Red Carpet Makeup Hacks Series | Matin Maulawizada

March 11, 2020

Red Carpet Makeup Hacks Series | Matin Maulawizada

As a cosmetics brand, we've had the pleasure of working with some of the world's most sought after makeup artists, always picking up their tips and tricks along the way. With this, we are delighted to introduce Code8's Red Carpet Makeup Hacks Series. Join us as we chat with influential makeup artists who travel the world to get celebrities red carpet ready as we pick their brains to discover their techniques and secrets to success.  

First up, we sit down with New York-based celebrity MUA Matin Maulawizada who has worked with the likes of Gwyneth Paltrow, Liv Tyler, Rachel Weisz, and Angelina Jolie, among countless others. Matin’s iconic beauty looks have graced the covers of Elle, Amaan, and Marie Claire - read on below to discover how his unconventional background led him to a career as a celebrity makeup artist, creating some of the most incredible red carpet makeup looks we have ever seen.

Tell us about your background.

Matin Maulawizada Poses on the Red CarpetI was born and raised in Afghanistan until I was sent to The States to go to university. Afghanistan was in war with Russia and there were only two choices. Fight in the resistance or join the red army. Neither were in line with mine or my family’s beliefs.  

You started out your career as a Molecular Biologist and are also an active human rights advocate—how do you reconcile these sides of your personality with your career as a makeup artists? Do they impact the way that you approach the job?

I wanted to be a plastic surgeon and go back and help put together my war-torn country and its people. By the time I finished my undergrad and realized I fainted at the sight of blood, the civil war had broken, and Afghans were slaughtering each other and destroying the city I loved so much. It was then that I decided I was going to stay away and switch direction to do research. But I missed interacting with people and hated how isolating it was. 

Matin Discussing His Previous Career as a Molecular BiologistMake up was something that kept me employed during undergraduate years and I kept getting calls to work with brands years after I quit. So, I decided to go back and give it a try at a bigger capacity, and it worked.  My background in understanding formulations and reading between the lines helps me navigate and consult in product development and having an understanding between the brands I work with and the lab. So, they do help each other out. Afgan Hands – A Charity Dedicated to Supporting Disadvantaged Women in Afghanistan

Human rights and women’s rights are important to me. I have six sisters and they are all independent and educated. To know what could have happened to them during the war and then during the Taliban regime is something that I don’t take for granted. I started Afghan Hands to help women be more independent and understand their basic rights in order to have an independent life. I funded it by creating an account and deposited my earnings for the jobs I wasn’t crazy about doing and would have otherwise said no to. But it really changed my perspective on everything and made me a much happier person.

What is your favourite red carpet makeup look that you’ve created, and who was it for?

Claire Danes’ 2016 Met Gala LookI must say it’s tough because every big red carpet is a memory that will be with me for life. But I must admit the Met Gala in 2016 when Claire Danes wore the light up dress by Zac Posen was something out of this world. Not just the makeup but the entire experience was beyond what I expected.  

Claire Danes’ Met Gala Dress – Makeup By Matin Maulawizada

What is your number one red carpet makeup trick?

Angelina Jolie Wears a Bold Red Lip at a Red-Carpet EventI layer on glow in the right places with the right products. The result looks like gorgeous skin but it’s all an illusion.


What is your favourite/hero product that you own from Code8?

The Matte Velour Lipsticks. I love the textures and the colours. 

Code8’s Matte Velour Red Lipsticks Shown in 5 Shades

Keep your eyes peeled for more of our Red-Carpet Makeup Hacks Series to come.