‘The winter mood is always more luxurious, more moody, more dense.’ – Bina Khan

By Adeela Akmal
Tue, 11, 20

This week You! talks to Makeup Artist Bina Khan about fall/winter trends, brown skin and some useful tips for the season…


Despite these times of unrest, weddings are still happening left, right and centre. And while many have resorted to simpler and close-knit gatherings, makeup is the one thing that brides are not willing to compromise on.

In the pre-quarantine era, the wedding preps would have been next-level in the country as we enter the fall/winter season. Winter weddings are exciting as they allow the brides (and her besties) to easily sport bold, super-extra looks that’ll actually stay on their face – unlike the summer when you can’t leave the house without having your makeup sliding off your face.

So, if you are a fall/winter bride or someone seeking pure escapism via your makeup bag, in any case, winter makes it way easy to experiment (and pull off) some amazing looks. Keeping this in mind, this week You! catches up with Makeup Artist Bina Khan to talk about some fall/winter bridal trends and some useful tips for the season…

You! What are some of the current fall/winter makeup trends that you absolutely love?

Bina Khan: I absolutely love the way winter light works; it’s not as warm and orange as the summer. So, I enjoy making the palette both cooler and deeper through the winter. I can’t say that I pay attention to trends very much, but I think most of us artists get moodier with our winter palette.

You! What are some of the fall/winter makeup trends that you’ll steer away from?

BK: There are some trends that I will always stay away from, summer, winter, rain or shine! And those are: heavy bases that don’t match the skin below, oversized eye liner, over drawn and over blown lips, heavily painted on eyebrows, overly heavy false lashes and those strange highlights that you see all over social media.

You! What is your current favourite celebrity makeup look and why?

BK: I really love how Joe Baker plays with Lucy Boynton’s face. It’s retro but modern all at once. And I adore the clean, classic makeup that Erin Ayanian Monroe does on Elle and Dakota Fanning. It’s deceptively simple, but it is perfectly balanced and flawless! And Hung Vanngo on Julianne Moore is a mood. The way he plays up her red hair and colouring… yum!

You! What are some of your Holy Grail products to work with (drugstore and high-end) during fall/winter?

BK: I adore Touche Éclat foundation for the winter and I can’t live without good old Nivea soft for the skin.

You! What are your beauty dos and don’ts for the cold weather?

BK: Dos: Always take care of your lips, moisturise as soon as you leave the shower, add highlighting drops to everything!

Don’ts: Overly matte bases, forgetting to drink water which will give you dry looking skin.

You! What is your biggest challenge while doing bridal makeup in the dry and cold weather?

BK: People really neglect their moisturising regime in Karachi. I suppose the weather is so humid most of the year that we haven’t caught on to the need to layer up on moisture to keep our skin happy. Most people actually ask me if they SHOULD moisturise, like it’s optional! My head explodes when they ask me that in bone dry Karachi. So, the biggest challenge is plumping up the skin pre-makeup.

You! What is difference doing bridal makeup in London compared to Karachi?

BK: I guess the biggest difference is difference itself! London is a multicultural city full of many different nationalities, ethnicities, hair colours, cultures. So the needs are different every time. In Pakistan we are mostly... Pakistanis! Going to weddings and getting married!

You! While it’s easy to categorise makeup trends according to seasons, how can we define makeup trends for a winter bride?

BK: I think the designers define the palette for us. They tend to make richer looking couture in the winter. We see velvets and heavier, richer work. That dictates the jewellery, the hair and eventually that feeds back in to the makeup. It is the designer who is the first link in the chain and the winter mood is always more luxurious, more moody, more dense.

You! How do you prep skin before applying makeup on a client?

BK: I first exfoliate slightly; I plump the skin with moisture and I usually do a few minutes of facial massage. I add pure oils to the skin and to the base; anything to get the skin looking supple and soft.

You! Matte or dewy – which is your favourite?

BK: I could never choose! Different finishes for each look. No base is the same; I always try for a different, unique finish!

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

BK: Conceal, powder, glow, mascara, lips, brows.

You! What are some common mistakes that we make while doing makeup?

BK: Pale, ashy bases; orangey or bright coral/pink lipstick; pale concealers.

You! You have been advocating skin positivity on social media, how do you think this can help South Asian women with regards to beauty?

BK: With Instagram and YouTube, I am constantly trying to stop the self-hatred we all have... or have been taught about skin especially. I am constantly trying to educate on how to use makeup that looks greats on South Asian skin and how to mix colours that work for us. I am trying to formalise it more and more. I keep having conversations about skin positivity, so much so that I was asked to host a chat by the British Council and Manchester Museum on their page for South Asian heritage month about this. Young people voted to see how to do makeup for their brown skin. It’s such a rich topic where issues of representation run deep. We have the issue of people always being shown one kind of beauty, if that’s all you see that’s all you want. Suppose tomorrow we all decided Nicole Kidman or Beyoncé was the new Kim Kardashian and everyone started getting different plastic surgery to look like them; wouldn’t we think that was insane, to make the whole world look like one kind of face?! So, when I put on faces in my feed, they are all kinds. It’s not just Imaan and her face (though she is my muse – and sister-in-law – and I like to work out my looks on her), I put up all kind of bridals and all kinds of faces.

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

BK: Think about what you are trying to achieve, but be subtle and celebrate yourself.

There is too much focus on ‘fixing problems’ rather than celebrating what’s present, what is lovely, what is unique... and having fun. Don’t slavishly follow trends and tutorials. Analyse your results, drop what isn’t necessary and keep what works. And enjoy yourself!

You! What’s in store for the future?

BK: So much! I am currently in the process of shooting my first few YouTube videos which seemed like a natural next step, since the response on Instagram has been so overwhelming and positive! I’ve just launched a complete syllabus of classes on my brand new website too and of course, I look forward to coming home to Karachi for the whole of December and January to rock Karachi winter season with loads of creative bridal make up! I can't wait!