The last of the autumn maxi’s

 17 degrees in November is a dream, a good sweet dream with consequences.  Winter will be back with a vengeance. It's almost like dreaming Idris Elba is giving you the snog of your life and you wake up with your dog licking your face (disclaimer: I am married and I don't know who Idris Elba really is, if I go past him I might not recognise the man. End of small print lol).  Back to Maxi skirts. I love them, there is something elegant about a full maxi skirt in a bold colour. Wear it with a t-shirt and sandals for some fun in the sun. Wear it with an embellished top for weddings (owambe things) or just with a simple top for Sunday brunch. It is so versatile.  Photography by @abdiwali_samatar (not easy photographing a photographer, thanks Abdi)                                          

Interview with MUA Agbons Joy Balogun of Sunshine Brides

Agbons and I go way back, she was my bunk mate in boarding school. We have always been in touch and when I saw her flourishing makeup business, I knew I wanted to interview her. I am all about empowering other women in business. My mum has always steered us towards eventually being self employed, this is something dear to her heart because things happen, people move according to their husbands jobs, this is where self employment becomes valuable. I hope this helps anyone who has fostered a dream of starting their own business. 

What sparked your interest in makeup?



When I moved to Nairobi (my husband was transferred there), I was pregnant and found myself with too much free time on my hands. I started watching YouTube makeup tutorials, and I realized makeup is Art. So I bought loads of makeup products, my first sigma brushes and practiced whenever I could.



Did you go for structured classes to get a certificate?


No, but I did attend online classes at which costs $19 a month.


When did you decide you were good enough to start charging for your services? How did you measure yourself and your progress?



I looked at the industry best in Kenya. And I honestly felt that I was doing as good as they were. Only problem was I was unknown. I did my research and priced my services very low, just so I could build my client base and portfolio.



That was going to be my next question. So how did you break into a brand new market being a Foreigner in a brand new city/country?



Since I knew no one. My husband gave the idea of running Facebook adverts. I'd pay my maid 500 kes ($6) so I could do her makeup and post on my page, building my social network.



I  started getting phone calls from interested ladies. I did regular makeup for photoshoots e.t.c. My first bridalbridal makeup appointment was in November 2013


But I guess you had to do a lot of freebies to build up your portfolio.

Oh  yes. I even organized a makeup and photography session with a photographer. The ladies would pay for their photos, but makeup would be free.



Ok. That seems like a good collaboration to get yourself out there.



Yes. I had creative freedom to do their makeup however I liked. I also used these sessions to pace myself and learn how much time it took to switch between looks on models.



So you started booking more and more brides. Where you surprised how far and wide people came to book your services?



Yes. I quickly learned that word is mouth is still a powerful tool in this industry. A satisfied client will tell everyone about you. Kenyans are big on Internet use, and like Nigerians the travel back home to wed a lot. First thing a bride to be will do is search you out on Facebook and Instagram to see samples of your work




What is the furthest you have travelled for work?


Nigeria. I travel to most places in Kenya though. And I have a booking in Tanzania next year.



What advice will you give people starting up their own make up business ?


Slowly build up your makeup kit . That way you don't get stuck with expensive overhyped products. Expensive isn't always best. Invest in your technique and reputation;these are the two things that will grow your business.



Three essential characteristics of a makeup artist are.....



Artistic- goes without saying that a makeup artist must know the basics of fine arts like shading, and colourcoordination. This will help you understand blending, and also help when choosing contour shades, eyeshadow, blush colours, etc.




Technique Flexibility- most times you have to relax your expectations of what the outcome of an appointment will be. Also you have to be prepared to take it up a notch artistically on short notice. So it's good to have an idea of how to create a wide range of makeup looks




Punctuality- This is so important. The last thing you want is a client who's unsettled and fretting because you arrived at an appointment late. You need time to bring a look together. For important shoots and weddings, there won't be time to redo anything.



Thanks for your time and valuable advice. Do you have any YouTube videos up or online classes coming up?



am working on shooting videos for YouTube. Online classes, maybe in the future. I have had 2 makeupmasterclasses in Nairobi, I plan to have a third before Christmas. Scheduling is a problem because most women are free to attend weekends, and those are my busiest days.

See below for some of Sunshines brides  work but visit her on Instagram and Facebook for more @sunshinesbrides


