CCS has long been a proponent of the maxim that when you feel good about yourself, great things can happen. Our newcomer-facing settlement programming features workshops held throughout the year around basic make-up application for clients interested in learning about the tools and products on the beauty market, the different application styles and how to apply them, as part of a broader program on self-care and resiliency.

Our clients really enjoy the workshops – especially when CCS’ resident fashionista, Nadia Afrin, leads one. The CCS executive assistant has a side hustle as a self-taught make-up artist with a reputation across the agency for being particularly skillful when it comes to beauty products and their application.

Nadia was approached earlier this year by CCS’ Settlement and Education Partnership of Toronto (SEPT) program to run a workshop and the feedback was overwhelmingly positive.  She was only too happy to recreate the stylistic magic and share her expertise when the Toronto Region Settlement Services team came calling.

“When I was growing up, I couldn’t afford getting my makeup done because it was very expensive. For that reason, I’ve spent countless hours perfecting my makeup skills and now use it as a technique to de-stress,” Nadia said.

So, on October 24, armed with a battery of beauty supplies, Nadia went to work, running a ninety-minute workshop at CCS’ 1200 Markham Rd location for a packed room.  The presentation featured a methodical, step-by-step demonstration on the science of skin care and makeup, using easy-to-understand language. She provided the attendees with a PDF document to follow along with the basics of what she was demonstrating and made recommendations on products that could be bought at any drugstore. She walked the group through skin care preparation, how to apply foundation, concealer, blush, eyeliner, lipstick, and the necessary tools.

“The program helps women enhance their confidence and build their self-esteem; it also offers a rare opportunity for newcomer women to engage in self-care in a workshop setting,” said Nithya Raguthas, a CCS settlement worker who runs the workshops for the Toronto Settlement Services team.

Similar to the outcome of the first presentation back in the summer, the clients were excited and curious and peppered Nadia throughout the demo.

“As I was working on my face, there were so many questions — Can I be your model?”  How do you do your makeup like that? Tell me more about skin care, tell me more about these tools? Can we do a workshop where we do our makeup alongside you?”

Clients also inquired if the scope of the offering could be broadened into the creation of a certificate program and fuse the skills and techniques they were acquiring with the spirit of newcomer entrepreneurship and start their own businesses in the industry.

“They were all eager to learn, they were just great people. They want to take this forward and learn how to build themselves up. And seeing the smiles on their faces, I know there is demand for my knowledge and that my passion has purpose,” Nadia said.

Moving forward, Nadia would like to make the workshops a little more participatory in nature, with clients bringing in their own beauty products and then following along with her in executing the various techniques.

“Nobody thinks of settlement and makeup in the same breath, but makeup is never about your flaws, it’s always about enhancing your beauty” Nadia said.

We will keep you posted on CCS’ next “pop-up, make-up” workshop.