CEBU CITY–Watching her mother and aunts dress up and apply their blush-on and lipstick started her love affair with make-up and fashion.
And it is paying off because at 24, Trina Mikaela Go has started to create a name in Cebu’s beauty and cosmetics scene.
But Mikee, as she is fondly called, is not an ordinary makeup artist.
Trained abroad, she is one of the few professional permanent makeup artists in the city.
Her services include microblading for eyebrows and lash lifts.
“These are for people who do not want to spend too much time in front of the mirror but think ‘kilay (eyebrow) is life.’ So, I do their eyebrows and make it look as natural as possible,” Mikee explained.
For the lash enhancement, Mikee doesn’t use ordinary products.
She only uses French brand Yumi—-the same brand responsible for the fluttering lashes of actress Nadine Lustre, the Kardashians, and former Miss International beauty queens Megan Young and Kyle Versoza.
Yumi is a single product brand compared to other lash treatments that use different products for each concern.
It is not a combination of different brands to achieve a perfect lift, tint and keratin treatment. Doing so may have many contradictions and may be harmful for the lashes and the client.
“I am a Yumi Lash expert. After I trained with them last year, I am now certified to do the Yumi lashes on clients. There are only very few Yumi Lash users in Cebu,” said Mikee.
Mikee has always been “kikay” since she was a little girl as she enjoyed watching her mother and aunts put on their makeup and dress up.
This developed her fascination with makeup that she would doll up her three younger sisters and friends whenever they had events to attend to.
“If there was someone who needed beauty and fashion advice, they would always ask me,” said Mikee.
“It was really easy for me to give them an answer on what I thought looked good on them whether it was makeup or clothes,” she added.
But Mikee is not also your usual fashionista.
She also has an entrepreneurial spirit.
When she was in the elementary, she would get scolded by the faculty for selling stuff to her classmates.
In high school, she and her friends sold cookies in Ayala Center Cebu, a mall inside Cebu Business Park.
She was in college when she started an online shop-–Pink Lemon. She first sold accessories and later clothes. It clicked.
She didn’t only enjoy finding items to sell online at a cheaper price, she was also earning.
She first posted her products on her personal Facebook account. When her clientele increased, she decided to make a Facebook page.
At that time, she wanted to be a doctor-–the reason she took up medical technology, a pre-med course.
But her heart later led her to where fate wanted her to be-–in business.
Shifting to and getting a degree in Business Administration major in marketing was a happy choice since this was where she was good at.
When the number of online retailers started to saturate the market, Mikee began looking for other ways to innovate even if her Pink Lemon was doing well and she had a pop up store in Urban Lifestyle at Axis Entertainment Ave, Vibo Place on Escario Street.
“I needed to evolve and find other means of income. I didn’t want to focus too much on one thing,” said the young entrepreneur.
Then she started to get interested in permanent makeup since it was the hottest trend in the market.
While she was good at it, Mikee was not then a professional makeup artist.
But there was a thirst inside her that needed to be quenched.
She started learning about permanent makeup from local sources but she felt that the skills she acquired were not enough.
She then began researching about the House of Permanent Makeup, which conducts trainings on Yumi lashes abroad.
Some people advised her that getting into permanent makeup was not a good idea since she was not even a makeup artist.
But Mikee didn’t want to be just another makeup artist because anyone could learn how to put on makeup nowadays with all the detailed makeup tutorials online.
She also believed that the market for permanent makeup was expanding since women nowadays were always on the go and didn’t have time to perfect those eyebrows and lashes.
“So I took a leap of faith and did further studies abroad,” she said.
Mikee received different certificates from the House of PMU (Permanent Make Up)in Hong Kong for lashes, eyebrows, eyeliner, lips and even permanent concealer.
Mikee then began marketing herself both in her Facebook account and Pink Lemon page. She also has an Instagram account–@winkedph and another Facebook account—[email protected]–to promote her services.
She also posted pictures of happy clients who were satisfied with her work.
Through word-of-mouth and referrals, her number of customers had gone up to at least 20 in a week.
Mikee admitted that people tend to shy away from permanent makeup when they find out it’s a tattoo and she has to cut through the skin.
They, however, change their mind when they realize that microblading looks more “natural” than the eyebrow tattoos of the 1990s which were too dark and heavily lined.
The strokes in microblading mimic the natural hairs of the eyebrows and the pigments go to the client’s natural skin and hair.
The shape of the eyebrows is suited to the shape of the client’s face.
Business as hobby
Mikee sees herself doing permanent makeup on a long term because her business is starting to become a hobby.
And there will always be a market for it because people are vain and consider looking good as a necessity.
But to be competitive, Mikee has to constantly innovate.
With this comes a plan to invest more in trainings so she could offer more services.
After all, cosmetic tattooing is a fast growing industry that is not limited to eyebrows but also includes face contouring such as shadowing of the face and microscalp pigmentation to cover up bald spots and stretch marks.
Her long term goal is to set up her own studio that functions as retail outlet not just for her products but other retailers as well.
In the meantime, she is based in the family-owned Le Beau Monde Salon along General Maxilom Avenue in Cebu City.
But with a clear vision and a passionate heart, it will not be surprising that Mikee will be able to fulfill her dreams of having her own studio.