Up Close & Personal with JANIE LIANG


Make-up artists are not just face painters. They are like magicians creating mood, character and emotions with people’s face.
A presence in Hair & Make up for 20years, Janie is the name behind Janie Liang Beauty Salon in Dubai.
Janie’s aspiration has been her beauty Guru cum mom Daniella Liang.
A teacher and mentor, Daniella has guided and groomed Janie to tap into her potential and appreciate her love of her craft.
Syncmag gets upclose and personal with the Make up Artist meastro and fashion-icon in the making……….


1) Give us a brief introduction of yourself

Hi, my name is Saira Song Knoh Liang but everyone know me as ‘Janie’. Born to a second generation Chinese migrant family in Islamabad, I completed my education and entered at an early age in the beauty industry. My early influence was my mother who was, and is still running, a successful beauty salon in Islamabad.
I completed my professional training in Hair and Makeup from Vidal Sassoon, L’oreal, Wella, M.A.C, Paris Gallery.. I have had the opportunity to style dignitaries like the Late Benazir Bhutto, Dr Maleeha Lodhi Pakistan’s ambassador to USA, Nancy Powell and Anne Patterson US ambassadors to Pakistan, just to name a few. My team and I have fashioned a number of fashion shows in Islamabad & Dubai, our very recent one was for Label24 & Chocolate entertainment, who showcased Archana Kochhar and show stopper was Gorgeous Bipasha Basu
For the past 10 years I have been living in Dubai with my three beautiful daughters and husband. I have a very successful beauty salon business in Dubai.

2) What can you tell us about your salon?
Janie Liang Beauty Salon opened its doors in September of 2008 to an overwhelming reception as Dubai’s premier Lifestyle Salon where transcendent style and beauty beyond the tradition are forged for all. Offering complete beauty services under in one roof, we excel in Color, Cuts, Bridal and Party Makeup. At Janie’s we strive to create a relaxing environment for our guests to feel welcomed and comfortable. All of our hair services are enhanced with complimentary value-added services provided by our stylists. Our Bridal Make up, color & haircuts include an in-depth guest consultation, an aroma sensory journey, stress relieving treatment, relaxing shampoo and blow dry finish.
Our Bridal make up is the Signature line! Where I personally do this service for our brides but also have senior make up artists when I am on other business agendas. My bridals need to be booked in advance for the convenience of both parties. I have clients from London, UAE, Canada, Indian, Pakistan, Lebanon.

3) Can you talk about that one defining moment when you knew you wanted to
be a beautician?

I was an art student and while growing up I always watched my mother, who is my mentor, make her brides the happiest girls on their wedding. Even as a young child I loved spending time in the salon after school. So you can say I was born with the bug.
4) What skills do you need to be a beautician?
There are several skills one need to know. Firstly to educate themselves on this line, and receiving Diplomas/Certificates and qualifications that identify you to at least a NVQ/SVQ level.
Active Listening – Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate.
Speaking – Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Active Learning – Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
Judgment and Decision Making – Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
Social Perceptiveness – Being aware of others’ reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
Time Management – Managing one’s own time and the time of others.
Coordination – Adjusting actions in relation to others’ actions.
Monitoring – Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Persuasion – Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.
Learning Strategies – Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.

5) Can you talk about your training? Greatest inspiration? Who/what kept you motivated?
In the Chinese tradition, they say,’ The earlier you learn, the better you master your skills & experiences!’
I think from the age of 8, I watched with anticipation and eagerness to perform as I would watch my Mum, in her salon. I also had great support I got from my father. 
They are my inspiration! I feel I have yet to accomplish a lot as compared to them. They are sooooo hard working, Masha Allah! I feel I do not deliver half as much as they still do. But Alhumdulillah for everything! 
Now, my husband,children and loving in-laws are also my pillars of support. When I fear a difficult task and  turn to Allah for his help and prevail……it is with this belief and strength that keeps me on my track and motivated to do better in life and take up challenges and change with positivity.

6) Do you see any challenges in the field of beauty? Is this really a competitive industry?  What’s your perspective?
I think the main challenge is to keep abreast with the new trends, products and techniques from around the world. Gone are the days when you could continue to use the same product or styling for a number of years. Clients, thanks to internet and social media, are well aware of the new trends and are far more demanding.
On the other hand everyone wants to open a salon after completing one diploma course in beauty or hair. Dubai, being one of the premier fashion destinations, also attract big global brands. These are business challenges where you have to keep yourself relevant in the industry and I think we are doing a good job doing so.

7) Tell us about the best part of your work?
As a cosmetologist I enjoy all aspects of my work. From reflexology to skin care to hair styling to make up! If I have choose I would have to choose makeup as, in my view, you have a blank canvas to start with and the final piece is a work of art.

8) What do you think of today’s’ trends?
Where I live there is a beautiful multicultural society and diversification. People welcome new and unique trends. Like neon was so in, everyone embraced it. The cuts for dresses altered from being one length to short in the front and long at the back. From delicate embellishments to really over sized ones. From 60’s looks to the 20s look- to the Sci Fi! 
Mix of High street brands and High End Brands! 
From Chunky highlights to solid colors– to Amber in different forms and colors.
One should welcome the trend, not judge it. But one should always take a professional’s advice on it as well, as everyone is different and one style may not look the same on the other. 

9) What is beauty to you? Is a woman really needs makeover to be beautiful?
Most people have heard the old saying that “beauty is only skin deep.” however when it comes to those women who are truly beautiful that saying does not seem to apply. A woman’s beauty goes much deeper than bone structure, shining hair, sparkling eyes, and a great body. True beauty is how a woman feels about herself on the inside.
Believing that you are beautiful is worth more than all the make-up and beauty treatments in the world. A woman who truly believes she is beautiful has a confidence and a way of carrying herself that goes far beyond what people see on the outside. It is something that cannot be bottled or replicated. It consists of an inner knowledge of knowing that you are worth attention and admiration.
Having said that, there is no harm in looking after yourself by eating well, exercising, wearing smart clothing and wearing a hot red lipstick. So make over can well start with your body and with this comes nourishment and makeovers from professionals who can help you in guiding you with what to use for your skin or which make up just to enhance your natural beauty.

10) What should you suggest to be must have for women? And which beauty brands do you prefer more?
Skin care
1)Face wash
2)Make up remover
4)Night cream)
5) Sun Block SPF  50+ for Dubai weather
For Care/Prep/Prime   I would suggest Clarins,M.A.C. Sephora
For skin treatment I personally like Esthederm, Thalgo, Creme de la Mer
For a daily must have sun block, BB Cream, Mineral Powder, Khol, blush, lip stick, mascara, Perfume.

11) What’s your own definition of happiness?
Follow your dream! Choose line of work that you are most passionate about. Help the needy. Have faith in God! And compliment someone and see the smile on their face.

12) Any most memorable makeup shoots you would like to share?
All my shoots are special to me! I can’t choose and say a specific one. Well, I guess its for the recent Top 20 Bachelorettes of Dubai. It will be out very soon.

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