A Look that Wows the Beholder
By Shafiya Nawzer
Your wedding day is one of the most significant days of your life. An elegant wedding gown, bridal shoes and accessories can certainly amp up the glamour, but having a skilled makeup artist will help complete a cohesive, beautiful bridal look. A quick bridal makeup search on the internet will fetch millions of results, with artists demonstrating their skills at contouring cheekbones, nailing the soft smoky eyes of dreams and achieving that flawless finish.
Prabhawathy Hariram is popularly known by everyone as Leena Hariram. She began her love of makeup and exhibited an artistic mindset at a very early age. It was not long before she recognised her passion for creativity was best nurtured through makeup artistry and made it the pivot to blossoming in the industry. Leena’s unrelenting drive, ambition, and desire to be the very best, has propelled her to become one of the industry’s brightest rising Make-up Artists (MUA) in Sri Lanka.
Throughout her long and illustrious career in some of the top salons in the country, Leena has earned many distinctions, winning many national and international awards for high definition make-up, bridal and party makeovers, as well as her evening looks.
She prides herself on a balanced skill set of bold glamour, flawless editorial and clean natural looks. However, her true gift is making her clients realise their most beautiful selves while simultaneously putting them at ease with the entire process.
Her specialty lies in bridal and flawless dewy skin makeup. She creates stunningly beautiful looks to enhance eye colour and shape. She has worked with tons of celebrities and top models throughout the years.
Leena has extended her originality and ambition into an avant-guarde salon - Leena Hari’s Bridal Studio on Edmonton Road, Colombo 5. They will be providing all beauty and hair treatments exclusively using high-end products from some of the world’s most innovative beauty brands.
Leena has brought together a team of staff, all experts in different fields to help run this beauty powerhouse. Kevin Van Twest will be joining the team as the head hairstylist, overlooking all hair treatments done in the salon. Anne Van Twest will be joining as their nail technician with Petula Nissanka and Anne as the beauticians. When it comes down to the look of a bride, Leena herself will be deciding on a cohesive style. The expert stylists and technicians are always on hand to offer customers a fresh, sleek cut, facials, eyelash extensions, a new colour to express themselves better, a blow-dry for that dramatic look, or even just a mani-pedi to get into the self-care mood.
We at Ceylon Today spoke to Leena in an exclusive interview about her journey, the latest salon and more.
How did you first get into make-up and your journey to where you are today?
I am a full-time bridal hair and make-up artist. I started my career as a junior in 2005 at one of the top salons in town and worked there for almost 10 years. Before that I followed a six month hair and beauty course in Colombo. Since my childhood, I loved and was obsessed with make-up. Today, I am a well-recognised MUA. I took part in multiple national and international competitions and won many medals and awards. What can I say, hard work pays off!
How would you describe your signature look and what is it about your style that sets you apart from other makeup artists?
My signature look is simple yet glamorous; when it comes to make-up I am pretty much obsessed with that. I think every makeup artist has their own way of doing it. My clients feel comfortable in my makeup and I don’t change their appearance. They say I have magical hands - now that’s what sets me apart from other MUAs.
When did you realise that you needed to start your brand?
Ever since I started this journey as an MUA, I always wanted to have my salon but with many ups and downs in life, I could not afford it. I never gave up, after all the hard work and sleepless nights; here I am with my own brand.
Tell us more about Leena Hari Studio and what you all offer?
Salon Leena Hari is a one-stop salon where we offer all hair and beauty services under one roof. Brides can also make use of our space to take pictures.
What is the principle that you have set for yourself in choosing the products to be included in your studio?
The principles I meticulously follow are, selecting products quintessential in quality, listening to my client’s valuable reviews, and feedback regarding product satisfaction. The products I use reflect the outcome of my work, which is my passion. Hence, I always handpick top-notch products for my clients. I always choose the best products when it comes to my salon; its quality over cost. Customer satisfaction is crucial and choosing products that we are familiar working with.
Are there any treatments that you all are offering that you’re most excited about?
We offer treatments with some of the best products like Kevin Murphy Olaplex, Javal USA, Amazon and Alfaparf Keratin; there are more to come and it’s a secret.
You specialise in bridal dress up. How do you help a bride discover her wedding day look?
When a bride comes to me, she walks in with a lot of hope and I make sure she gets that 100 per cent. When I set up a meeting with my clients, I dive deep into their lifestyle and set up an appointment for a trial to see what looks suits them the best.
What has been your favourite make-up trend since becoming a make-up artist?
Make-up trends change on an everyday basis and sometimes it’s difficult to keep up! There are so many trends right now. My trend is dewy skin, feather brows, mascara, blush, gloss and ready to go.
What is the most important beauty advice that you can give to both men and women?
Always follow a good skincare routine. I like to have a great canvas to start on a good makeup; exfoliate, moisturiser, mask and serum are what you require. Beauty is not only the outer appearance, it comes from within too. A good sleep, drinking plenty of water and eating healthy food also help you maintain good glowing skin.
(Pix by Amitha Thennakoon)