Numra Waqas always felt beauty was her calling. After having worked at a bank for a few years, Numra decided to pursue her passion. Recently having launched Numra Make-up Studio and salon, her own business venture, Numra takes pride in helping her employees grow in their field as well as providing a very relaxing experience to her clients
How did you get into hair and make-up?
My sisters always joke that I was bound to get involved in the beauty business because even at the age of three, I used to spend hours in front of the mirror checking myself out from every angle. Call it vanity or the desire to look your best, I like to think that it was always meant to be, and so after working at a bank for more than two years, I decided to venture into this field. My monotonous 9 to 5 (which was never 5 by the way) gave me the realisation that if I put the same amount of time and effort into something I enjoy, I would be more satisfied and reap bigger rewards. This led me to explore my interests and one make-up course later there was no looking back.
What do you enjoy doing more, hair or make-up?
Creating an edgy look is something that really gets me going! And a ‘look’ can never be perfect without make-up and hair complementing each other. So I enjoy putting together a look that not only satisfies the client but is also a combination of amazing make-up and fantabulous hair!
What has been the benchmark of your success?
That’s a hard question and difficult to give a definitive answer to. But if I had to, I’d have to say for me it has been twofold. Firstly, I have been able to foster life-long relationships with clients and employees, so that they always put their trust in me, and they know that no matter what the circumstances may be, I will be doing my best to be there for them. Secondly, I pride myself on the ability to deal with change. As in life and business, things are always changing, and the quicker you adapt and embrace the change, the more successful you will be.
On a spa day with all your girls, what services do you prefer and in which order?
I would start off with our OPI PRO combination manicure and pedicure, followed by the Guinot Hydra Dermi facial, which goes a long way to achieve glowing skin. After that I would go for a full body massage. Then on to hair and make-up, I’ll start with a Kerastase Caviar Ritual to add volume and shine to my hair. I would have my senior artist give me a dewy day look, finishing off with our infamous voluminous blow dry that lasts for days!
What make-up trends do you see rising this season?
Powerful berry lips with retro waves, glowing skin with fluttering lashes, and punk-inspired eye make-up with funky braids.
Which products on your shelf do you use the most?
Inglot gel liner no.77, the Huda Beauty Faux Filter foundation and the Laura Mercier loose translucent powder are my staples.
What is your favourite fragrance?
It keeps changing but nowadays I love Bloom by Gucci for evenings and Eau des Merveilles Bleue by Hermes for the day.
How would you describe your work to someone who has never seen it?
It’s soft, fresh, young, sophisticated and chic. Basically if you have seen me, you’ve seen my work as well!
How did you first come to the realisation that beauty was your calling?
Around the time when I was considering leaving my job and doing something on my own, I was also maturing as a person and discovering my personal style quotient, which of course included improving my make-up skills. The more I learned about the make-up and hair industry, the more my interest grew with the realisation that I could really excel at it, while helping people, and making a living. I feel I have achieved a number of these things already which gives me great satisfaction whether it’s making a bride’s special day, giving clients their first ever hair colour, helping a housewife student up her make-up game, or training other students who have gone on to successfully start their own make-up ventures.
What make-up trends you think should be left behind stepping into 2019?
What advice do you have for aspiring make-up artists who are just starting out?
Practice as much as you can. You should know the trade really well before deciding to charge people for your services. My advice for aspiring make-up artists would be to really master the skill before going commercial and letting clients rely on you for their special day. It’s a huge responsibility and one really needs to be confident about their craft as you can easily crash and burn if you jump the gun too early.
What are some make-up hacks that you love?
My favourite one would still have to be tight lining, which is to line the upper water line of your eyes to make your lashes appear fuller without eating away your lids. Also, applying white eye pencil to the lower water line to create a sense of a wider eye is the best thing you can do.
Which beauty trends do you think are ready to make a comeback?
Kohl rimmed eyes.
Where does the inspiration for the interior of Numra Salon come from?
The salon interior is essentially a combination of my husband’s and my mutual love for contemporary interior design. Whenever we travel we always feel drawn to spaces with clean lines and bold colours but we are also inspired by quirky design aesthetics. For example, the 30ft x 10ft signature wall in the salon was inspired by my husband’s friend’s contemporary Chinese restaurant in Hong Kong. On the whole, the idea was to create something modern that also exudes a warm, welcoming feel while maintaining a balance between luxury and practicality. We kept sharing the images that we liked with each other for a while. It took a period of almost three months to finalise the design.