For much of her teenage years, Ameera Khan has had to live behind the shadow of an older sister – not any older sibling but superstar, actress-turned-businesswoman, Neelofa. But she has no issues with that.
“If I said that I’m not (living) in her shadow, I would be lying. But I have no problem with that. I’m not desperate for fame. In other words, kalau I dapat I dapat, kalau I tak dapat I tak dapat,” says Ameera; using the Malay phrase to mean she’s fine with it, also fine without.
Perhaps the confidence and business acumen of the older sibling has rubbed off on Ameera, otherwise known as Little Miss Khan on social media. The 17-year-old went on to curate and build her own personal brand, LMK and is making a name for herself with the recent launch of makeup line, LMK cosmetics.
As social media influencer, she benefits from using Instagram as her main platform. She earns a five-figure income every month through endorsement gigs; at the same time, promoting her line of beauty products by posting almost perfect selfies to her 944 thousand followers.
She is fast becoming a darling among marketers looking to tap into the minds (and pockets) of Gen Z.
Dressed in a Fendi sweater, with part of her curls rolled up into a bun, Ameera strolled into the all-white meeting room at of Naelofar Hijab, admitting to feeling slightly nervous about the interview with AWANI Review.
Now, I know that my voice is actually so powerful. I can use my voice to do so many things, good things
“I made a lot of mistakes on social media, I say the wrong things quite often." She was chided for being a snub over a comment she made in a video about a certain mobile phone brand. Ameera had to apologise to the public and her fans.
"But, I’ve learned from them. Now, I know that my voice is actually so powerful. I can use my voice to do so many things, good things,” says Ameera.
As the youngest daughter of ten children, Ameera spends most of her time either at home or the gym. Raised in a tight-knit family, she shares that her father is extremely protective.
“He is very strict when it comes to outings, we can go out from 12-5pm. But I usually don’t go out with my friends, I go out with my family.”
“There are rules in the house (with plenty of) do's and don'ts and that helped shaped who (I have become). I don’t stray about and do things I’m not supposed to do. I feel like I’m such a good girl,” Ameera says with a giggle, exuding the youth and naivety of a teenager.
Nonetheless, despite her youth, Ameera has set her sights on big things. Granted, LMK cosmetics is parked under Naelofar Hijab - Neelofa's thriving headscarf business, Ameera is hands-on is setting the creative direction of her makeup line. The beauty enthusiast meets with her team of seven, at least once a week, to discuss sales and new products.
“I didn’t understand makeup; I hated makeup when I was younger. When I was 13 or 14, I would follow my sisters out a lot, whenever they go on dates with their boyfriends. I’d watch them get ready and I understood what to apply. That got me interested."
My instagram grows with Neelofa's help, obviously. But it’s also because of me at the same time. It’s not all because of my sister although she was a great help
Ameera once went through a phase of being crazy with lipsticks. She ended up buying 161 lipsticks from Colourpop, Anastasia Beverly Hills, Lime Crime and M.A.C. “I posted it on my Snapchat and it went viral."
Ameera also reveals that she isn’t a social butterfly as one would expect. She loves dressing up for events but doesn’t particularly enjoy the socialising part and considers herself an introvert. In fact, a normal routine for Ameera would be going to the gym in the morning and office in the afternoon (if there's work that needs to be done) and watching Netflix in the evening.
She also cooks her own meal and makes it a point to eat clean. "I don’t really eat what my mom cooks anymore," says Ameera. "She masak curry and all that," she says with a cheeky smile, adding her favourite meal at the moment is Acai bowl.
Some might argue that Ameera is only where she is today because of the success of her sister. Whether or not Ameera had it easy, she wants people to recognise that it was also her creativity and personality that got her to where she is.
He wasn’t really fine with it until he understood that I was earning money through product reviews. That’s when he realised that I could actually make a living out of this
“My instagram grows with her (Neelofa) help, obviously. But it’s also because of me at the same time. It’s not all because of my sister although she was a great help.”
“My sister is the first person I should be thankful for and I say that to her all the time. I text her all the time saying 'thank you kakak, it’s all because of you that I am doing what I’m doing right now'” Ameera says humbly.
With one sister already in the limelight, what does her family thinks of her plans to forgo tertiary education (for now) to concentrate on building her brand and business?
“My dad didn’t understand it at first. I got (onto) Instagram when I was 13. He wasn’t really fine with it until he understood that I was earning money through product reviews. That’s when he realised that I could actually make a living out of this. Now he’s very supportive – probably the most supportive person.”
Ameera was homeschooled during the the final year of high school. She completed her International General Certificate of Secondary education (IGCSE) examinations last year and hopes to attend university in the future.
When Ameera first floated the idea to her father about starting her own makeup line, he was a bit hesitant but supportive nonetheless. “He wanted me to do what what I love,” says Ameera. "I put my heart and soul into LMK cosmetics and there are no regrets."
Ameera has no intention of slowing down. She agrees that that she is still taking 'baby steps' as she learns the ropes of managing a business.
“I think all businesses are risky. I did face a few challenges," she says frankly.
“I want LMK cosmetics to be known globally and I want to make my parents proud."