COSMETOLOGIST Patricia Adolphus is determined to expand her reach in the US$13-million local beauty market and the US$565-billion global beauty market. She has over 10 years' experience in the industry and is a hairstylist as well as an expert in bridal, runway, editorial, fantasy, and special effects make-up. Adolphus gained recognition in her field after winning the award for the Best Make-up Artist in Media and Television in 2017 and 2018, respectively, from the Jamaica MUA Awards. She credits the majority of her success to her passion for make-up.
"Make-up artistry has always been a form of creative expression that comes naturally for me. It's a passion. I've always wanted to learn more about the vast industry, so I enrolled/ participated in various make-up courses and seminars that would get me certified. Now I am able to practise my craft freely," she said. Adolphus is now a Heart College of Beauty Services-certified make-up artiste.
However, before she found her niche, she explored various markets within the beauty industry. She started out doing hair before incorporating make-up. She later improved her make-up skills by learning about make-up application for theatrical and film productions.
"I realised these types of diversified make-up techniques were not available locally at the time because every school focused more on beauty enhancing make-up. After further research, I signed up for an online Canadian cosmetology school who later sent me a brochure," she said. "That's when I discovered that make-up is more than just applying foundation, eyeshadow and lipstick for everyday wear. I also realised that on-camera make-up application is not only different from what I'm used to, but also profitable."
Adolphus doubled down on her interest in make-up and soon found her niche in special effects make-up. The biggest challenge she faced was not having access to the material needed to make the prosthetics and designs for her pieces.
"I decided to get creative and innovative so I utilised the products that were available to me at the time, such as basic food items. My first special effects piece was done using flour, hair colour, and foundation to create the illusion of wounds. But despite these challenges, I remained patient and continued to develop my skills until I was able to do better," she shared. She made her debut as a special effects make-up artist when she was hired by dancehall artiste Tommy Lee for his music video Uncle Demon. With the help of her mentors Tanya Grant, Andreen Rose Cephas, and Rohan "Stricka" Hamilton she has been able to put her skills on display and cement herself in the market.
"I like to challenge myself, which is perfect, because the cosmetics industry is always evolving and providing new challenges to keep me growing professionally. Special effects make-up was just what I needed to stand out and take my work to the next level," she said.
She now owns and operates her own business, MakeUp by Pat Adolphus. Her company is a full-service beauty studio that specialises in cosmetics for professionals, celebrities, production companies, and players in the entertainment industry.
Her most notable clients within corporate Jamaica include one of the Caribbean's pre-eminent scholars and advocates for gender justice, racial equality, and non-discrimination, Professor Verene Shepherd; Minister of Foreign Affairs Kamina Johnson Smith; and EU Ambassador to Jamaica Malgorzata Wasilewska. She has also worked with a variety of organisations, including the Victoria Mutual Group, United Nations Jamaica, UNICEF, and Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).
Within the entertainment industry, she has worked with reggae artistes Nadine Sutherland and Sophia Brown and dancehall artistes Shaniel Muir, Agent Sasco, Macka Diamond, and Pamputtae. Her make-up skills have also been utilised by production companies like FS Media, Kane Ink Media, and Studio 55 for music videos and ads.
Her latest job saw her providing make-up services for Danielle Edmond, owner of Stay Golden Cosmetics, who was the cover model for the Elements magazine April 2022 issue.
Adolphus says starting her own company has transformed her life.
"It's one of the best decisions I have ever made. It has opened many doors, some of which have allowed me to travel abroad to South Africa, Brazil, and Canada. I've also been able to teach production make-up to community film project students at The University of the West Indies," she continued. "There are so many opportunities out there, so I'm excited about the future."
She plans to capitalise on her success, skills, and expertise in order to one day open her own cosmetology school.