Pakistani Bridal Makeup

Clown bride… that’s what I think of when I think of Pakistani brides of the past.  I cannot believe what so-called makeup artists would make gorgeous Pakistani girls look like on their wedding days.  For Western brides, the tradition is “less is more” and brides choose to go for an “enhanced” look of themselves.   Now I don’t think that correlates at all to the beauty, intricacy, and boldness of a Pakistani bride.  Beautiful faces with done up eyes, bold lips and softly blushed cheeks are essential to Pakistani brides…we have intricate outfits, heavy jewelry, having a bare face just makes the look incomplete!

I just barely began to schedule my makeup trials (soo essential brides!) and I’m looking to Pakistani fashion sites for inspiration…I’ve been looking at the posh new Pakistani salons back in Karachi to see what the new trends in makeup are.

Here are a few photos of some beautiful Pakistani brides with their makeup:

A little more subtle bride

I love this because it’s a Pakistani bride’s definition of subtle (done at Rukaiya’s Salon in Karachi)

Here’s a picture from the amazing Bina Khan who is arguably the best makeup artist in Karachi…. she made this little Pakistani bride look so pretty… look at her eyes and her glowing skin and her soft lips!

Bina Khan's make up on a Pakistani bride

Not to mention how beautiful the embroidery on her dress is and the jewelry!  Everything on here is simple yet she really looks beautiful.  I’m going to take this photo to my trials because her skin tone matches mine more than the other models I see posted on these websites!

Here are some other photos that I’m in love with, all from salons in Karachi:

I can definitely do without the bright pink lips but I love how her eyes pop.

Now this below is definitely something I’m going to take to my trials too… her face looks really clean, love her eyes, and her lips are not too shiny but they look good.

And now I have to show you my most favorite bride, hopefully she doesn’t get mad, but she was the most beautiful bride I’ve seen… my cousin!!  Her makeup was done in West Palm Beach by a lady named Sumaiya Waheed (who really needs a website!)


My Beautiful Cousin

I included a photo where she’s looking down so you can really appreciate her eyes.  I love that she chose the accents of her dress (green) as her eyeshadow color rather than use red or gold eyeshadow which is really typical of Pakistani brides…. really unique and looks amazing on her.

Anyway, just some photos of Pakistani brides.

And for all my non-Pakistani friends, hope this gives you a glimpse of how my wedding will be!

*Yes, we wear all that jewelry (the head pieces, called a teeka/tikka are a must for a bride!)
*Yup, we have our veil (called dupattas) draped like that… and yes its usually made of silk and is really heavily embroidered.  There’s a whole blog post about that coming, because draping a dupatta is really an art!
*And yessss we wear that much makeup and love getting dolled up for our weddings!  There is no such thing as “natural makeup”… but thankfully more modern Pakistani brides have kept the outrageous makeup of days past under control a bit!

Tips for other brides:
-Research makeup artists, get referrals from friends
-Get a trial!  Usually these are discounted over the normal rates they charge, and some places even give them to you for free if you pay in full for you wedding on that date.
-Take photos for inspiration, especially of your dress and also photos of other brides for inspiration
-Take pictures after your trial so that your makeup teams remembers how they did your makeup for your big day!

Some salons in Southern California that I’m looking at for bridal makeup:
-Oscar Naranjo at Ziba Beauty. He’s infamous in the South Asian bridal community, the first name that comes to mind when they discuss makeup artists.
-Jeannie Jeffries at  Couture Beauty Team. She specializes in South Asian bridal and does an incredible job.  She’s a little more subtle than Oscar I hear.
Monique Powers whom I met at a South Asian bridal show.  She’s certified by Here Comes the Guide and does a really good job–uses airbrushing!
Flawless Faces in Costa Mesa amazing girls who post photos periodically on their blog, enough photos to show me that they definitely can create the dramatic and beautiful look I’m going for.  And yes, you’ll see Gretchen from the Real Housewives of Orange County‘s photos are on there periodically because apparently this place is her preferred makeup spot! nice.

Anyway, so those are the top four places I’m visiting for my makeup… always looking for suggestions!


18 thoughts on “Pakistani Bridal Makeup

  1. jeannie at couture beauty is amazing!!! she did my sister’s wedding, and a lot of over people i know. she does exactly what YOU want. she gives her advice but in the end will do whatever you want in the best way to work with your face. shes amazing!

