'I'VE SEEN HOW MAKE-UP CAN GIVE WOMEN A CON­FI­DENCE BOOST'

Our cover star, Mar­l­ize Veen­hof

Essentials (South Africa) - - CONTENTS -

Born in Cape Town and raised in Joburg, Mar­l­ize, 28, was dead set on study­ing graphic de­sign af­ter school, but af­ter los­ing out on a bur­sary, she had to re­think her life plan. She job-hopped for a while be­fore en­ter­ing the world of cos­met­ics, where in 2013 she landed a job in sales at hair­care brand Schwartzko­pf. About two years later Mar­l­ize caught the eye of Moroc­can Oil and be­came the brand’s na­tional ed­u­ca­tor. Dur­ing this time she’d been work­ing week­ends as a make-up artist and had started mak­ing videos for her YouTube chan­nel, Kandy Kane. In 2016 she took the plunge and left the safety of her full- time job to pur­sue a ca­reer as a pro­fes­sional make-up artist and YouTube vlog­ger. She lives in Ger­mis­ton with her hus­band Kevin, 30, and their dog Ivan.

I have my mom to thank for my make-up ob­ses­sion. From the age of 11 I be­came fas­ci­nated by my mom’s morn­ing beauty rou­tine. I’d watch as she out­lined her eyes in blue eye­liner and added a lick of mas­cara to her eye­lashes. I’d no­tice a shift in her con­fi­dence when her make-up and hair were done; it was as if it brought out this bolder, more coura­geous woman. I wanted to ex­pe­ri­ence this change too, so I begged her for eye­liner. Dur­ing the school hol­i­days she’d let me wear some and I loved it. Once I had been given a taste of make-up, I wanted more so I spent my pocket money on build­ing my own col­lec­tion of cheap eye­shadow and eye­liner. Soon enough I was that girl in high school who’d wear a full face of make-up to par­ties on week­ends. I knew it was frowned upon, but I didn’t care, be­cause it made me so happy.

My make-up ed­u­ca­tion didn’t come from an ex­pen­sive course. When I was 16, I re­mem­ber my mom tak­ing me to CNA so I could buy a spe­cific mag­a­zine that came out ev­ery two weeks. Each is­sue would fo­cus on an area of make-up ex­per­tise, and came pack­aged with a free lip­stick or eye­shadow. I’d pore over each is­sue from cover to cover, learn­ing about skin tones, face shapes and dif­fer­ent tech­niques. These mag­a­zines gave me the ba­sics, but it was only when I dis­cov­ered YouTube makeup tu­to­ri­als that I re­ally started to build my skills. Even to­day, YouTube is still my go-to for learn­ing about the lat­est trends and make-up ap­pli­ca­tion tech­niques.

Af­ter school I found my­self bounc­ing from job to job. I only ever pic­tured my­self study­ing graphic de­sign and hinged my hopes on get­ting into the cov­eted graphic de­sign course at North-West Univer­sity, but when my bur­sary fell through and I couldn’t at­tend I felt lost. I got a job as a re­cep­tion­ist an­swer­ing phones, but the pay wasn’t much. I job-hopped for a bit be­fore land­ing a role in the HR de­part­ment of a gas man­u­fac­tur­ing com­pany. My col­leagues would of­ten com­pli­ment me on my hair and make-up, and asked me why I wasn’t work­ing in the beauty in­dus­try. Even though I didn’t have much ex­pe­ri­ence, I de­cided to ap­ply for a sales po­si­tion at hair­care brand Schwartzko­pf and I got it.

I hit my tar­gets each month and soon enough I was head­hunted by Moroc­can Oil. In 2015, I be­came the na­tional ed­u­ca­tor – a far cry from an­swer­ing phones.

I used to do make-up for about five wed­dings a year, but now I’m booked ev­ery week­end. The first bride who ever asked me to do their make-up was my hus­band Kevin’s sis­ter. I was flat­tered and hap­pily made her up for her spe­cial day. Be­fore I knew it I was get­ting calls from friends of friends to do their make-up. But I be­gan to feel over­whelmed by the re­spon­si­bil­i­ties of my day job and what

I haven’t done any ex­pen­sive cour­ses – with so many great free tu­to­ri­als avail­able on­line, I haven’t needed to

Ev­ery­one has an opin­ion on­line, so I’ve had to grow a thick skin

I had promised my bridal clients. I wasn’t cop­ing and so had to choose be­tween work­ing for my­self or some­one else. In the end I chose me and I’ve never been hap­pier. My week­ends from now un­til the end of the year are booked up with wed­dings and ma­tric farewells.

