Brooklyn-based Guyanese MUA counts Spice among her clients

Former journalist Abigail Wade has left the news behind having found her niche in the fashion industry as a makeup artist (MUA) and stylist in the USA. Abigail’s expertise has caught the attention of prominent New York retailer Macy’s and she has also become the personal MUA and stylist for Jamaican Dancehall singer/songwriter Grace ‘Spice’ Hamilton whenever the artiste is in New York.

The former news anchor who migrated in 2012 said she had learnt beforehand that adjusting into work life in the Big Apple was difficult even for persons with prior education and work experience was prepared to work hard to make a name for herself.

Even before she migrated Abigail was fascinated with art, fashion and styling. She told The Scene, “One day I was at home [in Brooklyn] thinking about ways to make the most of the American dream when I stumbled upon YouTube tutorials and stuck on them for hours. That’s when I decided this is what I want to do. I’m self-taught and my artistic talent and skills play a great part in me creating my own techniques.”

For quite some time Abigail practiced her new skill on herself until a visit from her sisters. “… I remember one day they came over when I first started playing in makeup and I made them up… They didn’t want to hurt my feelings by saying they didn’t like it, so they went on the street well made up. Now they sit and laugh saying I sent them out looking like they were a part of the Gay Pride Parade and that they had to sit on the train like that all the way home,” the makeup artist laughed as she recalled the incident. With sisters like these, she has great supporters and says so herself.

Soon enough, photos of her face made up in bright tones and subtle tones were on her Facebook page and persons began requesting her to do their makeup also. It did not take her very long to realize that she could not sit all day doing faces for free and so she opened her business.

Growing up she had heard the saying, “A woman can reinvent herself as many times as she likes,” and believes her life is a perfect example of this.

At first business was somewhat slow but with lots of exposure on social media, and whatever media opportunity she came by Abigail wasted no time in promoting herself. Being a makeup artist, she shared, has great benefits such as being one’s own boss, which she greatly appreciates as she is also a mom of four. By being her own boss, she can decide her own schedule and even better decide how much she gets paid. In fact, Abigail only works on weekends and uses her weekdays to tend to her home, her children and their schooling.

For Abigail being a makeup artist is more than doing makeup; it is being that haven for women who though burdened with their own troubles can feel taken care of, even if just for a bit. It is also seeing women sit down in a chair, giving them an ear and better yet, knowing that when they leave, they feel more confident, more relaxed, pampered and happy. The idea of knowing she has made someone’s day beautiful is a joy she would not trade for anything else. 

“Being a makeup artist is very exciting,” she said. “I get to meet people from a lot of different countries. I enjoy listening to their accents, stories about their traditional beliefs and basically growing up in another country.”

Life got even more exciting when she was contracted by Macy’s to collaborate at a VIP event where she did makeovers and disclosed some of her makeup techniques. In addition, she recently added Spice to her clientele. Spice, she said, is impressed by her work and books her whenever she is in New York.

Abigail’s dreams are coming true one at a time. She keeps on dreaming hoping that soon enough she can realize them and someday be doing makeup for A-list celebrities such as Nicki Minaj, Rihanna and Beyoncé. She hopes also to be able to visit all the countries her clients tell her about and plans on visiting all the carnivals and becoming one of their featured MUAs.

Abigail acknowledged that makeup artistry is an exciting career and added that for one to be successful they must first be sure it is what they love to do. Once that is established then they should ensure to always work to the best of their abilities with satisfaction being the result.

In addition, she warned MUAs that no matter how close a confidante they are to their clients, being understanding and empathizing with someone is totally different from being nosy and that persons should always mind their own business.

Abigail likes to work with the eyelids as she thoroughly enjoys playing with colours and glitters and getting creative. Though her favourite colour is purple, she loves working with bright colours overall. In many of her made-up faces, specs of purple can be seen.

Ironically, Abigail often goes without makeup. However, she ensures to not leave the house without mascara and lip gloss.

Abigail advises women to never use black eye pencils, only brown and to remember to blend their makeup well.

Every woman, she said, wants to feel beautiful and she is happy that she has the ability to help. 

Already, she has more than 4,000 subscribers on her YouTube channel: ‘Chocolate Abby’. She sees herself becoming a very successful entrepreneur within the next five years and is already making plans for new business ventures though she did not want to let the cat out of the bag just yet by saying what they were.

Sagittarius born, Abigail enjoys travelling but admits that she cannot recall when last she had the free time to do so or anything else as a matter of fact.

Her favourite dishes are pepperpot, cook up, curry and bora.

The President’s College alumni also attended the University of Guyana for a brief period. She later moved on to working in the media as a reporter, assistant producer, news anchor and video editor. In addition to this she also worked as a communications consultant.

Abigail can be followed on Instagram @chocolateabby, YouTube at Chocolate Abby and on Facebook at Abigail Wade.

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