Stories of Glam, Passion and Makeup – Upcoming Bridal MUAs

by Hafsa Killru

Ahh, the love for makeup is undying for us girls. And, talk about all those pins you have gathered over the years on your Pinterest boards – picking a single look for your wedding is going to be one hell of a ride for sure! But, the real deal is finding a MUA who would not let you down. Disaster stories of brides may be giving you pangs of anxiety. Or, those wedding jitters may even be taking a toll on you right now. As a bride, your major worry could be walking down the aisle looking far from perfect and different from what you have always imagined. 


As much as your bridal makeup is important, so is the MUA behind it. And, that is why we have curated this interesting read featuring three of today’s upcoming, yet outstanding MUAs for you brides!

We think knowing an artist’s story and understanding their dedication towards their work adds more value to their service. If you agree, read on to uncover the details of these inspirational women! 

Hifna Sadiq – Rivaa Bridal Studio

Known as Rivaa Bridal Studio on social media, Hifna kick-started her professional makeup artistry business in 2015 with minimal support. Her only driving force was the passion she had for her craft and goals rooting from her young age. She states that struggles were a big part of her success and the lessons from her experiences have led her this far.

She identifies her strong customer base as her most treasured accomplishment as it is very challenging to retain clients in midst of the beauty industry’s intensifying competition. On that note, Hifna finds great honour in playing an integral role in someone’s special day. She takes the opportunity to consider it as her own important day and offer the best for her brides. The thriving MUA states that transformation and the way it can bring about a renewed life to someone with a few brush strokes is the prime reason she loves her role as a bridal MUA and dresser.

Rivaa Bridal Studio has been creating a storm on social media with over 22,000 followers on Instagram and 5,000 followers on Facebook. Hifna is humbled by the fact that her work is loved by her fan crowd. “It is overwhelming and I am glad to say that all the hard work I have done over the years has paid off. My clients are the sole reason why I am here today. I am proud to say I have earned their confidence.” 

Hifna’s signature style exhibits freehand flairs and she often likes to break the rules by inventing her own techniques. “My preferred style is naturally glamorous. I work very much like a painter with an empty canvas. I like light textures and simplicity. I believe a bride should be charming and ravishing but must look like herself as she walks down the aisle on her Big Day.”

Throughout her 5 year journey, Hifna has worked with many memorable brides. However, one that remains close to her heart is her first bride, who was also a friend.

And, her work mantra? Never give up!

Hifna describes the perfect bride as a woman with a fine prospect of happiness gliding behind her as she walks towards her new beginning, bedecked in her dream gown, flaunting her sparkling eyes and charming smile. A natural glow is what every bride deserves!

The boss lady behind Rivaa Bridal Studio highlights a significant bridal makeup trend for 2021 brides – naturalness. Gone are the days brides chose bold brows, matte lips and Instagram contour. Today’s brides are opting for looks that enhance their natural beauty instead of concealing it. 

“I’ve always enjoyed working with my brushes and magnifying the natural beauty of my clients. In addition to makeup and hairstyles, I am a fan of dress designing and tailoring which would be an additional service Rivaa Bridal Studio offers in 2021.”

Nilakshi Gunasekera – Glam by Nilakshi

Nilakshi started her career in beauty 4 years back after completing her business degree at ACBT. Her career took a great turn from a business degree to a beauty course in 2016. Her love for makeup started when she went to America at the age of 20 years. The enthusiastic young adult was fascinated by the way makeup transformed a person and it made her curious to uncover everything related to the makeup world.

Nilakshi’s boyfriend and her family always pushed her to do something that she loved. At the close of 2016, she went to Cheryl Goonerathne’s academy and started her career as a MUA and has never looked back ever since. While studying at the academy, Nilakshi had been a part of Indian destination weddings and has worked at a couple of renowned salons such as Chagall and Arq Style House for 2 years before she followed her own path as a freelancer.

“I believe my work experiences play a huge role in how I manage my work because it has taught me how to deal with clients, value work and to be more humble as a person. I think every person has their own journey and struggles to overcome when pursuing an interest. Working in the Sri Lankan beauty industry is not the easiest because you have to start from the very bottom and climb the ladder. But, I appreciate it because it has shaped me into the person I am today.”