It took a long time for me to feel com­fort­able in front of a cam­era.

I was work­ing in HR when I started mulling over the idea of start­ing my own YouTube chan­nel. There were loads of in­ter­na­tional beauty vlog­gers, but not many lo­cal ones and I thought I’d give it a go. I up­loaded my first video in 2012 af­ter film­ing it on my iPhone 4 and edit­ing it with iMovie. Even though I’d up­loaded it for the world to see, I was still so shy about it and knocked my sis­ter’s phone out of her hand when she tried to show the video to a friend! I was so anx­ious about what peo­ple would say about the way I looked and how I sounded. In time I got used to see­ing and hear­ing my­self on screen and I started to let go of all these in­se­cu­ri­ties. Now, I’m just hav­ing loads of fun.

YouTube doesn’t pay the bills – it doesn’t even fill my car’s tank. A lot has changed for YouTu­bers in re­cent years, like the new al­go­rithm that’s re­duced the ad rev­enue for vlog­gers, so I have to keep an eye out for other op­por­tu­ni­ties. I’ll fill my week with one- on- one makeup tu­to­ri­als with clients, or even other make-up artists want­ing to fine-tune a spe­cific look. I also have my bridal and ma­tric dance clients who keep me busy on the week­ends. Then I’ll spend one or two days film­ing videos for my YouTube chan­nel, which could be any­thing from a prod­uct re­view to a how-to. In the past I’ve been lucky enough to col­lab­o­rate with the likes of Ur­ban De­cay, who’ve flown me to Lon­don and Réu­nion Is­land for the launch of its new prod­ucts.

I’ve learnt that not ev­ery­one is go­ing to agree with you on so­cial me­dia. I’m a sen­si­tive per­son, but I’ve re­alised that ev­ery­one has a right to their opin­ion and that if they dis­agree with me it’s not al­ways per­sonal. I’ve had to grow a thick skin, but for the most part I of­ten try to turn a neg­a­tive com­ment into a pos­i­tive con­ver­sa­tion. I delete un­nec­es­sary com­ments, like the ones that say I’m ugly or fat be­cause I don’t think these have any­thing to add to the post, or the con­ver­sa­tion my fol­low­ers are hav­ing.

Be­ing wo­ken up with a cup of cof­fee was a real treat grow­ing up. We didn’t have a lot, but our par­ents made sure that my younger sis­ter, Belinda, and I al­ways felt loved. My dad worked full time while my mom stayed at home to take care of us. I re­mem­ber wak­ing up to a steam­ing bowl of por­ridge and a mug of hot cof­fee made by mom be­fore school each morn­ing. She was also an amaz­ing seam­stress who spent a lot of time mak­ing us dresses for all the school dances.

It took a fi­nan­cial cri­sis for Kevin and I to re­alise what was im­por­tant when it came to plan­ning a wed­ding. We had been dat­ing for about four years be­fore he asked me to marry him. We planned our wed­ding for months, spend­ing a mas­sive amount of money on it. Just be­fore the big day, the venue burnt down and we lost our en­tire de­posit. The fi­nan­cial stress got to us and we fought con­stantly; even­tu­ally we called off the en­gage­ment and broke up. We couldn’t be away from each other for long and were back to­gether within a month. Two years ago, Kevin got down on one knee again. We were a lit­tle older and wiser and we re­alised that our wed­ding didn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. We scaled it down by hav­ing it at Kevin’s aunt’s beau­ti­ful home, with the cer­e­mony in the gar­den and the re­cep­tion on the ten­nis courts. I’m so glad we did it like that, be­cause it helped me re­alise that spend­ing all that money on one day wouldn’t make a dif­fer­ence to our mar­riage in the long run.

Mar­riage has taught me that some­times it’s OK to go to bed an­gry. We’ve been to­gether for 10 years so we’ve re­ally grown to­gether, which also means we’ve had all the fights that cou­ples can have – and I’m sure we’ll have more! We’re in­cred­i­bly open with each other, even when it comes to things we know the other doesn’t want to hear. There have been nights when we’ve both gone to bed fum­ing, but in the morn­ing light we’ve cooled off a bit and are then ready to dis­cuss the is­sue ra­tio­nally. In the heat of the mo­ment, you’re more con­cerned about your point of view, and you’re not think­ing clearly. A good night’s sleep can change all of that.

✱ To see more of Kandy Kane’s makeup tu­to­ri­als and re­views, visit her YouTube chan­nel at youtube.com/user/ kandykane­makeup

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