Nothing makes us wake up and go like a steaming cup of coffee, and today we are joined by makeup artist and image consultant Asma Lootah – who much prefers a green juice to start her day.
Asma didn’t follow the traditional route of becoming one of the most sought after makeup artists in the region. She started out as an architect in the government sector, but she always loved makeup, and that passion drove her to find an artist to teach her all the tricks and after consistent practice on family and friends, she started to build a loyal customer base.
This transformative aspect of beauty encouraged her to sign up to a Image Consulting course at the London College of Fashion after which she quit her job to pursue her new career full time.
Below, she reveals her must-have products, the effect Instagram has on beauty and what she still hopes to achieve.
Describe your morning routine.
My morning routine is not something that’s similar every day. Working as a makeup artist and image consultant means some days I have clients in the morning, sometimes I just do some work so it depends. But when I wake up, the first thing I do is refresh my skin, I like to spray my face with rose water and then have my morning green juice – if you follow me on social media every day I post a recipe for my green juice – I’m not a coffee person at all. And then I kickstart my day.
Tell us a little bit about your career.
I’m an architect by degree, and I worked as an architect in the government sector for almost nine years. I started my passion for makeup when I was searching for a makeup artist for my wedding in 2010, and then I fell in love with images and artistry. Back then, Instagram was still starting, I searched for a makeup artist who can teach me in Dubai, and there wasn’t that much like nowadays. So I found an amazing makeup artist who taught me, gave me a private course and then I started applying makeup on everyone and anyone who would let me. Then I started taking clients gradually. So I had my day job as an architect and I was doing makeup in the evening and weekends as well. I loved fashion since I was young, my passion was makeovers and I loved watching makeover shows, on the Opera shows, so it really makes me feel amazing to see these before and after photo’s. So I started image consulting at the London College of Fashion two years ago and then I decided to quit my day job as an architect and do this thing full time.
What is the one makeup tool or product you can’t live without?
As a makeup tool it will definitely be my Beautyblender, if I don’t have it in my makeup kit I would panic. For a makeup product it depends, every now and then I change between products. So there’s no one single product I can’t live without.
What trends are you loving?
Trends nowadays is dewy skin, the natural dewy skin, skin that looks like skin, so light foundation that gives you that really natural finish is what is trending right now. I love also adding a little bit of shimmer eyeshadow on the lower lash line, it gives this sparkly eyes.
What is your take on the relationship between beauty and Instagram?
Instagram really influenced the beauty industry, social media in general influenced the beauty industry. We see how blogging effected the cosmetic industry and how they are launching new products to satisfy the consumer based on the bloggers and the reviews on YouTube. My Instagram, I take it as an inspiration and as an educational tool for my clients. It’s my marketing tool, this is how my clients find me, but I feel that Instagram trends are really strong but if you apply it on real life, not everything is applicable. You see these perfect eyebrows, perfect skin, the Facetuned skin, it’s not a real thing and we all know that. But I try to educate my clients in my makeup workshops, for example, how you can take these Instagram trends and apply them in real life in a way that looks really natural and approachable.
What do you consider your biggest career success to date?
Having repeated clients is my biggest success. When you have a client who comes to you the first time and then they hire you again and again, so you feel that when you gain their trust and they feel comfortable with you, I feel that this is my biggest success so far. I did some makeup for celebrities, and I’ve been featured in many magazines and many social media pages, and it’s a nice thing but the most satisfying thing for me is when I feel that there is this trust between me and my clients.
What’s is the motto you live by professionally?
Keeping a good reputation all the time, this is the most important thing, especially in my industry.
What has been the biggest challenge?
Having this work life balance. As a mum and as a image consultant and a makeup artist, I don’t have like a 9-5 job, I work on weekends, I work on holidays. Sometimes my kids are at home on holiday and I have to work, I believe this is the most difficult thing.
What do you still want to achieve?
As an image consultant I focus more on modest fashion. Modest fashion is booming and is very trendy on social media. Ladies are more aware now of modesty and fashion so feel here in the UAE, especially with my UAE clients, I’d love to educate them more about modest fashion being trendy and stylish and at the same time modest and elegant.
Who has influenced you the most?
In general I was so influenced by Oprah Winfrey. I used to watch her show all the time back then, loved the makeover especially when she does before and after. I love how she was inspiring, and how strong she was and proved that by being yourself, people will accept you and you’ll be more successful. In beauty industry I’m inspired by so many talented makeup artists; Pat McGrath, Charlotte Tilbury, Jordan Liberty. There are so many names out there.
If you could give your younger self one piece of advice, what would it be?
Believe in yourself and have more trust in yourself. I was so shy as a teenager growing up, and I knew back then I had talent and I had skills, but what I didn’t have is self-confidence to show it to the world.
What would you tell yourself 10 years from now?
Maybe enjoy your time a little bit more, live in the moment more.
Complete this sentence: I’m happy when…
I’m around my children, I’m happy when I’m at the beach – my favourite place, I’m happy when I have hugs from my clients after I finished doing their makeup or after giving them a full makeover and I see the sparkle in their eyes. I feel so happy.
What do you say ‘no’ to?
To anything that is against my values. If I don’t believe in something I would never do it. If it’s against my integrity, if it’s against honesty, definitely it’s a no from me.
Describe your personal style?
What book are you reading at the moment?
I’m actually reading two books. I’m reading a book called Ikigai, it’s like a Japanese philosophy of living a longer life. I’m really enjoying this book.
How do you want the world to remember you?
As a person who spread beauty, who made someone feel better about themselves. If I have an impact on a young lady, or a mum to feel more confident, to let herself shine from the inside out, I feel this is the impact or how I like people to remember me.