All Posts By

Beenish Mahmood

Artist Insight

Sadya s Salon


Brides & You got a chance to catch up with Sadya of Sadya’s Salon. Read on to find out some interesting things you would want to know about this talented makeup artist:

Did you discover your talent accidentally or were you always sure about what you wanted to do?
Like every girl, I have always loved makeup. I remember doing my own makeup, sitting on my mother’s vanity table as a child. But education has always been a priority in my family. So after getting my degree, I began learning makeup properly from my mother, Mrs Nazli Iftikhar who is the owner of House Wife Home located in Lahore. Then I started teaching girls at her salon. That’s how it all started.

You have been in the business since 2002. What is the pull that draws you to this profession?
When a bride is ready and her face lights up with joy, it inspires me. I thank God for making my passion my profession. I graduated from NCA with a degree in Communication Design and did my masters from London in Interactive Media. But through the years the art of makeup has always been by my priority and now my profession.

Name one person who has been your support throughout the years?
My mother. She has been the pillar of strength in my career. She was one of the pioneers in the field and learnt makeup from London in 1982. I can’t thank her enough for being my mentor, friend and support through the years.

Sometimes the fame goes to one’s head but you seem like a really down to earth person. How do you maintain a low profile?
Everyone has ups and downs and time teaches you a lot. I stay focused on my work and believe that no one can be perfect- we must all improve every single day, that’s what keeps my feet on the ground.

What is the one thing that makes you relax, after a tiring and busy day?
My family. The smiles of my kids really lift me up.

With cutthroat competition in the market what is it that sets you apart from others?
My work speaks for itself. Personalized makeup is all about giving personal attention to the bride. I go into the minutest of details, from makeup to hair to dupatta setting, paying personal attention to everything, making sure that it is done with utmost finesse and perfection. I do not let the bride go out of my salon, till I see the spark of satisfaction and confidence in her eyes.

How do you make sure that the bride is satisfied on her big day?
Wedding day is a huge day for every girl and we are honored to be a part of it. We try to make sure she is comfortable, relaxed and confident. One week before the wedding day, we have trials for hair-do and a session about the overall look and styling of the bride. This helps the girl be happier about how she will look on her big day.

Do you offer bridal deals for brides who cannot afford expensive make up packages?
Yes. We offer to pre book your wedding package in summer for a winter wedding. The package costs between Rs 30,000 to 60,000. We highly respect the appreciation girls have of our work and for those we have special Summer Packages.

What brands of make-up do you use?
There are so many amazing brands in the market now, some have amazing foundations, others have an amazing colour palette. Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation is one my favourite foundations. Two faced has amazing bronzer/ contouring colours. Mac has unbelievable lip shades with pigmentation. Dior has great glosses and the list goes on.

Which lipstick trend do you promote- classic or matte?
I love classic but only with a little gloss.

Do you enjoy teaching your trade? Do you ever feel insecure?
It is a blessing to have a skill. To me it is important to share it with others. The best part is when you teach someone, you inspire them, you motivate them and that is fulfilling in itself. It gives me a sense of achievement, not insecurity.

What is one thing you like most about being a beautician?
The most beautiful thing is the smile of a bride or anyone who is made to feel beautiful after the services have been completed. As the bride walks out of my salon feeling beautiful, I feel pride.

If stranded on an island which product, do you feel you cannot do without?
If I have to choose from makeup products, it would be lip balm.

Which products do you feel a girl on her honeymoon cannot do without?
Sunscreen, face powder, mascara, blush and a lip gloss.
Do visit Sadya’s Salon which is located on Maratab Ali Road. It is worth the time, effort and money. We at Brides & You wish Sadya, a future full of even more success and expansion.

Real Brides

Squiggly Makeup: An art or destruction of art


Squiggly or curvy lips are the in thing these days. Open up any type of social media and people are going OTP by pasting their pictures which are often bold and bizzare. It is crazy how “squiggly” brows were in fashion once and now this trend follows the lips!

