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Mantharetso Masiea: an all-rounded beautician


Chris Theko

Born and raised in Mapoteng in the Berea district of Lesotho, ‘Mantharetso Masiea is a self-taught make-up artist based in Pretoria, South Africa. 

She has not only been making inbounds in the beauty industry alone but has, of late, ventured into the photography scene. 

She says in as far as she can remember, she’s always had a love for make-up. She vividly remembers back in her high school days when she would be the one tweezing her friends’ eyebrows and applying make-up to their faces.

“When I was in high school, I realised that I had the love for make-up. I loved tweezing my peers’ eyebrows; you know putting on those nice lip glosses. And at some point I wanted to be a massage therapist,” Masiea says.   

After completing high school, Masiea studied Office Administration and Management at the Lerotholi Polytechnic and a few months after graduation, through a friend was connected to get a job in Pretoria, South Africa as an office assistant but says her calling in make-up was a greater one.   

“I moved to Gauteng in 2011 for an office job fresh from college. While I was doing that there was also the element of educating myself in make-up. I started watching YouTube videos; you know when God has called you to something you learn very fast so I was catching on very fast,” she remembers.

She says with all the knowledge she’d gotten while self-studying, she felt it was time to augment that with professional skills hence she contacted a seasoned make-up artist for consulting.

“I did not have the money to go to school because make-up schools are quite expensive, not a lot of parents can afford to take their children to such schools,” She says proudly.

As time she transitioned from only watching YouTube video tutorials to reading a lot of books, as she believes whatever thing a person wants to do, they must read books.     

“I have always been fascinated by fashion, arts and creativity and let me just say I have always been an artist at heart, but I had to invest in it to help that passion I had so I had to read – it opens up your mind more,” he says.

When the time came for her to begin her own practice, Masiea decided she would be her first client.

“Obviously the time came when I had to do this on my own but people were not convinced so I had to be my own client. I put make-up on my face. And eventually, the doubters realised that I am on to something. 

“My style sets me apart from the rest and is unique; I draw most of my inspiration from the vogue, the likes of editorial make-up the kind seen on big fashion runaways. My make-up is timeless, effortless and natural because I still want people to look like themselves,” she adds.

Masiea says the primary reason she is so passionate about make-up is she believes it is her calling, it is her way to also express God’s character through people and also to fulfill her soul. 

“One thing that keeps me going is the way women feel after I have finished touching their face, their joy, their excitement and the way they perceive themselves.

“I learned in the early stages of my life that in any field that God has placed you, you can minister to others whether it’s in the arts, accounting or media all our gifts are purposefully meant to be used to glorify God. Once women sit on the chair and I apply make-up on them I make an impact on their lives through ministering to them,” she says.

Her love for make-up and style saw her venture into photography which she says although she wanted to grow, decided that she still wanted to do something that is within.

“In expanding my business I wanted to still do something that is still within my territory, so somehow a camera landed on my doorstep miraculously during the initial stages of the Covid-19 outbreak. When this happened, it felt like a part of me that had been missing for the longest time, was found” Masiea says.

She acknowledges that the two go hand in glove although most people think it is going to replace make-up and she keeps telling them it cannot because they are intertwined.

“The two go together because, either way, after applying make-up on the client even if you strictly came for make-up, we have to document it on picture by phone or by camera. So now I have a camera which makes it even more exciting. Sometimes people want to book a photographer and a make-up artist and when they learn I have the two it becomes a lot easier. 

Masiea states that the photography part is more exciting in a sense that it happens to be picking up way faster than the make-up. 

Just like how she started with make-up, she is learning photography on-the-job. 

She attributes a lot of her successes over the years and the talents she has to her faith and trust in the word of God and His ways.       

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