Falak is British with Pakistani heritage and has lived here with her husband Amaar, and children Adam (15) and Amaana (11), for 12 years She’s now a makeup artist in Singapore, and was recently involved in New York Fashion Week! We chat to her about her life and work.
What brought you to Singapore, and where had you been living previously?
Like most expats, the opportunities of international experience brought us to sunny Singapore. We were based in London where I owned a fashion business. We had been here numerous times before relocating, and fallen in love with the place. It felt like the right place to raise a family.
Tell us a bit about being a makeup artist in Singapore.
I delved into makeup artistry about four years ago after attending masterclasses by celebrity MUAs Mario Dedivanovic and Samer Khouzami. As a makeup artist I absolutely love sharing my expertise by teaching techniques to my clients, as well as content creating for my Instagram by collaborating with influencers, creating looks for celebrities, reviewing products and sharing makeup tips.
In 2020, just before the world was shut down, I was selected by Mario Dedivanovic for a hands-on-training course. I took the brave decision to travel to NYC where I learnt incredible makeup techniques from the best in the industry. This was followed by many wonderful opportunities to work as a makeup artist in Singapore. The crowning moment for me must be when I was asked to be part of New York Fashion Week SS 23 in September. I created looks for various shows as part of a beauty team. I’m still on a high from the experience!
What does a typical working day look like for you?
After seeing the children off to school, I will usually prep for a busy day ahead. I either have clients booked for one-to-one or group sessions; or teens coming in for skincare and makeup workshops. I could also be creating makeup looks for clients for their special events or corporate photographs, or collaborating and organising photoshoots. Additionally, I provide reviews on PR packages and create content on my social media.
Being a mother of two – a teen and a tween – my presence is imperative for my family. So I try to maintain a balance between work and family with all my heart and energy as both require attention. However, both are close to my heart and equally rewarding.
Any challenges you’ve found living and working as a makeup artist in Singapore?
Settling in, initially, the heat would really get to me; and being so far from family was also challenging. However, I recognise how fortunate I am to be in a place where it’s convenient and safe to raise a family, where multiculturalism is celebrated (you can see a church, a mosque and a synagogue co-existing in harmony and peace), and where quality of life is truly exemplary.
Growing a brand from scratch has been challenging, especially breaking into the local market, and gaining recognition within the beauty industry and communities. My international exposure has really benefited me and I think it will help me break into markets in Singapore as people see and experience my talent and drive.
Where is your home in Singapore and how long have you lived there?
We live close to the Botanic Gardens in a lovely neighbourhood surrounded by lots of nature. We’ve only been in the area for a short period of time; before that, we were mainly on the East Coast.
What are a few things you like to do in Singapore when you’re not working?
I love trying out new restaurants, socialising with friends and family, and watching performances. And I absolutely love the sales in Singapore!
I’m also a member of a charity association, “Empower Today”, which has been established by my very close friends. We support our beneficiaries to learn new skills to become more independent, and we also provide financial support for essential purposes.
What are you looking forward to most for 2023?
I’m looking forward to seeing where my experience at New York Fashion Week will take me – I am excited about how it will help me expand my brand. I’m also looking forward to holding master classes and tailoring them to become more client specific. Expanding my reach and working with established brands and building out my portfolio is also a top priority for me in the new year.
Recommendations in Singapore: Your favourite …
Casual restaurant? PS.Cafe
Date-night restaurant? Bakalaki
Bar? Lantern Bar at Fullerton Bay Hotel
Local food? The Dim Sum Place
Nature space? Botanic Gardens
Thing to do with visitors? Universal Studios and shopping all over Singapore!
Nearby holiday destination? Bali
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