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Pandemic a learning curve, says Nadiya Fernando 

Chagall, run by stylist and hair guru Gerald Solomons, has teamed up with well-established makeup artist Nadiya Fernando, who will handle all her clients as well as Chagall’s from Chagall’s plush new salon at the Parkland Building. Both Gerald and Nadiya are incredibly excited about their partnership, and commented that this will benefit their clients as well as themselves. 

Speaking to Nadiya, she explained that she will be doing her entire range of services at Chagall and clients can be assured that only the very best brands and the latest techniques will be used by her. 

Nadiya Fernando and Gerald Solomons

Nadiya, who has her own brand, You by The Wax Museum, has been making a name for herself as someone who uses the latest makeup techniques, the best of makeup brands, and believes that “less is more”. Her clientele ranges from the young to the not-so-young, and basically anyone who wants to look good, but not overdone, as she puts it.

When asked about her experience as a makeup artist during the pandemic, she stated: “During the Covid-19 lockdown, there were several decisions I had to make as a business owner. I had to be responsible to the people that work for me and had to be realistic about what a pandemic meant.” 

Talking about what that meant for her in terms of business, she explained that she  had to close her salon down because the overheads were high for 15 people to work, meaning 15 people that she has to support. “So, I thought at that time that I ought to find them jobs and make sure that they had a means of living. Alternatively, what that meant for me, is that now, from being a business owner, I have to continue my career.” She added that she is very passionate about and loves her career, so she is adamant on finding new means and methods conducive to what Covid-19 had to offer, which is how her collaboration with Chagall came to be. 

After the pandemic hit, she explained that she did different things over the next six to eight months, and then came up with a plan where she would do her permanent makeup at a hospital because, as she said, hospitals are very hygienic and they appeal to very high standards.

Speaking further on her new initiative, she added: “As for hair and makeup, I wanted to tie up with somebody who is a leader in the industry, and the person I respect most is Gerald, because, in my opinion, most young hairdressers and most young people who are coming into the industry of hair and makeup have entered under him, and I too would like that exposure while I further in my career.” 

Nadiya also shared her thoughts and experience on the beauty industry in this context: “The beauty industry, during and post-pandemic, has been very different. For example, two years ago, if we had a wedding, we would not only dress the bride, but we would also do hair and makeup for the guests that were attending that specific event.” She added that, however, post-pandemic, they would still have the wedding, but, since people are meant to wear the facemask for safety reasons, people feel that they don’t need to spend that much money doing their hair and makeup. The reasoning behind this, Nadiya assumed, is because people’s faces are predominantly covered by their masks. She stated: “We as an industry saw a great reduction in either those kinds of appointments, and when taking the legal aspect into consideration, there are certain treatments that we used to do before that we cannot do anymore.” It is not possible to do eyebrow threading, facials, or any treatment on the face, as it is a close-contact application and in line with the Covid-19 guidelines, it is simply not an option anymore. Considering all of those factors, as a makeup artist, Nadiya explained that the amount of work has reduced, and the only way to go was to attach themselves with people who have a client base and are established in society. 

Nadiya considers the pandemic as a learning curve, because it’s become an amazing opportunity for someone younger to align with someone who will create new experiences for her. With this collaboration, she hopes to learn more and to take it forward to the next generation.