25 Oct 2011

Metro Newspaper shoot

Last year I did a shoot for the Luxury Wedding Show which was written about in the Metro Newspaper, Credits are as follows

Photography - Gretel Ensignia
Dress - Suzie Turner who specialises in Bridal Couture
Venue - The Landmark Hotel, Marylebone
Hair and Makeup - Sana Kermani

As you can see, the shoot was very glamourous .......the last image was chosen for the newspaper.

I am the Official Makeup artist and Hair Stylist for all The Luxury Wedding Shows and get to meet several potential Brides there. My team and I work under immense pressure to create beautiful hair styles and looks for the catwalks at the shows. Between the catwalks, we also provide free makeovers to potential brides and consultations and people visit us to browse through our portfolios and benefit from special offers for the coming year.

See you at the next one on 9 Nov 2011 at Plaisterers' Hall, London.

24 Oct 2011

Things to do before your wedding to look Beautiful (as can be) - By a Makeup Artist and Hair Stylist

If you are getting married and want to look luscious before your wedding, then trying to have some sort of a game plan is a good idea.

My top tips for a bride-to-be:

1. Have a healthy diet, include omegas from oily fish, foods rich in anti-oxidants and high fibre and protein are a good idea. You want to have a healthy looking complexion so fresh vegetables and fruits are definitely something to add to your diet

2. Try to control your intake of caffeine and increase your intake of water, have lemon with ginger to spruce up your water or just a twist of lemon to add some taste

3. Rest when you can and try and sleep around 8 h, although the stress of the wedding can give some brides insomnia

4. To sleep well and produce endorphins (or happy hormones) exercise even if it is 20 mins a day, all that sweating will increase your stamina and fitness and cleanse your body of toxins through your pores.

5. Organise your tasks and prioritise, this way you will know what needs to get done first

6. Delegate some tasks if you can to reliable friends and family members, most friends want to help out...

7.If you have a good beauty routine ie. you cleanse your face thoroughly of all makeup before bed and in the morning cleanse and tone, then moisturise - you are on track! Don't try and do something new to your skin if it is in good condition, just for the sake as this can give you spots and blemishes. If you have oily skin with blackheads, have a consultation and then a course of facials to deep clean your skin and maintain it at home with good cleansing habits.

8. Have some me-time from all the wedding preparations, go for a manicure and a pedicure or a massage and unwind, what's better take your best friend and not talk about the wedding.

9. Find a makeup artist whose work you admire and have a consultation, then a trial. Make sure you ask as many questions as you can before and at the trial. You should be able to communicate with each other  with ease and you should feel relaxed during the trial. If you like the work, why not book yourself a lesson to learn how to do your makeup like a pro for all the pre and post wedding parties.

10. Find a hairdresser and have a consultation, then a trial. Make sure you discuss the styles you want to go for and don't get pushed into anything that you have not done before and would be self conscious of on the day. There is plenty of material in magazines and the internet.


Bridal Makeup - Asian, Contemporary, Arabic - the choice is yours - By Sana K Makeup

In the years that I have done various brides, one of the questions that brides ask is what race I do most makeup on. The answer to that is simple, I am a Makeup Artist first and by Genetics; an Asian Makeup Artist who also does a lot of Contemporary work with success. On any good makeup course, you are taught about various skin tones and how to apply makeup on a variety of ages and races.

When I first began putting a portfolio together, there was a lot of snobbery towards Wedding Makeup Artistry (Still is), it is looked down upon and thought of as cheesy as compared to someone who works in Fashion most days. Believe it or not, a lot of racism also exists in the industry, for example, one race would rather get the same race makeup artist and not another, as they believe that their kind would know their skin tones better - what a load of crap!?! So for those who like to judge, I created separate websites

www.sanakermani.com (the Contemporary one)

www.sanakmakeup.com (The Asian one)

Initially, I thought that was a lot of work, but then I realised I had already done so much work in the time that there was enough for both the sites. I enjoy making people look and feel great and I do not think of their creed and colour.