Squiggly lips then? Is it fashion? Elegant fashion or ridiculous fashion? Squiggly lips in the name of high end fashion has ruined the aesthetic sense of the old school. What they deemed elegant and classic, the modernism in fashion has deemed it to be ancient and out of fashion!

The squiggly look goes way beyond lips and brows! The entire make over from the face to the hair can be done in squiggly fashion! The majority of people agree to the silliness of this trend. Some feel it makes you look like a cartoon and clown whilst others feel that it takes them to witchy Halloween makeup! So dear squiggly makeup, let us see how far you go with this innovation!

Culture Entertainment

How much is too much when it comes to your Shadi?


Care to know what is happening with the wedding ceremonies now? What is all that will be expected of you if you want to emerge successful at the end of the functions as being known for having thrown a great party? Do you need to break the bank? If you are about to organize a wedding or get married yourself, you better read on what the two event organizers we interviewed have to say. They are Hirra Waqas of Peppermint and Shazreh Khalid of Z and S Events.

Hirra Waqas Ali tells us, “Traditionally the functions were supposed to be a Mehndi, Baraat and Valima. The latest trend is that of throwing a Sangeet as well as multiple mehndis- one from the groom’s side and the other from the bride’s side.

The concept of joint reception has evolved but the number of parties keeps increasing. A joint reception or a Shalima (shadi/valima) seems to be happening a lot.  The cost for a Sangeet function varies from class to class. The upper class can have singers such as Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Sunto, Sukhbir who demand up-to 1 million. Singers such as Humaira Arshad & Ali Sethi demand about 5 lakhs. Sangeet is basically a commercialized version of a dholak.”

Zareen Khalid was the pioneer of event management in Pakistan. According to Shazreh Khalid, Zareen’s daughter, traditionally a wedding event commenced with the Milad followed by Mayun.

Bye Bye Milad/ Mayoon- Hello Sangeet

“The Mayoon has now been taken over by the Sangeet. A Sangeet is an event which has any kind of musical performance. According to Shazreh, the current trend is to have the mehndi/shaadi together which saves up on cost. The rasams, dances, rukhsati and dinner are all summed up in one event. The Valima is usually a function from the groom’s side of the family. So the groom pays for the Valima whereas the bride’s family pays for the baraat. When it comes to food, the one dish menu on staged events is strictly according to law. However, if you have a dholki without a stage, a menu with a larger variety can be served.

I Need 10 more jewellery sets for Sangeet daddy!

Traditionally, the jewellery used to be floral but now the trend is more towards polki or kundan. On the Sangeet, the bride usually wears traditional clothes with gota on it. There are two schools of thought when it comes to fashion- the old school and the new school. Kamiar Rokni for example follows the philosophy of the old school and Khadija Shah of Elan for one, belongs to the new school. The old school follows a traditional pattern of kundan, jhoomar, tikka, choker, sat-larra haar in jewellery and dabka, tila, sitaara and hand embroidery. On the other hand, the new school follows diamonds as well as polki, stones and crystals. All the embroidery is done by hand and this has a lot of detailing, with touches of dabka etc. But the look is more contemporary.”

Shazreh goes on to tell us, “Wedding décor is in white usually in fresh flowers such as gladiola or roses and mehndi cum sangeet is usually designed using yellow flowers traditionally known as the gainda. Flowers are my passion they can make or break a wedding event. Every event that I design is customized according to the requirements. I love using pastel colours for receptions and themed colourful decor for more festive events like mehndi and sangeet.”

(Yayyyy to Sushi for Sangeet!)

Hirra Waqas tells us, “The food can be as extravagant as sushi, Chinese, desi or as simple as only a one dish menu depending upon the scale of the Sangeet. If it’s a typical qawalli setup then the traditional one dish sometimes enough. Otherwise, the amount to which one can spend has no limits.

