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“This is One of the Most Terrifying Experiences I’ve Ever Had as a Makeup Artist” -Rose Ntong’ondu  


Hi friends hope your week is good. So, on the blog today, I feature Rose Ntong’ondu, a wife and mother of two is a well-established professional makeup artist and trainer under the brand name ‘Makeup by Rose’. She uses both her Make up by Rose and Urembo Club outfits as empowerment tools for women through mentoring upcoming makeup artists, offering advice, training and facilitation networking opportunities.

Today, Rose has a word of caution for all upcoming makeup artists (also known as MUAs). I also believe the rest of us can benefit from her experience. She talks about what happened to her one time in her line of work. Read and share with your friends who are makeup artists or other ladies who seem interested in pursuing this line -including our daughters, nieces, cousins, neighbors etc.

“From my 11 years’ experience as a makeup artist, I have learned a few things that have kept me alive and might keep you alive while still pursuing your dreams of makeup artistry.

Rose is one of Kenya’s leading MUAs.

A makeup artist can either operate from a physical location (few do that) or run a mobile business where you go on location where the clients need you, or both. Most makeup artists are women (easy target)!

About three years ago, a client called me and needed their makeup done in the Eastlands area. We agreed on the time and since she was a first-time client, we were to meet at a certain stage (bus stop) where we were to proceed to her house. She needed her makeup done and a bit of personal makeup training. I run a business, so I couldn’t say no. I was a bit scared because I wasn’t familiar with that particular area, but thought ‘ooh well, ni biashara!

I took a cab from my house and just when were a few minutes away, she called and said she had given me the wrong location. She proceeded to give me a different location and apologized for it. I started to get a bit worried.

The cab driver was also very concerned and asked: “Madam are you sure that’s a client or are they setting up a trap for you?”

I had no answer.

I had my pink makeup case with me (which tends to attract a lot of attention). It made me even more concerned. I said a prayer and asked God to keep me safe. But I needed money so I decided to proceed, because, what if I was wrong and just being paranoid?

The cab driver, seeing my worry told me:

“Madam, I will drop you then give you 10 minutes as you meet with your client. If you see anything fishy, run for your life – I will be here waiting for you.”

I was so happy and felt safer.

On reaching the stage, I alighted and tried calling the ‘client’. She didn’t answer.

I scanned my eyes around to see if anyone around that area would answer their phone. Fortunately, I had not told my ‘client’ what I would be wearing. So I went to a mama nguo nearby and tried calling from there while somewhat ‘hiding in the clothes’.

I don’t know why I kept trying, yet I had this unsettling feeling, but I guess I badly needed the money.

After a few minutes, I saw a woman emerge, accompanied by three men. She didn’t look ‘make up like’ if that makes sense. I called the number again, but this time didn’t place it on my ear -as I had been advised by my cab driver. She answered but couldn’t tell it was me calling. I watched the four of them trying to figure out where I was.

She must have known what I looked like because she pointed at me and they started hurriedly starting walking towards me. I almost peed on myself. Something just didn’t feel right.

I looked around and saw the cab driver was still there, waiting for me, thankfully. He too had been observing. He figured it out.

I ran to meet with him as he drove to where I was. I jumped in and we drove away. I have never been so terrified in my life! Looking back, the four individuals had vanished, we couldn’t tell where they had gone.

That incident remains one of the most terrifying events of my career! I cannot tell you what their intention with me was, but I can tell you they didn’t need makeup for sure.

This is what I Learned from my Experience:

  • For first time clients, don’t go alone. Tag along a companion (preferably a male friend who can help in case of trouble)
  • If It doesn’t feel right, it’s not right. Cancel that client.
  • If need be, take a cab and ask them to wait for you, but please, if it’s not a repeat client that you have a history with, don’t go to their house. Rent space if you must, even if it’s just for one hour to work on that client.
  • Always let someone know where you went and keep them on speed dial. If you are doing a client’s makeup in a public location, make sure it’s open and safe enough. Also have someone there with you. I always have an assistant to avoid losing products or personal items (products being stolen), depending on the job.
  • If anything goes wrong, scream your lungs out!!!!
  • If you don’t feel comfortable, drop that job!

Please please stay safe. I pray that God protects you all. Always say a prayer before going to any client.”-END

And that’s Rose’s story. Quite interesting. Sometimes we always have strong instincts about something and most of the time, they are never wrong. Have you ever had strong instincts about something that ended up saving you big time? Do you have something to comment on Rose’s story? Do you have additional tips that you’d like to share? If your answer is yes to any of these questions, please do so in the comments section below.

Also, if you have an experience that you would like to share with other women, you can email me on maryanne@mummytales.com and I’ll be in touch with you.

Thanks for reading.

You may also be inspired by Irene’s story below:



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Maryanne W. Waweru is a Kenyan mum raising her two sons in Nairobi. A journalist, Maryanne is passionate about telling stories and hopes that through her writing, her readers learn something new, feel encouraged, inspired, and appreciative of what they have in their lives. Maryanne's writing focuses on motherhood, women and lifestyle. "Telling stories is the only thing I know how to do," she says.


  1. That was a close call. Thankfully she escaped unscathed. Also kudos for a human cab driver that genuinely cares about his passengers’ safety. She took very cautious step to protect herself. First by having somebody watching out, secondly by scanning the surrounding for red lights, and third not being a sitting duck by not standing on an obvious location but taking some kind of cover. Smart girl!


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