Kulsum Parvez, make-up artist, hairstylist and grooming expert discusses her transition from the hospitality industry to showbiz, her love for experimentation and bringing a wealth of change in women’s lives through her art.
Kulsum puts you at ease instantly and the conversation flows effortlessly. She is uninhibited and simple. Maybe it’s these qualities that she picked up working as a flight attendant that when brought into her own work as a make-up artist and grooming expert makes her the perfect candidate for her clients. Bangalore-based Kulsum Parvez always yearned to do something on her own, for herself. “I was an air hostess and grooming was a part of that. People in aviation have to look good. It’s a hospitality industry. As much as I enjoyed it, I wanted to do something on my own. Something that did not involve routine work. I needed to do it to make me feel happy,” she says.
Kulsum has worked with people from the industry and outside of it. Some of her celebrity clients in the past included Neha Dhupia, Mandira Bedi, Lisa Haydon and Riya Sen to name a few. It is not however the names in the industry that gives Kulsum the high. It’s the opportunity to make people look good using her craft that helped her carve her own niche in this profession. “Every lady wants to look stunning. It’s not like you have to be in the modelling profession to be groomed. Women want to look good when they get together for coffee or a function. Looking good means enhancing their natural beauty. I experiment with different styles, different colours and tell them what looks good. People still think dusky is not as beautiful as fair. They want fair and lovely but Indians are so beautiful with their wheatish complexion,” explains Kulsum who is not afraid to experiment with her art. Ask her about the tribal look she so beautifully pulled off on Tala Afshin for iClick and she is quick to retort, “I thought I could do something highly interesting and it’s not something easily possible in India where people are not very open; especially in Bangalore.”
Her breadth of work expands to Dubai where she worked with a London-based designer Pearl Pret and an Italian model Luliana. “I have done fashion shows in Dubai and but one of my most treasured experiences is still the first shoot I did for Abraham & Thakore. The designers are really bold. They wanted me to do a bold look with gothic eyes on the model and wanted me to change the eyebrow colours from black to blonde. So you can almost not see the eyebrows. This was to be paired with nude lips. I used wax to hide the eyebrows. It looked really awesome when I made it and then it began to crack. I had a wax spoon with which I scraped it off and it looked fine to me. I was worried my first show will be a disaster. The next day I called them for feedback because I had taken an extra half hour. But they told me it was excellent work and that they loved what I did. I haven’t stopped doing this since then,” smiles Kulsum.
Kulsum is a busy woman during season time but she works for herself and so she makes sure there’s enough family time. This is made easy with full family support. “My hubby, son and in-laws are also very cooperative and supportive. My husband took care of our son when I was in Dubai working. My in-laws tell me that my career is going well and so I should do it. They take care of the house. I never take these things for granted,” she reflects. Her future looks very exciting with work in full swing for her new studio. “Lots of people want to get trained under me. I want to take it to the next level. I am building a makeup and photo studio. The photographers will come to my studio for the shoot. So hair, makeup, styling and photography will all be under the same roof. I am eagerly waiting for the interiors in this space to get done,” she ends.
Kulsum’s work profile includes shoots for Harper Bazaar, Vogue, Neelkanth Jewellery, Alice Jewellery, Diamond Mantra and Orion Mall Fashion Week.
We wish every success to Kulsum Parvez. You can follow her work on Facebook!