway, a few days ago I had some time on my hands so I decided to engage in one of my favourite past-time activities – reading posts from 2014. As I scrolled through, I came across one of the posts that just so happens to be an interview I had with the talented makeup artist – Bimpe Onakoya. I remember that day quite clearly – she was warm, I was hungry, she didn’t hold back when it came to personal things, and I left with a sense of complete appreciation for knowing oneself and appreciating all your talents, and experiences.

As I read through her article, my eyes shot to a question I asked her – “The few times we have seen you, you usually have little to no makeup on. Is that a preference or do you just prefer doing makeup on other people?“. She explained how she didn’t have to wear makeup to validate her talent; that she would come in, work on her client and let her work speak for her. “If you look at my face to judge if I would be good at makeup it is up to you – but if you don’t call me it’s your loss.” (Read the full interview here if you missed it)

Fast forward to a few days ago when I met a friend of a friend for the first time. When she asked what I do and I told her I’m a beauty editor, the chic almost laughed. Yes, I felt a teeny bit insulted but before I could ask why she laughed she said “as in you’re a blogger and you don’t wear makeup? Isn’t that your job?“. Did she mean it was/is my job to wear makeup? She’s perhaps someone who thinks beauty = makeup. As much as I love makeup, I take skincare, health more seriously.

So in my mind I’m asking, why do I have to wear makeup as a beauty expert? I go all out sometimes, even my colleagues ask where I’m going, but some days I just want to touch my actual skin and scratch my eyebrows without hesitation. I like to go makeup-free most times – is that a crime or a slight on my job?

I see it as the same as being a stylist and not dressing to the nines everyday. There are stylists everywhere that would wear a t-shirt, jeans, and sneakers, because they love to dress people up. It’s not that they don’t know their craft, but they just don’t show it all the time. I read an article on E Online the other day where they had a short interview with Beyoncé’s stylist. Apart from explaining how much of a fashionista Queen Bey is, she stated that sometimes it’s just easier that way – she wears sneakers or flats, because when Bey calls for an outfit, a broken heel doesn’t cut it for an excuse. If she has to catch several flights or is with Bey on tour, you don’t expect her to run around with heels do you?

So back to my question – must I wear makeup if I am in the beauty industry? I recall when my sister got married last year, we had 2 different makeup artists come in to do our makeup. The first lady, who showed up in a full face of makeup and fan lashes, made us look like a weird ‘after’ photo, while the other, who came with nothing but glossed lips, gave me the ‘BEATness’ of my life. I know it’s not a ‘one size fits all’ situation, but this just goes to show that what you tell me and what you you are, may not always be the same thing.

So does that mean wearing makeup validates you as a professional makeup artist or show you are in the beauty industry? No! Just like Obama wearing a hat that reads ‘I Am the President of The United States’ doesn’t make him President. He just is.

Another reason why I sometimes go makeup-free is validation. Not to or from anyone, but for myself. I used to have loads of scars – I’m talking acne scars, dark patches etc. I started to treat them, but knowing I had good ol’ makeup on my beauty counter, I never took it seriously. But after a while, I decided that if I was going to clear my skin, I needed to see it for what it was – my skin, not something I managed until I got to put layers of my “real” face on. Today my skin is definitely clearer and I can decide to go makeup-free or have a full face of makeup whenever I please. So no one would see me with my real face and ask if I am sick or didn’t sleep well because they’re used to seeing me with makeup.

So here’s my question to you – do you think people in the beauty industry need to wear makeup to validate themselves in their career? Should they do whichever they like and let their knowledge and talent speak for themselves or is it a mix of both? Share your thoughts!

Photo Credit: Dreamstime/Walter Arce

Jennifer is the Beauty Editor & Style Representative of Get in touch - Send an email to: beauty(at) or style(at) | Follow us on Instagram: @bellanaijabeauty OR @bellanaijastyle | Follow us on Twitter: @bellanaijastyle


  1. matilda

    July 16, 2015 at 3:13 pm

    Oh Jennifer, I currently have a face full of acne scars, I have tried it all from beauty products to medication. its clearing up now but I will like to go without concealer for once without people staring at my face like they don’t know what dark spots are. so I will appreciate if you can share what you did to clear your spots. thanks

    • mimee.

      July 16, 2015 at 4:06 pm

      Matilda, do u take ENOUGH water regularly? These scars may be as a result of insufficient water for circulation of blood in d vessels.. try make it a habit 1.5 L before 6a.m (will detoxify u in a short while) then 75cl before 2p.m and lastly 75cl again before 7p.m. Make it a habit and thank me later.

