Munira Fidai and Rubab Nayeem Khan chat up experts in the beauty industry to know how they are prepping for the upcoming wedding season
Tis the season to be married – and amid the chaos of choosing outfits, exchanging dalas and selecting venues, the lads and lassies getting hitched could really use some unwinding. Luckily for them, Dhaka has a handful of gems working their magic in hair, makeup and pampering. This time around they tell us what’s in and out for both brides and grooms to ensure that newlyweds are not just pampered but also updated about the latest trends and look fab on stage.
NEATLY TAMED TRESSES
“Power Room” by
Hairstyling in Bangladesh has come a long way. Esha Rushdi reminisces the time when brides would come in wanting hair that was tightly pulled back and set in place with sprays and products. That trend seems to have done a complete 360 rotation towards a very natural look nowadays. “I’ve seen many brides who prefer to keep their hair down or go for a messy bun. Basically, the trend is now leaning towards the international hairstyles – voluminous, with extensions, perhaps, but without looking too made up,” she explains.
Trends aside, Esha is very old school and simple when it comes to her go-to look for any Bengali bride – “A simple middle parting khopa. There are no two answers for me here. If the bride is planning on taking an orna, nothing beats a simple khopa,” she shares. However, Esha does speak very fondly of one particular look a bride requested for her wedding. “She didn’t want an orna; she had a tikli and kept her hair down entirely. We added volume, of course. It was a Hollywood inspired look and I found it to be very trendy and daring,” she recalls.
“I WAS ALWAYS INTERESTED IN THE BEAUTY INDUSTRY AND WHEN THE RIGHT OPPORTUNITY CAME, I TOOK THE LEAP OF FAITH. I STARTED WITH THE INTENTION TO OFFER THE VERY BEST AND THE NEWEST SKIN AND HAIR SERVICES TO MY CLIENTS AND WHEN WE STARTED POWDER ROOM IN 2016, WE PIONEERED A LOT OF THOSE SERVICES.”
Clients, especially brides, come with all kinds of requests. A consultation is of course part of the process where makeup artists at the Powder Room propose their ideas and the client shows them what look she has in mind. At the end of the day, the client gets what she wants. “We try to work with her requests more than pushing our ideas on to her” Esha elaborates. “Of course, if afterwards, the look needs some tweaking, we suggest what we can do for her and come to a place of mutual understanding,” she clarifies. If they get clients who are nervous about using too much product on her hair, an easy volumizing alternative, hair extensions are suggested. “They stress hair out less than teasing and fluffing, and work pretty much the same way,” she says.
Mostly all deshi weddings have a Bollywood element nowadays. If there is a running hair trend, Esha loves it already. She says, “trends make brides happy; it’s always a good thing when the bride knows what she wants.” Esha continues to get a lot of requests for Anushka Sharma’s wedding makeup and hair – nude, natural face and a simple sleek bun.
As a stellar hairstylist, Esha knows a bride goes through severe hair fall issue a few months before the wedding due to stress. She recommends the Powder Room hair fall treatment, at least 3 to 6 months before the wedding functions. “Two or three sessions of this hair fall rescue treatment will reduce this problem quite noticeably. We offer this in our salon and clients can take this pack for home treatments as well,” she informs. Teasing, spraying, pinning – the hair goes through a very drying process through the wedding. Esha knows this and has something for the aftermath as well – “As part of our full bridal makeover, we have a facial or a hair treatment thrown in for free. The bride can easily avail that after her event,” she mentions.
Esha swears by moisturizing the hair as much as possible with a hair pack, or a simple conditioner. “Even a keratin treatment post-wedding will leave hair naturally straight and smooth so a new bride will not need to spend a lot of time on her hair for the dawats that pile up after the wedding. If not, a simple blow dry works like magic on freshly moisturized and washed hair,” she concludes.
House-21, Road-123, Khurshid Gardens, Gulshan 1
BESPOKE BRIDAL MAKEOVERS
Makeup has really evolved and now there’s no longer a blanket solution for all brides. Brides nowadays are very makeup savvy and some know precisely what they want, for instance the ‘Kim K contour’ or the super Instagram eyebrows, or a specific eyeliner look in mind. Karishma Rahman, well known for her role as lead makeup artist and founder of Zuri by Karishma Rahman, talks about the wedding season and all the newest trends it brings with it. About striking that balance between what a client wants and what will make a client actually look good, Karishma says that, “It’s their vision – sometimes it’s tunneled, so no matter how much I try explaining to them, at the end of the day, if it’s what the client is happy wearing, we do it for them.”
First, they have a consultation where Karishma talks them through each step and if she feels something else may look better, she even goes as far as to apply makeup on them to give them a feel of what she is suggesting. Sometimes they change their mind and sometimes they stick to their vision. “It’s a very bespoke service so it’s all very customized for the clients. Of course, I have a certain standard to maintain as well, so there may be a little tweaking, just to find that perfect balance,” she explains.
Karishma gets customers with all sorts of face types and while contouring works like magic for people with softer features, it is redundant for those faces who have very nice, sharp features. She says, “I use bronzer and just enough contouring to make the face look like it has depth, but more than that is never required.”
