In 2015, Milly Umuhoza made the choice to channel her hobby into makeup artistry. Since then her artistry has led her to work with several women, ranging from brides to TV personalities and musicians as well as commercials.
Last year, she set up her make up studio, the first in Kigali.
The 26-year-old and visual artist spoke to Sunday Magazine’s Sharon Kantengwa about her journey to success.
How long have you been a makeup artist and how did you get started in the industry?
I have been obsessed with makeup for as long as I could remember. I’d give my friends makeovers and the obsession took off from there. I began checking out makeup tutorials on YouTube with the intent of furthering my skills.
I however started doing it mostly because my friends and family insisted that I can make a living out of it.
What do you love most about make up?
Makeup is an art, it’s like drawing and a form of expression. Even the smallest amount of makeup can boost a woman’s confidence.
Umuhoza in her makeup studio. / Courtesy
It enhances your natural beauty, which to me is an energy that we all possess that comes from the soul and radiates through the skin and face.
You have spanned an incredible career using your art. What do you attribute this to and what have been your highlights?
Hard work and not giving up which comes from loving what I do.I’ve really pushed myself that my business has grown tremendously in the past years, I’ve networked and worked with different kinds of clients, sometimes late night for music videos but this has given my career a boost and confidence.
What has been the biggest challenge in your career?
I get my makeup kit and tools abroad and sometimes their delay impedes my work.It’s also not easy to meet up to a client’s expectations especially those that are not quite precise about what they want.
With time however, and with a lot of courage I have met some amazing people who helped me bring about some of my lifelong dreams.
What can you say is your style that sets you apart from other makeup artists?
It’s the art of mixing different shades of the eye shadow although I listen to what the client wants, I give suggestions and perform.
It’s important to understand that everyone is different and celebrate their uniqueness.
You recently set up a make studio. As an established makeup artist where did you derive the inspiration and how has it been like for you?
I was always up and about previously, so keeping in touch with my clients was abit difficult. For the sake of our convenience, they advised that I get a location where they can always find me.
Although I still go out to meet some of them like for photoshoots and video shoots, I’m mostly at the studio where they can find me.
How do you envision your studio and your career at large?
I just hope to expand it and make it more accessible for the growing client base.
What is your take on the makeup industry in the country?
It’s growing up very fast. Currently we are so many makeup artistes which is good and Rwandan women are beginning to appreciate make up more.
This industry is incredibly competitive with every artist crafting something different, making it quite diverse.