Rafiqah Abdullah Akhdar
On big sisters, YouTube, and beauty as an art form
I first got into makeup from one of my sisters when I was around ten years old. I have eight older sisters and one of my sisters, Rayyan, was in cosmetology school and would come home with all her makeup and lay it out in the room. She would mostly show me her stuff and then she would practice on me all the time, even when I wasn’t down for it. I used to go to school every day with so much eyeliner on that I looked like a raccoon. I don’t know how anyone let me leave the house, but I finished sixth grade with that look.
Then, I made my own YouTube account during my sophomore year of high school. I wanted my channel to be simpler and for people who were just starting out in makeup as compared to other channels that used really expensive products and had hard steps you couldn’t understand. I look at beauty as my own personal art, especially when I get creative with looks. I work really hard to be precise and when I’m finished I feel like it’s an art showcase for my followers.
“I look at beauty as my own personal art.”
My audience is really important to me because they support me and I support them. I get a lot of really nice comments from girls who wear hijabs, like me, about how thankful they are because they see someone else wearing a hijab. When I won prom queen in high school, I got a lot of messages from girls saying they had never seen someone who looks like them winning, but now they feel that they can do it too.
“The biggest part of my message is to always just believe in yourself.”
The biggest part of my message is to always just believe in yourself. I feel like you should never be afraid to do anything that you truly want to do because the worst thing you can get is a “No,” and you'll just be in the same place. The best thing you can get is the “Yes,” and be so much further ahead in what you're passionate about, if you believe in yourself.