It’s here: 31 days. 31 cities. 31 perspectives. Each day in the month of March, we’re profiling an inspiring woman from across the world and asking her to share her beauty routine, products, and wellness secrets. Consider this your firsthand look into the beauty traditions and cultures of your beauty-obsessed counterparts from Thailand, Nigeria, and more (and don’t forget to check our Instagram for a beauty-themed global takeover each day). Following Toronto-based beauty guru and mother of two Sari Friedman, we have Siham Hamdan, a cool girl from Mexico who talks about the many different cultures that influence the beauty scene.
Name: Siham Hamdan
City and country of residence:
Torreón, Mexico. I've lived here since I was born.
The five skincare products you can’t live without:
Clinique Moisture Surge 72-Hour Auto-Replenishing Hydrator ($19) and Clarifying Lotion 1 ($15), Benefit It's Potent! Eye Cream ($34), Lancôme Miel-En-Mousse Foaming Cleansing Makeup Remover with Acacia Honey ($40). I also use body cream (there’s not one in particular) and eye drops, which is maybe not skincare, but still very important.
The five hair products you can’t live without:
The five makeup products you can’t live without:
Benefit Cosmetics The POREfessional Face Primer ($31), Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser Dark Circles Concealer and Treatment ($8), L’Oréal Paris Nude Magique BB Powder ($18), Lancôme Juicy Shaker in Cloudy Candy ($22), MAC Powder Blush in Tenderling ($22), and Lancôme Monsieur Big Mascara ($25).
What countries and cultures do you find most inspirational when it comes to beauty and why?
It might be complete opposite sides, but I have always loved Midwestern and Asian beauty (although it meant something a little different to me than what it is now). My father is Lebanese, so I’m very familiar with the culture, and I remember my first idea of “a makeup” was that of a Lebanese woman in a full face of makeup with really dark eyes. On the other hand, when I was younger, I was so much into Japanese culture after spending so much time watching anime cartoons and discovering more about their culture. This led to me the realization that the meaning of beauty meant something completely different for them, and it opened up my eyes a lot more to the world of beauty. It was at this point when I started getting into makeup!
What are the most popular beauty products and brands in your country right now?
K-beauty has just started to become really popular in Mexico at the moment, especially because we now have an online store that sells all sorts of Korean brands. Mexican brands are becoming everyone’s favorites too. We have Pai Pai, beautiful lipsticks with gorgeous packaging; Ahal Bio Cosmética, organic cosmetics; Pitahia Nail polishes, and many more emerging brands!
International brands are, of course, very popular too. A few of the products that I keep seeing fellow beauty lovers raving about are the Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance Palette, the Fenty Beauty highlighters, Benefit Gimme Brow. Even Glossier has been catching everyone’s attention—especially because it’s so hard to get your hands on their products in Mexico.
What are the most popular beauty trends in your country right now?
Microblading has made its way into many people’s hearts. I keep seeing more and more women get this treatment and more places providing this service. I’ve realized that brows are one of the most important features for women in Mexico, especially in the northern states.
As I mentioned above, the uprising popularity of Korean beauty has helped many of us to understand the benefits of skincare. Masking has become a staple in everyone’s pampering routines, not only with Korean brands but also drugstore alternatives that offer great products too.
What is your favorite traditional beauty secret from your country?
Beauty traditions in Mexico are a bit of a mix of every other country. Having a French invasion was key in something that became extremely popular in the 50s: red lips. I’ve heard several stories from my grandma telling me how women loved their bright red lipsticks, using them on their cheeks to complement their look. And even if wearing makeup was prohibited to some of them, they use beets to stain their lips and pinch their cheeks to get a natural flush. This might be something women all around the world used to do, but I like to imagine a Mexican woman years ago with long black braids, flowy colorful dress, and red stained lips.
Where you buy beauty products?
For drugstore brands, I mostly visit Walmart or Sally Beauty. For high-end brands, I go to department stores (Cimaco, Liverpool). We don’t have Sephora where I live, but I always make sure to visit one when I head off to Mexico City. I’ve been trying to get more into indie and/or emerging brands, especially Mexican. We have this place called Casa Nativa where I live, which sells unique products from new brands, most of them organic and natural, in-store and online.
What does “healthy living” mean to you?
The meaning of this has changed drastically for me over the years. It’s not too long ago that I decided to not just pay attention to my face but also to my body and mind. Healthy living is being at peace with oneself, doing what makes you feel good (and not harming anyone in the process, of course!). The way that I have worked on this is by staying active; I love to run and go to the gym very often. Eating clean is also very important to me, not to try to become skinny but to put into my body what will make me feel and look good, lots of vegetables and water and, of course, pizza and cake on the weekends because balance, right?
How do you define/practice self-care?
This goes hand in hand with healthy living. In order to feel good, I know that I have to stay active, drink a lot of water (I live in a very dry place), take some time off from work, and sometimes enjoy doing nothing at all. I work at home and sometimes spend the entire day in front of my computer; I realized that defining my working schedule not only helped with my time management but also helped with my health as I make time to socialize, enjoy other activities, and just have a moment to relax.
What’s your favorite way to stay active and why?
Running! I’ve been enjoying it so much since last year. It had always been a goal for me to get into running, and I feel so excited that I’m finally into it. I like doing Pilates too, but I’m more into moving my entire body and getting all sweaty and very active. I love that feeling. It helps me have a better and deeper sleep.
What’s your favorite healthy meal?
I'm currently really obsessed with poke bowls since a new place opened where I live. I get so much energy from it and never feel bloated after my meal. I love a brown rice + tuna + avocado poke—I could have it every day!
What are the most popular wellness trends in your country right now?
Living a healthy life has become very popular lately, especially in the area where I live. There weren’t many organic products around, and many restaurants were not vegan-friendly. Big cities in Mexico had been into this for a while before it hit my area. I keep seeing more and more women and men taking care of their bodies and trying vegan meals, even if they love animal products.
Spinning is something I’ve seen rising up in popularity since last year too. I believe it had to do with a very popular place in Mexico City, and then the concept spread out to the rest of the country.
And finally, switching off and enjoying nature. I think I live in a very beautiful country, rich in nature, food, culture. It sounds a little weird to say it this way, but it is definitely a trend to travel around the country out in nature, discovering more about it and disconnecting from social media for a while.
Check back every day this month for more beauty and wellness routines from cool women across the world.