Date • 20/04/2015
Words • Bongeka Tsekiso
More than just an act of vanity, the social construct of beauty is one which has fascinated humanity for as long as it has existed. The multi-billion dollar industry, as the alluring Khumo Selooa shares in this interview, is in a state of evolution. Getting an insider’s insight is definitely something to get excited about.
I’m aiming to excel in my role and leaving a lasting impression of my presence.
– Khumo Selooa
In four words, who is Khumo?
Khumo is adventurous, a care-giver. She’s also sassy and ambitious!
What is your general stance on:
a) The global beauty industry?
The global beauty industry has evolved drastically. Less fake; more realistic. Less skinny models; more of your ‘girl next door’ types. It’s amazing how more and more global beauty brands see the significance of a diverse market with different tastes and likes: if you don’t want lipstick, but want the colour stain look, there’s colour stain lip gloss as an option.
The beauty industry in general has become more funky, edgy and cool at the same time. For the ‘office lady’, there’s a wide sphere of more personality-like items that are not too reserved, nor too loud.
b) The local beauty industry?
Our local beauty industry is dominated by Global brands like Revlon and L’Oréal Paris, Avon, Estee Lauder et cetera. However, I love how these global brands encourage brand loyalty through ambassadorship roles appointed to our local roles models. For example: Bonang for Revlon, and Terri Pheto for L’Oréal Paris. Young women feel inspired and motivated, no one is limited to the borders of South Africa. More and more, global dreams have been ignited!
How has attending JD Institute of Fashion in London, UK and being a graduate of the London Fashion School moulded your understanding of women’s brands and styling?
I’m still cross schooling with JD Campus London doing a 12 months’ course in Personal styling, Fashion styling and Styling your brand. I’m scheduled to complete this coming November.
My business partner, Lesego Dibocho
, is the one that actually convinced me to take up the course. We have a holdings company – Maestro Holdings (Pty) Ltd
– which currently compromises of two sub-entities:
imports only the most unique lingerie items, and re-distributes through online sales and pop-up stalls.
is an image consultancy and styling enterprise. We have a wide spectrum of personal tailored services that range from wardrobe sorting, personal shopping/styling, shoot styling and more.
Visual credibility, personal presence, confidence and non-verbal communication, all achieved by a good image. Key word = appropriate. We’ll style you according to your age, height, weight and lifestyle. Beauty Maestro…let your image lead the way.
The purpose of us both taking up the course was to gain INTERNATIONAL accreditation as stylists and image consultants. So many ladies pose as stylists and image consultants yet they do not have the knowledge nor the theoretical background in the field. Being able to dress well does not make you a stylist. Being able to change a car battery does not classify you as a mechanic. For us, its knowing that we offer quality service and added value.
What does your recent appointment as Operations Coordinator for L’Oréal SA mean for your career’s trajectory long term?
Being appointed as the Operations Coordinator for the L’Oréal Professional African Salon Institute felt like a dream come true. There are ONLY 3 institutes in the world: Brazil, India and South Africa. We are the first of our kind. We train students into becoming certified world-class L’Oréal professional stylists. We equip them in skills and theoretical knowledge for both Caucation (White, Indian, Brazilian, etc.) hair and Afro texture (African) hair.
to visit L’Oréal Institute South Africa
I was the L’Oréal Campus Ambassador at the University of Pretoria from 2013-2014. For me, landing the Operations Coordinator position felt like hitting the BIG time. This is a well recognised and reputable global company – vast career growth opportunity. It has only been my first month and I’ve already been granted the opportunity of meeting the L’Oréal Paris HR Committee (Our BIG international bosses!).
Many can go years without experiencing this honour.
My boss, Charmaine Joubert is AMAZING! Her communication and leadership skills are beyond impressive. She is constantly motivating us as a team. I have a wonderful team of colleagues that make waking up every morning delightful.
Long term?… who knows what this could lead to – but, for now, I’m aiming to excel in my role and leaving a lasting impression of my presence.
What would you say is the ‘power of beauty’ for women in South Africa?
The power of beauty for South African women lies in our strengths, our hearts, and our willingness to persevere and grow. We are ethnic beauties; the hearts of mother nature; the ones to nurture our nation. We love colour, our tribal prints; we understand our diverse bodies, and acknowledge our traditions. THAT, for me, is beauty.
Your top 3 global beauty trends – appropriated locally – for 2015 are…
My top 3 global beauty trends?… Well… hehehe, I don’t follow trends. But, I can say (through observation) definitely dark lip colour, natural make-up and more hair colour/highlights.
For those aspiring to be beauty industry professionals, what insights can you share?
To be in the beauty industry you don’t have to be a “bombshell”. You need to be driven, be a hard worker, understand what is it that you want and have a passion for it. Most importantly: LOOK APPROPRIATE. You are representing your future – girllllll, your future better look good! *snaps fingers*
Which products do you trust to see you through a regular weekday?
I have acne prone skin, so I use Creme Classic products produced by my dermatologist, available at Dis-Chem stores. For make-up, I use either Clinique or Almay foundation and powder products – this is good for acne prone skin.
My lipstick, eyeliner, mascara, eye shadow et cetera are – literally – all L’Oréal brands (ranging from YSL, Maybeline NewYork and L’Oréal Paris).
To rule out bad body odour, I use Garnier Invisible Cool Anti-Perspirant (another L’Oré
al product). For my skin, I LOVE
cocoa tissue oil and PURITY
‘s baby aqueous cream. They keep my skin glowing and super hydrated through all the seasons.
What do you do to zone out?
I pray or I cook. I love talking to GOD – we have random chats all the time. I love cooking. Cooking requires creativity and I’m a creative at heart. Otherwise, I sleep. When I can sleep, trust me, I dose away….
The best advice you’ve ever received was…
The best advice I’ve ever received was from my grandmother. My mother and only parent is late. I’m the only child, so my grandmother is like the centre of my world.
She told me: “You should never place yourself above others. Stay here on mother earth because if God should humble you and pull you from your high-horse it will HURT.” This keeps me humble, and encourages a persona of humility and kindness.
Read more on the L’oréal Professional African Salon Institute here