Gone are the days when makeup and makeup artists were part of a woman’s world.
Today, social media has enhanced the emergence of international male beauty influencers like Bretman Rock and Manny Gutierrez who have pushed the boundaries and made makeup more gender-inclusive.
Take local makeup artist Shanil Kumar for instance. He is one of many makeup artists who dares to push the envelope.
Though his story of rising fame and fortune is marked by hardships, they have never brought him down.
Originally from Nadi, the 24-year-old said that coming from a poor background was a challenge but never a reason to give up.
“After high school my parents weren’t able to send me to a tertiary institution due to financial hardships,” he said.
“Therefore I made it my mission to look for a job so I worked for Tappoos and Lulu Bar in Nadi for a couple of years to support my living.”
Despite his financial situation, his interest in fashion and beauty, which he developed from childhood, was always close to his heard.
“Over time, without me even noticing it, family and friends started asking me for makeup tips and style advice. This gave him the confidence to take his passion further and start up a fullyfledged business.
“I began doing this more frequently – whether it was for a special day/occasion, and specific to needs and the environment.”
He finally took a break from working at a bar to set up his own business.
“That had to be the hardest challenge I took in my life because I was only 19 years old at the time but now, I’m 24 and looking back made me realise it was worth the sacrifices and struggle.
“I didn’t always have this confidence and I still fall at times due to my insecurities because I am only human, but as I move closer to my goal and have the opportunity to share my art and love of makeup, I inspire others to keep on thriving.”
Like many other successful individuals, Kumar had to first overcome teething problems.
“The makeup products were very costly, so I had to balance my cost of living and in addition to that I struggled to build up my clients. In the first two to three months I had no clients with no followers on my social media platform but now, with Gods’ blessing, I’m close to reaching 10,000 followers on my official page – Bridal Creation Fiji By Shanil.”
His advice to people who want to start their own business is to have a positive outlook.
“Practice different types of makeup because not everyone will want the same look. Watch other working makeup artists and research online.
“Always push through negativity, believe that you do have what it takes, work hard and always look forward toward your goals. I’ve had the door shut in my face so many times, it never gets easier, but you learn to change those negative feelings into something positive.