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A Didactic Session with this Makeup Guru Zahra Shaheen

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We sat down with Zahra Shaheen who has recently come back from Bahrain after learning some exceptional makeup techniques and Voila!! we got to know so much about makeup and those who are into this luscious affair of maquillage would love to read about the teensy-weensy details she has shared with us.

We also talked about her must-have products, looks and what secret makeup hacks are her favorite.

  1. Which are the 3 makeup items that are always in your bag?
    Face powder (Mac ~studio fix NC 25), a nude lip color (Huda beauty lipstick~ bombshell) and mascara (Benefit ~they’re real)
  2. How do you prepare different skin types before applying makeup?
    Dry skin
    – Cleanse, using a serum followed by an extra hydrating moisturizer (focusing on the driest areas and pressing it in using my fingertips). Let the moisturizer sink in and after 5 minutes dab the primer for a smooth base so makeup can be applied without getting stuck to dry patches of skin. Apply eye primer (if your eyelids are dry they may appear red so moisturize without making them look too oily and to combat discoloration). Apply a lip balm to moisturize the lips. Use liquid foundation, concealer, blush, and highlighter. End with a setting spray!
    Oily skin- Cleanse, hydrate with an oil-free moisturizer that is non-comedogenic (having oily skin doesn’t give you a free pass from applying moisturizer), prime face and eyes, use a matte foundation (its best to avoid anything with a radiant finish as it can make your skin look overly greasy, follow with mattifying powder with a matte beauty sponge, finish with a setting spray!
  1. What would be the effect of analogous/complementary colors in makeup?
    Each color has a complementary effect. For example, blue and orange, when placed next to each other, create a strong contrast and when mixed in equal concentrations, they cancel out each other. So firstly, complementary colors can be used in makeup for ‘color correction‘ ex. •Red areas on the skin like a zit can be calmed down with a touch of green and bluish dark circles can be countered with an orange-based concealer. Secondly, it helps you in understanding your undertone (warm, neutral or cool) so you choose the right foundation shade, more yellow for warmer tones and more pink for cooler tones. Thirdly, Make your eyes stand out by using the right shades that complement your eye color. If you have green eyes- purples and rosy tones will look great on you. For blue eyes- browns and coppers. For brown eyes- you’re in luck as anything would suit you but golds, blues, and purples will look stunning! Fourthly, for choosing the right blush color, if you’re cool-toned – you should go with cool pinks and if you’re warmer toned – go for peachy and coral shades. If neutral- you can go either way! Lastly, for choosing the right lip color, if you’re cool-toned – fuschia/pink nudes.  Warmer skin tones will look great in corals, peachy nude and orange-based reds. For a deeper skin tone- berry shades, plums and darker, brown-based reds will be the best choice.
  1. How important is lighting while applying makeup?
    Nothing beats natural light. Always be sure to look for the nearest window to take full advantage of natural lighting so your make up is perfectly matched to your skin tone. If natural light is not available, the alternative is to use a white light provided via led. Ring lights are ideal for applying makeup and taking pictures as they have an adjustable color temperature and brightness setting and they evenly spread light getting rid of sneaky shadows to highlight your features perfectly.  Avoid yellow lighting as it tends to be duller and you won’t realize how you look until you step outside in nature. Also, avoid fluorescent light. It’s the worst as it looks harsh and overly bright which will end up in over applying the foundation, bronzer, blush to compensate for lack of color on your face. Also, light positioning matters. It should be right in front of the face and not above or below, else it will cast a shadow and you will end up applying more make up than intended.
  1. Which cosmetic products do you use on a regular basis?
    I use a face powder (Mac studio fix Nc 25), Mascara (Benefit they’re real), Blush (Mac Warm Soul) and a nude lip colour (Huda beauty Bombshell) daily. On special occasions, I start with a primer (Benefit pore professional ) followed with Huda beauty foundation (Creme brûlée) which is full coverage and lasts longer when set with a translucent powder (I use Laura Mercier) with lots of blush and highlighter ( Becca -champagne pop, Mac -soft and gentle are my favorites). Other than that, depending on the sort of look I want, I use eye shadow palettes or colored eye pencils. I use Huda Beauty Rose Gold Palette the most as it has all the neutral shades and if I want a colorful eye look I use different Urban Decay Glide-on pencils which come in a range of tints and shades.

