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Why Is Permanent Makeup Not So Popular With Kenyan Celebrities?

Updated: Dec 6, 2022

In the West, permanent makeup is super popular. Celebrities like Michelle Obama, Rihanna, and Angelina Jolie have embraced it boldly. South Africa is slowly but surely coming up with stars like Lasizwe, Ola Nombona, and Thuli P, who have permanent makeup.

Thuli P. from South Africa transcends permanent makeup. Her perfectly shaped microblading & shading eyebrows, and subtle upper & lower permanent eyeliner are out of this earth.

Eyebrows are like facial hair, reinforcing the natural beauty and strength of a men. Indeed, have we ever saw a handsome man without eyebrow?

Esther Musila with her fabulous combo eyebrows.

Yet, permanent makeup does not seem to be that popular with Kenyan celebrities. As far as we know, Esther Musila, wife of award-winning gospel artist Guardian Angel is the only Kenyan celebrity that came out on her Instagram page as having permanent makeup - in particular, combo eyebrows.

Why Kenyan celebrities haven’t yet embraced the permanent makeup trend? And first of all, what is permanent makeup? To find out, we asked Victoria Nguyen, owner of Victoria Beauty, Nairobi's most renown Permanent Makeup-Up Salon & Academy.

"Imagine waking up, not having to do your makeup, and rolling out the door? — all it takes is permanent makeup."

Victoria with one of her permanent makeup student at the Victoria Beauty Salon in Nairobi

“Permanent makeup is a technique of semi-permanent tattoos that resemble makeup. Imagine waking up, not having to do your makeup, and rolling out the door? — all it takes is permanent makeup. The makeup will last for one to two years, after which you can redo your eyebrows, eyeliner, and lipblush, eventually changing the shape to fit the current trend”.

Victoria estimate the number of Kenyans wearing permanent makeup to be around 10,000 people “we trained around 200 students from all over Kenya and Africa on how to perform the technic. They have now open their own salons, and directly participated in the current permanent makeup boom”.

Wanjiku Stevens with her full permanent makeup face – eyebrows, eyeliner, and lipblush done at Victoria Beauty Salon.

Yet surprisingly, she still sees everyday women wearing traditional makeup “Ladies are starting to see the full potential of permanent makeup but there is still a lot of education to be done. People are afraid of what they are not familiar with”.

"Permanent makeup makes life easier"

Even Kenyan celebrities who embraced permanent makeup have often done it privately, rarely publicly. The big elephant in the room is – Why?

Let’s Grab The Bull By Its Horns

Hands down, Nadia Mukami is drop-dead gorgeous! But why doesn’t she use permanent makeup? It’s not just her but also Milly Wa Jesus, Azziad, Avril, Huddah Monroe, and the list goes on and on, cutting across male celebrities.

Why do you think Nadia Mukami doesn't use permanent makeup?

Permanent makeup makes life easier. Living under the constant eye of the public you would expect a star to opt for permanent makeup. With how natural the makeup looks, it saves celebrities from criticism and the constant lurking of paparazzi to get that not-so-good picture.

Milly looks so great when her eyebrows are done. Wouldn't it be better if sh'd wake up like this everyday?

Are There Trust Issues?

Beauty is sensitive. For a woman or man to allow themselves to have their beauty enhanced permanently takes a lot of internal work and decision-making. We understand that. Where will I have this done? Who will improve my beauty? What is the guarantee that I will get the intended result? What is the cost? These are some of the questions you might be asking yourself (Victoria answers most of those questions in her Website and FAQ here).

"Women with permanent makeup wake up the best of themselves every single day"

On the other hand, there could be fear of public judgment, right?

Victoria Nguyen in the process of designing perfectly shaped eyebrows.

When we asked Victoria what she thought of this fear, she told us “permanent makeup is widely performed in the US and Europe. In Kenya, customers should only trust certified professionals to perform the technic. But the end result is amazing. Compared with a quick makeup in the morning. women with permanent makeup wake up the best of themselves every single day” She added “to help our customers make the right permanent makeup decision, we offer a consultation before any treatment is performed. We make sure the design of the brows, eyeliners, and lips fit the shape of their face, and their desired makeup style”.

"You can always get your permanent makeup removed"

Will Celebrities Soon Adopt Permanent Makeup?

Anna is a master artist at Victoria Beauty, performing a combo eyebrows.

Currently, the craze with Kenyan celebrities is gastric bypass surgery, where one loses weight with the help of a swallowed balloon. In no particular order: it started with Willis Raburu then Jackie Matubia followed by Kinuthia and Millie Chebby whose thought is toying in their mind. But what about Permanent Makeup? Will it be the next thing? Who wouldn’t want to boast of a life where they don’t do their eyebrows every morning? Or don’t apply extra lipstick every morning? Or spend lots of money on getting their hairline back when they can get a one-off camouflage treatment?

"If I was looking into having permanent makeup done on me for the first time, I would think twice about where to get it done."

How Risky Is It To Get Your Brows Done At The Wrong Place?

Failed eyebrows – many technicians in Kenya operate without proper training from an accredited school.

Victoria told us in confidence that for those who got their face done at the wrong salon and regret it, you can always get your permanent makeup removed "numerous clients who come to us with badly done eyebrows and ask to have them removed by laser and re-done by our technicians. Permanent makeup is unique in the sense that it requires artistic and technical skills. If I was looking into having permanent makeup done on me for the first time, I would think twice about where to get it done. Many of our customers regret wanting to save money on an operation that they will wear on their faces for years" concluded Victoria.

But Is There Really So Many Bad Permanent Makeup Salons?

At Victoria Beauty, students practice the technics on real patients, and get a licensed certificate.

When writing this article, one of the top students, Wambui M., from the Victoria Beauty Academy had this to say, “When I was doing my research I looked at pictures of work from cheaper courses, which didn’t appear to be industry accredited and the difference in standards was really apparent, you just could not compare them to Victoria Beauty and their graduate portfolios. You also get the best products and equipment to work with, which is vital when first starting out. The Trainers at Victoria Beauty are so talented and have undertaken so many different courses within the industry, that you have the assurance you are learning from only the very best.”

Before The Mic Drops

Darling, this could be the sign you have been waiting for to get that blush on your lips, perfect arch on your eyebrows, and stretch-mark-free skin.

The year is almost coming to an end; a pencil-free life sounds like a great gift, right? Imagine swimming in Diani or Watamu and coming out with your eyebrows and eyeliner in check! Now, that is what we call the power of permanent makeup.

Nigerian girl with perfect permanent makeup face

Don’t be in a rush; take your time because, in the end, your decision to get permanent makeup will be worth it.

To Get A Free Consultation on Permanent Makeup, contact Victoria Beauty on their Whatsapp +254706202450 or visit the Victoria Beauty Salon & Academy in Nairobi, Karen.

Website, FAQ & Price List:

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