    • matilda

      July 16, 2015 at 4:49 pm

      Thanks my dear… but I take A LOT of water, minimum of 3L per day… its a nuisance especially when I’m at the office as per all the ‘pee breaks’ but I still do it….. sigh!

    • Theo

      July 16, 2015 at 8:55 pm

      Nne, see me opening my mouth. This one is hard small ohhh. I have acne too. Albeit, its not so bad. I dont like taking pictures too. It just makes me sad.

    • Faith

      July 16, 2015 at 4:19 pm

      My dear I had cystic acne with oily skin all my life. It was so bad that my face and body were two completely different shades. I hated pictures and I felt so ugly. I completely understand the frustration that comes with disgusting acne. I inherited it from my mum,she had it as well. Taking care of my skin was a labour of love and patience. It took me years before my skin improved.i still have some light acne scars,I don’t have the acne anymore and I can wear my face comfortably with no makeup at all . Makeup doesn’t solve the problem and I decided to work on my skin(meanwhile) so that I could go without it. Now, I use clarins products( foaming cleanser, alcohol FREE toner, pore minimizing cream). I cleanse with A face towel everyday. I use St Ives scrub 2 times a week. I use raw Shea butter and natural oils to moisturize my skin. I found that commercial moisturizers don’t work for me. I use natural oils and baby wipes to dissolve my makeup and I cleanse afterwards. I find all these makeup removers so harsh. Eat a good diet, take A good supplement, find a quality product that works for you and use it consistently. The problem I used to have was that I expected instant results but my skin was taking its time to heal. I find that sometimes I have to switch products every 6 months, because my skin gets acclamitized to the product. I usually switch between Clinique and Clarins. I hope this helps. I wish you the best and I know it gets better because i have been down that road.

    • Mayowa

      July 16, 2015 at 5:25 pm

      Sorry Matilda. I don’t have breakouts, BUT my skin is sensitive so I occasionally suffer from irritations. Like I need to change my bedsheets every 2 days, my pillowcase everyday or every other day. I have to wash my wigs more often, as well as my towel. I use a separate towel for my face. I don’t have acne, etc, my skin is just sensitive, and tender. It reacts to a lot of things.
      My cousin however has acne, and she uses oil free cleansers and face washes. If your skin is too dry, you might want to use them not too much, like thrice a week, and get a good moisturizer to use afterwards. I know tea tree oil helps with pimple outburst, as well as acne. Raw Cocoa Butter, Glycerin and Vitamin E Oil has helped tremendously in getting rid of scars on my leg; so I’m guessing it should also work for acne scars. (Don’t put Vitamin E Oil on your face though).

    • natu

      July 16, 2015 at 5:35 pm

      Try using lemon juice and honey as your face mask. This will really lighten your scars.

    • TA

      July 16, 2015 at 7:21 pm

      @ natu, people with sensitive skin might not tolerate lemon.

    • Anonymous

      July 16, 2015 at 6:18 pm

      Hi Matilda, in addition to drinking lots of water as suggested by mimee ( which in all truth, is a great way to start up a healthy skin care routine), I would also suggest regular mild exfoliation by using face scrubs every now and then. This has helped me a lot in tackling skin concerns especially dark patches, large pores and acne scars/dark spots. You can also follow this page on instagram called @good_skinnn . They offer great skin care advice most of which I have found very helpful. Goodluck

    • Omotee

      July 17, 2015 at 8:05 am

      God bless you for telling me about @good_skinnn.

    • slice

      July 16, 2015 at 11:33 pm

      try Retinol/retinoid. i prefer you get prescription but OTC should work fine as well. ..

    • peace

      July 17, 2015 at 7:47 am

      I understand how u feel @matilda. I was an acne sufferer. Acne n blackspots really dealt with my face,although mine was as a result of a hair supplement I took. After trying so many “things” on my face,lol. I decided 2 start my skincare regimen (3 step). 1. I wash my face with dudu osun soap 2. Cleanse wiith “clean n clear essential deep cleaning astringent am nd pm 3. Then apply clarins pore minimizing cream. I exfoliate weekly with either honey+sugar scrub/st. Ives apricot scrub/clean n clear blackhead clearing scrub. I’ve learnt 2 drink lots of water (I’ve practically turned 2 a fish dat can’t stay without water *rotfl*). I eat fruits EVERYDAY. Now I can go out confidently without makeup on. U can add me up Pin:2BA58257

  2. dami

    July 16, 2015 at 3:34 pm

    I think it depends on your personality and what you like. Being a makeup artist doesn’t translate to you loving makeup on your face. I notice bmpro doesnt wear much make up, shomyalag wears to an extent. So it really doesnt matter

    • Mayowa

      July 16, 2015 at 5:32 pm

      Banke actually wears makeup. She just uses neutral colors. Bimpe on the other hand uses little or in fact, no make-up. It depends on the personality, you’re right. Cause Bimpe is one of the best make-up artists in Nigeria. I also love her humble personality. She doesn’t let her success get to head.

