Beauty Industry in Pakistan has grown to become quite a profitable business, all thanks to the rising sense of fashion and décor in our young generation.Young girls often need a role model growing up, someone they can look up to for inspiration, someone who is larger than life yet intensely human, brilliant and warm and yet someone they can easily relate with.
Anum Rasheed, currently the Head of Marketing at HKB and with a vast experience in Beauty and Cosmetic Industry, seven years to be precise, (previously, Vice President Product Development at Luscious Cosmetics and Area Sales Manager at Oriflame International) is one such person. An epitome of positivity and grace, a charming and beautiful person, inside out; Anum makes it difficult for you to stop talking to her once you start.
The Wedding Blog team recently sat down with her for our audience, especially the soon-to-be-brides and we hope you enjoy the insight she gave us as much as we cherished our little tete-a-tete with her!
Q1: What are the essentials to a good makeup routine?
Anum: The first and foremost thing is: KNOW your skin type. Yes, it takes a while for one to completely understand what spectrum does one’s skin fall into (is it very oily, it is dry, is it sensitive and so on and so forth) but in this day and age it is much quicker and easier to identify that. It becomes much simpler to pick out the products that will suit your skin type, be it for your skin care regime or generic color cosmetics. For instance, Tea Tree based products usually really suit acne prone skin; however, the one-size-fits-all approach never works hence, my emphasis on knowing YOUR own skin.
Having said that, these three basic steps are a prerequisite for good skin: cleansing, toning and moisturizing and this must be done on a daily basis. One little tip that I’d like to add is that NEVER go to bed with make up on, it not only leads to break outs but to clogged follicles, wrinkles, painfully parched skin and a lot more as less oxygen gets to the skin, slowing down the usual renewal process, resulting in uneven and dull textured skin.
Q2: So what do you suggest would be a good way to take care of your skin and hair?
Anum: Again, stick to the basics: WATER! Not only does it help you maintain the optimum skin moisture level, replenishes the skin tissue and increases its elasticity but also keeps the skin well hydrated and glistening.
Moving on, as they say “Der Mensch ist, was er ißt.” Which translates into English as ‘man is what he eats’ and essentially means that the food one eats has a bearing on one’s state of mind and health. Thus, having a balanced diet is the key to a radiant inner and outer self.
Moreover, along with eating right, I am a big advocate of working out and exercising; we have the common misconception here that you should only work out if you want to lose weight or just before your wedding to tone up. When one works out certain chemicals and hormones are released such as endorphins, serotonin etc. which lead to multiple benefits such as increased energy levels, improved muscle strength, enhanced immune system, improved sense of well-being etc.
Moving on, your hair plays a pivotal role in making you who you are, in my opinion, it defines you, it’s an extension of you and your hair care routine should be specific to your hair type-straight, wavy, curly. For instance, since I have curly hair, the biggest challenges I face is dryness, lack of curl definition and frizz, therefore, I always oil my hair before washing it use a leave-in conditioner. Similarly, if someone has straight hair they do not need much conditioning since it’s already soft and smooth but instead require volume therefore, volume enhancing products will work for them.
Q3: Which makeup brands would you suggest for new brides and young girls?
Whoa! That’s a difficult one because there are just SO many brands and products that are my personal favorites and I swear by; I absolutely love and recommend the Armani Luminous Silk Foundation, it feels really light and looks quite natural, however, if one is looking for a cheaper brand with medium to high coverage then Loreal Infallible-Advanced Never Fail Makeup is great!
Similarly, when it comes to each product, there is such a wide variety available and that too across all brands; for instance, if we talk about jeweled eye pencils, now these are available in Urban Decay and Luscious Cosmetics ; you just need to see what fits your budget and then, well, just buy it!
So what I mean is that be it your high-end brands, like Dior, Charlotte Tilbury, Armani, Laura Mercier, Bobbi Brown, Chanel, Nars, Lancome, YSL (Touche Eclat Radiant Touch, all the way!!) or the more affordable drugstore brands such as Maybelline, NYX, Medora, Flormar, Huda Beauty, Benefit, Luscious, Rivaj, Masarrat Misbah makeup or the likes, everything is available and you just have to test it out to know if it works well with your skin type and skin tone.
However, if I were to recommend a few brands that are easy on the pocket and have great quality, those would be Benefit, Color Pop, NYX (absolutely LOVE it), BareMinerals, Loreal, Luscious, Kryolan (yes, this too, their TV Paint Stick Foundation is a dream come true when it comes to covering the dark circles), Anastasia Beverly Hills, Etude & Flormar (the pigment in their blushes is to die for!)
I could go on and on because this is what I absolutely live for but one small thing I’d like to add is that please check the expiry (mascaras tend to go bad after around six months so please go easy on your eyes and change it); the PAO (Period After Opening) sign on the box tells you how long can you easily use the product so make sure you read that. Also, a few products, especially eye shadows and lipsticks can have lead and lead is not only poisonous is large amounts, but also in trace amounts so please ensure that you buy cruelty-free brands that are not only lead-free, but also free from potentially other toxic chemicals.
