Morning Masks

When exams unfortunately make free time a luxury, the usual Sunday pampering sessions are a thing of the past forcing one to be more creative with time. Manicures on the bus, acquiring the impressive skill of applying liquid eyeliner in a cab mid bumpy ride without error and skincare multi-tasking… we’ve all been there. But with the absence of the face masks which feature heavily in my Sunday pampering sessions beginning to show on my face, that’s where another time creative stroke of genius came in – face masks in the morning. Now, it’s not quite as indulgent as laying back on the sofa all day while the mask works its magic, it’s a lot more frantic than that with it involving a quick slap of whichever mask you have lying around and continuing with your morning tasks whether that’s ironing your outfit, jumping into the shower or tucking into breakfast.


My face mask of choice will greatly depend on how exactly my skin’s looking upon waking up in the morning.If the mirror greets me with dull looking skin there’s always the SkinCeuticals Clarifying Clay Masque* with its blend of kaolin, bentonite and hydroxy acids to get my skin into smooth, glowing shape especially before a big event. But with London’s recent weather not only confusing my decision to carry an umbrella or not whenever I leave my house, but my skin too, Liz Earle’s Intensive Nourishing Treatment Mask* is just what your skin needs when it’s parched and in dire need of a shot of intense hydration. Considering it’s loaded with shea butter, something less thick may be of benefit if your skin’s particularly dry but also quite prone to breaking out, and that’s where Sampar’s So Much to Dew Midnight Mask* comes to the rescue. From a cult brand championed by Parisiennes across the channel, this mask may be intended to do its thing overnight while you sleep but in just one hour it’ll leave your skin instantly plump and supple making makeup application a lot easier.

Masks needn’t be limited to your face however; when sleep after a late night leaves you looking anything but refreshed, the Jamela Skincare 24k Gold Under Eye Masks* work wonders thanks to a formula of gold which is known for its rejuvenating properties, hyaluronic acid, vitamin E and a host of antioxidants that come together to instantly brighten, plump up and smooth out the under eye area after roughly 15-30 minutes of popping on the pads – a miracle just before applying concealer.

Beauty Experiences | Paul Edmonds Salon


First Impressions
First thing that comes to mind? I want to live here! Candles burning in the background, chic and modern interiors with muted grey walls and complementary bursts of colour offered by beautiful orchid and lily arrangements made it very difficult for me to leave. The salon oozes opulence and I expect nothing less from a Knightsbridge salon and Paul Edmonds definitely delivers.

The Treatment
I was booked in for a full manicure, and before I had the lovely Saynab tend to my shoddy nails at the nail bar I was met with shelves of Essie polishes, but there was only one shade I had my eye on – For The Twill Of It which Essie describes to be a rich maple lacquer with reflective olive shimmer. As the star of the show in Essie’s Fall 2013 collection, it’s definitely a shade for your inner magpie but Saynab suggested going for The Lace is On, a gorgeous jewel toned pearlescent fuchsia as it’d pop against my skin. Always trust an expert!

What I Loved
There’s a real friendly, family-like atmosphere at Paul Edmonds – everyone from the clients to the team were chit chatting with each other about a range of things from Paris Fashion Week to skincare to healthy eating and the Paul Edmonds himself popped down to the nail bar for a chat and complemented me on my manicure.

Now I may not be able to live there but I can definitely visit Paul Edmonds a lot more frequently, and as I type I’m currently deciding when to book in my facial with Saynab!

My Presentation at Making Cosmetics

Putting the daunting task of speaking to a room of experienced beauty industry professionals and the possibility of completely fluffing it up to one side, when I was invited to speak at the Making Cosmetics Conference about how beauty brands can communicate with their Muslim customers I felt honoured and was immediately on board. With three of the emerging and newly coined MINT (step aside BRIC!) nations each housing significant Muslim populations, a promising Halal industry encompassing food to cosmetics, globalisation, increased tourism and the Internet opening doors to communication, shopping and even social change, I felt that there’d be no better moment to speak than now. Hafsa Making Cosmetics 1With my presentation I aimed to initially dispel the usual myths about Muslim women. It’s often that Muslim women are grouped into one without a true understanding of  the vast differences between them in terms of ethnicity, occupation, class and buying behaviour. To do that I created pen portraits of different Muslim women; for example, there was Humaira the 22 year old British graduate whose beauty purchases were mainly determined by sales promotions and the best value available which was a complete contrast to Emirati fashion designer Marwa with a penchant for her luxury cosmetics brands like Guerlain and Tom Ford! There were many other pen portraits I presented to the audience, but while I wanted to highlight the differences between Muslim women I did note that there were indeed similarities to be drawn and that would be their values, mainly influenced by their Islamic faith. Anyone with a marketing background would know what psychographic segmentation is, but for those that don’t it is to divide customers within a market based on their values and attitudes so this would work better than the traditional demographic segmentation. Lancome I took to Facebook in order to find out which values you ladies hold dear and common themes I found were modesty, family, charity, faith and tradition. Using psychographic segmentation and knowing the values of most Muslim women would then influence how a brand would market a product, and I gave the presentation attendees many examples of successful marketing by keeping these values in mind. To illustrate I showed Lancôme’s slight tweak in advertising in the West and in the Middle East to appeal to the value of modesty.

In all, it was an honour to speak at the conference, particularly about a topic I’m passionate about. And thanks to those of you who attended!

Four Things To Know About Estee Lauder

One of my first makeup memories is being a curious 14 year old, raiding my mother’s makeup stash and slapping on copious amounts of Estée Lauder Double Wear all over my face. It didn’t matter that the foundation was five shades lighter or that I was given a good telling off, but the glamorous packaging and luxurious feel of the Double Wear planted the seeds for a love of what is now one of my favourite cosmetics brands. Years later as a business student I’ve come to appreciate Estée Lauder as a whole – the brand, company and businesswoman who started it all. Born Josephine Esther Mentzer, Lauder’s interest went from creating Youth Dew, a perfumed bath oil at Saks Fifth Avenue to a multi-billion dollar conglomerate.

five things to know about estee lauder

1. Being the first to introduce the gift-with-purchase, Estée Lauder was a marketing pioneer. Getting people to buy your product is one thing, but retaining customers is another and while many see gifting as a simple token of appreciation, it goes beyond that. Should the customer fall in love with the sample sized gifts, they’d return back to the counter for more. Clever!

2. Estée Lauder is parent to many of your favourite beauty brands and you probably didn’t even know it! OjonOrigins, Jo MaloneMAC, Tom Ford, Bumble & Bumble and Darphin to name but a few. It’s genius how Estée Lauder has a wide portfolio of brands varying in price point, brand identity and product ranges. Clinique is the scientific skincare brand, MAC the fun and youthful cosmetics line with very loyal women of colour customers anTom Ford is where we all go for super luxury.

3. Not one to miss out on an opportunity, Estée Lauder is expanding into Africa with its first MAC store in Nigeria and the intention to focus on countries including Kenya, Ghana and Angola. While some brands are struggling in the West due to the current economic downturn, many African nations are seeing a boom in their economies and a rising middle class so it makes perfect sense for Estée Lauder to enter. Maybe you’ll be seeing MAC in Mozambique, Clinique in Cairo or a Bobbi Brown counter in Bosaso!

4. After meeting Rodolfo ArcigaEstée Lauder‘s Global Makeup Artist from Mexico at Selfridges‘ Global Makeup Artist Event last November I realised just how global the brand was. The counter staff were also from all over the world, and Estée Lauder‘s faces Constance JablonskiLiu WenJoan Smalls and Arizona Muse reflect the brand’s international diversity.

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