This month we delve into the make-up bag, bathroom cabinet and fridge of Groundswell Project founder Hadiya Masieh who loves a confidence boosting red lip and supporting small start-up businesses…
We always know that our guest editors have a love of make-up ahead of interviewing them -that’s a given – but when we get on the phone to Hadiya and hear that she’s exhausted and just taking a break from several days working to highlight the importance of the Covid vaccine to the BAME community, for a minute we feel just a little bit silly asking her about her all time favourite concealer.
“Oh No! Not at all!” she reassures us. ” Sometimes it’s nice to have a break from all the serious stuff. In fact it’s essential. Make-up and skincare is something that gives me a lovely bit of escapism. It’s my happy place!”
You work in the charity sector and do a lot of public speaking. Do you usually wear make-up for work?
Yes definitely. When I’ve made an effort with my make-up it really does make a difference to how I feel. I am Chairwoman of the Counter Terrorism Advisory Board so I have to give regular talks at Scotland Yard and if I’ve got my red lipstick on, I’ll be, yeah, I can do this. I feel much more confident.
Read on to find out what make-up and skincare products Hadiya uses on a daily basis and her personal Top 5, based on the theme of Human Connection >>
I have to wear this MAC powder as it really keeps shine at bay. I apply it with a Body Shop short handled Kabuki brush and it's a definitely a daily essential. I wear the shade Medium Tan.
I first bought this mascara as I was drawn to the fact that proceeds from their sales go to the Younique foundation, which is a charity that supports women who are survivors of child sexual abuse. Now I keep buying it because it's a really great product and it gives amazing volume.
I really like these Morphe lipsticks. They don't move and they stay really bright. The red really pops and I love the shade Jealousy for a softer look. It's just the best colour.
I don't go anywhere without putting on my eyeliner. I've tried lots of different versions but this is the only one I can really control. You apply it with a fine brush and it seems to come out just right every time.
So would you say self-care, confidence and feeling good are all intertwined?
Yes and I also think as a woman of colour, make-up and presentation mean a lot to me. If you’re someone of a minority ethnic background working or living in a majority white community you stand out and oftentimes, if you’re going to be the one who stands out, you want to represent the people who look like you in the best way possible. If you’ve beautified yourself it’s a bit like armour. Beauty is universal – it definitely goes through my head that if I’m well put together, people won’t look at my colour they’ll look at my presentation and I won’t get judged.
It is hard to imagine anyone not taking Hadiya seriously, as she is so passionate and committed to her charity work, in particular her own non-profit organisation, The Groundswell Project, set up to help build empathy in communities and emphasise the power of human connection in a bid to stop acts of hate, prejudice and racism. With an understanding that it’s the common threads and the smaller acts of community, from tea mornings to planting flowerbeds, as well as bigger fundraising events, that bring people together, the project invites people to place their local events and groups on Groundswell’s community mapper so that anyone can find events and charities in their area that they can then get involved with themselves. A frankly genius idea. “The bigger picture is to create an online space that actively challenges hate and promotes peace and tolerance, something that every neighbourhood could benefit from.” says Hadiya, “We’re working on the premise that you can’t fight hate with hate, you’ve got to throw love at it it. I know it sounds cheesy but love really is the only way.”
“Beauty is universal… if you’ve beautified yourself it’s a bit like armour.”
Picture credits: 1. Hadiya with Forest Whitaker at his Peace and Development Gala in New York 2. Attending a GVNG charity event in LA in honour of Emmanuel Kelly 3. Presenting a talk on the benefits of interfaith connection 4. Highlighting a booklet on Black History.
You can follow Groundswell Project on Instagram here: @groundswell_project
and vist their website here: https://www.groundswellproject.org/
When we asked Hadiya what she wanted to feature in her own personal Top 5, she chose an overarching theme of human connection to tie in with the core message of the Groundswell Project
I use the analogy of communities being like gardens a lot in my work and this painting reminds me of that. It’s such a calming piece and I love Hockney as he is from Yorkshire like me.
I’ve been reading a lot of inspiring poetry by Rumi recently and it really resonates with what I’m doing – looking at the spiritual connection between human beings
One of my local charities, Burnt Oak Women’s Group believes that saving the world starts locally and that by helping people connect and find things in common over a cup of tea can provide the foundations for positive change. I really love what they do.
I love listening to SAMPA THE GREAT who is great for igniting female energy. Alicia keys is another artist I love. Female energy is so powerful for driving positive change.
We have partnered with this charity in the past and I think Kim, Jo’s sister is incredible. The way they have turned something so evil and awful into something that is a force for good is so inspiring.
I really love bergamot and this face wash just feels so fresh and the smell is so uplifting. I love that it has so many natural essential oils in it. It almost smells medicinal - the complete opposite to those horrible fake strawberry smells I can't stand. I’m really fussy about my skincare and this is a brilliant cleanser that leaves my skin feeling soft and really clean.
This is the one investment product that I always buy. It’s an incredible moisturiser that just seems to fit my skin perfectly. It’s the perfect consistency, it sinks in beautifully and it doesn’t leave my skin feeling greasy. This is something that I have to save up for but it’s worth it. I rationalise that I won't have a facial but I'll buy this cream. It's worth it - it is your face, after all!
This goes on like butter and you can really tell it's all organic. It has this natural orangey glow so when you put it on your skin it looks all warm and golden. It's designed with black and asian skin in mind so it's extra moisturising. This is such a fantastic, environmentally friendly small business and I love what they do. The founder Dola, even makes bespoke blends.
I keep this eye cream in the fridge and it’s really cooling and refreshing. I love the rollerball applicator. Great for waking up the eye area and de-puffing.