Simangele Nhlabathi doing Tumi Morake's face.
She is not just a girl from Soweto, Simangele Nhlabathi of Dobsonville is a professional make-up artist who’s worked with local and international stars. It's no surprise then that she describes herself as a positive person who loves her work.

“My siblings and I had the best upbringing. My parents were not rich so we didn’t have everything we wanted, but they worked hard to ensure that we had everything we needed," she says.

"Our home was filled with love,warmth and respect.”

The 27-year-old journalism school drop-out started working as a stylist assistant for Lindani Ndwandwa before enrolling at a beauty college, where she is in her third year, studying make-up and beauty.

Tshepang Mphuthi's facebeat done by Simangele Nhlabathi. Picture: Supplied. 

“Before I became a make-up artist, I was working as a stylist assistant for Lindani Ndwandwa and I was studying journalism part time but, unfortunately, I couldn’t proceed with my studies because of financial problems, so I dropped out.

“When I was working with Lindani we did a lot of shows together and that’s how I got exposed to make-up. I’d watch my mentors at Urban Brew Studios transform people daily and I was always amazed at how good they were, so make-up artist Beverly Mushwana started teaching and mentoring me."


Phumza Tiya's make-up done by Simangele Nhlabathi for an underwear advert. Picture: Supplied. 

Nhlabathi learnt so much during that she gained enough experience to work on various shows. Her cousin was the late Kwaito singer Purity, and she would tag along when she went for interviews at the SABC, Red Pepper and Urban Brew Studios.

Although still a student, Nhlabathi freelances and has worked with celebrities such as the Speaker of the National Assembly, Baleka Mbete, Dr Victor Ramathesele, Benjamin Dube, Cassper Nyovest, Abigail Kubeka, Akin Omotosoand the late Hugh Masekela.

She has also worked on TV shows like YoTV , Live Amp, RGB, Dancing With the Stars and Uyangthanda na?

Simangele Nhlabathi doing Karla Cheatham Mosley's face. Picture: Supplied. 

Her biggest highlight was working with the stars of The Bold and the Beautiful. “Even though I’ve worked on big shows, what currently stands out is when I got an opportunity to do make-up for the cast of the Bold and the Beautiful.

“I couldn’t believe that growing up I watched them on TV, and now I was doing their make-up. God is good,” Nhlabathi says.

Working with people on daily can be challenging, however, Nhlabathi refuses to be discouraged holds firmly to her dreams to do the work she loves, travel and meet new people.

Stay in touch with Nhlabathi via Instagram on @makeupbysima_soil.