I grew up hearing elders telling me “ You look beautiful the way you are” . This just encouraged me to be as natural as can be. When I started working, I would just have thin eyeliner and a brown or maroon lipstick on. I wanted to have pink lipstick so much, but I heard people tell me that pink wouldn’t suit my skin tone so I stayed away from it. All theses drew me more away from the world of makeup. I had my first full makeup done during my wedding and still remembered hating the makeup artist for changing my whole face. Again, another reason for not liking makeup. After marriage, I remember my sister-in-law pushing me to apply some makeup as it doesn’t look like I was married at all and mostly she would do my makeup because she knew I would just touch the applicator on my skin and won’t let any color show. I embraced simplicity. That was me back then. By simplicity, I mean truly simple . Though I still couldn’t appreciate the simplicity when looking at myself in the mirror, but all I thought was I am beautiful this way. But to be honest, I couldn’t justify that fact. I love how I feel when my skin is makeup-less , but I never have liked how I looked bare face all the time. I wanted some change but I couldn’t figure out what , because I kept telling myself it is not makeup that I want. I feel “myself” when I have no makeup on because I wear hijab and I am supposed to be simple and modest.
After moving to Dubai, my husband expressed his desire to see my dressing table all decorated and filled with beauty related products, like most girls have. My dressing table was clean and clear, everything was inside the drawers as I kept everything away from my kids and those were oils, deodorant and powders only. I never paid attention to what he said back then . One day ,he asked me to buy a lipstick that was a pink but not too dark, something more natural. I understood he meant nude lipstick. That was the day I bought lipstick for myself for the very first time. I would use that happily as it was not bright and would match my hijabi persona. That lipstick changed my life. The experience of buying something for myself made me feel so alive. That lipstick shade looked so good on me and I loved looking at myself. That nude shade taught me a lesson for life, that I can still look almost natural as I want even with makeup on at the same time I learned to appreciate my beauty. I looked younger , fresh, girlish and stylish. I discovered a new love that day, the love for makeup and started experimenting, watched YouTube makeup tutorials, bought different makeup and like any human being would be, I got carried away. I went way out of my comfort zone and applied makeup the way I want, bold. I never cared if it would match the modest fashion I am practicing or not, I do that because I love to look beautiful with makeup.
I am not a very spiritual person , but yes, I am close to Allah. I knew He guides whom He wants to. I applied as much makeup as I wanted, created different looks from simple to glamorous, discovered my talent of makeup artistry and now what? This was the question. Am I setting a good example this way, I have three younger sisters and a daughter who look up to me as their idol, is this what I want them to learn? Do I want them to learn makeup or do I want them to do hijab as I do. My priority was hijab. Now, with hijab comes modesty. Red lips and black smokey eyes was not modest at all, at least for me. These thoughts lingered through my mind each and every day. I felt guilty of crossing my limits , how did I forget that I had to take care of my hijab too. At one point I thought of giving up hijab, because I love my makeup. I spent a lot on makeup, how can I just leave it. I feel happy when I play with them. Then at some point, I felt like giving away my makeup and donate some to ladies who would be interested. But if I did that, would I be happy? I will be so unhappy. No, I can’t do that.
Hijab is my identity and I love makeup. I couldn’t give up either of the two for each other. I had to find a way to make these two part of my life, together. And I did. That’s why makeup is an art, with art you can make anything work. When going out, I would choose neutral shades, colors that will define my features but not look loud at all. When I feel like doing a bold look, I would do that when I am at home. My husband loves to see me dolled up. So I feel inspired to give myself time and wear makeup even when I am just at home. The 40 to 45 minutes I spend on myself is like a therapy, meditation that awakens every inch of my bone and increase blood circulation. I may sound crazy but I’m sure many can relate.
With all that being said, I still love the makeup-free me, most of the times I am without makeup. But the thought of discovering myself around makeup is a different feeling and incorporating it with hijab is an uber satisfaction. It is important to find out what makes you happy and moreover work on achieving the complete package of happiness.