Barbies & Kens of Pakistani Drama Industry!

Life in plastic, it isn’t always fantastic! Although glamour is directly associated with the world of showbiz but very often there are times when our glamorous actresses & actors have to compromise on their styling, make-up and outfits because a certain role which they are enacting in a drama does not allow them to look glamorous. Looking very attractive at times can undermine the effect a character might have on the viewers. Since television is an audio visual medium therefore the outlook of the characters in dramas is just as important as their dialogue delivery and the body language. A character which is going through a difficult phase in life must look like it is going through the worse otherwise the viewers will have a difficult time identifying with the characters no matter how powerfully penned down they are. Also, certain characters need a specific outlook which might not always be very glamorous.

While our drama industry is filled with actors who are more than willing to give up their glamorous looks to translate their characters more flawlessly on screen, there are however some who find it impossible to allow glamour to take a back seat. These actors who are very keen on looking glamorous on screen either opt for roles which are glamorous or make sure that their make-up and styling is on point even when their characters are not supposed to look very attractive. All these actors are immensely talented and have given some memorable performances in their career but they have hardly been seen in roles in which they had to give up their glamorous looks altogether.

Here is a list of A-list actors who haven’t yet been able to give up glamour even though they have been in the drama industry for a considerable amount of time.

Fahad Mustafa:

Fahad Mustafa wasn’t one of the “pretty boys” when he started his career because he focused on his acting more than his looks. He dared to experiment with his looks and left glamour far behind when he starred in Mein Abdul Qadir Hoon but lately he has groomed himself a lot and he clearly wants to be known for his good looks more than his performances. This is the reason why he chose to play the arrogant, rich Sikandar in Kankar because although Sikandar’s character was not perfect but there was tons of room for putting on make-up. Also, his role in Doosri Biwi which was a drama from his own production house was that of a man who was very “wanted”! Fahad Mustafa made sure he looked very charming in this role as well. Fahad wears just as much make-up as his heroines because according to him in our industry you need good looks to survive since talent alone can’t take you much further.


Ayesha Khan:

Ayesha Khan has been associated with dramas for the longest time now and in this long career there isn’t a single drama in which Ayesha Khan wore minimal make-up or did not style her hair. Even in Parsa when her character went through a complete personality change, the make-up was always on point although that character did not require a glamorous look. Every other play which Ayesha Khan has played required a glamorous or a stylish outlook. In drama serial Bari Aapa although she played the role of a simple girl but she was someone who always made sure she looked pretty for her husband. Recently, in Mann Mayal, Ayesha Khan was shown flaunting her wardrobe, hairstyle and make-up even in those scenes which suggested that she just woke up or was about to hit the pillow at night!


Imran Abbas:

Imran Abbas might not admit that he wears makeup but we all know that the camera doesn’t lie. In the play Dil-e-Muztar there were times when Imran Abbas’ lip color was more prominent than that of Sanam Jung’s. Imran Abbas is another actor who always wears a lot of make-up and is very conscious about his looks. The only time he did not look all made up was in the play Akbari Asghari, but other than that in every other play he makes sure to wear a blush on & a proper eye makeup including mascara. Imran also sports a lip gloss & at times a lipstick which is usually very prominent. He is also one of those actors who are blessed with good looks yet they think they can’t do without all the make-up.


Saba Qamar:

Saba Qamar is one of the most prettiest faces of our drama industry & she is a very powerful actor at that too but in every single drama, Saba Qamar makes sure that her hair remain voluminous & her makeup looks fresh as new. In Digest Writer, where Fareeda spends a chunk of her life unhappy with her husband, her glamour most certainly didn’t tell a tale of a dysfunctional marriage. In Sangat, where Saba played the role of a rape victim, her curls remained tight & her makeup was flawless throughout, which most certainly didn’t do justice to the predicament of a rape victim. Saba is a beautiful girl & she can totally do without makeup, especially in the dramas which are more on the mature themes where her character is going through a very hard time because in such scenarios, no makeup look is what will allow the viewers to genuinely feel for what her character is going through.


