A brush above the rest

Updated: Jul 21, 2019, 08:56 IST | Aastha Atray Banan

Make-up influencers are all the rage on social media now. We speak to three who say that it's all about looking good outside to feel good inside

A brush above the rest
Make-up blogger Simmy Goraya at her Lokhandwala home, where she has almost 300 lipsticks. Pic/Ashish Raje

Most of Simmy Goraya's bedroom is occupied by her white dressing table, complete with bright lights, and drawers and holders full of lipsticks, colour palettes and brushes. The rest of the space is taken up by professional lights, which will help her plan the perfect picture for her near 34k followers on Instagram. Goraya is a make-up influencer, and if you didn't know that that was even a thing, it is, and she spells out why, quite simply. "Earlier, people would only put make-up, if they had a party to go to. Now, you don't step out without covering your black circles with a concealer. So, everyone wants tips," says the 27-year-old who used to assist Bollywood make-up artistes before she decided that the anonymous life wasn't meant for her.

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"I have done my MBA, but I have been a make-up freak since I was a teenager. I would apply it on anyone and everyone—even dad and my brothers!" laughs the Lokhandwala girl from Chandigarh. "Being an assistant was killing my art," she says. She started uploading make-up tutorial videos on YouTube, and slowly shifted to Instagram, and only started taking it seriously two years ago. After investing almost a lakh-and-a-half in buying what she says was still very "limited" supplies of make-up, she now usually gets sent all the latest launches by brands. Her USP, she says, is her ability to shift from everyday make up to avante garde without a hitch. "So, for pride month, along with using the colours of the rainbow on my face, I used a wig too. I know how to up the ante," says Goraya, who also believes that now, make-up is not something a woman needs to wear after a certain age, but a "want". A fan of Rihanna and Kylie, and someone who follows the trends in the world—right now, it's all about doing make-up that makes you look like an X-Ray—Goraya says, "Even if I am feeling low at 4 am, I make a video and put on some lipstick. I think once you put a lipstick, even if it's a wild colour like purple, you feel invincible. Women have to not be ashamed of whatever kind of make-up they want."

Jovita George
Jovita George focuses on make-up for darker skin tones

Make-up influencers are all the rage right now on social media, especially since women have realised the power of the red lipstick, that goes a long way in making a dark day, bright. Make-up artistes such as Iraqi-American Huda Kattan have turned their hobby into an empire, and influencers such as American model Jeffree Star (who has his own range as well), and Dutch vlogger Nikkie de Jager (known for her tutorials) have helped many dreams take flight. Analytics firm NPD Group, conducted a survey in 2016, and found that influencer collaborations brought in an average of two times the dollar volume of traditional celebrity collaborations. Its Makeup In-Depth Consumer Report 2016 highlighted that 92 per cent of make-up users get information on beauty products from influencers' YouTube videos. What is helping the industry is also that there is a beauty influencer for every kind of girl, and thanks to social media they are spreading the word. Jovita George, who goes by the moniker @mrjovitageorge on Instagram (she has 80k followers), says that for her, it's all about letting the brown/dark girl know that she is looking out for them.

"When I was a model in Cochin some nine years ago, make-up artists used to turn me white before I walked the ramp, as they didn't know better," says the former Miss Kerala, an engineer, now settled in Kuwait. "But I knew I could represent us. I often fight with brands over the limited shades they have. I have been dropped by brands because of that. I don't endorse skin whitening products or slimming teas. All my videos are focused on celebrating this skin," says George, who goes through her comments and makes videos according to what her audience wants, which range from celebrity recreations to bridal make-up. "I want every brown girl to know that people go to tanning salons just to get our kind of skin!"

Ankita Chaturvedi
Ankita Chaturvedi is known for her clean-faced looks and smoky eye

For once B-tech engineer Ankita Chaturvedi, who is called @corallistablog on Instagram (because the colour coral was trending when she started blogging in 2011), the moment of reckoning arrived when she got acne due to swimming. "I went online to figure a solution, and discovered the world of beauty bloggers," says the Mumbai girl from Bhopal, who is known for her clear skin and smoky-eye tutorials.

The rest, was history. Be it contouring, dramatic make-up or heavy brows, Chaturvedi's aim is to make it her own, and also make it relatable and wearable. "That's the challenge for all of us—how to push the envelope while keeping it relevant to the real woman," says Chaturvedi, who then maybe lets us in on the real secret why every woman on your Instagram feed now is obsessed with finding their own shade of red lipstick. "For someone like me, who suffered from PCOD, the answer is simple. Fashion depends on your body size as well. While with make-up, it's one size fits all. And that kind of confidence is hard to get otherwise."

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