Ize Inspires Us to Go Against The Norm

We spoke with Ize who is an inspiring celebrity makeup artist. We learned how her passion for makeup started. In addition, she opens up about the pressures of being a Nigerian woman and how she's managed to go against the norm. Check it all out! 

Growing up in a Nigerian home, how was your childhood?

My childhood was pretty fun. We were very family oriented. My parents were strict, but it wasn’t to an extreme. The only thing I would say that I didn’t enjoy about my childhood was the fact that I only saw my friends at school. My parents never really let me and my siblings hang out with friends outside of school, until my sophomore year of high school. Instead of hanging with friends we kind of just enjoyed each other’s company, which was just a drag for me.

Your parents had medical school planned for you, were they disappointed in your decision of becoming a successful makeup artist? How did you break the news? 

My parents didn’t necessarily have medical school planned for me, but they definitely wanted me to go into the medical field because “there will always be a job” for me. When I graduated high school I had no clue what the heck I wanted to do, so I started out going to a community college and after one year I told my parents I’ll do nursing school because my mom is a nurse and it seemed logical. I transferred to Stephen F. Austin State University to study nursing. The moment I got to that school depression hit me hard. After being there for 2 years I finally had to tell my parents that I was not happy studying nursing or even going to school, and that I wanted to become a makeup artist. Both my parents were not happy because they knew nothing about the makeup industry, and didn’t think it was possible to make a good living from it. They really thought I wanted to do nursing because I took the entrance exam and everything. Let me just say this, school is not for everyone, and I’m just one of those people that school isn’t for. I graduated college with a degree in Health Science to make my parents happy, and just in case I needed a plan b to go back to school.

When did you develop your skills as a makeup artist?

I am self taught. I started playing in makeup in 8th grade. I remember my older sister had this purple eye shadow and I would always steal it to put it on in the morning. So one morning, my mom was dropping me off at school and I wouldn’t look at her, because she told me before to stop wearing makeup. So I got out the car without looking my mom in the face and she said, “Let me see your face.” I looked at her and she pinched the hell out of my cheeks. I ended up going to school with red cheeks and puffy eyes. I’ve been playing in makeup since.

As a makeup artist, there are a lot of different routes you can take, what do you plan to do? What does a successful makeup artist mean to you?

I want people to realize that it is okay to go against the grain.

I have two main people I look up to in the makeup industry, Makeupshayla, and NikkieTutorials. Both of those girls have their stuff together! I want to do celebrity makeup and become a YouTube personality. I would like to do editorial makeup, and I would love to be a brand ambassador for different makeup companies. I don’t want to just limit myself to doing people’s events.

A successful makeup artist inspires others. My goal is to be an inspiration, especially for young Nigerian girls – and boys who like to do makeup. Why should we have to grow up doing something our parents, or even other people want us to do? What kind of life is that? I want to wake up happy, because I love what I do. I don’t ever want to dread going to bed because I have to wake up the next morning to go to a job I could care less about. I’m truly over waking up with an attitude because there have been way too many mornings that didn’t feel like good mornings. I want my career to inspire others to keep chasing their dreams; I want people to realize that it is okay to go against the grain. 

Why is it important to go against the norm? What is your norm?

My norm is being carefree. I try not to care what other people think of me, because at the end of the day they are out there living their lives and I’ll be the one stuck thinking about all the mess they are filling my head with. We need to do what we love. Celebrities are only celebs because they do what they love. In a Nigerian household the norm is to become a lawyer, doctor, nurse, or engineer, you get my drift? Everyone is not made the same; we are not robots. And it’s sad because most Nigerian parents think those are the only roads to success. I think it would be a beautiful thing to have at least one Nigerian person, boy or girl, branching out and conquering the different fields out there, paving the way for others to follow. 

To learn more about Ize, contact her on IG @izefeno. You can also check out her YouTube channel @izefeno.