As you know by now, we love to chat with inspiring women making waves in their respective industries. Salwa Rahman, is a makeup blogger and enthusiast, whose daily looks brighten up our Insta feed, and empower and embolden us with each post.
Doing the UK proud by effortlessly displaying the versatility of the hijab and the power of mixing up your daily look, Sal speaks to all of us, too comfortable with our every day. Her unexpected colour remixes in themselves demonstrate the beauty in being bold.
We got chatting with Salwa to talk diversity in beauty, drag makeup, creative collaboration and why it's ok in this Insta age, to take time out.
What do you do?
Currently, nothing! I graduated from SOAS in August so I took a decision to take a break and understand what I like to do and where I would best fit in the working world.
What’s your day to day like?
My day to day varies, I work part time in retail but aside from that I am pretty much the boss of my own schedule so it really varies. Things that I've been doing recently (aside from my own makeup of course) is getting involved with photographers and other creatives to help work, or collaborate on small creative projects and it's been incredibly fun and eye opening but also staying home and binge watching The Money Heist on Netflix!
What has been your greatest achievement in your career so far?
My greatest achievement is shooting with Obsession, it was the first time I had done any sort of 'serious' photoshoot so it was a crazy and fun shoot! But honestly, it's connecting and meeting with people who have such great talents and working with them, for example with the ladies who created Azeema Mag, a zine that was created and focuses on the resistance, power and femininity of Women of Colour; and just being recognised as a female creative for just doing what I love.
What advice would you give to other girls and guys looking to get into the creative industry?
My advice is don't push for it, in the sense that don't feel like you need to be casting the same shadow as those you see in the creative industry - step out into the light and embrace your skills and your ideas and just focus on yourself and your craft! If people become interested on the way then that's amazing, but don't feel pressured to chase after it.
What are your experiences of diversity in the industry?
I believe that coming from a woman's perspective it's been phenomenal. Women are and always have been innovators of society, so working with various female photographers and stylists has been amazing. However coming from a South Asian Muslim perspective, especially as a Bengali - I feel that there is still a lot of work to be done in term of representation over diversity. Beauty brands have yet to fully embrace the South Asian community in their marketing and products, so that's something that should be given thought and attention.
What inspires you?
I am inspired by pretty much everything, I like to regularly visit art galleries and small exhibitions when I can to gain inspiration, but generally pretty much anything my brain can process on to my face.
How do you stay healthy, body and mind?
I like to think that I'm quite an active person, I'm always up for physical activity - I have been playing basketball for the past 4 years and then within that time tried out Muy Thai and boxing and spin classes. Healthy mind I think is tougher to exercise, I feel like as we live in the Age of Information we are constantly thrown into the lives of other people through apps such as Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter - being in that environment can cause heavy feelings of FOMO, insecurity and depression which I've all felt ebbing throughout my life; so my plan of attack is to use less of Instagram (it's my only social media outlet since deleting Snapchat).
Life is so much better when you are doing things other than just scrolling on your phone, so I try to fill it with things that benefit me. I've started reading books and writing in a journal, but I'm also psyching myself up to teach myself a new language (wish me luck!).
It also doesn't hurt to have a mantra - whenever I feel down in the dumps after seeing something on instagram or just feeling crappy due to FOMO or insecurity, I will speak aloud and physically tell myself that I am okay, that I am secure in myself and my talent and that I do not need to worry about what everyone else is doing and these instructions bring me ease and bring me back to myself which is nice.
Who is your beauty muse?
My beauty muse, for skin and generally looking fabulous is Katie Jane Hughes - amazing make up artist and lovely lady she really knows her stuff! For highlight and dewiness it's Nikki Makeup and Nam Vo, just because oh my god, just look at their instagram page and you will agree with me. Otherwise my biggest beauty muses are drag queens like Kim Chi, Aquaria and Milk; or those who can do drag make-up like Lucy Garland - the skill and colours and looks are everything!
Beauty is self appreciation and acceptance - you won't look good if you can't love yourself and love the look you're rocking whether it's all done up or just wearing some clear eyebrow gel. You gotsta love yourself!
Would you share an early beauty memory, or biggest beauty mistake with us?
I have been in love with colour for some time, so when I was maybe 13/14 I had discovered Urban Decay 24/7 Glide On Pencil (my sister's birthday present, a small travel kit) and this thing had like bright turquoise and an emerald green and a lovely purple and I used to layer that stuff on like it was tiramisu right on my waterline - I thought I looked like hot shit but in real life it just made me look super bug eyed and just wasn't cute at all. I guess that's a mistake and a memory? Two birds with one stone.
What is your signature beauty look?
I don't really have a signature look, it moves with how I'm feeling and what I want to experiment with - I guess the only thing that's constant are the two dots under my eyes but even they are a mess.
If you could only Slapp on one beauty product, what would it be?
Glossier Boy Brow - it is heavenly and really works!
What’s next for you?
I'm still working on it - I'll update you once I know myself!!
Follow Salwa: @urgalsal_