Diamond Colors : Chaitanya Nagaraj

A make-up or makeup artist (MUA) is an artist whose medium is the human body, applying makeup and prosthetics on others for theatre, television, film, fashion, magazines and other similar productions including all aspects of the modelling industry. Awards given for this profession in the entertainment industry include the Academy Award for Best Makeup and Hairstyling, and entertainment industry awards such as the Emmy Awards, and the Golden Globes. In some countries, professional licenses are required by agencies in order for them to hire the MUA. Bigger production companies have in-house makeup artists on their payroll although most MUA's generally are freelance and their times remain flexible depending on the projects.

This week we have Chaitanya Nagaraj who is also a make-up artist. Let's dive right into the conversation with her.

Tell us about yourself

Hi! I am Chaitanya.

I have done my schooling from Holy Child Convent, Bangalore and recently gave my BE exams.

When did you start your make-up career?

I started my make-up career when I was in my 12th. I never had an idea of becoming a make-up artist, this is something I did earlier to earn some money for myself. It was only until when I started doing make-up for events, I realised there was an artist hidden in me. Before that, I would work under a few renowned event managers/photographers to learn the art and business.

We know how expensive the make-up kits can be. Tell us more about that.

I started off with a very small kit In the beginning. I borrowed money from a fellow photographer and started this career. As and when the business started to grow, I would invest my hard-earned money on the kit. So far, I have invested over 4.5 lakhs to build a kit that I have now. As and when the business grew, the artist in me grew.

Did you go to classes to improve your skills?

I never took any makeup lesson or class. The passion in me for makeup made me learn things on my own. Yes, I did take up a masterclass from my most favourite artist, who’s a renowned international makeup artist, Vithya Visvendra and this was after three years of my experience in the makeup industry.

How can an interested person approach you for lessons?

I do conduct workshops at home as I do not have any studio as of now. I have trained over 30+ students so far and I absolutely love teaching this art to anyone who is interested. It just gives me immense pleasure or happiness to teach or help anyone who is passionate about make-up. Let me tell you, balancing work and engineering has not been easy. But I guess it’s all worth it at the end of the day.

What is makeup for you?

To answer what is make-up to me, it is an art of enhancing the beauty one already has.

It takes courage and a lot of confidence to carry one’s flaws. And it takes even more confidence to wear makeup and carry it. There’s absolutely nothing wrong in wearing makeup if one wishes to and it’s nothing to be ashamed of. Makeup is an art which enhances the beauty one already has and all the acne, pimples and all the dark spots or hyper-pigmentations, all of these adds up to one’s beauty and there’s nothing wrong if you wanna cover them or if you just wanna have long lashes or add a bit of colour on your face or your lips.

We as a society must work together to break all these stereotypes that men and/ or women are subjected to do when it comes to beauty or body image/standards.

How supportive were your parents towards this?

Coming to support, I didn’t have any support from the family initially. But later when they saw my work growing, my father supported financially. My friends have been a major support for me and all the other beautiful people I worked with. Forever grateful for having them in my life.

How did the lockdown affect you?

As an artist, the lockdown during the COVID outbreak took a very huge toll on me like it did on fellow entrepreneurs. Nevertheless, I started making IGTV videos on different make-up looks and uploaded them on Instagram.

What's next for you?

What next about makeup is, I would love to have my own make-up studio one day and would love to teach a lot of young men and women about make-up art and bring in a lot of artists into the society.

Everyone has the right to have fun with make-up. They haven’t applied those products to their face to please other people, but to please themselves, or at least I hope so. If anything is pathetic, it’s allowing yourself to get angry and feel disgusted about someone else’s vision of themselves and their make-up. Or to make sweeping assumptions about their place in society based on that. Surely that’s more shame-worthy?

So that winds up today's social dialogue! Stay tuned for the upcoming week!

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