Where do I begin? I feel as though any way I introduce Zinah Nur Sharif wouldn’t do enough justice to capture her essence – she is effortlessly cool, steal-her-entire-wardrobe kinda stylish and if I were forced to mention just one thing I love about Zinah, it would be that she is just a breath of fresh air. In the years I’ve worked with and have been friends with her, I’ve come to find that there are very few people out there with the same work ethic, determination, passion and creativity as Zinah; spend a day with her and I’m willing to wager that you’ll leave buzzing and inspired!
I recently spoke with the fashion designer, check out her latest London Expedition collection, about her favourite destinations and her travelling beauty essentials.
1. What’s your in-flight beauty routine like? I never had an in-flight beauty before July 2014, after watching the Lisa Eldridge My Beauty Regime on Long Haul Flights’ video. My skin and body gets irritated on flights, even as short as a one hour flight. My face gets puffy (almost swollen!) and dry, it’s such an unpleasant feeling, so discovering this beauty routine was wonderful and it works well with my skin. I start off with removing the make-up with Bioderma Crealine H2O, and then spraying Caudalie’s Beauty Elixir on my face just to feel refreshed. I then apply a mask; sounds crazy, but the mask I use is the Dermologica Skin Hydrating Mask which is invisible once applied. It leaves the skin moisturised, and unlike most masks, it doesn’t dry or get stiff at all. I also moisturise my lips with the Burberry Lip Glow Balm in Pink Peony No.02; a lip balm that both adds a hint of colour to the lips and moisturises. The final step is just to moisturise my hands and I use Soap & Glory’s Hand Food - perfectly soft and lightly fragranced. Then I try to nap, though I struggle with naps on flights and moving vehicles! I keep it all on just before I reach my destination and then wipe it all off again with the Bioderma Crealine H2O and just apply concealer, and I use the Bourjois Healthy Mix Illuminating Brush Concealer on the areas needed and use the Burberry Lip Glow Balm to add colour to my lips. Et Voila!
P.S. I carry my Chanel compact mirror (with a magnifying mirror on one side, perfect!), face cotton pads and travel size containers, the best ones are found in Muji for the creams and liquids.
2. Ultimate getaway destination? When I’ve needed a break from London, my getaway has been always Paris. Just a quick getaway to change the culture, atmosphere and sometimes when lucky, the weather. I wouldn’t call Paris my ultimate getaway destination, I just happen to visit it a lot for convenience and the short distance. If however, I had both the time and the money, it would have to be South East Asia, Bali or something!
3. Any style/fashion tips for flying? Don’t try to be a fashionista by wearing uncomfortable clothes that cause both yourself and everyone else around you inconveniences! Knowing you have to go through security and there’s a massive queue behind you, don’t wear all the jewellery you own – do you know how annoying that is? Also, avoid wearing heels, you’ll be sitting on a plane, the aisle isn’t a runway! I always try to dress as comfortable as possible, trying to be cozy in what I wear. I tend to take big, chunky scarves with me, and my Willow Road scarf has been great company even when flying to hot destinations because up in the air, it’s freezing cold. I either wear sandals or trainers such as Converses or New Balance, jeans and a simple blouse or knitwear, depending on where I’m travelling to – see photos above.
4. If your luggage was lost and never to be found (God forbid!) what would you not be able to live without/what are your travel beauty essentials? Oh goodness! The thought alone is frightening! I carry my Prada cosmetics bag with me all the time and it contains my most essential make-up products. Top of the list are my Kevyn Aucoin Celestial Powder in Candlelight , Chanel Perfection Lumiere Velvet foundation, Burberry Lip Definer in Brick Red No.05, which I use as a lipstick because it lasts much much longer than an actual lipstick, and my Burberry Light Glow Blush in Blossom Blush No.05. These are the products that make-up my face and without them… well I’d have to invest in them again!
5. What has your favourite holiday been? That’s difficult, in the past five years I’ve travelled a lot and to really lovely places with lovely people. Kuwait was one of my favourites until I went back to Paris for the third time and that was very adventurous. However, Kuwait is a place I’m considering going back to!
6. Where are your favourite stores and boutiques? My favourite store is Zara, not a particular one, because their customer service is consistently awful, the worst perhaps, but the clothes are just on point! In terms of customer service, the best I’ve ever received has been at Burberry in London’s New Bond Street and Chanel Avenue Montaigne - they made me feel like a princess.
7. You’ve been behind the scenes at a fashion show or two – any tips you’ve picked up from beauty experts and makeup artists? It’s very crazy behind the scenes at fashion shows and the last thing anyone has time for is answer questions that aren’t priority or irrelevant to work. I only had to briefly talk to Maria Papadopoulou who did the make-up for both Bora Aksu shows in 2012, I didn’t pick up any tips from her regarding beauty, just how fast she needs to work and do make-up of so many models in a short amount of time. She works in partnership with the designer and tries to convey his vision through the use of make-up. She briefly introduced me to the cosmetic line Ellis Faas. That’s pretty much it.
8. If we were to rummage through your hand luggage what could we find? You wouldn’t find much, I tend to travel light, or as light as possible. I always have my iPhone with headphones, my card holder and cosmetics bag, these three are a must. Other things I carry now and then are a pen and a notebook (old school!), my own hand painted Christchurch Hill handkerchief, iPad, Burberry Body Tender travel size fragrance and Soap & Glory Hand Food.
9. With a limited baggage limit and packing space what items of clothing should we all pack with us for a holiday? Regardless of the season, always take a pair of sunglasses, your most fabulous ones of course! Clothing wise, it really depends on the season – for the warmer months always have a maxi dress and skirt, there’s nothing more liberating than wearing those during the summer. For colder days, a cosy coat, something that’ll keep you warm but isn’t too heavy to wear. The best tip is to take clothes that you’re comfortable in, there’s nothing more irritating than having to adjust your clothes during what supposed to be a holiday