Graduate Feature: Maryam Bahji - QC Makeup Academy

Tell us a little bit about yourself!

My name is Maryam Bahji! I’m currently a 20-year-old makeup artist located in Victoria, BC, Canada. I am currently studying Business Marketing in college, while growing my own entrepreneurial business. I started my makeup artistry business when I had just turned 18 (fresh out of high school). That was just over 2 years ago, and so far, I have come a long way!

I’ve worked with many different photographers. I’ve been published in two magazines, and I’ve worked on countless brides. It’s safe to say that I have found my passion, hobby, and career all in one! I am originally from Iran, but I was born and raised in Qatar, and moved to Canada when I was 11.

I speak 4 languages: Farsi, Arabic, English, and Urdu. I love being active, and have been an avid gym-goer since I was 12. I’ve been lifting weights ever since! Going to the gym has boosted my confidence drastically, which has positively impacted my life. I also really love dogs! I have a Chihuahua miniature pin mix named Mocca. She has brought so much joy into my life since I got her!

Why did you decide to get your makeup artist certification and pursue makeup professionally?

For as long as I can remember, I have tried to find a way to make others happy. I tried out different methods, but I never stuck to any of them, as I had no passion for them. I did not want to forget my motive: “making people happy”. Therefore, I thought to myself, ‘What is something that I can do to bring joy to others, that I also enjoy at the same time?’

I have always had a passion for makeup. It was the only talent that I was able to master. The moment that I realized I could turn my passion into a career – and also realized that this profession is all about boosting others’ confidence and bringing smiles to people’s faces – I instantly made it happen. I haven’t looked back since!

Not a day goes by where I am doing someone’s makeup and it feels like a “job” to me. I love getting to spend time with people on the biggest days of their lives. I take pride and honor in that! I believe that the career I have chosen is such a great motivation that I have in my life. It constantly pushes me to progress, try harder, and do better in everything that I come across.

How would you describe your makeup style?

The areas where I excel and get most creative would definitely have to be dramatic makeup. Examples of these would be:

Why did you choose to pursue your professional makeup artist certification online, instead of in-person?

The reason I chose online makeup training is because I am a person with a really busy schedule. I’m taking 6 classes at college, I have a part-time job, and I also have a makeup business to run.

I needed to find a way where I could fit makeup school into my timetable, as I really wanted to become a certified artist. That was when I found QC Makeup Academy, and decided to take the opportunity after doing research into the school.

Ultimately, what made you decide to earn your makeup artist certification with QC Makeup Academy?

The reason I enrolled with QC Makeup Academy was because I found nothing but great reviews about the school! Their prices are very reasonable, and they give you an incredible amount of time to finish your courses (leaving you with very little stress to worry about)!

You’ve graduated from QC’s Master Makeup Artistry Course. What was the most valuable part of this program for you and why?

The most valuable thing that I took away from that course is being able to present myself as a certified makeup artist. I believe it was what I needed in order to be able to carry myself higher than I already was. It has given me a feeling of professionalism, and I really love that!

You’re also currently enrolled in QC’s Skincare Course with celebrity MUA and skin consultant, Nathan Johnson. How are you enjoying this course so far? How is this additional training adding to your overall skill-set as a makeup artist?

I believe that one of the key things that makes a makeup artist an incredible and outstanding one is a thorough understanding of how their client’s skin works. They need to be able to know which products should be used for the best results, based on the client’s individual needs.

I don’t think I’ll be getting into the skincare business, but I wanted to make sure that I am educated as a makeup artist. This course is definitely giving me that boost! It allows me to speak with confidence. I am a lot more knowledgeable about certain products, ingredients, and skin types.

On your Instagram, you state that the goal of your business is “enhancement of natural beauty”. Can you elaborate on this?

This goal means a lot to me, and it’s the reason why I made it my business motto! I want all of my clients to know that they are already beautiful, internally and externally. They do not need makeup to make them more beautiful.

Instead, I want them to understand that makeup is a tool that can help them express how they feel, and at the same time, enhance their natural features. It’s not a tool that will lower their confidence about themselves as soon as they wash it off.

You specialize in both engagement/bridal services and South Asian bridal services. For those interested in pursuing the same path, in what ways are these two specialties similar? In what ways are they different?

Understanding culture is key to understanding how the makeup industry works. Every culture celebrates weddings differently; with different styles of makeup, dressing, and how their events are organized.

The similarity between normal bridal services and South Asian bridal services is that they are both a celebration of the start of a new chapter in life! However, the style of makeup that goes into each one is incredibly different. That’s simply due to the culture differences! One prefers simple, elegant, and natural makeup for their wedding. On the other hand, the other culture prefers incredible, dramatic makeup!

You also teach makeup lessons. Have you started providing virtual makeup lessons since social distancing went into effect? If so, how has that been going for you?

I have definitely considered providing online makeup lessons. However, I believe that it would be a much better idea if I grew my following and popularity first, before providing lessons online. When the time comes for that, I’d like to be qualified enough to provide workshops, as well as one-on-one virtual classes for people all around the world.

This goal is something that requires a lot of planning. I do not want to launch a service without making sure it is the best I can provide for my clients!

What has been the proudest moment in your makeup career (so far)?

Every opportunity that goes by makes me incredibly proud. The fact that I get to spend the happiest moments of people lives with them (such as engagements and weddings), and having such an important role on that day, gives me so much joy! As far as accomplishments go, I have been published in 2 magazines already, and that has made me incredibly proud. It’s motivated me to keep pushing, and to keep excelling in what I do best!

What’s on the horizon for your Marmari Beauty in 2021 and beyond?

In 2021, if the world has gone through the pandemic successfully, I plan to start travelling and exploring all the different cultures and styles of makeup around the world. As I said, I believe culture is a substantial part of being a successful makeup artist. To be able to understand the various styles that my clients want is very important.

Travelling for makeup will give me a better sense of understanding about the beauty industry, worldwide. On top of that, going all around the world will also give me more opportunities. It’ll allow me to build my connections with people from all over the globe! I do want to become a worldwide makeup artist eventually, and to reach that goal, I have to take the first step and start!

Finally: in your opinion, as a makeup artist, what is your definition of “success”?

My definition of “success” in the makeup industry is working without the feeling of being at work.

To me, success is about enjoying life. This life is incredibly short, and there is no time to waste being unhappy all the time. Makeup was my hobby, and I turned it into a career. For the rest of my life, I know that not a day will go by where I’ll be miserable getting out of bed, or having to go to work.

Every day, I choose to get up and to do what makes me happy! I get to know that I am also making others happy, too, and this keeps me going. To me, that is success!

Author Sarah Seguin

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