30Q with Marwa Haider

Marwa Haider is a Yemeni- Estonian make-up artist, model and the ambassador of Urban Decay. She left Aden, Yemen a couple of years ago and is now settled in , Tallinn, Estonia. Despite her tight schedule, Marwa spared some time and answered The Elixir’s 30 Questions. Read on and have a short insight into Marwa’s personal and professional life.

(1) Who is Marwa Haider?
A Yemeni- Estonian make- up artist who used to work behind cameras and by coincidence became a model working in front of cameras.

(2) You grew up in Aden, what was it like to leave and settle in Estonia?
Moving back to Estonia ( as I was originally born here), was a turning point in my life, for sure it was not easy to leave my father’s family and friends, but I’m thankful for being in Estonia. I come from a conservative society and a conservative family, and if it were not for Estonia, I wouldn’t have been able to live this life.

(3) Aden and Estonia, your favorite things about both places?
In Aden, I loved people’s simplicity, you can greet people randomly without even knowing them. I also loved the value of family and the food.

In Estonia, I love the safety. It’s one of the safest places in the world. I love how people are very sincere and straightforward and don’t care about gossip. I love how I can be myself without being scared or worried. Plus, Estonia has a very beautiful nature.

(4) What is one thing you always do before you sleep?
My skin care routine.

(5) What is your favorite season and why?
Summer. I get to go to the beach!

(6) What is the latest gift you have received?
A ticket for the Estonian drama theatre.

(7) What is one make-up product you would not leave your house without?
A lip balm.

(8) What is one thing that will always be fashionable no matter how much time passes?
Natural eyebrows.

(9) One moment that changed your life?
Once I was home with my little sister (4 years at the time) she went out to play with her friends at the play yard. She was late and I was terrified. I started crying and panicking as if she was my own. From that day onward, I don’t see her as my little sister, she has become my daughter!

(10) A memory you wish you could overcome?
When I was a teenager, I had a lot of conflicts with my father. They are always at the back of my mind and they still cause pain.

(11) A saying you believe in?
Never judge a book by its cover.

(12) Who is your biggest support?
My mother.

(13) What is your greatest strength?
I would say I’ve an easy-going mentality. I get along with all kinds of people regardless of our differences.

(14) If you are to go on a vacation, where would you go and who would you take?
California, i’d take my boyfriend.

(15) Past Vs Presence, what would you choose and why?
Present for sure because i’m safe and happy.

Marwa Haider wearing the Yemeni Costume of Aden

(16) What made Marwa Haider choose to be a model?
That was a pleasant coincidence. As a make-up artist I constantly deal with photographers, they thought I had exotic looks so I gave it a try, and here I am. Plus, I always loved attention! 😉

(17) Describe your first photo-shoot.
I was so shy and feeling uncomfortable, but I tried so hard not to let it show. I ended coming up with good poses and the photographer was both pleased… and surprised!

(18) What did your parents think of you being a model, and how supportive were they?
My mother told me not to be too revealing but she knows I’d eventually do what I like no matter what! She was never against me, it was my father’s family who gave me a hard time. They did not like it and blamed me for choosing this path! But I kept modeling because it’s something I like.

(19) How did modeling affect your status as a Yemeni?
For me it didn’t. I am still a Yemeni and always will be!

(20) If you were not a model, what would you aspire to be?
Well, I’m a make-up artist. And I was studying in Baltic Film and Media School here in Tallinn.. so i would’ve probably got involved in film making.

(21) How do you take care of your skin?
That’s my favorite part! Always keep it clean and moisturized, healthy food and good sleep. I never use a product without knowing the ingredients and I so much enjoy making my own facial masks!

(22) A celebrity you would like to meet?
I met some well- known people here in Estonia, but I’d really love to meet Huda Kattan. I’m a big fan!

(23) From your own perspective, define Beauty.
Beauty isn’t just about flawless skin, fashionable outfits and good pictures. Beauty is an entity! It’s about enjoying the taste of food, music and culture. It’s admiring how a mind thinks and how someone so exclusively acts. Beauty glow starts from the inside and work its way to the outside!

(24) What is it like to be the Ambassador of Urban Decay?
It’s such a great chance I had when I joined the UB (purple) family. Urban Decay basically expresses who I am. It was very nice to get to work with a brand I see myself in. This brand has the vibes of being feminine, dangerous and the prettiest and coolest in the room. And this is basically me, this is how I define my personality. Plus, even the make-up style and outfit is just my taste. I’m in the right place at the right moment!

(25) What is your favorite Urban Decay product?
This is a very difficult question! They are all wonderful that I can’t choose! But I’d say the Naked Skin Foundation.. It’s like magic and makes me love my skin!

(26) What is the best and worst thing about being famous?
The best thing is always having the opportunity to move forward towards something bigger.

The worst thing is that people think they have the right to judge you and stick their noses into your personal life.

(27) Who is Marwa’s modeling Idol and Rival?
Idols: Demi Lovato, she’s a singer and actress, but as a model.. I’m in love with her. Also I look up to Gigi Hadid, Zoe Kravitz and Nadine Nassib.

Rivals: None. We are all different, each with her own style and in her own way!

(28) If Marwa is to retire tomorrow, what would she do?
I’ll enjoy life the same way… family and friends around me. Travelling, and looking good even at the age of 80.

(29) A message to your fans.
Well, keep in mind no one is having that perfect life. We’ve all been through a lot of disappointments, fear and pain. If that’s going to affect you, let it do in a good way! Let it teach you something.. let it show you the way to your wanted destination. And finally, always remember you’re beautiful because your heart is, not because your product is expensive!

(30) Marwa’s aspirations and anticipations for the coming 10 years?
I’m not a person who plans for long terms..i’m taking it one day at a time!