Written by Shambhavi Dutta
| New Delhi |
Updated: July 28, 2020 6:03:02 pm
“Personalisation will be important in the future of beauty, both in-store and online” shares the celebrity makeup artist. (Photos: Namrata Soni/ Instagram, design: Gargi Singh)
Look through Namrata Soni’s Instagram and you will find a meme that reads: “you gotta act cool, calm and collected around liquid eyeliner. It can sense your fear”. And if you are a beauty aficionado, you will know that the truth has been spoken. Further scrolls will take you to pictures of Bollywood divas like Shilpa Shetty Kundra, Disha Patani, Janhvi Kapoor and many others. But it is Sonam Kapoor Ahuja, reveals the celebrity makeup artist, who “trusted me initially”. But Namrata has come a long way and is one of the most sought-after makeup artists today.
In an interview with theindianexpress.com, she talks about why beauty is likely to become inclusive over the years, how skincare sales is going to see a boom, and why augmented reality is the way forward for the beauty industry.
You recently launched three beauty filters on Instagram — ‘Metallic Smoke’, ‘Sunset Glow’ and ‘Liner on Fleek’. Could you tell us about them.
The idea behind the beauty filters was to create something for my followers who could enjoy using these at home. Keeping the trends in mind, Graphixstory, a Kolkata-based tech-driven advertising studio created these customised beauty filters merging makeup with augmented reality.
The texture of the lip shades, the perfect eyeliner and eye shadow definitely were the mainstay since they are designed for a virtual trial and that you don’t drift away from the actual look. With visually pleasing overlays, in just one tap anyone can get a quick touch of makeup.
With augmented reality playing a major role in beauty trends, do you feel the definition of beauty will change over time?
Customer relationships are changing dramatically and brands have recognised the game-changing abilities of augmented reality. It has definitely changed the overall outlook over a period of time, and has played an important role in giving women confidence in how they look.
Moreover, it’s amazing to see a tool like this available to all, and even for me as a makeup artist, it gives me a lot of insight as to what I can create. These features can not only enhance consumers understanding of how to best use a device but also increase brand recall value and sales. I believe, AR will become an integral part in defining the future of complete beauty.
With Instagram filters showcasing kitschy looks along with smooth skin and plump lips, do you think it is distorting the idea of beauty?
I don’t think filters are distorting the image of what beauty truly is. In times of COVID, it’s important to remember that these filters will give confidence to women to enhance their looks while they are at home by adding a little bit of eye shadow, lip colour and gloss to their skin. Beauty is personal. But we need to adapt to the changes in and around as the concept of beauty is changing and it will certainly become more inclusive in the years to come.
What beauty trends can we expect in the near future?
A major shift will happen towards eye makeup; a lot of people who are lipstick lovers will definitely try and enhance their skill on doing their own eye makeup. Eyelash extensions, microblading for their eyebrows will be a lot in focus, so I think eye are going to play up and because of the lockdown people have started looking after their skin a lot more. Nail polish sales too will go up and at-home facials and manicures will see an increased demand.
Personalisation will be important in the future of beauty, both in-store and online. Skincare and beauty trends will be booming as people will indulge more in self-care.
What do you think about Made in India beauty brands? Do you see them flourishing with the call for being “vocal for local”?
I am very excited to see Made in India brands finally getting attention. This will give a push to the consumers to try the brands made in our country, and some amazing brands from the skincare and beauty industry have already arrived. It will be exciting to see the progress of such brands in the coming years.
You have worked with numerous Bollywood celebrities but who do you love to collaborate with the most?
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I love Sonam Kapoor as she is one of the most versatile women I have ever worked with. She has an opinion and a voice of her own which I love. She also has the ability to transform and carry off any look you create on her. I think I have an affinity towards her because she was the only person who trusted me initially and never questioned much and carried the look with utmost confidence.
Could you tell us about your journey?
My affinity with beauty began when I was quite young, watching my mother and my nani getting ready in front of the mirror. I was sent to boarding school for 6 years, and remember cutting my friend’s hair since we were not allowed to step out.
I came back when I was in college and started assisting Coleen Khan, who guided me in pursuing beauty, and I did a makeup course from London and landed my first big break of working with Sameera Reddy. From there onward, I worked with Karan Johar, Farah Khan and Yash Raj Films who supported women and it’s been a fabulous journey ever since. Honestly, I would never want to turn back the clock to change anything and I am truly blessed to be a part of this industry.
Tips for those looking to build their career as a beauty artist.
Education is the key for any artist, irrespective of the industry one belongs to. Make sure you understand the basics and don’t get fascinated by the industry as it involves real hard work. So, definitely invest in learning, take out time to invest in different artistries of beauty, be true to yourself and don’t gossip. Be prepared to take care of yourself and be the best version of yourself.
How has the lockdown experience been for you?
It’s very unfortunate to see the pandemic hit all of us so badly. The business format has taken a toll so badly, and especially hairdressers and beauticians have had to go through a lot. All of us have suffered given the nature of our business, which involves close contact with clients but we are making sure to follow all the safety guidelines laid down by the government.
Regaining consumer trust will be a challenge post-lockdown. It is important to remember that we need to fight this out together as we need to be patient enough to make things come back to normal. We are incorporating a lot of online sessions for makeup-related queries, doing online makeup classes and other activities to keep the positivity amongst the audience.
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