Over the past few months, we’ve introduced a new column titled “Pulse Loves The Newbie,” where we take you from one MENA country to the next, to meet the freshest new designers in fashion. But what’s fashion without glamour? So, we’re going to back to basics. Meet Hessa Alajaji the Saudi makeup artist behind the region’s most exciting new makeup line: Han Makeup!

Growing up, Alajaji always found herself gravitating towards the arts. It wasn’t until she stumbled across YouTube in high school that she began to understand that “makeup is something that I can have fun with and be creative. Since then, I fell in love and never stopped,” she says. While the likes of Pat McGrath, Charlotte Tilbury, Nikki Wolff and Thomas de Kluvyer from Gucci serve as inspiration, it was the concept of love that inspired Alajaji’s new brand and its launch.

Why the brushes?

Han Makeup is made and created with the everyday person in mind. “It is for the working people that are not makeup artists, I created [the brand] with the mindset of providing what I feel like I want in my everyday makeup bag,” Alajaji explains. Han Makeup’s debut was marked by the launch of a set of brushes; but why brushes, you may wonder? Alajaji wanted to fill a gap in the market. “I saw that the market is missing the perfect brush set, [one] that doesn’t have too many brushes that no one will use, that also provides brushes of quality, but that are still affordable and do not break the bank,” she says. However, it wasn’t just about filling a gap in the market, as to Alajaji, a good set of brushes is the main factor behind the perfect makeup look.

Over the past few years, many have ditched their makeup brushes for a sponge, for application is easier and they can best be described as a jack of all trades. However, concerns over its sanitation arose. Many people don’t clean them regularly, don’t clean them at all, or can’t seem to clean them enough. For Alajaji, cleanliness is key. “I can’t deny how amazing makeup sponges are and the amazing finish they give, but I never use them because I feel that no matter how well I clean them, I can’t really sanitize them,” she tells us. “I care about cleanliness more than anything in makeup. That’s why I love brushes, because with great brushes there’s no need for a sponge.”

The inner guru

The brand’s slogan is: “Say it how it is,” as it aims to make the everyday person channel their inner makeup guru. In need of some tips and tricks on how to embrace this new persona? Alajaji tells us that less is always more. “The more I work, the more I understand that the less product you put on, the better the final look will turn out. Yes, we could go all out, but start with a little bit and build up, to have more control over the final outcome.” Her favorite style for herself is a minimal base with a small wing, in editorials, she likes a bold eye and lip combo, and on clients, it is their preference that matters most, because people look their best when they are comfortable. While the brand may have just launched, Alajaji, has got up a lot more up her sleeve. Han Makeup will continue to introduce new products over the next few months. However, starting a makeup brand in the region has not come without its challenges. “The most challenging part is not being able to produce products locally for the lack of labs,” Alajaji says. However, while that may represent a hurdle, it is the support she has received thus far that continues to inspire her to push forward.