Are Pakistani brides actually ready to pay up to Rs66,000 for one night’s wedding makeup?

We came across the rates of Natasha Salon’s, Shamain, Bina Khan and a few other competitors.

Maham Idrees February 17, 2016
Everywhere in the world, winter comes with chilly days and hot chocolate but in Pakistan it brings along wedding season. It is my friend’s wedding this season also and as all the wedding plans were materialising, the last thing on my friend’s mind was her makeup costs. Unfortunately, amidst all the instructions and warnings that were pouring down from the whole family regarding clothes, food, set-up, no one addressed the skyrocketing costs of salons these days.

Searching for the right place was rather easy; making peace with the costs of the right place was not.

We came across the rates of Natasha Salon’sShamainBina Khan and a few other competitors. Their rates left me flabbergasted; I couldn’t even comprehend how one could simply pay between Rs55,000-Rs66,000 for one night!

Adding up three events to almost Rs200,000!

I’m sure all these artists invested quite a bit of their time and effort in creating the name that they have but is Rs200,000 really the amount we should be spending on makeup?

Considering that weddings are already a nightmare in our society for girls and their families, do we really need one more element of extravagance?

Ask a girl anywhere else in the world the most important aspect for her wedding ceremony and she will probably say the presence of the guy or her happiness, while for most of the girls in our sub-continental culture, it would be the worry of the debt their fathers will have to bear, the amount of jewellery that will be extremely necessary in order to make the in-laws happy, the expenses of the brand new imported furniture, the bridal dress cost and the car or the bike. Such is the story of every girl coming from the lower or middle class, maybe even the upper middle class.

Your wedding day is the one day where everything needs to be a picture of utter perfection. Isn’t that the dream? Every petty detail: the décor, flowers, food, dress and even the right shade of lipstick – not just yours but your family’s too.

This is the day where no one has any right to talk ill about any of your family members or how you didn’t spend enough over the most inconsequential of details. A lot of times this peer pressure leads many of us to believe that it’s okay to rob our fathers.

I’m sure many of us can relate to statements like:
“We only get married once”

Aik hi toh beti hay” (I have only one daughter)

Betiyon ka toh haq hota hay” (Daughters have a right)

Yes, it is true that most of us will get married only once. And yes, we’re daughters but does this really entitle us to weigh our fathers down with the constant worry of the debt they have accumulated?

Even from the salons, makeup is not our only worry. All the “considerate” people around us have fed us all sorts of negativity about our skin, complexion, hair, eye-brows, fat and cellulite. So there we are, poor perplexed souls, entering the salon wondering about all the things we’ll need to get done in order to put up this façade of perfection, score the hash tag ‘prettiest bride ever’ and prove all those aunties wrong.

We are bombarded with packages and all the services we will absolutely have to get done. The salon’s reasoning is that all brides are getting this done. We, in a state of bewilderment and disorientation, pick up the package we feel can offer us the most services in the least amount of money yet which even when being the cheapest usually goes up to Rs15,000-Rs20,000.

Wait! This is just the beginning of the salon expenses.

Let’s talk about makeup. Most top-of-the-line salons are charging similar prices, some even higher for some glitter on your eye lids and colour on your lips.

Whenever the conversation turns to the cost of wedding makeup, people respond that they charge for their talent. Cribbing about it is belittling their work, but I’m actually shedding light on the worth of those few high-end products and 45 minutes of “artistic” work.

Sure, artists deserve to be paid for their art. I, myself, love the art of makeup.

But the astronomical prices these makeup artists are charging is simply exploitation of their customers. No matter how excellent they are, they have created a “beauty mafia” and this equals to looting. Unfortunately, it seems we are willing to be taken advantage of.

I, for one, will not fall for the “perfect bride mantra”. I believe every bride is perfect on her D-day. The100-watt glow (as advertised by one beauty artist) should be happiness not artificially created to last one evening only.

Forgoing unnecessary expenditures can only enhance the beauty of the bride simply because it replaces the stress and worry!

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Maham Idrees The author is currently studying Psychology at Szabist and plans of becoming a successful clinical psychologist aiming to eradicate child sexual abuse from the society.
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.


Shay | 6 years ago | Reply A bigger problem than pricing is thr psychological one.. the need to ape everything that the people of higher social status do or following trends. These different pricings for different packages exist all over the world and people go for what they can afford. Its not wrong at the end of the beautician to sell their skill at the price they like and then there are options of other salons as well. I personally believe that it is the responsibility of educated classes to help people break through psychological need to follow every trend. The mebtality of our people is that they take pride in wearing the first copy or replicas of Maria B and brands/ designer houses which look nothing like the print but only to say its the copy of xyz brand. This psyche needs to be changed to gratefulness to what one can afford!
Hums | 7 years ago | Reply You forgot Mariam Khawaja's rates (the no.1 salon in Lahore) 1 lakh 20 thousand rupees for just barat make up!
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