Osman Khalid Butt:

I don’t ever remember Osman Khalid Butt on screen in a drama without proper make-up and his beard and hair right in place. Even when in drama serial “Goya” he was in the hospital for days, his beard was well taken care of & his foundation stayed put! Osman Khalid Butt surely does not need so much of make-up to look good on screen because he is good looking enough as it is and would even look great in a casual look with no gelled back hair, no proper shave, no cake faced foundation, zero kajal, no mascara and heavy contouring, which further enhances his already chiseled features.


Bushra Ansari:

Bushra Ansari’s name is a brand in itself. She is a veteran actress who has garnered so much of experience over the years but despite putting in all the effort in her acting to make it intense & power-packed, she also keeps a heavy hand at makeup, so much so that it seems unjustified. In drama serial Jhoot, she is playing a role of a well-groomed lady, so her glamorized look goes well with her character but in drama serial Udaari, where her character was mourning the death of her husband, her face was packed on with a thick layer of foundation. Yes, a little bit of coverage using the makeup is a need of the camera, but to showcase a glamorized version of a character all the time is most certainly not needed.


Faysal Qureshi:

Faysal Qureshi has been a part of the Pakistani showbiz for a very long time now & he is probably one of those few actors who don’t hold back when it comes to experimenting with the looks for the sake of different characters that they play, but Faysal Qureshi also falls in the list of those actors who rely heavily on makeup, despite not needing it at all. In recent dramas of his, like Bashar Momin & Mol, Faysal Qureshi’s makeup was so overdone to an extent that even the filters couldn’t defuse the thick layer of foundation & warm toned eye-shadows that he was wearing.


Sohai Ali Abro:

Sohai Ali Abro is a glam doll without a shadow of doubt. She concentrates a lot on her make-up, hair and outfits even if she is playing a role which does not leave a lot of room for glamour. In drama serials Rishtey Kuch Adhoore Se and Bhabi Sohai Ali Abro made a special effort to give her looks as much style as possible. Her hair is always properly made up and her clothes are always stylish even if they are simple.


Armeena Rana:

Armeena undoubtedly has a very pretty face & it is obvious that she doesn’t need that much of makeup but she pays more attention to being glamorous than the situation that her character is going through. In Mohabbat Abb Nahi Hogi, Armeena’s character goes through a very tough phase where she leaves her husband’s house & lives in tough conditions where she finds it hard to fulfill the basic necessities like food, but throughout her hardships, the things that didn’t falter were the Kohl in her eyes & the straightening of her hair. Amreena can look totally beautiful in minimal makeup because she is naturally very pretty, but she chooses to focus a little too much on looking glamorous than being realistic as per the demand of her character.


Yasir Mazhar:

Yasir Mazhar is a brilliant actor but unfortunately his over dependence on thick foundation and hairstyles which give a very made up look fail to give him the perfect look needed to make his characters more presentable on screen. His outlook in Bashar Momin, Mausam and more recently in Zara Yaad Kar qualifies him for this list because if there’s one thing that remained consistent in all of his projects, is his dependency on the bronzer!


Sanam Chaudhry:

Sanam is not only pretty, she is a very talented & gifted actor too but it is not a secret anymore that she relies on makeup a little too much. No doubt her makeup artist does a great job where they use makeup as special effects to elaborate the mindset of her character in a certain situation, but at times it seems a little too made up & gives you a feeling that she could’ve relied on a no-makeup look to make her ordeal seem real & genuine. Sanam’s character went through a lot of sufferings in a drama serial Tere Mere Beech starting from divorce to death of mother to her becoming suicidal, but her foundation to her contour to her blusher to her eyebrows, everything remained on-fleek.


