One of the brightest new stars in the world of fashion, Sarah Zulfiqar is as smart as she is stunning. The recipient of the Best Emerging Talent trophy at the 2021 Lux Style Awards, the model is not only comfortable in her own skin but has also been empowering other brown-skinned women by speaking out against colourism and helping people see the beauty in desi features.
No matter where your complexion falls on the colour spectrum though, having radiant skin and pretty hair can certainly give you a boost of confidence. So, to that end, we thought we’d ask Sarah about her beauty routine and the products that make her look and feel more gorgeous.
For skincare, Sarah has a few favourite products that help her maintain a glowing look. “I love the Beauty Elixir facial spray by Caudalie,” the model tells Instep. “It’s hydrating and calming and smells amazing! I also love the Ultra Facial Cream by Kiehl’s because it’s the only moisturizer I’ve found that is nourishing enough without making me break out.”
Her daily routine involves splashing her face with water in the morning, then applying moisturizer and sunscreen. “If my skin feels dry or irritated during the day, I spray the Caudalie Beauty Elixir and reapply moisturizer,” she explains. At night, she double cleanses her face, especially if she is wearing makeup, and applies moisturizer. “I’ll [also] do a clay mask by Caudalie around once a week,” she adds.
To maintain her lovely locks, Sarah’s go-to brand appears to be Bumble and Bumble. “The Bumble and Bumble Invisible Oil primer is definitely a holy grail,” she enthuses. “It protects against UV rays and acts like sunscreen for my hair! I also love the Masque Extensioniste by Kérastase; it’s nourishing without being too heavy and is specifically for long hair. I also like the scalp serum by Fable and Mane; it’s helpful when my scalp feels itchy and dry.”
Sarah uses the Invisible Oil Primer everyday and tries to keep her hair in a braid at all times, especially before sleeping. “I oil my hair using castor oil before I wash it (once a week), and if my scalp feels irritated I’ll use the scalp serum by Fable and Mane. I use a hair mask every time I wash my hair,” she explains.
She uses two shampoos: the Bumble and Bumble Invisible Oil line and Bread Beauty. The conditioner of her choice is also – you guessed it – Bumble and Bumble. But the model explains that she doesn’t just go by brand names and prices; she looks at what’s actually inside the product. “I do a lot of research and am very specific when buying new products. The brand doesn’t matter as much as the formulation – I’ve tried very expensive and less expensive shampoos that contained a lot of fragrance and harsh ingredients that irritated my scalp and caused hair loss.”
Radiant skin and healthy hair aren’t just about the products you use though. The secret, she says, lies in “eating well, exercising, getting enough sleep, and avoiding heat and sun damage.”
“I don’t like to overthink my diet or fitness regime,” she reveals. “That ends up being counterproductive. I try to make the majority of my diet vegetables and lentils and chicken. I don’t have much of a sweet tooth but I love savory items, especially pastries. As for exercise, I love yoga and I’ve recently been getting into dance!”
The model also has a few more beauty tips to share: “ALWAYS remove your makeup and sunscreen at the end of the day,” she says. “You don’t need countless products or an elaborate routine – go by how your skin and hair feel rather than copying what you see on social media or raiding Sephora.”
Sarah also emphasizes that you should focus not just on your physical body but on your mental health as well, because ultimately beauty is more than skin deep. “Take care of yourself because it’s good for your mental health and because you deserve that time and effort. Be gentle and patient with your skin and hair; it takes time to “fix” things, and the way you look on the outside isn’t what truly matters – the way you feel on the inside is.”