Most Contemporary brides want to look like themselves, but a very polished and natural version; meaning glowing skin with neutral tones. Very few would request a smokey eye or eyeliner unless they had a specific theme.

Usually, Asian brides want to look as glamorous as possible and want to look different to their norm. They go for full colour on their eyes and big lashes with strong lips - the great thing is their skin tones, their dress and jewellery is all so glam that everything blends well.

Arabic brides are a mixture of a contemporary and Asian - they wear the white dress but love to have dark smokey eyes.

In my opinion, a bride is always the centre of attention, no matter what she wears or who does her makeup :)

Whatever the look; a good makeup artist will keep your requirements in mind before tailor-making your look for your big day. 

18 Oct 2011

Sassoon Soiree - Best Haircut

Few months ago, I blogged about the 30 week Diploma I was involved with at the Sassoon Academy in London.

The last 10 weeks were spent preparing for our final graduation show. We were a small team of 6 students, who had to organise 3 models each;  clothes, accessories, food, drinks, props, makeup, photography, videography, thank you gifts etc. It seemed like a big task especially as we had watched previous shows which seemed of a really high standard. The show was booked at Wella Studios in Mortimer Street and we knew that would add a professional backdrop for our the catwalk.

The theme title was finalised as Manufactured Landscapes and in short we were inspired by Architectural buildings or anything man-made with some kind of definitive structure.

Here is a picture of Tulip fields that summarised our theme and also formed our colour palette for hair.

Previously Sassoon cuts were known to be inspired by the Bauhaus, so as this was a classic course, we thought this theme was perfect.

Classic cuts are all about sharp lines and angles but ofcourse executed according to suitability to the face.

We also watched several Sassoon DVD collections to get inspiration from.

One of the looks that I  was really inspired by was from the Tribe one collection, which was a long hair cut with a really creative fringe.

Here is the haircut I did ........

this was chosen as the best haircut at the show. I was really pleased with the finish and the whole look.
The colours that I chose were a warm reddy brown all over and a blue black in the fringe area.

Other cuts that I did were a scissor over comb with layers for a young male

and creative cut with creative colours of purples with a bleach and tone.

This officially marks the beginnings of hairdressing for me (even though I have been hairstyling for nearly a decade thanks to Weddings and Fashion work).

27 Sep 2011

The Luxury Wedding Show at the Millenium Hotel - Mayfair

On Sunday 25th Sept, we had a 7am start to get makeup and hair styling done, even though the first show was not until 12.30. This is because there were 6 female models, 1 bridesmaid, 2 male models, a Ballerina- Kerry Birkett, first artist with the English National Ballet who performed the opening act and 2 Celebrities (Lizzie Cundy and Nick Ede who compered the show. In between the hair and makeup was dress fittings and choreography! I even got time to do some live makeovers at my stall. All went well, and I have some lovely pictures to share. See you at the next show!

Photography Shahzeb Hanif - Copyright

27 Aug 2011

Chanel Eye shadows - Illusion D'ombre

I have discovered these amazing pots in 6 colours and I bought one in maroon, black, white and steel grey. It looks like a cream shadow but at touch it is quite powdery / slippery and can be buffed on with a fluffy brush like MAC 217 on your eyelids or can be put on with fingers (although I found it quite messy this way). They have beautiful sparkly bits in them which actually do not drop off as the night goes on. I used them in the morning and it lasted until the end of the day! You can use them on their own or add to any other eyeshadow for some glam ;)

14 Aug 2011

Tutorial requests

A lot people send me requests on how to cover their dark under eye circles so I will be putting something together for you next week. Nothing beats a one to one lesson but for those who cannot do that, this will hopefully be helpful.

Rimmel eyeshadows

On one of my superdrug visits, I found a few interesting eyeshadow quads by rimmel. I was looking for a bronzy and a lilacy quad for myself and the results were super. It lasted the whole day on my eye primer like all other expensive brands. Will dig out the names of the palette if anyone wants to know.

Ardell lashes

I have tried several lashes on clients but I still love Ardell lashes in 103 , 105 and their demis.

