Make-up artist Ryno Mulder isn’t afraid to take on clients other artists shy away from. Regardless of age, race, features or gender, he loves to show them the beauty they don’t see in themselves.

Who doesn’t love a make-over. And who doesn’t want to know the ins and outs of this glamorous (albeit hard work) industry. We had a Q&A with top make up artist Ryno Mulder, who’s based in Lonehill, but whose work takes him around Gauteng, the country and sometimes abroad, too. Fabulously talented, he took time out to tell us about the best beat-the-budget brand, the love of his life, and plucking hairs off your chin!

Why the beauty field?
When I was a kid my mom had a really involved hair and makeup routine. She would get us ready every day and I would be mesmerized by her glamourous transformation before work. In high school, I used her products to do my sister’s makeup and soon I was doing my friends’ makeup at every opportunity. I wanted to recreate the celebrity looks I saw in magazines and music videos. This was before Youtube and makeup artistry wasn’t a well-known career option. So I studied languages at the University of Stellenbosch and as fate would have it, my first internship was with Rooi Rose magazine. I became an editorial assistant to the style editors. I wrote beauty features and one day, assisting on a cover shoot, after asking about her kit, one of the stylists asked me ‘are you a frustrated makeup artist?’. It was a light bulb moment.

Tell us about your first job
I was still paying off my studies, so going to makeup school just wasn’t an option. So I started working in retail at Bobbi Brown, painting the faces of as many people as possible every day because I wanted to learn and practise. I would take on the clients other artists shied away from. Regardless of the client’s age, race, features, skin quality or gender, I wanted to show them the beauty they didn’t see in themselves. I loved how much I learnt during that time and of having a deep sense of purpose in sharing with others the gift of beauty.

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Proudest moment …
I believe I was the first makeup artist to host Makeup Masterclasses countrywide in South Africa. I also launched two limited edition eyeshadow palettes, Freak Unique and Instaglam, which sold out. And I wrote a book – Maklik Mooi – which is still the best-selling makeover book in SA. But what stays with me most is the feeling when a client looks at herself in the mirror with unabashed joy. I wish they would carry that joy with themselves beyond that moment, not just while they’re wearing full face makeup. Many people aren’t aware how unkind they are to themselves. And they suffer because of that constant critical inner voice. Many clients walk into the booking and the first thing they say is ‘I have this terrible [fill in the blank], please fix it’. My job is to assess faces, and to enhance colouring and proportion, yet I often didn’t even notice this ‘flaw’. This inspires me to make the videos I post on my social platforms, where I show a transformation while telling a bit of someone’s life story. I love the video about the lady with the incurable skin disease, and the one of Susan who had her first makeover at age 70. There’s also one about a transgender teen. More than any of my work in magazines, this feels like my legacy. I’m not even sure it’s about the makeup as much as that it’s vulnerable, real stories about real people and that gives people hope.

Name drop. Shamelessly.
CV’s are dull … but here goes. I’ve painted or styled everyone from Bobby van Jaarsveld to Bonang Matheba. I’ve worked in front of and behind the cameras on music videos, movies and makeover TV shows like Glam Guru. I was brand manager for Bodyography Cosmetics and Beautyblender, and worked on French GQ, Italian and German designer catalogs, and commercials for big brand companies. I was inspired having makeup classes with international artists like Rae Morris as well as attending a class with Mario Dedivanovic, Kim Kardashian’s personal makeup artist. I used to keep a list of every celebrity whose makeup I worked with because I was so obsessed with pop culture, it was captivating to experience these personalities up close.

The best, and the worst, thing about being a make up artist
Social media creates unattainable standards of beauty. Yet some clients expect makeup artists to achieve this. Makeup is not magic. Instagram and Tik Tok filters and lighting make it seem like makeup can give you that which not even a plastic surgeon can. Makeup is powerfully transformative but it has limits. On a video or picture it might make someone appear ten kilos slimmer or twenty years younger, but that’s not the case in person. Real people have pores, okay!

The best thing about being a makeup artist, for me, is that it can make someone see themselves in a new light and give them a sense of possibility. It’s like Clark Kent putting on the Superman costume and suddenly an ordinary person can save the world. You might not be able to have professional makeup applications done often but it can be great to feel like a superhero in your own life. And you don’t have to achieve anything extraordinary. Being authentic and kind is enough.

