By Christy Anyanwu
Renowned international celebrity makeup artist, Sofia Mahmood, showed her expertise at the just concluded Miss Ebony Ambassador contest in Hilton London.
Mahmood, the CEO of Fusion Beauty, a makeup and hairstyling brand, has been a professional makeup artist for 20 years. She is currently the Ambassador, South Asia Global Network For Women’s Right (GNFWR).
She has won several awards as a beauty artist. They include, Wedding Makeup of The Year, Asian Beauty Industry Awards 2020, Best Creative Woman in Fashion and Beauty From Global Community and Business Star Awards Infinity Events Scotland, among several others.
In this interview, she shares more insight about the beauty industry.
Tell us a bit of yourself
I’m originally from Pakistan. I have lived in Derby, England for the past 39 years. As an established multi award winning makeup artist and hair stylist, I enjoy having the chance to flourish and express my creative side. I specialise in bridal, party, media, TV, Video and music photoshoot makeup, as well as SFX makeup. I am the South Asia GAmbassador for Global Network for Women’s Right, and support amazing individuals in the strive to help vulnerable women all over the globe.
How long have you been doing makeup and where did you learn the skill?
I have been a makeup artist for 20 years. I trained in Asiana Bridal and Training Academy (Birmingham), Joshive Beauty Academy (London), Pinks Training Academy (Derby), and University of Derby in the United Kingdom.
Could you tell us some celebrities you have worked for?
I wouldn’t want to mention names, but I do makeup for Hollywood films, drama series, Bollywood films, Pakistani films, British films and whenever I have offers for private individuals. I also do make-ups for fashion shows, weddings, parties, etc. I was in Cannes Film Festival, France. There was a fashion show in Cannes. I was invited to do makeup for the girls to go on the runway. I also did makeup for the Bollywood actresses and few Hollywood actresses in France. There was Miss Polo World show also. I did makeup for Miss Polo in Cannes and I was there for five years.
How is it like making up for black people?
I can say I’m God’s gift. I can do makeup in all skin colours. I love challenges as well. For some people, it is hard to work on blacks, but for me, it is okay. I don’t hesitate. I do makeup in all skin colours.
If you want your makeup to look attractive, what are the things you need to do to your face?
So you can see this evening, all the girls have different colour textures. Some have a bit of dry skin and some have oily skin, you need to use good expensive products for them to look good. Then, just do the makeup on how they feel comfortable with as you have seen today. There are different eye makeup and lips as well. Obviously, I have to listen to them and work according to their needs. There are some girls with a bit of acne, the base should be good and you should get a good product to cover all the acnes. You should know the kind of colours to use to cover the pimples and redness and all that. If you know that you use the right product, you can hide them very easily, and the skin looks flawless when you apply the foundation.
What makes your makeup unique?
I always listen to my clients and hear their views on how they want to look. There’s no point doing smoky eyes or lots of makeup, and some clients may not like much makeup. I ask question how they like it and give them advice and it is according to their needs.
What were you doing before you became a makeup artist?
My passion in makeup started as a teenager, but I did not have the opportunity to become a professional. Then I used to practise beauty and hair trends with my friends. I also have children to take care of, so I didn’t take it as a career. Like 30 years ago, salons, beauty parlours were not in vogue, but it was my passion to become a beautician someday. I followed my passion after my children had grown. I entered for training and opened a salon 20 years ago.
What’s your advice for upcoming makeup artists?
You need to have the passion for it. You have to be creative and patient because some clients are not easy to please. They may not like whatever you do. It takes lots of patience to deal with some clients. Just enjoy what you are doing and listen to your clients and work with them accordingly.
What do you like most about makeup?
I like the creativity and being able to work with different skin tones, shades and features.
Have you ever had a time when a client left dissatisfied with your work?
Thankfully I have never had a dissatisfied client.
What do you think is the most important quality in a makeup artist?
Creativity, flexibility and she should be a good listener to clients’ needs.
What do you think is the biggest challenge for a makeup artist?
Biggest challenge for me is sometimes working with complicated skin tones and textures. I have to make sure I’ve got the best product for each individual so I can make a good base.
What are some common beauty mistakes women make?
The base is incorrect, from the colour tone to blending as well as colour choosing for eye makeup.
What are the three makeup items every woman must have in her handbag?
Lipstick/lipgloss, mascara and blusher.
What is the most important beauty advice that you can give to women?
Take care of your skin by keeping it hydrated. For everyday use, keep to a light weight base.
How do you stay abreast with the latest beauty trends?
I have a good working relationship with beauty academies and other networks. Observing and seeing new trends on social media, fashion shows magazine and meeting international beauty artists, is a few ways of keeping myself up to date to the latest beauty trends.