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I am going to be honest with you; yes, I am model and journalist and yes, I do love fashion (who doesn’t?), but at the end of the day, like most women around the world, I simply dress the way I feel. Literally, depending on my mood.

For me, fashion is an expression, a way to communicate. My personalities are reflected in my clothes and depending on my mood, I can dress casual and elegant at the same time. When choosing, I always try to combine a blouse with dress pants. For me, dress pants are my favorites and a large over size shirt.

Jeans is also my favorite outfit. At home I like to wear skinny jeans and a shirt or top. When it's time to go outside, I put my high heels or some sneakers and that's about it...

When it comes to dressing, black is the color can never be missing in my wardrobe. It is a color that makes me feel comfortable, and for me comfort is the most important thing when it comes to dressing.

It is a color that you can combine with other colors, accessories. It is a simple and elegant color. In fashion, black is a very common color. It is widely used in brands that aim to convey sophistication, power and distinction.

For the photo session of Surreal magazine, I chose this type of black dress from the Liu-jo brand, as you will see it is a very simple and elegant dress. "Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication", as Leonardo da Vinci would say. For me, black represents simplicity and sophistication.

The meaning of the color black in psychology represents elegance, mourning, death or power.

When dressed in black I feel important, confident, mysterious, elegant and sophisticated. It gives me a touch of power and a bit of magic.

And what about you? Do you like black? When dressing what's your favorite color?


When I started participating in beauty pageants or fashion shows, I had no idea about skin care or routines, much less how to put on makeup. Because I'm one of those who is always without makeup.

Over time, I realized the importance of skin care. Right now every night, I spend about ten minutes. I start washing my face with warm water, then I apply the Chanel make-up remover cream, (when I have a little make-up on) or else Chanel mousse which is an anti pollution cream.

The anti-pollution cream deeply purifies the skin and frees it from any impurity, sweat or oil. I have been using it before bed for a long time and the truth is that after its application my skin is soft and clean. The second step of my routine consists of applying a moisturizing cream for the face and neck.

Water is my skin's best friend. For beautiful skin you have to drink a lot of water as it keeps you hydrated. Two liters a day is recommended.

A visit to the spa every month does the skin good. As a treatment, I opt for a simple cleansing based on a natural mask and then hydration. A good diet is also important to maintain the skin over time. In my case, I maintain a balanced diet, I try not to abuse sweets (I love chocolates) or else the pimples appear.

I know I can't have perfect skin all day. That is why I take care of my skin in this way. For me, makeup has to demonstrate your beauty and not cover it up. It is not about being perfect, but about knowing how to show off your features. Less is more, and in this way I identify myself when it comes to taking care of my skin and wearing makeup.

Based on makeup, I always opt for a fresh and youthful look. I don't like heavy makeup. Recently, I learned how to do my makeup through videos. When I have time I like to play with eye shadows and do eyeliner.

When I have an important event during the day, I apply a base of the tone of my skin, I can not miss the concealer to cover the dark part under the eyes, the mascara for the eyelashes and a balm to moisturize the lip.

As for the color for the lip, I always opt for neutral shades of the flesh color range or sometimes a very natural pink.

That's all for now. I have a lot of fun when putting on makeup and you? Comment below.


Zanzibar; Doreen Mashika and her unique pieces designed for a confident and independent woman

Doreen Mashika, nominated for Accessories Designer of the Year at Swahili Fashion Week 2013, was born and raised in Tanzania, studied and worked in Switzerland. Inspired by a deep sense of affection for her homeland and the wealth of design possibilities in Africa, she returned to Tanzania and settled in Zanzibar to pursue her passion for design.

The talented designer opened the doors of her beautiful boutique in Stone Town where we met.

Doreen Mashika is a brand that represents confident and independent women. The outfits are handmade and in all sizes.

Maria Belén: What are you inspired by when creating the collection?

Doreen: - In all women. I don't really think about their condition or religion. I celebrate the body of every woman. In addition, each outfit in the collection represents their day-to-day life. That is why each design represents all women who feel confident and independent.