Farmhouse = I can party till dawn!

A Sangeet is often held at Bedian in a farm house. Residents of Bahria town have a proper venue in their community but the trend is towards Bedian. Although the law doesn’t allow functions to extend after 10 pm, the law does not apply on farm houses.”

The trend of destination weddings is on the rise in Pakistan. Amal Mujtabah got married in Nathia Gali in the Lawrence College lawns. Another wedding was done in Shigar Fort, hospitality by Serena, in Baltistan. Natasha of Natasha’s Salon in Karachi got married in Dubai. The famous Gulzar wedding took place in Istanbul, Turkey. So different venues are chosen within and outside of Pakistan depending upon what the client likes.”

One destination wedding Shazreh attended was of Amal Khan which took place in Muree which was fabulous. In Bedian, Shazreh has worked with different farm houses as well as people’s homes with big grounds. When questioned about Bahria Town she was of the view that it was not such a popular venue with people but again it depends from person to person.

My giveaway must make hearts stop!

Hirra Waqas: “There are two types of giveaways. One, which come with the invitation card which are in a paper or a crystal box. Another which is the traditional bid given on the Nikah in a pouch which includes chawara, makhana, badaam, saunf and supari. These can be upgraded according to status as well. Some can add eclairs, others chocolates and others can add more expensive chocolates.

Shazreh Khalid tells us that the giveaways for the bid usually is the traditional chawara, almond eggs and some dry fruit and the mithai post nikkah has either balooshahi, ludoo or Fazal ki barfi. Chocolates from Lal’s or Patchi and dates from Bateel are also in trend.

Which one is the bride?

In most weddings held in Punjab, particularly Lahore the trend is the heavier the look in makeup and jewellery, the better! One cannot differentiate the bride from the rest of the relatives. The bride does not shine as everybody is dressed equally formally. This pattern follows mostly in Lahore, Sialkot, Faisalabad, Multan and Islamabad. In Karachi people still prefer to dress practically and not to go over the top,” says Hirra.

Is my wedding hashtag trending?

Social pressures are on all of us, but at the end of the day it is you who is important and not people’s opinions. People have short memories and usually trash all fancy boxes and pouches! On the other hand how would you get your hash tag trending on social media fabulously, if you didn’t put a solid dent into daddy’s pocket! Which kind of bride will you be?

Entertainment Movies

Bruce Lee the Legend


Rating 7.3 IMDB TV 13

Runtime: 108 minutes

A documentary released in 1973, Year of the Dragon (Chinese) is about the life of a martial arts actor Bruce Lee. Bruce Lee is the central character and the documentary produced by Raymond Chow and directed by Leonard Ho revolves around his life. Written by Russell Cawthorne, visual effects by Gary Man and music by Avalon with courtesy Paramount pictures, the legacy of Martial Arts Hero Bruce Lee is carried forward by Jackie Chan.

Bruce Lee was born in 1940 and died in 1973. ‘Game of Death’ was his last film before he passed away because of swelling of the brain caused by hyperactivity.

A Chinese documentary based around differing martial arts such as Kung Fu and Water, where Kung Fu is Chinese played with iron chains and punch whilst Water is symbolic of a flowing continuity movement.The different moves of martial arts include grab and throw, clubbing attack which is encountered with chains and knives are defended with a staff.

In the world of martial arts Bruce Lee was king. And after Bruce Lee passes away in 1973 he is remembered as, “A star that sinks in the sea of art”. On his death his wife Linda says, “Faith has ways which cannot change. Please remember him for his genius of art. And the magic he brought to everyone’s life.”Grace Lee is his mother (Yin) and Peter Lee his brother (Yan). His students “treasure the memories of their master saying that they have put to rest their most respected idol. Betty who was rumored to have been in an illegitimate relationship with Bruce forgets everything and says “silence is the best answer”. So he is remembered by everyone in good words. His students say in his memory “Game of Death”, his final film was completed in 1978. While burning incense for spirit of Bruce Lee “Bruce Lee is gone but his spirit lives on. The void is that stands.”

