From Military to Makeup: Story of Middle East Based Bojana Dzinic

I recently had the opportunity to get in contact with Bojana Dzinic a makeup lover, mother, and game changer living in Dubai, UAE. She was born in 1986 and raised in Lukavac, Bosnia. Her passion for beauty and makeup was driven by major events in her life, which empowered her to become the strong and independent woman she is today.

Bojana’s journey with beauty started in high school, like it did for many of us with foundation and eyeliner, but she told me, “my true love for makeup started after I came back from my deployment in Afghanistan, early 2012.” Bojana was raised by her father, a military man and strong male figure in her life, who set many different rules she had to follow throughout her youth.

From Military to Makeup - Bojana Dzinic - OPENLETR 1.jpg

When she finished high school, Bojana moved to Houston, and from there was deployed by the US army as a subcontractor. As for all members of the military, it requires great strength and courage. But for Bojana, it was even more difficult as she was one of the only women. She served in Djibouti, Africa for 2 years, and then spent 5 years in male camps in Afghanistan. She described this period of her life as follows…

“It was such a hard period for me as we had above 3,000 personnel count and only few were women. I had no one to hang out with, no one to talk to. It was like a prison but way worse. Our camp got hit so many times, stress was getting to me. I decided to leave in March 2012 and do something for myself finally. I wanted to do the most ‘womanly’ & ‘girly’ stuff out there, that’s how I actually ended up in the makeup and beauty world.”

From Military to Makeup - Bojana Dzinic - OPENLETR 2.png

And since then, her love and attachment to makeup has only increased. Bojana refers to makeup as something that makes her feel better about herself. Applying it gives her a sense of calm. She says, “when I’m feeling anxious I would pull out my makeup and start doing the most complex looks. It helps me with everything.”

Once she returned from her duty, the makeup world became an escape to forget all that she experienced while away. “Makeup seemed to worked perfectly and I love the fact that it became one of the main things in my life.” She began her makeup journey by watching beauty gurus on YouTube, then practiced herself, and now does makeup for other women. For Bojana, this does not feel like work, as it makes her happy, “[...] I love how they feel and the way they express their satisfaction when they see their reflection in the mirror.” When referring to her clients, Bojana is honored to share the way these women are empowered through her work.

From Military to Makeup - Bojana Dzinic - OPENLETR 3.png

Bojana explained that her start with makeup began with goth looks and a lack of color. She had a poor skincare routine without moisturizers or SPF. But as time passed, she said, “I’ve used more and more colors in my looks, now I’m into natural, nude toned looks, maybe some smokey looks here and there. In the beginning, makeup was just a hobby now I take it way more seriously, and I have a strict skin care regimen.” It seems that her expression through makeup has mimicked her life in some ways. She powered through a challenging time in her life, and came out brighter, happier, and with more confidence both in herself and perspective.

From Military to Makeup - Bojana Dzinic - OPENLETR 4.png

As Bojana continued discussing her growth through beauty, she told me how much she loves the way beauty makes her feel. “It’s like taking away all of my insecurities when I have even the smallest amount of makeup on my face. I am a true believer that every single person is beautiful on their own unique way, but I know that not all of us are happy with how we look, how our brows are shaped, how our cheekbones show or don’t show at all, how our nose looks and I love the fact that makeup can enhance our qualities and hide our flaws within just a few minutes.” Bojana’s realistic yet empowering position on makeup is just what the beauty community needs today.
She carried on, “the beauty world these days is something amazing. I’m so relieved we have access to all of the products to make us feel better about ourselves. Even though our inner beauty is more important than outer beauty, outer beauty definitely makes our inner shine brighter if we are more satisfied and more comfortable with ourselves.”

Based on Bojana’s beautiful interpretation of beauty, I then asked her what beauty means to her. She responded with an inspirational answer. “I’ve heard that beauty is in the eye of the beholder -- right? What might be beautiful to me, can be ugly to others and vice versa. Even though I am a makeup addict, I love seeing bare, sun kissed, smiling faces! It’s pure beauty! Beauty is self-acceptance and self-love.” With this, she shows that beauty is within us all, from the inside out.  

Bojana is clearly very wise and cultured when it comes to the effect of beauty on us. As I’ve always wondered if our upbringing had an impact on our relationship with beauty, I wanted to see her take on this topic.

“I want to say no, but the fact is, yes. The bigger the city you live in, the less chances you’ll get judged for the looks you’ve created, things you’ve done, words you’ve spoken etc. In small towns these are not the case. I’ve learned to accept everyone’s opinion and suggestions, yet I believe in fully staying true to myself no matter what others say.”

Now that is a sophisticated way of thinking.  

Before discussing body image with Bojana, I asked her if there is anything about beauty that she doesn’t love so much. She answered, “Instagram beauty trends. They give me chills.”

Haha — same here, girl!

From Military to Makeup - Bojana Dzinic - OPENLETR 5.png

Because we, as women, tend to struggle with body image issues, I asked Bojana about her experience, and how she handles it. She shared her insight on the topic. “We constantly analyze ourselves and compare ourselves to others. Seems like it’s in human nature to do so. It can be stressful and it can bring us to some dark places; therefore, we need to learn how to accept ourselves and not be so harsh. I remember when I had my son, all I wanted was to lose weight, it totally distracted me from the fact that I literally just had a baby. I was struggling almost a year until I could take off my clothes in front of my husband or stand in front of the mirror without bursting into tears. It took me a long time to accept how I look, but it took me longer to do something about it.” This is an experience so many women encounter throughout their lives. And Bojana came back from it with a greater sense of confidence and purpose.

To offer inspiration and guidance to anyone dealing with body image issues Bojana adds that “we need to set our mind straight onto what we really want, and slowly but surely walk towards our goal. Sitting and moaning about how miserable we are will not solve anything. Set your goal! Make it happen! It is only between You and Yourself. Go for it girl, you’ll be loving yourself much more once you start seeing some results.” 

Her self-love and passion for makeup seems to have directed her life in a beautiful way, as well as a stance on beauty we can all aspire to possess. To finish our interview, I asked her what makes beauty such a huge part of our lives as women around the world. “We are women! We are competitive! We want to look our best, feel our best, dress our best, and be the best versions of ourselves! Constantly. Beauty helps us make that happen.”

Bojana Dzinic, Dubai

Photo courtesy of Bojana Dzinic

Instagram - Facebook - Website