It’s somewhat inspiring to see a woman rubbing shoulders with her male counterparts in the predominantly male Engineering profession. What more, is when that Engineer, breaks the odds to take up make-up artistry not only as a hobby but an occupation on the sides.
That’s the story of Mrs. Evita Joseph Asare, a mechanical engineer who got into make-up some three years ago during her wedding preparations. “I did a very nice make-up of myself and went to the fitting already made-up. “The tailor asked me if I intentionally went to get made up. I said no- and she said to me, you can actually be an artist you know.”
Over the years Evita has got better at make-up just as she gets at Engineering and shares her thoughts on make-up in Ghana.
It all started in Paris
In 2008, “I had the opportunity to be in France, Paris, and I happened to be among a group of girls in Paris who were always talking about Make-up. Each morning, they would sit me down and do all sort of things to my face. I simply fell in love with make-up and shopped a lot of make-up, pencils, eyeliners and concealers. That was the first time I heard of concealers.”
Indeed Evita flaunted her newly acquired make-up skills upon her return to Ghana and was soon known by her friends as the “Concealer Lady”.
These incidents coupled with remarks of other people including her tailor, got Evita thinking about turning her new found love into an occupation. But she dreamt big about this occupation and knew that she wanted to go international right from the start. “And that called for starting right, which called for my having the right education and certification. If I wanted to go international then I needed to get certified as a professional make-up artiste.”
So whiles on her Maternity leave in 2010, Evita enrolled at the Hair Planet College of Cosmetology, where she took up courses in make-up. She coupled this with a lot of reading from world renowned make-up brands and magazine including the Bobby Brown Make-Up Manual.
Four years down, and the “Concealer Lady” is now a Mac Professional and Make-Up Forever Professional Member. “I want to be called one day to do international shoots, and I want to be recognized everywhere. All of which I believe depends on your certification.”
It wasn’t easy getting these down since she was down here in Africa, but she did owing to her determination to be part of the world’s ace make-up brands and professional bodies.
Views on Make-Up Artistry in Ghana
In her view make-up artistry in Ghana, though is improving still has some way to go. “The industry is very green, but I feel people are also just rushing into it. In the US, you cannot just have access to someone’s face. But there is no such licensing agency here in Ghana, so people seem to just be doing things without any structure or plan.”
According to her, the Ghanaian industry seems more concerned at the aesthetics of the process rather than the science behind it. In sum, “I think people are not learning and that’s our main problem. Having lots of pictures on facebook of make-up you’ve done doesn’t make you a makeup artiste. You must have a professional backing and a certification to prove what you have. Take the course, practice, seek and share knowledge. There is science in make-up and that’s what we should be yearning to discover.”
Evita believes that this will allow artists in Ghana to get better at their jobs as they would understand the rudiments of the trade. “Understand the colour wheel, face shapes, skin tones and all that’s there to be learnt. This will enable you transform faces through make-up and not deform them instead.”
The bridge between Engineering and Make-Up artistry
So what does engineering and make-up have in common? Asked this question, Mrs. Joseph Asare responded “Engineering generally makes me a very analytical person. And for my make-up artistry, it causes me to visualize and analyze each project, before I do it. So I always go a step further by researching before I pick up my brush. Engineering requires you to have speed and accuracy, virtues which has made me better at make-up because they are required here too. Make-Up is Science, just as engineering.”
Evita has been working at Total Petroleum Ghana as a Maintenance Supervisor following her studies of Mechanical Engineering at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in 2000.
Why Mechanical Engineering
“I had an Uncle at Mechanical Lloyd who always used jargons to explain things to people; I took an interest in it. “I had wanted to do Civil Engineering because I liked structures and was fascinated by them. But the course included drawing and I’m not a drawing expert so; I opted for Mechanical Engineering instead.”
Working as a Female Engineer
“In my Class we were 124 and that included 4 ladies. And currently in my office, there are just two of us. “Back in school it was very tough but we managed to finish. It’s quite challenging but in all I would say the profession is a bit favourable to me as a woman. Engineering makes me feel empowered as a woman. People think engineering is male dominated but am there and I have observed that as woman in that field, the little things I do make me shine. “I don’t regret studying engineering at all.”
The Future for Evita
With all these going for her, it’s just natural to wonder what the two faced artist has up her sleeves. I have plans of taking my engineering professional exams, so I can be called Engineer Mrs. Joseph Asare. I will quit engineering after 10 years and focus solely on make-up. I want to set up a world class make up school in Ghana.”
Evita surely minces no words when it comes to her dreams, a trait of her personality “bold, assertive and someone who speaks her mind no matter what.”
She currently owns an online shop the “EJ beauty store,” has two male children and is professionally managed by her husband.
By Martha Teiko Daitey