by Jabari Montsho
Addavia, also known as Dai, is a makeup artist who says that it can take anywhere from fifteen minutes to an hour to properly apply make-up. A full face consists of foundation, highlight, contour, blush, eye shadow, lashes, brows, and lip color. She has been doing peoples makeup as well as her own for more than 7 years. “I love it!!” she says with enthusiasm and a bright smile. She shows me the picture of herself that she loves the most. Posing next to her supplies that consist of various brushes, some are big fat ones as big as an eyeball to a flat shaped brush that might remind one of a flat-headed screwdriver. Colors of brown, red, purple, green, as well as non-basic colors with fun names like Sketch, a dark red mixed with purple and brown tint, Heroine a bright purple that reminds me of a plum ripe for the picking. The color itself looks good enough to eat. She herself is dressed in a floral patterned skirt with pink, white, orange, and bright red flowers with a black background and sporting a Marilyn Monroe t-shirt with gold-chained necklace that wraps around her neck like a loose snake sleeping around a tree.
Because her days are usually spent at school and don’t require her to move around as much, she starts of her day by, of course, putting on her makeup. She starts doing this at 5:15 in the morning along with the basic wakeup routine of washing, brushing her teeth, and doing her hair. She’s out of the house by 6:30 and goes to the neighboring town to go to school, which takes her about an hour to get there. Her classes begin at 9 and end at 5:30 after she takes the hour-long trip back to her house. She arrives around 6:30 and if she has to do someone’s’ makeup she has them come in at 6:45. After she finishes their makeup she goes to sleep to start the whole day over again. But sometimes, she has events.
When asked if she had any memorable or weird events she responded with sincerity that her most memorable event was one where she went to a womens’ shelter and was doing make overs for the ladies that where there. One of the ladies shared her life and testimony with Addavia, making her resolve to give this woman best make over she could possibly give a reality. “And once I finished her makeup and everything she saw herself and started to cry. That’s when I realized that this industry has a lot of power to encourage women and to just make them feel better about themselves.” As for the weird events she reveals that she has “yet” to have any.
Normally when one thinks of a makeup artist they might imagine them luging a large box shaped suitcase, which might pull out into five or so different shelves of various brushes, blushes lashes and pallets. However, when asked how much she caries compared to other artist she replied, “Not nearly as mush as other makeup artist. But compared to, I guess the average girl, I do have a lot of makeup but I just try to carry the essentials and nothing more.” Her essentials range with different shades of foundation, shadow pallets, style lashes, shades of blush, shades of concealer, eyebrow pencils as well as various other things to makeup a full face. All of which she keeps in in three or less handbags the size of the average purse for a teenager.
Addavia also does videos online on various techniques on how to apply certain styles of makeup, like Smokey Eye. She was first influenced to do these videos when she found a person on YouTube, and saw the amazing work she did, that her prowess for doing makeup stronger. The person who she followed and watched made her want to create her on videos and so she decided that she would do them as well. “Awkward” she chuckled out, “it just felt . . . odd to be talking to a computer.”
She described the feeling of awkwardness to the time when she taught a class on how to apply makeup, more specifically eye shadow. She explains, “although I wasn’t talking to myself it felt awkward because everyone was looking at me.” The class itself was an hour and thirty minutes but her part was only a thirty-minute spotlight. Despite her awkward experience with teaching she admits that she would definitely do it again.
She didn’t always know what she wanted to do when she was younger. And at one point she wanted to be a nurse. But after going through some rough times and high mountains she is finally getting one-step closer to her dream. On June 3rd Addavia will be graduating from her cosmetology school. She states that at times she wanted to quit but kept going be cause she had a goal. Now that she’s almost there she says with smile bright enough to light up a football field that she feels like a “Winner!”
Header photo by paolobarzman (flickr creative commons)