Ask any girl above the age of five and she’ll tell you exactly what she’d wear, look and feel like on her wedding day. However, as the years progress and the wedding day actually looms closer, the mounting stress turns the sanest of brides into bridezillas. And Pakistani salons, which are known for churning out tens of brides on the same day, with the exact same look, don’t do much to help the cause.
For most brides, a day that is supposed to be their most memorable turns into the ugliest. Realising these problems, Nabila used her 26 years of experience as a stylist and make-up artist, to open up a studio N-Pro in October 2011, which caters to young brides on their special day.
On the stresses and problems experienced by brides, Nabila says, “I can say from experience that brides are not treated well. When there is shaadi season and rush at salons, they are treated even worse. No salon is willing to give value and service here.”
Talking about the concept behind N-Pro studio, Nabila said, “This is a one-stop make-up destination for brides. A bride needs warmth and personalised care; we offer services that can make them feel special and loved.”
With the salon’s focus on luxury and comfort, N-Pro Studio’s ambience and look reflects it well. As one enters the grey textured building, there are 10 small suites on the first floor and a large studio on the second floor where one can bring their photographer and get a personalised shoot done. Brides can avail a maximum of three hours at the salon at a comparatively reasonable price.
With Nabila’s Park Tower salon already offering bridal services in the past, we asked how N-Pro will be any different from her other salon. “We were giving the best we could at the other salon. However, N-Pro is specifically for brides. There is a special young creative team that has been trained under my guidance to be part of this initiative. The team includes seven make-up artists in Karachi and an in-house photographer. However, brides can bring their own photographers as well. I will also offer my make-up services to brides on special requests.”
Regarding what sets N-Pro apart from all the other salons in Karachi, Nabila said, “I think it’s the combination of services we are offering combined with our experience, personal interaction and comfort. Furthermore, ‘Nabila’ stands for credibility. Our make-up look does not include slapping on heavy foundation and concealer. Our look for brides is elegant, natural and timeless.”
Although it’s been a few months since the salon was launched, Nabila has big plans for a grand launch. “Initially, we were facing teething problems. However, after recently overcoming them, I plan to launch N-Pro very soon.”
When asked if the salon’s target market was brides only, she said, “Besides brides, any woman who wants to look good for a fancy dinner or event can come to us. We also welcome make-up and photography services for commercials. Additionally, we offer make-up classes to professionals who want to better their skills.”
While brides are given utmost importance, grooms are also not forgotten. “We have hair services for the groom so that they too look fresh and handsome,” added Nabila. Recently, N-Pro branched out in Lahore as well, with a team of four make-up artists.
Becoming a bride
Aisha (Karachi): After hearing all the horror stories I was prepared for the worst but I’d say overall it wasn’t bad at all. I didn’t have a long, tiring waiting period, I was the centre of attention which felt good and the make-up artist herself was very sweet
Saima (Karachi): Getting my bridal make-up was a lot more stressful than it should have been. There were different rooms for each step of the process and there was an awfully long wait for each room which meant that it took me six hours to get ready and personally, I felt like cattle being herded from one room to the next with all the other brides
Anam (Islamabad): I actually had a really good time getting my make-up done; all the attention was on me with three to four girls only focused on me. My friends were allowed in with me and we were given snacks to munch on and it was more like a girl’s day out than a stressful experience
Published in The Express Tribune, May 3rd, 2012.