The founder of Gorge Makeup, Gorata Linchwe, is a leading makeup artist who is known for her impeccable makeup skills. Linchwe’s work includes doing special effect makeup, bridal makeup, airbrushing, beard application and tutorials. It has been attracting a lot of attention from huge brands.
Gorge Makeup specialises in working with live models. She uses structures and other tools to create a client’s desired look in the entertainment industry that may require prosthetics for a theatrical effect. This may be for Halloween, for instance, as well as theme parks and film and television production.
Linchwe has built her brand, Gorge Makeup, and allowed herself to grow some wings to land on more opportunities. She is currently based in South Africa in a space she deems highly profitable. She told Executive Lifestyle that she has been an artistic person from her teen years. “After I graduated with my Real Estate degree, I thought it was the perfect time to explore makeup mainly because I used to apply it on myself,” she said.
“People would ask if I had clients so I thought it wouldn’t hurt undergoing a course and learning more about it. That’s when I went to South Africa in 2016 to study makeup artistry that included TV makeup and airbrushing. I then came back home and opened my company, Gorge Makeup. I have worked in TV production for Ntwakgolo Season 2, Miss Botswana, Corporate Makeup and many more brands.”
But she had it tough in the beginning. Growing a brand, she said, requires knowledge of your target market and where to advertise your services. Her main platform was Facebook and later Instagram.
“Word-of-mouth really worked wonders for me,” Linchwe recalled. “Making sure that your client is treated well is very important. A client must leave feeling great about themselves, so that’s where my focus was mostly as I was still learning about social media advertising. I got a lot of referrals from past clients and obviously some from posting on social media.”
She is currently a permanent makeup artist focusing on permanent brows and shares her work on her page, @gorgebrows_za. She is also an In-house makeup artist at The San HD, a luxury salon that focuses on HD frontals and wigs in Midrand, Johannesburg. “I was looking for hair at their sister company, The San Hair, when I stumbled upon a post that said they needed a makeup artist as soon as possible,” she said. “So I took a leap of faith and was called for an interview. I did my practical work and they loved my work. So they referred me to The San HD where they mostly deal with high-end clients.”
Asked about the South African makeup industry compared to the industry back home, Linchwe replied: “They are definitely more advanced than the industry in Botswana. It is definitely broader and opportunities are endless as South Africa’s entertainment industry is quite big and is taken seriously. Entertainment here for a whole career but you can’t make a living from it in Botswana.”
She spoke of how production companies provide a considerable amount of work to makeup artists because the industry is always busy. “There’s always a lot of content to create,” Linchwe explained. “They give different artists opportunities to work with them at a standard rate, unlike in Botswana where some production companies undermine artists and payment is too low to sustain an artist. So there’s still a lot that needs to be done for makeup artists in Botswana. I would definitely like to form a makeup artist forum of some sort to protect us from exploitation.”
Although she does not have definite plans of returning home, she has ideas of helping grow the makeup industry in Botswana. “One thing I love about working in RSA is that artists here work mostly as a unit and in collaborations,” Linchwe noted. “That’s something that is very rare in Botswana. There’s not much unity and collaboration among artists. But when we work together, we will grow faster together. That is why Botswana will be the first place to go when God allows me to expand my business.”
For the future, Linchwe emphasizes expanding her brand and reaching a stronger base. “I’m now venturing into celebrity makeup artistry,” she said. “Lasizwe is one of my regular clients. I have now done Lasizwe, Zola Nombona and Thuli P, to name a few. I wish to grow my client base around celebrities and to grow into TV productions as well.”