Beauty in Pakistan has always been an enigma. On the one hand, there’s a local market of more than Rs. 150 billion for cosmetics, local brands are quickly gaining momentum and the boom in the entertainment businesses will surely aid in establishing a profitable beauty industry. On the other hand, there is also the retained tendency of dismissing all things pertaining to beauty. Styling, makeup and blogging about either has all too often been belittled.
It is written off as a fickle hobby with very little potential for a career. This is rather unfortunate, particularly when a group of vibrant people have silently been organizing themselves en route to developing a career out of what they love.
Spunky young Naimal represents these people. Balancing a career as a makeup artist, hairstylist and beauty blogger while she studies fashion marketing and merchandising at the Asian Institute of Fashion Design (AIFD), her infectious positivity is indicative of how things maybe changing for the positive. The notion of someone making a career out of something they love doing is inspiring in its simplicity, “I remember using my mother’s makeup as a kid and giving her a glamorous makeover while she slept” she says recalling her early love for make up and styling, “eventually I turned from dressing up friends to doing makeup and hair for my mom and her friends, and then friends of friends, and now I’m here!” And where she is isn’t a bad place to be. She began offering her services as a makeup artist and hairstylist under her namesake banner ‘Naimal H.’ today she has expanded to include beauty workshops, collaborations with other businesses, product giveaways and an active beauty blog.
“I remember using my mother’s makeup as a kid and giving her a glamorous makeover while she slept…”
For anyone reading her story, the immediate takeaway could be inspiration or confusion. She is inspiring because there is something immensely satisfying about someone succeeding at what they love to do. Her journey is confusing because as it is such an non-traditional career path, there is some trepidation about how to succeed at it. From Naimal’s perspective, the most important ingredient in the recipe for success is being committed to the job itself. “Let me be clear when I say this,” she says, “if you’re interested in becoming a makeup artist or a blogger for money, then don’t do it,” insisting that the priority should be maintaining honesty with clients. “Every returning client of mine, is my moment of pride,” she says, “That just means that they liked my work enough to trust me again and chose to come to me for a second or third time. For me, that is something that holds great value!”
Undeniably what also helps her thrive is that she maintains the essence of what makes dressing up appealing; fun.
As a student and young entrepreneur, Naimal has no delusions about hard work exclaiming that, “there’s a big mess behind the camera that only I can see! Since I’m a student, so juggling work and my blog along with the university work load does get overwhelming sometimes.” However, she manages to make it look effortless because playing dress up should be easy and fun, and this unforced quality extends throughout her brand. As she explains it, “I wanted my page/blog to be simple and fun… in the hope to relate to my viewers on a personal level so they can approach me whenever,” and she’s definitely succeeding with the intent. On her Facebook page, the hours of operation cheerfully announce ‘always open’ and most of her customer reviews mention how friendly she is. This really can be called her niche; amongst a multitude of trendy stylists advocating strict guidelines for beauty, Naimal glides by on the art of being immensely likeable, entirely un-intimidating and a thorough professional all at once.
“Every returning client of mine, is my moment of pride…”
Simultaneously though, you cannot ignore that she has great intuition when it comes to business decisions. Take venturing into beauty blogging for example. Admitting that initially she had no intentions of being a beauty blogger, she goes on to mention, “I followed a lot of beauty and fashion bloggers. It was them who inspired me to start doing something similar here, as the whole concept of blogging on its own was relatively new in Pakistan.” It was semi-uncharted territory but the venture paid off because it allowed her to market her skills to potential clients. Today, her site is a colourful plethora of reviews and tutorials furbished by her signature easygoing style. It is also an advertisement platform.
Along the same lines, she has no hesitation when it comes to social media. “Every age group now possesses a phone and has access to the internet,” she says emphasizing that capitalizing on social media is a must to advertise a budding business. And when it comes to capitalizing on online content, Naimal holds nothing back. rom frequent uploads on Snapchat and steady Facebook posts and Tweets and (of course) makeup tutorial videos, she embraces all of it as a necessary stating that, “social media is my way of showing what I have to offer.”
“Be patient and the best things will happen unexpectedly”
Ultimately, perhaps the reason for her success is that she is able to exude friendly charm and yet think about what she does as a career and not just a hobby. Then perhaps the best piece of advice she has to offer is that people need to have faith in what they want to do, enough faith to actually venture into doing it, and enough faith to then stay committed to it. In her own words, “it’s not just about hard work, be patient and the best things will happen unexpectedly, and trust me, all of it will be worth it in the end,” and while the end is nowhere in sight for this effervescent young woman, yet all her hard work is certainly translating into results.