Nowadays, it is too difficult to find a makeup artist who actually understands your concerns, your face cut, your eyes, basically every feature of yours. Mashal Sheikh, who has been in the beauty business since 10 years, is one of the very few makeup artists who doesn’t force themselves upon their clients. Mashal took a professional course by the renowned makeup artist, Amina Raja back in 2011.
After which, she did many freelance projects with clothing brands such as Zara Shahjahan. She also worked at Natasha Khan, the makeup suite for 2 years. This super talented makeup maestro knows how to stay abreast of the new trends while keeping her looks classic. She has successfully broken the barriers of old school makeup techniques and brought the international standards in her each creation. Mashal has a small studio set up at her place.
You! What inspired you to become a beautician?
Mashal Sheikh: It sounds super clichéd but I've always been gravitated towards doing makeup and then taking pictures. This has been an interest for as long as I can remember. Not being able to shake off this strong inclination. As a child, I was always fascinated by black Smokey eyes, which is the first look I ever learned that too all on my own. I mastered it and that’s how I just fell in love with creating looks. I became that person who does everyone’s makeup on every event. I can easily say that this was my calling and I’m grateful to be doing what I was born to.
You! What are the makeup trends right now?
MS: Neon eyes, glossy lids, graphic or colourful liners, amped-up complexions, cleaner more realistic complexions, breathable makeup.
You! What makeup trends are totally over?
MS: Cut crease eyes, excessive highlighter, matte lipsticks, really prominent fake looking eyebrows; these trends need to go away immediately.
You! What kind of hairstyles are in this season?
MS: Centre-parted hair, high and low ponytails, textured and sleek buns, beach waves that have been prominent this season.
You! It is shaadi season, what kind of look is in among brides?
MS: Since the gatherings have become really small due to Covid-19, brides these days also want their look to be very minimal and not loud. Super natural and easy on the eyes is what brides are going for this post quarantine season.
You! What’s the must-have beauty product for the winter season, the product every girl and every woman should always bring in her purse?
MS: A tinted moisturiser and lip & cheek tints. One should always carry a lip balm in their purse.
You! What are your favourite makeup products and your favourite brands in cosmetics?
MS: My favourite makeup products are mascaras, concealers, liquid highlighters. My favourite brands have to be Morphe, NYX, Too Faced, Benefit, Huda beauty and Artist Couture.
You! Are women in Pakistan becoming more experimental when it comes to makeup?
MS: These days, we can see a shift from the conventional style of makeup to more natural-looking makeup but the majority of women play it safe.
You! What are some common mistakes women tend to make while choosing makeup?
MS: In our part of the world, the most common mistake women make while buying makeup is that they always tend to buy foundations that are three times lighter than their own skin tone in an attempt to look ‘fair’. In my opinion, women should embrace their skin colour because every skin tone is beautiful.
You! What three make-up items should no woman leave home without?
MS: Lipstick/lip tint, mascara, concealer. You can instantly create a look with these three products alone.
You! Is Smokey eye still in vogue? Tell us some tips on how to get the look.
MS: Smokey eyes are my go-to look and in my opinion, it’s a timeless look that can never go out of style. The only way you can master a Smokey eye look is when you learn how not to under or over blend because this is the most common mistake people make.
You! What are the biggest challenges that makeup artists face?
MS: The market is becoming increasingly saturated so the competition has also skyrocketed making it even more difficult to make a mark in this industry. Having good makeup skills is not enough to make it in this industry, you need to be extremely good with your marketing skills too; having impressive Instagram aesthetics is an added bonus.
You! Are there any trends that you absolutely love?
MS: I love the thick natural looking eyebrows, the foxy eyes; I love how lip glosses have made a comeback.
You! How do you wish to make a change in the beauty scenario in Lahore?
MS: I’d like to see more international standard makeup institutes to set up in Lahore and more international makeup artists to come and teach in those institutes. I want people in Pakistan to take this profession seriously like it is taken in the rest of the world.
You! What are some of the colours a woman of regular Eastern skin tone should never try?
MS: I think as long as they don’t want to look 10 times lighter to their skin colour, they should try each and every shade. You only need to be confident enough to pull it off. Eastern skin tones can carry a variety of colours.
You! What nail colours are in these days?
MS: Neutral shades, classic French manicures, clean whites, pale pinks, and lavender.
You! What beauty regimen should women adopt to take care of their skin in winters?
MS: For winters, a good moisturiser or hydrating oils should be applied daily so that the skin feels less stretchy and suppler.
You! Any makeup tips you would like to share with your readers?
MS: Less is more. It’s not necessary to use your entire makeup kit on your face for every event.
You! What’s your signature style?
MS: Big bold eyes and nude lips is my go-to style; classy with a hint of drama. Three words that would describe my makeup would be; not over the top, balanced, harmonious.
You! What do you love most about your job?
MS: The most important aspect of my job is to leave my clients completely satisfied, I always want them to leave my makeup chair happy and content. I love it when my clients feel confident about themselves and give their feedback.
You! Do you think social media is a good tool to popularise your work?
MS: YESSS! Social media, especially Instagram, has helped me a great deal with reaching out to people and vice versa. All the upcoming beauticians need to know that these days it’s equally important to amp up your Insta game.
You! What are you currently preoccupied with?
MS: I am currently occupied with the bridal season and one-on-one makeup classes.
You! What are your future endeavours?
MS: I have a few things in the pipeline; I plan on excelling in SFX makeup and a couple of other things.