Zara & Authentic Pakistani Facial Beauty Treatments

I remember when my fair haired, pale skinned best friend excitedly told me about her first ‘Threading’ experience with Zara.

Zara had been recommended to her by her mother, who was Zara’s neighbour.  My best friend has only more recently jumped on the self-pampering movement and gladly I can report she now has her eyebrows and lashes tinted and tidied regularly – by Zara (I think eyebrows are most important – they frame a face).  However, I’m not a threading type of girl, nor wax…good old bleach for me.  So I decided to find out more how other cultures maintain their facial beauty.

Zara originates from Pakistan and offers her treatments to family, friends and word of mouth customers; from her home which is calming clutter free and airy.  I asked her if she has noticed a difference in the way women pamper themselves here in the UK compared to Pakistan – she has been here for approx. 8 years now and has worked with beauty since she was small.  I chuckled as she talks of ladies in the UK preferring false nails, extensions on their lashes and tans; but only because I have strutted the ‘fake bake’ walk myself and it is typically western.

Zara’s UK customers prefer her threading, eyebrow management and 5 step facials the most.  Overseas in Pakistan, the ritual is head to toe, focusing on cleansing of dirt & old skin to smooth silk skin, which to me describes a luxurious treat and the type of experience you’d get at an expensive spa.

The products she uses are the top brands for Pakistan; Shahnaz Husain and VLCC Professional.  The first is a moisturising herbal product from the prominent Indian female entrepreneur of the same name and contains Gold; the other VLCC Professional has a 5 step kit made from natural ingredients.

My best friend swears by these hour long facial sessions and I can vouch for the glow and restored youthfulness to her face.  Zara recalls how she will soon have a group of friends arriving to prepare for the upcoming Eid celebrations.  I’m more familiar with the Arabian way of preparing for Eid celebrations heavy Kohl eyes and henna hands at this time of year, having spent most of my education that side of the world.  I was somewhat envious listening to Zara describe what essentially will be hours of simply being girly and cleansing and relaxing…starting with the skin.

Ironically, Zara talks of her friends and family in Pakistan loving all of the Western brands – Maybeline, Mac, No7.  She proudly shows me pictures of her on her wedding day and her porcelain perfectly painted face – which she quite rightly points out is different to the way Arabian ladies getting ready to celebrate.  She explains that Karachi and Lahore are busy cities now and branding sells.

I asked the ugly question of earning potential across the two countries.  Unsurprisingly the UK charges more and is averaging £30 per facial with threading; in Pakistan it’s pretty much half that price.  You can see from her demeanour it’s a flooded market in Pakistan – and that it is realistically possible because they have a culture where it’s typical to ‘spa pamper’ yourself more than once in a blue moon.  It’s a way of living.  I think of the word “scrub” and when placed against Pakistan sounds wholesome and rejuvenating…I place it against Britain and think of a rough sponge and good ol’ bar of soap.

It is clear Zara has a natural talent for performing beauty treatments and in a short 20 minutes had completed the threading of my best friend’s face.  I should have an Oscar for keeping a sensible head and not laughing whilst she clearly was in pain…my best friend thinks threading is worse than child birth for that split second and is just as in love with the result afterwards.  But I can also see why she, Zara and so many other women thread.  It is a smooth result.

Have I been converted to try threading? No. Unfortunately for Zara, I’m a stubborn girl and when it comes to certain areas of facial beauty I’m staying with what works for me…those facials however, contain gold did you say? Write my name down against your next free appointment…!

By Leanne Nuttall

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