No matter how beautiful your outfit is, if your makeup is not on point, you lose all your confidence. As we all know, the wedding season is right here. One of our main concerns is to book a makeup artist who understands our face and patiently listens to the requirements we have for our important days. We have recently come across this super-talented, self-taught makeup artist in Lahore and, are fully impressed by her art and the perfection she puts into her work. In an exclusive interview with You! Wardah Usmani, who has a home-based makeup studio in DHA phase 1, Lahore, shares her views on different makeup trends with our readers...
How did your career begin in the world of beauty?
I’ve loved doing makeup ever since I can remember. I was always experimenting on the beautiful women I grew up with, but coming from a family of doctors and engineers and being a graduate from LUMS, I thought I would be left behind in the race of “Who’s-doing-what?” if I followed this dream of mine.
However, my husband was always pushing me to pursue my dreams. On my 23rd birthday, my husband (then fiancé) gifted me a fully set up business account with a logo of my studio. I left it under the covers for 2 years without posting any of my work on it because I was too scared of any judgment of being under the public eye. When I got married in December 2020, amidst Covid, I did my Baraat makeup myself. It was after seeing the event’s professional pictures that I thought I did something worthy of other people to see and took the leap of posting it on that account. People’s support and encouragement surprised me and honestly I questioned myself as to why I had taken so long to do this.
I then decided to cater to the audience who want a more personalised experience and who want to look like themselves on their big day all while getting a subtle, glowy look. I wanted to create a comfortable environment for my brides where they were pampered and their preferences were heard and catered to.
What are the makeup trends right now?
Glowing skin, light coverage and lifted faces are the go to trends this season. International makeup these days is about soft sculpts instead of heavy contours, glowing skins instead of beaming highlighters and lifted eyes instead of heavy eyes.
What makeup trends are totally over?
Heavy coverage, foundation 5 tones lighter than your skin tone and cakey bases are OUT.
What kind of hairstyles are in this season?
Gone are the days of heavy back-combing. Messy buns, beachy waves and sleek buns are the hot takes for brides this season.
What kind of look is in among brides-to-be?
The trend is definitely a glowy coverage with a lifted face. I love Yasmin Khan’s work, definitely feel like she is changing the bridal makeup game in Pakistan and getting people to be susceptible to different styles for their big days.
The must-have beauty products, every girl should carry in her purse…
Your lip colour has to be the most important thing to carry in your bag for obvious reasons. Translucent setting powder/ compact powder with a brush is always the second makeup product to keep in your bag whether you have oily or dry skin. It touches up your makeup without making it cakey, sits in fine lines and wrinkles to make them disappear.
Your favourite brands in cosmetics?
Nars, Charlotte Tilbury and Dior’s beauty range.
Are women in Pakistan becoming more experimental when it comes to makeup?
Social media makes sure that trends are global. As Pakistani women, we are also adopting them to some extent and trying out different eye looks like graphic liners, beaded accents and neon colours. However, a lot of brides in Lahore still obsess over the same beauty standards, especially for weddings and I really wish that would change.
What are some common mistakes women tend to make while choosing makeup?
The biggest mistake we make when choosing makeup is that we invest in the most popular products that we see online, that may not be right for us. And that problem is not restricted to purchasing products but also applying them. But we are not to blame because it is difficult to choose the right kinds of products in Pakistan given that there aren’t too many avenues where you’re actually allowed to try out products. Even if you are allowed to try them out, there aren’t any experts at the stores to help out and that really just makes buying makeup such a game of chance. At Sephora stores in first world countries, there’s trained professionals suggesting products to you and you actually can request testers before purchasing anything, whether it’s skincare, foundations or lipsticks.
What three makeup items should no woman leave home without?
Mascara, lip colour and concealer.
Are smokey eyes still in vogue? What are some tips on how to get the look?
Smokey eyes will always be in vogue. For smokey eyes, always do your eyes before you put your complexion products on, to avoid a messy fall out situation. And also, don’t take your black eye shadow up to your crease, it’ll start looking like someone has punched you. Lastly, sometimes, a smokey winged outlook suits someone better, and a soot black look may suit others better. So experiment with different shapes of the smokey eye until you find exactly what suits your eye shape!
What has been your biggest challenge as a makeup artist?
Every line of work comes with its challenges at each stage. Initially, when I had started doing this, it was a challenge to shift from a series of amazing corporate jobs to running a home-based business. But now, it is a constant struggle to remind myself why I started doing this and not jump on the money-making bandwagon by doing what every salon is doing, but rather keeping my business model very personalised and detail oriented.
Are there any trends that you absolutely love?
Glossy ombré lips. They look so divine!
How do you wish to make a change in the beauty scene in Lahore?
I wish to start telling women to accept themselves, especially on their wedding. Not everyone needs to look the same, let your personality stand out, especially on the biggest day of your life!
What is your signature style?
Subtle and glowy. My style of makeup is generally more natural. It is not about changing your skin colour or hiding it under layers and layers of foundation. I am all for trying random stuff and figuring your own vibe. Life is too short to believe in the idea of conformity.
What beauty regimen should women adopt to take care of their skin in winter?
Exfoliate well to remove your dead skin cells to give you a more flawless makeup application.
Cleanse according to your skin type to clean your new fresh skin. Tone the pH of your skin to regulate oil production. Hydrate the cleansed skin with a serum that suits you. Moisturise your skin whether it is oily or dry duirng summer or winter. Always protect your skin with a good SPF.
Any makeup tip you would like to share with your readers?
Experiment with different styles, they might suit you more than you think.
What do you love most about your job?
My work doesn’t feel like work. I wake up at 4:30 am for clients and always feel excited about it, after a cup of chai, of course. I love interacting with my clients from the moment they sit on my chair until they leave. I feel like it’s such a safe space between me and them and usually we end up having such meaningful interactions.
Do you think social media and Instagram are good tools to popularise your work?
Of course. A mismanaged social media portfolio can be the biggest hindrance to growth and a well-managed one could make you a star.