Having a passion for arts and creativity, Lemi is a self-taught popular makeup artist and brand ambassador at Apala Jewels with a focus solely on editorial and fashion. She is living her travel dream, as her work has taken her around the world to Dubai, Europe, and India.
For Lemi, the coronavirus lockdown has been a blessing in disguise. It gave her an opportunity to take a break from her nomadic life and stay home for more than 3 weeks.
Why did you make a career switch from being a fine artist to makeup artists?
I just went with the flow and there are no such reasons. I was applying to Paris for my fashion designing and during that time the earthquake happened in Nepal. I didn’t feel like going at that time. I was studying Fine Arts and, on the side, was also doing makeup on myself and uploading pictures on social media. Instagram was really a good platform for me to showcase my work and that’s how I got into makeup. It was really hard to manage my finances, school, and my career as a makeup artist. So, I decided to drop out of college in my second year and give my makeup career a hundred percent.
Did you do a formal academic course on makeup after that?
No, I didn’t want to go to any school because I felt that I had my own style of doing makeup and my own signature. You go to school to learn techniques. And when you learn something, it stays with you. You think that this is all I should do and I shouldn’t be doing anything else. I didn’t want that for myself.
What are some of your top work highlights?
I have worked with Vogue India, Femina, Chambor, which is a leading makeup brand in India, and also billboards and ads. Also, while working for Faces Canada, which is also a leading makeup brand in India, I was handling everything, from picking the models to picking their skin colors.
I did a really good campaign shoot with Pantene. So the photographer was from Spain, who has worked with all the international celebrities. I also got a chance to work with a really professional and good hairstylist from New York. He does hairstyles for many of Victoria Secret’s models.
Your Instagram is like a mini world map. Could you tell us more about your work travels?
I have worked at three places, apart from Nepal: Dubai, Europe, and India and I think Dubai is my favorite.
My life in Mumbai was really hectic. I had to literally work for 30 hours straight sometimes. It was a mess out there, but I did enjoy the process and the journey. When I went to Dubai, it was completely different, especially work life.
Dubai’s weather and food are amazing. Also, they have a lot of places you can visit. Because when I work I don’t like to work 24 hours. I prefer going to places and have a work-life balance as well. So, when I’m not working during the weekends while traveling, I like exploring the city, seeing new places, and meeting new people.
What about your interests and traveling outside of work?
I like taking holidays besides work. I love visiting tropical places, with beaches, bikinis, and lots of dressing up. Apart from that, I’m really into adventures as well, like snorkeling and skydiving. I am a person who loves experiencing anything and everything new, like trying different cuisines and activities.
Talking a little about our recent collaboration, why did you choose to become Apala’s brand ambassador?
I love makeup, fashion, and getting ready because they all fall in the same category. They all make us feel good and enhance our look. So when Apala approached me, I was not sure if I really wanted to get to that side of this thing. But then I went to Apala’s page and saw their designs. It was just so elegant and really simple. It was my type. I felt like it would really go with my personality, the way I do makeup, the way I carry myself. I decided to go for it.
How has your journey been with Apala?
Apala is really professional when it comes to working. In Nepal, one of the things is that there is a delay in everything, and everything is laid-back. And that’s what I had experienced so far in my professional life. But with Apala, more than a brand ambassador, I feel like I am their family. Because whenever I want to get ready and want jewelry, I text Apala and say, “I’m wearing this. Can you please send me a piece of jewelry?” And it’s always available. They always make it happen for me. It’s been a really fun journey. I don’t feel like I’m working with them, it’s more like a family.
What are your thoughts on the jewelry designs of Apala?
So that is the reason I chose them because I’m very picky about these things. And I’ve got many offers for a brand ambassador, like beauty brands and clothing brands. But I chose Apala because it’s really classy. Design is completely different and it’s not typical. Also, it really goes with my personality. The touch is different, the designs are different. It can go with everything, even when you wear an office outfit, or you go out with your friends for coffee, or even if you go to events. You can wear their jewelry because it goes with literally everything. Also, their designs are really fashionable. It’s like modern plus a touch of traditional: all in one.
What are your future plans professionally?
I’m coming up with so many things. Let’s keep it a secret. But I am coming up with something really big.