Bruce Lee was revered by the entire world for his stunts. He was a great actor and there is no one like him nor can ever be. A fantastic film. So take out time to watch it!

Entertainment Movies

All Saints- In the mood for some drama anyone?


Popularity according to IMDB: 298

All Saints is a drama film, opening on August 25, 2017 having a run time of 108 minutes is a film with an interesting theme.

Directed by Steve Gomer and starring Cara Buono, John Corbett, Barry Corbin, David Keith, the film is inspired by the true story of a salesman turned pastor Michael Spurlock (John Corbett) and the small church he was ordered to shut down and a group of refugees from South East Asia. Together, they embark upon a journey to risk everything they presently have to secure a good future.

After exchanging his career in the cooperate field to become a pastor, Micheal’s first assignment is All Saints, an old country church with 12 members. However, the catch is that he has to close the church doors for good, meaning that he has to sell the land on which the church rests. The city developers greedily eye the property whilst the locals cannot stop them, Micheal and his family move to a newly established church where they can settle down.

Micheal has a two-forked path and he must make a choice! Either to complete the task he was given to close the church for good and sell the property or listen to the insignificant voice in his head to risk avoiding the completion of the task and give a new hope to the people of the new community.

The film is similar to the Indian film by Shahid Kapoor and Vidya Balan, Kismet Connection where Vidya too works for an old peoples home which is going to be brought down by the developers one of whom is Shahid Kapoor. As the two fall in love, the plot offers twists in their story but ends happily with the two uniting and Shahid Kapoor letting go of his career aspirations to support a good cause! 

Entertainment Food

Tuscany Courtyard- A must experience


Located on the famous MM Alam Road, which is fast becoming the go-to Food Street of Lahore, Tuscany Courtyard has now launched its branch in the city of foodies. After their huge success in Islamabad, it has now come to our city.

TC offers Italian cuisine. It has derived its name from the Italian village Tuscany which is known for producing olives. Having taken its inspiration from Italy, the décor is based around the Italian theme. Tuscany is known as the birthplace for the Italian Renaissance. The interior gives you a feel of old Italian architecture with all the painted walls and art pieces hanging around; and also has an outdoor sitting which we Lahoris so love!

“Simplicity is central to the Tuscan cuisine. Legumes, bread, cheese, vegetables, mushrooms and fresh fruit are used.” Again complementing the simplicity of the Italian theme.

Its hottest selling dish according to Mr Waqar Turab, the manager, is Polo Tuscan. It is chicken breast stuffed with spinach and coated with golden brown shredded potato, topped with Tuscan sauce and served with garlic rice. It costs Rs.1095 plus tax.

The restaurant is a family restaurant and is owned by two brothers, Faisal Khan and Khurram Khan. The restaurant is open from 12 noon to midnight all days except Fridays and Saturdays when it is open from1 pm to midnight.

The menu is priced for the upper middle to the upper class. The best dessert is chocolate fudge brownie skillet served in a sizzler skillet topped with hot chocolate fudge, almond crunch and sliced bananas with ice cream. The restaurant wants to introduce Sunday brunch & hi-tea in the near future. The chef Mr Zaryan Turab has received international training. He emerged as a winner in the Unilever worldwide competition held in Dubai in 2013.

Penne Arrabiata Pasta: Penne pasta with grilled chicken arrabiata sauce and olives was mildly spiced and not that saucy. However, if you are done with Alfredo Fettuccine and still want pasta, this should be your choice.

A few have to say that it’s over rated. The service and ambience is great but the food is of average quality. However, different people have different priorities. Some believe that the food at their Islamabd branch is better and some swear that the Lahore food tastes far better than the Islamabad restaurant. For some the ambience is important, for others the food and service. So, there is no rating for one particular thing. It is all taken collectively.

