Makeup is so vital it has the powers to uplift any woman’s spirit making her feel beautiful and glamorous, but sometimes finding the right colour or artist to fulfil that need can be difficult.

MiNK is a makeup school and agency that specialises and trains with all skin types; I spoke with the founder of MiNK about everything make up!

What is your name and what do you do?

My name is Funmi Odegbami and I am the founder of MiNK London, an award winning makeup school and agency that specialises in makeup for women of ALL colours.

Why did you choose the name MiNK? 

We are an award winning makeup school and makeup agency that specialises in makeup education, services and products for people of colour. The word “mink” has connotations with luxury, high quality, premium products and services. And we are positioning MiNK as a high quality brand!


Why did you choose a career within make up?

I actually fell in to makeup. I started off as a Management Consultant and did a 6 week makeup course because I wanted to learn how to apply makeup on myself. I enjoyed the experience but also found some fundamental flaws in the way the course was taught. The course for me lacked substance. There weren’t any course materials, there wasn’t any real focus on makeup application for different skin tones; and being the only black girl in the class I left the school without any knowledge of how to apply makeup on black skin. I searched around; and in fact at the time no school in London that I could find, offered a course that addressed the unique needs of darker skin. In the end I traveled to New York and trained with DeShawn Hatcher. Following my New York experience I determined that I would be the first to create a course that adequately covered the makeup requirements for women of ALL colours and the rest is history.

What is it about make up that you love? 

I love how it makes people feel. When you have finished working on a model or on a client and they love what you’ve done; their whole persona changes. Their confidence grows right there in front of you, they walk upright and they smile more.

It’s the transformational power of makeup that I love and the endless possibilities. It is art and is therefore limitless; and being a bit of a rebel myself, I think it resonates with me because of the freedom to create.

What advise would you give to those thinking about getting into makeup?

For anybody thinking about a career in makeup I would like to say, makeup is a skill that once learned can never be taken away from you. Since the beginning of time women have

found it necessary to enhance their appearance and this won’t ever change. In a world of changing fortunes it is a ‘smart’ move to acquire a set of skills that people will always need.

What does your courses consist of and can anyone join? 

We offer a wide range of professional and non professional makeup courses suitable for all skill levels. So if you are interested in mastering makeup application on yourself or you want to pursue a career in makeup, there is something for everyone. Our tutors are professional makeup artists with current and relevant industry experience, who work within the area that they teach. You can be confident in your tutor’s ability to help you develop your skills and give you supportive and constructive feedback.

As the UK’s leading makeup authority for women of colour, we have a global reputation as a centre of excellence. That’s why we are the number one choice of some of the most successful makeup artists and those who hire professional makeup artists around the world. And lastly, all of our professional courses are fully accredited so you can be assured that you will get the highest standard of training available.


Makeup by Nadine Neita

How important is it that makeup artists are trained to apply makeup on people of colour? Is there extra knowledge they need to know?

That is just it. It shouldn’t be ‘extra’ knowledge, however that is how makeup is often taught. Our approach is to ensure that makeup application techniques for ALL people is intrinsic to every course that we deliver. As part of our course structure, students are instructed to discuss and demonstration how makeup application or choice of colour would differ for different ethnicities. There is also the issue of cultural norms, which goes beyond just where to apply what. Here we address cultural trends as well, so that artists leave feeling confident that they can do a good job irrespective of who is sitting in front of them.

I have worked with makeup artists with 15 plus years experience who would not have the fainted idea about working with a black model; And still to this day I know black
actors/actresses, presenters and models who have to carry around their own makeup to work because the makeup artists do not have the right products for their skin.

What does it take to be an amazing makeup artist? 

This is going to sound like such a cliché but I think it takes passion, determination, hard work and persistence. In that order. I also think you need to have the x-factor. There is ‘something’ that great makeup artists possess and I think that something is innate and it comes from God. In anything, go for where your natural talent lies and you are bound to be
successfully in it.

What advice would you give to those who want a career within the make up industry? 

What are you waiting for? Go for it! Do your research and find an affordable course at a reputable school like MiNK London. Assist a willing makeup artist on jobs and get that essential on-the-job training that will help you to gain in confidence. It is also a good way of networking and meeting people that will one day employ you. And as I mentioned earlier,


there will always be a requirement for makeup professionals; because women since the beginning of time have worn makeup to enhance their appearances, and this is not likely to change.

What Beauty trend are you loving this fall? 

I’m loving paper false eyelashes right now. We just did a shoot with the finalists at Top Model of Colour where we used a brand of paper eyelashes called PaperSelf on all of the contestants. The photographers were going wild about them. I even kept a few for myself. It’s my birthday coming up soon, so I will definitely be sporting them then.

Another trend that I am loving is the natural look. There is nothing like a fresh natural looking face. When done correctly, it can take years off you! For this look you need a really good concealer and a sheer foundation like Becca’s Luminious skin colour. Finish off with sheer lip gloss; when you want to glam up in the evening you can add brown smoky eyes, with a modern cat eye using black liner, paper lashes (of course) and mulberry lips which are also great for the party season.
Give us three basic make up tips that women can apply now for confidence? 

  1. Take care of your skin. Makeup looks so much better if it is applied to clear and hydrated skin.
  2. Get a good primer, this will help the makeup adhere to the skin better and your makeup will last a lot longer.
  3. There is nothing better than soft, luscious lips, always moisturise your lips before applying anything else to it e.g. lipstick, gloss.

You said 3 my I’m going to add a couple more. Groom your eyebrows and if in doubt go to a professional. And please do not draw on black eyebrows, this is too harsh. Instead use a colour one shade lighter than your natural brow hairs. Invest in a really good creamy concealer and it will serve you well for years. Use it to cover dark under eye circles and blemishes.

What is your top three make up brands for people of colour?

1. IMAN for their full coverage foundations, clay bronzers and high pigment lip colours.

2. BECCA, because most foundations for darker skin tones tend to be heavier coverage, I really like BECCA’s sheer foundations. Not just for women of colour but they have a very wide range of colours. Great makeup for creating a natural, fresh face.

3. Inglot eye shadows and lips sticks, not for people of colour but I particularly love their makeup palettes and their pigments

4. MAC for the vastness of the range. There is something for everyone.

It’s difficult to say top 3 as I can probably keep going. Every brand does something really well so my advice to anyone looking to invest in makeup products is to try as many brands as possible.

Do you have any events on special classes coming up?

We have a lot of exciting courses coming up including an Advanced Airbrush makeup course, a Special FX makeup course, a Photography course, an Introduction to Fashion Styling and many more. Check out the MiNK London website for more information, follow us on twitter @thisismink and like our facebook page for access to exclusive discount offers.