  3. Ifybaby

    July 16, 2015 at 3:40 pm

    No, people in the beauty industry don’t need to wear makeup to validate themselves in their career. Like you said, sometimes you makeup and sometimes you don’t, it depends on the situation and my mood. As long as I look decent, neat, and presentable, I’m good to go. It’s a different case if I’m trying to get a new client and I’m meeting them for the first time, then naturally my makeup on that first encounter will definitely showcase my beauty talents, like a moving billboard, as in, ad for my beauty business.

    By the way, if I don’t feel confident unless I ALWAYS fully makeup, doesn’t that reflect some kind of inferiority complex or something on my part? I don’t know about y’all but my skin ‘loooves’ to breathe…a lot of times.

  4. Dora the explorer

    July 16, 2015 at 3:40 pm

    No one NEEDS to be wearing a face full of products all the time, but if that is what gets you going please by all means do so.. Whether you are in the beauty industry or na healthy skin is paramount.. But if you are a make up artist you will need to show case your work on yourself every now and then isn’t that how many of the new gen artists get started (those that you feature here).. I don’t ha see how you will turn up for 6/7am jobs with a face fully beat but if you can, great!!!

    • Jennifer

      July 16, 2015 at 5:37 pm

      I disagree. You don’t have to wear make-up every now and then as a make-up artist. From what I’ve observed, most make-up artists wear little or no make-up. That you’re a make-up artist doesn’t mean you personally like make-up. Most fashion designers, they’re not always overly dressed, they keep it simple. Most, not all. You might be a fashion designer, you might like to create lovely and intricate pieces for people, but you might not necessarily be stylish or like too much on you. It depends on the personality, really.

    • Pat

      July 16, 2015 at 5:51 pm

      On another note I love the game “Dora the Explorer” even though I am an adult (covers face) 🙂 That’s what happens when you have many kids around you and u have to play games with them 🙂

  5. seun

    July 16, 2015 at 3:49 pm


    I’m also a make-up buff and I do freelance make-up sometimes. You will see me without a beat face most of the time. I like to let my skin breathe as I suffer from acne scars as well.

    How do some MUA and bloggers do it though.? Do they wake up extra early each day to beat their faces? Seriously, i’d rather have 15 mins of beauty sleep than a face full of make up in the morning.

    Oh, and I love Bimpe Onakoya by the way. She doesnt shove her work down our throats. 🙂

  6. Yvie

    July 16, 2015 at 3:53 pm

    Try using honey and lime juice.
    Mix the two together and apply it on your face, leave it for 20 or 30minutes then rinse.
    Try the apple cider vinegar rinse.
    Mix the apple cider vinegar with water, apply it on your face and rinse with water or with coconut oil.
    Hope it helps.

  7. dobzi

    July 16, 2015 at 3:56 pm

    I don’t think people in the beauty industry need to always wear makeup. I am a pro makeup artist and hair stylist but I barely have any makeup on, I instead let my work on my clients speak for itself.

  8. Mz Socially Awkward...

    July 16, 2015 at 4:12 pm

    Jen, the example you gave of Beyoncé’s stylist (hot damn, autocorrect actually now features the right spelling of that name… as in, e don enter dictionary be that…) doesn’t exactly cut it “becox” even if you’re a stylist who likes to kick it in jeans, oversized shirts with rolled up sleeves and Reeboks, you should still be representing in laidback mode. If said stylist looks scruffy, I doubt they’ll be taken seriously by new clients. Your work should speak for you but clients coming on-board for the first time often like to see what their naira/dollar/euro is potentially fetching them.

