From Hobby to Career: Naureen Nawaz's Journey as a Makeup Artist

From Hobby to Career: Naureen Nawaz's Journey as a Makeup Artist

Naureen Nawaz is a talented makeup artist and the creative director at the esteemed salon Peng's KDA. With a wealth of knowledge and experience in the industry, Naureen's passion for makeup artistry shines through in her work. Having studied abroad and completed numerous courses dedicated to mastering the art of makeup, she brings a unique and refined skill set to her clients. With a strong background in working with the renowned makeup brand MAC, Naureen is well-versed in the latest trends and techniques. Her expertise, combined with her artistic vision, allows her to create stunning looks that enhance natural beauty and leave a lasting impression. We got a chance to speak with the amazing makeup artist herself and couldn’t wait to hear her answers to some of our most pressing makeup questions. 

Q1. How did you get started as a makeup artist? What inspired you to pursue it as a career?

Ans. My love for makeup artistry initially started as a hobby. I remember genuinely enjoying creating looks for my friends and family. Even during my childhood, I would take out my mother's makeup and experiment with different looks for her and my siblings. Whenever we visited my grandmother's house, we would all start playing, and I would enthusiastically do everyone's makeup. The turning point came when I got married and people began approaching me to have their makeup done for various family events. Numerous individuals suggested that I pursue makeup artistry professionally, and that's when I decided to take it seriously and embark on a career in the field.

Q2. What do you find most fulfilling about being a makeup artist? Is there a particular moment or aspect of your work that brings you joy?

Ans. The most fulfilling aspect of being a makeup artist is witnessing the transformation of my clients, whether they are family, friends, or other individuals. It's the moment when they look at themselves in the mirror after their makeup is complete and realize, "This is how I truly look, beyond what I could have imagined." The joy and confidence that radiate from them when their entire look is finished is incredibly rewarding. Seeing those smiles on their faces once they're done brings me immense happiness. I believe that the best part of my work is that it genuinely brings happiness to people. Whether they're preparing for significant events or any special occasion, there is something remarkable about it. I feel honored when they consider me a part of their happiness, and it brings me great joy.

Q3. How would you describe your personal style as a makeup artist? Are there any particular aesthetics or techniques that you gravitate toward in your work?

Ans. My personal style is minimalistic. I strongly believe that people should feel comfortable and confident in their own skin, embracing their unique features. I aim to enhance their natural beauty – their skin, complexion, and individual features. I want my clients to feel beautiful just as they are. On a side note, I genuinely don't support the idea of changing one's complexion or features to fit a certain standard of beauty. For example, if someone has smaller eyes and desires bigger ones, I encourage them to appreciate their natural beauty instead. The true power of makeup lies in enhancing your inherent features, allowing a person to look stunning while staying true to themselves. This philosophy usually guides my approach to makeup.

There isn't one particular technique that I adhere to; they are constantly evolving. Each day brings new techniques, and sometimes while experimenting, I discover something that works. It could be a unique way of using a brush or a personal approach to achieve the desired effect. These methods may not be considered conventional or professional, but they work for me. Even in my professional work, I don't view makeup artistry as just a job. I enjoy exploring different ways of concealing or applying mascara because it can make a significant difference in the final result. The field of makeup is ever-evolving, and I embrace the constant change and growth it brings.

Q4. What do you believe sets you apart from other makeup artists in your industry? Is there a specific aspect of your work or approach that makes you unique?

Ans. Having worked with MAC in New York, I have developed a certain technique and aesthetic that has influenced my style. I enjoy using a lot of products but strive for a natural finish. I don't want the makeup to appear cakey or layered. Unlike the prevailing mindset here, where visible layers of makeup are often equated with the value of the products used, I don't share that perspective. For me, the challenge lies in achieving a beautiful and natural look despite using ample products. It's a different approach that requires careful execution.

Q5. What are some common makeup misconceptions you often encounter?

