Tayyeba Imtiaz interviews Qatar-born makeup artist Fylza Mukhtar of the Blush&Blend fame.
Doha – Very often women are keen to bring that dramatic effect to their faces along with a soft touch or else the soft makeup look with some dramatic touches, to make them look unique yet extremely pretty, when they are attending important events. If you have seen such outstandingly pretty faces recently, there is a strong likelihood that they would have passed through the skillful hands of Fylza Mukhtar.
Born and raised in Qatar, this self-taught makeup artist had her formal education in a completely different subject that called for crunching numbers – financial accounting. She is known in social media for the freelance enterprise ‘Blush&Blend’, which was previously known as makeupbyfoofooza. Admirers know her best for her “soft yet defined style of makeup – no cake face, just glow, feathery brows and the blush and blend linear.
She has specialised in Bridal Makeup & Styling and plays the additional role of makeup educator, although she has no certification. The reason for this is her belief that makeup artistry, unlike medicine, is not life-threatening. It requires little or no formal education and one can explore one’s degree of talent in this field with some basic understanding before proceeding to polish these skills, through hours and hours of practice on the job. She reminds that in her profession, practice and learning should never cease.
Her advice to new entrants, however, is to certainly look for opportunities to get certified, so that they can enter the retail sector of the beauty industry, where it is much easier to earn, but more hectic compared to freelancing.
How did you start and what were your feelings when you entered this career?
Being a self-determined person, I started off as a complete self-taught makeup artist over four years ago. I always had that eye for aesthetic stuff, seeing and bringing out the best in everything, especially bringing out the beauty in people, using my knowledge, talent and creative skills. Seeing a pleased client with an elevated self-confidence has been the favourite part of my journey. And I plan to do this in the years ahead.
Give us a background of your early years in this career?
To give a background about Blush&Blend (formerly known as Makeupbyfoofooza) and how it began, I would like to remind you of the famous phrase, “after a storm comes calm”. Back in 2014, my family was going through a rough patch. While my mind was completely occupied with everything happening around me, one fine night I decided to do something to distract myself and create a platform, where I could share my work, knowledge on products etc. I was definitely nervous as to what would be the reaction, how will I be judged, etc. Luckily, I got a great response for my ‘soft yet defined’ style of makeup and my ‘blushandblend’ style eyeliner soon became a thing and I started receiving tonnes of encouraging messages. Every message was telling me how there was a gap in the industry. Back then there were many makeup artists, but not many catering to Pakistani/Indian tastes etc and even the ones that were in business – were not active on social media. There was no medium as such, to see their work, content, products they use etc.
What was the reaction of your family to your choice of career?
They were definitely taken aback by this “bold” step of putting up my pictures in public, telling people I can do makeup, sharing my details, products and just being approachable to the public. It did take a good length of time for them to accept this, but definitely it was easier than having them accept me as a properly full-functional makeup artist, providing my services to the people. Even though, they disliked this new career choice of mine, which actually hit me suddenly too, they gradually started accepting it, seeing the positive response I got. And now they’re proud of where Blush&Blend has reached. Thanks to the storm, I have come out of the box.
Are you proud of the step you took years ago?
I am proud of the step I took years ago, I broke the ice and revealed my face on social media, which was an absolute no-no among South Asians living here. Today, I see several girls following in my footsteps and I feel so content about receiving messages from fellow artists, who consider me an inspiration. After me, many, many young girls have explored their talent. They realised that the step can be taken with almost no resources and just raw talent. I only have words of encouragement for them. I believe in the motto of ‘each unto his own’ – there should never be a time when you feel threatened by another person in the same line, because what is meant to come to you will definitely come to you.
Which segment of the community seeks your services the most?
People come to me from almost everywhere – both Asians and Khaleeji. I have worked with Indians, Pakistanis, Bangladeshis and Filipino clients too.
- (Fylza is active on most of the social media platforms – Instagram: blush_and_blend;
Snapchat: blushandblend; Facebook: Blush&Blend by Fylza M)