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Why I ventured into feminine business – Yakky

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Yakky

…says he was trained by women

….women are wary to separate my profession from love life

By Ebunoluwa Sessou

Aremu Kazeem Yayah aka Brow   Daddy Yakky is founder of Glittering Health Beauty Centre which he founded since 2005, as a nail technician.

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Then, he metamorphosed into a makeup artist in 2009 with wild experience in movie makeup including   Fifty, MTV Shuga and October 1st. In 2010,  he got training on lashes by  Lola Maja, then became Ayurvedic therapist in 2013; in 2016 he became a Permanent Makeup Artist, 2018 plasma skin tightening in Los Angeles.

His experience in beauty and travels made him get new techniques and more advanced knowledge to share with Nigerians as a means to reduce unemployment and create standards in the beauty industry.

In this interview,  Yakky  gives insight to some of his operational activities and how best to address skin issues.

What prompted Brow Daddy Yakky?

I started my career as a nail technician in 2005 and in 2010; the industry has progressed so I metamorphosed to Makeup Artist and rebranded myself. I also studied on micro bleeding which is a permanent makeup. That is a trend growing in the United States.

One of my teachers’ friends in the United States, Brow Daddy, was someone who has a name in the beauty industry so when I studied skin tightening in Los Angeles, I decided to rename myself after him. I started using the name Brow Daddy Yakky.

So, you got the name with an endorsement from Brow Daddy?

Not an endorsement  from Brow Daddy. I know that in the US, he is the  best and I said to myself that since I am the best in Nigeria, I could add that name to myself.

What informed this business?

I love growth, establish and study more because I follow the trend. I also ensure that I update myself on a daily basis especially on courses that are relevant to my profession.   The famous Lola Maja was my trainer on nail techniques and lash extension. I featured in some movies including MTV Sugar, October 1, the CEO, and Movie 50 by Ebonylife as makeup Artist. This profession availed me the privilege of traveling out of the country. All I needed was to upgrade myself so, I became permanent makeup Artist. I studied micro bleeding, stretch mark camouflage, skin tightening which is trending in America.

Why tightening of skin? Lots of eyebrows on that issue especially as it relates to death? Don’t’ think you are also contributing to sending people to the early grave?

It is not surgery but plasma skin tightening which involves using pen and fire. It does not touch the skin. It only renews the skin and tightens up the skin without side effect. It is a process done in every two months under three sections. For those with wrinkle faces and eyelids, it is a good remedy. It is not surgery.

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So, how do you convince people to understand where you are coming from?

Sometimes ago, I posted something on  Instagram,  so many people reacted condemning women for beautifying themselves. I realized they were not moving with  the trend. The only challenge is during the process of healing because it might not heal up on time but for the White people, it will fade off within one week. People come for consultation and I advise them on what to do. There is a technique that tells you what to do when having issues and individuals are advised appropriately.

What’s so special despite strict competitiveness?

We have thousands of people who are doing this business; amazingly, some of them have fallen by the roadside. They cannot stand the test of time. This is a profession that I have taken with so much passion and I try as much as possible to upgrade especially with the trend in beauty industry.

Today, I have expanded my horizon to the point of making a vampire face which involves using the plasma of the blood to treat acne, pimples or glowing skin. Those are what Kim Kardashian does. I had the training in Canada but I do not have license as a doctor, so I make use of licensed nurses who can withdraw blood and then, I can go on with the vampire process.

Is the vampire business trending in Nigeria too and is it what you are focusing on?

Gradually. I have ventured into the vampire business  in Nigeria with a licensed doctor to withdraw blood and I go on with the rest of the procedure.

One wonders why you ventured into a feminine business….

I have a background and that is first point of call. I was trained by  a female nail technician. My teachers were female.   I like natural looks and I ensure that whatever I do is natural.

You mentioned something called body polishing?

It is a procedure a woman who wants to marry undergo for three months before the wedding day. And the ingredients are natural herbs.

Who are your audience and your relationship with Rev. Mother Esther Ajayi?

People who love authentic and natural beauty including Rev. Mother Esther Ajayi. I met her in 2017 when she came to my shop to tread her eyebrows. Someone directed her to me.

She saw me when I was making some photocopies of some handouts for my empowerment programme. Throughout my career, I have conducted free empowerment program for about 2000 people on this profession. This empowerment is important to me because I know where I am coming from.   I told her we would have training on Monday because she came to my shop on Friday. When she asked why I was printing the handouts for the free empowerment program, she was amazed.

Surprisingly, she promised to help and she did. She sent one million to my account and since, she has been supporting my empowerment programme.   She also gave N50, 000 to each student after the training.

You  harp on your background as a pointer to enriching people’s lives through  empowerment programs;  tell us about the journey….

I never grew up with a silver spoon. I have been on the streets, I was a thug but I thank God that He saved me through my handwork. I was unable to join the bad boys on the street because I was always busy going to the shop helping my cousin to learn how to do nails and I grew afterwards. I learnt nail fixing and so I believe that there are so many people who would not be able to afford to pay for the  training yet they want to learn. My joy is to see that people are able to earn a living and make money for themselves and I am happy today because lots of people who have been trained through my empowerment programme are now making over one million per month.

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What are your projections in the next five years?

I will like to build more international outlets in places including Liberia, Cameroon, US among others. We already have a branch in Ghana. We like to expand more and probably buy properties for the business.

Challenges in this business?

I face lots of challenges in terms of shipping to Nigeria because I have my own makeup brand and my lash line among others and at the same time, there are challenges in terms of trusting the staff members. People come to me because of my intellectual property and they do not serve me. Although I do not feel bad about it. Most people like to come, learn but it is difficult for them to stay for internship and this affects the growth of the business but because I am a strong man, I have prepared myself for the challenges ahead. I believe nobody will stay with me for a longtime.

Many cosmetologists can confirm that it is hard to trust people. It is so hard to control people and it is difficult to trust some of the people around your business.

This place is located in Ikeja which is known for business, what of the security aspect?

I chose Ikeja because I have been in the area since 2008. I have been a salon manager in this area for a while and the fact that the turnover in Ikeja is really high and at the same time, the security of the place is high and it is spacious for all our clients. It has all departments of beauty under one roof. I have trained so many people in Ikeja and today they are all empowered. It is very difficult to leave Ikeja.

Microblading is a type of eyebrow architecture. It is all about creating the best shape for each face – a totally bespoke approach for each client.

The process is very precise thanks to the tool that is used which is effectively like a pen with the nib being a sloped blade with 10-12 little needles at the end – needles that don’t penetrate the skin but just delicately scratch the surface, much like a paper cut.

The needle very finely implants featherweight strokes with a medical grade pigment on the epidermis layer for the skin, creating fine, realistic and natural hair strokes.

I’ll measure up your eyebrows using a Microblading Ruler to choose the perfect shape of brow which is individual to each client. Based on this, I’ll freehand the final shape.

How long does microblading last?

Microblading lasts anything between 12-18 months, but the longevity of the pigment will depend on your skin type.

People with slightly more oily skin will tend to last around the 12 month mark before needing a top up, but those with normal skin can last up to 18 months.

How is microblading eyebrows different from having your brows tattooed?

Microblading, unlike tattooing, is not in the deep layer of skin, but more on the surface. This is also not permanent, and the colour fades within 18 months.

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The hair strokes are far more natural and finer than any tattoo, as a handheld needle/blade is used – there is no electrical gadget that permeates deep in this technique. There is therefore more of a scratching noise, rather than a buzz of a tattoo gun which pierces the skin so deeply.

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