  2. came across this page from a google search and as a girl who’s marrying into a family with all boys and no sisters, basically on my own to search for a hair/makeup person for the LA receptions. I’m moving from SF to LA and searching for a makeup artist is such a hassle but your tips TOTALLY SAVED ME!! thanks so much, i’m excited now to get in contact with these people you have mentioned! 😀

    • Hi Nida! Yay glad I was able to help! I didn’t post my own makeup artist in here because I went to her as a last-minute suggestion from my cousin. I used a lady name Farah and she is FABULOUS!!!!

      Honestly, I plan to post on the dupatta pinning because it’s an art and you cannot trust just anyone with that, so be sure to use a Desi person for any and all of our events, because otherwise it can look messy.

      Farah Manekia’s information:
      909-463-1242 or e-mail

      Please also feel free to message me if you need ANY assistance here in SoCal w/vendors, I love all things wedding!!!

      • Thank you so much! I’m definitely going to contact Farah asap! Does she have a website or some online forum to view her portfolio? Thanks! 😀

  3. Pingback: Kim K’s Wedding Beauty | The Bridal Diaries – A Pakistani & Macedonian Affair

  4. This is a very good website seriously cool for someone who is trying to plan a wedding. There was just one thing I found shocking, My sister is just got married in September,( she is 6 years older than me). Everyone told us to go to Bina Khan, Saabs, Alle Nora…. all the usual places. We went there but noticed the customer care wasn’t so great. Before we gave up, we saw an add for a salon. The groom’s mother said she had heard of this salon before many years ago. And when we went we ADORED IT!!!! ❤ it wasn't to crowded, the owner herself was so sweet!!! AND FREAKISHLY TALENTED!!!! CAN YOU BELIEVE SHE HAS A HAIR STYLING CERTIFICATE FROM BANGKOK!~ 😮 The service is sooo amazing!!! It's called Brides by Rubina,
    I'm a sixteen year old girl who found this place off the hook!!! When I spoke to the owners 15 year old daughter she said her mom has had this business for over 25 years, and then when they moved abroad people thought they shut down but when they came back no one found out they were back! SAD 😦 You guys seriously have to check this out. I'm from England and I found Pakistani make up CHEAP CHEAP CHEAP!!! but Rubina's SOOOO not stuck to the status-quot. A place where you can get mani, pedis, get make up for a party, simple hair styling, wedding make up. There is a sheesha place down stairs to chill, a cafe to eat, Rehanna Segol has a boutique there and you can even plan your honeymoon with Jerry Travels they are all in the same bunglow. If your not an idiot CHECK THIS PLACE OUT!!!! Rubina even teaches you make up if you register for her class

  5. Pakistani bridal makeup has definitely come a long way. I remember when all the brides had layers upon layers of makeup. It looked disgusting. I got married 2 years back and used BridalARTwork. OMG… the senior artist there is amazing. I know she travels and is situated in New Jersey. I got married in Cali so paid for her flight here. I booked her in advance so everything was really cheap, makeup included. She has a facebook page – BridalARTwork Makeup ARTists but those pictures do not do justice to what she can create. I would recommend anyone to her. My sister is engaged and has already booked her. You can tell by all the products she has that she knows this profession. As she uses products, she tells you what it is she’s using and why. She made my whole wedding experience awesome and made me happy, feel beautiful and smile all the way to the isle:)

    • Ahh so agree that it has come such a long way, thanks so much for your comment Sofia!! So amazing that you had your artist fly out for your wedding!! I would love love to see photos of your wedding, would you mind sharing them on here for our readers?? email me at thebridaldiaries[at]gmail[dot]com I’d love to see photos! 🙂 I’ll check out BridalARTWork’s Facebook page, too.

      • Hi Sidra,
        I enjoyed reading your blog about Pakistani Makeup Artist. I am so glad that one of us pakistani brides took it seriously and trying to help all others out there. It’s so hard to find the good Pakistani makeup artist that blends the west with the east together 🙂 I luckily found the best Pakistani makeup artist in Maryland. Her name is Nadia Hussain. She is located in Columbia, MD, but also serves DC, virginia, and pennsylvania areas. She is a certified airbrush makeup artist. It was so hard to find good desi airbrush makeup artist. She does a wonderful job of making your eyes dramatic & elegant at the same time and her airbrushing technique gives you flawless skin. I can’t recommend her enough. She is very professional and easy going. She moved to Maryland from California. Her cell # is 909-975-8681 and email is

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