Ans. I often get people asking me about the "right" order of applying makeup, like whether to use concealer before foundation or why I start with the face instead of the eyes. But honestly, I don't think there are strict rules when it comes to makeup. It's more about expressing your artistic vision and personal style. I hear these kinds of misconceptions all the time, and I believe they stem from societal beauty standards.

For instance, some people think that only a specific type of eyeliner works for those with hooded eyes, or that blush won't suit certain jawlines. These ideas contribute to the "gora complex" in society, where certain features are considered more beautiful or desirable than others.

But here's the thing: I firmly believe that beauty is not limited to one skin tone. Everyone can look stunning in their own natural complexion. It's important to keep in mind that makeup can't magically make all imperfections disappear, like acne or blemishes. While makeup can provide some coverage, every skin has its own texture, and that's perfectly normal. Sometimes people expect makeup to completely hide their skin concerns, but it can only do so much. There's a limit to what can be covered up, and it's important to embrace and love our skin, imperfections, and all.

These days, there's a lot of pressure from social media and photo editing to achieve that flawless "glass skin" look. But let's be real, even the best skin has its natural texture, and that's okay. Thankfully, there's a growing awareness among some makeup artists, including myself, who are sharing unedited videos and pictures. We want to show that makeup can still look beautiful and enhance your features, even with the natural texture of your skin. It's a slow process, but people are starting to appreciate the beauty of real, unfiltered makeup results.

Q6. As an experienced makeup artist, have you come across any TikTok makeup trends that you found to be misleading or potentially problematic?

Ans. There are a lot of trends that are misleading! Recently, I saw one of those trends that really shocked me. I saw someone on social media putting on a black mask and then the foundation over it with the idea that the foundation would turn out flawless and beautiful. But of course, that wasn’t true at all! If you do that your foundation will just turn grey. 

There’s another one I’ve seen that’s become quite a viral makeup trend with someone and I’ve tried it myself too to check if it would work or not. It’s when you want to get the perfect winged eyeliner, you put some scotch tape under your eye and pull it off and once it’s done the eyeliner appears sharp and even, but the truth is if you try that, your eyeliner is likely going to come off. Don’t get me wrong there are many trends that are actually good but there are many of them that are edited and misleading.

Q7. How do you address specific skin concerns or sensitivities of your clients?

Ans. The face is a sensitive aspect for individuals. People genuinely care about their appearance and the condition of their skin. Therefore, it's crucial to approach discussions about skin concerns and sensitivities with utmost politeness and understanding. The goal is to make them feel comfortable and reassured, letting them know that they are not alone in facing such issues and that many others also embrace their uniqueness.

For instance, I have many clients with psoriasis, and I make sure not to make them feel bad about it. Instead, I emphasize that it's not a big deal and that many people experience similar challenges. I don't limit their makeup options or tell them that certain looks are off-limits due to their skin condition. Instead, I focus on using appropriate techniques and reassuring them that the end result will be beautiful. Throughout the process, I engage in conversation with them, emphasizing that these issues are common and that they should feel confident in their own skin. The goal is to make them look and feel their best, regardless of any perceived limitations. That's the approach I would take. 

Q8. What is the most memorable reaction you have received from a client after seeing their completed makeup look?

Ans.I have a memorable experience with one of my clients that stands out as the most amazing and fulfilling part of my work. This particular client was my bride for the "baraat" ceremony, and she was feeling incredibly anxious, which is quite common for my baraat brides. It's my responsibility to help them feel confident and ensure they look happy on their special day. I knew that if anything went wrong with her makeup, it would only add to her concerns and anxiety.

As I worked on her makeup, she expressed her emotions, and I reassured her that she would look beautiful. I reminded her that happy brides are the most beautiful and asked her to focus on the excitement of the occasion rather than any other worries. It was her big day, and I encouraged her to enjoy every moment.

