Beauty / IN THE BAG

RUSSH chats with Nawal Sari on her culturally significant style and beauty evolution

Nawal Sari

Living through the golden age of fashion influencers and digital creators, we have the glory of seeing some true innovation. Personal style is usually an intimate journey reserved for internal musings but thanks to social media, we get a front row seat for those who are bold enough to share their unique brand of genius. Every Instagram feed tells a story, and behind that we get insight into the creator, and their style and agenda. The intersection between fashion and beauty is an important one and for many, owning this space with a level of cultural authenticity is an important one. Digital creator Nawal Sari knows this better than anyone else, her presence as a young fashion forward Muslim creator has seen her gain considerable momentum over recent years. After all, 239,000 followers is no small flash.

With her unique blend of mixing high end curated pieces with her favourite bespoke thrifty finds, Nawal's feed is a look into her journey of style, modesty and body authenticity, something she champions for all those who she collaborates with. Here, we had the delight of speaking with Nawal about her style, the important link between her work in fashion and her culture and how she achieves this all in the short space of a day.



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Describe your style in three words.

Modest, expressive and quirky.

What is your morning beauty routine?

I wish i could give you a 5 page list of my skincare but at most all i do is some SPF and moisturiser.

What is your night beauty routine?

For night i have more of a routine than morning. I use an oil balm cleanser to remove makeup (works great for my dry skin) then i go in with a foaming cleanser. I follow that with some thick moisturiser (Sulwhasoo concentrated ginseng has me glowing) and maybe if i remember some lip balm or brow/lash serum.

Take us through what you do for a living. What does a typical day look like for you?

I’m a fashion/beauty influencer and no two days are the same. Some are chaotic and non-stop i could be shooting last minute content to shoot then edit and send off the same day, visiting agencies or attending events. Email scheduling for my 3 am antics is my best friend. Some days I'm at home and attending to helping out with parents and siblings. Especially now due to it being ramadan and Eid approaching, I'm chaotically helping out for our 5:30 pm iftars whilst fashion week planning, working and wedding planning. Currently going crazy.

You effortlessly blend contemporary or ‘trend’ pieces with classic and timeless silhouettes. Where do you draw your inspiration from?

I love archival fashion and runway or magazine campaign imagery. Although i can’t replicate looks exactly maybe due to accessibility or modesty reasons, its the little things that inspire me like the layering or prints.

How have you cemented or shaped your style in a way that continues to honour traditional cultural pieces like your Hijab?

By not falling into micro trends. Although i definitely have in the past, i noticed how shopping vintage and investing in more luxe pieces i know i adore and can style all season long has helped me. I find that if i have pieces that i feel modest in, i can rotate the pieces with new looks. I don't compromise my modesty for incoming trends and try my best to stay true to what makes me comfortable and confident.



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What is the supermarket/ drug store/ chemist beauty product(s) that you use and love?

I has to be Pears soap for the brows. It's the best.

How important is the link between fashion and culture to you?

Very important. I think for so long the trends and standard in fashion was beachy, white Aussie and more revealing, as a young teen i struggled to balance my values and what was in-trend. Now I'm much more un-apologetic and loud especially when there is a booming market of modest fashion dressers who are just like me. I love seeing Muslim women wearing abayas around Sydney or even when people from my community style keffiyehs. its revolutionary, powerful and that's how i define fashion.

You have 15 minutes to get ready in the morning, what is your go-to beauty look?

100% my brows have to be done, Benefit brow setter is incredible i just started using it. Then i would to concealer, mascara, a little brown liner wing and lip liner. Charlotte tilbury always has the creamiest liners.

What is your main form of beauty body maintenance? What products do you use on your body?

My skin is super dry and i suffer from eczema and dermatitis so don't do too much to avoid irritation. I have to moisturise a lot and also have the right one that doesn't make me flair up. I avoid fragrance and anything too heavy on my skin.


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How do you keep fit/ healthy? Does exercise form a large part of your routine?

Currently due to Ramadan and it being a month of fasting, i’ve been detoxing in so many ways and it feels great, I'm also always up and out. Although i do eat a lot of great middle eastern and or Turkish food during Ramadan as its apart of tradition to host family and friends to eat in your home. Maybe if you ask me this question after ramadan i’ll be more inspiring but right now I'm 100% indulging in all the delicious home cooked meals, although i do try to drink a lot of water and occasionally break my fast on a green juice to feel good.

Do you incorporate any professional treatments as part of your beauty routine?

I do laser treatment for my hair removal + avoid shaving for my skin issues but besides that no. I would love to find something that works for me!

What do you do when your body needs to recover?

I stay home and watch my shows and avoid takeout. I actually really enjoy cooking so find it to be almost calming for me. When life is a little too chaotic i will dive into a new cooking hobby to fixate on a dish i like. I cook a lot of salmon its my fave and so good for you, i also try to make cultural dishes so i can learn them or even a few months ago i decided to learn how to make mocktails and i now have a whole syrup set-up, i can say I'm a great host.

You’re tired or rundown: what is your beauty hack?

Sunglasses to cover those genetically dark under-eyes and some good glowy primer to look alive.


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What is the one non-negotiable in your beauty routine?

So many but 100% laminated/soap brows. Its apart of my personality now!

Do you have a beauty icon? Who are they and why?

Fairuz. she's an iconic Lebanese singer and i love how her features feel familiar to mine and how nostalgic it all is. (ive attached particular image of inspo)

What is the best advice on beauty you’ve received?

Less is more. The day I stepped away from the 2015 beauty youtube influencer routine i had was a great day for me.

What is the best advice on health you’ve received?

Care for yourself like you would someone you love. This is still something I'm working on with being productive with my health and fitness but hearing that has helped me think better of myself and do more to take care of myself.

What is the one product you can’t live without?

Milk makeup sunshine skin tint.

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Image: @nawalsari