Make-up is art. Beauty is spirit. Majestically blending them all is the lovely Kayan Merritt.
Merritt is no stranger to creativity. Growing up, she was so fascinated by beauty and style that she became the go-to for her sisters and friends for tips and advice. Her interest soon blossomed into a profession after she engaged in beauty courses to enhance her natural skills.
“When I saw how I could actually turn my passion into a business, I decided to just go for it. It was a smooth transition as I had a natural love for make-up,” she explained. Encouraged by many beauty influencers online, both locally and internationally, she took that leap of cosmetic fate, and Get Slayed By Kay, Hair, Cosmetics & Make-up Artistry was born in September of 2017.
Merritt’s make-up services include all special occasions, such as weddings, graduations, birthdays and special event effects. She also has beauty products for purchase, but her portfolio doesn’t only subscribe to face beats. She provides offerings that complete the beauty package, like wig making or construction, wig customisation and repairs, wig installations and eyebrow waxing. She is also the manufacturer of a locally made lace tint spray, and she sells satin edge wraps and cosmetic jewellery.
Admitting that she has much further to go with exposure, experience and promotion, she remains hopeful that her brand will grow and she will be brushing in success as one of the most sought-after make-up artists in the business. “Make-up is art. It’s seeing a customer happy and ‘snapping’ away when she sees the finished look. It’s the ability to enhance someone’s natural beauty with make-up products and boost their confidence.”
Merritt looks up to international make-up artists (MUAs) Savannah Sylver, Bmarie and Nikkietutorial. While on the local scene, she is inspired by MUAs such as Beautiful Beginnings, Make-up by Shan, Ashbeauty Studio, Ken Doll, just to name a few, who are very talented and effectively growing their brands daily.
One of the challenges she faces is patronage. “Persons only support who they know or who the ‘street is saying’. You have to sell your brand or build your brand. And it isn’t always easy,” she said. But Merritt is grateful for her loved ones who support her both from a financial standpoint and with brand building.
On the matter of achieving the ideal look for a client, she balances the scale, sharing her expertise while making the process collaborative. “I first ask my clients what their preferences are, or if they have a specific look that they want. If they don’t and they say ‘just make me pretty’ or ‘surprise me’, then that’s when my artistic skills kick in, and I work my magic,” she shared.
Merritt’s five personal make-up must-haves
- Good foundation
- Lip gloss
- Eyebrow pencil
Her make-up brands of choice range from Juvias Place, Maybelline, Revlon, MAC, to Black Opal and L’Oreal.
Merritt, who likes to dance and shop, outside of building her brand, is encouraging aspiring MUAs to believe in their dreams and make it a reality. “Don’t give up on your passion. Do what you love, and you won’t have to work a day in your life.”