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26 Aug

5 South African Make Up Artists You Should Know

Photo: Instagram/@femstella

The beauty and make up industry is reported as one of the fastest growing industries globally – this has been the case locally as well. This comes as no surprise of course – we are, after all, visual creatures and have been historically preoccupied with beauty. Whether it’s a special dinner date, a wedding or a birthday celebration – we all want our faces “snatched” and looking our best; all of which we entrust to our magic-make-up-brush-wielding make up artists or ‘MUAs’ as they are commonly referred to.

In this insert, we shine the spotlight on local make up artists to look out for that we’re crushing on. They are neither ranked nor categorised in any particular order but are making the right waves in their own special way. If you aren’t already following them and the amazing work they do, give them a follow to be continuously inspired by their work.

SIMPHIWE ”Colourme__sim” MBATHA

Simphiwe needs no introduction. She first caught our attention on the popular social media platform Tiktok, where she tinselled colourful glam to our dreary lockdown days with her make up and body painting videos. She has since amassed well over 100k fans across all media and this has in turn made her a favourite with various brands who regularly collaborate with her on make up looks. There’s nothing this talented Durbanite cannot bring to life on her face as well as the faces of others – you think of it and she will create it.

In an industry that was fast becoming saturated with the same looks, styles, packaging etc. Simphiwe presented a fresh, unique and creative take on make up. That alone became a major differentiator and established her as a fan-favourite. Fans have been reported saying beyond her talent, they enjoy her bubbly nature and witty remarks which often go viral as Tiktok/Reel sounds.

Collaborations: Johnson ‘n Johnson, Rimmel, Disney, Samsung, Kryolan, Azul, Beefeater
Awards: Africa Social Entertainment Award for Best Make Up Artist


The Cape Town based beaut is behind the looks of some of your favourite local celebrities, fashion spreads and TV shows. Her hum is experimental editorial looks for which she has done prolific work — including singer Shekinah’s look for the Cosmopolitan Cover and multiple advertising campaigns with the likes of Yardley. So if you’re looking for someone who can nail make up for “in front of the camera” purposes, she’s your girl. Her signature looks are skin-like finishes with natural make up looks and subtle pops of colour and of course, spicy editorial make up.

Clientelle: Boity Thulo, Mihlali Ndamase, Nomzamo Mbatha, Tony Gum, DJ Zinhle, Cosmopolitan, Glamour Magazine, Blood and Water

Some of our favourite looks by her:


Gretta Muamba is a talented Johannesburg-based make up artist who started doing make up professionally 5 years ago but has since grown in leaps and bounds, even bagging a nomination for Africa Entertainment Social Award. For special events – bridal, baby showers, matric dance etc. she’s your go-to person as she perfects the soft glam look we all love for such occasions. She is also a budding entrepreneur with a thriving mink lashes business called Bougie lashes.


Zipho Ntloko is another one that needs no introduction. She’s an industry heavy weight in her own right and not just because of her make up skills, but also because her talents extend to beauty editing and writing, creative directing, and beauty consulting for some of the world’s biggest brands. The stylish 28 year old brands herself as a “beauty chameleon” as her work in the industry spans over multiple disciplines locally and internationally; boasting features in the likes of global beauty guru Huda Beauty.

She’s also held positions such as: Editor Foschini Beauty, Group Senior Editor Cosmopolitan, National make Up Artist and Beauty Expert Maybelline and L’oreal to name a few. We also love her instagram page where she regularly delivers beauty content that is just *chef’s kiss*.

Features: Huda Beauty, Nohanabil Beauty, Pillowtalk Derm, Foschini Beauty, Amaka Studios, Netflixsa, Cosmopolitan, Go Hustle


She’s the lady behind Nounouche’s gorgeous first cover with cover star Mihlali Ndamase and that alone is testament to her skill. BK is a seasoned make up artist boasting 11 years in the industry. Her career span is the longest on our list having started doing make up professionally at the tender age of 16 for IMANI Cosmetics. She’s since built a reputable brand and is a sought after make-up artist in the Gauteng area especially. No one does a lipgloss look like BK! She’s also well-known for soft glams and glowwy finishes that are perfect for events such as weddings.

BK is also well versed in production make up having worked on shows such as Mzanzi Insider, Dineo’s Diary, Living The Dream With Somizi, The Voice SA, Big Brother Africa and many others. She’s also one of the make up artists behind former Miss Universe Zozibini Tunzi’s looks on the Lux campaign and worked with alcohol brand tanquray in Seville, Spain.

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