Suqqu eyebrow pen

Now this is new thing - a felt tip pen for eyebrows but even though it sounds like it would be like colouring in, this is very subtle and looks amazingly natural. I am using 01 which is a dark colour that matches my brows it looks dark brown there is no red in the brown so looks natural. There is a reddy brown in 02 if you have lighter brows.

Laura Mercier secret camouflage

I have added this whole range of concealers in my kit after trying out no 5 under my eyes and receiving several cmpliments how fresh I looked. Well, the secret to using this the correct is to tap on the colour and lightly pat on the discoloured area - do not drag ! This is a dry formulation and if not used correctly under the eyes will give you lines!!
Each palette has 2 colours, one which is peachy salmony and other is yellow based. Use the salmony one on the gluey purport or dark areas of skin and then blend with yellowy one on top. Yelowy one can be used on it's own on areas which are closest to the lighter parts of your face. Don't forget to powder and set.


I have recently tried out the foundation line by Suqqu that is available in Selfridges, and I am using the darkest one available in their range no 35. It has a flawless finish and a little goes a long way. In pictures that I took of myself with an ordinary camera, my skin looked air brushed and smooth. Definitely worth a try girls!

3 Aug 2011

Bobbi Brown Makeup artist discount card

The discount card that was valid in Selfridges is no longer valid anymore. V annoying! Apparently a new scheme is coming out for us....please inform all your makeup artists before they reach the paying counter!

29 May 2011

Eyeshadows by Atelier Maquillage International

I came across this brand at IMATs this year and as a makeup artist I am always on the look out for new colours and products so I tested them on the back on my hand at the stall. To my surprise the colours were vibrant and highly pigmented. The eyeshadows come in palettes of 5, and you can buy them pre packed or make your own palette. I bought a couple of pre-made ones in Blues , Purples, Peaches, and Pinks. Apart from trying them for test shoots I tried them on ME for a TV interview I gave a few months ago. Some of the eyeshadows are light reflective and shimmery and others are matte. The real test was on a shoot I did with Actress Maia Sethna  and I wanted to create a turquoise / acqua eyemakeup with a smokey look, the colours have come out really well in the pictures. I am so impressed with them that I might buy a larger palette which takes in more of their colourful eyeshadows.


This is a French brand but now they are available in UK and stock a wide range of products for makeup artistry.
307 D Finchley Road, London, NW3 6EH, UK, open from Tuesday to Saturday from 10.00 am to 1.00 pm from 2.00 pm to 6.00 pm

21 May 2011

Display Window at Landmark Hotel, London

One of the many exciting opportunities I was recently offered was a display window at the prestigious Landmark Hotel. The Hotel is set in the heart of Central London, a skip and a hop away from Marylebone Station. Among the many wonders of the hotel, it has a magnificent lobby which is always buzzing with visitors. Through the lobby are the staircases that lead up to the mezzanine level, where several display windows exist (and now one of them showcases my work too!). They form a lovely walk upto the area where the buffet takes place at weekends. Make sure to check it out when visiting London!

Scissor Happy days at Sassoon Academy - London

OK so it has been a very long time since my last blog - APOLOGIES first! Now an explanation - I joined the Sassoon Academy in March and have not had much time as it is full time from 9am to 5 pm Mon to Fri. I am completing the NVQ 3 and Sassoon Diploma (30 weeks) which is in Hair cutting and colouring. These new skills will be an addition to my existing makeup and hair styling skills.

For those of you who might be thinking of hair dressing, a quick overview is that the 30 week course is divided in 6 stages (5 weeks each) and at every stage you learn something new and exciting.
Stage 1 - overview of the course and basics covered with some cutting at the end, main emphasis is on hairstyling.

I won the best mood board for end of stage 1. Mood board had to show best hair styles done so far.