So visit soon with friends and family.

Entertainment Music

Saaiyaan by QB 


A traditional song very soothingly sung by Qurat Ul Ain Balouch popularly known as QB. The lyrics are written by legendary Bulleh Shah. It is composed by Asad Chohan & music is from Salam Albert.

Quratulain Balouch’s distinct style of singing and powerful vocals have earned her many fans not only in Pakistan but also across the border. Her latest single, “Saaiyaan” is QB’s take on Bulleh Shah’s poetry. The video features Pakistani model Rabia Butt and actor Danial Raheal.

The song talks about love- love of the beloved. The poet’s beloved is distant from him. He is mourning his absence.

Bulleh Shah talks of the cruel world which treats him harshly. He says he is unaware of even his own body what to know about his beloved. His beloved here is not a human being but the Al mighty. The Al-Mighty transgresses all physical boundaries. He is neither fire nor water or air or earth.

Bulleh Shah likes himself to “salt in flour”. He is alone in this crowd. He is a misfit. He is not part of this world.

He invokes his beloved requesting him not to test him beyond his capacity.

He urges him not to haunt him in his memories but rather arrange a meeting with him before it is too late and he becomes dust as well.

The song has a lot of depth. Bulleh Shah implores the Al-Mighty to clear his debt while he is alive. For once he is no more then there is only regret and regret!

It is a must to listen to this song once. It has beautiful imagery and composition

Entertainment Music

Salman Ahmad of Junoon makes his debut with Sayooni Coke Studio Season 10


Junoon formed in 1990 was a band with 3 members-Salman Ahmad who was the guitarist and song composer, Ali Azmat the main vocalist and Nusrat Hussain the keyboardist.

Junoon was one of the first sufi rock bands presenting a fusion of eastern and western music. Salman Ahmad was greatly inspired by Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Led Zeppelin; an English rock band formed in 1968, and Pink Floyd amongst others.

Since their inception they have released a total of 19 albums. The band underwent many ups and downs due to a few reasons. They collaborated with many other music artists amongst which Junaid Jamshed of Vital Signs, also joined the band.

‘Hai Jazba Junoon’ and ‘Azaadi’ were the major hits of its time. According to a source Junoon was quoted as being “the U2 of Pakistan.”  As Junoon, after years of rocking the music scene, took it’s leave of the main stage,new musicians, bands, producers, directors and instruments came into limelight.

One such platform which has created new bands which have progressed over the years is Coke Studio. It started in the year 2007 and after a success of 9 seasons, it has come back with Season 10 bringing forward the Junoon inspired trend of Sufi Rock. 

Rahat Fateh Ali Khan & Ali Noor, and Salman Ahmad with their team have come forward with a remix of Sayonee.

The beauty with which the vocalists (Ali Noor & Rahat Fateh Ali Khan) have sung the song and the guitarists including Salman Ahmad is commendable.

From the violin to guitar to drums and keyboard; tablas, dholak, harmonium and the magic of flute, the song promises to be a great hit, at least I think so. Don’t You?

While it’s great to see Salman Ahmad making his comeback, it’s the musical chemistry between Rahat Fateh Ali Khan and Ali Noor that deserves appreciation. I remember as a teenager I attended the first Ali Noor concert. And not only I but the entire young crowd at the time grooved to the melody of ‘Hum Bhoolay’ and ‘Manwa Reh’.

Coke Studio truly provides a platform to a host of budding singers and musicians. The genius of various new and inspiring artists along with the maestros is indeed a treat for all music lovers.

