Having transformed the looks of many celebrities suiting tastes and personalities over a decade Mona J’s name is synonymous with perfection and extreme dedication to her work.
Here she talks about her journey as a stylist and her signature style.
Fashion Collection: How and when did you start your journey as a makeup artist?
Mona J: I started 12 years ago from my home in my guest room. I started with a very small station and slowly and gradually it turned into a proper salon in DHA’s Shahbaz Commercial Area, and now I have also opened a three-storied spa in Clifton.
Fashion Collection: How would you define your signature style?
Mona J: My signature style is excellence in whatever I do, whetherrelated to makeup, skin, or hair. Even if it’s a simple haircut, I give it my signature style by paying attention to finer details– and I believe that is my strength as everyone craves that edge. My understanding of what every client wants is my signature style.
Fashion Collection: What has been the biggest challenge of your career?
Mona J: A fashion-based careeris always very challenging and I like that about my career as it doesn’t allow me to become complacent like many other businesses would. I have to be on my toes tobeat latest trends, create new ones and present them in the best way possible.
Fashion Collection: What makeup trends would you predict for 2019?
Mona J: Be it 2019 or 2020 the coming years will be about nudes and simplicity. The makeup will be very simple, nude andcolourless; the hair would also be very simple –balayage is the way to go, which is light blending of two colours which looks very smart and trendy. It is all about enhancing natural beauty, so the coming years will be more about fresh, glowing skin and healthy hair.
Fashion Collection: How do you stay abreast of the latest beauty trends?
Mona J: I keep abreast with what all the beauty experts round the world are doing, not because I want to follow them but because I want to set new trends. So, I use my research to start moving towards other techniques orevolving new ones, rather than just joining the band-wagon.
Fashion Collection: Where do you see yourself in five years?
Mona J: Allah has been very kind to me in what I do. I worked hard and I love my clients and I have never cheated on them so I don’t have to worry where I will be in the next five years. God has been giving me success, giving my brand more success, and making it more famous so I leave it to Him. Allah has better plans!
Fashion Collection: Do you agree with less is more as a makeup trend?
Mona J: Of course, as I said earlier that the new trend is less makeup and fresh skin, so yes, I do agree that less is more as that is my mantra these days.
Fashion Collection: If a client is not happy with their look, how do you respond to that?
Mona J: If a client is not happy with her look then we keep working at it till she is, because our motto is that every person that leaves us should feel better than they did when they entered the salon. They have to be confident, they have to feel amazing and I like them to like themselves.If the client is not happy, I won’t have to be told by them that they aren’t, I will pick up from their body language and willkeep at it until I am sure we are both happy.
Fashion Collection: What is your favourite celebrity makeup look and why?
Mona J: My favourite celebrity look has always been Jennifer Lopez’s– the way her face is always glowing and make-up is sleek and minimalistic. People in Pakistan were not doing makeup like that when she donned this look, and she has been my inspiration since. I have also now mastered this art and can proudly claim that all my clients have this glowing look.
Fashion Collection: What in your opinion, is the most important quality in a makeup artist?
Mona J: In my opinion the most important quality in a makeup artist understands the client’s needs and communicating clearly with them, before starting anything. Consultation time should be quality time as sometimes a client says something but means something else! So, it’s very important to understandthe client completely and take out time to understand their look, and more importantly, if it will suit them or not. If you feel it will not suit the client, you should communicate your opinion clearlyand then try to find a middle ground that will look good on her and satisfies you as well.
Fashion Collection: What is one advice you would like to give your customers about taking care of makeup?
Mona J: One advice I’ll give to my clients, especially if they are makeup junkies like me — which means they buy a lot of makeup, like I have been doing since I was teenager — is to buy a proper makeup box and store their makeup in its compartments. That way it is easy to access it and they can use it efficiently before it expires.