With a long list of A-list celebrity clients, Khadija Chagani has quickly become one of Karachi’s go-to make-up artists. Having had a passion for beauty since she was young, she has gone on to create countless iconic beauty looks. OK! Pakistan has a tête-à-tête with the make-up artist to learn more about how she began her career, her favourite make-up looks, staying up to date with beauty trends and so much more…
How did your career begin in the beauty industry?
Khadija Chagani: My first ever step towards being a make-up artist was actually by accident. After my masters in marketing I joined Natasha’s make-up classes that she had just newly started to conduct. Later I got my license from the London College of Makeup and everything followed.
What is your favourite celebrity make-up look and why?
KC: I love love love Beyonce and JLO’s make-up looks. One feature is super prominent with the rest of their skin looking well bronzed, creating a perfectly balanced look, which is never cake-y. Dewy and bronzed is my way to go.
What, in your opinion, is the most important quality in a make-up artist?
KC: I think a make-up artist should know how to enhance your current features and make you feel comfortable in your own complexion. People come with different ideas of make-up in their minds and it is our job to convince them what would look nice while keeping what they want in mind.
How do you stay up-to-date with the latest beauty trends?
KC: Knowledge and skill has to be polished every few months, regardless of how high you are on your skill level. Social media has made it so much easier to stay updated with trends and I believe constantly experimenting with new looks is necessary.
For you, has something changed now, with masks?
KC: Not really. I would say it is so much better to have a mask on and follow all hygiene-related protocol because you are in very close physical contact with your client.
How do you pick the perfect red lipstick?
KC: It is always customised. Red lipsticks can be cool or warm undertoned, and a customised red lip is challenging but always turns out beautiful.
What is your favourite part of your job as a make-up artist?
KC: Creating challenging looks, getting to know your clientele, and striving to do the absolute best with every look you are handed over or wish to create.
Who is your biggest make-up inspiration and why?
KC: Samer Khouzami and Sir John. Both of them have their own versatile approach to make-up but boy aren’t they just amazing at what they do? The smooth skin effect is all that I crave paired with gorgeous eyes.
What are some of the main differences between doing make-up for film/TV projects versus bridals?
KC: They are poles apart. When you work for TV or films, 80 per cent of the time you have to apply more than you usually would on a client because the camera makes it all look less than it actually is. For instance, with regards to TV and films, the contouring, highlighting, and eye make-up needs to be prominent (yet blended).
As for bridals, it needs to be balanced. I don’t believe in over layering my brides. I want them to enjoy their make-up; making sure it doesn’t feel heavy on the skin. Glittery or smokey eyes are normally what brides prefer with red, pink or peach lips.
What are three beauty dos and don’ts?
Skin care regime
Foundation shade closest to your skin
Remove make-up thoroughly
Overdo facial procedures
Boxed stencil brows
Chalky under eyes due to wrong concealer tones
What advice would you give to people wanting to pursue a career as a make-up artist?
KC: Don’t follow the herd. Be yourself. Innovate, create, and don’t be afraid to exhibit your skill. Also, never think you’ve achieved it all, and always be on the lookout for learning something new everyday.
What do you love most about doing make-up?
KC: Meeting and interacting with all my clients. They have become family.
What would you say your signature look is?
KC: Smokey eyes, nude glossy lips and gorgeous bronzed skin.
Beauty Instagram profiles have become a major influence in the beauty industry, but you keep yours quite personal. How important are social platforms for you?
KC: Social media platforms are supremely important in this era where trends change quicker than seasons and you are being judged for every move you make. I try to keep my personal life as private as I can while keeping my profile a mix of my skill and hints of my daily routines here and there.
One thing you cannot live without?
KC: Perfumes! I think one needs to smell good at all times.
If you weren’t a make-up artist, what would you be?
KC: I would surely be somewhere in the marketing field or perhaps styling outfits.
INTERVIEW: MAIRA PAGGANWALA
PHOTOGRPHS COURTESY KHADIJA CHAGANI