By Isatou Ndure

Meet the hijabi makeup artists taking Instagram by storm

Beauty is inspired by all walks of life. Beauty is diversity. These hijabi makeup artists – some professional and some just incredibly talented makeup lovers are going to have you tapping away on Instagram and TikTok. They all post tutorials with stunning results, products reviews and tips whilst expressing themselves creatively through makeup while wearing a hijab.

Rafiqah Abdullah Akhdar:

Rafiqah is a 21-year-old hijabi model and beauty artist from Connecticut who was recently featured in a  Nordstrom campaign.

Images courtesy of Rafiqah Akhdar

“Hijabi makeup artists are important because everyone wants/needs representation, we all want to see someone who looks like us in positive positions especially when we’d like to be in the same one. When I was younger, I always wanted to go on America’s Next top model and when I always talked about this dream as a child I would say I wanted to be the first Hijabi to do so to show people we’re here and we can thrive in the industry. I wanted to be able to show other girls who looked like me that they could complete their dreams while still maintaining their faith. Obviously, that’s not the route I’d be taking now. Hijabis are widely misjudged in the western world so seeing so many hijabis happily being  themselves online is just so amazing.”

“I’ve been loving all of the new trends that have been coming out this past year but my top favourite is definitely the effect of Euphoria. Looks with graphic liner and rhinestones have been the funniest and best looks I’ve done. Euphoria really made a wave within the beauty community and I love every effect that it has.”

“My top three referrals are

  1. Milk Makeup Hydro Grip Primer
  2. NARS Natural Radiant Foundation
  3. Lancôme Long time no shine translucent powder.

Hydro Grip is the best primer I’ve ever tried. It feels tacky when you rub it in but that makes your foundation latch on even better. The NARS foundation has been my holy grail for about three years, and I will always love it. It gives the perfect skin-like finish and you can build the coverage to full. The final holy grail product is definitely the most unexpected. I have never tried a powder like the Lancôme Long time no shine powder. It sets the foundation amazingly, but it never dries out my skin and it works well with every foundation I’ve tried it with so far. These items are a little pricey but trust me when I say they are WELL worth it!”


Shamsi is a 21-year-old freelance makeup artist from Toronto who creates TikTok’s giving new makeup starter’s tips and tricks.

Images courtesy of Shamsi

“I think hijabi makeup artists, BLACK hijabi makeup artists have completely challenged the beauty and fashion industry. Speaking specifically about black hijabi women in the field of influencers, seeing as how that’s the intersectionality we’re discussing. Women like Aysha Harun, Shahd Batal, Chinutay, Enimsay, and so many more have challenged the standard of beauty in recent years and have made it feel possible for others like me, to imagine a society where someone who looks like me can be accepted. And if they don’t accept it? Too bad because we’re not going anywhere.”

“Makeup has always been a large part of my life since I was about 12 years old. I remember wanting to start a YouTube page about makeup with one of my friends at the time because I was so in love with the versatility of it and all the possibilities it had to offer. When I learned I was capable of covering up my acne scars using makeup, it became an even bigger part of my life. I’ve always found the process of application therapeutic as well as the self-care aspect of removing the makeup afterwards and following it up with skincare. I may not have realized it at the time, but growing up makeup has played a huge role in nurturing my creative side.”

“My holy grail products would have to include:

  • The Neutrogena Hydro boost sunscreen (because sun protection is vital to a smooth base)
  • Benefit 24-hour brow setter
  • NYX butter glosses
  • Real Techniques face sponge

These products can be used by anyone and everyone and are great for getting into makeup and are more affordable than other products.”

Sumaya Yusuf:

Sumaya is a 21-year-old makeup artist, podcaster, and TikToker from Minnesota:

Images courtesy of Sumaya Yusuf

“Makeup has been important in my life because it allows me to express myself. I like to look at it as art, you’re constantly creating masterpieces and other times failing and learning new things. It’s something fun to do.” Besides doing makeup I’m a full-time college student and I also work part-time. Makeup is just a stress reliever I like to do when I’m not too busy.”

“I would say my beauty signature look would definitely be the base. So, primer, foundation, concealer, powder, and contour, a corny phrase I like to say is, “if your base don’t look right, your face don’t look right.”

“My favourite trend right now would definitely be recreating looks from Pinterest. I’ve done a couple on my page and it’s exciting because you get to take a shot at something simply by looking at it. You don’t know what the products were used you’re just starting with a blank canvas.”

“My holy grail makeup product would be the jet-black liquid eyeliner from E.L.F. I’m not joking when I say I’ve been using it for 5 years on every single look I’ve done. It’s something that I struggled with at first but then kept practicing and now I can finally say I’ve mastered the art of eyeliner.”


Follow the girls on instagram:

Rafiqah: @rxfiqah Shamsi: @shamsiiito Sumaya: @ysumaya