THE MAKE-UP ARTIST WHO UNDERSTANDS THAT GOOD SKIN IS THE STARTING BLOCK FOR BEAUTY
It’s not just her striking beauty and glossy brunette mane that helps make-up artist Soraya Shawky stand out from the crowd, but her incredible talent and perseverance to succeed. “It took me a lot of practice, hard work, dedication and mostly patience to reach the level I am at today,” explains the 35-year-old make-up artist and beauty consultant. Mixing her own homemade creams and products as a curious teenager, she dreamed of working in the beauty industry.
“I knew I wanted to work in the business from the age of 14, but I just wasn’t sure how, and I wasn’t even aware of the existence of professional make-up artists,” she recalls. Quitting her Cairo desk job in 2009 to pursue her dream career, after two years of working in make-up artistry in Egypt she decided to get “a proper education” and moved to Barcelona to study, where she attained a masters in make-up and cosmetology. Relocating to the UAE from Switzerland in 2017 to work as a professional make-up artist, she quickly gained a loyal base of glamorous clients, along with a cult following from her online beauty tutorials, and has since developed a luxury wig line, Starlet, which recently debuted in Egypt and is set to launch soon in the UAE.
Endlessly inspiring as she is creative, Soraya has a lot of feelings about beauty, as you’d expect from a woman raised by a mother and grandmother who cared passionately about beauty and hair. “I was fascinated by how committed they were to their daily skincare regimes. They created their own scrubs and masks using things you’d find in your kitchen,” she shares. Soraya’s philosophy is that beauty is all about commitment, and sticks to a routine she swears by. “I’ve followed the same haircare steps since I was a child! My mother used to massage organic coconut oil into my scalp all the way to the ends, leave it on for an hour and then wash. I still do this twice a week. I also love using hair masks made with bone marrow.”
While traditional home-made products kick-started Soraya’s beauty obsession, her bathroom cabinet is now stocked with an array of luxury skin treats, ranging from Shiseido and La Mer to Elemis and Elizabeth Arden. “I have three beauty routines; daily, weekly and monthly. I focus on everything,” she explains. “My daily regime consists of cleansing, toning, hydrating and protecting my skin. I apply three different types of serum after toner, followed by day cream and sunblock. My weekly routine focuses on deep cleaning, using exfoliants and mud masks to cleanse pores and collagen masks to target fine lines. My monthly routine is a visit to the clinic where I get a professional treatment, depending on the condition of my skin.” Her beauty mantra is simple; always invest in great skincare. As she wisely states, “After all, you can only achieve great make-up when you have great skin underneath.”
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- Words: Dina Kabbani