Nigerian Actress Adesua Etomi-Wellington made headlines last week as she landed her first Vogue cover! Appearing alongside other superstars Scarlett Johansson, Deepika Padukone, and Doona Bae on the cover, with 10 other women as part of a celebration of global talent.
Another highlight? Her makeup was done by a Nigerian – Yup, she had her makeup artist Tito Ibeleme of T’ ALA Mode Beauty do her makeup for the cover shoot!
For Tito Madu Ibeleme, it was a surreal moment. The top makeup artist is the owner of T.alamodemakeup, a beauty service company that specializes in bridal, engagement, fashion and editorial looks.
According to her:
(at T.alamodemakeup) We pride ourselves on making every woman feel exceptional/ beautiful. It’s important to me that we only ever use trusted products, as this is the foundation of a great look. Our aim is to make every single woman we work with to feel beautiful.
Apart from being extremely passionate about makeup and working hard to become an expert in her field, Tito has been Adesua’s personal makeup artist for 4 years – a relationship that over the years blossomed into friendship. Hence, there was no better person to take on this task.
Adesua looked demure in the shoot which took place in East London wearing a summery yellow and white corset Erdem dress with soft minimal makeup and fresh flowers completing her look.
We caught up with the makeup artist behind the pretty cover look and she talked about the process, what it was like behind the scenes and how Adesua really likes her makeup.
Tell us about doing Adesua’s makeup for Vogue:
When Adesua told me about the Vogue opportunity, I was thrilled for her. She’s been working so hard and really deserves this recognition. It was about a week later that she then said that she really wanted me to do her makeup. I was in complete and utter shock! Was she really asking me to go along with her to a Vogue shoot?! I even said to her ‘you do realize that this is Vogue right?!’ After we finalized the details I started praying about it and began all my research.
Why did you opt for subtle makeup?
In terms of preparing for the looks, it was surprisingly easy. Adesua opted for her well-known subtle look, which is what I’m used to doing on her. I had three looks I had to plan for: the cover, Adesua’s solo shot and the video in which she wore an outfit by Toju Foyeh. For the cover look, we were assisted by the official Vogue make-up artist who made sure all of the actresses’ makeup complimented each other and fit the brief.
When it came to Adesua’s solo shot, all we opted for was a lip touch-up and then finally for the video, I got to add a bit of colour. The dress she wore was vibrant and so I wanted to ensure that her make-up complimented it.
I chose the subtle look because it’s what Vogue is all about when it comes to actors on their cover. The focus for me was her skin, making sure it looked great and photographed well. I filled in her brows a bit and used a lot of mascara as we didn’t want to use fake lashes.
What type of makeup does Adesua usually favour?
She’s all about the subtle look, but when she feels a little adventurous, I’m free to create what I want because she trusts my opinion and knows that I’ll always do my best to make sure she looks and feels amazing. Doing her makeup has always been easy because of who she is, but now even more so because we have grown to be friends.
What was the highlight of this vogue cover?
My highlight has to be seeing the shoot unfold. The team was so organized and I literally just sat back and tried to take it all in. When speaking with the creatives, I felt such pride telling them that I was Nigerian, it was as if we were putting our country on the ‘high-end fashion map.’ A really proud moment was when the Vogue makeup-artist asked me which products I used. For most people that may seem like nothing, but for me, it showed that we’d done a good job!
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Nigeria to the world I can’t even post this without acknowledging that it’s just God. Susu @adesuaetomi took my work to Vogue @voguemagazine guysss????. A Nigerian makeup artist did makeup on a Nigerian Actor for the cover of Vogue. Photographer; Mikael Jansson /@mikaeljansson Stylist : Camilla Nickerson Makeup : Hannah Murray @hannah_murray1 / Tito Ibeleme @t.alamodebeauty Hair headpieces @juliendys Production: North Six and Day international / @northsixproductions And @dayinternational Florals Michael George / @michaelgeorgeflowers
Now seeing the cover was surreal! I stared at the website for a good five minutes and then called my husband immediately afterward “Can you believe that my work is truly on VOGUE??” I remembered having to leave my 7-month old with him to travel for this shoot. I couldn’t have done it without the support of my husband and family. I feel truly blessed and grateful to God and Adesua for this very rare opportunity.
Find out more about the Vogue cover here
Connect with Tito on Instagram @t.alamodebeauty