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For the Love of Make-up

Helping women put their best face forward is Mai Al Moayyed’s newly launched make-up studio and academy in Bahrain.

Former banker Mai Al Moayyed has always been more passionate about lipstick than ledgers. Make-up has a huge impact on a woman’s confidence and self-esteem, Mai believes. The self-confessed make-up addict trained at the Illamasqua School of Makeup Art in London, but has learned largely by way of experimentation. Following the popularity of her beauty blog, the 29-year-old Bahraini launched a professional makeup studio and academy at Segaya this month. As she readied for the big launch, Mai shared with us her aspirations.

Woman This Month (WTM): Where does the story behind The Makeup Manual blog begin?
Mai Al Moayyed (MA): It all started while I was sitting at my desk in my previous banking job. I deeply regretted taking up investment and finance as a career and decided to change track.

Given the interest Bahraini girls have in make-up and their endless questions about its use, I decided to create a website that reviews new products, provides tips and tells users what is and isn’t worth their money. The blog was born in mid-2011.

WTM: Tell us about the new venture.
MA: There’s much more to The Makeup Manual studio than just teaching and make-up. It’s about beauty, understanding techniques and concepts, consultation, classes and most importantly — confidence. That’s what the girls get once they leave my studio.

WTM: What excites you most about this venture?
MA: Opening a make-up studio is a dream come true. The most exciting part is the reaction of women when they enter the place.

WTM: What is the Mai Almoayyed signature touch?
MA: My work is simple yet glamorous. It’s non-heavy and non-cakey. I try to accentuate the best features without changing the way a woman looks.

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WTM: The beauty market in Bahrain is dominated by big brands, but there are no make-up artists to speak of. What role do you see for yourself in this market?
MA: I agree. However, things are slowly changing. I work with many cosmetic brands in order to help women understand their products. I have worked with Make Up For Ever and hosted events to introduce their new brushes and products. I represent Sigma beauty brushes in Bahrain.

Over the coming months, we’re adding Bassam Fattouh cosmetics, which are gaining popularity in the region.

WTM: What impact has your work had in Bahrain?
MA: The response is amazing. Girls are being educated about make-up and anyone can notice the difference.
They are becoming more confident. Girls recognise me no matter where I go. It’s funny when they call me ‘The Makeup Manual’ instead of Mai.

WTM: Where do you see The Makeup Manual in five years’ time?
MA: I love to think big. I hope to have a bigger team and perhaps another branch in Dubai!

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