I've always believed that watching the market will tell you more about the psychology of the world than anything else. From consumer trends to where investors choose to invest, the way we spend is a direct cross section of the societal psyche. As both a business woman and as a woman in general, the surge of the beauty industry over the last few years comes as no surprise.
On a personal level, make-up has always been a huge part of my life. Yes, it’s fun to get all dolled up and try the latest products – but it goes deeper than that. It’s a tool, a weapon, and a way of communicating. It’s a tool in that you can use it to bring out and highlight your unique beauty. It’s a weapon in the sense that making that extra effort to put your best self forward turns you into a powerhouse. When I have a good outfit, a blowout and good make-up, I feel invincible. And it’s a way of communicating on several levels; a way of signalling to yourself that you’re ready to take on the day. It’s the last step of putting together the whole package, which allows me to get into character, so to speak, and to step into my alter ego. And digging even deeper, it’s a sign of respect – both in reminding yourself that you’re worth the effort, and in respecting others by giving them your best self.
On a business level, the beauty surge also makes sense. Whilst we are yet to reach parity, this is an era in which women no longer need to mimic men in the workplace in order to achieve success. Even the resurgence of ’80s power suits in the fashion world makes this clear. They may be back, but this time, they’re more playful, sexier, and more tailored to the feminine form. Owning one’s looks and one’s femininity is not just a strength. In this day and age of personal branding, it can turn you into an icon. So it only makes sense that the beauty industry would become such a hot market.
In my personal life, I’m incredibly lucky to be surrounded by beautiful, creative, and ambitious women. Many of whom are creating their own make-up brands that I can try first-hand and even offer feedback on. The best part is that when I do fall in love with a new product, I’ve not only made a new discovery, but I’m also supporting a friend.
A few of these favourite products include lip pencils from Huda Beauty (Bombshell and Trophy Wife are my top picks), the Koko K Matte Liquid Lipstick from Kylie Cosmetics, the KKW Beauty Contour Kit, and the Ouai line from Jen Atkin.
I’m also very excited about Charlotte Tilbury opening new stores in Kuwait and across the GCC. Her brand has been a favourite for years, and I’ll never forget her telling Kim Kardashian and I about how she even sleeps in her make-up! Although I haven’t had a chance to try Rihanna’s Fenty line yet, I love how she created shades for 40 different skin tones, which is far more than most beauty brands.
What I also love about beauty is how personal it can be. It’s a way to showcase and celebrate what makes you special and unique. Swapping the shade of your lipstick can do more than just alter your look. It can open doors and opportunities just by changing how you see yourself, and how you present yourself to the world. Here’s a little trick I sometimes use – next time you feel like you’re in a rut in your work or personal life, or even just in your state of mind, try something new and switch up your make-up. You might be surprised to discover how something as small as the flick of an eyeliner can do so much.
This article originally appeared in the November 2017 issue of Harper's Bazaar Arabia
Photography: Ethan Mann. Carla wears: Jumpsuit, Elisabetta Franchi.