By Maheen Bajwa
Young, energetic and ready to take on the makeup world, the daughter of beauty mogul Saba Ansari of Sab’s salon sits with Women’s Own to discuss her beauty regime, falling in love with makeup and how she plans to take over the Sab’s empire.
WO: Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background?
SA: I am twenty-four years old and I have a degree from the UK in Journalism and Filmmaking. Before Sabs, I worked briefly at Dawn News and the PR department for my university in London. I started working with Sabs for roughly three years now. I started with looking at the marketing and now I have my hands in a lot more!
WO: Did you ever think you would get into the family business?
SA: Initially not at all! I always thought that I might look into the marketing and client services part but nothing else. It was once I started visiting the salon on a daily basis that I realised that my true love was makeup all along! The kind of comfort I get from makeup I never even got from journalism or filmmaking!
WO: What is your current role at Sabs?
SA: Makeup artist, Head of Marketing, and Franchising. I’m pretty much knee-deep in everything and loving every second of it!
WO: Where did you get your makeup training from?
SA: I started my makeup courses first with Huda Khattan, then Samer Khouzami and finally Illamasqua. All of these makeup courses were based in both UK and the Middle East.
WO: Which International makeup artist do you look up to the most?
SA: Samer Khouzami. I was actually quite lucky to be taught by him and learn his tricks!
WO: What are your makeup must-haves for a night out?
SA: When I have all these products on me I can literally do anything to my face: Mascara by Benefit (for length and volume this is the godsend mascara!), Mac Contour Brush (for sleek lines and contour blending this is LOVE!), Smash box step by step contour stick (beats everything!), Luminous Silk Foundation by Giorgio Armani (silky smooth and long lasting, no creases and lines from this liquid base), Orgasm by Nars (the best blush I’ve used!), Laura Mercier Highlighter (that light will reflect like no other), Erase paste by Benefit (GO TO concealer under my base always!), Anastasia BH Brow Dip (eyebrow correction according to your skin tone THE BEST!), Givenchy loose powder (to conceal my base; matte and long lasting!), Natural Eyes Pallet by Too Faced (so many types of eyes can be done by this small on-the-go pallet), Anastasia BH liquid lipsticks (beautiful texture available in matte and gloss, can stay on for the entire night, it’s amazing!).
WO: How many clients do you deal with in a day?
SA: Overall consultation, makeup, and retail can go up to anywhere from fifty to sixty women a day!
WO: What kind of clients do you prefer doing makeup on the most?
SA: A client who will let me do what I want! Lots of times we get clients who show us pictures and want the same thing done to them, we have to then explain to the client that the same look they see in the picture may not necessarily look good on them, because, makeup varies according to ones face cut or complexion.
WO: What natural ingredients do you think people must use on their face to keep their skin taut and fresh?
SA: It’s not much as the application on the face as much as it is in drinking water! One must start their day with three to four glasses of water it helps in pushing out all the toxins from ones body. In terms of application, a great natural ingredient is aloe Vera.
WO: What is your favorite colour and brand in nail polishes? What nail polish do you think is trending the most these days?
SA: OPI by far would still be the best brand in nail polishes! The quality, the thickness, and layering one can do with OPI is something no brand has been able to match. For me it’s not about the trends rather it’s about what nail polish I love at the moment. In my case it’s usually white or black. I particularly like white as it’s cool and summery. I hate bare nails! I feel like bare nails look so unkempt! So that’s a big no-no in my beauty rule book.
WO: Your mother being one of the most famous beauticians/ salon owners in the country do you feel pressure to excel at the same level?
SA: Of course! I feel like there is a lot of pressure to constantly reach a certain standard. She has been in the industry for years and is highly respected. I need to work twice as hard to prove myself in this industry. I am very blessed that my mother has been very supportive. I only feel the real pressure and expectations from the fashion/ beauty fraternity.
WO: If you could stylize and do makeup on any local celebrity who would it be?
SA: That would definitely be Mahira Khan. She is one of the few people who look fresh all the time. She has so much elegance and innocence to her, I feel like I could really have fun with her face. She is gifted with an exceptionally pretty face!
WO: What does the future hold for Samiya Ansari?
SA: Well the future holds exciting, bigger, better and much more tech-savvy things for Sabs and I can’t wait for that! Maybe (I’ll also launch) InshaAllah a brand based on my style blog SwearUponCoco (https://swearuponcoco.wordpress.com/) on Instagram – something I can’t wait to work on further!