Ace makeup artists Aniruddha Chakladar & Abhijit Paul on how Kolkata is waking up to global trends
The makeup pros decode what kind of looks works for the city fashionistas
If there’s one thing that the rising popularity of social media platforms has done, it has to be the phenomenal thrust it has given to the booming makeup industry. Never had the urge to look good been so high among women and even men cutting across all age groups. According to a survey by Statista, India globally stands fourth in terms of generating revenue from the beauty and personal care market in 2021.With the market size expected to reach about 1 billion dollar by 2024 in India, it’s a no-brainer how phenomenally the demand for makeup artists has spiked over the past few years. The kind of innovation and transformation that makeup has gone through can perhaps only be matched by the technological advancement seen in the telecom industry.
Has Kolkata too kept up with the world in terms of experimental makeup? How has the wedding makeup evolved here? We got chatty with ace makeup artists Aniruddha Chakladar and Abhijit Paul on the same. Aniruddha has almost three decades of experience in the industry with hardly any celebrities left to wield his makeup brush. Abhijit too is one of the most promising artists from his generation with a huge chunk of Tollywood actresses relying on his creative skills. Here’s what the experts had to say:
The world is going through a make-up revolution. Where does Kolkata figure in that?
Aniruddha: Kolkata or Bengal for that matter was never very keen on following make-up trends. In fact, the general mass in India too do not apply make-up on a regular basis and keep it for such special occasions as weddings or annual festivities and other important events. You will never see anyone here on a metro placing a small towel on her lap and taking out all the makeup products to get ready for the office on the go. But that’s a very common scene in any tube in Europe. Abroad, girls start applying and experimenting with makeup products in their teens. But here, on the contrary, we are taught to keep away from them and concentrate on our academics. Bengalis are never too keen on make-up and even basic grooming is still lacking in them. Rather I have seen the so-called well-groomed and educated class taking pride in saying that they never apply makeup.
However, I am observing that of late, a few young cosmopolitan millennials are increasingly taking interest in makeup.
Abhijit: A lot of clients come to me who are not exposed to the world of makeup but there are also a lot of them who come up with a lot of ideas and references to experimental makeup that they want to try out. They discuss and go for look sets and are not afraid to try out new trends. The young generation is very open to ideas and more aware of the current trends, but at the same time, there are many who are still ignorant.
Aniruddha: Yes, there are a few who blindly follow trends whether they suit them or not is a different question altogether. But maximum are not aware and a bit ignorant and some are exposed but unsure of trying them out. When I find a few clients who are in two minds about trying out something, I suggest they go ahead if the trends suit them, otherwise politely dissuade them from committing a makeup disaster.
How do you see the makeup industry evolving?
Aniruddha: The makeup industry has opened up a lot in the sense that the best of the products are now available here, which was not the case even 15 years back. Ordinary people too are more interested in makeup thanks to the huge makeup stores in malls. The mere display of myriads of colourful and attractive boxes has stoked the desire in many to buy and try them. Also, the new generation is more independent and able to afford them and have that urge to experiment too.
Abhijit: I too agree with what Aniruddha has to say.
How do you try to apply your own makeup aesthetics?
Aniruddha: All of us have our unique process of styling and when we get the perfect opportunity we try to implement that but usually apart from fashion shoots and a few films, we hardly get independent clients who come for just experimental makeup. Most of the clients come for weddings or party makeup.
Abhijit: During wedding assignments, if I get a bride who’s willing to try out new things, I try to do things my way and it becomes easier if I see that other things like ornaments and saris are tasteful. But the challenge is when the aesthetics or the sari, jewellery and veil are not in sync or up to the mark. It’s then that my creativity is put to a real test since I have to still bring out the best in the bride.
Has make-up in Tollywood films also evolved?
Aniruddha: The films that I worked in were realistic and had very natural looks. But mainstream Bengali films still have that larger-than-life look with shades of pink or red except for a few films that have a natural makeup palette. Also, shoot equipment have become so advanced that even the tiniest pores are now visible on screen, hence makeup too has toned down to natural shades.
What will be the makeup trends for 2023?
Aniruddha: The global trends are different and not always applicable here given our different skin tones and palette. Also, makeup is a very intimate and individual affair and depends on facial features and personality and no two persons can apply make-up the same way makeup. So, I believe one should pick up the trends that suit their personality.
Abhijit: I feel the soft look with a well-defined pair of brows and nude pastel shades is here to stay for a long while now. Apart from that, there will be a lot of colour play for those who are willing to experiment.
Pictures by Debarshi Sarkar / Styling by Abhishek Roy / Location courtesy: Bohurupi Shantiniketan