Brush stroke of perfection

La’eeqa Yunus with Cindy Nell
La’eeqa Yunus with Cindy Nell

It may take only a few swipes of the makeup brush to have you looking like the best version of yourself, but don’t underestimate the artistry behind the work of one of the country’s leading makeup artists.

Behind the blushes and bronzers of some of the most well-known local celebrities are the brushes and blenders of top make-up artist La’eeqa Yunus.

Having worked with the likes of Jeannie D, Joanne Strauss and Karlien van Jaarsveld, her work experience has amassed a long list of top-tier clients.

Yunus is the head makeup artist and project manager at Cosmetix, owned by former Miss SA and model Cindy Nell. Cosmetix represents a number of leading international makeup brands, including Essence and Catrice – two of Germany’s biggest selling makeup ranges – as well as Caribbean Tan.

Cosmetix is one of the sponsors of the Perfectly Posh High Tea Party, presented by People’s Post in partnership with Spec-Savers in aid of the LifeMatters Foundation.

Yunus turned to the world of makeup as a career when she heard the expression “Do what you love and you will never have to work a day in your life”.

“I sat down and thought ‘What am I really passionate about?’ and that was makeup. I decided to pursue it as a career and enrolled to study it part time. The day I graduated, I was asked if I would like to do media work for the school and that saw me working with shows like Top Billing and Afternoon Express,” she says.

Having loved working with the brands under Cosmetix, Yunus jumped at the opportunity to join their team.

“I started working a lot of their events. I bumped into Cindy (Nell) at an event and she offered me a job as head makeup artist and project manager at Cosmetix. I was so grateful and could not pass up the opportunity,” she says.

The company houses “many different makeup brands suited for everyone and their budget”, Yunus says.

“Essence is our fun brand, Catrice is our fashion brand and LOV is our sexy brand. All these brands update their stands twice a year with new innovative products making sure they are always up there with the trends. No other makeup brand does this. These are all retail brands which means they are also very accessible to everyone,” she says.

Essence and Catrice also have new trend editions launched every three months with limited edition products – something Yunus loves to be a part of.

“I get to play with makeup every day and get the first look at products before they reach the stores,” she says, citing this as her favourite part of the job.

Working with top celebrities is another, she says.

“I’m always in awe. Sometimes it is so surreal to me how far I have come and I am always grateful for all the opportunities I am afforded,” she says.

“[When I start working on a client] I am always a little nervous but I’m also confident in my skill. I think it is good to be nervous because it tells me that I don’t think I have arrived and I know in this industry you are as good as your client. You have to work constantly to stay relevant and market yourself.”

Working with Nell is another highlight, Yunus says, including other achievements such as working on the Mrs SA campaign and being named an upcoming influencer by IOL Lifestyle among her long list of celebrity clients.

Yunus will be imparting her secrets at the Perfectly Posh High Tea. “I will be doing a full-face basic makeup demo for the ladies showing the proper application of makeup and the steps and tools you should be using to achieve the desired look.”

The Perfectly Posh High Tea will take place on Thursday 19 April at the Kelvin Grove Club in Newlands.

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