Glam in every stroke

By Wallia Khairi
Tue, 06, 21

In an exclusive interview with You! makeup artist Anam Falak talks about her work and contribution to the beauty industry…


Anam Falak is a well-known international makeup artist and trainer in the Middle East, Asia, UK, US and beyond. She has been featured several times on the cover of reputed magazines. Her Instagram boasts over 850,000 followers and her Facebook with over 1.5 Million.

Anam grew up practicing makeup on her friends for fun at the age of 16. She started working as a freelance makeup artist in 2008 after attending Illamasqua School of Makeup trained by the then Head of Mac Europe, David Horne. She was also one of the first to be trained by Mario Dedivanovic and Samer Khouzami, so her style is perfectly to date with the latest in demand looks and she uses the crème de la crème of products. Apart from travelling and spending quality time with her family when she can, Anam has an enviable collection of statement sunglasses and is known for her accessories.

In an exclusive interview with You! the all-rounder Anam Falak talks about her skills and journey in the makeup industry...

Anam Falak

You! When and how did you get into the beauty business?

Anam Falak: I started my salon as a hair and makeup studio in 2008. By 2009, it was a full service salon. I was in medical school when I started; I took up a few courses in London during my university holidays for fun and never looked back since then! Makeup used to be a form of distraction and distressing therapy for me from all those medical books and exams!

You! Where did you get your training?

AF: My formal training was at the Illamasqua School of Makeup and the London School of Hair and Makeup in London, but 90 per cent of my training has been through experience.

You! What famous artists have influenced you?

AF: Samer Khouzami and Mary Greenwell. It’s ironic that they are now my friends.

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

AF: There are so many to name! And without offending anyone I would say I love how certain people can carry a minimalistic makeup every day without looking like they are wearing any.

You! Name three holy grail drugstore and high-end products that you absolutely love.

AF: These days, nearly all products are available at drugstores as well so here we go; I love the Laura Mercier Translucent powder, Dr Sebaghs rose oil or 111Skin rose gold serum makes for a great skin prepper, Trinny London BFF tinted serum for my foundation as I like a lighter coverage on my face for foundation and build more coverage using concealers (I love the Rodial diamond concealer), Nars liquid lipstick in American Woman and lastly, I love the Charlotte Tilbury airbrush powder foundation.

You! What are your favourite makeup tools to work with?

AF: My brushes, I cannot do without them! Also, my disposable glittery mascara and lipstick wands.

You! How has the beauty business changed here since you began?

AF: People have a lot more concern and knowledge about hygiene and brand awareness as well as trying to adapt to more international and subtler looks.

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

AF: They have more or less an idea of the look they already want but I love it when they let me do my own.

You! What is your biggest challenge while doing bridal makeup?

AF: I’ve been doing it since I was 16 so I would say I can pretty much do it with my eyes closed.

You! How is bridal makeup different from editorial makeup?

AF: It’s more adapted to how people would see it in real life verses editorial which needs to be camera and flash friendly which means everything needs to be a bit richer, deeper.

You! How would you describe your signature look and what is it about your style that sets you apart from other makeup artists?

AF: I am very versatile and can adjust my looks without compromising on my work quality according to my client’s requirement. The fact that I have worked on every ethnicity and trained with artists from the Middle East has given me more versatility. I feel my looks are more relatable too. I use very normal girls as models instead of commercial models most of the time because I want myself to be as approachable and my work to be as practical as possible. I want girls to look at it and say “hey, I can do this too, or this will look nice on me too because the girl it’s done on is not walking a ramp, she’s one of us.”

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

AF: I use a mild exfoliating liquid and a good hydrating masque as a primer be it in a cream or serum/oil form.

You! If a client has terrible skin, what technique do you use when applying foundation?

AF: Prepping the skin sets the pillars for foundation application. I try to use a good smoothing primer and a lightweight yet buildable foundation.

You! Suggest some tips to have your makeup last longer...

AF: Set with a translucent powder and use a makeup setting spray.

You! What is your favourite technique to contour?

AF: I love powder contouring, I love matte lowlights and highlights with it.

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

AF: I love neutral shades of beiges and browns graduating into each other, complementing them with bronzes and a bit of shimmer and extremely dark smudged black liners/kohl’s is even more lovely. The conventional dark eyes pale lip theory or vice versa is so 2008. That’s as far as makeup is concerned.

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

AF: Defining the crease, a little higher with matte sandy beige and a light lid with a bit of shimmer on the inner corners. Just smudging the lower lash line and avoiding any harsh or thick liners or lines.

You! What lip colours are in-vogue?

AF: Nearly all, except, they should be properly lined with a tad bit of a darker shade and gradually blended in. I love the bee stung lip look, personally.

You! What are some of the top three common mistakes women (esp. brown women) tend to make while doing their makeup?

AF: Too light a foundation that gives them a very grey/ashy look, not using a proper colour of concealer with the right amount of coverage which still shows the dark circles or eye bags and gives them a grey look as well. Also, too thick, ill-defined liners on lids.

You! Suggest a proper skin care regimen for all makeup enthusiasts who like to wear makeup every day?

AF: Use a good cleanser to take all your makeup off before bed; this should be your holy mantra. Double cleanse, use a cleansing balm and a cleansing face wash with a muslin cloth.

Use a good hydrating moisturiser with a minimum spf 30 during the day and alternate between an acid based or retinol based serum at night to repair your skin as skin renews itself during the night. Remember, the better your skin is the better your makeup will look.

You! What are your plans for the future (do you plan to collaborate with brands)?

AF: I have my YouTube already filmed and lined up, lots more content and some products. I have already collaborated with my favourite brands of all the time some of which include Charlotte Tilbury, Benefit, Tarte, Stila, Laura Mercier, Rodial Beauty, Lipstick Queen, Girlactik, Nars, Samer Khouzami, Trinny London, and countless skincare brands. However, I’ve got a few collaborations lined up which combine all of them for multi brand websites which I am really excited about.