In recent years, both women and men have become more conscious about their looks. This in turn has created a remarkable rise in the beauty field within the country. Despite the surge in the number of salons, beauty products, hair stylists and make-up artists; there are few individuals who are breaking stereotypes and making a difference.
Meekail, or popularly known as Myke is one of the few male make-up artists within a rapidly growing field that is dominated by women. Myke was first seen on the runway of Bride Maldives and has now moved on to become one of the most sought after make-up artists in the country. Myke’s infectious positive energy and dedication to being a true artist can be instantly seen from his various works. We sat down with him to talk about how he got into his field and find out more about his upcoming projects.
1. You started off as a model. What made you want to work backstage as a make-up artist?
Yes, I was a model, people have always suggested I do it since I am tall so I took the opportunity when I got selected to walk for Bride Designer’s week in 2011. But modeling was not what I wanted as a career, fashion is. Everything about fashion is impressive. Apart from modeling I did various other things such as choreographing ramp walks, photographing and fashion designing. That’s where it all began and make-up is where I ended up with.
2-Did you learn make-up artistry yourself? Or from an institute?
Back in 2012, I heard that there was a Japanese hairstylist, Mayu Kabashima coming to teach a course for 6 months on hair, make-up and beauty. I grabbed the chance and did it; it was almost like working since I spent eight hours a day at class where we learnt the theory and practical of hair styles, make-up and beauty. In my opinion, it is the best course conducted in the Maldives so far. So I would not say that I studied from a huge institute, but I learnt the basics from the classes conducted by Mayu at Uxani Salon that year.
3-Would you say that you have a guru? From whom you learnt special skills, principles or disciplines from?
I like to follow trends and various styles or techniques that I have learnt have been picked up from social media websites such as Instagram and You Tube. If I am to say something about discipline, I’d say that I’ll always follow my mentor Mayu Kabashima. She not only taught me how to work in this field, she taught me manners and customer services as well – for which I am very grateful for.
4-There has been a surge of makeup artists lately in the Maldives. What do you think makes you different from the rest?
Make-up artists in the Maldives are very talented. I saw most of them work recently at a two-day course by Artilla Academy of Hair Artistry. What I noticed is despite the lack of products and education available in this field, we’ve been doing as good as international make-up artists and hair stylists. And as for what differs me from the rest is from the point where I choose to enhance the unique features of every individual client. I’m known amongst people for my no make-up looks, because less is always beautiful in my opinion.
5-We heard that you won ‘Best Hair & Make-up’ at the Artilla Academy of Hair Artistry course. How was the experience?
Yes, I did. It took me by surprise when I was called upon the stage to receive my prize for best hair and make-up. I created a look that was a mix of vintage and modern styles. But I also made sure that I followed hair stylist Jamila Paul’s instructions and added a touch of my own to my look which I presented at the course. I am looking forward to flying to Dubai, to take part in the Dubai fashion week. It was an honor to learn from Jamila Paul, she is one of the best in the industry and I also got the offer to get trained under her before heading off to do make-up and hair at the fashion week.
6-What motivates you to do what you do every day? And what are the struggles you face in your field?
Well, at this point I would like to say that I am grateful for what I’m blessed with, Alhamdulillah. My friends motivate me every day; they push me to be who I am right now. Especially my colleagues who seek more knowledge, makes me want to grow as an artist as well.
My view? New trends, let’s try that. New techniques, let’s do that – and that’s inspiring! For me, struggles determine me to achieve more. I have never been a person to take the easy road; instead I prefer the rough paths because that makes every achievement worthwhile. I have faced lots of criticism and have come across people who still think that this industry is for women only. I understand that women know how other women want their hair or make-up done; but internationally men are also dominant in this industry so clearly this is not a gender-specific field.
7-Being a make-up artist is a tough and demanding job and you have to deal with different kinds of people. What is the one thing you don’t want your clients to ask you? Or what is the common misconception that most clients have about a make-up artist?
The clients I have had so far always shared mutual ideas which is a reason for why I have never come across any situation where my clients have been dissatisfied with the service I have provided. At least, no occurrence that I know of yet. Well, the one common misconception I have heard is – “Can a man actually pull this off?” or “Can he do this well?” I think these would be it.
8-Your work has been featured on different platforms. Is there any work that you are proud of so far?
Yes. Each and every happy and satisfied customer is a work I have done well and that is what I am proud of. My main motive has always been to send off a customer who is happy with my work and glad to have chosen me.
9- Would you say you have a certain style? Or is there a certain direction you want to go to when it comes to make-up artistry?
I do have a certain style as I had mentioned before. But I hope to do more of high end make-ups and hair styles for conceptual fashion shows.