AUC Alumna Heba El-Kaissy: Follow Your Dreams

By Gehad Abaza

Heba El-Kaissy. Photo by Alain El Hajj

We have all faced the daunting question of what we are going to be when we ‘grow up’. After picking our respective majors and
finishing our four years of education, we are let loose into the real world. The Independent investigates life after AUC.

Meet Heba El-Kaissy.  She majored in IMC and minored in business; both  are subjects of interest to her.  She began working on developmental projects with the European Union soon after she graduated, and continued working with an NGO as a project manager for a youth program.

She says her experience working on these more “serious” jobs was an amazing one, adding that she met many people and the projects were a huge success.

However, she felt that these jobs were never entirely fulfilling; although she liked the work she was doing, she was not passionate about it. What El-Kaissy was truly passionate about was the art of make-up. She comments that as a student she was always interested in beauty, make-up, and skin care. It was because of this interest that she decided to pursue her lifelong dream of becoming a make-up artist.

“Switching careers is not easy; it’s like carrying a different identity and it demands taking a risk,” El- Kaissy explains. She adds that it needed a lot of courage, but she had a lot of support from her parents and friends who encouraged her not to waste her talent.

El-Kaissy maintains that she is happy with her decision, adding that work does not feel like a burden; she enjoys it. She comments that seeing her clients happy after completing their make- up is “as if you were singing, and when you finish everyone applauds..just as an artist paints a canvas, I paint faces.”

What differentiates her from other make-up artists is that she believes make-up application “is not a service, its an experience.” She makes the experience luxurious by paying attention to details, the smell of the brushes, the background music, soothing candles, and even the way she draws and holds a woman’s face.

Most of El-Kaissy’s knowledge on beauty was self-studied, through reading, researching and practicing applications of make-up on her friends.  Therefore, she did receive some criticism for not taking professional courses. In response to that criticism, she explains that she wasn’t going to wait for courses to start following her passion. She questions how many great artists really took courses.

El-Kaissy adds that AUC definitely played a role in her decision-making; she was encouraged by AUC’s open community and admired the students of theater and liberal arts. She remembers thinking, “wow, you study what you love.”

“The four years of AUC were the best years of my life,” she adds, advising all AUC students to “run after your passion in full pace. It’s searching for you, so you’ll get there.”


More information about El-Kaissy is available on her recently created Facebook page entitled: ‘The Kit-The Makeup Artist.’