The upcoming MUA believes that she has a lot more to achieve as a bridal dresser as she is in the early stages of her career. “I am truly blessed to have a family and a partner who support me to reach my goals and inspire me every day with their love.” 

Nilakshi has a following of over 7,000 on Instagram and 2,500 on Facebook. She claims her accomplishments are nothing but the clients and followers who completely trust her, appreciate her work and support her art. The compliments she receives from her followers and the fact that they look up to her gives her immense happiness. “To make them feel glamorous and happy through what I love is the biggest achievement for me. I am truly thankful to all my followers on social media. If they do not like my work, I would not have come this far. It always gives me so much happiness that a certain amount of people are following my work. It takes years of effort to be noticed and puts a lot of pressure on us as well because you do not want to disappoint your followers.”

Nilakshi’s most memorable day in her career, she says, would be the one in which she got the opportunity to glam up an Indian actress. “I remember I was very nervous when I started. But, when I finished, she loved the look I created on her!”

Nilakshi says that no one should be overconfident about their work and being humble and grateful ties you to the roots and makes you work harder in life. “Be nice, work hard and remain happy with what you do is my work mantra.”

Being a part of someone’s big day and making them feel special and comfortable during the process is what Nilakshi describes as her most favourite part about her role as a bridal MUA. What more? She draws her inspiration from celebrity MUAs and hairstylists on Instagram and YouTube but likes to try out new looks on her clients which she says is daring but fun at the same time.

Nilakshi describes her signature style as a shimmery, bronze smokey eye, dewy or satin finish on the skin and a nude lip. “Every bride is perfect in their own way. We cannot define beauty because everyone is beautiful. A happy bride is always a pretty bride. I always prefer to make them look like they are glowing from within.”

The daring artist highlights that the next big thing in 2021 for brides will be glowing skin, nude lips and smokey eyes to make them look natural. Casual hairstyles such as beach waves and messy updos are also going to be very trendy in the coming days. In short, bridal outfits, makeup and hair are going to display more naturalness and simplicity this year.

Sashini Alahakoon – ZaaRsH

Growing up with a passion for makeup since an early age, Sashini explored her interest in makeup while she was pursuing her business degree at Monash University, Melbourne. The young student had access to various products and workshops back then. Following the completion of her studies, she returned to Sri Lanka and was employed in the corporate sector for a brief period of time. 

“I realised the corporate world was not my cup of tea and I started my own clothing label under the brand name “ZaaRsH”. I used to do makeup for my friends as a hobby during this period. It made me realise what my true passion in life was. From the day I discovered makeup, I used to be fascinated by its miracles. Makeup is magic! It can do wonders. It can make someone’s day! It is a blessing to be able to make a client happy. Therefore, I decided to commence my journey as a MUA in 2018.”

Sashini’s journey has not been merely a bed of roses. Struggles have always been a part of it. From taking the risk of following her passion, dealing with criticism, and convincing her parents to accept her career preference over the education she received – it has been nothing but challenging. “The sleepless nights, hard work and dedication have always been worth it. At the end of the day, when I see a smile on a bride’s face, that is an instant reward and the best form of job satisfaction anyone could ever ask for. I am very grateful and blessed that people admire my work. The biggest blessing you can receive as an artist is for people to love the work you do passionately. I always put my heart and soul into the work I do.” She also claims that her clientele is a significant part of her triumphs. The highly praised MUA states that her biggest accomplishments are completing her studies and following her passion as a hair and makeup artist as well as a designer. 

“I have been in the industry for roughly 3 years. I got to work with several terminally ill children while undertaking a project for Ms. Sri Lanka for Ms. International 2019. I got the opportunity to collaborate with them and make outfits for a segment using their artistic input as well as to work with many experienced professionals in the industry during the event.”

Her work mantra is simple – hard work beats luck!

Sashini states that soft glam looks are totally in trend right now. Natural makeup looks ranging from nude tones, lip-glosses to glowy finishes are in trend at the moment. She believes that this will continue to dom