Tips and Tricks shared by Reem Saenz, owner of S2 Makeup Artistry by Reem Saenz in Texas and  Anna Shafiei, co-owner of Lipstick Squad in Aurora, Illinois.

A: Always look approachable. Don’t let your makeup overpower your personality or God-gifted features.

B: Beware of Bridezilla: Some brides transform into Bridezilla because of the clash between what they want and the need to respect the elders in the family.

C: Concealer is a quick and effortless way to hide dark circles and not look too cakey with foundation on a regular work day.

D: Dirt. Yes, dirt. You need to remove the dirt and debris from your skin just like you do from your home.

E: Enhance your natural beauty. “Make up is supposed to boost your features, not magically transform you into someone else,” said Reem Saenz, owner of S2 Makeup Artistry by Reem Saenz in Texas.

F: Skip foundation unless you are a bride or a model: “Foundation everyday can make your skin look grayish,” said Anna Shafiei, co-owner of Lipstick Squad in Aurora, IL. “Women with ethnic skin tones should not try to look fairer.”

G: Geography matters: Trends vary across the country. While skin care may be more important in the harsh, cold climate of Chicago or New York, in Texas, it is all about the hair.

H: Hijabi makeup:  Saenz believes that if you feel insecure about dark circles or blemishes, it is okay to apply makeup. “If you are doing it to make yourself feel better and not to attract others, it is fine in my opinion but I cannot speak for everyone,” she says.

I: Immigrant ideas: Makeup pros feel that many Muslim clientele from “back home” never want to look like themselves. “They want to look like XYZ’s cousin on her wedding or someone from a Shahrukh Khan movie,” Saenz said.

J: Jump at the opportunity for a consultation at a department store or from friends who do a good job with makeup.

K: Kick it up a notch: If you are stuck in the same makeup rut for a decade, try one new thing. Mascara, for instance, can make eyes look bigger and more awake to face a long day – whether it is in the carpool lane or at a corporate lunch.

L: Learn what works for your skin tone. Don’t blindly copy fashion trends from the runway. Just like some clothes are only meant to make a statement on the catwalk, some makeup trends deserve to stay there, too.

M: Moisturize religiously. Saenz sees so many women scrambling after high end cosmetics but neglecting their skin. She suggests girls follow a regimen of cleansing + toning + moisturizing twice a day from when girls hit puberty.

N: Never forget to remove makeup: Cleansing at night ensures that your pores can are not clogged.

O: Overboard Alert: “If someone says your make up is looking pretty, it means you have gone too far,” Saenz said. “You should stand out, not your make up.”

P: Play with colors: Invest some time on a lazy weekend afternoon to save you hours during crunch time. Use trial and error to experiment with different colors and brands during your down time so that you have a few fail-proof products to grab when you are rushing out the door.

Q: Quit trying to match: “Matchy-matchy is out,” Shafiei said. “If you are wearing a blue top, your eye shadow does not have to be blue.”

R: Respect the professional makeup artist’s time: To get a bride ready from head to toe, it takes Shafiei around three hours. Saenz agrees that the entourage is harder to please than the bride herself. “With six cousins and four sisters in law itching to compete, it gets tricky,” Saenz said. “I used to charge per person but everyone kept on adding requests so I now charge by the hour.”

S: Skin care is paramount:  Imagine a home with beautiful décor but a dirty floor. Now imagine a much simpler but squeaky clean home. Which is more appealing? It is the same story for our face. We can use the best make up brand but not do ourselves any favors if we don’t take care of our skin.

T: Ten-minute makeup regimen: For many women who are juggling packing lunches, getting ready for work and signing permission slips in the morning, having ten minutes for makeup seems like a luxury. When sitting in traffic, Shafiei relies on four things: concealer, blush, lip gloss and mascara.

U: Understated is better: For every day, Shafiei prefers lip gloss for some shimmer as opposed to a bold lipstick.

V: Vibrant hues are in. Both makeup pros agree that vibrant colors — almost neon — are in fashion. However, in order to wear the latest hues without looking like a fashion mistake opt for just one pop of color. If you are going for tangerine lips, keep the eyes understated. If you are going for sea foam eyes, then opt for nude lips.

W: Warm water: Wash your face with warm water to open the pores and drink eight glasses of water daily. “Once you hit 25, your skin stops producing collagen and it is hard to turn back the clock,” Saenz said. “Drinking a lot of water can do wonders for your skin.”

X: X out makeup techniques that don’t work for you. The smokey eye may look dramatic on some and horrific on others. Just because a particular technique is in fashion, does not mean it is right for you.

Y: You get what you pay for: Saenz doesn’t skimp on skin care. If it is a choice, between a drugstore and department store brand, she would definitely choose the more expensive one as she believes in using a little of a good product than slathering on a lot of an inexpensive brand. A $45 bottle of moisturizer or cleanser can last you six months, if used correctly. That doesn’t seem like a huge investment for your prized possession

Z: Zip it. If you are going to a professional, give your input and then trust her to do a good job.


For the best in cosmetics, try these IFANCA Halal Certified brands:

Amara Cosmetics (


Sunrider – Kandesn (

About the Writer: Kiran Ansari is a Chicago-based writer and editor with more than 12 years of experience and bylines in more than 30 publications. She has served as Managing Editor of ‘Chicago Crescent’ and interim Executive Director, CIOGC and can be reached via LinkedIn at