Mag Events,Legend l by Tina Edward Gunawardhana l 19 Aug 2022     - 55

Making faces

The beauty blogger who says we should celebrate our dark skin

Words: Tina Edward Gunawardhana


Inspired by fashion and travel, 20 year old Shamalka Hettiarachchi lives in Verona Italy. Born and raised in
Sri Lanka, Shamalka an alumna of Newstead Girls’ College moved to Italy where she completed High School. Shamalka’s moment in the spotlight came when she was crowned the winner at the Miss Sri Lanka in Europe pageant in 2018. Like many other young girls, the glitz and glamour of a beauty pageant had always beckoned.  “I have always dreamed of taking part in a Miss Sri Lanka pageant ever since I was a little girl. Even though it was my dream I was hesitant to apply but it was my family and friends that pushed me to apply”. Beating stiff competition Shamalka achieved her dream when she won the pageant which she says “changed my life a lot.” One of the positive outcomes of winning the pageant for Shimalka meant that she “became more confident” and learned to “love herself regardless of the way others see me. Buoyed by the self confidence instilled in her by her win, Shamalka shifted her attention to her passion– Make-up. “I have always been interested in make-up ever since I was a little girl.

I started my beauty blog as
I wanted to share my  knowledge and experience about make-up with others and help them improve their skills” she says. Shamalka places a premium on being honest when it comes to beauty and make up. Describing her unique selling point she says “as a beauty blogger I want to be honest and share truthful thoughtful experiences about a product or a brand.”

The beauty blogging industry is extremely competitive and bloggers are plentiful. However Shamalka strives to stay relevant by creating new topical content for her followers on Instagram and YouTube. She blogs at least once a week and makes sure she selects a product or a subject that appeals to her followers.  She is a stickler for perfection and strives to achieving a flawless make-up look. “For a flawless look highlighting is a must” she says. “Blend, blend, blend” she choruses as that will help you achieve an even skin tone and perfect make-up. Lips are a big feature of your face and for fuller lips you must highlight the center of your lips.” To perfect the look Shamalka advises lots of highlighting.

As a blogger Shamalka makes money from modelling and photoshoots but as she expands her blog she is looking to monetize it and earn a revenue through advertising. “There is a lot of money to be made through advertising and at the moment, but it should be for the right products that suit my followers” she adds.

For Shamalka,  her main quibble is the difficulty in getting the right foundation. “Sri Lankan women struggle to match their foundation. As South Asians we all have different shades of skin tones and it is really hard to find the right foundation that suits your skin colour, but wearing a foundation which is two shades lighter than your skin tone is a definite no-no.”

As a beauty blogger, Shamalka stands strongly against skin lightening creams and also does not believe that fair is lovely. She says “I think all shades are beautiful and you don’t have to be fair to be beautiful. I think we Sri Lankan women are really lucky to have brown skin.”

“We should be proud of our colour and not be ashamed to wear our skin colour with pride. Don’t ever let anyone say that being dark skinned is ugly. Through my make up tutorials and blog posts I want people to understand that it is okay to be dark.
I want them to be happy and comfortable with their skin colour and not feel inferior just because they are not fair. We should celebrate our skin colour!”


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Tina Edward Gunawardhana

Tina Edward Gunawardhana is the Features Editor of Hi!! Magazine. She writes on a variety of topics which include travel, fashion, lifestyle, cuisine and personalities. She is also a journalist for the Daily Mirror Life. An intrepid traveller, Tina likes to show readers the world through her eyes and experiences. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram - tinajourno or email her at

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