The art of making people look beautiful

Najla Zainy is a certified Saudi makeup artist who trained at the ‘Makeup Forever’ Academy in Paris. She has 17 years of experience in the field, and specializes in celebrity and bridal makeup. Zainy is known for having an artistic hand that emphasizes and highlights people’s natural beauty.
She started her career at one of the most famous beauty salons in Jeddah, and now has her own makeup studio where she provides her clients with exclusive makeup lessons and provides professional makeup application for customers, especially brides.
Makeup has been her passion since she was young as she used to watch her mother and sisters apply makeup and thought that it was exactly what she wanted to do in the future. Zainy is also an Islamic Art college graduate — an experience which she says taught her a lot about her passion for colors and drawing. After graduating, she became an art teacher, followed by a furniture artist and then finally makeup artist.
Her career in makeup started in 1999, when she used to apply makeup for her friends, family and their circles of friends. She says that ‘word of mouth’ is how she has become so well known among the people of Jeddah. “I love makeup because it has the power to highlight the beauty of each individual,” she said. “It also has the power to conceal and hide any unpleasant features in the face,” she added.
Zainy’s first makeup class and course was in Paris where she attended Airbrush Makeup Classes focused on the body in 2003, and in 2015 she attended a Kryolan intensive makeup class on makeup and foundation. “When it comes to the airbrush technique, I wouldn’t say that I have used it much because it is not demanded by clients. I only used it for fashion and artistic photoshoots because it is perfect for those who would spend a lot of time outdoors,” she added.
She also attended a three-day makeup course with Walter Denechere, who is known for working with global fashion magazines such as Harper Bazaar, as well as an intensive Absolutely Flawless makeup class with famous makeup artist Scott Barnes, who has worked with celebrities such as Jennifer Lopez and Christina Aguilera. In 2003, she also obtained a diploma after attending Mondial Coiffure Beauté. In 2004, she attended a course with Lebanese makeup artist Fadi Kataya, followed by a global makeup class in face art with Kryolan Professional Makeup.
Zainy is always updated with the latest trends as she reads and watches fashion catwalks regularly to learn more about each season’s beauty and makeup trends. “This all depends on the client. Her age, her features, the time of the day, the occasion and if the trend actually suits her or not,” she said. “My mood and personal life never ever gets in the way of how I apply makeup or what colors I choose for my clients,” she added.
The facial skin is one of the major things makeup artists need to take care of before applying any sort of makeup. “The face is like a canvas; if it is smooth and clean, all kinds of makeup will look good. I always recommend that clients pay close attention to their daily beauty routine,” said Zainy. “Every time I apply makeup, I have to start by cleaning the client’s face from any makeup residue and dust. Then I moisturize it because dehydrated skin will reflect badly on the makeup,” she added.
The biggest makeup mistakes people make, she says, is not knowing the right shade of foundation and concealer to use. “Another mistake is the excessive use of eye shadow and not blending it well. Another one that irritates me is clumped mascara or using oversized fake lashes,” she said.
“This season’s makeup trends are beautiful and colorful, and involve the use of artistic eyeliner, glittery eye shadow, 80’s fluorescent and neon colored eye shadows and lipsticks, along with dark glossy and matte lipsticks, doll-like lashes, metallic liner, bleached brows, electric blue eye shadow and wet gloomy lips,” said Zainy.