My love for makeup started very early. As any artist will tell you, there was a moment in childhood when I watched my mother put on her makeup, watched her transform and was forever addicted to the transformation it created. I began noticing women’s hair color, skin tones, and lighting; and how it all came together and could change a person in an instant.
It was years later that I realized this thing I loved was called makeup. In my teenage years I discovered Kevyn Aucoin and Bobby Brown’s books, and it was like someone had put a validation stamp on my dreams. Everything I envisioned when I looked at faces, Kevyn and Bobby translated. So I was not crazy! This was an actual profession and people got paid well to perform it.
Unfortunately, in my culture at the time, even the mention of makeup was taboo. Worse, creativity was looked down upon. I was told repeatedly that not only was being an artist silly, but that because I was a girl I shouldn’t dream. There was nowhere for me to go, and aspiring to do something with my life was frivolous. I was to be married and go from my father’s, to my husband’s, house.
The freedom and creativity that was bursting inside of me had nowhere to go, so I withdrew into my own world and dreamt of the day when I would be successful so I could be the woman I wanted to be.
The journey wasn’t easy, and I’m skipping a few years here; eventually I did become a makeup artist (yes I went to school) and built a name in the UAE. I loved every minute of it. I loved my clients, I loved the transformations. But after a few years, and after winning a makeup artist award, I felt something was missing. I wanted to get away, so I moved to Vancouver … that didn’t last long. I left after only 6 months.
At this point I had kind of lost hope and didn’t know what to do with my life. Going back to doing makeup seemed incomplete, like I needed something else to add to my resume. So one day, I looked up at the sky and asked for guidance. I had nothing to lose. I had nothing to hold on to. It was a hunch that took me to the library, where I looked through a book on beauty, saw a beautiful model with gorgeous hair, and something in me clicked. “I want to do that,” I thought. The next day I signed up for hair school, and in 10 gruelling months learned all about hair color, perms, roller sets, and cutting. I had always enjoyed doing my own hair but hated doing clients’ hair. It was so foreign; yet I was constantly asked to do blowdries and up-dos.
Looking back, I had always enjoyed caring for my own hair with masks and oil concoctions, and after getting mullets instead of long layers and even having it fried (bleached twice and foiled in one sitting) by professional stylists I had taken matters into my own hands and was cutting my own hair and getting compliments on it!
So it all made sense - there was a passion for hair somewhere within me, and because I enjoyed it so much I knew I could bring that to my clients as an added service.
I graduated hair school in January 2017 and began specializing in cutting.
But my dreams did not stop there. I was still fascinated by color. I still loved looking at how hair color transformed a person - whether for better or for worse.
I learned that ash tones do not look good on me, and warmer tones tended to suit me better. I began asking questions about undertones and palettes, but no one seemed to give me a straight answer. Why did everyone request ash tones while I loved golden tones? Why did some people look better in red hair than others? Why did blue-black hair color look better on some people but not others?
There was no real system to determine someone’s colors, and it frustrated me! So I searched online all about color and skin tones, and after months and months of digging, found an incredible teacher who had an in-depth certification on color analysis. It was pricey. I signed up.
After becoming certified in color analysis, I was transformed. It is liberating to understand undertones and palettes, and it’s so much more satisfying to know which shade of brown looks better on which client.
At the salon, I almost always suggest that clients with natural hair use color to bring out their natural undertones and help harmonize their image. And as a makeup artist, I request that clients do an undertone test and prefer a full color analysis to help guide us to their best palettes.
There is so much more for me to learn. Starting by connecting the missing dots in the beauty industry is where I find myself - the art of customization. The missing gaps in the beauty industry are forcing me to customize my services just for you, because it’s frustrating, isn’t it?
We’re so overwhelmed with the bombardment of images and products that it’s easy to forget who we are in all of it.
My mission is to go back to basics; to find your core persona away from all the noise and create an image and an aesthetic that is truly yours and yours alone.
Photo by Lyndsay Doyle