FROM UNEMPLOYED FOREIGNER TO BEAUTY COSMETICS FOUNDER: MEET MARIE
From being turned down at interviews to owning a cosmetics brand. Marie Louise Kendeck knows a thing or two about creating opportunity where there is none.
As a Cameroonian native living in South Africa, this West African beauty mentions that her love for make-up began with eyebrows. She saw a young lady sporting brows that were so well done and she figured she had to get in on the action. As a lover of pretty things in general, she ventured into make-up in 2015 and hasn’t looked back since.
Not only is Marie an exceptional make-up fiend, she is also multi-lingual speaking three languages fluently; English, French and Spanish. She understands two others and is currently in the process of learning to speak them fluently.
Her small make-up business which began as a hobby later developed into something much bigger than she had earlier envisioned. She started out charging little to nothing and developing her client-list before deciding it was worth being made into a hustle. She moved on to expanding her base by becoming more mobile and didn’t stop learning on the job and outside of it. She initially teamed up with other make-up artists but she soon realised that her passion was much bigger than they seemed to possess. She would later venture out on her own and that would be one of the best decisions she’ll make in her entrepreneurship journey.
I would go to interviews but no one would give me a job even though I was highly qualified; only to see that someone with no qualifications got it in my place because I was a foreigner.
Miss Kendeck would watch beauty tutorials and was mesmerised when she saw that some of the international Make-up artists owned their own cosmetics. Although the idea was planted in 2016, she admits that she let fear get the best of her. Every time the idea came up, she would talk herself out of it, believing that she was too little an entity to pull off such a feat.
Surprisingly, she spoke to her conservative parents about the idea who led her to thinking it was pretty good and something worth attempting. She finds interesting that they thought so as her parents had never hidden the fact that they hoped their children would settle for better fitting conservative jobs. She believed that it was God and favour at work.
I can be upset at a client for her lateness or generally be in a bad mood, once my fingers touch the brush, my mood automatically lifts. Make-up makes me genuinely happy.
At the start of the year, she launched what would now be called MLS Beauty in a bid to creating a brand that would not speak to just one class of woman but to all women. She wanted to create a brand that could work well for the minimalist who preferred subtle looks and for the enthusiast who was always willing to take it a step further and create va-va voom looks!
The tropical palette is one of her first creations and like its name suggests, there are warm colours suitable for every hue and skin tone. On the woman with a lighter skin tone, a little goes a long way while on the melanin-rich woman, it is pigmented enough to pop. She has a lot more up her sleeves and will be releasing more products to the public in March.
So far, the reception and raving reviews of her products have been so rewarding, Marie admits.
I put so much work into this and even though I’m not in search of popularity, I just want everyone who comes in contact with my product to have a great experience with it.
For Marie, Make-up isn’t work, it’s a lifestyle and we’re ecstatic to be a part of her journey.
To keep up with her, follow her on instagram on @mlsbeautysa. Be prepared to be mesmerised.