The world of fashion is a big one. It is more than just the clothes or accessories we put on, it goes right into our choice of hairstyle and makeup. Makeup, for one, plays a very vital role in how we look when we step out and how others perceive us. This is why we have amazing entrepreneurs specifically trained to glam us up.
Previously, we interviewed Oyindamola David on the creative process behind her Lila Aso-Oke and jeans handbag. This week, we spoke with Oluwapelumi Adedolapo Adesina on the creative process behind her Chocolatey Goodness makeup look and gele style.
Oluwapelumi Adesina is a professional makeup and gele artist. She is the Creative Director of Faces by Lumey, a beauty brand that specialises in using makeup to enhance the natural beauty of every woman.
The journey to Faces by Lumey started in 2017 immediately after her undergrad study. While waiting for the mandatory NYSC, she decided to learn a skill and she chose makeup. Being one that couldn’t even draw her brows right by herself, she stayed in training for 3 months. Seeing as makeup has a way of giving people an extra boost of confidence, which she liked seeing, she started Faces by Lumey officially in 2019 after her NYSC.
What was the Process of Making the Chocolate Goodness Look like?
The Chocolatey Goodness look was inspired by weddings. Everywhere online I was seeing people getting married and I got into the wedding vibe as well. I then decided to do a Yoruba traditional bridal shoot and wanted something chocolatey. That was the inspiration for the shoot.
My vision was that of a vibrant bride. I wanted a dark melanin popping model to create a look for. I wanted everything to be in sync, the makeup, aso-oke and outfit, and very lively. It had to be eye-catching without being too bold or dull. That is what informed my choice of makeup and gele.
The first thing I did was to get her relaxed before prepping her face. I started by wiping her face with normal facial wipes to clean any dirt from the face.
Next was the brows. I do my brows before any other thing because I try to get them to be as perfect as they can be since they take the most time, in my opinion. I start with shaping the brows while still maintaining the person’s natural eyebrow shape. After that, I went on to drawing and highlighting the brows.
My next focus was the eyes. I started with the eyeshadow. I prepped the eyelids, applied the eyeshadow, eyeliner, and mascara. Then, I put glue on the eyelashes and left them to dry while I moved on. I don’t like putting them on immediately because they can make the makeup tacky.
Next, I moved on to the skin prepping again. I used wipes to clean her face again, but this time around I was focusing on the eye area because I had done the brows and eyeshadow, so I was trying to remove any stains or residue from them.
After cleaning, I went on to using a moisturiser and face primer. It is good to use a moisturiser and primer because it serves as a good base. My choice of both depends on the person’s skin type. If the person has oily skin, I use a mattifying primer but if it’s dry skin then I go for a hydrating or moisturising primer.
I moved on to the foundation next. Just by looking at my model, I knew the colour of foundation that will work for her. I didn’t have to test it because I already knew what shade would suit her skin colour. After that, I set in the foundation with her shade of loose powder.
Highlighting and contouring came next and I finished them both off with powder as well. The lipstick was next. The final steps were using the bronzer to give her a glow and finishing off with setting spray.
There are many gele styles this days and I am privy to a lot of them. Even with all the styles, I feel there is something about this normal round gele style, it is simple yet classy. It is in a class of its own. So, I wanted to do the normal round gele but with a twist, something common yet slightly different. This is why I opted for the v-shape in the front.
To tie the gele, I moved her to a lower chair. Since the makeup was done on a high chair, I had to move her to a lower chair so I don’t stress my back. Tying the gele came next and it was a complex process.
I took the gele, put in the pleats and told her to hold it for me as I tied and arranged it. My main concerns with gele tying are making sure my pleats are in place and the gele hasn’t moved to the back.
It’s also very important to make sure you are careful at this stage because you’ve done your makeup and you don’t want to mess it up. Before placing the gele on her head, you must have used edge control and then you place the gele on her hairline so it’s not stressful to shift it back a bit.
Initially, I wanted to go with a white gele because white is a neutral colour and you can’t go wrong with it, any colour you use for the makeup will match white. However, on the day of the shoot, the white gele was not available for pick up and this was the only one available.
I decided to take it but all through the day, I kept wondering what colours to use for the makeup. Since I wanted something vibrant and eye-catching, I decided to use pigments for the eyeshadow.
I looked at the pigments I had and saw one that was vibrant but neutral. I wasn’t planning to use anything green but I needed the whole look to synchronise, so, I decided to go with that colour of eyeshadow. It isn’t nude or loud and still allowed me to use red on the lips, which was what I wanted.
What Inspires the Designs for Each of Your Makeup Looks and Gele Styles?
Inspiration comes differently. Sometimes I see a product or eyeshadow colour or pigment and I think it will look nice with some other things. If I’m at home, I try it out on my hands to try to match those colours and see if it will come out the way I envision it. Sometimes, I try it out on one eyelid just to see if it’ll come out nice.
Some other times, I might be doing something random and an idea comes to mind and I try it out. I’m also inspired a lot by other people’s work when I see them on social media. I try not to completely recreate someone else’s look except if a client wants exactly that. I mostly use them to get inspiration and ideas of how to match colours.
Most times, I go with what is trending for the gele. So, what I do for clients is dependent on them or the mood I want to achieve. I don’t create new gele styles myself. Right now, I’m learning new styles of gele tying.
At first, I tried creating news styles for gele tying but things are different now. Gele tying is now becoming a craft on its own, away from makeup. There are gele artists that don’t do makeup now. Sometimes, though, I’m trying to tie something and it flops but comes out as something nice so I go with it.