Hi. This is me, Sumer Azam, hanging out and acting super natural in "the blue city" Chefchaouen, Morocco and probably thinking "let me paint your face." 


Bonafide Hustler Makin' My Name: I incorporate makeup into conversation whenever possible

M.I.A should take more lipstick risks than she already does, in my opinion - she could pull off some wild colors. Also, there is a lot more to the world of makeup than vanity, so don't get it all twisted.  


For my 16th birthday, my mom treated me and my girlfriends big time, by having a friend, who is a makeup artist for Clinique, come to our house and give us all glamorous makeovers. As soon as I saw myself in the mirror, I needed to know how to recreate that blue smoky eye on my own. I can't remember exactly how I first got into self-teaching and the makeup tutorial scene -- I'm talking OG beauty gurus like panacea81, julieg713, michellephan, queenofblendingMUA, petrilude, nikkietutorials, etc. -- on YouTube, but I wanted in on this diverse beauty world the moment I discovered its existence. 

That birthday party sparked a passion that has lasted 7 years and is still going strong. I've been lucky to have had several different opportunities to engage with and gain experience in makeup artistry in both my personal life and through extracurricular activities at my university. While I'd like to think I've mastered a good amount of techniques, I've learned that there's no one standard method for makeup application. There might be a certain preferred tool, tip, and/or trick that many people have had success with, when trying to achieve a particular look (for example, a large number of individuals claim that using a felt-tipped liquid eyeliner pen, resting your pinky finger against your cheek for stability, strategically-placing scotch tape as a guideline, and applying product in quick, short strokes is the fool-proof strategy to get the perfect winged liner).  The problem is that people don't always agree on what the perfect winged eyeliner even looks like let alone have a universally effective technique for creating it.

Not only is every face a different and challenging canvas to work with artistically, but also these canvases have thoughts and feelings that must be factored into your work too. While it can be tricky to accomplish (especially for those of us without proper training), it is so rewarding, when a person, who is normally uncomfortable wearing makeup or is insecure about her appearance in general sees her reflection after you've worked on her and loves what she sees. Even though I'm not a professional makeup artist, I often find myself getting people ready for all sorts of events or occasions (e.g. theatrical stage make up for a team of competitive Indian dancers, fake injuries with liquid latex for Halloween costumes, prom/graduation makeup, party/going-out makeup for every roommate I've ever had, runway inspired makeup for Emory's fashion magazine, airbrush on male models for that same magazine, and even bridal makeup). That being said, my level of comfort and enjoyment with the process of makeup application grew over time and is still growing all the time. I don't get discouraged by makeup errors because technical difficulties will happen at any level of experience, and making mistakes helps me understand that much more about what works or doesn't work with particular features, skin types or face shapes. 

It seems kind of basic to say what I'm about to regarding the amount of makeup one should wear because I'm seeing people all over the internet pretty much saying the same damn thing - one could even say it's an "on trend" issue. The way I see it, whether you wear or don't wear makeup, you will inevitably encounter ignorant people who may or may not offend you with their ill-informed convictions on how others should or shouldn't carry themselves. That is just a part of the human experience. Because of this, I am of the opinion that whether you are wearing winged eyeliner to the gym or nothing but BB cream for a big night out, there's just no winning over some of the haters. So why bother factoring them into your decision?  You carry on with what feels right to you. Do. You. Capisci? 

I wanted to be a lil more original about delivering the above message, so of course I wrote a short rhyme to drive home the self empowerment. I think it's pretty cute - enjoy! :)




I'd like to think I've come a long way since this video...

Fun fact: I made one of the brokest makeup tutorials of all time, back in 2010. Filmed with laptop camera but still got 21,000+ views thooooo! #startedfromthebottom #stillkindathere #embarrassingbeginnings

I'm not a parking ticket - I don't need you to validate me or my cosmetic choices

By Sumer Azam, Makeup Enthusiast + OG Rhyme Schemer


Wear a lot or just a tiny bit,

Any amount can be the right fit,

Make it subtle or make it bold,

Forget all the rules you've been told,

Allow it to enhance your favorite parts,

Or let it be an abstract work of art,

Make of it whatever you will,

Makeup done right takes some mad skill.