'Secret' haunt for the stars
INTIMATE and warm, the Beauty Palace in Bromhof, Randburg, is a well-known "secret" haunt of TV stars, musicians, royalty, beauty editors, models, soccer stars and those with a penchant for a high quality and personalised service.
The woman behind this place is Sendra Masikeng, an equally warm person with tremendous talent and an outgoing personality.
Those who knew Masikeng six years ago would not have guessed that one day she would be rubbing shoulders (or should I say fingers) with celebs.
Masikeng has done really well for herself. At the age of 27 she left her poverty-stricken home in Dennilton, Limpopo, for Johannesburg and a better life.
"I just knew that I wanted to be in the beauty industry. I had an obsession with all things fashion and style as far back as I can remember. I spent most of my time honing my creative skills by practising make-up on friends."
It was not long before people started noticing. It took some major perseverance, but she achieved that goal and much more.
She started subletting space in salons and saved every cent to open a spa. It was in June last year that her big breakthrough came.
"Sometimes I would struggle to make enough money to pay rent. But I persevered and came to a stage where I could put money aside to open my own salon. I decided to do a nail and hair salon," says the 32-year-old mother of two.
Her experience in the highly visible Johannesburg fashion industry honed her skills to an elite level, taking her work to celebrity status.
These days Masikeng is consistently booked for A-list trendsetters for red carpet events and she works on popular soapie Generations. Her place is also frequented by fashionistas, beauty editors, models and celebrities.
Despite the hype, her down-to-earth demeanour makes everyone feel comfortable in her hands.
She says to make it in this kind of business you need an extraordinary work ethic and genuine personality.
"You need to understand that you are not a celebrity. You might be dealing with them but you are there to serve them. My job is just to ensure that my clients look their best whenever they are in public."
She says it is her good people skills that have afforded her an amazing clientele, including celebrities such as Nambitha Mpumlwana, Hlubi Mboya, Sophie Ndaba and droves of soccer stars. She also works with brides and business executives.
"After many years in the industry, I still get excited when I see a client ready to go. And that is why I approach every client with individual care, enthusiasm and personal attention."
She says she is often asked by brides and executives why they should use professional beauty technicians.
"I always encourage CEOs, business executives and brides to use professionals for their make-up because professionals understand all the elements of video or photographic make-up."
Masikeng says her biggest secret is that she approaches cosmetics as she approaches art.
"The entire body is a canvas and make-up is just one element of an entire image. Hair, clothing, accessories and personality are an extension of make-up and vice versa." - email@example.com