Saturday 25 May, 2019

Yolondo uses Rasta colours to create successful makeup line

Yolondo Salmon-Thomas generating buzz with her makeup line.

Yolondo Salmon-Thomas generating buzz with her makeup line.

Not many females can turn a hobby into a full-fledged successful going concern but 29 year-old Jamaican-born Yolondo Salmon-Thomas did just that in a matter of years. 

Over the past two years, she has gained a steady audience and a growing customer base with her popular make up tutorials online via her Facebook page, Playing in Makeup by Yolondo LLC. She has been attracting thousands of viewers and loyal customers with her unique concept of creating a makeup line using only Rastafarian colours: red, green, gold and black. 

"These are powerful colours and they represent my culture and bring a uniqueness to the makeup industry. The main colours for me are red, black, green and gold which very much represent Jamaica. I cater to everyone, and internationally, more people are gravitating towards Rastafarian culture, it's eye catching," Yolondo Salmon-Thomas, founder of Playing in Makeup by Yolondo LLC, said. 

"My line brings a uniqueness to the industry, because most palettes have a black casing and ours is multi-coloured and it represents our vibrant Caribbean culture," she added.

According to a recent financial report, the global cosmetic products market was valued at around US$532 billion in 2017 and is expected to reach approximately US$863 billion in 2024. Cosmetic beauty or makeup products are chemical mixtures that are used to enhance odour or appearance of the human body. The self-taught make-up artist hopes that she can carve out a bigger slice of this lucrative sector. 

"For me, makeup is a creative form of self-expression. And it’s really good fun to play with, I’ve been playing with makeup my whole life, and now I am making a living from it," the Old Harbour High school graduate said. 

She migrated to live in the US in 2006.

She began working as a makeup artist in 2011, doing gigs backstage on reality shows and in countless video and photo shoots for reggae and pop artistes. She eventually attended Make Up School of New York in Manhattan, in order to gain certification, and for the past five years, she had been a certified, professional makeup artist.

In 2017, Yolondo established her own cosmetic line in an office on the Upper East Side of Manhattan with a capital investment of US$10,000. Since then, she has shrewdly built her business into a successful, profitable going concern. She has trademarked her designs and established a limited liability company which specializes in wedding makeup and special event makeup, 

"My next goal is to get a full line of makeup that is suitable for all women of all races," she said. "It is always a pleasure to help you find your own beauty. I have a deep belief in providing a great service and being professional. It is essential to me that, while we have great fun during your personalised makeup session, you walk out feeling absolutely, breathtakingly beautiful."

With over 12,500 followers online, the New York-based makeup artist has used a mixture of online channels and traditional advertising to build her multi-racial and multi-cultural customer base. 

"The first live Facebook video we did, I got a few viewers and that inspired me to keep doing it. My client base really increased after a few months as people were captivated by the vibrant colours. I have mostly US customers but I now have customers in France, Ireland, England and the Caribbean, especially Trinidad. I started with no followers, no one knew me, but I hired public relations personnel and got celebrity endorsements to also grow my business," Salmon-Thomas, who hails from Mitchell Town, in Clarendon, said.

This summer, Yolondo wants to launch two additional palettes to supplement the cosmetic line that already includes eyeshadow palettes, highlighters, luxury mink eyelashes, Matte Matte lipstick in 12 shades, makeup brushes and even a Jamrock makeup kit. She is particularly proud of her Jamrock Universal Eyeshadow palette. 

"I name my eyeshadow palettes which has 30 different shades with words that Jamaicans use every day such as irie, zeen, gudgud, fluffy, ya-so, wah gwaan etc," she said, laughing. 

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