The Story of Working Backstage..

I've been wanting to write a blog about the backstage experience. So, last week, I had the perfect opportunity for this. I participated the Arab Fashion Week in Dubai, working with Lipstick Makeup Institute – the key partner in providing the makeup services for this event. It's not my first time to work with them - they were actually the first to support me when I literally had zero experience - so I gladly joined them when they asked.

The event itself was exhilarating, just walking into the Meydan Hotel was an experience. You could see the theme of fashion and style all over the place. Backstage, the place was bustling with artists, hair-dresses, designers, models, hotel staff, media specialists, singers, supporters, …. There is something magical about being in the midst of all of this, and working within an immense team – as a single individual yet contributing to the overall success.

It was my first time working with the Illamasqua brand. They generously provided all of the makeup we used. I was quite impressed with the quality of their makeup. Their foundation coverage is quite incredible. You literally need the smallest amount to cover the entire face – and it has a very smooth and flawless finish to it.

As part of the experience which I personally loved was getting to meet new and wonderful people. Although there are many, I’d like to mention a few of them in this post – just because they left an impression on me, and there’s always something you can learn from each person you meet.

First the beautiful Leen, who is co-founder of Jeans Couture, and I had the honor of doing her makeup. She is a Saudi designer and of a really young age. Yet, she had extreme confidence and knew exactly what she was doing. I was impressed by her choice to go with a very simplistic and natural type of makeup that just enhanced her features. It goes to show you that age that doesn’t matter and you can achieve what you set your mind to.

Second the models were just wonderful. Each one was an important piece of the puzzle of my story. There are four in particular that I would like to mention:

  • I was taken by surprise by the beautiful Nesrin Sanad, who made me smile with her determination and character. She has stunning cat eyes and a strong “presence” that surprised me to know she was Egyptian. She's also hugely successful if you check out her instagram profile. This shows what you can achieve when you step out of the traditional box / societal expectations.

  • Jelena Markovic has the most gorgeous lashes- but what amazed me about her is how she was willing to snooze off a bit (quite exhausted as she was), while I worked on her makeup. To me this is about trusting people around you. There are times when we all need to learn to let go and just submit, and she did just that.

  • Tatiana Velichutina. As I worked on Tatiana she was very patient, and then out of the blue she looked at me and said “you are a very good makeup artist”. That immediately lit up my face – and re-energized me to continue working even though my back had started to hurt me. Thankyou Tatiana for your kind words- which you probably didn’t realize but it did make a huge difference for me. My learning is to never underestimate the power of your words to other people.

  • I wanted to conclude with Alba Riquel, because in my humble opinion she embodied the true meaning of my motto “let your inner beauty shine through”. I don’t know Alba on a personal level – this was the first time to meet her – but there is something about her spirit that just comes across to the person in front of her. She has this lovely smile that never comes off for her face – so here’s to retaining the power of our inner selves.

Third, I was working along side many wonderful makeup artists, including our Head Makeup Artist Liv Rideg. It’s always a wonder to watch her apply makeup as she does it so effortlessly and flawlessly. She's brilliant at what she does. I will not mention all of the other artists in fear of inadvertently missing one… but I was truly inspired and motivated by every one of them! They were all true artists and always pushing to give their best. You know who you are! Keep up your beautiful vibe and passions!

Finally I would like to thank Yassmin Hussain for providing me with this wonderful opportunity to work along side this team and for this great experience, and for the beautiful pictures she shared with me. She's a very determined lady looking out to be the best in what she does, and that's something to look up to! She also provided all the makeup artists who participated with certificates to recognize our efforts - Big thankyou for this wonderful gesture! Looking forward to more in the future!

Before I sign off, hope you enjoy some of these shots from the Arab Fashion Week. Check out my Instagram and Facebook page for more shots of my work. Or go directly to the Lipstick Makeup Institute to see the entire team effort.

PS. Pics shares are Personal iPhone, YH Studios and Now Fashion.

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