Stage 2 - main focus on cutting women's hair, with some additional knowledge on colour theory (also get to spend a day at Wella and learn about their products)
Stage 3 - main emphasis on Barbering, some more colour theory and cutting hair
Stage 4 - Colouring Hair nearly everyday
Stage 5 - Cutting and Colouring Hair
Stage 6 - Advanced cuts and prepare for graduation soiree (find 2 to 3 models for hair show) - END of diploma!

At the end of every stage, there is always a competition of best student portfolio and mood board and the amount of products sold!

At present I am just finishing Stage 2 and have a better understanding of the ABC cutting theory than when I began. I must say although cutting hair is enjoyable, it is very technical and colouring is just another story to be amazing! I am really looking to the next few stages and in the meantime, have started taking the opportunity of cutting my friends and family's hair to add to my practise.

Might I also add, that throughout the course as our knowledge and skill set is increasing, our hair length is decreasing. In the past 10 weeks I have had 3 hair cuts......well, I did have hair below my shoulders!

Last but not least, this week the movie about Vidal Sassoon has released in London. I was lucky enough to grab a ticket which played at Westfield. Lucky because the great Hairdressing Icon Vidal Sassoon himself was going to be there for a Q & A after the show.

I am not sure whether I was more excited to watch the movie or the fact that I got to see him and get a photograph with him (o ok so we are in the same FRAME!!)

21 Jan 2011

Foundations of makeup

Over the years I have used quite a few foundations on myself and on my clients. I now keep certain brands for for certain purpose. Some of the ones that I will talk about today are:

For Asian  and Afro Caribbean skin tones, I think MAC and Bobbi Brown do a fantastic range of colours with various finishes. So, if you have fantastic skin with no scars / marks or spots, you could get away with MAC's Face and body range in C3 onwards. If you need coverage medium to heavy, you can use Studiofix MAC liquid foundation and powder with any translucent powder. If you have oily skin or are concious of your T- zone shining, then MAC's Studiofix powder foundation is the way forward. Available in Selfridges and at other retailers.

MAC and Bobbi are good for Asian skins as these brands do yellow based foundations as opposed to most other brands which have more of a pink tone, good for Caucasian skins.

Bobbi Brown also does a variety of foundations, so depending on the coverage you might need and your skin's condition, you can chose one that has a matt or dewy finish. I have Bobbi Brown's University Palette which is a makeup artist's best friend; it contains all their colours in their stick foundation range (which gives medium to heavy finish) and all their concealers. So, a brilliant one to take to a fashion show or a wedding party, it covers any skin colour possible! Bobbi colours cover anybody and everybody! Available in Selfridges and at other retailers.

Laura Mercier does fabulous foundations but they are predominantly for Caucasian skins as they are pink based . If you are a very fair Asian, you can use them. They too have different finishes like matt and dewy.

Makeup Forever brand has been widely recommended by some of my makeup artist friends, but again I would use them on my Caucasian clients / models as they are pink based. This is tried and tested but most Caucasian models and clients I have worked on are either 117 or 120 in their HD Foundation range. The finish with this foundation is medium but can be layered to heavier one and looks matt, This is a great one for Photography and Weddings. Makeup Forever can be bought at a few selected retailers in London. Guru Emporium in Fulham and   M.A.P shop near Shepherds Bush. Otherwise you can chose an online option.

Kryolan is a brand familiar to makeup artists around the world. Their foundation sticks are used a great deal in the Sub continent for wedding or fashion makeup. The finish achieved is flawless with a heavy coverage. It is brilliant for anything Photographic or bright lights like TV, Theatre, Wedding, Model shoots etc. You can also use this if you have pigmentation problems or scars to give good coverage. 

A word of advice - please match your foundation in good day light on your jaw bone, not inside a store with artificial lighting. Once on your jaw bone, take a mirror and exit the shop to check. The correct colour will sink into your skin and not show as opposed to a shade darker or lighter that will.  Please do not try and buy a foundation by matching it on the back of your hand as hands can be darker or fairer than your face.

Unless you have hormonal issues or pigmentation problems, the correct foundation should match your face and neck. People with hormonal issues tend to have darker necks so might need a slightly darker foundation to blend better.