    Beauty blogging doesn’t equate to being a make-up artist and this is in much the same way that a style blogger isn’t always a stylist. Bloggers are only working for themselves and on their own dime (at least before the endorsements start rolling in for the lucky few) when they’re trying out all these different products, clothes etc. and letting the world know how their experiment has gone. If they’re good bloggers, their ideas get picked up by a following and they build a name for themselves but just for the reason of gaining a larger followership (and maybe more of those endorsements). Marketing yourself as a make up artist or a stylist is confidently telling the world that you’re able to successfully work the same magic on someone else, for monetary gain. And therefore, the expectations are a lot higher so while I may not give it too much thought if I run into a beauty blogger who’s not wearing make up, I would nevertheless expect a make-up artist to have their work badge on even without being slathered in studio-fix foundation and Diva lipstick – little details like well-plucked brows and a complimentary tinge of lip gloss, at the very least. I don’t need you to verbally tell me anything as I’ll be checking on my own to validate the choice to use you.

    Plus, I’m pretty sure that Bimpe Onakoya is able to let her name just do the talking now but there would have been a time at the beginning of the trade when she had to make sure that she was marketing her brand properly, even without being caked with products. It’s not really about obeying any kind of pressure, to be honest, it’s more to do with how you’re selling that all important “market” of yours. And if you’re not selling, then do you. 🙂

    • Jennifer

      July 16, 2015 at 5:45 pm

      From time, Bimpe has used little or no make-up, far back as 2008. Her work speaks for her. If you’re not a make-up person, you don’t have to wear make-up to attract people. Just look smart and you’re good to go.

    • Mz Socially Awkward...

      July 17, 2015 at 9:57 am

      … but she uses a “little make-up”, no? And it’s obvious from a lot of comments that her thing is subtlety (because I don’t know the woman and haven’t knowingly run across her work) so even with the “little make-up” on, she still will know how to sell her craft, no?

      You’re saying the same thing that I typed in the above comment and as already stated, I’ll be looking out for little details like a well-plucked brow and not necessarily reebok tick marks. Whether your face is beat or not, you should still be able to instil enough confidence in new customers who may just be hearing about you for the first time.

    • Mizz Tee

      July 17, 2015 at 1:38 pm

      ITA…I have no problem with a makeup artist wearing little to no makeup or muted tones. What gives me pause and serves as fodder for extreme side-eye is a makeup artist with BAD makeup. Or a hair stylist with busted hair. Or a stylist wearing crap (I know there’s an aspect of subjectivity to style, but still). I just don’t get it. If you claim to be a pro at a beauty trade, you better come correct when you do decide to sport your wares…because branding and standards! I can’t take you seriously otherwise.

  9. sola

    July 16, 2015 at 4:18 pm

    Hmmm, I find it funny that she expects bloggers and people in the beauty industry to be fully made up all the time. I love bloggers who aren’t afraid to show what they look like without makeup like Tuke Morgan of Tuke’s Quest, she just put a really cool make up pictorial post on her blog. I Love Bella of herbrownie too!!

  10. lollly

    July 16, 2015 at 4:20 pm

    As a beauty expert/makeup artist, wearing appropriate makeup is not a must however, it could boost your business especially when you are in the midst of potential clients. you may not have the opportunity of referring them to your website/Instagram to view your jobs.
    looking neat plus a clear and fresh skin is more important.
    I also understand the face needs to breathe especially for those who have ‘problematic’ skin. but if you as a MUA now tell me you dont ‘like’ wearing makeup but love applying layers on other people, i will definitely raise eyebrows

    • Shandi

      July 16, 2015 at 5:50 pm

      Disagree. You might be a jeweler and might not like jeweleries, I definitely wouldn’t raise my eyebrows, if my jeweler doesn’t like jeweleries. It’s all about preference. Some people just like to be simple. You can also look near without applying make-up. Some people like to apply layers of make-up, and if their make-up artist doesn’t like make-up, they don’t care, so long as the make-up is properly done.

  11. sally

    July 16, 2015 at 8:33 pm

    @matilda….try fresh carrot juice mixed wit honey face mask…..also try 2 take fruits rich in antioxidant last thing @ night not between or aftermeals……u will get incredible results

  12. Fabulous B

    July 16, 2015 at 9:23 pm

    Skin treatment especially done the natural way(free of chemical substances) takes time and requires lots of patience and dedication. Topical treatment is what many do but it requires more than that. We also need to take care of our inside. How often do you detox? Do you take fruits regularly? There is more to skin treatment than meets the ordinary eye. What’s in the cosmetics that you use? Let’s share more info : pin:2BC07481

  13. Omotee

    July 17, 2015 at 10:27 am

    For a minute we all forgot about the main topic. Lol. I don’t believe you have to slam on make up all the time to validate the fact that you’re a make up artist o jare. The girl is just ignorant. If she wants to know how good you are she could have asked to see pictures of the works you’ve done.

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