The love of my life is Gigi, my white poodle. She accompanies me on most of my jobs – even flying with me in the plane cabin. She has half a dozen designer dog bags (coordinated with my outfits) in which she travels. I always say ‘it’s not a Birkin, it’s her Barkin’. Gigi often features on my social posts and has her own hashtag, #GigiLovesIt


Tricks of the trade

The secrets
The three items every single person should have in their cosmetic bag … Foundation. A hydrating face mist – I’m obsessed with rose water in a spray bottle, a cheap brand will do. And a few quality makeup brushes. I love Burst Brushes. You can order them online at

The items people always buy that are generally a waste of time and money … I don’t have eye primers in my kit. I usually find that it’s too drying or pasty, especially on mature skin. I use cream concealer instead. Try Bodyography Cover & Correct Concealer. It will last you forever.

The one spluge-on-the-best item everyone should have … My latest product – ICON foundation SPF50+ (R495). It’s the ultimate multi-tasking makeup must-have for complexion perfection. I’m incredibly excited about it as it’s a truly stunning foundation. It contains light-reflecting particles which blur skin issues like dark circles, redness, wrinkles, acne and pores for a flawless look. The ingredients lock in your skin’s moisture so your foundation finish will never look dry, creased or cracked. It has the highest physical sun protection available in a base. And the water-resistant creme-gel formula offers medium-coverage that is buildable according to your needs. It really is a foundation, sunscreen, highlighter and moisturizer all in one step. And my favourite thing is that you can also use it as body makeup, to cover veins on your legs. WhatsApp 071 688 0242 to order.

The best beat-the-budget item or brand worth buying … Michelle Ori sells mostly eye makeup and they have every shade and formula eyeliner imaginable. I’ve been using their pencils for years. They’re ultra-pigmented, applies easily and super affordable. Buy online, at Takealot or Dischem.

The one make up trend you wish had never happened… Drag queen makeup on biological women. And the best one … A return to natural makeup.

The biggest mistake most people make with make up … Not going for a professional makeup lesson. Video tutorials on social media can’t address your unique needs.

Older (60+) women should never … wear matte, heavy foundations. And should always … pluck stray hairs from their top lip and chin.

Younger (30- women) should always … blend their makeup. And should never … use blinding, cool-toned highlighter that can be seen from outer space.

Coming in hot
Hot make up trends coming up … I don’t believe in seasonal trends. It only serves huge cosmetic conglomerates to sell you makeup colours you don’t need. Major directional changes in beauty last longer. Skinimalism is the global beauty trend that is a direct reaction to hyperconsumerism and Instagram excess.

It’s all about looking effortlessly glowy and natural and achieving that with less products. So the makeup you use, need to multitask. The key feature is making your skin look as beautiful as possible. And the great news is that this trend flatters everyone, whether you’re 17 or 77.

The essentials
Rates Top-tier professionals in Joburg all charge more or less R1000 for one face. A professional makeup application takes around one hour, but it’s a luxury experience and I want to give every person my best work so I prefer an hour and a half.

Services Besides a make-over, I also offer one-on-one make-up lessons that teach you how to be your own makeup artist … lessons which are customized according to your needs. I offer private workshops for a client at her home with her family and friends. I do a well-known Makeup Masterclass, which I’ve hosted all around South Africa.

Where does the magic happen I am a mobile makeup artist, but it depends on the client and the occasion. For individual clients and trials, clients usually come to me. For weddings I go to the venue.

Details: • Makeup By Ryno on FB/Insta/Youtube • [email protected]


Ryno’s next Makeup Masterclass is on Sunday July 31 at Langhams in Fourways.  Tickets are R650 a person.Whatsapp Ryno on 071 688 0242 to book a place.
WIN And we’ve one ticket to give away – along with a bottle of his foundation. To enter, pop over to @get_it_joburg_north on IG  and follow the prompts.

Photographer: Xavier Saer, 083-998-1312. Make-up: Makeup by Ryno, 071-688-0242. Hair: Hair Impressions, 082-557-9880. Styling: Ella Rockafella, 082-390-9443. Extensions: A Few Gray Hairs, 082-465-1413. Clothing: Immagika Creative Designs, 082-968-0996.

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