Sometimes black queens forget how alluring and charming they truly are. That’s where make-up comes in, that stunning reminder to shift your crown back in place. Using her God-given talent to brush up on beauty — one glowing face at a time — is Accentuations Makeup Artistry.
Owner and make-up artist Annakay Ledford always saw herself providing the complete beauty package. She dreamed of one day becoming a spa owner, so she began the mission by enlisting make-up as the first of her many skills to master. “Make-up artistry was a part of the journey. My thought process at the time was that since the make-up artistry curriculum covered some of the skills and techniques necessary to be a spa technician, like waxing, I would start from there.” It quickly became a passion soon after.
Her initial client list included friends, which calmed any doubts running through her veins. She considered the critiques solely constructive and grew with each experience. Nerves, however, crept in the moment she received a wedding trial. “I think I was extremely nervous because I was very fresh and her face required a certain level of skill in contouring and her skin type was a bit different from what I was practising on,” she confessed.
The trial didn’t turn out as well as she would’ve hoped. Still, the client booked Ledford’s services for her wedding. Jumping at that second chance, the dedicated MUA went to work, studying and preparing for the big day, just so the bride could be glowing in nuptial beauty. Suffice to say, on the wedding day, the bride was extremely pleased. This success stands as a confirmation of talent, drive, passion and heart, paving the way for an exciting career in cosmetology.
Describing her make-up style as natural, she still opts for a splash of glamour, which makes her look perfect for special occasions like weddings, photoshoots (corporate and otherwise) birthdays and red carpet appearances. “I have managed to enjoy some great experiences. I love that this art form allows me to accentuate my clients’ features and project their beauty into focus. I also appreciate that it can positively impact my clients’ mood and self-esteem,” she said.
The major hurdle she has faced so far is juggling nine-to-five with ministry and make-up artistry, but the MUA is already working on a solution of ironing out partnerships to create that balance needed. The beauty market is currently saturated, so her next move is to increase the visibility of her brand and position Accentuations Makeup Artistry as the business to support.
Her advice to aspiring MUAS and beauticians is to first analyse if make-up is a viable option for you. “Are you in it just to make money or to add value to a person’s life? This will determine how far you go and the quality of work you produce. Also, get a mentor. Lastly, never stop growing. Learn, learn and then learn some more. After all, knowledge is power and experience teaches wisdom.”