Confessions Of A Makeup Artist

I’ve often marvelled at Makeup Artists; apart from having killer brush collections that stir my artistic cravings, they have the ability to transform the most unfortunate red-eyed, late night, bad face day into something wonderful.

Like a stone sculptor, the best MUAs seem to just know there’s something good in there. Being made up by a professional is an experience everyone should have at least once, to find the inner person.. at least on a visual level, that is! Cecilia - CONFESSIONS OF A MAKEUP ARTIST

Photographer: Mark Esper www.makoimages.com /  Model: Cecilia @Sapphire Models

Like a stone sculptor, the best MUAs seem to just know there’s something good in there.

I once went to a party where Hollywood Makeup artists were demonstrating their skills painting horror masks on brave volunteers, surrounded by dummies covered in gore, warts and a host of charming skin problems. While I wouldn’t want to try it for a night out myself, I’m in awe of the talent it takes for that type of detailed transformation.

One fiendishly clever MUA managed to keep me chatting while she literally trebled the length of my eyelashes, making them look like the craziest of falsies, armed only with a mascara and no eyelash curlers. Sadly, I’ve never been able to recreate it since, and my lashes remain resolutely fine. Makeup is truly a Mystery School. So what makes a Makeup Artist tick? I thought I’d ask Amrita Dhanjal, multi-talented, award-winning London based creator of looks for film, print, ads and even ballet. She should know…

Makeup is truly a Mystery School. So what makes a Makeup Artist tick?

DV: Amrita, You just won a competition.. Congratulations! Tell us about it…

Yes, thank you! TILT Professional Makeup based in London’s Camden Dock launched a talent competition in partnership with Sigma Beauty. There were over 300 entries, each judged on individual design, application & creativity.

I was particularly thrilled my entry won as I had designed the concept, completed the hair & make-up and took the photograph. I often photograph my makeup designs; I feel this helps me achieve a better understanding of Photographic Makeup and Lighting. I received Sigma Beauty’s Advanced Artistry Brush Collection. The Set contains 3 detailed and specific brush kits for targeted areas in makeup; blending, concealing and color application. A Pro set for Pro Artists.

Tilt-Poster - Confessions Of a Makeup artistPhotographer: Amrita Dhanjal / Model: Simran Sokhi

DV: Your makeup designs and art are very edgy and different; fantastical, even theatrical.. are you inspired by Sci-Fi, theatre or movies? 

I love Avant-Garde makeup, high level creative exploration without limits or boundaries. My inspiration comes from many sources. Artistic movements such as Cubism, Surrealism & Expressionism. From man-made urban landscapes to naturally forming geometric patterns found in Nature. I enjoy working with contrasting textures, graphic lines and structures.

Girl On Sofa - Confessions Of A Makeup Artist

Photographer: Mark Esper www.makoimages.com / Model: Cecilia @Sapphire Models

I love Avant-Garde makeup, high level creative exploration without limits or boundaries.

DV: You’re a painter as well as a Makeup Artist, how do the two combine, or even contrast? Is the transient nature of makeup part of its appeal, like Tibetan sand mandala painting or Japanese flower art.. A meditative transformation that is always different?

For me the two go hand in hand. The skills learnt in both areas can be taken and applied to each discipline. I started off painting and drawing when I was young. I feel this has helped me with my makeup skills. The use and flow of the hand when sketching, understanding the art medium, its properties and capabilities, shading, highlighting and color theory: these are all transferable concepts. Today I paint and sell contemporary pieces which can be viewed in my online gallery www.thecuberoom.com

Untitled (Pink) by Amrita Dhanjal _ Confessions Of A Makeup Artist

Untitled by Amrita Dhanjal

The use and flow of the hand when sketching, understanding the art medium, its properties and capabilities, shading, highlighting and color theory: these are all transferable concepts.

DV: Do you think any face can be made to look radically different, and if so, do you work with the face shape, or simply transform it into the image you have in mind?

With the right artistry skills, any face can be radically transformed, however I feel it’s best to work with the natural features and contours of the face. Working in harmony with the individual face shape and structure results in a more smooth and streamlined application

. Simran Sokhi - CONFESSIONS OF A MAKEUP ARTIST

Photographer: Amrita Dhanjal  / Model: Simran Sokhi

Louis-Evans -Confessions Of A Makeup Artist - Amrita Dhanjal

Photographer: Lukasz Suchorab / Model: Louis Evans @Bookings Models

DV: Who is your dream face.. who would you love to make up?

At present, my dream face would be Catwalk Model Louis Evans of Bookings Models.

He has such strong features and amazing bone structure! He has recently featured in London Collections and Thomas Knight’s Red Hot Exhibition; he’s certainly “a face” worth looking out for!

DV: Purely on the makeup front, what secret trends can you let us in on for 2014 and beyond? We’re excited!

There are a few makeup trends that we will be seeing this year. Black bold graphic eye designs, I like to use fast drying gels liners such as MAC Fluid Line in ‘Blacktrack” coupled with a MAC Pro Longwear Eye Liner in ‘Black Ice’. We’ll continue to see natural dewy skin with soft highlighting and contouring with natural thicker brushed up brows.

Blue Wall - Confessions Of a Makeup Artist - Amrita Dhanjal

Photographer: Agata Wolanska / Model: Jenny @Sapphire Models

We’ll continue to see natural dewy skin with soft highlighting and contouring with natural thicker brushed up brows.

A great tip is to spray hairspray onto a clean mascara wand and brush the product upwards into the brows, the hairs stay up and the brows remain nicely groomed. Last year was the bold red lip, this year is the bold ‘Orange’ lip. This statement look always packs a punch with dramatic results. From pastel peaches to neon oranges, there’s a shade to suit everyone. I like to use Lipcote lipstick sealer to lock in the color for maximum staying power.

Red Lips - Confessions Of a Makeup Artist

Photographer: Hype D www.hypedphotography.com / Model: Anna @Leni’s Models

DV: Where would you like all your talents to take you, Amrita? Opera, cinema… Our crystal ball is glowing!

The highlight of this year was heading the Makeup Team for the ADA+NIK Fashion Film ‘The Dark Wolf’ directed by Oz Thakkar. My passion is fashion & beauty editorial Make-up, and I have some exciting projects lined up. The year has only just begun! I look forward to seeing where ‘2014’ will take me!

Girl and car Confessions Of A Makeup Artist

Photographer: Agata Wolanska /  Model: Jenny @Sapphire Models

With the right artistry skills, any face can be radically transformed…

All Photography © As Credited.

Main Photograph & MUA: Amrita Dhanjal / Model Helen Bandcroft / Nail Artist: Liane Anderson 

@L Does Nails

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