Produced & Directed by Strings
Music Directed by Salman Ahmad
Composed by Salman Ahmad
Lyrics by Sabir Zafar & Shah Hussain

Imran Akhoond (Guitars)
Aahad Nayani (Drums)
Kamran ‘Mannu’ Zafar (Bass)
Babar Khanna (Dholak/Tabla)
Haider Ali (Keyboards/Piano)
Omran Shafique (Guitars)
Abdul Aziz Kazi (Percussions)

Rachel Viccaji
Shahab Hussain
Natasha Khan

Ustaad Aashiq Ali Mir (Tabla)
Raees Ahmad (Violin)
Sherjan Ahmad (Guitar)
Amir Azhar (Rubab)
Sajid Ali (Flute)
Nadeem Iqbal (Harmonium)

Entertainment Movies

The Emoji Movie


The Emoji Movie is an upcoming American 3D computer-animated comedy film written and directed by Tony Leondis and co-written by Eric Siegel and Mike White.

Produced by Sony Pictures Animation, the film is scheduled to be released in the United States on July 28, 2017, by Columbia Pictures with a total runtime of 86 minutes.

The director Leondis reveals how he came up with the idea of producing a film based around emojis. He says he had always been inspired by the Toy Story and wondered what other toy there is in the world that the people are attracted to and curious about? Whilst he was contemplating he received a text with an emoji and bang there it was- he got the idea to base a film around emojis. He identifies with the main character in the film Gene who is different from other emojis just like himself-Leondis was gay and so out of the ordinary!

Gene lives with his emoji fellows in the bustling city of Textapolis hidden in the messaging app of your phone. Each emoji wished to be used by the phone user. All emojis are alike except Gene who wishes to be like the others. In the emoji world all emojis have just one expression but Gene is born without a filter and can produce multiple expressions. In the quest to become normal like other emojis Gene seeks the help of his friend Hi-5 and the notorious emoji Jailbreak who is a code breaker. Together they go from app to app in search of the code that will fix Gene but when the life of the phone is put in danger so is the life of the emojis and the fate of the emojis depends upon the trio who must do something quick before their world is deleted forever.

A very unique idea that is very is familiar to the IT related world we live in today!  A film that will serve as an inspiration for all upcoming directors who wish to make animated films! Great work done!

Entertainment TV

Living it up with Pepsi Battle of Bands


Pepsi Battle of the bands is a platform for new entrants in the field of music. The idea is to bring fresh perspective to music which encompasses composition, lyrics, instruments, etc. It’s great to see the superstars giving way to the new talent. The panel of judges comprises of Shahi (Shahzad) Hasan, Meesha Shafi and Fawad. Ayesha Omar is hosting the show.

The auditions started on March 24th and continued up-till April 20th, 2017. A list of 8 bands have been shortlisted from amongst a plethora of contestants. The competition was so intense that the judges had really had to sweat while they selected the participants. They had to be really particular assessing all the intricacies from technicalities to originality and vocals.

The bands that went forward were Kashmir, Dervaish, Badnaam, Roots, Shajr, Aura, Madlock and Ayeeein Pindi Boys.  

The judges are well qualified. Fawad was part of the band Entity Paradigm. Meesha Shafi has been with Coke Studio since it 2010 and Shahzad (Shahi) Hasan was part of Vital Signs. Vital Signs was greatly inspired by Pink Floyd. They were the first band to play live. Also they introduced pop and were Pakistan’s most successful pop band. They were called the “pioneers of pop music.” Initially Fawad Khan was a guitarist and vocalist for Entity Paradigm. The band primarily focused on rock. In fact it was the pioneer of rock. And finally Meesha Shafi launched her debut with Coke Studio in 2010. She performed in collaboration with Arif Lohar, the Pakistani folk legend. So each judge had a different area of expertise. But the result was still announced with mutual consent.

The band Dervaish had many members. And I felt that although its song did not have a catchy tune yet the fact that they had combined many genres of music with great vocals was tantamount to them being at the top. The other bands were also good. But let’s leave it to the judges to take the final decision.   

The show airs every Sunday in the morning at around .So, watch out for some really intense drama in the next episode!