Famous Indian Makeup artist Anuj Dogra believes it is truly an art
1. Specifically what was it about the art of make up that attracted you to this field?
Instantly seeing your vision becoming a reality – this is what got me and kept me hooked on to makeup. If you think about it, make up is truly an art: it’s not about painting in colors but about framing the soul of the person wearing it. Your face can be a powerful expression of your inner feelings, or what you want to communicate about yourself in a given moment.
2. Tell us a little bit about your training.
I first learned everything while I was working with MAC. There was a lot of curiosity, experimentation and self-teaching involved.
In addition, I groomed my skills on a regular basis with artists like Mickey Contractor and Vimi Joshi. I also did an online course with renowned make up artist Val Garland, one of the best in the field today.
3. Last year and the year before you were India’s representative beauty event in China. How was that experience? What did you take away from it?
The experience was absolutely fantastic. It was an honor to represent my country at an international event . I could offer my peers a perspective of the trends here and also the advantages and challenges of working in an industry that is hugely influenced by Bollywood. I also got to meet mentors like Ivana Jay Sojkova of Jay agency, who is a pioneer in the industry.
4. What is your method? What factors do you consider when you’re conceptualizing a look?
Creativity is a 360 degree process, so its best not to be rigidly stuck to a method. That being said, there are basics that have to be considered such as the model, her skin and hair color, the color pallets that will suit her as well as the narrative of the shoot…
5. What kind of work do you enjoy the most? A photo shoot, video, bridal, fashion, portfolio… etc.
Makeup is my medium and I enjoy it in all its different forms. The more varied my projects, the more fresh and inspired my outlook remains.
6. What are the specific challenges of each of the above?
Its interesting because in a shoot, you have to be aware of the kind of story that is being communicated. You also have to be sensitive to the photographer’s style, the way he plays with the lighting etc. So, it’s a collaborative process and there are a lot of things to consider for everything to fall in place and be true to the story.
Personal makeup on the other hand is more about the woman wearing it, where she is going with it and what kind of statement she wants to make.
7. Where do you think make up is heading in the next 5-10 years? What kinds of product improvements do you envision?
Every one wants to create looks in quick and easy steps. No one wants to sit for hours in front of a make up mirror sculpting an artificial look, unless of course it’s for a fantastical character in a movie or something. So, products that create a desired look quickly will be more successful in the market.
8. What kinds of styles will define beauty in the coming years?
Skin, skin, skin. Flawless skin. Isn’t that what everyone is aiming to have?
9. Do you think the visual industry and the fashion world are representative of the average Indian woman? If not, how would you help to change the scenario?
Well, it’s changing slowly but surely. We’ve seen a lot of improvement in terms of diversity and sensitivity to indigenous looks and customs. But we still have a long way to go before we can say that we are truly representative of the Indian woman, and not biased towards an anglicized idea of beauty.
It would be nice to see more inclusion and I think because of the fact that India is so diverse, it could really lead the way for other countries in this respect.
10. Do you think India is on the cutting edge of design when it comes to hair and make up? Or are women here too conventional in terms of trying new looks? How would you encourage women to experiment more?
As the fashion industry matures, we continue to see more experimentation and openness to new things. I personally feel that we should first explore everything that we have going for us, and create our own unique style of wearing makeup, before we ape the west.
11. Any beauty advice you want to give to our readers?
Quite simply, take care of your skin. Beautiful skin will always be in, no matter what trends come and go.
12. What products would you recommend should be a staple in every woman’s purse?
Mascara, a cheek tint and a lip tint.
13. Any signature look or inspiration you have?
The woman herself – she is the greatest inspiration for any stylist or make up artist.