Rediscover classic beauty looks updated for the coming spring season with some of the region’s most inspiring women.
The Somalian-Ethiopian model – booked by Chanel, Elie Saab, Dior, Prada, Fendi, and Piaget, to name a few – is considered a regional industry pioneer, having called Dubai her home for the past 16 years. Her glowing complexion is her beauty trademark, with the model crediting her love of both high-powered serums and golden highlighters for her healthy skin.
Spring 2021 trend: Glowing skin, as seen at Alaïa, Gabriela Hearst, and Hermès.
Ayan’s take: I always like my skin to be fresh, glowing, and youthful. It feels healthy and authentic. When you have great skin, it makes you confident with your overall self-image and emboldens you to try different makeup looks. I like to get my skin glowing first before adding more trend-based elements like a smoky eye or a bright lipstick, especially for night. If you know what looks good on your face, you can use it over and over. But as a woman, it’s nice to try new things.
Routine: I think my attitude towards good skincare really shows because of how feeling good about my complexion influences my makeup choices. I cleanse with African black soap, which makes my skin smooth and soft, then add a serum. My favorite brand for skincare is Dior; the serums make such a difference to how my skin feels and looks, and I always have Dior Capture Totale Serum in my routine. Then, I use coconut oil for everything else – on my face, body, and nails – it’s such a good natural moisturizer.
Must-haves: I love using several kinds of highlighter and illuminator, depending on my mood that day. Fenty makes great, intense highlighters in different colors that are amazing for black skin. My favorites are in gold and silver. I also mix Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Beauty Light Wand illuminator into my Dior Forever Skin Glow foundation.
The Tunisian model, student, and body positivity advocate is known for her curves, but her fashion-forward brows garner her an equal amount of attention. A poster child for the benefits of setting aside your tweezers and embracing full and fluffy brows, her look aligns with spring’s natural beauty vibe.
Spring 2021 trend: Standout eyebrows, as seen at Giorgio Armani, Hussein Bazaza, and Yohji Yamamoto.
Signature: Bold eyebrows are so fierce. When they’re brushed up, it gives you more space to apply eyeshadow beyond the crease for foxy eyes. For this new season, I want to try the super brushed up brows using soap.
Routine: While great brows are something you will always see me with, I don’t think I have a go-to makeup look – I love changing my style and trying out new looks. It’s amazing to be able to look so different, why have a signature look if you can look different every day! However, I do like my makeup to be sharp and fierce, so good brows with thick eyeliner, soft glam eyeshadow, contour, and nude lips is definitely my go-to for outings.
Must-haves: I use a gel eyebrow primer from MAC to make sure everything stays in place and then use Benefit’s eyebrow pencil. For my eyes, I use eyeshadow palettes from Charlotte Tilbury as they work perfectly with tanned skin. Even their mascara is amazing for highlighting the eye area.
Lifestyle social media star Soha Taha has charmed a social media fanbase with her risk-taking approach to makeup. The Egyptian beauty loves to incorporate a flawless lip look into her repertoire, switching between classic red and matte nudes, to attention-grabbing seasonal shades like aubergine and oxblood.
Spring 2021 trend: Bold lips, as seen at Rodarte, Gucci, and Saint Laurent.
Signature: I love wearing a bold lip; it definitely makes me look more powerful and fearless. My everyday makeup is fresh, but polished. I’ll definitely go for the all-out bold look if I’m going to dinner or a night outing. I always get comments on deeper, earth-toned lips and makeup that I always wear too. No matter whether the attention is positive or not, it’s worth having a signature look as this is how you leave a lasting impression on people.
Routine: I love makeup and I wear it everyday. Even if I’m staying at home, it’s just so therapeutic to go through my routine, and it instantly puts me in a good mood. I like to experiment and try all makeup looks. I test new color releases and formulas that plump my lips and give them volume. This spring is going to be more about fresh colors, so I’ll be going for shades of pinks, light orange, and maroon, plus added gloss for shine.
Must-haves: Some of my favorite bold lipsticks are Rouge H by Hermès, classic red burgundy, Impulse by Nars, a dark berry, and the bubblegum pink Barbie Style by MAC.
As presenter of Insider Arabia, Sheema’s polished look exudes a chicness that transcends seasons. The Emirati’s go-to makeup is a carefully measured flick of matte black eyeliner – a stylish signature that both enhances her eyes, without overpowering her delicate features.
Spring 2021 trend: Striking winged liner, as seen at Moschino, Paco Rabanne, and Giambattista Valli.
Signature: My signature beauty is all about the eyes, as I believe they are the first thing you notice about a person. If you focus on the eyes, you can tell a lot about a person. I like winged liner for how it outlines the eyes and directs attention to them. It isn’t too big or bold, just the right amount to contour and frame my eyes.
Routine: To have good makeup, you must first have good skin as your base. I don’t wear foundation outside of photoshoots and filming; instead, I use a light powder and focus my attention on my eyes. I like to use earthy tones and neutrals – nothing too bold or bright – in my choice of eyeshadows and eyeliners. I will slightly contour my eye shape with my pencil and mascara and then I’m done. I don’t mind trying new styles, but not for every day. For a theme party or evening out, then yes, I would add more of a smoky eye to my winged liner for a big impact.
Must-haves: I’ve tried a lot of liners and pigments to discover what works best for me. I now know the best product is the Huda Beauty kohl pencil for a dense, very black line. Liquid liner and pigments can be tricky, so I much prefer a pencil.
Originally published in the February 2021 issue of Vogue Arabia