The hustle of London Fashion Week

I went to LFW expecting to shoot and kinda put trends together for my readers. As fashion week progressed, I went from thinking I would blog about "my experience of fashion week" to "trends of fashion week" and finally to " The hustle of London Fashion Week".  The latter seemed to be something that became more prevalent when the novelty of fashion week disappeared. Fashion week is one massive business card, bloggers trying to get noticed, photographers scanning and rating people before they even point a lens at them, security guards feeling very important (as they are ) and celebrities (what celebrities?) probably on their sofas watching reality television and eating pork scratchings. Brewer street car park where the shows took place was crowded, mostly with photographers but then there were a lot of people just standing around for ages, dressed up, doing nothing. People on their phones trying to look important forming "tell your people to call my people", "I was in the show but came out to talk to you", "tell Anna (Wintour) I am cancelling dinner tonight" lol, you are blocking my shot peepo, get out of my way (warra mess). I met some great photographers, stylists, bloggers, I handed out many business cards, I received twice as much, two sunny days, 5 English teas and some great friends and contacts later, I can say it was a great experience. I loved shooting at LFW. I hear you, "shut up for once and show is some gaddam photos". Here you go.   IMG_7167 IMG_7156 IMG_7155 IMG_7153 IMG_7146 IMG_7142 IMG_7139 IMG_7135 IMG_7131 IMG_7127 IMG_7110 IMG_7109 IMG_7108 IMG_7095 IMG_7092 IMG_7081 IMG_7080 IMG_7074 IMG_7069 IMG_7052 IMG_7039 IMG_7032-2 IMG_7017-2 IMG_7012 IMG_7001 IMG_6995 IMG_6993 IMG_6991 IMG_6988 IMG_6977 IMG_6971 IMG_6966-2 IMG_6961 IMG_6953 IMG_6941 IMG_6920 IMG_6896 IMG_6882 IMG_6878 _MG_9149 _MG_9111 _MG_9079 _MG_9066 _MG_9055 _MG_9049 _MG_8995 _MG_8986 _MG_8913 _MG_8897-2 _MG_8879-2 _MG_8857-2 _MG_8851-2 _MG_8832 _MG_8825-2 _MG_8818-2 _MG_8817 _MG_8722 _MG_8721 _MG_8718 _MG_8717 _MG_8715 _MG_8694 _MG_8679 _MG_8674 _MG_8671 _MG_8640 _MG_8636 _MG_8619

Blogging from NYC the fashion capital of the world

Ok as you all know I went on holiday to NYC this summer. Needless I say it was amazing. I had been to Newyork twice before but I just went shopping. This time I mixed it up with touristy behaviour as well and I don't regret it one bit.  Five things  I love about Newyork 1. Beergarita (Lucy's Cantina Penn station) Google beergarita now (don't fall my hand). Heavenly combination of Corona beer in a frozen margarita (Gerra-ra-here). It was delicious, it was a cheeky refreshing drink at 2pm in the afternoon after being abused by Newyork sun.  The funny thing is that my sister and my friend Annette the vampire slayer who were at lunch with me didn't even question drinking in the middle of the day (real alcoholics). Trick me once shame on you, trick me twice , shame on you times two lol. My sister took me there again and we repeated thesame shameless behaviour. Shay... shay....shay... Shame on you Omas.     2. The Halal guys (54th and 6th avenue) NYC is truly the street food capital of the world. The halal guys got a fair chunk of our Dalla Dalla bills. The food was delish and cheap. Chicken or lamb shish with falafel was $7 (shut up and take my money).  Several meals later with hot sauce, good morning my neighbours.        3. Central Park  It was a bit fascinating that a massive park was planned bang in the middle of a big city. Viewing it from the 86th floor of the Empire State Building I was like wow. I loved how you can actually travel across the city walking or cycling through the park. It was great fun renting a bike and just riding without direction or purpose. Very liberating.          4. Getting around  Going from A to B in NYC was easy, numbered street in order, higher numbers going uptown and lower figures downtown. The subway was so easy to access and navigate. I am used to the London Underground so found it easy. But please taxi it up if you don't want your hand totally "falled" in a city where you could be anything you wanted actress, singer, model, song writer, fashion blogger, anything, no one knows you, act like a celeb. Don't act like a tourist cos you will get over charged for everything.  5. Afro punk Brooklyn If you haven't seen my post on Afro punk please keep scrolling to the end of this post.  Finally how can you go to NYC and not do a fashion post. Here it goes, just for the sake of being in Newyork Newyork babay.                           Err-thang was from Nordstrom apart from the sunglasses which are Mercura NYC. See next post. Afro punk

Visors and colours and mini sunglasses. These are a few of my favourite things

Growing up, women who wore visors were golfers. I looked at them in awe. Women, playing golf? They were breaking boundaries, laying the rules down, being a boss. I have never been tempted to buy one until I saw a guy selling them for £5 near my work (cheap skate I know). With sports day / inter house sport looming I decided this is a good time to own a visor and fulfil a life dream .  Sports day inspiration from Buttercup. How can you win anything in those shoes I hear you say? Beyoncé dances for hours in 6 inch heels. Is she not my age mate, if she can do it, so can I. WWBD. What will Beyonce do? It's summer time, bring out your visors and sunglasses because if you wear it in winter, honestly, you will look crazy .                       Details of my outfit  Visor (Brixton Market)- £5 Inner blouse (Next )- £28 Sleeveless blazer (M&S)- £35 Trousers (River Island)- £30 Bag (River Island) - £14 on sale Mules (Forever 21)- £25 Sunglasses (Primark)- £6 Some cute visors I found on eBay and Amazon in an array of colours.           Please be careful with this trend so you don't end up looking like a tourist welder.  Lol. Don't carry last please.    

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