I’ve learned the power of feeling whole, and found love when I found myself. Being in love is what gets me out of bed in the morning — not only with someone, but with everything around me. I’m from New York City and it is the very essence of who I am. I’m constantly moving and evolving, stimulated by people and things around me. The possibilities in this city are endless, and the space to dream and be is vast.
Before anything gets done or the day begins, the bed is made. It’s cliché, but I truly believe that a tidy environment is far more conducive to a productive, clear and focused day. After freshening up and making a cup of tea or coffee, I spend the larger part of each morning listening to a podcast while responding to emails and working on anything my wellness requires.
I live in a fairly aged apartment in the East Village that has lots of charm; wooden floors, ivory walls in the living room space, old tiles and a vintage sink in the bathroom. I’d say my place tends to be very tidy, barely anything is out of place. I have minimum decoration to avoid clutter in a small apartment and all neutral colored furniture. My favorite items at home are my vintage Persian rugs bought in the early 90s — they add a desi vibe around the apartment.
I feel most beautiful when I’m within the walls of my bedroom, dimming the lights, lighting candles, listening to Indie R&B music— currently any song by Amel Larrieux —and jotting down how I feel. I’m most alive when I document my process or personal feelings. Or lying naked, thinking of nothing and simply feeling connected to my body. I’ve always seen beauty as a conduit for connection to others, sure, but also to ourselves: who we want to be, how we wish to be, what we want to wash away and so on.
For my beauty ritual, I apply a sheer layer of BB cream. Light enough so that my freckles are still visible. Then I add a rosy blush along my cheekbones and the tip of my nose. I love adding a hint of color on my lips, so I’ll finish the look with a color of Chanel’s rouge lipstick to match my mood and ‘fit. At night, I clean my face and then apply Ritual Serum, an overnight retinol cream, and an oil, before finishing with eye cream and lip balm.
“I don’t know who needs to hear this, but you have a real shot at being everything you want to be. Don’t stress the small stuff. Honor your bloom, and trust your wilt. Each serves a purpose.”
Beauty is being able to just be without thinking, without any effort. I see it every day when the sun rises. I believe in growing kindness, love, and awareness. This spreads and manifests by making all aspects of life more beautiful. The people I choose to share my life with, both friends and family, have shaped the person I am today. Leaning deeper into my self work requires being surrounded by like-minded people.
Traveling to Pakistan has by far been my favorite destination. Whenever I leave Pakistan, I feel a range of emotions — thinking deeply about my lineage, culture, and rituals but also appreciating a tender and blissful feeling of joy I receive every time I visit my family. There’s lots to ruminate on during visits to small villages and cities in Pakistan, but my soul will forever be nourished seeing the simplicity of life and charm this country has to offer, especially the sweet scent of motia I always dream of.
In the next five years, I want to continue to develop my own business, settle in a small home in Brooklyn and start a family. Be balanced and happy. Work on shedding things that no longer serve a purpose. Own my darkness and embrace all parts of myself. My greatest hope for humanity is more empathy.
Working as a model has been a transformative experience. I stumbled upon an opportunity three years ago, lacking any real experience. If you had asked any of my friends or family if they thought I’d model for a living, they would’ve laughed in disbelief — including myself! Modeling and engaging with independent brands and businesses gave me the courage to dream and think big. I don’t know who needs to hear this, but you have a real shot at being everything you want to be. Don’t stress the small stuff.
Honor your bloom, and trust your wilt. Each serves a purpose.