Some brides enjoy a simple look rather than have a full face of glam. Karishma walks her client through the process at their pace and uses just enough product to save them from looking pale and washed out in photos. It’s all about striking that balance – how to have them looking resplendent in pictures while also not letting them go on stage looking overly done up and cakey. “We find one component to play with then – if she wants the base light, we try to go heavy on the eyes to cover that up. If a client is very anxious, I start light, and if I feel like I have to add something, I gently increase it to a point where we are both comfortable with the result,” she shares.
“ALL THESE YEARS, I WAS A FREELANCING MAKEUP ARTIST WORKING FROM MY HOME, BUT THIS YEAR, I HAVE MY BRAND-NEW STUDIO AND SALON, SO I’M ABLE TO OFFER A LOT OF OTHER CUSTOMISED SERVICES FOR MY CLIENTS AS WELL.”
Karishma swears by the rosy nude lipstick as her forever hue for brides. “I think that goes with a smoky eyes or a glittery eyes – no matter what the rest of your makeup is, a nude lipstick will always complement it. It’s something that I’m super partial to,” she emphasises. For the eye, Karishma feels that a classic gold eye is something she also loves along with her clients. “It’s a versatile style that goes with a lot of different outfit choices, even if we tweak it for intensity or the eye shape to cater to different customers,” she highlights.
All that glare and makeup from the functions no doubt tires the skin out and that’s not a good look for a new bride post-wedding. Karishma recognizes that and offers, besides the regular makeup packages, the Ultimate Signature Zuri Bridal Glam package, which includes all the pampering services that a bride will need before or after the functions. It includes a deep cleaning facial, a manicure-pedicure, something for the hair, a body massage and waxing. Customers can choose to take services before or after the wedding, or even choose to have some done before and keep some for after.
Zuri by Karishma Rahman
House#16, Road#30, Gulshan 1, Dhaka 1212
MANAGING HIS MANE
“Studio Ombre” by
Kazi Faraz Abir
It’s not everyday that an English teacher turns into a hairstylist overnight. But Kazi Faraz Abir has shown, no matter how far fetched the dream may be, it’s possible to make it a reality with hard work and honesty. Having worked as a hairstylist at GALA Makeover Studio & Salon By Navin Ahmed, today he’s a partner and the senior hairstylist at Studio Ombre, a unisex salon located in Dhanmondi.
“AS AN EXPERT, I TAKE IT UPON MYSELF TO ENSURE THAT AT STUDIO OMBRE, EVERYTIME CLIENTS WALK IN, THEIR HAIR TYPE, CONCERNS AND HISTORY WILL BE TAKEN INTO ACCOUNT. BASED ON THAT INFORMATION, WE WILL FIND THE PROPER PRODUCTS THAT WILL SUIT THEIR NEEDS AND PROVIDE THE SERVICE, AS WELL AS THE AFTERCARE.”
When the COVID-19 pandemic made way for the never-ending trend of online classes, Faraz observed that in the absence of interactive classes and debates, his English classes became very boring. “After observing this pattern for 3-4 months, it struck me that I always wanted to initiate something of my own; something different,” shares Faraz.
He always envisioned running his own salon and overseeing the business operations, but then he thought, ‘why not learn the tricks of the trade myself?’ “I proceeded to look for institutes that would equip me with the necessary skills. I thought if I were to learn the trade it’d have to be under one of the best academies, so I contacted Toni & Guy’s Delhi academy because they are globally recognized,” recalls Faraz.
Upon finally enrolling into their programs for the global certificate, Faraz received immense support from his wife, Naziba Naushin. Although Faraz’ father had no qualms about his son running a business, he was, however, somewhat skeptical about his son’s involvement in ‘cutting hair’. However, despite his traditional beliefs, he was eventually supportive of his choices and gave Faraz the green signal to go forward with it.
When discussing standards and services that Studio Ombre endorses, Faraz informs about their range of in-house practices. “At Studio Ombre, we take the necessary measures to prevent the damage and provide clients with proper aftercare and consultation. “As an expert, I take it upon myself to ensure that at Studio Ombre, everytime clients walk in, their hair type, concerns and history will be taken into account. Based on that information, we will find the proper products that will suit their needs and provide the service, as well as the aftercare.”
Although we hear more about women’s hairstyling options during the wedding season, men’s styling needs are often far from that limelight. To address that, Faraz recommends grooms with round faces to try donning fades and undercuts for a change, as they will accentuate their features and make them look sharper. “Typically, people in Bangladesh usually don’t prefer this hairstyle as it is considered ‘thug-like’ and ‘rusty’ as opposed to making one look like a ‘gentleman’. However Faraz assures that it is possible to look the latter even with a lighter undercut hairstyle, such as bottom fade or fire cut. He also feels that for oblong faces, crew cuts or side undercut fades are good options as it makes the crown area look sharper, thus highlighting the face perfectly. Faraz elaborates that a lot of the time, styling a person’s hair is dependent on how they’re parting the hair. “As a stylist, I might look at a client’s hair and feel that a certain hairstyle would suit him. However, I will have to consult with him first to know if he’ll be okay with the style and be able to carry it,” he says.
Be it for weddings or self care and pampering needs, Studio Ombre rolls out its carpet for clients, offering internationally acclaimed haircare services such as Olaplex and facial services, which also includes Esthemax from the US, a range of hydro-jelly masks which have 14-15 different series comprising spot diminution, purifying charcoal, anti-aging as well as anti-acne masks. Faraz and his partners are sourcing products from the UK, US and India and are ready to cater all kinds of hair and facial services from November onwards.