Hey all! Hope today is going smooth on your end, let's talk beauty for a bit. As you know, i am un-apologetically African and right now, i am all about showcasing all the very best of what this beautiful continent has to offer in terms of Fashion and Beauty and dishing more on all the best Influencers in Africa, making things happen and bridging the global acceptance gap. Today, my Beauty Spotlight shines brightly on one of Nigeria and Africa's best Make-up guru's Banke Meishida Lawal and her entire beauty team at BM-PRO. She is known for her remarkable talent which is beyond self evident. Keep reading to find out why she is so different in a unique way. 

If there is one thing Nigeria is known for generally, its would have to be its love for the finer things. Fashion, Entertainment and most especially Beauty!!! These days, everyone is strobbing, blending and glowing incessantly and make-up application, is definitely not what it used to be. Everyone practically has a lot or a little knowledge when it comes to applying make up these days. Personally, i am just happy the world of beauty is revolutionizing and Africa isn't being left behind. 

We all know now, that make-up application has gone from just being a getting-dressed routine to being a compulsory routine, a talent or a skill learnt and most importantly a source of income for men and women all across the globe. Africa for one is charged with so many many many (excuse the stress) talented make up artists, you should hit up the gram and see how almost everyone is now an expert or on a steady glow. 

As a beauty enthusiast, i am a huge make-up lover, so i concern myself with all things make up related, especially when it comes to my African beauty Guru's. In Nigeria, there are so many talented Make-up artists, too numerous to comprehend. Gradually, i'll shine more light on most of them but first, i had to start from the top of the food chain or should i say the beauty Hierarchy. Its one thing to be a good make-up artist, but its a whole other thing to be "THE"make-up artist. Banke Meshida Lawal is "THE" make up artist. She has been around for almost a decade or more if i am correct and has still managed to stand out as the best for so long. Of course when it comes to make-up, it is either a talent (au naturale) or a skill learnt and mastered over time and every Make-up artist is unique in their own way and known for something special pertaining to their work. Banke's work definitely stands out from almost every other work i see and I've taken some time to itemize some reasons why i think the successful MUA stands out. So this post, might not necessarily be a Banke praise and worship lol as much as it is a "Things to note and learn from a successful Beauty Guru" (i hope you get it). Keep reading!

1. She has created a unique look for herself and her brand. 
I could almost immediately spot a BM|PRO work anywhere (i'm sure you can too). You see her work and you know! Oh, this has to be Banke, and its not just a water-mark thing. As a good make-up artist, you should be able to stand-out uniquely for your talent. Dont be all over the place experimenting with your skills, and your looks. You want people to know and remember the effect of your brush and your skills. You have to know how you want people to look when they turn that chair around in excitement and always work with that imagery in your head. The worst feeling has to be getting off a Make up chair and saying "this wasn't what i expected" ouch! Be Unique and be you. Kudos to Banke and the rest of her team for being Unique with the BM|PRO look.

2. She brings out the beauty in her clients. 

Have you ever walked out of a make-over looking and feeling ugly? I haven't thank God, but i have seen renowned MUA's totally degrade people's look. It helps to work with what you have right in front of you and not whats in your head. Most MUA's forget that when it comes to working with different faces and features, humans all differ. Dont start up on a client and have an imagery of "Shayla" in your head, especially when the client looks nothing like her. Work with whats right in front of you and dont try to cosmetically alter someone's look. Nobody said make up has to take you from 0-100 real quick, or transform you into a beauty queen. When applied properly, it should at least bring-forth an improved version of you. Looking at Banke's work, she doesn't ever transform her clients, she just improves their actual look and i think that's probably one of the things i really love about her.

3. She has a natural/unblemished approach to make up application.

Most people are getting too carried away with the whole Make-up thing, the excessive contouring and highlight and baking ughh, sometimes, its just too extra! Just because you have to work with colors doesn't mean you have to use all the colors you can see on the palette. Personally, i am for a flawless finish as opposed to a re-converted, full face beat! After you get out a make up chair, you want to look flawless and not irrecognizable. Well, judging from the general misconception of what the word "flawless" means this days, i dont actually blame a lot of people i just wish they knew it meant looking unblemished. Banke's made-up faces always look unblemished and not fake or plastic. Neutral tones, soft hues...you really want to look like you were born this way or created by a make-up friendly God lol. 

4. She understands the importance of natural looking "Brows".

I cannot begin to emphasis the importance of the brows and how it brings the whole look home or sends it packing lol. You're never fully made up without the perfect brow. As we know or we should know by now, brows define your entire look, they give your look actual meaning. The only thing more mortifying these days than seeing people sport strange brow colors, is seeing Make-up artist and beauty-inclined young ladies hit the streets with the most tragic looking brows. It shouldn't be too huge, it shouldn't look so fake or so sketched ... It should look nothing like the "Nike" logo and it should never touch or be few inches apart. Did you ever see Salma Hayek in "Frida" the movie? If you didnt, google it! On the other hand, what your brows should be is; properly cleaned and wiped of all traces of concealer (i barely ever see any concealer traces on Banke's look...do you?) and not too dark (work with your hair color and your complexion). Brow's define your face and your entire look so, make it worth the stare. Make people think "wow those brows are naturally perfect" and not just perfectly drawn. 

5. She understands the importance of great pictures and being photo-ready. 

Whether you are preparing to be in front or behind the camera, you should always remember how important having a clean photo-ready face is. Other than the fact that it is almost the only way to showcase your work, pictures are equally as important as the make up itself. For make-up artist's, pictures are like your report cards, they are practically the only evidence you have to show the whole world your work, so it always has to count! I remember making myself up on several occasions and when it was time for real camera pictures, my whole look became frightening under light. I was like Casper the ghost. If its high-definition but not too loud and photo-ready, then you know you are good to go. Banke's pictures say more than a thousand words and anyone would immediately be blown away and drawn to her by just seeing her pictures...Besides, pictures are the physical evidence of your work...the camera never lies.

I see the world of beauty and make-up growing into such a huge thing in the world at large and i know how much people are cashing-out from being formidable Make-up guru's. If you have a slight interest in beauty or make up, then you should do it right and take a cue from other successful people around you like Banke and so many others. I'm always here to bring and showcase Inspiring people you can learn from and keep you abreast with everything happening around you. Keep coming back so you dont get left-out or left behind...the world is moving fast! 

What do you think about Banke and her skills for days, you like?
Check her out on Instagram if you like @banksbmpro and you can also check out @demiwilliams of BM|PRO they will constantly keep you inspired. In the main time...

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Ivy Marshall 

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