A MAKEUP-BELIEVE WORLD WITH ANKITA SHRESTHA
Over the centuries, women have used burnt matches to darken their eyes, berries to stain their lips, ground roots to tone their skin. From making eyes pop with eye-shadow to hiding undesirable pores, makeup has come a long way. However, makeup is not just something that helps you look pretty but it is also a form of art. Here is a conversation with Ms. Ankita Shrestha on how she became passionate about this sort of art and her story as a Makeup Artist.
WHAT INSPIRED YOU INTO PURSUING A CAREER AS A MAKEUP ARTIST?
As far as I remember, I always used to have a fascination towards art. I was highly interested in fashion design as well. I used to follow this beauty vlog in YouTube named ‘Kaushal Beauty’. The makeup tutorial videos from that vlog used to be simple yet elegant, with using comparatively less products than the other makeup tutorial vlogs. I always found her tutorials to be very easy and attractive. I followed her instruction and started doing makeup on my sisters. As I continued with this my passion for this grew even more.
IN YOUR OPINION, WHAT DO YOU THINK IS THE IMPORTANCE OF MAKEUP IN TODAY’S WORLD?
It mostly depends on the individuals. Some are comfortable with the makeup on whereas some are fine without it. With how the world is right now, I would say makeup is important. You need to have a basic understanding of using makeup. Now-a-days people are very conscious with how they look. Mostly everyone in this generation is focused towards having a beautiful appearance. Considering this, I would say makeup is an important tool in present.
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON PEOPLE WHO USE TOO MUCH MAKEUP? “YOU CAN MAKE YOUR APPEARANCE COMPLETELY DIFFERENT WITH THE HELP OF MAKEUP”, WHAT ARE YOUR VIEWS ON THAT?
This is a complicated matter. The world right now is very superficial. This is not just because of the usage of too much makeup, but also the influence of the social media like Instagram. You will find the posted picture to be completely different than the actual person. In the end, it depends on the person. If that person is happy with that then I do not think this is an issue. Rather, I think this trend is beneficial for the makeup products.
Me as a makeup artist, I see it as a form of art, being able to show such transformations. Just like the viral Korean transformations videos, using many different makeup and things to make them look completely different. If you can do it then why not?
COULD YOU GIVE AN INSIGHT TO MAKEUP ART AS AN INDUSTRY? WHAT ARE THE CHALLENGES HAVE TO FACE BEING A MUA?
This as an industry is growing at a high pace and it is something that is never ending.
This industry will keep growing alongside us; as long as we have the desire to have a better appearance. The scenario here for us makeup artists is very competitive.
A huge part of the industry is occupied by beauty and bridal makeup because those are the trends. As everyone is into the glamorous beauty and bridal makeup, there is less opportunity for the contemporary makeup artists.
Usually in our line of work, people tend to work with those makeup artists with whom they are comfortable with and prefer to have association to them only. It doesn’t matter how the artist’s work is, as long as the client is comfortable with the artist; sort of like favoritism. The clients are not inclined to try something new or take a risk when it comes to the new and upcoming makeup artists. That is what I have so far in our country.
The number of makeup artists is rapidly growing. People are hesitant to pay more when it comes to hiring a makeup artist. Those who are new in the industry work charging very less, so the smaller pageant shows usually hire them.
There are always many challenges when you are in the industry that emphasizes on beauty. One all will agree is that it is really hard to satisfy the customers. Let’s say a client asks me to do a minimalistic makeup but then they end up asking to have more contour. Such incidents are very common where the client asks you to do one thing but they will not be happy with the end result. People ask for simple makeup but they would be expecting a totally glamorous one.
“In my opinion makeup’s purpose is to materialize your creativity and art on a canvas; the canvas being the people I do makeup on.”
FOR YOU AS A MUA, WHAT DO YOU THINK IS THE PURPOSE OF MAKEUP? WHAT DO YOU THINK BETWEEN TRADITIONAL AND CONTEMPORARY MAKEUP STYLES?
Makeup for me is not all about hiding blemishes or masking the ‘imperfections’. It is all about art. Makeup is a way to express my creativity. To be honest, I am not that interested in beauty makeup. They do not give the artist the flexibility to showcase their creativity and not much space to explore it further. Whereas, in contemporary makeup; which revolve around fantasy and fashion concepts, it is where you can fully experiment with your creativity. The more inventive you are the better.
In my opinion makeup’s purpose is to materialize your creativity and art on a canvas; the canvas being the people I do makeup on.
WHAT WOULD YOU SAY IS DIFFERENT FROM WHEN YOU FIRST STARTED YOUR CAREER AS A MUA AND WHERE YOU ARE IN PRESENT?
There has been drastic difference between when I first started in this industry to where I am now. I can say my confidence has grown by a lot since my early days as a makeup artist. When I first started I used to be nervous quite often. I used to be concerned if the client was comfortable or not, will they like my work or not, or are the clients getting what they actually asked for. I used to have these questions in my head which would make me nervous. That is not the case at present.
IS IT ESSENTIAL FOR PEOPLE TO HAVE BASIC UNDERSTANDING OF MAKEUP AND HOW TO DO IT? DO YOU THINK IT IS NECESSARY FOR A CONTESTANT IN A BEAUTY PAGEANT TO HAVE A BASIC KNOWLEDGE ABOUT MAKEUP?
Yes, I agree that an individual should have the basic understanding of how to apply makeup. It is not extreme makeover so it is not that hard as well. A simple blush, soft lipstick, and maybe a little touchup on your eyebrow; these are really easy to do and you do not have to be a professional makeup artist to do that. in current times, you have to be presentable, and makeup helps you boost your appearance if done right.
The name includes beauty in itself. Those shows are there to emphasize your physical appearance before other things. I do agree anyone entering beauty pageants should have at least a basic understanding on how to do their makeup.
WHAT DO YOU THINK THE FUTURE HOLDS FOR THE INDUSTRY IN NEPAL?
The industry is still growing. It has a lot of potential to grow even further in the future. People are slowly opening up to the idea that makeup is not just about beauty and bridal. It is being accepted as a form of art and it can be used as something other than making people pretty. I do not see this industry fizzling out anytime soon as this industry will remain as long as we humans are keen on how we look.
INTERVIEWED BY Baibhav Shrestha PHOTOGRAPHED BY Gaurav Xhompate Sunuwar