Marilyn Wanjiru is a self-taught makeup artist, photographer, videographer and content creator based in Nairobi Kenya.
“I love applying makeup on people so much that I made a career out of it” Marilyn simply says, and true to it she has done just that.
She has always loved playing with makeup ever since she can remember, but it wasn’t until five years ago when one of her friends asked her to be the makeup artist for a photo-shoot she was doing that she realized she could earn money from it. She turned to YouTube as her source of learning makeup application techniques, coupled with practicing on her face as well as other people’s faces and eventually took the plunge and quit her white-collar job. With KSHS 15000 [150usd] as her initial capital, she invested in her first makeup kit and became a full-time makeup artist.
What drives her to keep going?
Marilyn views what she does as the most amazing, nerve-wracking, exciting journey of her life. Even now, 5 years after she took the first step into makeup artistry, she is still growing, learning, evolving and teaching herself new ways and concepts to approaching makeup. She is also expanding her business into other fields such as photography and videography to compliment her makeup artistry which further motivates her evolving and learning.
What legacy/mark does she want her work to leave?
Marilyn would love to have an internationally acclaimed makeup brand as well as beauty schools where people could learn to do makeup, whether as a hobby or professionally. She wants to pass down the knowledge she has gathered over the years and maybe even create her groundbreaking makeup techniques and beauty products. That is the mark she would love to leave and so much more.
See the full list of 21 African Women Channeling New Narratives In The Creative Industry.
Lorna is a 2016 YALI Mandela Washington Fellow.