Ayshglamm : Hello!
T&P : So, can you introduce yourself for those who don’t know you?
Ayshglamm : My name is Zaynab. I am of Afghan descent but I grew up in the north of the Netherlands.
T&P : Tell us about yourself.
Ayshglamm : Well, when it comes to school, I wasn’t really well-behaved (laughter). I was a bit of a tomboy. Actually, I even used to play football. I played football for 5 years with my sisters. But what I really loved about school was learning languages.
T&P: In what kind of family did you grow up?
Ayshglamm : I grew up in a family that was really open-minded. In our family, playing football as a little Afghan girl was not surprising or impossible. However, I stopped playing when I realized that my calves were getting bigger (laughter).
My father was a doctor and my mother a dental assistant. They arrived in the Netherlands as refugees and plucked up the courage to start studying again. They are very optimistic people and I grew up thinking that everything was possible. I owe them my career. Coming from Afghanistan, arriving in a new country, learning a new language, starting studying again… That’s what I call being a fighter.
And they were refugees… They worked really hard and that’s what I got from them, it’s in my blood. I believe in myself and I’m not afraid. With this optimistic state of mind, I can keep going.
T&P : You arrived in France at 19.
Ayshglamm : Yes, I did. I came here to follow my husband. We met at a wedding and we got married really quickly. This is something current in our culture, we get married young.
Mister Ayshglamm: I hope you wanted to (laughter)!
Ayshglamm : Of course I did (laughter)! I found a very good person thanks to God. Actually, I have always been a very mature person. I don’t even have friends my age. They are always older than me. I get on very well with people who are older than I am (laughter).So, I married someone older and I keep growing by his side.
T&P : Can you tell us about the moment you arrived in France?
Ayshglamm : I’m not going to lie, when I arrived in France I was very disappointed about the mentality. I am from the Netherlands and there, we have an American type of mentality. We are open- minded, optimistic… All the doors are open, we believe in one another. My father is a proof of this. I didn’t find that in France. And this is what made it hard at the beginning.
T&P : Can you give me an example?
Ayshglamm : Well, for instance, everybody speaks English in the Netherlands. We are open to the world. Since I didn’t speak French when I arrived in France, I would sometimes talk to people in English and they would stare at me probably thinking
« Where on earth does this girl come from??? » (laughter).
Consequently, even if it is funny now, I took myself in hand and I convinced myself that I should learn French to integrate. If my parents had done it, then I could too. So, I took a French intensive course for 6 months in Rennes, from 9 a.m to 5 p.m. I loved it! I was part of a group that had the same level. We had fun and we made progress together.
T&P : When did you decide to throw yourself into makeup?
Ayshglamm : Actually, I had already been thinking a lot about it. I have a mother-in-law who, at that time, encouraged me to take that path. She is really stylish and gave me advice all the time.
But once in a while, the education my father gave me popped into my mind. He wanted his children to become doctors, lawyers etc. But it wasn’t my thing. I wanted to work in the beauty industry but it didn’t really have a good reputation at the time. It was almost seen as not being a real job and even if my family is open-minded, I couldn’t really imagine myself working in that industry. So, I decided to study (2 years) in order to become a dental assistant. I got my diploma and I worked for 5 years with a dentist in Paris. We became friends actually.
T&P : You learn French and then you train in order to work in the medical field, you are a real chameleon! (laughter)
Ayshglamm : I love learning! If I was to work in China tomorrow, I would learn Chinese.
T&P : What happened next?
Ayshglamm : I liked the life I had in Paris more and more. I discovered the Paris of Victor Hugo, the terraces, the beauty of the architecture… And I loved it.
Then I got pregnant and after my baby was born, I didn’t see myself going back to work. I really wanted to be present during the 4 first years of my daughter’s life. I don’t regret making this decision. I know she got my education.
Once she grew up, she went to kindergarten and I kept wondering what I could do. Go back to work as a dental assistant? Work in the makeup industry?
At that time, makeup was a massive success on Instagram. I spent a lot of time on social networks, analyzing the way they worked. And then, I had an idea.I noticed that in France, there was barely no makeup artist who was specialized heavy makeup. It was really successful in the USA and in the Netherlands so I thought to myself « It’s now or never ». I wanted to be the first to introduce that kind of makeup in France. One night, without telling anybody, I opened an Ayshglamm Instagram account.
T&P : Why that name?
Ayshglamm : My daughter’s name is STAYESH. When she was a child, she couldn’t say her name properly. She used to say AYSH. I added GLAM to give it a glamorous side and it became AYSHGLAMM.
T&P : How would you qualify your start?
Ayshglamm : When I opened my Instagram account, I had no self-confidence, I thought that it wouldn’t work.
T&P : Were there any moments when you felt like you could give up?
Ayshglamm : One night, I was training myself to put some makeup in the bathroom. My husband entered the room and he stared for a while before saying « You look weird! » (laughter). And I thought « It’s over. It’s been two days and my Instagram account isn’t a success. On top of that, my husband thinks my makeup is horrible! (laughter) This isn’t for me . I stopped everything but I didn’t delete my account.
