Nabilah Harron is a graphic designer, make-up artist, influencer, model, and a mom of an (almost) five-year-old.
We chose Nabilah for our Bellabeat summer campaign because of her vibrant personality, worldly outlook on life and her in-front and behind the camera skills. Originally from South Africa, Nabilah has traveled around most of the world before settling in Zagreb, Croatia. Though it can be hard to find a life-work balance when you love your job, Nabilah seems to navigate those waters successfully.
During the shoot, we caught up with her to get some insights into being a working mom and a beauty influencer, as well as to bring you some summer vibes & inspiration.
You’re a graphic designer by education but you mostly work as a make-up artist and a model, at the moment. Can you tell us a bit more about what you do and what inspires you on your professional path?
I’m a professional beauty and bridal makeup artist, I trained under Lucija Juross at one of the most prestigious makeup artist academies in Zagreb, JL Style Beauty. I am based in Zagreb but originally, I am from Cape Town, South Africa. I absolutely love my job. I couldn’t imagine working in any other industry. I specialize in bridal makeup which I particularly love because besides me generally loving weddings, I get to be a part of my brides’ special day — one of the most important days in her life. Apart from being a makeup artist, I am also the beauty and makeup columnist for Index.hr, one of the largest online portals in the Balkan Region. My columns are video-based, so I do weekly makeup tutorials creating seasonal trending makeup and hair looks. I collaborate with many beauty and makeup brands on my social media, review them and using the products I love in makeup looks.
On the modeling side, I've done it for about 8 years in total in both South Africa and in the Middle East. I still do some modeling for campaigns in Croatia, for brands that I believe in and reflect my lifestyle. I am a very creative individual, so naturally, I love the creative industry and surrounding myself with like-minded, positive individuals that inspire me to always level-up. I love challenging myself, I think it’s important to never stop expanding the knowledge of your craft. It’s also important to get out of your comfort zone, sometimes it can be a bit uncomfortable, but it’s the only way to grow and it’s always worth it in the end.
As you’ve grown a substantial audience on your social media, you’re also an influencer. What part of your job personally brings you the most joy?
When I see how people appreciate my work and love the end result. Seeing the satisfaction on my client's faces after I do their makeup is priceless.
Besides being a successful professional, you’re also a mom. How important is life-work balance to you and how do you pursue it?
Life-work balance is extremely important as a lot of my work is done online, which means I need to mentally schedule offline/ family time. Not getting too caught up in the social media world, scheduling me-time and family time makes me feel more balanced. Every day I’m learning, some days are more hectic than others, and it’s harder to find balance, but that’s also ok! My husband helps me out a lot (bless him!) when I’m working back to back during hit season. You can expect this with all freelance jobs. My off-season is usually my husband's busy work season and that’s when I help out more in the household. Having a good support system in your partner, family or close friends is so important to me. I work with a great professional photographer/videographer and Croatian translator. This has really helped me in managing my social media content and getting things done more efficiently so I can move onto the next project with less stress.
With a busy schedule such as yours, how do you make sure to get enough ‘me time’?
‘Me-Time’ is very important to me. I realized that if you don’t make time for yourself to re-connect and relax, nobody will do it for you. You have to care about yourself enough to always make time for yourself in order to look and feel beautiful, not only on the outside but most importantly on the inside. I’m very lucky that with my job as a ‘beauty influencer’, there are plenty of opportunities to meet many interesting people within the industry and to get pampered with new products on the market — haircare, nails, and skincare/body treatments. It’s a 24/7 job, where you have to be online as much as possible and are almost always engaging with your online audience (family), but I always feel rewarded at the end of the day.
My favorite activity to unwind is definitely hitting the gym! I love working out — I see a personal trainer twice a week, I train at home and I also love yoga, this helps me feel centered and revitalized! I also love to cook simple but healthy meals. I’m a huge foodie, so I eat out quite a lot. I enjoy trying different or exotic foods with good company.
As a model, influencer and a make-up artist you’re surrounded with beauty in an era when women seem to be overburdened with the desire to look good. What does self-love mean to you? How do you personally practice it?
There is no perfect. To strive for absolute perfection is draining and can affect you in a very negative way. By comparing yourself to others you gain absolutely nothing. Your imperfections make you who you are — if you feel good on the inside, you can feel great while radiating good vibes and positive energy on the outside as well. Positivity and good energy are magnetic, what you want, you can get — if you know what you want and are ready to take baby steps each day to try to achieve your goals. Treat yourself a few times a month or even if it’s only once a month, it’s worth it. Enjoy spending time with yourself and take a day or 2 off social media to re-connect and appreciate everything that’s around you.
Summer is just around the corner. What are some of the summer beauty and wellness habits you just can’t do without?
Keep your makeup lightweight and try to use water-proof products. Wear a good SPF 30+ sunscreen every day or a bb-cream or tinted moisturizer with an SPF. Liquid blush and tinted lip balms are great during the summer months. Hydrate! Try to drink 3L of water a day.
How do you see your life changing in the next 10 years, what would you still like to achieve? How much do you think about your health and well-being when planning for the future?
I live each day as it comes, but planning and scheduling are so important in order to organize your plans and thoughts and put it all into action. I see myself always being in the beauty industry, so having my own bridal makeup studio one day is definitely a dream of mine. I could also see myself being a brand ambassador and working for PR, marketing, or training, for a great skincare/beauty brand that I love and use. I may or may not be living in Croatia in the next few years, but the beauty of my job is that it allows me the freedom to work anywhere in the world.