Q4: In your opinion what would be the best place to purchase skin care and makeup products?
Well, if you’re abroad then this is definitely a no-brainer, SEPHORA of course! You get to see, feel, test and try every single brand be it color cosmetics or some skin care product. However, if that’s not possible then honestly, thanks to e-commerce one can get absolutely anything here with trustworthy online retailers such as Shopaholic (https://www.shopaholic.com.pk/)-they deliver everything (every-single-brand-on-the-planet) on time and one does not have to stress out thinking if the product is original because they can be trusted and will even show you the original invoice!
I’ve personally bought quite a few products from them and (touch wood) to date, I have not been disappointed. However, if buying makeup online is not your cup of tea because you like to see, touch and feel the product then one can definitely check out HKB but while you test the product just make sure, you test it in terms of the quality, the color pigment, the staying power etc. so you know what to expect later.
Q5: Since you have a lot of experience working in the cosmetics and the beauty industry, what advice would you give soon to be brides on how to start preparing for their weddings?
Anum: Positivity is my mantra. I’ve always believed that if your inner self is at peace and is content, everything else, no matter how huge or trivial will fall into place eventually. Weddings can be a stressful and emotional time for both the bride and the groom and their families, and not everything is hunky dory, things often do not turn out as we plan them but one needs to stay calm and positive.
I think one attribute that really helps one hold on is being patient and not just being patient with others but yourself too, in fact especially with yourself. My advice to any soon-to-be-bride would be to keep calm, look for happiness and happiness will find you and MOST importantly, ask God for guidance; if you feel like you’ve reached a dead end, ask God for help, no matter what it is.
I’ve always believed, the more you thank God, the more He blesses you so ensure that during this busy time you take out a little time (even a few seconds or minutes) to reflect on all your blessings and you will automatically start feeling positive and optimistic and will understand that things may not work out perfectly all the time but that too is okay.
Q6: So if we talk about the biggest concern a bride has: her Wedding day look, what do you think are factors that will help in the bride looking her absolute best on the big day?
Anum: RESEARCH. The day and age we live in, every single trend, every single product is accessible and available to us. This social media influx ensures that we exactly know every single international trend, the makeup looks, the colors, the cuts and the likes. Thus, before the actual big day, one needs to do their share of research with regard to the color, the theme, the look, the cut, every single thing that they want.
There is a plethora of avenues and options available now when it comes to the wedding day makeup, hairstyles and the jora for the big day! Depending on your personal taste, you can opt for the minimalistic look or go for something more maximalist, but the critical factor here is to know what you want, well in advance, and try out the looks at least a month or two before your big day with the hairstyles (be it open, tied up, loose or anything else) so you know what to expect.
Furthermore, do your research with regard to the salon to know what exactly will compliment your taste, meet the make-up artist and the hairstylist and talk to them about what you would like, discuss your look in detail with them, ask for their opinions and keep at it till you’re satisfied and are content with it . I firmly believe that communication is the biggest tool you have because the other person, be it your makeup artist, hair stylist, videographer, décor manager etc, is not a mind reader so how can you expect them to deliver exactly what’s in your head? And if you do not want to be shell-shocked on your own wedding, I suggest start TALKING!
Q7: What about the Wedding dress? Is it actually true that the more expensive your jora is the more beautiful you will look on your wedding day?
Anum: Not at all actually! With the shaadi ka jora I suggest you keep a budget in mind and then work around your budget. Again, do your research and see what fits your budget; remember expensive does not necessarily mean good; something cheaper can look much more elegant if done the right way (the color hues, the cuts etc).
These days the world is your oyster-from a high-end designer dress to a more affordable jora, any and everything is available provided YOU know what exactly you want-do you want a traditional dress or do you want it to be more modern? Do you prefer heavily embellished joras over minimal embroidery? No one can answer these questions for you, except you! So just like with everything else, know what you want and if you’re not sure, ask your mother, your sister, a friend or your spouse to be.
The idea is to take your time before settling on the style of your dress, the color palette, the decorative details etc and even after all of this is done and sorted, make sure you are actively involved in what you want and communicate your apprehensions, do NOT leave anything up to chance, the more active and vocal you are, the lesser you’ll have to worry about on the actual day!
Q8: Lastly what advice would you give brides for the day of their Wedding and how they should be feeling?
Anum: Do what you love, more so on THE day! You need to wake up feeling like this is YOUR day! Whatever makes you happy, be it hugging your mother or father, eating ice cream, petting your dog, or absolutely anything under the sun, follow Nike’s mantra: JUST DO IT! Also, ensure that you get a good night’s sleep before the big day, eat a hearty breakfast, thank God for your blessings and definitely call up your better half and see how he/she is feeling, do anything that will help you put your mind at ease. And most importantly, get ready to have an amazing time and make a lifetime of cherished memories!!