Meet Salwa also known as @UrGalSal, make up artist and co-founder of an inclusive space for Muslim women in London. Find out about this badass Bengali, her beauty tips as a WOC and what makes her skin glow...
1. Hi Salwa, tell us a bit about yourself!
Salaam! I'm Salwa (@urgalsal_) and I'm a freelance makeup artist and beauty director. I'm based in East London where I live with my family and create fun beauty looks. As well as doing beauty - I co-run a creative collective called Bluem (@bluem.collective) where we seek to curate an inclusive space for Muslim womxn creatives + friends! It's been really fun hosting workshops, creating dialogue and supporting community through that platform.
2. Sounds amazing! Tell us a bit more about the Bluem collective and why you created it.
I co-founded it with my friend Mona Haidar (@mna.h), we found that there was a space lacking for womxn who wanted to be part of a creative community regardless of whether their profession is creative or not. We also wanted to curate a space that helps fellow creatives gain valuable insight and skills from their peers to help produce more opportunities and foster a stronger community.
3. How do you define beauty?
I think beauty is a concept that is and should be accessible to all - it's fun, it's subjective, it's playful. There is a stigma attached to what it means to be "beautiful" but truly, I think this stigma only focuses on the surface level of aesthetic. Beauty is two-fold in that it is both internal and external and we must focus on harnessing that internal beauty before considering the external.
4. What are your roots and how does that impact the way you practice self-care?
My roots are placed in Bangladesh, like a lot of South Asian countries there is more of natural and holistic approach when it comes to self-care and beauty. It's using what the Earth provides eg. oil, spices and herbs to formulate products that can help aid both that interior and exterior beauty. It's impacted my practice in simply being more mindful of what I use, to rekindle connection and the feeling of human touch as my mother massages my head with Amla oil. It's reminds me that self-care can be simplistic and yet highly effective.
5. What is your current skincare routine like? Any holy grail products?
Coming out of Ramadan my skin has been incredibly dry, flaky and ashy - so I've been focusing on exfoliating and hydrating!
Urban Veda Exfoliating Facial Polish, Glossier Invisible Shield SPF, Ole Henkrison Banana Bright Under Eye Cream, Weleda Skin Food, Halo Skin Care Rosehip Oil, D'Alchemy Intense Skin Repair Facial Oil + Super Dew Toner and Alteya Organics Organic Bulgarian Rose Water.
6. What are your skincare concerns and do you think any of these are specific as a woman of colour?
I think it goes without saying that we must SPF constantly and consistently! Sun damage regardless of skin colour can wreak havoc so we must stay protected.
7. Who are some inspirational women we should be following?
@tahminaxbegum,Muslimsisterhood, @rahima_shroom @thebrownhijabi, @thevillageauntie
Follow Salwa for her incredible makeup skills and keep up to date with the blue collective over @urgalsal_ and @bluemcollective