Institute: Can you tell us a bit about your background? How did your career begin in makeup?
Fatima: I’m self-taught – I’ve been passionate about makeup since I was 15, and I’ve spent most of my time since then to read, watch, practice, research and learn as much as possible. The interesting thing about learning makeup through formal education is that when you’re building your own style, you need to unlearn what you’ve been taught in order to truly own your work. I’m also a fashion designer (with a college education and a successful business in that field) and I’ve used my experience there to be holistic in planning and executing my projects. I’ve also spent a lot of time learning the ropes inside studios by learning retouching and photography – all of this helps me be a better makeup artist because I know how all the different disciplines are connected and how one change here affects something else over there.
Institute: What is your number one beauty tip?
Fatima: Sleep and eat well. Workout and live a healthy life. De-stress. Some people think makeup is supposed to ‘cover up’ but in reality it’s there to enhance and highlight the best of you. If your skin is in good health, you will look great, with or without makeup.
Institute: Do you like creating out-there looks, or do you prefer classical beauty?
Fatima: In a competitive industry you need to stand out when you’re starting, and most of initial portfolio has been about creating completely unique looks. However, creating classical looks is a core aspect of any makeup artist’s training so it’s not something you can ignore. As you evolve as an artist, your goal should be to master all types of looks, and let the project determine what you need to create. Personally, I like creating something that is unique and memorable.
Institute: What is favorite makeup brand?
Fatima: Yaby Cosmetics. Because it’s super pigmented, has an amazing selection of colours, it’s compact. It’s everything that a makeup artist needs.
Institute: What is in your makeup bag?
Fatima: Chanel VITALUMIÈRE, Chanel Bronzer Universal, Chanel Powder Universal, MAC Clear Lipgloss, Stila Convertible Color Dual Lip/Cheek Palette, MAC Brow Gel and Maybelline Great Lash Mascara.
Institute: Does everyone look better with makeup?
Fatima: Makeup isn’t simply about applying products. It’s a process – what’s your outcome – are you going to a red carpet event or out to have dinner with friends? What’s your personal brand? Are you an out-there, extravagant, statement-maker or a reserved person. Just as you dress for the occasion and according to your personal style, your makeup depends on who you are and what you want. Makeup – done right – will make anyone look better. Done poorly – oh well… :)
Institute: What would be your advice to someone who suffers with bad skin?
Fatima: Hydration, change your diet, see a dermatologist, change your makeup if you can identify something that aggravates your skin. Healthy skin is the foundation of creating a great look.
Institute: If you could obtain a Super power what would it be?
Fatima: A magic makeup wand. A makeup artist’s work is like magic in any case, isn’t it?
Institute: How do you keep yourself occupied in between projects?
Fatima: I’m usually researching and preparing for future projects, learning new techniques and perfecting old ones, and of course, traveling. I make sure I get some quiet time at home now and then to recharge the batteries.
Institute: Who influenced you in your early years? Who is your biggest influence now?
Fatima: Kevyn Aucoin is top of my list – he’s an industry-defining icon whose work I’ve learned a lot from, and been inspired by. There’s also Alex Box – another artist whose work I really admire. These days I get my inspiration from a lot of different sources – I do tons of research before each project to ensure that I can create unique, original looks. As you evolve as an artist, it’s less about following others and more about developing your own style, so everything I do now, I can proudly say it’s my own creation.
Institute: How hard do you push yourself?
Fatima: Depends on your definition, doesn’t it :) I just worked on a 6-day catalogue shoot, 12-14 hour days. Shoots like those take preparation, so it’s 1-2 days of full prep and then a week of a whole lotta work and very little sleep. Being in good health is crucial and very under-rated for any artist. If you’re working long hours with little sleep, your fitness is your base of support for surviving everything. I’m always challenging myself to improve when I’m working on a project, even if it is just by 1% each time.
Institute: Favorite city?
Institute: Favorite hotel?
Fatima: Shigar Fort – it’s a 17th century palace in the scenic north of Pakistan, restored over a decade ago. A fantastic place to go to unwind and see the mountains.
Institute: Favorite restaurant?
Fatima: Armani Ristorante.
Institute: signature scent?
Fatima: J’Adore by Christian Dior.
Institute: Style icon ?
Fatima: Grace Kelly.
Institute: Home is?
Fatima: Where my husband is. And my cat.
Institute: I love …
Fatima: Shopping. Can’t get enough of it.
Institute: I hate…
Fatima: Unprofessional and rude people.
Institute: latest purchase ?
Fatima: A DSLR camera.
Institute: currently listening to?
Fatima: The Heavy.
Institute: You can never have too many?
Institute: Beauty Essential?
Fatima: Moisturiser and Tinted Lip Balm.
Favorite website – Amazon.
Institute: Where do you think trends are created ?
Fatima: Artists borrowing ideas and applying their own takes to them. It’s an iterative process, and while you do get outliers where something completely unique comes along and takes the fashion world by storm, usually it’s done slower, iteration on iteration, until an artist is confident enough to unleash their creation in a fashion show or photo shoot.
Institute: Highlight of your career to date?
Fatima: I recently wrapped up a catalogue project working with Khaadi, one of the top clothing brands in Pakistan. The shoot will be on billboards, TV and print media nation-wide in June 2015.
Institute: Top Five Fashion Essentials?
Fatima: Swarovski Watch, Vince Camuto Bag, Bvlgari Sunglasses, Pretty Ballerinas Shoes and Mexx Clothing