It’s no secret the Middle East has long been regarded as the birthplace for some of the world’s most beautiful women. From exquisite cinema starlets to universally beloved musicians, we dive into the archives to uncover the beauty secrets of these undisputed icons who have topped our best beauty moments for eons.
Although this multitalented Egyptian screen siren is a triple-threat actor, singer, and dancer who has graced decades of successful Ramadan serials, her classic beauty is its own force with which to be reckoned, with statement lips and playful eyeshadows often taking center stage.
Whether she’s leading a binge-worthy Arabic drama, walking the red carpet, or fighting for gender equality in the film industry, Karim’s go-to beauty look is a swipe of thick, black kohl outlining her piercing aquamarine eyes in fierce feline swoops à la Cleopatra.
Often dubbed the Arab world’s Marilyn Monroe or Brigitte Bardot, the unforgettable “first lady of Egyptian cinema” was rarely seen without her bombshell blonde tresses, striking red lips, and perfectly arched eyebrows as she redefined the roles of leading ladies onscreen and off.
After being crowned the winner in a beauty contest at the age of seven, Hamama channeled that victory into a cinematic career that transformed her from a child star into the reigning queen of the Egyptian golden age, appearing in nearly 100 films and inspiring generations of women to embrace their natural beauty—even on their wedding day.
Referred to as “Egypt’s first star”, this industry veteran is easily one of the most recognized faces in regional cinema, with her trademark doe eyes further emphasized with volumizing layers of mascara for a mesmerizing finish.
This prolific Lebanese entertainer nicknamed the “diva of music” in the Arab world is no stranger to the freedom of an evolving beauty aesthetic, mostly experimenting through the decades with a plethora of chic hairstyles—from cropped brunette bangs to her instantly iconic larger-than-life golden waves.
Egypt’s sweetheart who is affectionately known as the “Cinderella” of the silver screen epitomizes a modern-day princess with her delicate features lightly accentuated with a touch of makeup, from neutrally-painted lips to expressive eyes immediately captivating you with only a flick of eyeliner.
Long credited as the Egyptian who popularized belly dancing on the big screen, this unquestionably talented actor cum dancer not only made her mark on the box office but also on the region’s beauty standards with her scene-stealing curves championing body positivity in the 20th century.
One of the most prominent actors in the Golden Era of Egyptian cinema, this legendary heroine unequivocally embodies the wholesome girl next door, sporting perfectly coiffed hair and fresh-faced makeup in an enchanting combination.
This late great Egyptian artist is a widely acclaimed national treasure, acting in more than 100 films and recordings hundreds of singles while also reflecting the versatility of a stylish pixie cut throughout her memorable career.
A celebrated Syrian vocalist who quickly achieved stardom in Egypt during her adolescence, this late starlet is renowned for her timeless glamor encapsulating the harmonious blend of flawless maturity with lasting youth.
Bestowed with a stage name meaning “turquoise” in Arabic, this illustrious Lebanese visionary demonstrates her rare gem-like qualities through her unifying lyrics as well as her instant readiness to add a pop of color or blend a dark smokey eye for a striking result.
Lauded as one of the best live performers of the Middle East, this multifaceted Egyptian creative not only belongs on the stage but also commands it with a charismatic presence intensified by grandiose updos adorned with glittering hairpieces.
Mariam Fakhr Eddine
Heralded as the “beauty of the screen”, this “most beautiful face” pageant winner is admired for her enviable smooth-as-porcelain skin and sparkling baby-blue eyes that symbolize the enduring age of barefaced elegance.
A modern muse ahead of her time, this Egyptian actor’s alluring Twiggy-esque finely combed lashes and effortlessly long locks hint at the up-and-coming beauty trends from across the pond.
Lobna Abdel Aziz
Riding a film legacy mirroring that of Elizabeth Taylor, this Egyptian star is famed for championing the undeniable power of a perfectly applied wing heightened with a dramatic smokey under-eye.
Boasting a cinematic career spanning decades yet a seemingly ageless appearance, this Egyptian thespian immortalized the groovy origins of the 70s with her signature wispy layers, graphic eyeliner, and coral cheeks.
It’s all about finding that optimal brow shape that frames your face and opens your eyes while still creating maximum impact—a challenging feat in which this Arab comedian is a master.
The key to unlocking the subtle art of balancing makeup is understanding your most distinctive features and forming a look revolving around them, which is what Tharwat does with her ocean-colored irises commonly named the “most beautiful eyes in classic Egyptian cinema”.
Once proclaimed the “national dancer of Egypt”, this bewitching beauty who was once Kariokka’s protégé confirms the seductive simplicity of pairing a bold lip with a noteworthy ensemble in true femme fatale fashion.
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