The Secret Word: Tee Time with Styles by Imaara


We recently sat down with a new and vibrant hair and make-up artist based in Karachi. Learning from coveted beauty schools in London and Los Angeles, she has mastered techniques and is ready to make all you ladies feel beautiful and glam on your night out! Imaara Dharani, the woman behind Styles By Imaara shares with us how she grew attracted to pursuing this as a career, her inspirations and her muses as well as her trusted advise on the do’s and don’ts of applying make-up. We highly recommend you take notes!


1)Where did you learn hair and make-up?
I learnt haircutting and styling from Toni and Guy Academy in London. For make-up, I went to ChicStudios in LA.
2)What drove you to this field?
I was initially inspired by my time at Toni & Guy, but I believe at the time, I did not have the courage to pursue it as a career. I used to stay up all night watching make-up tutorials, which is when my sister, Narisa, pushed me to take it on as a profession. My greatest support was my mother, who never gave up on me and forced me to enroll in longer courses so I could learn more about the field.
3)You initially started with doing just hair, what made you incorporate make-up as well?
I’ve always been passionate about both hair and make-up since I was a child, but make-up came more naturally to me even then. I used to harass friends and family members to let me do their make up. It was actually my time at Toni & Guy learning hairstyling that I decided to incorporate make up as well, because that’s when I realized I could actually turn my passion into a profession.
4)Who would you say is your strongest mentor and why?
I really look up to Rozina’s Beauty Salon and Spa in LA. I learnt a lot just watching the owner, Rozina, run a business and also work in that business. She’s patient, hardworking, and she makes sure she is up to date with all the current trends, which I believe is extremely important in this field.


5)Who are your muses?
Surprisingly, I only have one: Marilyn Monroe. She was just stunning and drop-dead gorgeous. Besides just her looks, she had such an aura of courage and this fire about her. I’ve been obsessed with her for as long as I can remember. I wish I had gotten a chance to meet her, so I could see her acting and modelling firsthand. She was strong enough to break stereotypes, which is why she is THE Marilyn Monroe today, and I think that’s why I am probably most inspired by her.
6)Which celebrity would you want to doll up?
Mahirah Khan and Deepika Padukone. Someday!
7)You have access to so many beauty products, could you list some of your favorites and why?
I am currently in love with Fenty Beauty’s highlighter and foundation sticks. It’s important to me that the make up I use is cruelty-free and vegan, which is a criteria Fenty meets. There’s a range of 40 shades, for all skin-types and tones, which is another reason it’s super appealing.
I also swear by NARS concealer, the Hoola bronzer by Benefit, and of course, Kylie Cosmetics liquid matte lipsticks.


8)What make-up trends are you loving and hating at the moment?
The no-make up look is on my radar right now – I’ve been doing it on a lot of my clients, because I think the look it gives off is just perfect. I’ve also been focusing a lot on highlighter, you could say I drown myself in it, because of that pop it adds to anyone’s face.
I hate the concept of ‘baking’ – it looks too much, too ‘cakey’, and I honestly think that after a few hours of wearing make up like that, it starts looking bad. If you ask any of my clients, I use translucent powder to set their under-eyes. Drowning in concealer isn’t an option!
9)What hair trends are you loving and hating at the moment?
Short hair is really in right now, and though it breaks my heart to cut someone’s length, I think short hair looks very cool. I’m also a huge fan of a messy man bun with natural curls/waves, because it results in a very chic look. I’ve always and will always hate the two buns, Princess Leia style.


10)What do you think are the most common mistakes people make when buying make-up or styling themselves? The do’s and don’ts.
I’m a strong advocate of the phrase “love yourself for who you are”. People who buy foundation one shade too dark or too light, whether it is accidental or deliberate, I’d say that’s a big don’t! It looks inconsistent when you look at the person as a whole, because their neck is a different tone from their face then. Don’t do dark eyes and dark lips at the same time, that’s actually something we learnt in school. I’d also say keep the ‘baking’ your face to a minimal, always do your eye-make up first, and definitely use setting spray after you’re done applying your make-up!
11)Would you consider this your passion?
100%! I wait for events to take place, whether it’s a shaadi or a brunch, so I can glam my clients and myself up!  I can’t wait to see what the future holds, because in the short time I’ve been running StylesByImaara, I’ve fallen in love with the field.


12)Styles by Imaara is going to be opening its studio doors soon – what sorts of emotions and thoughts are flowing through your head?
I’m mostly a combination of nervous and excited, but you can add anxious and hopeful to the mix. Not only did I never think I would open my own studio, but I also know that there is significant competition in Karachi, which is why I say I am anxious. But I can’t wait!
13)What would you want to change about hair and beauty in Pakistan? What would you hope to accomplish?
I think Pakistanis have the hair and make-up thing down, honestly. I wouldn’t change much. With Styles, I would advocate not dying hair platinum blonde, because of the amount of damage it does to people’s hair that they are not aware of. I know at this point I am being repetitive, but I would change the cakey foundation look that’s very popular, or at least, do it different myself. I’m a hardcore believer in natural looks, which is what I aspire to create also. Balance is key!


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