Victoria K. Munyenyiwa, also branded as Facebeat by VickieKay in the beauty world and on Facebook (Instagram: @vee_the_makeupbae), is a 28-year-old lady born and raised in Masvingo, Zimbabwe. She moved to Gweru for tertiary education where she obtained a bachelor’s honours degree in human resource management, class of 2016, from Midlands State University.
“After graduating, I moved to Harare permanently in search of a job,” Victoria told The Weight She Carries. “Growing up, I never thought I would be in the beauty industry as a makeup artist. I used to just admire my mom so much. She was a makeup addict, and I used to steal her lipstick when I was in kindergarten. I guess I got this love for makeup from her, but I had this dire love for an office job. I have always imagined myself being all sophisticated behind that computer, and life was like, ‘No, child!’”
Though she fell in love with makeup as a child, connecting the dots to living out her passion presented a number of challenges. To start, she had terrible acne that took a toll on her confidence. We were curious about how Victoria was able to overcome her setbacks, so we reached out to her to find out just that.
Tell us how the condition of your skin affected you and did it change how people viewed you?
I had really bad acne growing up. I lost all confidence. I could not go anywhere without putting on face powder to cover up my spots and pimples. It was a mess, and I felt ugly. I would always be punished for wearing makeup in high school. Back then, I was using the powders sold on the road side (fake products) because that was what I could afford at the time, and it just made my skin condition worse. I went to university, and being around people with perfect skin made it worse.
Skip to fourth year. Instead of studying, I would be glued to YouTube watching makeup videos. This grew my love for makeup because, to me, it wasn’t just for the sake of wearing it, but now it was a cover up and a confidence booster. I would practice on my face and on my friends’ faces, and all I can say is indeed practice makes perfect.
Victoria told The Weight She Carries that she would get pity from people who would see her bare-faced, and it affected her because her confidence was already thwarted. Other people would come through with a lot of advice on how she could fix her face.
Tell us how your love for makeup opened doors and opportunities for you.
After I graduated in 2016, I could not get a job. My sister, Hope Makonya, advised me to venture into being makeup artist since I was good at it and enjoyed it. She has always been my strength. Once I started the hustle, she would advertise on my behalf and bring me makeup products from South Africa. I [created] my page Facebeat By VickieKay, and looking back now, I realise how much I have improved. Grace was on my side as most people would give me makeup kits; therefore, I did not buy a single item in my makeup kit.
God hears those silent prayers, and life is always full of surprises, twists, turns, new opportunities. Just over four years ago, I joined Medix Group of Pharmacies as a cosmetic consultant after they had seen my makeup page on Facebook.
I thought I would be there for a long time, considering that getting jobs in Zimbabwe is such a struggle. Then, out of the blue, I received a contract [from another company] I couldn’t refuse.
After two years, they had finally opened my file and discovered that I had a degree in human resource management, and they needed one ASAP. I couldn’t turn down the opportunity because that was my dream job. I worked as the HR officer for a year, but I was not happy. I was not passionate about it at all. I was always frustrated.
I finally gathered the courage and rendered in my resignation on January 2, 2020. The very day I did this is the day I got an office space offer at the exact same premises Medix was renting. I took the offer and birthed FaceBeat Studio, located at No. 15 Harvey Brown Milton Park in Harare
What have you learnt from your life story and what advice would you give to young women who feel “ugly”?
The biggest lesson was do what you love and you will never feel like you’re working your entire life. Sometimes I just get up and go to that studio and call up people, and I teach them all things beauty just for the love of it, and there will be nothing in it for me (moneywise). It doesn’t feel like work. To me, it’s a distraction sometimes when I’m under the weather. So do what you are passionate about.
To young women who feel some type of way because of their skin conditions, trust me, I know the feeling. Sometimes trying anything and everything can break your bank or even make things worse. Confidence is self-built. What matters most is what is on the inside than what is on the outside. We are all beautiful in our own way. Right now, my skin is not perfect still. I have mad spots, and I break out every month when I’m PMS-ing, but now I hardly wear makeup because I’m now confident. [This] is how I look and I can’t change that. Yes, I’m using products to fix it, but I can’t speed up the process. I just have to trust it.
What have been your key achievements?
I would say my biggest achievement has been self-satisfaction. Being a self-taught MUA with her own studio and being my own boss has just brought so much satisfaction in me. Also working with makeup brands was one of my key achievements. I worked with Zaron and WOW cosmetics.
Do you have any advice for other makeup artists or upcoming artists?
I hate the warped idea that two women in the same field are unable to coexist. When it comes to women, people love to turn everything into a competition. You can all be great at the same time!