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Beauty With Some Chamak

Wouldn’t you love to discover a stash of beauty products tailored specifically to your skin tone? And instead of scanning dozens of pencils and tubes for the perfect color, imagine having it whipped up right in front of your eyes. Sound too good to be true? Thanks to Chamak Makeup by Sarah Ali, it’s a reality!


Sarah Ali is a Texas native who has worked as a professional makeup artist for names such as Chanel, YSL and MAC. Noticing the need for a makeup line tailored to South Asian women, Sarah launched Chamak Makeup in January 2010. Chamak means to glow or sparkle in both Urdu and Hindi. The line is appropriately named; many of Sarah’s signature products incorporate a subtle and sophisticated shimmer, helping them to stand out against medium to dark skin. Shades were chosen to complement a variety of South Asian skin tones and to coordinate with the rich colors and fabrics of our heritage. Sarah has even incorporated fun cultural touches, such as blush shades inspired by and named after Bollywood favorites from Kajol to Aishwarya.

In addition to her pre-packaged line, Sarah has also launched a custom blend mineral makeup and organic skin care bar. Custom blend services are available at The Transformaiton Studio, a unique beauty and wellness center that Sarah founded in January 2009. Sarah’s makeup services allow clients to custom blend foundation, concealer, blush, highlighter, bronzer, lipstick, lipgloss and eyeshadow within minutes. She even offers to resurrect discontinued shades of lipsticks and lipglosses! As Sarah puts it, “The headache of blending five shades of lipstick for just the right pink will now be replaced by your own signature shade.” She also told Sapna that she’s busy dreaming up additional Chamak products, including a signature brush collection to be released in January 2011.

GET THE LOOK: Naturally Gorgeous. Nikita Sachdev (above, left) is wearing Chamak Makeup products to create a stunning natural look. Her look starts with Shabaab Mineral Foundation in Khulthawa ($22) and Chamak blush in Kajol ($8). Two eyeshadows were used on her eyes: Haya (metallic beige, $8) and Afthaab (copper, $8). Her eyes are lined with Mineral Eyeliner in Raath ($7). Nikita is also wearing Mineral Lipgloss in Genda ($8). Makeup: Mayra Ayala for Chamak Cosmetics. Photography: Sarah Ali for The Transformation Studio.


All of Sarah’s products are made with pigments from emulsified plant petals. Clients who choose the custom-blend route can incorporate additional ingredients such as skin care additives, fragrance, shimmer and glitter. The Chamak skincare line features natural face cleansers, toners and moisturizers along with an organic skin care bar. Bar-goers can create natural face and body scrubs, masks, and lotions using pure herbs, spices, fresh fruits and essential oils.

Chamak’s commitment to natural ingredients extends to ethics and the environment. Sarah refuses to test her products on animals; instead, she uses human volunteers. She has also made an effort to do away with excess packaging, providing ingredient lists in her studio and online in lieu of creating individual package inserts. Many of her products come in reusable boxes and cloth bags, several products are packaged in cases imported from India, and others come in refillable containers. “Clients buy it once and then come back to refill it for a reduced price,” Sarah explains. “I hate wasting.”


To create a polished everyday look, Sarah recommends starting with a good concealer and powder or foundation. She also suggests finding a great blush. “Blush is amazing because it brightens you up and gives your face a glow. Too many girls skip this essential makeup item,” Sarah says. To finish off a minimalist look, she recommends lipstick and lipgloss in natural shades. Customers can create this natural look for about $50 with Chamak products ranging from $6 to $35.

If you choose only one product, Sarah recommends Thaaza organic cream blush and lip color made with all natural beeswax. “The colors make you look… totally fresh and full of life. I have used it on my eyes, lips and cheeks when I’m on the go… You don’t even need a brush, just a clean finger.”

Lastly, Sarah educated us on up-and-coming trends. “You can definitely use shimmers in the daytime…  It is all about creating a look with different textures,” she explains. If your eye shadow is matte, try a shimmery blush. Choose sheer shimmery colors in neutral and soft shades, or try a dark color and apply it with soft strokes. “The biggest trends right now are vampy lipstick shades in purples, deep burgundys, matte eyeshadows, and of course sparkle and glittery eyeliners and shadows… We all get stuck in our routines in life… It’s surprising how different we can look by adding a pop of color to our face.” —MARIAM KAMAL

2 thoughts on “Beauty With Some Chamak

  1. This is really awesome. You should really post more about these types of lines.

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