When I finished her makeup and she looked at herself in the mirror, she was overwhelmed with joy. She hugged me tightly and insisted on taking a picture together. She expressed her gratitude and shared that she had heard stories of makeup artists being arrogant and not engaging much with clients. There were misconceptions and past incidents that had created this belief for her. However, after experiencing my work, she was over the moon with happiness. It was a profoundly beautiful feeling, and she assured me that she would always remember that special moment. It was truly an amazing experience.

Q9. How do you handle a client's request for a makeup look that you don't personally agree with?

Ans. I have encountered this situation many times, and I believe it's important to give clients what they want. Nowadays, clients are more aware and informed, thanks to stories and pictures they have seen. They often have a specific idea of how they want their makeup to turn out and what they expect from each makeup artist, as each artist has their own style and signature look.

When clients express their desires for certain skin and eye makeup, I try to find a middle ground. I don't want them to be unhappy, but I also provide guidance when necessary. For instance, if someone wants a fairer complexion, I explain that using excessive foundation can lead to a grayish appearance after a few hours or certain areas might look unnatural. I find that most clients are open to such explanations and agree to make adjustments.

The key is to establish a strong connection and have open conversations with clients. By understanding their specific preferences and what they are unwilling to compromise on, I can be more creative with other aspects of their makeup. In the end, I aim to create a look that they truly love while ensuring that it aligns with my expertise and artistic vision.

Q10. Can you share a story about your worst experience with a client as a makeup artist? How did you handle the situation?

Ans. It wasn't my client, but rather the client's attendant who was causing some issues. She happened to be the sister or sister-in-law of the bride. Despite the bride being happy with the makeup, the attendant expressed dissatisfaction and voiced her opinions. It was a challenging situation for me as I didn't want to be rude or offend anyone.

To handle the situation, I have now implemented a policy of not allowing attendants during the makeup process. This policy helps maintain a focused and peaceful environment. In this particular instance, the attendant was constantly bothering me throughout the makeup application. I'm not sure if she wanted to learn or if she was overly confident in her own knowledge. However, I politely requested her to sit downstairs and wait until the final look was ready. If any changes were needed, I assured her that my client's preferences would take priority, and adjustments would be made accordingly. Fortunately, everything turned out fine in the end. 

Q11. If a bride is not happy with their final look. How would you respond?

Ans. I haven’t had such an experience yet. But if anything like that happens I’ll make sure that they’re happy and comfortable about their look. I’ll ask them what’s bothering them and fix that. I think that’s the only solution, or I try to change a certain part that they don’t like. 

Q12. If you could do the makeup for any historical figure or celebrity from the past, who would it be and why?

Ans. In terms of international celebrities, I would have chosen Marilyn Monroe. I really love her. I loved her features and everything. I think she looked beautiful anyhow but I would love to play around her face. With Pakistani celebrities, it would have been Noor Jehan. Her personal makeup style has been so good and the way she carried herself was admirable. So these two would have been ideal for me.

Q13. What products are best suitable for a quick 5-minute makeup look?

Ans. I think a concealer, a lip and cheek tint, mascara, and a lash curler should do the trick.

Q14. Would you ever consider offering makeup classes in the future? 

Ans. Yes, for sure. We’re planning something along those lines so hopefully that will happen really soon.

Q15. What advice would you give to aspiring makeup artists starting their journey?

Ans. I would advise aspiring makeup artists to approach their craft with a sense of enjoyment. Makeup is not merely a job; it is a form of art that comes from within. It's important to always find pleasure in what you do and have fun while doing it. When you genuinely enjoy creating a certain look or experimenting with creative makeup, the results tend to be the best. Your passion and happiness will shine through in your work, and people will love it.

This is exactly how I approach makeup. I find great joy in doing it, and I have never viewed it solely as a business. For me, it's a fun job that I take personally. I believe this mindset is the key to success. Rather than being motivated by the fame or financial rewards that some makeup artists may achieve, focus on cultivating a deep love and appreciation for the art form. When you genuinely admire and enjoy what you do, you will excel in it.

To see more of Naureen Nawaz’s work click the link below: