From the time she was very young, Shadia knew that she would have to struggle against extraordinary odds. Coming from an Arabian- African family and raised in a strict Muslim environment, her passion for the arts, fashion and media were taboo. She always knew she would have to do what had never been done before. Blessed with an uncommon beauty, born of her unique mixed heritage, and the inspiration drawn from her parents, she began to follow her dreams. Her ever creative and entrepreneurial mother and her Army Officer father’s penchant, for practical application as a way to achieve one’s goal, young Shadia used these lessons as she stepped out into the world.
She found out at a tender age that this was not only difficult but illegal in her country’s culture. As a teenage girl, while honing her craft, she had photos taken and published in an American magazine. An act this innocent could cost a woman time in prison! After all of her hard work and efforts, the Sudanese police confiscated her photos. It was this injustice that convinced Shadia that she must leave her country if she was to pursue her dreams in earnest. She made her way to London, where she studied English and Social Studies, in order to pursue a degree in Journalism. With her tenacity and efforts, she began to find her way.
During this exciting time, she still pursued a modeling career to help pay her bills. Soon, photographers from all over the world became enchanted by her penetrating eyes and impeccable model features. This enabled her to persuade her family, to let her continue with a career that caused so much turmoil in her homeland. They agreed to let her build on her success, which led to internationally acclaimed runway and print engagements.
Shadia, ever curious, set out yet again, to make a name for herself as an actress. After much studying and dedication to the craft, with teachers in London and then New York City, she performed in many venues, from the theater to film. You can see her in appearances that range from Woody Allen’s film ‘Celebrity’, to television spots with Chris Rock and Tim Meadows on both Saturday Night Live and on HBO.
Not resting on her laurels as a successful actress in the United States, she has, through discipline and hard work, become not only a fashion icon and inspiration to Arabian women, but also a highly respected total-image consultant. She became both a licensed cosmetologist and aesthetician. She is now the proud founder of her own cosmetics line with ‘Shadia Elamin’ as the namesake brand of both her perfume and cosmetics company.
Due to her high demand, Shadia started her own beauty advisory career, promoting premier brands and launching new cosmetics at some of the finest department stores throughout the world. She has been commended by Estée Lauder for one such campaign when it was said of her fine work: “We would not have achieved $46.0 million without your tremendous efforts.” She has represented products at Bloomingdale’s, Saks Fifth Avenue and Elizabeth Arden in New York; Harrods and Selfridges in London; and Paris Gallery in Dubai. Shadia has appeared in Lord Lichffield’s Loveliness and in print for Chanel and Sonia Rykiel.
Today, her striking features and timeless style continue to inspire some of the world’s greatest film and television directors, photographers, actors and designers, all the while as she maintains a global clientele for her cosmetic services and products. Shadia works both as a respected actress and a businesswoman. She builds her brand’s fragrances, while travelling globally to plan luxurious events. Shadia provides image consultancy for the some of the world’s most discerning clientele, including Princess Alsheika Wadima, the daughter of Sheikh Zayed Al-Nahyan, founder of the United Arab Emirates. An ever-evolving artist, cosmetologist, aesthetician, fashion analyst and image consultant, Shadia continues to fulfill her dreams not only as a successful entrepreneur, but also as an actress and model.
Currently, Shadia lives in New York City and is busy writing a memoir about her extraordinary challenges growing up in her native Sudan and her continuing journey in her second home, America.