Cocktail With — Kai Forde

Cocktail With — Kai Forde

Sunday, December 15, 2019

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Kai Forde
Trinidadian Make-up Artist

At age 26 you are already touted as Trinidad's leading Carnival MUA. What's the back story?
I think my journey started back in high school. It may sound a little clichéd, but I was an art student; for me my canvas was always a face. I didn't think I'd turn out to be a make-up artist, but while handling promotions, I started doing my own make-up and those of my team members' who eventually became clients. I soon moved from promotions to doing make-up for the same agency. Soon, girls started booking me directly and slowly my clientele grew. I am self-taught. Trial and error has been my biggest teacher. I started getting bookings for Carnival bands, artistes, photoshoots and weddings. Then I started hearing my name being bandied about as one of Trinidad's best. I'm not entirely sure what that means... at this point I'm just rolling with it, to be honest.

What were five lessons learnt along the way?
1. Patience
2. Taking deposits up front
3. Understanding
4. Flexibility
5. Set reminders

What is the most important quality in a make-up artist?
The most important quality a make-up artist should adopt is always keeping your tools clean, this is important because the face is very personal.

What words of advice would you give to an up-and-coming make-up artist?
My advice is always be patient with your art understand your strong points and do not rush the process. It's okay if you can't blend colours right away; keep practising because sooner or later you will be amazing at it, and watching YouTube videos helps. Also, you should never compare your work to others; always be the best that you can be; find your personal style and own it. You will stand out from the rest regardless, and lastly, if you are not passionate about make-up, switch your profession.
What has been your most humbling experience careerwise?
Receiving the love I get from my clients and having people recognise me for my work without introducing myself humble me every day.

What words of advice would you give today to your younger self?
Focus on what's important.
Where's your happy place?
Being with my family surrounded by support and love.

What lesson has been the hardest to learn?
You cannot please everyone.

Heels or flats?

Jeans or LBD?

Bold red lip of soft nude?
Soft nude.

Soca or dancehall?

What's the one thing that surprised you about Jamaica?
Jamaica feels like home; the people are friendly and welcoming!

Finally, what's your personal credo?
Believe in yourself. Work outside of your habits. Know when to speak up. Collaborate. Stay focused. Do not give up easily. Don't procrastinate. Get over yourself. Keep learning. Find inspiration everywhere. Network. Educate yourself. Trust your gut. Ask for help. Make it sustainable. Travel. Meet new people. Establish lasting friendships. Find a passion. Question everything. Have a concept. Learn to take  criticism. Do your research. The problem contains the solution. Think about all the possibilities. Enjoy the journey. Smile.

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