Make-Up artist Ayesha Wadiwala chats with us about how a hobby turned profession took her to Shahrukh Khan’s house on her first assignment!
Ayesha turned her hobby into her profession and laughs when you ask her what her inspiration was. It’s because the story is heartwarmingly sweet. “It was a hobby and after I got married, it became a profession. I was the make up person at my best friend’s wedding. She didn’t want to hire a makeup artist and wanted the makeup to look real. It was a grand wedding; people started liking and appreciating my make-up,” she reminisces.
Make up artist Ayesha Wadiwala’s passion for painting stayed through her growing up years transitioning into painting people’s faces as an adult. “It’s an extension of my art. I used to do water painting and was good at art in school. Make up came naturally; I’m not trained but can create with colours. Technical knowledge is important but you need the flair to adapt your own style,” she says.
Ayesha has been in this profession for the last five years and her work has been diverse. “I did this Cleartrip ad two years ago. It was the journey of a girl who is stuck somewhere with her luggage in a new country. It was really interesting because we had to create characters,” says Ayesha whose work profile includes brands such as Cadbury, Colgate, VLCC, Cleartrip, Bodycare, jewellery campaigns and lots for Peta. “The first one happened when my friend photographer Himanshu Seth asked me if I could do makeup for a Peta commercial. I had to do face-painting and was going to be doing make up for this South African cricketer Wayne Parnell. He was lean and we had to do his six-packs with make up. It was amazing! They are a good team of people to work with,” she says. Her Peta celebrity list includes Sunny Leone, Adah Sharma, Tannishtha Chatterjee and Pooja Mishra to name a few.
As a modern day working woman in a glamourous profession, Ayesha’s insight into how the industry works is refreshing. “If you’re a freelancer, you are your own manager; how you present yourself, the way you look is very important. If I don’t look my part, people won’t respond. The way you network, your communication and PR skills build relationships. I do a lot of bridal makeup and it’s very important that the bride feels confident. I have to make them feel that way,” states Ayesha adding that it’s the toughest part of being a make-up artist.
Ayesha’s work is reflective of her international influences. “There is so much to learn from artists abroad in terms of creating a natural look. Indian market is changing. If you see Deepika’s make up, it’s more natural unlike the chalky make-up from the 80s 90s and 2000s. Shilpa Shetty’s makeup for example 10 years ago vs. now; completely different. It’s a good change we have adapted from the West. They use a lot of makeup but do it so well you can’t guess. I love to follow that style and have done a couple of workshops abroad. It’s also got to do with the techniques and products,” she reflects.
What does Ayesha’s future hold for her? “One of my big plans is to go to London or New York and learn prosthetic make up, hopefully next year. It’s more like a science where you create different kinds of characters. For instance Hrithik’s makeovers in Dhoom. Make up artists are hired from abroad for this. This would be my first formal make up course and my next goal.
Her journey has been full of learning and pleasant surprises. Ayesha remembers one of the most treasured moments in her career so far. She chuckles before saying, “That might be when I went to Shahrukh’s house. I was just starting my career. Technically this was my first assignment. I was doing Shaina NC‘s make up. She wanted me to go with her. Little did I know it was at Sharukh’s house. She was interviewing him for a show on Zee News and he was right in front of me in flesh and blood. I did his touch up and it made me think that was a sign of luck for what I was doing. It was after all my first assignment.”