My worst experience was when I was almost sexually molested by a female client, who is quite prestigious and well known.
'Aside from being what I love, being a make up artise exposes me to the most amazing, beautiful, and outstanding women possible. So no complaints at all.'
Ceo Advanz makeovers Eric Gaga, is set to take the world by the horns. Having worked with directors like Unlimited LA, and celebrities like Genevieve Nnaji, Tiwa Savage, Wizkid, and other topnotch Nigerian entertainers, Eric is the go-to guy for the some of the finest video and runway make up.
How did you get into the business of makeup?
I owe most of what I know to the numerous questions I asked and still ask women today. I didn't learn the trade from any one person in particular. Thanks to the cooperation of my kid sisters, I used to practice what I found out on them and with time I discovered I had a natural talent at making women look good.
I began professionally in my second year at Nnamdi Azikiwe University, at a modelling agency in Awka. While I was there I had the opportunity to make up some Nollywood actors including Pete Edochie and Chioma Chukwuka ….. for a couple movies. I however didnt go full throttle until my youth service days about four years later when I worked for a skill acquisition agency, where I instructed and trained youth corp members, while working part-time with Makeup Designery popularly known as MUD. Here I met the head makeup artiste David Sucre who helped me set me on the path to becoming a celebrity make up artiste.
You have a degree in Mechanical engineering, why choose makeup over that?
I chose makeup over Engineering because of passion. It is something I always want to know more about, and be better at.I was taught if u want to go far in any career, passion must come first before hardwork.
Besides, I never liked engineering. I studied engineering because of my parents, and because I was the best in mathematics while in secondary school.
The greatest motivation that made me take d bull by d horn was my pastor, Pastor David ifechukwu, He said I can be d best of anything if I desire and go for it. He taught me that what ever u constantly behold, u will eventually become.
Since you constantly behold a lot of women on the job *laughs*, how do you handle the opposite sex?
Wow. Thats not easy at all. I will say it's the kind of training i had before then, and God's grace that saw me through most of the temptations. Imagine having to deal with young ladies going nude in front of u, some flirting a with you and trying to seduce you.
My worst experience was when I was almost sexually molested by a client who is quite prestigious and well known.
Can you share this experience?
Naa, its in the past. Let's not dwell on that.
So what makes you different from every other male make up artiste in Nigeria?
I believe it is the passion for the job. Everybody knows it's not just about making the cash. Grace and passion made the difference. Besides, my works are outstanding and I put extra effort into the detail, taking note of how everyone's individuality affects how the make up comes out on them. So as much as possible, I work differently on everyone.
There are rumours that most male makeup artistes in Nigeria are gay. How true is this?
That is absolutely false. Though there exists a considerable number of gay makeup artistes, there are also many more who are straight and love women like the next guy.
What are the perks of being a make up artiste for you, aside the money and obvious self satisfaction you get?
I've gotten to work with some of the finest names in Nigerian Entertainment including Chidnma Ekhile, Praiz, Wizkid, Olamide, The Mavins Crew, etc. Even international models including Jite Fasa.
Do you have some other business besides make up?
Well I run a company, Advanz cosmetics. It's a franchise with two luxury makeup line Jade and care line. We also render services , ie makeup, training, hair saloons. Advanz cosmetics is in 3 cities now , Lagos, Asaba and onitsha.
Quite the successful entrepreneur... So whats the future looking like for you?
I aim at working with the likes of Beyonce, Angelina Jolie, Mariah Carey, etc. Generally taking the makeup passion international. I also plan on starting my own make up line very soon.
I can say, the future is quite bright.
Nice talking to you Mr Eric.