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| PROFILES |
By Onika Nkrumah-Lakhan
AMIELA RAZZAQ IS AN ENTICING MIX of traditional
and modern. A hijab paired with eye-catching, neon
makeup may seem incompatible at first glance, but
Amiela, better known as Pinky, is a confident part of a
modern trend of Muslim women embracing their wom-
anhood and fashion. Pinky is a successful entrepreneur,
making her mark in the very modern, fashionable world
of makeup artistry. Nicknamed Pinky at birth by her
grandmother, the name stuck so much that her own
husband didn't know that Pinky wasn't her real name
until after the marriage!
It's incredible that she has only been doing makeup "pro-
fessionally" for a year, and has already amassed a bur-
geoning fan base at home and abroad, with over 80,000
Facebook likes Pinky herself remains in awe; "I've always
loved makeup, but it only became a passion a little over
a year ago, when I realized that I had a gift to make
women feel and look even more beautiful than they al-
ready are. The confidence boost that I am able to give
women when they look in the mirror is amazing."
Pinky's portfolio is breath-taking, and it's immediately
obvious why she is already eclipsing many makeup in-
dustry giants, but she maintains her humility, giving
credit where it's due to her teacher, Arlene Villarule. It
was after a stint in Ms. Villarule's classes that she dis-
covered her gift, and things just began to fall into place.
"I kept practising on family, friends, anyone who would
let me...eventually people began inquiring where I did my
Pinky doesn't conform to the usual stereotype of the
plain, unassuming Muslim woman. She doesn't cover her
beautiful face and she has a lucrative and high profile ca-
reer, but this hasn't caused her much negative backlash.
Probably because her husband is her number one fan
and supporter; he's actively involved in the organization
and preparation for her makeup classes and launches.
He is even the one to coax his wife to splash on a bit
more colour when they go out.
"I get a lot of positive responses from my Muslim com-
munity; it's very rare that anyone has something nega-
tive to say. I feel proud as a Muslim, to be looked up to
as a role model. When some people think of Islam, they
think of extremism and terrorism. It's awesome that I
could change people's ideas of what a Muslim should be,
and I am always fully covered. There's no law in Islam
that says that I can't beautify my face. Young Muslims
of today are giving a positive vibe to Islam. Women are
not to be oppressed, as long as our clothing is not body-
conscious or transparent we can wear anything. I don't
support the view that we can't wear colour...spice it up
a bit! I love being a Muslim woman; I love wearing my
hijab. It makes me stand out from everyone else effort-
lessly. This is why God has blessed me so bountifully."
And she has indeed been very blessed; she has now
grown from being just an extremely talented makeup
artist to a cosmetics entrepreneur with her own line of
Think Pinke products, filled with Carnival-esque but
classy colours, as well as being part of an international
team of makeup artists who travel worldwide teaching
her unique method at conferences and classes. "The
teaching just happened; I hated it at first because I'm not
a public speaker, but the demand was too great to ig-
nore." From student to teacher, Pinky has spun her suc-
cess into more business and now heads her own team,
certifying women locally.
Always conscious of her brand, Pinky has a keen fashion
sense, "I wear a lot of Muslim garb; in 2012, I made Hajj
(pilgrimage) to Saudi Arabia, I purchased over thirty 'jil-
bab', beautiful, glittery pieces with rhinestones...I match
my hijab to whatever colour palette I'm wearing..."
Pinky is a walking advertisement for her service and
products; "Everywhere I go, I get compliments, women
stopping me to ooh and aah. I just hand them my card."
Oddly enough, Pinky says "I'm very conservative; I love
simplicity." I chuckle, finding this hard to believe given her
love of bold hues, but she insists. "The colours are a mar-
keting thing, and my husband loves it."
There is no limit to the potential expansion of Pinky's
empire; she says that she would love to do Rihanna's
makeup someday, and she plans to continue to take her
artistry global. Watch out, world, Pinky plans to take you
There's no law in
Islam that says
that I can't beau-
tify my face. Young
Muslims of today
are giving a posi-
tive vibe to Islam.
Women are not to
be oppressed, as
long as our cloth-
ing is not body-
can wear anything.
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