Women In Beauty
We speak to influential voices in the beauty arena about their careers, goals and the role they play in this multifaceted sphere
TITLE: MAKE-UP ARTIST
When did you fall in love with make-up? I studied make-up and when I realised how relaxed it made me feel, the love developed from there. Make-up is my escape.
Tell us about your career highlights. Doing Mam’Winnie Madikizela Mandela’s make-up was a big career highlight, as well as getting my second award from the Marie Claire Image Makers Awards.
What do you enjoy about your job?
I love working with people that respect and understand what I do. I enjoy meeting people who have saved money just for me to work my magic on their special days. It’s so heartwarming!
What’s the most challenging part of your job?
People always ask if ‘I just do make-up?’ for a living.
What’s next for Clara?
I plan to open doors for new talented makeup artists. Watch this space! CYNTHIA GWEBU
TITLE: BEAUTY BLOGGER
Tell us about your job.
I am a full-time beauty blogger. I express my creativity through social media and my website, CynthiaGwebu.com.
What inspired your career path?
I had dreams of becoming a writer and magazine editor. After a short stint at the London College of Fashion, I came back home to an internship which eventually turned into a full-time job as Junior Beauty Editor for an online company. I then branched out on my own as a full-time blogger. My schedule varies. I shoot for my YouTube channel twice a week, respond to e-mails, rush to the airport to catch a flight for meetings in Joburg, attend press events and updating my blog regularly. What’s the secret to being a successful blogger?
Balance is crucial because work can be overwhelming. Having a good support system keeps you grounded, and don’t forget your unique voice and why you started this journey in the first place. Advice for aspiring beauty bloggers? Just start. An internet connection and a device is the foundation to your empire. LERATO SELEPE TITLE: BRAND MANAGER Tell us about your job? I compare my job to raising children – it entails taking care of each brand like a child, understanding that each one needs special attention to grow. I am responsible for the planning, development and all marketing efforts with the aim of increasing the brand’s value.
Name one career highlight. It’s being involved in the process of launching new products. I don’t take for granted the amount of hard work, research, testing and all efforts that go behind creating new products. It’s stressful, yet the most fulfilling part. What is the most glamorous part about what you do? Seeing it all come together! For me the most glamourous part is sitting at home and seeing a TV commercial that I know I was part of coming to life; it’s driving past an amazing billboard that I know we worked tirelessly to complete; going through a magazine and seeing our print execution.
What’s next for Lerato? Creating more meaningful campaigns that resonate with our consumers. Using each brand for purposeful branding and ensuring that each one delivers on its promise.
NAME: LINDELWA NKAMBULE TITLE: OWNER OF LIYANDA HAIR AND BEAUTY SALON
Tell us about your business. Liyanda is a hair salon located at 7 Sunnyside Road in Melrose, Joburg, We are dedicated to providing high customer satisfaction by rendering an excellent service with quality products in an enjoyable atmosphere. Our stylists are trained and qualified to do all hair services for all hair types, our greatest speciality being braids and faux locs. We also have an exclusive barber room dedicated to gentleman grooming. What sets your salon apart?
The ‘Liyanda Experience’ offers clients the opportunity to enter into a sanctuary and experience the best hair treatments. Our goal is to deliver head-to-toe confidence to all our clients. Because we are not in a mall, we have very flexible opening and closing hours. Why a hair salon?
After six years at L’Oréal managing Mizani, I gained experience on running a salon business. That, coupled with a love for people and a passion for African hair, and a desire to create jobs, prompted me to start my salon business. What advice would you give to an aspiring salon owner?
A start-up requires a lot of patience and hard work. When the going gets tough – and it will – always remember why you started. Be prepared to not make a profit in the first six months.
Any future plans for Liyanda?
I would like to groom and empower my top stylists to be co-owners when I open more Liyanda branches.
NAME: BUYI XABA TITLE: BRAND MANAGER Tell us about your job. I am Head of Marketing and Public Relations for Black Opal Southern Africa Region. I’m responsible for marketing activities and overseeing development and delivery of marketing strategies for the business.
Name one career highlight.
Signing Somizi Mhlongo as our brand personality. I was the first marketer to make such a bold decision – I broke industry norms by signing a male personality to endorse a cosmetic brand. It was an iconic moment for the cosmetic industry as a whole.
What’s the most glamorous part about what you do?
[Hahaha!]My job may appear glamorous but trust me, it’s not! I work long hours, travel extensively, and I work on public holidays. I really don’t know the difference between Sunday and Monday! What is the secret to a successful career in your field? I have created my own standards. It’s easy to measure progress that way. You must set very clear and direct strategies, review all objectives and action plans to ensure you’re on track. What’s next for Buyi? I’m the project leader for the brand expansion to the neighbouring markets. I am pleased to announce that our Zambian office will be fully operational by September. Africa is the future!
NAME: SPHELELE MJADU TITLE: UNILEVER HEAD OF PR Tell us about your job. My key role is to enhance and protect the reputation of the brands that I work with. In the new world of all-things digital, my job also involves building brands by creating purpose-driven campaigns. This requires me to develop a clear strategic roadmap, which includes strategic and comprehensive earned, paid, social and owned channel plans. The brands that I work with include Ponds, Dove, Lux and Vaseline, to name a few. Name one career highlight. A career highlight was conceptualising and executing the first ever Communications Pillar Strategy for Unilever Beauty & Personal Care. This has enabled us to lead trends and drive our point of view, which has placed us in the beauty industry as thought leaders. Another was helping our brand teams garner a record-breaking (over 200) number of brand beauty awards over five years. What is the most glamorous part about what you do? It’s executing a powerful brand experience, content and influence. That requires me to work closely with the brand teams in organising and hosting brand experiences. What’s the secret to a successful career in your field? Be consistent, vocal and prolific. Communications is not something that you can turn on and off as you wish. What’s next for Sphelele Mjadu? To master new PR tools, expand my skills, and work on my
MCom in Communications & Marketing Management.