Meet Bimpe Onakoya, the African Queen of makeup

Bimpe Onakoya is an award winning African based international makeup artist, she’s the artistic Director of Maybelline new york Nigeria. She is a dynamic and creative Makeup Artist with over eleven years industry experience spanning television, print, editorial shoots, advertising campaigns, bridal beauty, fashion shows and events. She has worked alongside some of the industry’s most influential photographers ,top models, fashion designers and stylists.

Her keen eye for bringing out the best in one’s features has led to a solid reputation in the industry and to her being a celebrity favourite. Bimpe has worked at NYFW with top designers like DKNY, Lacoste, J Mendel, Mara Hoffman, Suno , Theory, she was lead Makeup Artist at such high profile évents such as Arise Fashion Week 2011 and one of the team leaders for 2012, she has been the head of makep right from inception for MTN Lagos Design and Fashion week, she has worked on high profiled Models like Alek Wek, Jourdan Dunn , Oluchi, Agbani Darego, as well as having numerous magazine covers to her credit including MANIA, Geneivieve, TW, her work has also been published in Vanity Fair Italia, Bimpe has an innate understanding of colour, great command of technique, flair and artistry that stands her out from the pack, she is a true professional. She’s an icon in the Makeup Industry.

With her solid reputation in the beauty and fashion industries, she has become a celebrity favourite and an makeup icon. She’s worked on stars like Alek Wek and Jourdan Dunn, and now we can add our very own Minnie to that list!

What is the inspiration behind Minnie Dlamini’s SAFTAs look last Sunday?

The inspiration for Minnie’s looks came from fairy tale characters and their variations: The Whimsical, the Princess, the Wicked Witch etc. I just wanted her to be the focus of all attention, the most beautiful at the SAFTAs, to glow like a diamond and make her fairytale-like beauty captivate and blow away the audience.

A while ago, we reported on Minnie’s first Nigerian magazine cover, and you were responsible for her flawless look. How did you find that experience?

When I first saw Minnie, I was totally blown away by her beauty and her flawless skin. In the process of getting her makeup done, I discovered that there is more to her than her beauty. Minnie is bubbly, intelligent, confident, full of energy, fun to be with and completely alluring. All I could think of was to bring that beauty alive and showcase the essence of Queen Minnie as I fondly call her with my artistry. I decided to go minimal so the real Minnie could shine through.

You’ve worked with some of the industry’s most influential stylists, photographers, models and designers. Which of those moments were most memorable for you?

I am completely blessed and honoured to have worked with some amazing people: from Alek Wek, Jourdan Dunn, Diandra Forest, Jasmaine Sanders, Agbani Darego and Oluchi Orlandi to Lacoste, DKNY, Public School, Deola Sagoe and Gert-Johan Coetzee, to Kelechi Amadi-Obi, Ty Bello, Yemi Akerele and Dimeji Alara. Each time I pick up my brushes to do makeup is always exciting. Every moment is memorable.

As the Artistic Director of Maybelline New York Nigeria, what are your top tips and tricks for GLAMOUR readers who love a good makeup haul?

When getting makeup, always swatch. Check out the colours to see if they match your skin tone. Also always try not to get carried away with product packaging as you might be buying products you already own, so check, check and check again.

Which Maybelline products are your favourites and why?

I love, I don’t just love, I’m crazy about EVERY Maybelline product we carry in Africa because they have been carefully formulated to suit pigmented skin.

Do you have a go-to beauty look for when you’re in a hurry? Can you describe it and the products you use.

When I am in a hurry, I apply the Colossal Kajal to line my eyes, and add a little wing to open them up. I’ll swipe some Baby Lips on to hydrate my lips, and then a good helping of dark lipstick which helps make my skin look brighter. To keep the shine at bay, I use the Maybelline Dream Matte Mouse Foundation, or the Maybelline Clear Smooth Powder in Cinnamon and Cacao does the shading magic all the time!

Which autumn/winter 2016 makeup trends should GLAMOUR readers invest in?

I think people should invest in a blue pencil like Maybelline Master Kajal in Navy Nights. Go out of your comfort zone and try a dark lippie. They are interesting, fun and I am loving them right now. Catch the glow with an illuminating primer like Maybelline Master Prime Blur+Illuminate and Maybelline Master Highlight Bronzing Powder.

You have worked with some amazing celebrities. Tell us what comes to mind when we mention their names

Omosexy: Screen goddess, amazing wife, fantastic mother, awesome friend and fiercely loyal. Agbani Darego: The Face. Stunning, drop dead gorgeous, sweet, exotic, mysterious and reserved. Ty Bello: The Mind. Intense, Perfectionist, a deep Christian, a deep thinker and a deep lover. Toolz: Fun, happy, energetic, mischievous, driven, shape of life. Asa: The Voice. Sweeter than sweet, deep, a well of kindness


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