Not a day goes by when women write to me about foundation problems. The thing is unless I meet you and match you I cannot tell you the exact match and sending me pictures (which have flashes etc) is not a solution. You just have to try and test, eventually you WILL find your colour. 

Another problem is that often a foundation changes colour on your skin. This is quite normal as it oxidises, usually turns redder so people think they look dark. This is a huge problem for some people as they do not like to look darker! My advice is get a sample of the foundation you want to buy, wear it with your regular moisturiser (changing that can also change the finish of your foundation) and then if you like it, buy it.

Last problem is foundation cracking. Think about it, if you have lines on your face around the mouth or around the eyes (which is quite normal) and you will use a thick creamy foundation, this is bound to happen. You need to wear less and powder lightly and frequently. 

A foundation is not a mask that you wear once in the day and expect it to be the same as when you  put it on. Your body chemistry (walking around makes you sweaty), touching your face, wearing a scarf around or wearing and taking off clothes will all move it. If you are concious of your real skin and colour please carry your foundation with a translucent powder to touch it up from time to time.

Lastly, if you don't spend a day shopping around and trying foundations, how will you know what suits you?! Get shopping then :)

20 Jan 2011

Luxury Wedding Show 2011

I have recently been a part of the Luxury wedding show as their Official Makeup artist. This a show across 3 dates and 3 different classy and beautiful venues:

16 Jan - The Landmark Hotel, Marylebone, London - picture below from show
6 Feb - Radisson Edwardian Hotel, Heathrow - to be held
27 Feb - The Grove, Hertfortshire - to be held

My team (who are just the best!) and I am responsible for the hair and makeup of two fashion shows that will take place at each event.

I will upload some more pictures as they are being edited at present, but here is one for those who haven't already seen it on my fanpage on facebook.

I have a stall at each event and if I am not there when you visit, a member of my team will look after you until I am back (yes I will sit at my stall after the fashion shows). Timings for the shows are between 12 and 3pm. Doors to the venue open at 11am and close by 4.30pm. See you there!

L for Lancome and L for luxury

Ok so I bought some more lipstcks (yes I have hundreds!!)

L'Absolou Rouge in numbers:  06 (peachy pink), 354 (pinky shade) and 270 (light brown - great nude colour for medium toned or olive skins)

I find the lighter coloured lispticks dont really need lip liners as they look like soft sheens and stains on lips and if you are in a hurry, you can wear them without a mirror and purse your lips to stain.

These lipsticks are really creamy / hydrating but also pigmented and I just love the perfume in them (it reminds of when I used to sneakily wear my mums).

As they are so creamy they can easily be used instead of glosses.

Clinique gel eyeliner

After reading several reviews and seeing youtube videos, I thought I should buy the Clinique gel liner in black. I use black the most especially for smokey eyes, lining eyes on top, bottom and inside in place of kajal / kohl pencil. the one I usually use is blacktrack by MAC but in the past also used one by Stila, which has disappeared from Selfridges!!

It is too early to say much as I have just worn it on my waterline and will wait a few hours to tell you if it has smudged or run as my eyes do that. Also, as I am not 20 (waaaaaaaannnn, sob sob), I find kohl and other things get lodged in my 'fine' lines in the corners of my eye no matter how carefully I powder.......

SMASHBOX Metallic Cream Eye Liner Palette

I have recently bought this palette, thinking that it will cut down the weight and bulk of carrying several coloured eyeliners.

Shades that are present are top row: Onyx, topaz, emerald, Sapphire and Gold
Bottom row is Amethyst, Blue Topaz, Graphite, Platinum and bronze

The colours are al fabulous and come out true on your hand and eyes. My only problem is that they get smudged and run, so an option of putting an eyeshadow on top will work (got to try that). Not pleased as nobody wants smudged eyeliners. It is pricey at £30 and and quantity is small for each colour.

BUT BUT BUT..... I shall be using them as a colourful base on eyelids for all photographic work like I would use greasepaints so can you!

Will post a picture of this later.