While is true that most people will say that they do not need a mentor to inspire them for a successful career, that is not the case with celebrity makeup artist and hairstylist, Lewina David, whose narrative has proven the significance of having a mentor.
Having worked on high-profile celebrities like Bobby Valentino and Michelle Williams, the young makeup artist credits her success to Saisha Beecham, an internationally acclaimed makeup artist and hairstylist with more than a decade experience in the business.
Unlike other teenage girls who were inspired to choose famous people as role models, Lewina was always impressed by the personal style of her mother, Counselor Rosemarie James.
“My mother is a strong African woman who always rocked classic red lipstick. It was from these moments with her that developed in me the interest to becoming a makeup and a hairstylist,” said Lewina in an exclusive interview with LIB Life.
“You know, when my mom used to wake up every morning to put on that red lipstick, I was impressed because she did it to reveal and enhance her beauty.”
Moving to the United States of America from Liberia at the tender age of nine, Lewina’s dream of becoming a makeup artist developed in her early adult years. Typing the word “makeup” on the YouTube search engine opened the world of beauty for her.
“At that instant I knew that being a makeup artist and hairstylist was definitely going to be my path. I begin practicing on my own to acquire different makeup techniques, and this happened three years ago,” she said.
Knowing that she needed advanced training in order to become a reputable makeup artist and hairstylist, she originally declined to attend a two-week course offered by Saisha Beecham.
Lewina recalled that she was reluctant to attend the class because of the cost of the course, describing said fees as too much for her at that time.
“My ex-boyfriend was very instrumental in encourage me to seize the opportunity once and for all, since it is going to be in my own interest. So I later agreed with his point and immediately phoned my parents in Liberia to help me with US$275 for career training. My parents did not refuse, and sent it the following day,” she added.
Lewina remembers that the first day she entered the training she saw it as a moment that needed all her efforts.
“I told myself ‘this is the time you have been waiting for. It is right in front of you and all that is required is putting in your best or do nothing without achieving anything.’”
From then she went on to achieving a lot in a very short period of time. Lewina’s advertisement credits include ESPN Magazine, Upscale Magazine, New African Magazine and many more.
Silent for a while she said it took a lot of hard work to accomplish so much in the space of three years.
“Accomplishing such fame was not as easy as we can talk about commonly. It happened because of consistency, dedication and passion for the field that made it possible for success,” she added.
Looking to foster such a dream, she kept in constant contact with her mentor, Ms. Beecham, after the two-week training with updates of different makeup and hairstyle impressions of her own.
Because of this, and the passion to learn more secrets of the craft, Beecham gave Lewina the opportunity to come under her wing as an apprentice to learn more.
“From that moment, I knew that the time had come for me to actually realize my dreams; and so when the opportunity came, I was ready. I did very well to improve over time,” she said.
Truly it was a gateway for the Liberian, as her mentor admired the improvements she made in the craft. From their onward madam Beecham started introducing the makeup artist to lot of celebrities.
On many occasions Lewina was sent to do a celebrity client’s makeup and hairstyle, never disappointing her mentor as the clients would call back appreciating the work done.
“I never took these chances for granted, but put in all my best to build my own name. It was from these opportunities that my name came to light,” she added.
Then the greatest moment came when she had the opportunity to meet with Beyonce through her mentor Beecham, who let her do the makeup for the dancers in Beyonce’s video “Blow.”
“Meeting the singer and her entire family in their Houston, Texas home was the highlight of my career that blew me up quickly. Working on set with the singer was great, and she is a very straight forward woman. I think meeting her is the greatest moment in my life,” she said.
Meanwhile, the Founder and CEO of Liberia Fashion Marketing, Junda Morris Kennedy, has hailed Lewina for her amazing and creative makeup artistry.
“For me she is a professional who has built her name through seeking, basically seeking her mentor’s help, and dedication, “ Junda said of Lewina.
Junda, who nominated Lewina in the category for “Best Makeup Artist” at the annual West African Fashion Awards, explained: “That girl has lot of potentials that will make it easy for her to become a boom in the U.S. in a few years to come.”
Looking to help Liberian fashion brands make a name in the U.S. industry, Lewina quickly got in touch with Lisa Gaye, founder of Angel’s Lips Cosmetics, to use the brand product on R&B artists SWV (Sisters With Voices) when she was contacted to do the makeup for their album cover.
“I believe that helping Liberian brands to get out on the international market is the best thing. You see, we need to promote each other’s talent or entrepreneurial spirit for the betterment of our country. To be honest, Angel’s Lips products bring out the goddess of beauty in any woman who uses it,” she added.
Lisa Gaye, founder of Angel’s Lips Cosmetics, said the fact that Lewina dedicated more time and actually worked tirelessly, she deservers such a worthy stardom.
“The great thing I love about her work is that they are splendid and this is the reason she keeps working with top class celebrities. If you look at the cover photo for the SWV album, you could see the beauty in the work I’m talking about,” said Gaye.
Other Lewina David clients include: Chrisette Michele, Will Packer and Al Sharpton. To find out more about her work, visit her website at www.lewinadavid.com, or look up Lewina David on Facebook and Instagram.