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Putting smiles on faces

Anesta Henry

Putting smiles on faces

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IN THE PURSUIT OF?BEAUTY, make-up has been one of the ways that people, especially women, create the illusion that they are something other than what they are. And some might think this is excessive vanity.
But in reality, people just want to feel good about themselves. And this is where Shakita Payne and Ebony Kellman come in. They are teaming up to make people feel good about themselves while also looking beautiful. These 21-year-olds are the producers of Make-Up Doll Cosmetics, making eye shadows and lip glosses.
The idea of starting a make-up business evolved from Payne’s posting of a tutorial make-up video on YouTube last September. When Kellman saw the video, she contacted Payne through Facebook. According to the two, brushes have been sweeping ever since then.
“We decided to start our own make-up line because we were not sourcing the quality make-up from outside markets to suit the needs of our local clientele. I took the idea to Ebony and she was all for it.
“She thought that starting our own make-up line was a unique idea which we should bring to reality. As soon as we came to an agreement that we were going to do it, we started to do research,” said Payne.
After the decision was made, the team contacted the United States Food and Drug Administration to seek advice on how to purchase the relevant raw materials they needed. According to Kellman, who is also a hairdresser, from the day the decision was made it was an uphill battle getting everything to fall into place.
“We took an online class where we learnt the basics of manufacturing make-up. We had no choice but to take that course because we needed a certificate before we could get the raw materials from our sources,” Kellman pointed out to EASY, shaking her head.
They became certified and were able to self-finance the purchasing of the raw materials. Both of them recalled the long nights they spent in Kellman’s beauty salon in St George – now also known as their second home.
“The first set of lip glosses that we made were not to our satisfaction because the pigmentation wasn’t strong enough. The lip glosses were not different from the ones on the market, so Ebony and I went straight back to the drawing board.
“We spent sleepless nights trying to get the lip glosses where we wanted them.”
Finally, after weeks of trying, the team found the exact quality and texture they wanted. That discovery was made the night before last month’s Barbados Manufacturers Exhibition, BMEX – the first place the lip glosses and eye shadows were marketed.
The team said they went to the three-day event with 200 lip glosses and 300 eye shadows. They said the response was tremendous.
“We got a lot of shocked faces because people could not believe that lip glosses and eye shadows of such quality could be made in Barbados,” Kellman said with glee. And according to an equally excited Payne, “BMEX was interesting because people were buying and going back and telling their friends about how good the products were.”
What about the girls’ dream for the future of their make-up line?
“We would like to see it throughout the Caribbean. I would like to see every Caribbean woman wearing Make-Up Doll cosmetics,” said Payne.