By Wallia Khairi
Tue, 04, 24

This week we sit down for a chat with talented makeup artist, Ayesha Mushtaq, who dishes out some insider makeup tips...



In the bustling streets of Karachi, where the bright colours of dreams intertwine with the echoes of ambition, there emerged a makeup maven like no other - Ayesha Mushtaq. Her journey into the vibrant world of cosmetics started back in 2014, just as she was about to embark on her academic journey at IBA. Little did she know that her brushes would paint her destiny in the most colourful hues imaginable.

As the clock ticked towards her graduation, Ayesha found herself adorned not only with a degree but also with a burgeoning clientele. Entering the beauty industry was no easy feat as her minimalist approach clashed with the flamboyance of the times, but she remained steadfast in her belief that ‘less is more’ would one day triumph.


Seeking to refine her skills, she journeyed to New York City, and enrolled in Chic Studios – a makeup institute.

She also received training from makeup luminaries like Natasha Lakhani and Babar Zaheer. With her skills honed to perfection and her passion ablaze, Ayesha started a journey that changed her career.

With her Karachi charm and new skills, she entered a world where makeup brushes created magic. Now, looking back at ten years of work, she’s sure that following her passion was the best choice ever.

This week we sit down for a chat with the talented makeup artist, Ayesha Mushtaq, who dishes out some insider makeup tips...

Which famous artists have influenced you, and how?

Two makeup artists I absolutely adore are Melissa Hernandez and Sofia Tilbury. Melissa’s minimalistic looks are my absolute favourite, and I love recreating them for my daily makeup routine. As for Sofia Tilbury, her looks are simply flawless and always leave me in awe.


How would you describe your signature look?

My signature look would be minimal skin finish with flushed cheeks and enhanced eyes.

Name three Holy Grail drugstore and high-end products that you absolutely love.

Drugstore favourites: Maybelline concealer, L’Oréal primer; Makeup Revolution banana powder High-end must-haves: Rare Beauty liquid blush; Charlotte Tilbury Flawless Filter; Urban Decay setting spray.

What are your favourite makeup tools to work with?

Brushes are my go-to for applying makeup, but I do enjoy using my beauty blender from time to time as well.

What are your 3-beauty dos and don’ts?

In my makeup routine, I stick to a few key rules for a flawless finish: I never go more than one shade up with foundation, contour without angling downwards, apply winged eyeliner with eyes open, prioritise skin hydration, use primer and setting spray, and always blend thoroughly for seamless results.

Are brides these days more experimental when it comes to makeup?

Brides’ openness to experimentation varies by occasion, with Mehendi ceremonies often allowing for more unique looks.


What is your biggest challenge while doing bridal makeup?

The real challenge is to work with the least amount of product to create the perfect bridal glam, making sure the bride looks and feels like herself at the end of the whole look.

How do you prep the skin before makeup?

Lots and lots of moisturiser goes a long way.

When faced with a client with challenging skin, how do you approach foundation application?

Every skin type demands tailored prep and care. The key technique involves focusing on dry areas with ample moisture and primer to ensure a seamless foundation finish.

Suggest some tips to have your makeup last longer.

Prep skin with cleansing and moisturising, prime before makeup, and seal it with setting spray for a flawless finish.

I have five minutes to do my makeup - what can I do that would make the most difference?


Conceal, blush, lip tint, mascara - the perfect combo for a fresh, lifted look.

What style and colours do you prefer working with when doing eye makeup?

I often gravitate towards neutrals, browns, pinks, and even oranges as they beautifully complement our brown skin tones.

For hooded eyes, what would you suggest to make their eye makeup pop?

Creating a false crease above the natural crease can create an illusion of your eye lid looking bigger, a pop of shimmer with some mascara/falsies can really make the eyes pop.

What are some of the top three common mistakes women tend to make while doing their makeup?

Common makeup mistakes: Choosing the wrong foundation shade, neglecting hydration (which doesn’t necessarily lead to oiliness), and failing to set liquid products with powder for longevity.

What do you love most about makeup?

Makeup is an art, subjective and empowering, with the ability to make everyone feel beautiful.

Which is your favourite celebrity makeup look and why?


I’m a huge fan of Kylie Jenner’s makeup style. Her looks always emphasise flawless skin with minimal emphasis on the eyes and a neutral lip, giving off that subtle yet glamorous vibe that I absolutely adore.

What is the most important beauty advice that you can give to women?

Skin first, always! Investing time and products in skincare ensures youthful, flawless makeup that lasts.

Do you have any tips or advice for aspiring makeup artists?

Practice makes perfect. Embrace the journey and don’t let a bad day dampen your passion.

How old you were when you started wearing makeup?

In my teens, I began experimenting with liner, blush, and lip colour.

What is one cosmetic you cannot do without?

Lipstick (it works as a blush too).

When stepping out, do you wear makeup all the time?

I skip makeup on some outings to let my skin breathe freely.

When it comes to cosmetics, which brand do you usually use?

I mix it up. My makeup collection is a diverse mix of products from various brands.

What’s in your beauty bag?

In my makeup bag, you’ll always find lipsticks, concealers, blush, brushes, and mascara, along with a travel-sized perfume.

Your go-to lipstick:

Pairing the Huda Beauty lip liner in Terracotta with the lipstick shade Rendezvous, then adding a touch of the Mario lip tint in Blush Glow for the perfect finishing touch.


Your favourite local stylist or beautician:

My favourite makeup artist is definitely Steve Mumtaz, and I truly believe Zahra Sarfaraz has revolutionised the styling scene.

Signature perfume:

Coco Mademoiselle by Chanel and Versace Bright Crystal.

Your favourite beauty hack:

Using concealer as foundation and repurposing lipstick as both a blush and lip tint.

Are you fond of using too much makeup or you prefer a good skin with minimal amount of makeup?

Good skin over everything else.

Where do you go for makeup shopping?

The majority of my makeup collection comes from retailers in the USA, such as Sephora and Ulta.

What is beauty to you?

For me, beauty is all about embracing minimalism and letting your natural self-shine through.