This women’s day, we want to applaud women who have been pushing beauty boundaries in Pakistan. They are the true visionaries, who are not scared to rub against the grain, and pursue their ambitions.


Nabila Maqsood made a name for herself, sans a last name. She started her journey over three decades ago,  venturing into the salon business in 1986. She sold her wedding diamond set to pay for hair school in London and has since then redefined fashion, beauty and imagery in Pakistan. She is credited for introducing international standards and techniques, for both hair and makeup, and embraced experimentation. She’s played personal stylist to many of entertainment industry’s bigwigs, giving them makeover that reinvented their personas (and careers).

Nabila doesn’t endorse stagnation nor resides in comfort zone. She launched her makeup line couple of years ago, followed by a wing for men, and has now resolved to focus on expansion of her retail division.

My favourite quote by Nabila: You need to look your best when you step out of shower. Everything on top is a bonus.

Masarrat Misbah:

The art of giving back is what made Masarrat Misbah a household name. She started her journey 38 years ago, and has established a solid and steady clientele in Karachi and Lahore. Her Smile Again Foundation endeavours, offering a new leash of life to acid attack survivors, is not only commendable but also inspirational. She has utilised her skills and resources to transform thousands of lives, and continues to do so every day.

Most recently, she launched her halal certified makeup brand (my review here), comprising powders, lipsticks and palettes. She also runs Depilex College of Cosmetology, which provide free of cost beautician courses to low-income women.

My personal tip for MM Makeup: for everyday look, I moisturise my face and use MM’s foundation as a concealer. It blends easily and brighten up the under eye area.

Natasha Khalid:

Legacy can be crushing if you lack substance to uphold it. Grand daughter of Madam Nooor Jehan, Natasha Khalid first came across our beauty radar when her 100 watt glow became talk of K-Town. Her salon, which she operates in partnership with her mother and sister, has produced some of the most stunning brides that Pakistan has seen in the last decade. But traditional is not all that she does; most recently, she teamed up with Ayeza Khan for a beauty editorial that blew our socks off. She managed to create incredibly distinct and powerful looks, each confirming her talent as a majestic storyteller. There are interesting influences of photography, fashion and travel in her work, and her distinctive approach has made her one of moist poignant influencers in the beauty industry.

Natasha’s favourite product: L’Oreal Telescopic Mascara, La Mer Moisturizing Gel Cream,Giorgio Armani Luminous Skin Foundation, NARS Cordura Duo Eye-shadow, NARS Orgasm Blush, Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair, MAC Teddy Eye Pencil, and MAC Ample Pink Lip-gloss.