In an age of Instagram make-up tutorials, YouTube beauty-whizzes and, yes, even the Kardashians, the presence and absence of make-up on people is at the forefront of beauty conversations. From Pakistan, Nabila, is synonymous with all things beauty, being a forerunner in editorials and the trusted eye for many of the country’s top celebrities. Not only does she have a great eye, Nabila has evolved her career to include a number of salons across cities, and a makeup line ‘Zero Makeup’ that hit the shelves at department store Bloomingdales in Dubai on Friday.
“Beauty is a fickle business,” says Nabila, “what’s new today is old tomorrow. What’s old today is new tomorrow. Trends are constantly changing.”
The flighty nature of what is in fashion is something the beauty guru does not take lightly.
She said she was grateful that “‘change’ is my middle name. I wouldn’t be caught dead not being on point.”
When asked how the beauty industry, particularly in Pakistan, had changed since she began her career Nabila said simply: “Beauty hasn’t changed much, the awareness has.”
The Zero Makeup palette which launched in late 2016 as a makeup palette that combined the reigning trend of contour with the aesthetic and approach of minimalism, and that too for the often underrepresented skin tones, including those found here in Pakistan.
“I have 32 years of hands-on experience of brown skin. Luckily, the majority of the world is browning. South Asia, South America, Central Asia is predominantly shades of dark or light browns.”
“Zero Makeup is an all-in-one face perfecting palette and it gives you flawless results in less than a minute. That’s the whole concept – that you reach out for one box,” Nabila added.
The launch of Fenty Beauty by singer Rihanna, which set a drastic shift for the beauty market when it debuted with not a few, but 40 shades of make-up to be for everyone, a new approach to customers that Nabila had also strived for.
“Before going global I had to add the Caucasian and African palette. It’s very important for Zero Makeup to be an ‘all inclusive,’ and complete range.”
But though Nabila is a force in the world of beauty, the idea behind her Zero Makeup is not only to serve a market that is hopelessly missing products that cater to it, but also to spread her message that to wear make-up is a celebration of what is already present.
Her launch in the UAE, where there is a significant number of South Asians and international ethnicities present, was not without some hesitation. Though she preaches the “less is more” ideal, Dubai and the UAE is known for a full face on any given day.
“When I saw fully made up faces casually lunching, my heart sank thinking how will I ever sell zero makeup to this mentality,” Nabila explained, “I feel strongly that although presently there is a lot of media hype on the ‘fake-up’ look, the confident successful women would always go for the undetectable natural look that makes them look like a better version of themselves.”
Nabila plans to go further into the product development space with hair, which she describes as, ‘her first love,’ and on to skin. When asked what she wants more out of the Pakistan industry from where she grew her roots, her message stays consistent, “Individuality and diversity.”