Hong Kong is a place brimming with talented and intriguing people. Each week in 27 Questions, we get up close and personal with the city’s notable personalities, learning about their whims, aversions, pivotal life moments, and hopes and dreams — all in roughly the same duration it takes to sit through a two-minute speed date. This week, we speak with cosmetics entrepreneur Natasha Moor.
Before the Coronavirus crisis, professional makeup artist and entrepreneur Natasha Moor (also known as Natasha Sajnani) travelled around the globe every two days, meeting clients and preparing their faces for important calendar dates, from photoshoots to wedding celebrations.
The former public relations exec had always had a flair for makeup, and was often complimented for her prowess as she attended mixers with a flawless face. After studying a six-week professional course, she dove into bridal makeup as a profession, and also launched her first venture, Facetools, a line of luxury makeup brushes, over seven years ago.
Growing up having been bullied at school, Moor felt an important need to rally a message of self-empowerment with her work, pushing through the misconception that makeup was only about superficial beauty. “After my first three brides, they looked at themselves in the mirror with pride, and they would say to themselves, ‘wow, I’m beautiful.’” She discovered the same elated, confident result when she volunteered at a women’s shelter in Los Angeles, helping to give mini makeovers to women who were recovering from drug abuse or who were victims of human trafficking.
“How can I make everyone feel beautiful without having to do everyone’s makeup?”, she had wondered. Inspired by the power to bring confidence and empowerment to women with her touch, she launched Natasha Moor Cosmetics, which landed on Sephora (Southeast Asia) as an online-exclusive just last December.
Centring on the all-essential lipstick, the brand now has 52 items developed since its inception over two years ago. Rather than selling luxury makeup brushes that you buy once and use forever, she refocused with a more novice-friendly makeup collection. “Even if you rarely use makeup, one thing you probably have is lipstick,” she says. It also focuses on female empowerment as its core message, starting from its lipstick names, which switched out the typically played-up sex appeal in the wider cosmetics industry for phrases such as “Gamechanger”, “Boss” and “Legacy.”
It was just as she was poised to launch the brand at some of America’s top retailers when CoViD-19 struck in the global community, and she herself fell ill to the deadly virus after traveling back to Hong Kong from a business trip to Europe — reacting quickly as a cosmetics trade show in Italy, and her connecting flights, got cancelled in rapid succession.
In the ensuing grueling 34 days spent in the hospital, Moor tried to make the best out of an awful situation. “If I didn’t have the love and support from family and friends, I wouldn’t have been able to make it without some sort of depression.” Between keeping up with her business from a hospital bed, and coping with the constant anxiety of waiting for test results (patients required two consecutive negative results before being declared cured from the virus), the silver lining was that she was able to finally find time to rest, reflect, and connect with her social media followers with her favourite makeup tips (below, check out her stunning technique for erasing tiredness from her complexion, a three-step concealing method featuring her No Bag Vibes corrector, Secret Perfector concealer stick and Liquid Magic concealer).
“The hospital initially was overwhelmed — I was moved into a room with six people. The nurses were also a bit scared, which made sense — they were only trying to protect their families by keeping a safe distance, but eventually they became my friends, and they did everything they could to sanitise places such as the bathroom after every use.”
“I decided to go public about [my experience with the virus] because there were still beach parties going on in Hong Kong — there were people who did not take it seriously. This virus is so out of your control, and you just don’t know how you’re going to get it and when. I thought that by being a real example on social media, people could take it more seriously.”
Leaving the hospital finally on 29 April, she has been able to gradually build her schedule back up with brides who have chosen to go ahead with smaller wedding ceremonies before hosting larger celebrations later down the line. For the time being, her North American retail expansion also remains stalled until the situation alleviates in the west. She adds, “people shouldn’t forget about how serious this was — we shouldn’t go right back to a normal life. During CoViD, people got more united, they were kinder and more compassionate, and I just hope people don’t lose that compassion going forward.”
Catching up with Moor after a long day of photoshoots, we hit the go-getting entrepreneur with Lifestyle Asia’s patented list of 27 rapid-fire questions.
Name: Natasha Moor
Neighbourhood: Both Tsim Sha Tsui and Sheung Wan.
Occupation: CEO of Natasha Moor Cosmetics.
- What was your first job?
As soon as I graduated from university in London, I worked in Hong Kong helping to start up an entertainment company — Royal Media Entertainment Group. It was incredible as at such a young age I was thrown into the deep end handling luxury brands.
- What is your life motto?
No matter what happens, never give up. Everything happens for a reason.
- Who is your role model?
I believe in mentors, I believe in feelings inspired by certain people but I do believe that no one is YOU and that is your power, I don’t believe you should aspire to be anyone but the best version of yourself. My goal is to continue to manifest a better image of myself, and that would be my role model.
- What is your drink of choice?
Red wine — a nice, full, Bordeaux!
- Are you a morning person or a night owl?
A night owl for sure. That being said I barely sleep because of all the time zones I’m speaking to for work!
- Which phone app do you think more people should know about?
LIFE — it’s an intermittent fasting app that has really helped me get on track with my fasting and health goals.
- If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?
