A conversation about the lips

Saturday March 10 2018

Lip art by Joy Maringa. PHOTO | JOY MARINGA

Lip art by Joy Maringa. PHOTO | JOY MARINGA 

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Makeup artist Joy Maringa has ventured into the world of lip art.

Pictures of her makeup creations and lip art were featured recently at the East African Art Biennale and dusitD2 hotel’s monthly pop-up art exhibition, eliciting much interest.

“I didn’t expect that people would buy in,” said Maringa.

Her facial artistry has an abstract, contemporary look. In a concept shot for a brand of chocolate, a model eating chocolate is wearing deep brown lipstick dabbed with gold dust that matches her cheek blush.

Maringa plays with the effects of light such as in the photograph Glow. It is a side-portrait of a woman taken in blue light with splashes of coloured paint on her face.

Maringa has learned to be creative with locally available materials. She works with high quality cosmetics.

“Counterfeits can be dangerous to the health, especially with makeup,” she says.

Breaking into the creative makeup industry has not been easy. “When you venture into something new, not everybody understands it,” Maringa said.

She works with clients for weddings, birthday parties and themed events.

For lip art, Maringa often experiments on her herself, working late into the night which is when she is most creative. In her portfolio is a photograph of lips with a trendy black lipstick stuck with grains of rice and streaks of pink paint.

In another, Maringa has carefully sprinkled grains of ground coffee beans on white lipstick. In another shot she has combined shades of bright and pale blue lip colour.

Maringa has been creative since childhood. “My creativity comes from my father, but I suppressed my art interest and focused on white collar jobs,” she says.

She studied marketing, has a Master’s degree in Social Sustainable Entrepreneurship from the United States International University; she worked in different white-collar jobs, which she says she found dissatisfying.

Eventually she quit her job, trained with Suzy Beauty cosmetics and became a full-time makeup artist. “People don’t like to talk about their lips. This made me wonder, what if we could have a conversation about lips?” she says.