  1. When and how do you clean your tools?
    I use a makeup brush cleaner followed by dipping them in warm water with baby shampoo, gently massaging the top of the bristles making sure the soap is 100% out and then put them in a sterilizer. Also, I make sure they are in a container when not in use to prevent any pollutants like dust or dirt from landing on the bristles.
  1. How are you planning to change the contemporary makeup styles in the fashion industry of Pakistan?
    A lot of people are afraid to try new looks when it comes to makeup, they only do basic makeup as they feel it’s safer and new makeup styles won’t suit them. I feel as long as you are confident and can carry yourself well, anything can suit you! Also, I’m here to guide people as to what would look good with their outfit and features, bold or light makeup and help them gain confidence. I’ll try to incorporate more colors, instead of only neutrals. Color block is trending now and I’m in love with it!
  1. What`s one beauty tip or routine that is important for a girl?
    Skincare, skincare, and skincare! Sunblock is a must every day. Other than that cleanse, tone, moisturize twice every day. Leaving moisturizer out of routine today could lead to deeper wrinkles later on. When the skin barrier is compromised, which is what we see when it becomes dry, there’s a slow grade chronic inflammation that occurs in the skin which could ultimately lead to the breakdown of collagen and accelerate aging. So moisturize regularly!
  1. What is your kind of makeup: bold and hot or natural and dewy?
    Natural and dewy
  1. What is going to be the biggest makeup trend this Shaadi season?
    Kohl filled eyes and nude lips.
  1. What is your go-to hairstyle?
    Thankfully, I have straight hair so i usually keep them open.
  2. Who do you look up to for beauty inspiration?
    Huda Kattan.

Beauty

Distinct from all; Kalash is a Beauty in itself

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Those graceful divas dressed up in identical loose robes supported by adorned belts and head covered with heavy crown-like caps spilling their charm all around the valley are a real treat for the eys. This is not the fashion of Lahore, Karachi or Islamabad. This style narration is about one of the most beautiful places in Pakistan; the Kalash valley. They do not just adopt the unity in their lifestyle but also in their culture as well. Do you imagine wearing the same dresses with different colors yet not look boring or monotonous without giving an impression of a uniform? Yes, this is the place where fashion has its own sense and definition. You will see gorgeous people roaming around with a quirky-cool fashion statement, wearing no make-up yet looking radiant in those classic baggy dresses with heavy caps called “shushut” and a belt or “patti” wrapped around their waists. Who else can manage to look absolutely flawless in big slack cloaks but these women? Braids are never out of fashion in this part of the world because for these kalashi women, this is the ultimate and only hairstyle statement. Every hair is plaited in long braids both in front and back to support shushut on their heads and they are so much pro in making these braids that even a 5 years old kid knows how to transform you into a typical kalashi goddess in 2 minutes. How exceptionally distinct they look while wearing the same dresses and having a single fashion sense. Yes, that is where we see the beauty in harmony and oneness. Having a distinct culture, tradition, class and religion from ours, these people still win at living the best life full of love, kindness and hospitality.

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Beauty

Hira Waqar- Being a Superwoman

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Dr. Hira Waqar of Dental Smiles clinic has set a gold standard for working mothers as she strives to achieve as much as she can. She started out as a dental practitioner alongside her husband and decided to take time off as she became the mother of three young children. Still practicing dentistry, Hira has now expanded her horizons to include a side business of making and selling scrumptious sweet treats at her online page: Hira’s kitchen and is avidly pursuing her true passion, makeup.

  1. You clearly play many roles in your life (mother, wife, entrepreneur). Do you ever feel that one role overshadows another and if so, how do you cope?

we play many roles in our daily routine. I never let any role overshadow another. I stick to a particular time table according to my kids’ biological clock. I am a mother before anything else. I fulfill all of my responsibilities without seeking any help. I feed my children, I bathe them myself, put them to sleep, play with them, make sure their socioeconomic requirements are fulfilled; at the same time, I’m responsible for their behavior and their upbringing. In the same way, I am a good wife. I take care of my husband and his needs; looking after his home in his absence. We run a private Dental practice together and I used to go there full time previously, but now only by appointment during afternoon hours when my kids are asleep. In the evenings I look after my children and complete my baking orders at the same time. So I’m a multi-tasker by nature. I can’t sit idle.

 

  1. What inspired you to pursue a side business in baking?

Well, my daughter inspired me the most in doing Baking as a side business!

I’m a keen learner and a good baker. I live in a joint family system so family bonding could never be better than it is at the dining table. My husband and daughter have always appreciated my baking and motivated me to pursue it as a side business.

