One face at a time

By Wallia Khairi
Tue, 05, 24

This week, You! is in conversation with Fatima Talpur, a Karachi based makeup artist…

One face at a time


Hailing from the lively streets of Hyderabad, Sindh, Fatima Talpur dived headfirst into the world of makeup five years back. Her adventure began amidst the bustling vibes of London, where she found herself at the doorstep of AOFM (Academy of Freelance Makeup). Initially soaking up wisdom from makeup literature, notably Kevyn Aucoin’s ‘Making Faces’ which laid the groundwork for her makeup education, and guidance from many renowned artists. Her journey has been nothing short of a rollercoaster ride, conquering runways, seizing editorial spreads, and mastering bridal beauty.

From crayon lipstick experiments in her childhood to secret lipstick missions, Fatima’s love affair with beauty was destined. Fast forward to today, and she has turned her childhood dreams into a booming career with a studio in Karachi. “Since 2019, I’ve been thriving as a freelance makeup artist, dabbling in everything from bridal glam to high-fashion editorials, constantly evolving over my five-year journey in the business,” she narrates.

This week she shares her journey with our readers and offers makeup tips for achieving the coveted ‘less is more’ look...

When did you start wearing makeup?

I began experimenting with makeup around 18 or 19, and have been unstoppable since.

How has the beauty business evolved since you began?

The advent of social media influencers has revolutionised the global beauty industry, shaping trends and consumer preferences. Businesses now harness the power of influencers for marketing, and viral content on platforms like Instagram dictates the next big trends in beauty products and services. Additionally, there’s been a surge in demand for professional beauty services, leading to a proliferation of beauty salons and spas across Pakistan.

One face at a time

Who are some influential artists that have inspired your journey, and in what ways?

Kevyn Aucoin stands as a monumental influence, particularly his ground-breaking techniques in makeup application, which I consider ahead of its time. His contouring and highlighting methods, for instance, have become industry standards.

Your favourite celebrity makeup looks?

Audrey Hepburn’s iconic makeup in ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’ remains a personal favourite for its timeless allure. Furthermore, Mahira Khan’s advocacy for a less-is-more aesthetic resonates with my philosophy of enhancing natural beauty.

Could you name three must-have products from both drugstore and high-end brands?

For drugstore staples, I rely on L’Oréal Infallible Mattifying Primer, L’Oréal Paris Bambi Eye Mascara, and Nivea Soft Cream. In the high-end category, Laura Mercier Translucent Setting Powder, Mac Fix+ Setting Spray, and Makeup Forever Artist Colour Lip Pencil are indispensable to me.

What are your preferred tools for makeup application?

A beauty blender and an eyelash curler are a must in my toolkit.

Share with us your top three beauty do’s and don’ts.

Do’s: Always apply a corrector before concealer, blend foundation with a damp beauty blender, and prep the skin adequately before makeup application.

Don’ts: Avoid over-shading eyebrows, blindly following trends, and neglecting brush hygiene.

Do you find modern brides more experimental with makeup?

I haven’t noticed a significant trend towards experimentation among modern brides; however, I advocate for diversifying bridal looks to embrace individuality and creativity.

Could you define your signature makeup style and what sets it apart?

My signature style revolves around two principles: simplification and structural emphasis. I prioritise creating a natural-looking base while accentuating facial contours, distinguishing my approach with its understated yet defined aesthetic.

How do you prep a client’s skin before makeup application?

I ensure the skin is moisturised and primed for a seamless makeup application.

When dealing with difficult skin, how do you approach foundation application?

Less is more. I opt for a lighter application to avoid a cakey finish, focusing on proper concealing and colour matching for a flawless look.

What strategies do you suggest for prolonging makeup wear?

Setting the base with powder and utilising setting spray throughout the application process are essential steps in prolonging makeup longevity.

One face at a time

In a time crunch, what makeup steps would you prioritise?

Concealing imperfections, defining brows, and enhancing lashes with mascara can instantly elevate one’s look within minutes.

How would you enhance eye makeup for hooded eyes?

A pop of colour on the inner corners or a bolder under-eye look can effectively accentuate hooded eyes.

What lip colours are currently trending?

Nudes and ’90s browns are making a comeback.

What are the three most common makeup mistakes?

Common mistakes include using lighter shades of foundation and concealer, improper lip lining, and uneven eyeliner application.

What eye makeup styles and colours do you prefer?

For brown skin tones, I gravitate towards warm hues and enjoy experimenting with soft smokey looks paired with metallic accents.

Recommend a skincare routine for daily makeup wearers.

Consistent skincare routines are crucial, involving gentle cleansing, moisturising, sun protection, and regular brush cleaning to maintain healthy skin.

What makeup item is essential for you?

Mascara is a non-negotiable in my makeup routine.

Do you wear makeup daily when going out?

No, I prefer a natural look and don’t wear makeup every day.

Which brands do you typically use for cosmetics?

MAC and NARS are my preferred brands for cosmetics.

What items are in your beauty bag?

I always carry Nabila’s Zero palette, mascara, eyebrow gel, and a lipstick.

What’s your go-to lipstick?

MAC Cosmetic’s ‘Mehr’ is my favourite shade.

Do you have a favourite local stylist or beautician?

I’m a huge fan of Nabila and Bina Khan.

Share your favourite beauty hack.

Using lipstick as an eyeshadow and blush is a handy trick I swear by.

Where do you shop for makeup?

I usually shop directly from brand stores, both online and in-store. In Pakistan, and Makeup City are my go-to destinations.

Do you prefer heavy makeup or a minimal look?

I lean towards minimal makeup and understated elegance.

What’s your signature perfume?

Michael Kors.

What aspect of makeup do you find most rewarding?

The confidence boost makeup provides goes beyond surface-level aesthetics, empowering individuals to express themselves authentically.

What’s your most valuable beauty advice?

Focus on skincare as the foundation for a flawless makeup application and overall confidence.

How do you intend to influence the beauty scene?

I aim to promote minimalist makeup and encourage experimentation with diverse looks, particularly for weddings.

Any tips for aspiring makeup artists?

Stay passionate, dedicated, and continuously strive for excellence in your craft.