RALEIGH, N.C. — Tomi Oyelowo believes putting on makeup isn’t about covering up flaws.
She said it’s never to hide or change what someone looks like, but instead, it’s to enhance your outer beauty and illuminate your inner beauty.
“We’re beautiful, not because of what we put on our skin. That true beauty is externally reflected from internal, and that’s just through how you treat people, how you treat yourself,” Oyelowo said.
Oyelowo discovered the magic of makeup in high school. Her four sisters were ideal models to practice her craft, helping to spark a passion for the beauty industry and women’s empowerment.
Today, Oyelowo is a freelance makeup artist and esthetician.
The beauty industry changed when the pandemic hit, with many people not wearing makeup at all and covering their faces with masks
From bushier brows to liquid blush, she said a more natural look is trending.
It’s something one of her clients, Ashley Young, is also eager to try.
“I’ve been trying to focus more on self care lately, and taking that time to at least be selfish, for at least a moment, and get back to myself,” Young said.
It’s a welcome change for Oyelowo as well; she wants to encourage women not to conform to society’s definition of beauty.
That is something her oldest sister, Tosin, sometimes struggled with.
“Mental health is just something that is so easily surpassed, it’s not something people wear on their forehead,” Oyelowo said.
Tosin took her own life nine years ago.
Makeup is a way for Oyelowo to heal, and also to carry on her sister’s legacy.
“Everything I do, I feel like I do it for her. She was really the one who even brought this beauty industry to me. She held the mirror to show me who I was,” said Oyelowo.
Although a coat of foundation or the right eyeshadow may look pretty, it’s how makeup makes you feel, Oyelowo believes, that matters most.
“If she were still here today, I would let her know she was beautiful just the way she was. I really wish I could just tell her that none of that mattered. Who she is, what she was and what she contributed to this world, was far beyond her looks,” Oyelowo said.