My first experience with Saudi (Khaleeji) wedding makeup-styles was when a Saudi colleague at the hospital showed me her wedding picture album. My jaw nearly dropped! WHOA! I would never had guessed that this normally so modest, niqab-wearing, natural beauty who never wore make-up to work would go for the extreme “Arabic” makeup style.
Her make-up was so over done that it was hard to understand what had been going on in the makeup artists’ head. Some sort of psychedelic eyeshadow-rainbow-show was happening on the eyelids; orange, blue, green, yellow, neon pink and bright red were all combined in random order and topped with glitter.
A set of large crystals were plastered around her eyebrows, which were painted so dark and thick they looked more like caterpillars on steroids than brows.
All this makeup was topped off with giganourmous fake eyelashes, and to match the eyes, super bright fuchsia colored-lips. The bride’s skin was covered in layer after layer of foundation as white as the snow. Her natural beauty had sadly been drowned somewhere deep under this mask.
Fair, white skin is an obsession in Saudi Arabia as it is in many other parts of the world and sadly many young women go to extremes to whiten their skin for weddings. Read the tragic fate of this teenage Saudi bride,
who just wanted to be ‘fair and lovely’ on her wedding day.
I told the bride how beautiful she looked because I didn’t want to offend her, but to this day I’ve never understood the need for so much make-up! Less is more, anyone? I get that Saudi women want to go all out for weddings and while some Arabic and Khaleeji makeup styles are actually quite beautiful, most of the ones I’ve seen at weddings have been way over the top.
I will always remember my first experience of a wedding done in Saudi style. The heavy make up and fashion sense (or lack thereof?) of some of the women in attendance was shocking. Think Batman characters, Reneissance, 80’s-style, and Star Trek all combined and miss-matched. It felt more like a carnival or a masquerade.
I usually don’t wear much make-up, except for special occasions. That particular evening however, I’d applied extra dark eye shadow and a thick layer of eyeliner, thinking I had a lot more makeup on then I would normally be comfortable with, or so I thought. It turned out that apparently my perception of “a lot” does not conform with the Saudi view.
Some women actually came up to me asking “Don’t you have eyeliner or mascara on?” WTH? Of course I had eyeliner and mascara, duh. But I hadn’t smudged my entire eyes with it! Also, blue eyes combined with blonde lashes and brows just never look as great as dark hair and brown eyes do with heavier make-up. If I were to put that much make-up on, it would just end up looking very trashy and cheap.
So I heard “Tsk, tsk tsk. Unacceptable, she has to put more make-up on!”
“Doesn’t your husband want you to wear eyeliner?” was the next question. Ummm..I don’t know? What does that have to do with me being here, in an all-female setting anyways?
There’s another big Saudi wedding coming up so I’ve been searching online to check out some nice Arabic style make-up I could try this time. Click here to read about the Saudi Wedding Extravaganza
While browsing the net I came across some very beautiful Gulf makeup styles, but boy, some of the stuff that’s out there is just…wow. Take a look at some of the looks I found:
Poison Ivy-look. What is up with the eyebrows, how did they move to the middle of her forehead?? Inspired by Mr. Spock perhaps?
Herpes-look. Enough said.
Raccoon-look. Isn’t the point to try and make the eyes seem bigger and more far apart than all lumped together like a mask?
Peacock-look. I wonder if it comes with a bunch of peacock feathers attached to your butt?
Dear Lord help me-look. Help me look into the mirror and realize I look like a drag queen before I leave the house.
Mix and match miss-matched colors-look. The more colors you are able to splash on your face, the better.
Boy George-look. Is he an Arab Idol?
The angry owl-look. Reminds me of this bird we have in Finland called huuhkaja:
Star Trek-look. Beads on your forehead make you look like an alien, period.
The 80’s-look. Gotcha! Did you even notice the image above is not even a woman, but in fact Boy George?
Hypnosis-look. Ok colored contacts can be nice if they’re subtle, but this is creepy!..And don’t get me started on the lip liner!
Spider-look. Everything about the look reminds me of spiders, spiderwebs and beehives and other creepy crawlers.
Face painting-look. Yeah, face paintings were fun when we were like 5 years old.
Measles-look. The only place where studs look good is on your bag. Or shoes. Maybe jeans. But for the love of God, don’t put them on your face!
I think I shall pass on this fabulousness!
I wish some of these women who cover their beauty under the paint would understand how beautiful they are without the tons of make up. Most Saudi women are naturally extremely beautiful and that could be enhanced even further with the right make up but often unfortunately the results are a clown-look that’s far from beautiful IMHO.
I like this look for myself, the light pink lips with the smokey eyes. I might have to add color to the brows for a more Arab style.
I bet if I do something like this I will be just a wall flower and nobody will even notice my presence :)
What do you think? Which Arabic make-up look is your favorite?
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