GUAP Interviews: Celebrity MUA & Content Creator Zainab Hassan [@zainabhassanxo]

Zainab Hassan

We Speak To Zainab Hassan On Her Career Journey & Ramadan in Covid:19

Tell us a bit about yourself?

Zainab: I’m a freelance makeup artist, content creator and part time ‘modest’ model. I use my platform to celebrate women of colour and also document my career journey.

How has your background affected who you are today?

Zainab: My background formed my identity. As a Norther Nigerian Muslim raised in the UK I feel that my identity plays a huge part in influencing pretty much everything I do. My experiences in life have all been formed because of my angle. The things that are important to me are things that I have taken note of, and taken extra interest in, because of who I am. I feel it’s important to bring awareness to the very things that not everyone would be aware of because naturally we all have different backgrounds.

When did you first fall in love with make-up?

Zainab: When I was at university. It was a hobby at the time and I was obsessed with playing with makeup (I wasn’t very good at the time though!).

What has been your journey from practicing make-up looks at home to now being a popular make-up artist?

Zainab: So I used to do makeup on myself for fun, then I wanted to be good at it so I took it more seriously. I then started practicing on friends and family and then after I graduated university and moved back home I started working at MAC. Less than a year after that, I quit my job and moved to london in the hopes of ‘making it’…

How important is it to you to represent Black Muslim beauty, in the beauty community?

Zainab: Very important. Representation matters. Seeing people with similar experiences as you that also come from similar backgrounds can be a source of support and encouragement in so many aspects, beyond what I do. 

What would be your advice to girls who would like to be make-up artists one day?

Zainab: Anyone who wants to get into makeup should just go for it! Don’t let the fear of how saturated the industry is stop you because there are more clients than there ever will be makeup artists! Find your niche and recognise your audience. 

How has Covid:19 affected your freelance career?

Zainab: It has put it on hold, but it’s given me time to focus on other hobbies which is an aspect of our lives that has been heavily underrated. Hobbies keep us well rounded and sane.

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When you’re doing celebrity’s make up…aren’t you nervous? My hands would be shaking!!

Zainab: No matter who it is, I look at it all as just work. In the words of Eminem, ‘you only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow…’, I cannot risk doing a messy job because I’m nervous haha! They wouldn’t book me again!

How has Covid:19 affected this important time in your faith?

Zainab: It’s just a reminder to stay prayerful in all situations and that in the end we aren’t in control so we may as well spend the time we have on this earth doing great things really!

What are your top tips to deal with Ramadan whilst in Covid:19 lockdown?

Zainab: Personally I feel like it’s a good thing. It’s given structure to my previously unstructured days in lockdown and also given me a sense of calm knowing that millions of muslims around the world are united once again during this month. For anyone struggling, I’d say stay busy, even if you don’t have the energy to move about a lot, do something that will stimulate your mind. Have facetime sessions with friends and family for Iftar. There are online group classes, lectures and even tarawih sessions that we can all log into. Stay connected, know that you’re not alone!

Check out the GUAP Arts & Culture section, to discover new art, film, and creative individuals. 

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