Style File: April Al-Zahrani

Every day, I prance into our studio hoping to catch our models for a few photos of their off-duty looks… and every day, I find myself wanting to take a photo of someone else in that studio, as well: our makeup artist.

April has been working her magic here at Free People for quite some time, and she’s certainly become part of the heart of the Free People family. She has this way about her — in her style as well as her personality — that’s so relaxed yet incredibly put together at the same time. One flash of that gorgeous smile and your heart will instantly melt. Friends, meet April!

Free People makeup artist April

Free People makeup artist April 4

Dearest April! How did you first find your way here to Free People?  

I found out about the job through another makeup artist, 4 years later here I am! 

How long have you been a makeup artist? Have you worked in the industry since day one or is there a past life we don’t yet know about you?!

Oh man!! I have so many past lives, it’s crazy! I’ve worn a lot of hats in my almost 35 years. I worked in a women’s clinic while in school in San Antonio, Texas, which is where I was raised. I worked as a clerk in a few chic clothing boutiques in Boston. I was an esthetician for a while in New Jersey, which is how I started dabbling with makeup. That was about 6 years ago. 

Free People makeup artist April

Army green, tan, gold

Army jacket artwork

Can you describe a moment when you, as a makeup artist, took a step back and thought, “Yes. This is it. This is what makes everything I do totally worthwhile”? 

That would have to be when my daughter told me how proud she is of my work!

What would you say is the most challenging aspect of doing what you do – or is it all pure bliss?!

I think the tough part is getting your foot in the door. There’s a lot of hard work in being a freelance artist. The upside to it is all the wonderful women I meet and work with.

April Al-Zahrani Free People

Gold cuff, purple ring

April Al-Zahrani Free People 6

How would you describe your personal style? Do you feel like it evolves as time goes on, or do you stick with one look that’s classicly you?

I don’t think I have one particular style, it really does vary from day to day based on my mood. I definitely wear a lot of black and menswear inspired pieces, but I also love ethnic jewelry and vintage clothing. Somehow mixing these things up works for me. I can definitely say I enjoy consignment and vintage shopping. Now that I’ve figured out what I like I do a lot less shopping, but when I do there is nothing more exciting than not knowing what treasure awaits in a chic consignment shop or good old flea market.

Strappy black wedges

April Al-Zahrani Free People 7

What’s your go-to outfit? 

This winter I found the perfect navy fedora so I’ll throw that on with lots of gold jewelry, a nice comfy sweater from the men’s department, dark wash jeans and my Yohji Yamamoto lace up boots which were my ultimate consignment store find last year. And last but not least I top that off with a matte red lip! Ruby Woo and Russian Red by Mac to be exact.

Free People makeup artist April

Please tell us about your beauty routine, you beauty expert! 

Hmmmm, I like to say I keep it simple — and I do — but I’m pretty crazy about caring for my skin. I start from the inside by drinking lots of water. I also take resveratrol and royal jelly in pill form. I’m obsessed with moisturizer, eye cream, and serum. My skin tends to be dry so I use a heavy cream both day and night. I cleanse with Bioderma or Cetaphil at the end of the day — I skip cleansing in the morning to avoid drying out my skin. Pretty simple right?! With my makeup I keep it simple as well, but I always play up my eyes — that’s the middle eastern part in me! I’m obsessed with my eyebrows and really regret ever tweezing them. I never leave home without filling them in a bit. I’m a huge fan of concealer too. I curl my lashes, throw on some eyeliner and tons of mascara. When I do wear foundation I only apply it where I need it. I top that off with a light dusting of loose powder and finish with a little contour. I’ll throw on some highlighter for a dewy look — RMS living luminizer is just lovely, or just do cream blush instead of contour.

Free People makeup artist April

Free People makeup artist April

What’s the most helpful beauty secret you’ve ever discovered?

Moisturizing and exfoliating are game changers when it comes to skin and makeup. The better the skin the less makeup you need! It hurts to see young girls with dry skin — it’s a quick way to age your skin.

…And the weirdest?

My grandmother — who was a wonderful sassy Mexican woman and my beauty icon — would rub garlic underneath her nails to make them grow stronger! I swear she had the strongest nails but she alway smelled of garlic! Loved that lady!

April Al-Zahrani Free People 5 

In your eyes, what does a perfect Saturday look like, from morning to night? 

I usually indulge Saturday mornings. First thing I do is play music. I start off with something easy like some Ethiopian jazz or middle eastern music. I’ll lay in bed for a bit indulging in that. Once I’m out of bed it’s time to rule the world, so I put on some type of electronic music — I’m really into deep house or minimal tech these days. I love a cup of coffee before heading to the gym, so I’ll head over to my favorite coffee shop in Northern Libs. Once I get the gym out of the way I decide whether it’s going to be a chill Saturday — which means just running around doing errands and finishing the day with a movie in bed. If I decide on the opposite I pack a bag and head to NY for the night. It’s always an adventure in the city! Sometimes it’s dinner and drinks or dancing till the sun comes up!

Thank you so much for giving us a glimpse into who you are!

Ripped leather pants, white Converses

April Al-Zahrani Free People 4

To get more of this talented woman in your life, have a look at April’s website, and follow her on Instagram!

Follow FP Brigette on Twitter.

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Sweet Pea
6 years ago

Wow! Each of her looks is stunning…. love the combination of Lou & Meadow that she has… Great feature :)

6 years ago

Such a wonderful feature! I love April’s emphasis on simple basic makeup and her wonderful suggestions for keeping skin vibrant & healthy!

6 years ago

Very cool lass. I’m in love with the khaki skull shirt/jacket. Anyone know where it’s from?

6 years ago

Very proud of my gorgeous sister!!!

6 years ago

She’s beautiful!

6 years ago

I agree, she is absolutely gorgeous!