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When it comes to beauty, can Pakistani brands compete?

When it comes to beauty, can Pakistani brands compete?

Remember Medora's cult classic lipstick, Siss?

There was a time when Medora was the most exciting local makeup brand around.

Medora's products, including Siss, a neutral, sandy shade which is still a staple in many a makeup artist's arsenal, were in every woman's bag.

Lucky for us though, Pakistani makeup brands have since upped their game. Aside from a glittering array of international makeup products littering the cosmetic counter at any major departmental store, there’s been a sudden profusion of local brands providing quality products that are completely catered to South Asian skin.

Why is this more exciting than finding out that your local supermarket now stocks Urban Decay and Too Faced? There are numerous reasons, of course.

Going local: what works

Firstly, our local makeup brands have finally understood that they're competing with the likes of both drugstore brands like Maybelline and Revlon and high-end brands like Laura Mercier or Nars. And they've upped their game accordingly.

Next: their products are customized to our needs and their shades will suit our skin-tone better.

Then there’s pricing; anything imported by your local supermarket will be sold at twice its cost and even for a makeup junkie, paying double for a tube of lipstick can get tiresome.

What’s even more exciting is that our local beauty brands are no longer stuck in a rut and are offering products that match the current international trends.

Never before have we been able to forecast beauty trends using makeup our local brands are producing for the season but all of that is about to change, if it hasn’t already.

Local brands have you covered when it comes to contouring, a liquid lip and a fresh face.

With the recently launched Masarrat Misbah Makeup (MM Makeup) and Nabila’s new No Makeup range already supplementing the Luscious products in the market, it’s easy to translate three of the biggest beauty trends for a local audience.

What, pray, are these trends? Each can be identified by a single product; Luscious’s contour kit cashes in on the Kim Kardashian contour craze; Nabila provides the perfect solution to the effortless, no makeup look with her multipurpose face perfecting palette and MM Makeup is the first brand to bring liquid lipsticks to the country.

Luscious takes on the contour trend:

Meherbano Sethi, the driving force behind Luscious, was quick to pick up on the contour craze and immediately converted it into an easy, four shaded powder kit. It features a dark bronzer for the shadows, a light one of blending, an ivory highlighter and an illuminator. What’s truly great about the contour kit is that it allows our fairness-obsessed country to give bronzers and tanning a chance.

Girls are beginning to realise that a touch of bronzer or even bronze highlighter can give a gorgeous, sun-kissed look. It is also however perpetuating the excessive makeup trend that works on the principle of altering features as opposed to enhancing what already exists. Eventually in time though we’ll be able to find the middle ground between underdone and overdone makeup.

Nabila's No Makeup tackles the fresh-faced look:

Nabila’s No Makeup palette is more interesting. It comes in five different shades guaranteed to match the spectrum of complexions and offers international standard formulations for each of the products contained within the tiny, grey compact.

Also read: Nabila's 'No Make-up' reveals a powerhouse at her peak

No Makeup marks a break away from foundation laden skin. Using all her expertise in the field, Nabila, ever the pioneer, provides a summer and skin friendly alternative to not only complexion correction products but also ends the search for the perfect neutral lipstick. Her compact offers a concealor, a formula to blend the concealor and erase any harsh lines as well as creamy blush and lip stain.

With just these four “essentials” aided by a setting powder that you could just as easily do without, the No Makeup palette is truly all you need to survive through the heat.

The concealer doesn’t show on the skin or crack and cake in the heat while the blush and stain provide a natural looking flush to the cheeks and lips. It also fits perfectly with the latest international obsession, which is ironically enough called the effortless, no makeup look.

MM Makeup does a liquid lip:

As for the liquid lipstick, even the international markets are just beginning to boom with this hybrid product. Touted to a matte lipstick in a lip-gloss’ body, liquid lipsticks provide the pigmentation and matte effect of a lipstick with the hydration of a gloss.

To be honest, they’re nothing fancier than matte lipstick in a tube with an applicator but it’s great to see local brands innovate or at least keep up with the international trends and provide affordable and accessible options locally.

Though the MM liquid lipsticks are super pigmented and come in a variety of stunning shades that suit the fairest and the darkest in the land, their team is still working out the kinks as it can get a bit drying and flaky. Below, MM's liquid lipstick in Magento.

Don’t let that stop you though, pick up a tube for yourself and marvel at how fun much the product can actually be!

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