This week ahead of international beauty day, which is the 9th of October, we feature beauty influencer Onaopepo Babarinsa on our micro-influencers spotlight section. Onaopepo Babarinsa is a 21-year-old beauty influencer and make-up artist. She is currently studying Mass Communication at university. 

In this interview, Onaopepo shares her journey into life as an influencer and lets us into some trade secrets and advice for influencers who are just starting their journey.

Onaopepo Babarinsa learnt professionally for three months and then developed her own style and techniques by watching other beauty influencers on youtube and with lots of practice. From her childhood, Onaopepo has always been into beauty. She always played with her mum’s makeup, and she loved dressing up her Barbie dolls and braiding their hair.

Whenever Onapopepo posted beauty content, she always got DM’s asking for makeup tips, recommendations and advice, so she thought, why not just become a beauty influencer! Her makeup looks are very creative, and when asked how she comes up with the ideas for them, she responds. “I’ve studied the colour wheel over time, and I know which colours look good together when combined. I also get inspiration from Pinterest and other beauty influencers.”

The idea of working with brands is fun, but one has to be cautious when choosing who to work with because reputation is on the line, and a wrong move could potentially ruin a lifetime of good work. As an influencer who has worked with a number of brands, we asked Onaopepo how she selects brands to work with.

“When a brand reaches out to me, I check out their page to see what kind of products they have, and if possible, reach out to beauty influencers they have worked with in the past to ask about their experience. I also pay attention to the way they treat their customers. I always pray before working with any brand, especially because they’d have your personal information, including your address, and you really can’t predict anyone’s intentions. There are some brands I won’t want to be affiliated with; for example, if I don’t like the quality of their products, I can’t lie about it to my audience because it’ll ruin the trust they have in me. 

Also, some brands want to take advantage of influencers by underpaying them or not paying at all, manipulating them or even sexually harassing them in exchange for products.

Sometimes I reach out to brands myself and pitch my proposal, sometimes they reach out to me. I am currently not under a management team.” 

Onaopepo has worked with brands such as; Beautylinebydidi, Zayn beaute, Mother Africa cosmetics, Natural girl wigs, Black radiance beauty, Sarah Ajagbe beauty.

Of all the brand partnerships Onaopepo’s had, we wanted to know which she considers the most successful; in terms of the brand getting more sales and engagement.

“I think the most successful brand I’ve worked with is lbfb_brand (a brand that sells water-activated liners). Another would be sisi Orekelewa, a skincare brand I have worked with for six months this year.”

When creating content for your audience, you can decide to keep it chill and not do the most, but when creating content for a brand, you have to get really creative to capture the audience and spark their curiosity. We asked Onaopepo how she generates content ideas when working for a brand.

“I need to see and feel the products to know how they apply, what they’re most suitable for and how to maximize their potential. I also like to hop on recent makeup trends and trending music and sounds.” 

When asked about her 3 favourite apps for content creation, she answered. “I recently started using Instagram reels, and I enjoy it a lot. I use Airbrush to edit my pictures all the time; that’s the only app I have ever used. I use inshot to edit my videos.” 

This beauty creative says the most important makeup products needed for someone who wants to start as a beauty influencer are:

  • A phone with a good camera.
  • A colourful eyeshadow palette.
  • Good detailing brushes 
  • A foundation that’s your perfect shade 
  • A nude eyeshadow palette 
  • Colourful eyeliners 

In a lot of her recent Reel/TikTok videos, Onaopepo lip sync’s to Nicki Minaj’s songs, and we wanted to know the idea behind it. “The videos are inspired by Meredith Duxbury on TikTok. She pioneered the trend of applying foundation with your hands.” 

We asked Onaopepo If what she’s doing now is different from what she envisioned as a kid, she answers. “When I was a little girl, I wanted to be the most beautiful girl in Nigeria 😂. Then I wanted to be a doctor. When I was thirteen, I wanted to become an architect because I loved technical drawing. When I was fifteen, I wanted to become a fashion designer. I am currently none of those things, but I’m very happy and satisfied. I don’t think my career path is linear, and that’s okay. I’d love to diversify as I grow older.”

Finally, we asked Onaopepo to share some advice for potential influencers going into her niche. “Show up every day, the same way you would to a 9-5 job. Shoot your business shots (sometimes you might get lucky). Practice always because we only learn by doing. Make friends in your community. And don’t be hesitant to invest in your craft. Also, pray and set goals.”

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