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Special effects makeup artist Tinashe Mwaniki on how she started out

Twenty-three-year old Tinashe Mwaniki’s journey as a special effects makeup artist and TikTok content creator blew up at the height of Covid-19 pandemic in 2020.

Speaking exclusively to Nairobi News, Tinashe said she is a self-taught “glam and make up artist”. She taught herself how to apply make up over six years and ventured into glam creative looks for cosplay – turning someone into someone else using make up, for example, Spiderman.

“I did my first creative look during the Covid pandemic and I had a rainbow across myself outlined in white. I did it, thought it was cool and decided to post it on my Instagram. People saw it and said it was amazing. From then on I kept on practicing the creative looks I’ve done,” Tinashe said.

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“To me, creative makeup art is using someone’s face as a canvas to create whatever you desire. It could be changing a person to look older, disgusting, take their character and make them look like catwoman or something. It’s a wide scope,” she added.

Tinashe has done several creative looks since April 2020 and her favorite special effects series were when she did different Halloween characters such as Frankenstein and turning into a skeleton. Tinashe went on to describe her make up process as wild because she simply saw something and immediately got down to replicating the look.

“I learn as I go, even when I’m painting stuff on my face. I’ll probably have no idea what I’m doing but I just trust the process using my mirror- going without rushing anything. I have a list of looks I want to do but I never practice beforehand unless it is something I am unsure of. Whatever look I try, I end up posting it and it is the look of the day,” she explained.

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Prior to being a popular makeup artist, Tinashe confessed to be among those who bashed makeup artists simply for being makeup artists who just did brides’ makeup before their weddings.

“I didn’t know that creative makeup was something. I knew people just used to be doing eyebrows, eyeliners, lipstick – I didn’t know there was a whole other side to it. So me still being in that space, I discovered that everyday, makeup can be used for so much. It’s still a new and learning process for me. Everything is pretty cool now, like ‘ok, y’all makeup artists, same!’ she said.

Tinashe’s special effects make up art continues to attract more followers to her social media platforms, and currently boasts of over 18k followers on TikTok alone.

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