Up-close and Candid With Celebrity Make-up Artist Dennis Karuri

February 15, 2021

Dennis Karuri is one of the most sought-after Makeup Artists (MUA) in Nairobi. This self-taught MUA studied Agribusiness and Food Industry Management in university but make up became his passion.

From Agribusiness and Food Industry Management to make-up brushes and modelling, interesting…

In my second year at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, I realised I could do modeling through a church friend called Shiko. I was trying to make ends meet after losing my mother in a road accident.

Your work is outstanding; are you a self-taught artist or you went to a beauty school?

I am a self-taught makeup artist as I have learnt my skills mostly on the job. My sisters’ faces were my practice canvases during my days as an amateur.

How difficult or easy was your startup?

Honestly, it was not an easy journey. I had a goal, but passion, love and consistency in my artistry kept me going. I can proudly say the end result is good and I love where I am right now.

Seeing as you are already working with top names in the industry, who are some of the celebrities that you would love to make up?

I would like to work with more music artists, politicians and celebrities both locally and internationally. I have special interest to work with Nadia Mukami, Esther Passaris, Sho Madjozi, Tems, Tiwa Savage and many more.

How much does one part with to get a proper face beat from you?

I have in-house makeup artists who help me out. The basic charge for a facebeat varies; house calls are Sh10,000, while bridal make-up is charged from Sh50,000 and above. In-house artists charge from Sh5,000 at my studio.

What has been the most difficult time for your business?

Setting up shop was a challenge for me and I have been auctioned before, out of no fault of my own. The story of how I got auctioned is on my YouTube channel.

And what has been your biggest achievement so far?

Opening a state of the art make-up studio is one of my biggest achievements. I have internalised my artistry and something big is cooking.

Things have changed and many women now prefer male make-up artists, what is the reason behind this?

It’s actually true that most ladies prefer male make-up artists. I feel like it’s the obvious science of opposites attract, but majorly because it’s easier for a man to bring out what they’d like to see in a woman.

What is that cliche thing in the make up industry that people should stop doing?

People in the make-up community need to stop having a negative competition attitude towards each other and instead have a growth and support attitude towards each other.

If you were not a make-up artiste, what would you be?

I would be a dancer or entertainer, an actor, or maybe a TV host.

What misconception do people have about you? 

Most people think I am unapproachable and snobbish, but as a person, I believe I am the sweetest, most accommodating and friendliest person to the core.

What is one rule you live by?

If there’s one rule I live by, it is love. Nothing but love.

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