T&P : Why didn’t you delete it?
Ayshglamm : Well, I knew that I loved this field too much to give up. And actually, 4 weeks later I found myself really wanting to go back on Instagram. So, I asked my sister to be my model (I had gone back to the Netherlands in between) and after we had a spent a night locked up in the bathroom, I put some makeup on her, I took a picture and I put it on Instagram. And it was a huge success!
I had gotten about a hundred likes in a really short period of time. Even if it doesn’t seem much to some people, it was huge for me. I began receiving some messages and people were beginning to ask for appointments. I built a network and two months later, my schedule was full.
No one did heavy makeup. Even if I was criticized, I knew that it would be a success. It worked in the USA and in the Netherlands, the same thing would happen in France. Even if it would take more time. I wanted to be the first to introduce that kind of makeup in France.
T&P : When did you know that you would be able to make a job out of it?
Ayshglamm : After 6 months.
T&P : How and where did you get your training?
Ayshglamm : I’m a self-taught woman. I have got my own techniques, I didn’t copy anyone. I watched tutorials like everyone but my sisters and I were known for being stylish. People would often come to us for some advice about makeup, fashion etc.
Mister Ayshglamm : I also think she has got this artistic side to her. She can do things on her own and with creativity. For example, she made her own dresses, she can sew, she can make a wedding dress in 24 hours. She is a practical person.
T&P : Were you scared to get started?
Ayshglamm : I’ve been moving on for 4 years now, I never stop. I have got plans for next year. At first, I worried that it wouldn’t work out because this style of makeup was not well-known in France. But I thought « If they don’t know about it, they can’t not like it ». So, I fought against the classic French beauty standards in terms of makeup.
I was and still am criticized but my schedule is full. It means that people must probably like it. I tried doing lighter makeup but my hands can’t help doing a heavier one (laughter).
T&P : Would you say that you managed to change mentalities in France?
Ayshglamm : It was indeed my goal. When I started my first masterclass in France, it was in the prestigious Ritz luxury hotel in Paris and I realized that things were beginning to change, that people were opening up to that kind of makeup. After that, people have begun to set up their own masterclasses. I am proud to have been able to change mentalities.
T&P : Do you see yourself as an international makeup artist? Do you get tired from all of this travelling around?
Ayshglamm : Indeed, I had the opportunity to work with one of the best hairdressers of the world and to do the makeup of a Lebanese bride whom I like a lot and whose wedding pictures were published in VOGUE. I am well-known in Dubai thanks to HUDA BEAUTY. And it is true that my work is also appreciated in Miami. It can be tiring but this is what gives me adrenaline. As much as working all night on my masterclasses for my passionate students do. This is what keeps me going. Otherwise, I would have already ended up at the hospital (laughter)!
T&P : Did you think you would move so much?
Ayshglamm : Not at all! I didn’t even think I would have to move in the 93 ( a French department). It can be scary, especially as a woman. But my husband has been there every step of the way. He would come with me and drive me to see my clients. It was not easy but he believed in me. From the moment I had his support, I became successful. You need a 100% support if you want to succeed.
T&P : What are your morals in life?
Ayshglamm : Whether it is in my private or professional life, I want people to be honest with me. When I have a good feeling with people, I give them all I have. A lot of people evolve around me, for good or bad reasons. I’m careful but I am really a positive person. However, if I don’t like something or if I feel like the person is not honest, my doors are closed.I would also say that I fear God, so I do things with my heart. Because in my opinion, if a person has got bad intentions, he or she will never succeed.
T&P : What is your biggest flaw?
Mister Ayshglamm : Can I answer? (laughter)
Ayshglamm : I would say that it is my kindness. But when I feel that someone is trying to deceive me, I do what I have to do. I leave quietly and keep walking.But thanks to my morals, I’ve met wonderful people and I have a great team.
T&P : What kind of commitment does your career require?
Ayshglamm : I have to be focused 24/7. One thing leads to another. I never stop!
T&P : How do you manage to get organized?
Ayshglamm : Actually, I don’t waste time. I’ve always loved sharing, doing masterclasses etc. I don’t look around me, I don’t copy anyone I do what my heart tells me to do. I go where I want to go and I stay in my field.
T&P : What heritage would you like to leave your daughter?
Ayshglamm : My Ayshglamm school, the Ayshglamm brand. I want her to understand that today, Ayshglamm is a brand but that in order to get there, I had to fight and that she will have to keep fighting.
T&P : Can you tell us about a few of your projects?
Ayshglamm : Well, actually, I’m going to do some masterclasses in Dubai, in Algeria and in Morocco.
T&P : That’s fantastic!!!
Do you have any advice for our readers?
Ayshglamm : You know, from what I see in my masterclasses, there are a lot of girls who have self-confidence and who are not necessarily talented and other girls who have a lot of talent but no self- confidence at all. And without self-confidence, you can’t go far.
T&P : Thank you Ayshglamm!
Ayshglamm : Thank you!
Toukan & Palmyre