Skincare and Statistical Analysis – The Reflections of a Recent Graduate
In the four years since Muslimah Beauty claimed its place on the Internet, I’ve been a student, made obvious either by my absence around exam season or the incessant whining about my essay-writing induced acne. In 2011 when I finally plucked up the courage to put my beauty musings out there, I had just dropped out of university after realising that the course I’d been keen on since I was 16 wasn’t for me. Where I’ve always had a nervous temperament, a disaster first year at university turned me into someone who compromised her health by panicking about grades, not sleeping and making a number of other unhealthy choices. On my second time round, leaving time to take care of myself was absolutely mandatory for the sake of my sanity. Lie-ins, weekly pampering nights and speaking to my friends and family on a regular basis were some of what I did to cope during my studies. Despite being at the height of my third-year angst, I’ll never forget how light I felt when leaving the Mandara Spa at the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge Hotel after their Tropical Blooms treatment, a scrub and hot stone massage with an exquisite ylang-yang and jasmine scented oil. Stressed Hafsa would be too consumed with deadlines to notice that the hotel stood against an iconic backdrop of the Big Ben and London Eye, but post-massage Hafsa enjoyed a walk on the South Bank. I’ll also cherish the great skincare advice from renowned facialists including Sapphire at the Tracie Giles Salon, Antonia Burrell, Michaella Bolder and Dija Ayodele.
Unless I decide on a PhD, my dissertation will have been my last academic paper, which is in equal parts glorious and nerve wracking. In the reflection and contemplating that comes with the end of one’s studies also comes the realisation that university is a bubble acting as a protection against the big bad world. Though it was an incredibly stressful time, writing my dissertation gladly provided some sort of distraction from the oncoming reality of job interviews, but another positive was that I had been completely absorbed in the process as I’ve taken to plucking points of curiosity in pop culture and making research topics out of them. My undergraduate paper looked at how rappers have managed to propel brands, including Tommy Hilfiger, MAC Cosmetics and Adidas, but also how the controversies rappers tend to get themselves embroiled in can spell disaster for the brands they endorse. Using statistical analysis to measure the difference between the public’s perception of Reebok before and after Rick Ross‘ date rape lyrics scandal was amusing to say the least. For my postgraduate dissertation, I chose to shift from rappers to the Kardashian Klan and investigated the effectiveness of celebrity endorsement in the branding of Dubai as a tourist destination. Say what you will regarding the origins of their fame, but it was interesting to find the Kardashians’ power extending beyond the realm of beauty and fashion trends. As well as introducing contouring to the masses, the likes of Kendall Jenner and Kim Kardashian can also be said to shape tourism behaviour – who’d have thought?
The thing with writing a dissertation is that your usual beauty routine tends to fly over your head. To save as much time as possible, it’s all about multitasking makeup and skincare with quick results. Think cheek and lip duos from Aerin* and Origins’ Original Skin™ Retexturizing Mask with Rose Clay* which also doubles up as a wonderful exfoliator. In the event I needed to leave my house and resemble someone with a normal sleep pattern, a slick of Maybelline’s Colour Elixir in Mandarin Rapture and Daniel Sandler‘s new Intense Volume Pro Mascara* sufficed.