Joy Adenuga

Make-up artist Joy Adenuga talks bridal makeup and meeting Letitia Wright

You’ve been in the industry for nearly a decade - how did you get into makeup?

I think I’ve always been interested in makeup. But when I got married, we were saving up for a house and I wanted to take up makeup artistry as a side job to earn some extra income. I decided to take a foundation course to learn everything that I could, and I spent lots of time practising on models. After having kids, I quit my day job and worked as a makeup artist full time so that I could work around them.


Were there any makeup artists whose work you aspired to when you first started?

There were so many makeup artists whose work I admired. Funnily enough, there were more high profile American based artists than British at the time, like Sam Fine. But I also followed Pat McGrath and others.


Tell us more about your masterclasses

They are aimed at absolutely everyone who wants to learn how I create my beauty looks. I demonstrate how to create an entire look from beginning to end, and I break everything down so it’s easy to understand. Anyone can master what I’m teaching. I also get a lot of destination wedding brides who can’t afford to bring along a makeup artist to the location. They come in to learn how they can create their own look.


Also, if you’re a makeup artist and you want to create the looks that you see on my website, I am happy to reveal everything about the techniques and products I use to create that look during the class. There are no secrets; no holds barred.

Joy Adenuga Make-up


What’s trending right now in bridal makeup?

Most brides are embracing the natural look. Before, bridal makeup used to be quite full-on, but clients are moving away from that now. They want their freckles to show because they’re proud of them, whereas before they wanted them covered up. Now brides are embracing their inner and outer beauty and letting their melanin shine.


How do you achieve that dewy, glowing complexion that we see in your images?

It’s all about the choice of the product, combined with who I’m working with. I don’t use the same products on every single model or bride. For example I wouldn’t use an illuminating primer on someone with oily skin; I would mattify the skin and create the shine myself by strategically placing the highlighter where the light will hit it.

Joy Adenuga Make-up


Is there a makeup brand which you prefer to use in your work?

It’s rare that I can use just one brand to create an entire look, and I don’t think there is a brand which I can use on each and every model or bride that I work with. You have to mix and match your products; for example, Tom Ford doesn’t offer colour correctors and NARS don’t create loose eyeshadows, so if I need those products I have to look elsewhere.


You’ve also done quite a bit of work with celebrities - are there any celebrities whose makeup you’d love to do?

The list is so long! But I think right now I would love to work with Letitia Wright from Black Panther. I actually met her last week at a wedding. I was touching up the bride’s makeup when I saw her, and I really wanted to take a picture with her! She looked like she didn’t have much makeup on, and she had beautiful skin which would be amazing to work with.

Joy Adenuga Make-up

Visit Joy Adenuga's website here.

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