Fizzah Iqbal

Professional Makeup Artist | Organic Chemist | Educator

Monday 20 November 2023

Top Makeup Trends in the UAE: A Guide for Every Fashionista!

While makeup is a form of self-expression and isn’t really affected by trends but we cannot also deny the fact that fashion industry plays a huge role in forming the opinion around fashion and beauty trends. Some makeup trends might be more popular in one part of the world as compared to the other but the general flow of tide seems the same globally. Today, I am going to share with you top 5 emerging makeup trends these days which are equally relevant in the UAE.

Achieve 'Glass Skin' Perfection:

Korean beauty and music industry might be the pioneer of this trend but the world has caught on and now glowy, healthy looking skin is a global phenomenon. Glass skin starts with religious skincare routine, you must cleanse, tone and hydrate your skin twice a day to see lasting results. Then you may use a light weight, medium coverage, hydrating foundation or a BB Cream mixed with a facial oil or a liquid highlighter to achieve flawless looking complexion.

Embrace 'Statement Lips' for a Fuller Pout:

If you are someone who loves a nice fuller pout then this is the trend for you. Statement Lips have made a comeback and vibrant bold colours such as deep reds, purples, and oranges are back in fashion. You may pair a dark lip colour with the similar colour lip liner or use a dark taupe liner to fake the shadows of fuller lips and then fill in the rest of the lips with bold colour. This trend adds a stunning touch to your overall look.

Revitalize Your Look with 'Graphic Eyeliner':

Eyeliner has always been an integral part of women’s makeup. It has gone from being dark and dramatic in 1920’s to softer thinner lines in 1940’s and back to graphic styles in 1950’s and 60’s. Twiggy and Sophia Loren’s eyeliner styles are still recreated to this day. In the era of makeup tutorials on platforms like YouTube and Instagram, graphic eyeliners, including precise cat eyes and bold shapes, have made a stylish comeback.

Shine with 'All Things Shimmer':

Eye shadows are found in many different forms with matte and shimmer formations being the most popular ones. Matte eye shadows were in the limelight in 1990’s, they were THE thing. But today not just matte but shimmer eye shadows are equally popular. Shimmer shadows can be worn in many different ways from a light wash all over the lids to stronger contrasting look with a more prominent socket. You can transform your simple eye makeup with a dash of shimmer and glitter shadows applied either with finger tips or a small brush applicator.

Achieve Natural Elegance with 'Feathered Eyebrows':

This is a personal favourite of mine. Just like any other aspect of makeup, eye brows have seen their highs and lows (which weren’t fashionably lows but YKWIM). From pencil thin eyebrows of 1990’s to slightly fuller ones in 2000’s, latest eyebrows trend tells you to pluck them lightly, only where needed keeping the fuller shape and then shape the hair with a hair gel, eyebrow gel or even soap. Yes you read that right. This technique gives your eyebrow hair fuller look and keeps them in shape throughout the day. You can then either proceed to fill in the gaps with a brow filling product or leave the hair as is and enjoy a more natural look.

Like I said in the beginning, makeup is a powerful form of self-expression, and trends come and go. Your individual style may even spark a new makeup trend, so embrace your uniqueness and don't hesitate to experiment with different looks.

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Friday 17 November 2023

Achieve a Perfect Contour: Expert Tips for Middle Eastern Beauty.

Discover the art of contouring - a makeup technique without which your makeup look won’t come together as it should. It allows makeup artists to enhance and define their clients’ features by playing with light and dark. Contouring gives dimensions to the face and even the body which is essential especially when the model or client is moving around in a highly contrasting light environment or if they have to be on camera with lots of light directed at their face. Middle Eastern people are known for their sharp features, almond eyes, beautiful noses and high cheekbones, contouring for them is a powerful tool to enhance their natural beauty.

But what should you do correctly to achieve a perfectly sculpted face? Learn the key steps and expert tips for achieving a perfectly sculpted face that stands out, particularly in high-contrast light environments or when facing the camera.

Foundation Mastery for Middle Eastern Skin:

Ensure a flawless base starting with a cleansed, well-moisturised and primed skin to ensure the products you put on top go smoothly. Match your foundation shade to your natural skin tone, it’s important because the dark and light contour shades will be picked accordingly as well. It's essential to maintain the natural warmth of Middle Eastern skin.

The Dynamics of Dark Contour Shades:

Next comes the exciting part, adding light and dark to bring dimension to the face. There’s a misconception, and people usually refer only to dark shadows as contour, when in fact, it’s the highlights (matte) along with the dark shadows that make up the entire technique of contouring. So, where do the dark shadow parts go?

  1. Under The Cheekbones

Middle Eastern faces often have high cheekbones. Locate the hollow space on the underside of your cheekbones; to do so, you may use a makeup brush or a writing pen. This is where you add dark shadow to contour cheekbones. As a rule of thumb, it starts at the top of your ear and goes straight towards the edge of your mouth but not all the way to the mouth.

