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Talk about women who love to put their best face forward. Kamilah Codrington and Shanelle Estwick met at Combermere some 15 years ago and have been best friends since then. Their journey took them both to the Barbados Community College and onto the University of the West Indies. Codrington, 27, is a research officer trained in economics while Estwick, 28, is a full-time makeup artist.
Now this twosome have joined forces and are co-partners in their own venture IHEARTmakeup.
The two received certificate training from the Out of the Beauty Box (O2B2) Extended Tour put on by Koren Zander and Elessa Jade – two major make-up gurus on YouTube. They also did workshops at a make-up trade show they attended with Emmy Award-winning celebrity make-up artists James Vincent and KJ Bennett, completed a course in make-up artistry at the Barbados Vocational Training Board, and attended several MAC training sessions. Now they’re ready to wow the world with their talent.
How did you come up with the name for the business?
Kamilah: We were searching for a name that best described us and our passion for make-up. One day I was like “the only thing I could say is ‘I love make-up’ . . . but that’s too cliché so we chose “I heart” make-up instead”.
How did your career in the world of beauty begin? And at what point did you decide this would be your career?
Kamilah: I had gotten into a really bad accident and I just retreated to my house for months because I was nervous and anxious about everything. I always used to doodle and I liked artsy things, so during that time I started to play around a bit with make-up and using cheap products to recreate looks from magazines and music videos and posting a couple photos on Facebook. I’m not at the point where I can call make-up artistry my ‘career’, but what really motivated me was when I saw make-up that somebody did and charged a pretty penny for and I was like “What is this nonsense?! I can do this – and times better!” I think I began to really think of it as a career when more and more people started to ask me to do their make-up and actually recommended me to do their friends and family members’ make-up.
Shanelle: I started by doing make-up on myself and then it gradually went into requests for make-up by other people. I realized this was what I loved doing despite the early and long hours. Once I got on set, I was totally psyched up about it. Plus I had promised myself I would never be in a career where I didn’t enjoy my day-to-day work.
How would you describe your signature look and what is it about your make-up looks that sets you apart from other make-up artists?
Kamilah: My signature look is clean and pretty. I like a nice highlighted face with well defined brows. I think my look sets me apart from others because I don’t just slap on make-up, but honestly try to work with the structure and uniqueness of the individual’s face to really just play up the natural features instead of trying to make the person look like something they are not.
Shanelle: My signature look is a smokey eye and nude glossy lips. I think what sets me apart is the fact that I have a well-finished look that doesn’t need doctoring.
 What is the most important beauty advice that you can give to women?
Kamilah: Make-up is art. There are no hard and fast rules, so loosen up a bit and stop being so closed-minded.
Shanelle: You can’t overemphasize the importance of cleansing, toning and moisturizing the face before make-up application.
 Do you feel that you have achieved all of your goals as a make-up artist?
Kamilah: No. I’m secretly an overachiever. I want to be the best in Barbados and I don’t think I am yet – and that’s just the short-term goal.
Shanelle: Make-up artistry always changes with trends, so it’s really important to keep up with the trends. I am where I want to be, though.
Do you see yourself someday creating your own line of make-up?
Kamilah: We have discussed it once or twice, but that’s probably something that could happen in the distant future.
What products do you think should be a staple in every woman’s purse?
Kamilah: Black eyeliner and blot powder.
Do you have any advice for dark-skinned women?
Kamilah & Shanelle: (1) Blush is your friend. (2) Don’t be afraid of bright colours because they actually look better against darker skin. (3) Just because you are dark doesn’t mean you automatically wear the darkest shade of foundation in a range. Your undertones play a vital role when matching foundation to your face – remember that!
Are there any negative aspects to your job?
Shanelle: Many people don’t respect make-up artistry as an actual job. The make-up artist is always the last person people call, so definitely the last-minute calls can be annoying. Working with panicky, miserable brides always making you second-guess your work is another negative aspect. Also the fact that many people don’t see the value of make-up to the extent that they want to pay for it is equally annoying and frustrating because to build a proper make-up kit is a very expensive investment and it’s hard to make back money on your investment when everyone wants you to do it for free. Lastly, the unconventional hours and the fact that make-up artists are not demanded on an everyday basis is equally frustrating, but it is what it is and we love it and what we do, so that’s all that matters.

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