MB: Is the Islamic religion an obstacle to the brand?

D: - Not at all. Although, in Zanzibar the Islamic religion predominates. However, there are many Muslim women who wear the outfits, and they have confessed to me that they love the colours and details of each dress that is made.

MB: Who makes the outfits?

D: - They are handcrafted by a group of local women here in Zanzibar.

MB: How is your relationship with the women who work with you?

D: - Excellent, each one of them works in the atelier. Due to covid-19 they are now working from their homes. Definitely, women are more active when it comes to working than men and they also provide an important economic support for the family.

MB: Who is your favourite model?

D: - My daughter Nia is my favourite model. She is 15 years old and since she was little she has accompanied me at all events.

MB: What is your favourite outfit from the collection?

D: - My favourite outfit is the Stone Town dress with a loose design with many colours special for summer.

MB: Why have you decided to open the brand here in Stone Town, Zanzibar?

D: - Zanzibar is an island with a lot of history and that brings together many cultures; African, Indian, Arab culture as well as different tribes of Africa are concentrated. And of course I must mention the tourists who visit us from all over the world.

MB: What are your projects for the brand?

D: - In a few months the next collection of the brand will be at the South African Fashion Week in the city of Johannesburg. It will be an online event through all social platforms that will bring together many international designers.

MB: Do you want to conquer the European market?

D: - The brand is working online and shipping the products to Europe.

MB: What would you say to those women who admire you?

D: - I would tell them to keep working on their goals. The environment is never ready. And the longer you wait for the moment, the more it feeds your weakness. So do it now and don't wait.

Fashion and women's emancipation

Doreen Mashika partners with women's cooperatives in local villages to make her pieces by hand. Her work contributes to the emancipation of women while enhancing the potential of artisan know-how. In addition, it establishes close relationships with its employees and strives to pay decent wages and provide healthy working conditions, closely following all stages of the production process, paying special attention to knowing the origin of its raw materials. Efforts that largely justify the prices of his creations, which range between $ 70 and $ 400.

From Zanzibar to the world

Doreen resonates not only in the capital of Zanzibar, but also on world-famous fashion catwalks.

In 2017, Forbes magazine published an article under the title “Zanzibar's iconic designer”.

Voted “Zanzibar's Favorite Store” in 2011 by Vogue Magazine, his pieces with unique accents have earned him numerous awards; Accessory Designer 2012 at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in South Africa, same title at Swahili Fashion Week 2013 and winner of African Designer For Tomorrow in 2014.

In 2015, she participated in Salon Vogue during Berlin Fashion Week, which allowed her to collaborate with E-Bay. In this way, it has made a niche on the international scene by presenting its collection in particular on the website of the American brand: Anthropologie (older sister of the Urban Outfitters group).

In addition, his sophisticated style won over American politics; Former first lady Michelle Obama owns one of her bags, but the most important thing is that she sent her a letter of support for her social initiative.

Their shoes, bags and jewellery combine materials in a unique way: kitenge fabrics and beads with premium leathers and well-finished metal fittings, horn with precious metals, antique beads with brass, resulting in pieces of inspired and individual beauty.

The first fashion designer in Zanzibar

Although the fashion industry in Tanzania is growing, the designer is part of the female entrepreneurial spirit. By creating her brand, Doreen Mashika Zanzibar (DMZ), the first fashion brand registered with the island's Ministry of Information, sets out to be an example and wants to improve the life of her community. In this drive, the designer hopes to one day create fashion design schools to teach technical knowledge.

Doreen Mashika

From Switzerland to Zanzibar and with a determined personality that is part of the “the future is female” movement, her success is a source of inspiration for many women. Durability, simplicity and identity are expressed as a motto in its fabrics, as is the tradition of the khanga. Clothing is said to reflect our thoughts and character. By this criterion, Doreen Mashika is a committed brand, shining with elegance around the world.

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