  1. What has been the most challenging part of running your business from home?

Since I live in a joint family we have a joint kitchen. Ergo the main challenge I face at times is that my orders shouldn’t coincide with family timings; so no one gets disturbed by my work. I also have to do the tasks unrelated to baking myself: from buying boxes to getting stickers, and printing menus. At times it can become difficult to drive around with 3 kids. But the Almighty gives me the strength.

  1. What were some of the obstacles you faced in setting up your business and how did you overcome them?

To be very honest I didn’t face any obstacles. I was thinking of starting my own business one day and I asked my husband to make me an online page. He did so and immediately I got my 1st order of cupcakes and a Brownie pizza. The next day I prepared my order but I didn’t have any boxes or logo stickers so I rushed to the market and bought boxes from a friend and got the stickers of my logo printed. I successfully delivered my 1st order. The very next day and Alhamdulilah the series of orders started. It was so quick that I didn’t even get any time to rethink, the response to my items turned out to be unexpectedly good.

 

  1. As a mother of three, what are some of your tips for other working women?

Hard work, consistency, patience and most of all faith in Allah. Believing in your capabilities is a key feature in running any successful business. Don’t ever underestimate yourself! You have power over your mind.

  1. Having a hectic schedule can be tough. What are some of the ways you cope with having too much work on your plate?

Don’t ever get panicked or think of your duties as a burden. Just love yourself and love your work. That way you will find joy in everything you do, despite being tired.

  1. What is your favorite item off of your own menu?

My daughter, her friends and most of my clients like my Brownie pizza. However, I personally enjoy my fudge brownies more, especially with a cup of coffee.

  1. Who do you feel serves as a role model in your life and why do you look up to them?

The One and only role model in my life is my Mom!

She is a true example of selflessness and untiring struggle and above all, she is a good human being.

  1. There are so many businesses out there. What motivates you to stick to baking and will you be expanding into other things?

Life needs changes and experiments and so do I. Since I couldn’t limit my spectrum to dentistry, I branched out into baking which relaxes me and gives me peace of mind. However, makeup is my true passion. I have taken many courses and I am thinking of starting it as a new venture early next year Inshallah.

  1. According to you what is one skill an entrepreneur must have?

An entrepreneur must believe in herself, your confidence and will power can do wonders for you.

 

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Beauty

5 Top Trends that keep popping on our fashion-gram

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Every time we check our social media, we get to know about a new trend that goes viral around the globe and to keep ourselves fashionably literate and aware, we have to go with that fashion parade no matter how absurd that trend is. But some fashions and patterns keep repeating and showing that they are here to stay forever and that too with different variations and intensities. 

We got our hands on these 5 fashion fads that everyone is going loco over.

Pantsuits

No matter what you bring in fashion every season, pantsuits will always have their dapper vibes on. Not just the formal events, these pantsuits have started trending on fashion shows, red carpets and casual events depending on how you carry your look. Wearing pantsuits does not take a lot of effort as only minimal accessories are needed along with a lavish pair of court shoes. Boom!!! you are good to ace. 

Animal Prints

Animal prints have a love-hate relationship when it comes to trending. Some days, you will hate the excess of these prints and some days you would love to keep adding these prints in your wardrobe. Lately, these prints are making their way into bags, shoes, jewelry and literally every wearable item. We love how people around the world are pairing animal printed pants, shoes, shirts, necklaces and bringing out the best looks on our newsfeed. 

Tonal nails 

Embrace a spectrum of shades this time when you got a manicure. While you go for this tonal nails trend, keep in mind to choose shades from the same color family. Whether muted tones or vibrant hues, do not go for pick and mix formula. We got this done and found it to be the chicest trend in nails for this season. 

Pastel Eye-Liner 

Black, brown or dark blue liner is so 2018. This also does not work for those who do not like to apply liner. Pastel eyeliners are the new in-thing in fashion town. Not Vivaciously hyper colors, but light and soothing colors are recommended for best results. The soft-toned hues are a wardrobe staple but feel daring and bold on the eye. If you are scared of taking a risk you can apply black liner first and can use an outline from any pastel palette or can just highlight the corners of your eyes. Whatever route you take, this one trend should be the must in your makeup list.

Thigh-High Boots

Either Pull them on over skinny jeans or leggings or style them with a mid-length skirt that is right above the top of the boots. To keep them look prominent, always go for a contrasting color; If your boots are a darker shade, go for a lighter tone outfit and vice verse. Ditch those Chelsia boots and go for thigh-high boots to flaunt this winter season. 

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