Every woman desires healthy, beautiful glowing skin and Jackline Migide was no exception. Growing up in the village, Jackline enjoyed watching her mum apply make-up. "Back then, the lipstick on everyone's lips was a brand called, 'Irene'. It appeared green but turned bright red on application," she reminisces. "I would go through fashion magazines and marvel at how beautiful the women looked. From flawless skin to beautiful eye-shadow that matched their lips and not a hair out of place; I was fascinated," Jackline narrates. Being a village girl, Jackline could not tell the difference between eye-shadow and lipstick and assumed the ladies used lipstick on their eyelids.
"I would apply my 'Irene' lipstick on my eyelids, shave my eyebrows and replace them with a line I drew on with an eye pencil, which made me feel like the models on the fashion magazines!" narrates Jackline as we laugh. When she came to Nairobi, however, her friend introduced her to an eye-shadow. "You should have seen the shock on my face when I realised that lipstick was not what the ladies used on their eyes," says Jackline who still marvels at how naive she was. I also realised that many women wanted to look good with make-up but had no idea how to do it right, she says.
A desire to understand the art of make-up led Jackline, a Gender Officer based in Nairobi, to start a Facebook group called 'Glam Life' in 2016. "I remember posting a photo of myself with my then signature 'one-line eyebrows'," laughs Jackline. "How was a girl supposed to know that shaving the eyebrows like that was old-fashioned and outdated?" she defends. "Anyway, the comments came in thick and fast, most of which was positive criticism and advice on how to fill in my eyebrows," she notes. As the group grew, so did the various experts in female beauty and fashion; make-up artists, dermatologists, fashionistas and all things beauty. "With time, the group that boasts over 75,000 members has become like a free consultancy where one is sure to get what they are looking for.
"If for example, you desire a beach wedding and you do not know what to wear, you will get a referral on the group and a make-up artist who specialises in bridal make-up," explains Jackline. "The shy women flooded my inbox with the ‘before and after' photos and told me how excited they were that they could now apply their make-up, thanks to the tutorials on the group. While the more bold ones posted their glamorous photos for all and sundry!" she narrates.
Jackline says she could relate with the timid ladies who did not feel confident enough to share their photos having gone through a phase in her life that left her with low self-esteem. "I hated myself and felt ugly. I even contemplated wearing a buibui to cover myself up," she explains. Jackline did not want to interact with others and even when in a forum she shied away from sharing her ideas. "The voices in my head grew louder by the day, telling me that I was not worthy," Jackline says. Thankfully, a close friend assured her that she was a beautiful woman. She was also able to resolve what she terms a private issue which had the potential to destroy her. "Interestingly, when I learned how to do my make-up like a pro, I felt more confident.
People noticed and told me that I looked good and my confidence levels started rising gradually.
Glam Life is a closed forum that provides a safe space where women can interact, share ideas on make-up, fashion and teeth. Once in a while, you will see women enquiring on where they can go for teeth whitening, get braces or ask someone to recommend a good dentist, says Jackline. "We also have women with skin issues who are referred to specialists and most come back with success stories. I wanted to help women build their confidence levels. You see, for a woman, when you look good, you feel good about yourself and you are ready to conquer the world… or your little corner of it," she says.
Jackline who now does her make-up professionally learned everything she knows about make-up and use of the right products from the group. "The first thing I advise women who approach me for advice is that they should know their skin type. That's where it all begins," she says. It is also advisable to use products from reputable companies, especially because most of these products will be applied directly to the skin. The ingredients used in a product are very key as we have witnessed some products gone wrong on a woman's skin. "You don't have to use expensive products. If a product that is not too pricey works for you, go for it. Don't try to fix what is not broken," advises Jackline.
Identify what works for you and stick to it. Jackline who has flawless skin says she has taken good care of her skin. "Since I was a little girl, my mum introduced me to glycerine, which she mixed with my lotion. I have done that since and thanks to research and testimonials from the group, I was introduced to other products that are good for your skin like Shea butter, carrot oil, and olive oil. "These testimonials keep me going. I'm always excited when a lady inboxes me and tells me that the rash on her face has disappeared since she started taking good care of her face or that a lady feels more confident after learning how to apply makeup professionally," she says.