My all-time special spinach salad: it’s made with nuts, berries, cheese, avocado, any choice of protein (chicken, egg, fish, ham), a touch of balsamic vinegar and olive oil, cayenne pepper, lemon, salt and pepper. It is so simple to make and so yum. It’s got fat, veggies and protein, it can be whipped up in five minutes and is so delish!
- How often do you prepare your own meals?
Pre-CoViD I was on a flight every week and living out of hotels and a suitcase, so unfortunately cooking wasn’t much of an option for me. When I got to Hong Kong and it was the self-quarantine period, that was the one thing I was excited to do — cook. Then of course I got hit by the virus and was in the hospital for 34 days, but was lucky enough to have my dear health coach Mayuri Punjabi and my darling mom make special meals for me everyday, sent it to the hospital so I could at least enjoy some nourishing food.
- What is your biggest guilty pleasure?
A yummy, gooey, chocolate chip Nutella ‘brookie’ (half cookie half brownie)!
- What do you hate most about living in Hong Kong?
I sometimes wish there was more love, warmth and friendliness with strangers… I do feel that maybe after this CoVid-19 situation, despite people being a bit more cautious and less ‘social’, there will also be a lot more kindness and warmth in the eyes of strangers. Maybe I’m just hopeful as everyone needs a little more love.
- What is the top destination on your bucket list?
There are too many places I want to go that I haven’t yet been to, I think the most shocking one has to be Tokyo! I can’t believe I still haven’t been and I would love to go!
- What is your greatest fear?
It used to be being alone — now, I think it’s changed to not living life to the fullest, and not appreciating every moment. Happiness is the ultimate goal.
- Which moment in your life would you most like to relive?
December 2019, when I flew to Curaçao, the Caribbean Island, to meet my boyfriend’s whole family. That for me goes down in history as one of the best trips and moments of my life — so filled with love and SO what I need in life!
- What makes someone a real Hongkonger?
Knowing how to manoeuvre your way through the MTR crowd, knowing how to speak when taxi drivers trouble you!
- What is your unique party trick?
I used to be a prankster and would always mess with different accents.
- What is your favourite scent in the whole world?
I love a mix of jasmine and oud, I mix the two together to get a musky, masculine scent with just a touch of floral for a feminine feel.
- Who is the best teacher you’ve ever had, what is one important lesson that they taught you?
Life. It can be so unpredictable, it can be a rollercoaster. Some days you’re at a complete low and some days you’re so happy you don’t believe it’s real. I think what’s important is to learn to appreciate yourself and love yourself and not depend on anyone for your own happiness. It’s easier said than done, it’s always important to find happiness in what you do, if something gives you negative energy, cut it out. It’s as simple as that.
- If you could invite any five people in the world to your dream dinner party, who would they be?
I would want to meet people who have made a positive impact in this world in their own way: Ellen Degeneres, for how much happiness she’s spread; Oprah, for how she’s built an empire while helping people at the same time; Will Smith, he would be so entertaining and positive and I just love his energy; Dwane Johnson — for his amazing sushi platters, incredible vibe, fitness motivation and dedication; and the last person will be my best friend and soulmate because I would not want to miss a dinner without him.
- Have you ever experienced love at first sight? Tell us about it.
Yes! I met my soulmate not too long ago and you just know from the start that this is what you’ve been waiting for all your life. It was hard at first to distinguish if it was love or if I was just super attracted to him (because of his insane good looks), but only a few days into meeting him I realised it was his heart I was in love with and that for me was the best feeling. It’s just so nice to not only have a partner, but a best friend that I can share everything with and have no judgements from him whatsoever!
- Would you rather never be alone for a single moment, or be alone for the rest of your life?
I would rather never be alone for a single moment, I don’t need to have so many people, I just need quality. I’m a little baby at heart that needs a lot of love so being alone would definitely make me unhappy! That being said, you shouldn’t rely on anyone to make you happy but it’s important to have the people in your life that add to that happiness.
- What is the last dream you remember waking up to?
Walking into a big store with Natasha Moor Cosmetics displayed in the most incredible, shiny and eye-catching way!
- If you could live anywhere else in the world, where would it be?
Los Angeles! I love the vibe, the people, the energy and obviously the work potential for me to build my brand.
- What is your typical Sunday like?
Nothing about me is typical — I used to be working most Sundays with all the weddings I was doing and flights I was taking. I remember at one point I forgot what public holidays and Sundays felt like. I guess the ideal Sunday would be to wake up late, get a workout in, being able to just chill out with family, spend time laughing and watching TV. That would honestly be ideal for me!
- What is one movie everyone should see?
Serendipity — my favourite!
- Where do you go when you want to be alone?
Either at the gym or hot yoga. The sweat makes me think, refreshes my mind and puts me in a positive space.
- How many countries have you been to?
- Do you have any favourite tattoos or special birthmarks? What is it?
Yes I have quite a few. Every time something big would happen In my life I would get something meaningful. It started with graduating high school, then being independent, getting freedom, signing a contract with my factory, and just recently meeting my soulmate — we got matching meaningful ones, and that’s my favourite! I also have one that most people see on my forearm that says, ‘sky above, earth below, fire within.’