Angelina Jolie has inspired her make-up artist to help women in his native Afghanistan get a formal education.

MATIN MAULAWIZADA, who has also done make-up for Gwyneth Paltrow, has set up Afghan Hands, which pays women in the country to embroider one-of-a-kind scarves and shawls, and also pays them to learn to read and write with a teacher.

And while the fashion items have proved popular with the likes of Lindsay Lohan and Claire Danes, Maulawizada counts United Nations goodwill ambassador Jolie as his main inspiration for the project.

He says, "She told me to put side my fears and do what I need to do.

"My goal is that they get high school diplomas. I received a shipment of shawls and (the women) had signed their names on the back. They had finally learned to write their own names. They were the most beautiful signatures I'd ever seen."