Born and raised in Lebanon, Hala Ajam stuck with her passion and studied the art of makeup in Beirut and Hollywood. The two glamorous cities left a mark on the artist, which then helped her craft her own signature and style of work that is “an inimitable Lebanese-American mélange.” Since then, Ajam became famous for her specialization in makeup for TV and photography, her artistry has led her to work with numerous star artists and celebrities, and editorials. Today, Ajam has her own makeup studio in Downtown Lebanon.
People go to Hala Ajam because she is a strong believer in the old philosophy “less is more” and in the power of natural beauty; and you can read all about it in her debuted makeup book Face to Face, where she talks about how she wants the woman of today to look their best, without being swayed by society and things that go against their real identity.
We chatted with the Lebanese makeup artist, as she shares her top tips on how to get a beautiful, sun-kissed glow that doesn’t look like you tried too hard.
Tell us how to get the perfect sun-kissed glowing look. (A step-by-step with the exact products and techniques you use on A-listers)
Follow 6 simples steps and you will get the perfect glowing skin as if you had a wonderful day at the beach.
- Use a BB cream all over the face; I like BB beauty booster Lingerie De Peau from Guerlain or CC+ Illumination from It Cosmetics.
- Follow with Cremeblend Blush from Mac Cosmetics on the apple of the cheeks for a natural peach flushed cheek.
- For those with oily skin, set the look with loose powder on the center of the face and under the eyes, after use NARS’ Banc De Sable Highlighter Palette to highlight the cheek bones and the bridge of the nose, and don’t forget the inner corners of your eyes.
- Keep it simple on the eyes and use a dark brown eye pencil from Make Up For Ever (Aqua XL Eye Pencil M-60) for a natural look or for more dramatic look, go for bronze smokey eye using a mix between bronze and gold eye shadows.
- Then use my favorite bronzer MAC’s Mineralize Skinfinish Natural Give Me Sun, to create a 3D face.
- Finish the look with your favorite lipstick colour. I believe a lip colour is something personal; my go-to is definitely a glossed lip.
How is working with clients different than working with celebrities on a shoot? Who were your favorite a-listers to work with?
For me both are the same. Firstly, when it comes to clients, it is all about a radiant glowing skin, after that the decision of the style depends on the client’s request. I am always ready for anything, I like to keep an open mind, but of course I take into consideration what suits the client best. I have no favorites, I favor everyone who works with and put all their trust in me.
Any tips on keeping our makeup looking fresh for the summer?
Don’t overdo it! Keep it simple on the skin, dramatic eyes are amazing at night and make sure you go softer during the day. Go easy on the highlight on very hot days, and in my opinion lipsticks shows who you really are, so stay true to yourself while making statement.
What are some of your go-to brands and must-have products? Do you have a bronzer you swear by?
To help my creativity I can’t stick to one brand. I am always on the search for new products out there, every time I get something new it helps me to create a new look. As for my favorite bronzer I believe that every skin color can get a sun-kissed look, just make sure to use two shades darker than your skin, I highly recommend the MAC’s Mineralize Skinfinish powder.
What is one item that every woman should splurge on?
Lipsticks! They are my favorites to work with.
What is your favorite drugstore beauty finds?
Every time I visit a new country, the first thing I do is to go to their famous drug stores, and I find truly amazing products. Items I really can’t live without are- Cetaphil’s Gentle Skin Cleanser and Eye Masques by Rival de Loop that I can only find in Berlin.
What three makeup products should no woman leave the house without?
Her smile, her confidence, and her favorite perfume! If you did the right make-up you don’t need to take anything else but lipstick and tissues.
If one has few minutes to pull their makeup look together, what should they focus on to look flawless in no time?
All you need is the right BB Cream, mascara, blush and nude lipstick, and if you want extra glam maybe go for soft eyeliner.
What are you quickest secrets to turn a day look into a look for a night out?
Bold lipstick and blush is all you need.
What do you love most about being a makeup artist?
What I love most, is that I can speak my mind. I am a free spirit, and being a makeup artist is all about positive energy and creativity; even if I happen to be in bad mood it will allow me to create a master piece. It might sound crazy, but I am serious my mood swings can put me in different creative moods every time.
Love yourself! Feel comfortable in your own skin, don’t forget to accept who you are and the unique look that God has gave you. Be yourself, by enhancing your beauty with a little make up or feel free not to use any at all.
Your Favorite makeup tip…
Don’t get influenced, be inspired!
By Dana Mortada