Make up artists are a dime a dozen but one new entrepreneur caught our eye and has been inspiring us with her artful work, treating make up as a message to show, your face is a canvas and everything is possible - in minimalism!
Smink by Shai is a delight experienced by the eye, and we spoke to the makeup artist, Shaireen Waquas herself!
What inspired your interest in makeup which led to making it a therapeutic experience?
My first makeup item was a Kajal back in 2004-5, when the whole Kajal trend became a thing, and all the girls in school wore it. My cousin and I grew up playing with our moms’ makeup, doing horrifying looks on each other. (And she does great makeup too, now!) I’ve never been good at drawing/painting, but I’ve always felt like making myself look good using makeup was something I was good at. How it led to being a therapeutic experience would be when I realized I could spend a good hour (or more) on just doing my face, and forgetting about everything else in the world!
How did the name Smink come about?
Oh man, picking a name is so hard. I knew I didn’t want it to be Makeup by Shaireen, so that was my first lead! I never intended on doing makeup professionally, until I literally just decided that this is the step that I need to take to actually achieve what I want, which is to produce makeup. So, I needed a name which didn’t sound like a blogger handle or too much of a makeup artist-y name but could potentially be turned into a brand name. Smink resonated with me, it sounded fun. It literally means makeup, but in Swedish, so it serves the purpose, and there’s no relevant brand name attached to it.
Is there any reference or comparison you would personally use to describe your personal make up style?
I basically learned everything from YouTube, so I’ve watched a looooot of makeup videos. My favorite makeup artist on YouTube, of all time, is Nikkie Tutorials. Her blending game is unmatchable, I feel, and so many of the products I’ve owned are because she loved them. I can only pray to be as good as her. Also, Rihanna’s makeup artist, Priscilla Ono is amazing! And of course, Mario, Kim Kardashian’s makeup artist. His smoky eye and contour game is on point!
What made you decide to start your professional page?
I’ve been doing makeup on friends and family members for as long as I can remember, and they’d always suggest that I start doing this professionally. But the general population here mainly gets makeup done for weddings, and while wedding looks are beautiful, they aren’t challenging and tend to get monotonous, which is why I didn’t want to do it professionally, as for me, the fun element would be lost. But then with more exposure, and change of trends, I was inspired, and realized I could do fun things on my page, and cater to a niche, while also being available for the other side of this job.
What inspires you when creating new looks/creative ideas?
I’m not going to lie; I’m trying to maintain a “feed” on Instagram. I’ve actually completed my first series which was the Rainbow series. Except I’ve done 6 colors instead of 7 because violet and indigo felt too similar, so I mixed them up. My inspiration was quite obviously colors, which is what makeup to me, is all about. I was brainstorming with my friend Tooba and we decided to start with a rainbow theme. I’ve just decided to wing it with most of the looks - and I have an excellent photographer @samanaansariphotography.
What are some of your favorite products?
I love the Fenty Beauty foundation, the hydrating one. It’s not too heavy coverage and is buildable. I also love the Laura Mercier translucent setting powder. MAC lipsticks are great, and I love Fenty Beauty’s Stunna Lip Paint collection. If talking locally though, I’m very proud of Masarrat Misbah. They have a great foundation, and I’ve repurchased their face powder at least 7 times.
Your go to makeup look would be...
On a work day, I generally just apply concealer where I need it, mostly under my eyes, set it with powder, mascara, blush, brush my eyebrows and wear lipstick. But these days, if I’m to go out with friends, I love doing a colored eyeliner to match what I’m wearing.
The names used for your looks, such as Purple Haze and Change of Green are so vibrant and lovely like the makeup itself, is it a form of expression?
You could say that, yes. Makeup is supposed to be fun, and it’s a mood. I try to make sure my captions are also fun, and sort of relatable to what the makeup look is.
Out of all the looks you’ve created so far, which would you say is your favorite?
Looks wise I like them all, photoshoot wise, may be not so much. But I can say that the green look is probably the first time I successfully did a graphic liner! The blue look was a really nice one, it was free hand and the wings turned out quite sharp so I was happy with that, too.
Who would you love to work with here?
Anyone, really! I would love to do actual runway makeup on some of our top models, too.
Who would you love to do make up for - dead or alive (can be multiple people)?
Rihanna, for sure. I LOVE her. I’d love to do makeup on Nikki, that would be fun! Kim Kardashian basically brought contouring into my life, even though it’s always existed, so her too.
What can we expect next?
I started 2 months ago, so I can’t say much yet. But stay tuned to @sminkbyshai to find out