  1. Sides of Nose

Middle Eastern noses are often prominent and well-defined. To add definition use a contour shade that is slightly lighter than the contour of your face. Start at the sides of the nose on the inner part of the eye area and go all the way down towards the tip of the nose. Blend to remove any harsh edges.

  1. Under the Jawline:

Another common mistake people make while contouring the jawline is applying it above the bone. Instead, when contouring the jawline make sure you put the product under the jaw bone and blend it down slightly coming on the neck. This adds definition to the face and also helps receding any loose skin.

  1. Enhance Socket Bones

Middle Eastern women have naturally beautiful almond-shaped eyes. Their socket bones are already prominent, and with just a little bit of contour shade, they can be made more attractive. Locate the eye socket in the hollows under the brow bones and apply your contour shade there.

Add Light or Highlight Shade

The highlight points are where you add the lighter shade to bring in light. This lighter shade together with the dark contour shade, will give you a completely contoured face. 

Middle Eastern women are mostly warm or neutral-toned. Keeping that in mind their highlight shade should lean more towards a warmer undertone. You can either use a powder highlight – matte or a cream concealer for that purpose.

Apply the highlight shade under the eyes all the way to the high points of your cheeks. This colour also goes on the bridge of the nose and inner corners of the eyes, in the centre of the forehead and chin as well. You may also accentuate cheekbone contour by applying the highlight shade directly under the contour shade making it crispier and stronger.

Unlock the secrets to perfect contouring with these comprehensive tips and tricks. Tailor the application to your unique features, allowing your makeup to highlight, not alter, your natural beauty. 

Remember, makeup is a form of self-expression—feel empowered to experiment and find what works best for your individual beauty.

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Saturday 18 June 2022

Building Portfolio - Is Working For Free The Answer?

Storytime! I was once a passionate but naïve artist who wanted to get some images to her portfolio.

Portfolio building

In the pursuit of doing so, I wrote to several agencies and photographers hoping someone would reply and I might strike a chance to work with any of them.

I did get a few replies. And I did get a shoot confirmed as well.

I was told I would get the images as compensation like others since the entire team on the shoot was a newbie. I agreed.

Though everyone was not a newbie, yet it was only I who wasn’t paid in money.

I did get the images, still have them in my portfolio.

But, is this the right way to build your portfolio?

From my professional point of view and experience, no, I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone.

Working for free just to get images does two major harms to your career right off the bat,

1.     The same people who call you in for free never call you back for paid projects, take it from my years of experience. Any price you set after will always be ‘too much’ for them.
2.     It gets really difficult for you to set a value/price for your work. You will have to work really hard to get there.

Instead, look for creatives who are on the same growth level as you or who are looking for fellow creatives to do TFPs (Time For Photos). TFPs do not involve monetary transactions for anyone. Everybody works to get the pictures for their portfolios.

Build your portfolio, set a rate (without undercutting the industry!), send it to potential clients and work towards securing the gigs.

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Friday 10 June 2022

Bad Marketing 101 – How You Devalue Your Work

You might have read a lot of articles telling you how one should value their business, what should be done for clients and peers to take you seriously.

How you should navigate so the clients do not try and take and advantage of your services.

Well today I want to point out things you might be doing that devalue your work and put prospect collaborators/clients/students off.

Bad marketing

-   You are not up to date with the platform you are marketing your business on.

-   You do not have a brand identity and you fail to incorporate simpler things in your marketing strategy such as creating impactful content.

-   You have not taken a good look at your competitors’ work and how they price their services.

-   You jump straight into putting a tag on your work that does not even justify your experience, knowledge and location.

-   You do not think highly of your work.

-   In your opinion what you do can be learnt in a matter of few days and it’s no rocket-science that people would consider spending money on (then why would anyone pay you for teaching them what you do, no?)

-   You lack curiosity.

-   You have not spent time researching and learning more about your work. You are content with what you did 15 years back.

I can go on and on about what more you (might be) doing that just should not be done because you are a Professional at what you do, but my head hurts from absorbing too much today.

Saving the rest for some other day.

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Wednesday 8 June 2022

Let's Collaborate!

Another day and another clothing brand approaches me with the offer to 'collaborate'.

Collaboration, Credits

I don't even bother asking now if they are looking forward to a paid collaboration.

They promise "proper" credits to be given to the Makeup Artist for coming on-board.

In their head, we are the most non-prioritized creatives in any project and we are worth nothing but a "proper" mention in the credits.

My reply? A professional flat-out No.

Dear Clothing/Jewelry/Shoes/Whatever Brands,
When you get in touch with a Makeup Artist for one of your commercial projects, kindly approach them with a good budget, not penniless and never ask for free work. Trust me, you neither come off professional nor respectful.

Yours Truly,
A Makeup Artist of 5 solid years of work experience.
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