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Lady Narrates How She Graduated With First Class Despite Combining School with Her Business

Blessing Charles, a 24-year-old First Class Graduate of the University of Lagos (UNILAG), has shared her journey of graduating with first class despite combining school with her make-up artist business.

Blessing Charles, a vibrant 24-year-old from Lagos, Nigeria, is making waves as the Head Makeup Artist at Blessing Charles Makeup and Beauty Hub.

Her journey into makeup began somewhat unexpectedly. After finishing secondary school in 2016, she found herself at home, exploring different interests.

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Watching her friends experiment with makeup sparked her curiosity, leading her to YouTube tutorials where she honed her skills by practicing on herself and friends.

When she entered the University of Lagos in 2017 to study Botany, what started as a hobby soon turned into a business by her second year.

In her words: “I finished secondary school in 2016. During a period of exploration and learning at home, I discovered my interest in makeup while observing my friends. Turning to YouTube tutorials, I practised extensively on myself and later on friends.

Upon gaining admission to the University of Lagos, makeup had evolved into a hobby. Experimenting with various styles, I refined my skills by recreating looks I found online.

“In my second year, I decided to turn my talent into a source of income. After providing makeup services for my roommate, I officially launched my business by advertising in the hostel, attracting my first paying client. This initial success motivated me to pursue makeup artistry seriously.

However, the road wasn’t always smooth. Blessing faced significant challenges, especially when it came to affording quality makeup products. In the beginning, she struggled with frustration as she couldn’t replicate the looks she admired due to the lack of high-quality tools. Yet, as she began to earn money from her services, she could invest in better products, steadily improving her craft.

In Blessing’s words: “The number one challenge was getting good products. Makeup is an expensive craft, though many people don’t realise it. When I started, I would watch videos and try to recreate the looks, but my results were different because I couldn’t afford the same quality products.

I didn’t have access to good products because I wasn’t earning any money. I was still young, at home, with only a little money to buy products. So, I couldn’t buy the original, high-quality items. This was frustrating because I wanted to get the looks right but didn’t have the right tools.

Over time, as I grew and got into the business, things changed. Now, I can afford the products I want and create quality makeup looks. But initially, not having money for good products was a major challenge.

Balancing her academic commitments with a growing business, Blessing said: “Makeup could have been a distraction, but I managed to balance both, thanks to God’s help. I prioritised according to the demands of each moment. During exam periods, I declined job offers, focusing solely on my studies. At the semester’s start, when things were calmer, I dedicated time to content creation, photo shoots, and accepting jobs, all while keeping up with my classes. As exams neared, I halted all makeup activities. I often reminded my friends that obtaining my BSc was a singular opportunity, and I aimed to excel. Avoiding potential regrets about neglecting academics later, I maintained this delicate equilibrium.

Blessing also revealed that support from her family played a crucial role in her journey. Her parents were particularly encouraging, with her mother funding her first makeup class and buying her initial makeup kit. Her father, although initially indifferent, trusted her dedication to her studies and business.

One of Blessing’s most memorable moments came during her final exams. She had to make a tough decision between focusing on her exams and accepting a makeup job from someone she greatly admired. Prioritizing her academics, she chose to concentrate on her exams, reinforcing her commitment to her education.

Her first professional makeup session was a significant milestone, charging N1,500 for the service, which felt like a huge sum at the time. Since then, her rates have seen a substantial increase. Today, she charges N70,000 for home services and N150,000 per day for bridal makeup, having worked with around 50 brides since she began her professional journey.

Reflecting on her path, Blessing wishes she had been more confident and taken bigger steps earlier. She advises aspiring makeup artists to learn from professionals, invest in their education, and stay focused on their goals.

Balancing education with skill acquisition, she believes, opens up broader opportunities and lays a solid foundation for success.

Despite the challenges, Blessing is grateful for God’s grace and the unwavering support of her family, whose pride and joy during her achievements mean the world to her.

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