hair & make up
Deriving its name from the Fijian term for “beautiful”, Totoka is attuned to providing the distinct exhilaration that a perfectly made-up face and new hairstyle can produce - the wow factor of gazing into a transformed reflection and feeling renewed as a more vibrant version of ones’ self. The team at Totoka pride themselves on their expertly crafted work and constant upskilling, whether it be the natural look preferred by local clients for every day wear, or more full hair and make up looks chosen for Indian bridal or catwalk looks. With a flourishing business in both hair and make up for a wide range of clients, it would be easy to expect Totoka has been around for years, given its massively successful start and growing reputation as an industry leader. “The business celebrates its third anniversary this year and from the beginning, the selection of highly skilled staff and a dedication to training have been an ongoing aspect of this business,” shares Totoka owner, Leanne Goff, a New Zealand-trained and qualified hair and make-up artist who has gathered some of the industry’s best at her Denarau Island studio. This innovative approach sees senior stylist Lodoviko Tucika securing a highly-coveted place as the first Fijian Make-Up Artist and hairstylist to participate in Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in Sydney, Australia this May. MBFW Australia is amongst the eminent network of international Fashion Weeks that span Sydney, New York, Milan, Paris and London, and as the pinnacle of Australia’s fashion calendar, a spot working magic on its models is a coveted career accomplishment for many Make Up Artists and Hairstylists. Lodoviko’s stint at Australia’s Fashion Week has been offered after the introduction of Harlotte Cosmetics, make-up sponsors of Fiji Fashion Week 2016/2017, whose seductively named range is stocked by Totoka for local buyers. Impressed by his make-up artistry skills at FJFW, the Australian cosmetics company has asked Totoka to send Lodoviko for a five-day experience churning out the demanding, highly versatile looks of MBFW catwalk models, a career highlight that will set a precedent for other highachieving artists from Fiji. Totoka’s team was recently trained by global beauty guru, Helen Dowsley, whose clients have included the Duchess of York, Sarah Ferguson and pop stars Rihanna and Beyonce as it enhances its make-up artistry in film and television, amid Fiji’s rise as an attractive film destination. Goff has committed to providing her stylists to at least two international development workshops a year and this program with the celebrated Dowsley is the latest preparation for the rising market of the big and silver screens in the country. “We already have experience in this area having done hair and make up for commercial work and TV ads, and following the hands-on tutorials and intensive workshop with Helen, we are fully confident of our skills for film work. We want to be able to provide services for overseas productions who shoot in Fiji, as they usually fly in their own make-up artists and hair stylists. We have invested in training and our team’s talent is commendable, so we feel confident catering to this segment,
which is a growing market here in Fiji.” Consisting of senior Make-Up Artists and Hair Stylists Lodoviko and Lydia Whippy, plus rising talent Litiana Vere, Mishell Rattan, Ludy Kamela and Michelle John, a solid mentoring practice ensures that up-and-comers and graduates work closely with their more established colleagues, who bring in models to practice new cosmetic looks and hairstyles on, before ascending to solo assignments. It’s an import investment towards upholding high standards, particularly with about 60 percent of clientele consisting of wedding parties who have travelled from abroad and can be demanding with their requirements. “It’s important for junior staff to perfect their craft before taking on jobs and it’s good for them to feel confident in their ability and be internationally conscious of current trends. They need to know what local, European, Asian and other global brides want and require, so we do a lot of crosstraining.” For Goff, being the sole expatriate owner of a local salon was a challenging start that involved many different processes to New Zealand, including forging a clientele network from scratch in a new country, but like all committed entrepreneurs, the dividends have reflected in the demand for bookings and the growth of the business to 11 staff members. In the salon, educating their clients on taking care of their skin and hair has been a central, additional focus for the team, and as noted by Goff, more clients are aware of the importance of using quality products. Totoka’s stocked products are amongst the best in their respective fields, and include Yuko, a pioneering Japanesemade permanent hair straightener, and the Brazilian blowout service which despite their price tags, have become popular choices for locals who opt for the quality of high-end products that nurture their manes, as opposed to cheaper alternatives that break and damage their hair. The daily seep of social media and celebrity fandom has also contributed to the client communicating what cut and style is required, with many clients emulating seasonal trends, red carpet hair styles and current looks of their favorite celebrities, and widening the skill set of Totoka’s stylists. Aside from Fiji’s considerable wedding market and regular clientele, the Totoka team travel country-wide for work on commercial projects and photo-shoots, with the awards season also raking in hefty bookings. Special offers and regular incentives are a drawcard for this highly professional hair and make up institution, whose international standards have attracted praise from overseasbased stylists and clients alike. Expect to see great things from this company over the next few years as they continue to set the standard of all things hair and make up in Fiji.
The team at Totoka Hair & Make Up
Lodoviko Tucika will be the first local H&MUA to style at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week, Australia
Owner Leanne Goff, with International H&MUA Helen Dowsley
Hair & Make Up by Lodoviko Tucika
Hair & Make Up by Lydia Whippy