In a world full of fairness creams and unhealthy beauty standards, being proud of natural beauty is something not stressed on enough.
With the theme of 'embracing your own skin tone', Sumaiya Islam, an aspiring make-up artist from Dhaka, has built her brand 'Elyrra by Sumaiya Islam'. Instead of using whitening products, she ensures that her clients look their best and also feel the most confident with their own skin tone.
This young artist stepped up to break the tradition of brides looking dolls with heavy makeup and layers of products on their skin.
To her, make-up is not about changing yourself, it's all about accepting your flaws and expressing yourself confidently without having to hide them.
Sumaiya was a student of EEE at Ahsanullah University of Science and Technology (AUST). She said, "After completing my degree, my family wanted me to join the public sector but I joined an ad agency in client servicing instead."
Eventually Sumaiya opened up a YouTube channel which showcased her make-up tutorials.
In 2018 she opened her Facebook page titled 'Elyrra by Sumaiya Islam'. Though bringing a balance between her passion and her full-time job became difficult but she continued with both.
She said, "I planned for months to launch my brand and after few months, I finally came up with the idea of covering the wedding season."
Her client servicing experience came in handy and she came up with the tagline 'unveil your skin' for her brand. Most of her followers could connect with it and it was an instant hit.
This boosted her confidence and she finally left her job to pursue a career as a make-up artist. "My father objected when I left my job but I know my determination will change his mind one day," she said.
Sumaiya added, "While doing any make-up, I focus on accentuating my client's natural beauty rather than concealing her real skin tone."
As per her clients' wishes, she uses both high-end and drugstore make-up products. But maintaining basic hygiene and cleanliness are always her top priorities.
"I idolise the amazing Nahila Hedayat (famed make-up artist and owner of Privé Salon in Dhaka) and dream to be one bigger than this, I know I have it in me," smiled Sumaiya.
She is grateful for all the appreciation she has garnered within such a short time and happy that she is able to make her clients feel beautiful.