Shamma Al Zarooni, her brand and self-expression

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How and when did you get started with make-up?

I was actually pretty young, maybe around 10. I remember doing a full-on blue smoky eye using my mom’s makeup and looking like a raccoon. I started to get really into make-up when I was around 14. I used to watch a lot of Youtube videos and I just started picking up techniques and making use of them whenever I applied make-up.

What exactly is it about make-up that you are so passionate about?

I’d say the artistic freedom to do what I want. I can’t paint, but I can use my face as my canvas and go absolutely crazy with it.

I also feel very strongly that beauty is from the inside not from the outside, and make-up is just an addition. However, it definitely makes me feel better about myself because it gives me a sense of self-expression, something I am unable to do with words, for example, because I am a very introverted and shy person.

What does the word “make-up” mean to you?

As I mentioned earlier, it is a form of expression for me and for other people. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with using make-up to enhance your features and to cover up any insecurities you may have. You shouldn’t listen to people who use the terms, “caked your face,” or the like. If it makes you feel good, then just do it!

How and when did you get the idea for your brand “7”?

I’m the type of person person who doesn’t like to have a lot of free time and loves being under pressure, which I know is sort of weird. That part of my personality lead me to wanting to own a business and to have my name out there.

Something that I’ve been passionate about since I was very young was makeup, so when I got the opportunity I agreed in no time. I actually got the business up and running in a very short period of time.

I actually got the freedom to choose between a lot of products. However, I was so intent on starting off right with something different from local brands. I decided to take the risk and just hope it pays off which, thankfully, it did. Hopefully, it’ll keep growing!

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Were there any difficulties you faced during the process of developing your palettes?

I was very fortunate to find a great company that helped me and made everything easy for me.

However, since they are abroad, I can’t be the one formulating my palettes nor can I be there in person. But still being given the ability to choose the colours and finishes of each shadow is great.

You currently have 2 palettes on sale, the “7” palette and the “Auflage I” palette. What does each palette represent?

To you, ‘Seven’ may just be a number and ‘Auflage’ a foreign name, but both words hold very powerful and personal meanings to me. Seven is my lucky number and Auflage represents something that I hold very dear to my heart. It actually means edition one in German, which is a very suitable name for a palette, but it’s not as surfaced as it seems.

How does your creative process play out in terms of selecting the colours and the theme of each palette you’re releasing?

My first palette, the Seven palette, was super colourful, making it very versatile to any makeup artist or individuals in general.The diversity of its shades allows them to create a wide range of looks.

However, my Auflage I palette took a longer time. What I was trying to do was to find a balance between shades used by people daily as well as on the go, so if someone had multiple errands to run that day, they won’t have to go home to change their looks, they would just need to have the palette with them. This is because all the shades are build-able; you can transition from a day to night look quickly by using the darker colours in the palette.

Are there any difficulties you have faced so far?

With my very first palette, honestly, I was very uneducated on the process of actually creating make-up. I made the choice of using a private label (a choice I now recognise as a bad one). What that means is adding your name to an existing product. This lead to a lot of problems and even hate directed towards me because other brands had a similar product.

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Has there been any figures that inspired you artistically or in general?

I would definitely say Charlotte Tilbury and Pat McGrath. They are very inspirational and influential figures in the make-up industry, individually owning very successful make-up brands. They both inspire me in a different manner: I love the effortless classic looks by Charlotte Tilbury, but Pat McGrath caught my eye with her portfolio filled with beautiful editorial looks.

Can you share some of the future plans for your brand?

I definitely want to create more eyeshadow palettes with new colour stories, but I also want to expand my make-up line by creating a wider range of products. I’m working on it, and something different may be coming soon, Inshallah!

Do you have advice for anyone out there planning to develop their own make-up brand, or pursuing a career in the make-up industry in general?

I would say that they definitely need to research, find something they’re very passionate about and to just go for it! Whether you want to have your own make-up line or you want 

to become a make-up, you are never too young to start. I have many incredible people on my PR list and the youngest being 14 years old. Start today, start tomorrow, start whenyou’re ready, but don’t stop for anything who tries to bring you down. You need to have thick skin, ignore all of the negativity, and keep doing what it is that you love to do.

Shamma Al Zarooni‘s make-up brand ‘7,’ was founded on the 7th of November 2017 and can be found through its instagram or website. You can find Shamma personally here.

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