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Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

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Meet Pakistani makeup artist, influencer and educator, Ayman Syed

Now based in Los Angeles, Ayman Syed is a makeup influencer who has been growing and thriving in a field that is challenging for Pakistan men.
Rocio Valdez
Ayman Syed (@thekillermonsta) is a Pakistani makeup artist, influencer and educator. As an educator he gives makeup seminars to students.

Late at night, he takes sips out of his Red Bull to prepare for what is sure to be a long night of work.

He cleans his station and gathers the makeup products he will need to shoot his next tutorial.

He sets up three-point lighting, two umbrella lights and one back light, and a ring light.

He checks his camera. He has enough memory space and the battery is completely charged.

Ready, action, press play.

“Hi cutiepies, welcome back to my channel and for those who do not know who I am, my name is Ayman as in ‘amen’,” he says while putting his palms together in a praying position.

Ayman Syed aka @thekillermonsta is a Pakistani makeup artist, influencer and educator who came to Los Angeles to follow his dream and has been successfully rising as a media influencer in a space where not many Pakistani men thrive.

LA-based makeup artist Ayman Syed is self-taught. Attending master classes helped him acquire more knowledge and now he has his own makeup master classes.  (Rocio Valdez)

Syed was born in Pakistan and moved to the United States when he was 11 years old.

He grew up in Kansas but ended up moving to Dallas after he graduated. He now has a bachelor’s degree in fashion and one in communications with a minor in theatre, which he is proud of, but makeup was his calling.

Syed has been in the makeup industry for 10 years. At just 16 years old, he started to play with makeup and when he was 20, he started to do makeup on others.

He started freelancing while he was in college and, in 2014, he was hired at Sephora.

Syed always had the intuition that makeup was going to take him places.

“I knew early on, I was like ‘this is it, I’m going to be somebody I just don’t know how I’m going to do it,’” he said. “When I became #1 in M.A.C I knew I had something and I needed to go do something about it. That gave me the courage to move out here.”

He recently moved out to LA by himself.

“I just packed up my car an moved out here. I just had to do,” Syed said. “It was my last year in my 20’s and I was like, ‘if I don’t do it now I won’t ever do it.'”

“You’ll never have enough money. You’ll never have enough following. You just have to go and get it, and that is what I did. It has been one of the hardest things I’ve ever done but one of the most rewarding,” he added.

Back in Dallas, Syed worked for M.A.C Cosmetics in which he ran 11 counters as a counter manager and his counter became #1 in the country, which means it had the biggest clientele and revenue.

He currently still works in M.A.C at The Grove.

Syed explained that he is mostly self-taught but working at M.A.C and attending master classes helped him grow.

Before starting his YouTube career and being an influencer, he was involved in several behind-the-scenes projects.

Syed started as a photographer. He mentioned he was obsessed with capturing fabric and movement and then he started to do people’s makeup.

“I like to provoke emotions in pictures, so when you look at a picture you feel some type of way, from clothes to makeup,” he explained.

Ayman Syed has 10 years of makeup knowledge. He now teaches students how to do their makeup. (Rocio Valdez)

Lady Gaga has been his biggest inspiration.

Gaga inspires me a lot. My Instagram @thekillermonsta used to be a fan page, and it is so crazy, it is a full circle now because a week ago I got into the Haus Laboratories influencer team,” he said.

Music is often the source of inspiration to him but he also looks up to Nicole Faulkner (@lipsticknick).

“She is one of my biggest makeup idols. I have been following her footsteps when it comes to makeup,” Syed said.

Becoming a makeup artist was something that developed naturally along with practice.

“Practice makes perfect. I am still learning. It’s been ten years but I still grow every day. It is a constant growth,” he said.

The biggest accomplishment for Syed was moving out to LA and all the opportunities that it has brought to him.

“I moved out here in August and in the past months I’ve blown up, I feel like it has been so good. I hit 10K and everyone started contacting me,” he said.

Syed mentioned that if he wasn’t an influencer he would like to teach others how to be makeup artists.

“Teaching students makeup is so good because I have 10 years of knowledge since I started makeup before it blew up,” he said.

Syed dreams to one day have his own makeup school, adding he wants “to help people be makeup artists.”

Being a boy in makeup has had its challenges, he confesses.

“I was the first boy to be hired at the Sephora in 2014, and people protested me outside. It was bad,” Syed said.

He shared he is the first openly-gay person in his family and that was a big deal.

“There is still no makeup artists that are boys in the whole country of Pakistan that are known, so that’s why I do more because there is such a big void in representation,” he said. “I want kids to look up to me. I didn’t have anybody to look up to that looked like me, so now I want to be that person that I didn’t have growing up.”


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About the Contributor
Rocio Valdez
Rocio Valdez, Arts & Entertainment Editor
Rocio Valdez is currently the Arts and Entertainment Editor for Cerritos College’s Talon Marks. She hopes to transfer to CSU Long Beach in the fall of 2020 to obtain a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism. She is interested in going into public relations or working for a news or entertainment outlet.
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Meet Pakistani makeup artist, influencer and educator, Ayman Syed