I’ve recently joined BNYV, which is a volunteer platform meant to help people get to know government policies. We also do free legal clinics and carry out charity programmes for the poor. Another project I’ve got going is Sunkissed Society, of which I’m the founder.
Sunkissed Society was born out of when I was doing modelling casting calls and I noticed how there was a huge prejudice against darker skinned girls. I would go to events and makeup artists would never have the right makeup for me, they’d always make me look ashy. It got me thinking about how I know so many pretty girls who hate themselves because they’re more tanned or because they are darker compared to others. It’s a shame because as Asian women, we come in so many shades and that should be something we celebrate, not something we’re ashamed of. So that’s what Sunkissed Society is all about, the aim is to empower Asian women to feel confident in their own skin regardless of the colour of their skin. It’s sort of the first, tiny step towards change but then I’m all about changing the world fabulously.
For me, the foundation that I personally use is by BE Cosmetics which you can get at Muse by Watsons. It’s a newer brand, but it’s quite good. The concealer I use is by NYX, simply because it’s cheap. Generally, my everyday makeup is inspired by Deepika Padukone— her makeup is so simple yet sexy. It’s classic. So to achieve that look, I always make sure I’ve got eyeliner. I wear eyeliner all the time! Currently, I’m using one by In2it. I’ve been trying to find an eyeliner which is suitable for oily eyes. As of now, In2it fits the bill.
Sometimes I’ll wear a single eyeshadow on my eyelid to brighten up my eyes. Right now I’m using this one from a Shu Uemura eyeshadow palette. I also recently got the Tartelette for Christmas, so I’ll definitely use that once in a while. As for mascara, right now I’m using one by In2it. I love it. It lasts forever, like you can wear it all day then go home at night and go to bed… and it will still be there the next morning! It’s definitely waterproof. In fact, I think it might be Apocalypse-proof.
The eyebrow pencil I use is by Rimmel, which my sister bought for me in the UK. My eyebrows are funny— they are completely straight! One time I went to the brow waxer… or is it the brow parlour, I don’t know what it’s supposed to be called… Anyway, I asked for an arched look and the waxer tried and tried but she couldn’t make it happen. Finally, she just looked at me and said; “kening awak memang tumbuh lurus eh?” But the other day I met some dudes who said my eyebrows made me look like Eva Green, so I guess that’s a compliment!
As for lipsticks, I like them but they don’t like to be worn by me! They just come off so quickly on me. At the moment I’m really liking this brownish purple lipstick which I bought from Instagram. It’s an Instagram brand, I don’t remember what it is. But it’s super cheap and lasts a really long time. So I really like that.
I’ve stopped wearing a lot of skincare products and have instead decided to focus more on having a natural skincare regime. I have some masks that I make entirely out of natural products like yogurt and honey. One of them is my yogurt mask, which is really good for acne since it has antibacterial properties. It’s also really good for when you have a suntan. Honey is also really good for acne, if you have it. I mix the two together maybe once or twice a week, and it really helps plus it’s so cheap. You can use any kind of yogurt— the one I use is only about RM2!
Another mask I do is an exfoliating one where you basically just use brown sugar and olive oil. Brown sugar is more gentle than regular sugar, so you’ll get that very smooth surface without damaging it. Oh— I know I cut out a lot of skincare products, but at the same time I don’t ever forget to put on sunblock! I use Biore.
Generally, I’ve noticed that my skin tends to look better when I eat healthy. It’s proven. What I do is cut down on the oily stuff— less sugar, less salt and make sure to drink green tea twice a day. It really helps with your skin. I’ve got to try to get back into my healthy eating routine. Keeping active is also really good— I go to the gym pretty regularly. If you’re a student, usually you can find a gym that charges per entry so that’s cheaper than signing up for a membership, which can be really expensive. If you can’t do that, there’s always jogging at the park or just signing up for activities at your university. I’m currently trying out kickboxing… It really hurts my knuckles.
Most recently I’ve started doing a zine, Saudade… Saudade came about after I went through a really bad breakup last year. After the breakup, I went on a lot of dates— some of them good, some of them bad. But they all taught me lessons I couldn’t learn elsewhere. All the heartbreak kind of ended up inspiring me, and I started writing a lot. Basically, Saudade is all about longing for something that’s already gone— it can be a friend, or family or anything that you don’t have anymore. For me, I realised that all that was basically part of my story and and there has to be a lot of people out there who feel or felt as sad and alone as I did. So Saudade is me reaching out to those people, letting them know that they’re not alone.
For more from Iman, follow her on Twitter @nocturnaltapir. Also, don’t forget to check out and follow Sunkissed Society on Instagram!