Vibrant is one way to describe our Qween of the Week this week. Her use of vibrant colour to showcase her, as she likes to call face painting skills, will draw you into Pam Ohemaa Bonsu’s (@_ohemaabonsu) feed instantly. As one of the few rising dark-skin beauty gurus, Bonsu hopes her use of colour will inspire other artists and face painters, like herself, to experiment with colour. Bonsu speaks with Qweens on her journey to becoming a social media influencer and some tips for other melanin-enriched make-up users.
You call yourself a face painter and not a makeup artist, why is that?
Because I don’t work on other people. I see makeup artists as the people who have the tools and collection to do makeup on other people.
How did your love for makeup/face painting start?
I always saw makeup as beautiful, and I always wanted to see how bold colour would look on me, so I got a tube of jellies (eyeshadow) from ColourPop, and after I tried it, I was down the rabbit hole to makeup world.
What inspired you to start your YouTube channel?
At the time, I didn’t see many deep dark skin girls; and of all the beauty vloggers I was watching I couldn’t use half the products they were recommending, so I wanted to try.
What’s one thing you want anyone who comes across your work to leave knowing about you or themselves?
I want anyone who comes across my work to say “damn she wore that colour well, and I can do it too.”
How do you keep up with the constant demand for content on social media?
At first, I was afraid of being left behind, so I posted very, very often. But lately, I post when I have the content ready. Rushing to get content out never worked out well for me, so I scaled back, I take my time and upload content I am proud of.
What is something you wish you knew before you started your channel?
There’s nothing I wish I knew or anything I feel I needed to do differently. But, the world of YouTube is still a great mystery to me.
What do you tell yourself to stay motivated?
When I feel like I’m in a funk I wake up really early, workout, go to my studio and pick a palette and create a look. Once I accomplish that I am on a roll.
How do you feel about the increase in representation of dark skin artists in the beauty industry?
Increase in representation is always a great thing, and I couldn’t be happier.
Why do you feel it is important to have diversity and representation in the beauty industry?
It’s important because everyone should see themselves reflected or represented in the world they love. So if you are a dark-skin makeup lover, then it is definitely important to see yourself reflected in the makeup world.
What does representation mean to you?
It means more reposts, more showcasing, more projects, more collaborations, more PR list placements and support from both brands and followers.
Why do you think it has taken beauty brands this long to finally start expanding their shade ranges to suit darker skin tones?
I couldn’t say, but I have a strong feeling the growth of social media and YouTube, and strong opinions have forced brands to listen and pay attention to their actions.
What are some challenges you have faced as a black beauty guru?
Support and growth.
If you were stranded on a desert island what are three things would you need to have with you?
Brow pencil, concealer and translucent powder
As a Ghanaian, how do you think your culture has impacted your work as an artist?
Ghanian culture has an abundance of vibrant colours, and I feel like it has made me not afraid of colour.
What do you want to see more of from the beauty industry this year?
I want to see the brands we love put out more products that are suited for us deep dark skin tones and not just the basic last three shades. I want to see shades like Ben Nye-type foundation shades coming from mainstream brands.
What is one product you just can’t live without?
Which beauty brand would you recommend to a new makeup user with dark skin?
I can say KoyVoca and Ben Nye has us covered with good quality products and extensive shades.
What are you looking forward to most this year?
I am looking forward to improving my shading skills and building lasting relationships.
If you know who the next Qween of the Week should be send us an email: firstname.lastname@example.org, we look forward to hearing from you!