Did you know that Haneesa, affectionately known as Neesot by her friends, is one heckuva singer? Don’t believe us? Just check out the beautiful covers she does (especially with Jeremiah Buda!) under Malaysian-based record label The Stereo Folks. Not only is she a talented singer, she’s got major skills with both makeup and art brushes! Currently a Design student at the famous Limkokwing University of Creative Technology, Haneesa freelances as a makeup and special effect artist. Read on as we chat with this self-proclaimed “lepak-at-mamak-shop” Zahara Warrior!
What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
If you only know me from social media, I guess people are quite surprised to know that I’m pretty laidback and casual in real life. Some assume that I’m living the fancy lifestyle just by looking at my feed but I am more of a homebody, “lepak-at-mamak-shop” or “lepak-tepi-jalan” kinda girl! I enjoy socialising and going to events but I always make sure to keep some things private and grounded.
What brings you the greatest joy?
My family, friends, people who support my art/creations, making art and…umm… travelling (at least for now)! I love the city but once in a while, I need a break and get away from the concrete jungle. There is so much joy and magic in just spending time with nature.
How did you come up with NEESOT?
We go wayyyy back during my school years! I was around 15 that time and some of my classmates called me Neesot! They made nicknames for everyone in the class haha! I have no idea why but that’s the first thing that came into my mind when I first started Instagram in 2012. Pretty random.
You’re currently an editorial intern at Curated PopCult magazine. How’s the experience so far?
It’s been great! I’ve always wanted to work on a fashion/beauty magazine since school! I do a lot of social media admin and find beauty contents for the magazine. I also design newsletters for our company. I’m grateful to find an intern position that fits my passion in both beauty/makeup and art & design!
You’re also a freelance MUA. What inspired you to be one?
It was pretty spontaneous. I never really planned on doing it. Social media helped me a lot! I started with just posting my own creative makeup looks for fun on Instagram and when I got a bigger following, people started to recognize my work. I got DMs and emails for freelance jobs. I thought to myself, “Why not?” It gets tough sometimes because I have to balance both study and work at the same time, but having my “canvas” feeling happy and saying thank you to me makes it all worth it. I feel absolute joy in making someone feel beautiful or unique!
Any projects you’re working on now?
I just hosted my own beauty/makeup workshop on 26th February in Shah Alam! I had a few local beauty brands that was supremely kind to sponsor me goodie bags for the event. Other than that, I might set up my own website and do more design/art or makeup collaborations with international brands. I’m currently taking the time to explore and complete my degree this year. The rest remains a secret.. for now.
As a Zahara Warrior, what advice would you give someone hoping to be a MUA?
Firstly, have a good attitude in anything that you do. You’ll naturally attract more people and potential customers of course! Secondly, organize and manage your time well.
If we’re talking about makeup application tips, go slowly but surely. Blending is key. Every makeup artist starts as an amateur and with 0 knowledge.I f you truly believe you have the passion for it, practice makes perfect. Find your niche and have your own style, and the right people will come to you.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time?
To be honest ,I have no idea. I’m just enjoying the progress along the way! I won’t run away from the creative industry for sure. From what I’ve been doing now, I can see myself doing creative or trend content on the big ‘Net or travelling to UK/US to expand my knowledge and creativity of the makeup industry.
We love your bold and colourful aesthetic. Who are your style icons?
Thank you! I’m either colourfully overdressed or a straight-up jeans and sweater girl. No in-betweens haha! I love Alexa Chung and Rihanna’s style. They know how to make any outfits look cool without losing all the fun!
What’s on your bucket list?
Oh my, it’s a loooong list! I want to travel more and go sky-diving or something! Anything that keeps me in touch with nature or keeps my adrenaline pumping. I also want to have my own house complete with a makeup or an art studio, built from my own design. That would be nice!
Any beauty secrets you can share with us?
Absolutely! Always invest in skincare first. Makeup comes second. Your makeup can only look as good as your skin. As scary as it sounds, it’s the truth. Healthy skin will never go out of trend, I promise you that. Set a daytime and a nightime routine to treat your skin. It’s a bit tedious and tiring at first to maintain a routine but once you see improvements, you’ll be obsessed!
I never step out of the house without a slap of moisturizer and sunscreen. Please make it a habit to wear sunscreen everyday. The sun and dirt outside can really harm your skin in ways that you will not be conscious of. So protect it well even during cloudy days! Drink a lot of water, get enough sleep and never sleep with your makeup on!
Complete this sentence: A beautiful woman is someone who is ________.
Sincere and kind, no matter what they look like.
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