Noor Hassan:

From heavy contouring to bronzing to eyebrow filling & a face packed with foundation, Noor Hassan goes overboard when it comes to makeup & styling. He can most certainly do without makeup as he has good looks but he gives out a clear message that he is not comfortable in his own skin. Every single time in every single drama, Noor Hassan looks machine washed & pressed to an extent that he ends up looking monotonous & makes it feel that he walked from one drama set to another because he is always so prim & proper in all his dramas, irrespective of the characters that he is playing. In Aabro, where he spent years & years in difficulty & bad-luck, where he became a persona non grata for his family but the thing that only seemed to have stayed by his side & worked for him was his makeup & hair-styling team!


Hareem Farooq:

Yes, Hareem Farooq’s makeup has improved over the years but we still haven’t forgotten the days when she sported a Casper look in drama serial Mausam. She was white-washed to emphasize on the fact that she was the pretty one but the whiteness of the white foundation was a little too white for the viewers to handle. In Dusri Biwi, where she was seen crying buckets over her husband’s betrayal & second marriage, her straighented hair never lost their straightening & her face makeup never seemed to fade away. In Diyar-e-Dil, where her character matured & she became a mother, that was the only time when she chose to give her character a realistic look because she couldn’t rely much on the makeup & that was the time when she looked the best in comparison to all drama that she had previously done.


Hina Bayat:

Hina Bayat is an elegant & beautiful lady. She can look equally beautiful on the camera without the makeup too because I remember the scene from Mata-e-Jaan where she had absolutely no speck of makeup on her face & she not only looked 10 years younger but absolutely gorgeous as well. In Aunn Zara, Hina sported a very neat look with a tad bit of kajal & that was enough to enhance her beauty but since then, she has focused a little much on the glam side & has made it a priority, which at times doesn’t suit the age of the character that she is portraying.


Iqra Aziz:

Iqra Aziz is one of those actresses who loves to play damsel in distress but very conveniently, that distress is covered with a thick layer of foundation & a lot of makeup, leaving no room for the distress to peak through. Iqra is quite a talented actress but at times where she can go overboard with her expressions, she goes overboard with her makeup & hair-styling too. No matter how tough the conditions for her might be, her curls never lose their intensity & her blusher doesn’t lose its vibrancy. In Muqaddas, there were certain times where Iqra was seen with no makeup & it actually showed her confidence as an actor but after that, in dramas like Mol & Deewana, where she had her fair share of distress, her makeup didn’t let the signs of it show on her face.


Danish Taimoor:

Danish Taimoor is also one of those actors who are very talented and versatile but they cannot compromise on their looks. Danish Taimoor easily passes for one of those male leads who look just as “pretty” on screen as their heroines. Danish Taimoor concentrates on his looks so much that his styling and dressing very often distract the viewers from his acting & he happens to be the one who wears more highlighter than the heroine he is paired with!


Saboor Ali:

Saboor Ali cried buckets of tears in drama serial Beqasoor but her eye make-up stayed intact right till the end. Even when her character was going through the hell, the heavy eye make-up stood out more than the troubles her character was facing. Saboor Ali is young and attractive but somehow she is also one of those actresses who cannot go with a no make-up look when the scene and the situations demand just that.


Feroze Khan:

Feroze Khan’s perfectly shaped eye brows, hairstyle which is always very “cool” and the shimmer on his face in drama serial Gul-e-Rana make him eligible for this list although he only has two drama serials to his credit.


Sami Khan:

There is no denying the fact that Sami Khan knows how to translate his characters impeccably on screen through his acting but he fails to keep a balance when it comes to the looks he sports while playing these characters. Like all the other kens in this list, he too is known for going overboard with make-up and styling. Most of the times he has so much gel on his hair that you are tempted to take a shampoo and wash it all off! And the make-up on his face makes you want to take a sponge and wipe it clean.


So, here is the list of all these Barbies & Kens of our drama industry. The sad part is that all these actors are beautiful people who would look just as fabulous without all the make-up and styling yet they are not comfortable with letting go of glamour because they don’t feel the need to walk an extra mile to make their on-screen characters look as closer to reality as possible. Please do let us know your thoughts about these Barbies & Kens & feel free to add more names to the list too.

Fatima Awan & Zahra Mirza

Fatima Awan & Zahra Mirza