- Nadira talks about allowing creative energy and having a healthy mindset.
- Why downtime is so important for her.
- Her motto: “It’s beauty that captures your attention; personality which captures your heart.”
Nadira V Persaud is a Makeup Artist, Beauty Expert and Author recognised for her distinct signature style and vision. She talks to 35 Thousand about her diverse creative work, her family life, and how she manages perimenopause.
Describe yourself in 3 words…
Resilient, creative and compassionate.
Tell us about your work
Every day is different which is what I love most about being Freelance. I thrive on variety so one day I might be on an editorial shoot on location, then next back-to-back meetings creating opportunities for more work or interviews regarding my book, Press Here! Face Workouts for Beginners.
In my role as Nadira Make up + Hair, I work for magazines, live events, tv commercials, private makeup lessons and an educator though there is still much more. As a Beauty Expert with a passion for skin, I have the opportunities to write quotes or commissions for magazines or online platforms. Becoming an Author has allowed me to share my techniques and philosophy surrounding beauty and wellness. In all, I’d say I take a holistic approach.
Do you work in a spare room, skyscraper, or other?
I have an office at my home which houses a custom-built cupboard for my makeup and hair kit which is already full to the brim. I can store my products and equipment safely and lucky to have the space. I’m currently rearranging the office to make space for new storage to house my archives; piles of physical portfolios, photographs and magazine tearsheets from the time before digital existed in addition to making room for new stock for my online store selling my book and beauty tools.
What parts of your work give you energy?
I get a kick out of getting new clients, repeat business and from taking time to do personal projects. Allowing creative energy is important so when I feel that boost I act on it. I’m certainly not someone who procrastinates.
What parts of your work drain you?
The travel can be the most draining part of work as I am often carrying heavy kit but this year I am more mindful of my routes to work and will opt for more taxis to save my back.
Most pivotal point of your career so far?
It is truly hard to say what the most pivotal point in my career is because there is never one defining moment, however, lockdown gave me a chance to reevaluate my career, direction and especially my confidence in my work. I spent weeks looking through my archives realising I have a successful career as a Makeup Artist but never believed it because I wasn’t in the moment enjoying it all, instead riddled with anxiety which had always impacted on my health. Lockdown made me focus on myself in a way I would never have had the opportunity to which helped me to build my self-esteem and rid the doubts which can improve to inner calm. It feels very liberating and I think this shows in my recent projects.
Best piece of advice you received that you now pass on to others?
I can’t remember who might have offered this advice but I started out thinking I must think of myself as a business to be taken seriously. In the creative arenas, many of us forget we are forging our careers but we do need business acumen plus find a system to ensure we get paid and know our worth!
What event or situation is funny now but wasn’t at the time. Please expand!
There were many moments when I would feel very inferior on set starting out and a lot of sexism and cry on my way home. It’s not that it’s funny but I would certainly speak up now and encourage anyone else to.
Pets, hobbies, external commitments?
My little family unit is my soon to be 7 year old son. We enjoy family time in parks, riding our bikes or chilling watching films, though must admit we relish in complete silence with our devices. Having a child makes sure I get some downtime so not always focus on work which is easily done when you work for yourself and cover many roles with varying deadlines.
Describe your pre-pandemic day-to-day:
It was hectic, non-stop with little breathing space rallying around my son’s schedule and an unpredictable work schedule. Try as I might I would still be writing up interviews or beauty quotes late at night, then up early for a shoot day.
How has your daily life changed, what’s your new normal?
It’s much calmer because I have more boundaries. I hit perimenopause in my early 40’s so for the past 6 years I’ve been tackling those issues too and now I’m on HRT and properly following self-care instead of feeling panic.
My new normal is making time for myself and ensuring I have a happier home with the headspace to do what I need to do daily.
Has the Corona crisis impacted you personally and professionally? How?
It has impacted in so many ways. Personally, I have a healthier mindset when it comes to myself. Since the start of 2021, I began to workout most mornings and do breathing exercises which makes my day more productive. Work-wise, I have been very fortunate to still have freelance work and good relations with clients plus I started online beauty sessions where I was lucky enough to pick up clients in the US and Netherlands.
What, if anything, keeps you up at night?
Perimenopause has had an affect on my sleeping habits, however, I try to listen to my body and go to bed to do breathing exercises as I have a tendency to keep pushing through so my sleep is somewhat improved. Saying that, I find when I am feeling very creative and full of ideas my mind is active so I make sure I write notes before bed.
What have been your best coping strategies over the past year? Do you have any objects, routines or tools that you found particularly uplifting? Gin or Gym?
My daily workouts how ever long have been the best coping strategy for me and I have recently bought a skipping rope which is a quick cardio workout in minutes before the school drop.
I won’t lie, I also love a tipple in the evening so I will allow myself a few glasses without the guilt. I certainly drink less than I did at the start of the pandemic like everyone else did!
What has kept you sane? And kept your family sane?
HRT has made a huge difference to my mood. I was beginning to feel like I had an out-of-body experience most days late last 2020. Also, keeping to a routine helps tremendously for everyone’s sake.
Did 2020 change your outlook on life in any way?
2020 hugely changed my outlook. I worry less about things I cannot control as well as realising I can adapt and evolve during stressful times.
Are you travel ready? Where do you want to go, with who or would you rather stay home?
I would be all set to travel if I had to but so far I’ve been away over night in England for a job which was blissful. I would be happy to away in the UK but not much further as I’d like to make some home improvements and focus on my upcoming projects.
Finish this sentence “If you look in my handbag at any time you will ALWAYS find….”
A mirror as I often get food stuck in my teeth and people never tell you!
What are your work from home saviours? (routines/ products/ coffee/ music?)
The night before I always handwrite a to-do list for the next day. I’ve been doing this for decades. I find writing the tasks makes sure you don’t forget and you always get satisfaction from crossing out something you’ve done. It’s a great sense of achievement which is important when you work for yourself as it keeps you motivated for each day.
Describe your style?
I would say I have an effortless style that is always about comfort.
Name your 5 essential items of clothing?
I love a tailored coat or jacket. My blue denim boyfriend cut jeans. White pumps. Slouchy top and glasses.
How do you see your business or career in two years from now?
I see my business evolving steadily as I am always making plans to diversify in new areas of beauty. Its very exciting, always a little daunting but realise, in this climate you need several revenue streams to survive to lift your brand.
What’s something you haven’t conquered yet but really want to?
I have always had a theory in business to ‘spread yourself out’ over many areas as you will learn more skills and get a 360-degree view. I think social media has proven you can really leap forward with exposure. I’m not interested in becoming the best influencer but I would like my expertise and skills to reach that bit further than it already is.
What could you say to your 20 year old self that would help her the most?
I would say use your voice and go with your gut because deep down you do know what’s right for you.
Do you have a life motto or mantra that really resonates with you?
I use this anonymous quote for my beauty work and I feel an affinity with it.
“It’s beauty that captures your attention; personality which captures your heart.”
Take a look at Nadira’s website here.