The Best of Moroccan Style: Dramatic Femininity

Whether you are looking for greener options to your normal beauty routine or just want to try out a more exotic look, you should definitely try stealing some of the beauty staples from the most gorgeous women in Morocco.

Our favourite thing about Moroccan beauty treatments is that you can use one product for so many different things! All you need is some argan oil and rose water to replace a counter full of skin products. Add some eye shadow, liner, mascara, and lipstick and you can create the full Arabic look.

Liquid Gold: Morocco’s Best Export

Argan (via
Argan (via

You have probably already heard of Moroccan, or argan, oil. It’s one of their most famous exports and is referred to as “liquid gold” by the local Berber women. If you are only using it on your hair, you are missing out on some of the best benefits.

For luscious lips, blend argan oil with finely ground brown sugar. Massage the mix into your lips then rinse it off. The blend will leave them exfoliated and hydrated.

Don’t stop at your lips though! Argan oil is great on everything from your hair to your toes. Use it as a moisturizer for cuticles and feet or just dip a little bit into your bathwater. You can also add a drop to your foundation or tinted moisturizer for a dewy glow.

Before you pick up your next bottle of argan oil, check the label! True argan oil should be made of 100% argan nuts. You may save some money on a watered down variation but you’ll just end up using more of it. If you are having trouble tracking it down, check online. Buying it directly from the source is a great way to support the local women who go through the labour-intensive process to bring it to you.

Roses Aren’t Just for Looking At

Rose water (via
Rose water (via

Another amazing skin treatment from Morocco is rose water. It’s an age-old beauty secret that works for everything. It’s a by-product of essential oil. When rose oil is made, this amazing product is left over.

You can make a super hydrating toner by adding a few drops of your argan oil to rose water. It will hydrate and tone at the same time and leave your skin looking perfect.

The reason that people love rose water so much is not only because of its amazing smell, it also reduces redness and inflammation. It will flush out your pores and prevent acne. It works like an astringent by closing up your pores and tightening your capillaries.

Keep rose water in your medicine cabinet for emergencies too! It is great for bug bites, rashes, or sunburns. Definitely a must-have for summer!

Rub rose water over your face at night before you go to bed to clean away all of the day’s grime and go to bed smelling incredible. Moroccan women use it as a mood booster and to reduce cramps and headaches so it’s great on those nights when you’re feeling blah.

Whether your skin is oily or dry, you can use rose water to balance your skin’s PH level to make it hydrated and fresh.

After you’ve finished all of your makeup, use rose water as a setting spray. Put it into a spray bottle and spritz some on to keep your makeup in place all night and make your skin glow.

At the end of the night, put some more rose oil on a cotton ball and rub it around in a circular motion to remove your makeup. It’s super gentle so you can use it around your eyes. Because it’s anti-inflammatory, it will reduce any fine lines you might have creeping up on your face.

If your eyes are irritated, you can actually add rose water to them directly. Just a couple of drop in the morning and night will reduce redness and inflammation.

Rose water is also great for your scalp. Mix some with water to relieve a dry, itchy scalp and increase blood flow to get your hair growing faster.

Create a Smouldering Arabic Look

Dramatic femininity (via
Dramatic femininity (via

When it comes to Arabic makeup, more is more. It is all about dramatic femininity. You can play with the look to make it your own if it feels overdone to you. Before you do that though, try the full-on look. You might be surprised at how amazing it all looks together.

The Arabic look focuses on clean lines. You’ll want sharp pencils and edged brushes to really get a precise look. On your first go at it, start with your eyes so you don’t have to worry about making a mess of your makeup if you make a mistake. Puff some translucent powder under your eyes so you can just brush away any eye shadow that falls.

Before you get started with your eye makeup, apply foundation or a base on your lids. Bold colours and contrast are very popular in Arabic makeup so you’ll want an even foundation to make the colours pop.

For a classic look, stick with brown or black. It will give you a smouldering look and make the colour of your eyes gleam. For a more modern look, go crazy with your eye shadow colours. Arabic makeup is all about drama so the sky is the limit.

Dark eyes look great with blue, yellow, green, and red tones. Blue and green eyes are ideal for grey, gold, purple, pink, and mauve.

Once you choose a colour for your eyes, use two or three shades of it. The medium shade is for your lids and the darker tone is for the crease of your eyes. If you use three tones, use the lightest shade to highlight just underneath your brows. Blend well once you have all of the shades in place.

For a smoking look, line around the entirely of your eyes- yes, you can’t ignore the low eyelid! Don’t worry about making your eyes look beady. Gently smudge the lines around and finish up with a thick coat of mascara.

If you can get your hands on some kohl, it will totally change the look. If you have never tried makeup on your tearline, you’ll be blown away at how much of a difference it makes to your look. True Moroccan kohl will come in a small jar with a long wooden stick. You can track them down online or pick them up at a Middle Eastern shop.

It might be a bit scary to use the wooden stick for the first time but don’t freak out. It is easier than it looks. Before you use it for the first time, soak it in olive oil overnight. The oil will soak into the wood and make the kohl easier to apply. Olive oil is also great for cleaning after you use the stick- and make sure you clean it every time!

To start, dip the stick into the kohl powder then hold it parallel to your eyes. Run the stick along your tearline. Don’t worry if you brush your eye, good kohl won’t irritate it.

Since you’re working inside the tearline, it’s important to make sure that you are using good quality kohl. It’s not the same as European eyeliner so don’t just apply your regular eyeliner on your tearline. It will irritate your eye! Be careful of cheap kohl. Some of them contain lead which is definitely not something that you want to put inside of your eye.

To top off the look, make sure that your brows are well groomed. You want to have a relatively sharp arch to really draw attention to your eyes.

While you will often see women with very dark, drawn-on eyebrows, you are better off using shadow. Use an eye or brow shadow that is a couple of shades darker than your natural hair colour. The most important thing to remember is not to go crazy with it! Just gentle dap a brush dusted in shadow over any sparse areas.

If you have a special event and really want to make your eyes pop, add some false lashes.

Since you’re focusing so much attention on your eyes, don’t cake on the foundation. Use it if you need it to even out your skin tone but make sure you keep it natural looking. Add a subtle bit of bronzer to look just a bit skin-kissed.

Most Moroccan women will finish off the look with a bold, deep colour lip hue. Try a burnt red or burgundy. Typically, European styles focus on only the lips or eyes so it might look a bit too dramatic for you, especially for a daytime look.

Play around with the style until it works for you. If you are going with brown or black shades around your eyes, you might want to keep your lips bare or in a neutral shade. If you are doing a more colour palate around your eyes, you might find that a deeper lip colour balances your look.

Moroccan makeup looks especially good in photos so keep it in mind next time you know you’ll have pics taken! It might look a little too dramatic for everyday wear but it’s amazing in photos. Try a few test shots at home then adjust it until you get the perfect smouldering Moroccan look!

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About the author

Nicci Mende

I love to travel and learn style tips from other women around the globe. I like learning how to use natural oils and cosmetics made from local organic ingredients, like kohl and henna.

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