A glamorous occupation that is fast gaining professional status for its skill worthiness
By Meenal Bale
CAPTURING MEMORIES ON a wedding day is a must, as they remain to be your prized possession for a lifetime. But ensuring that the faces being captured beam with joy is the magic a make-up artist weaves behind the scenes.
25 year old Tejal Mhambre got introduced to the glam industry as a child when she would assist her aunt Arlene Cardoz at work. What started off in 2012 as a hobby has now become a profession for Tejal.
From her first modelling assignment at the age of 10, she has modelled for brands like Allen Solly, Nokia, Kwality Walls, Bumchums, Halls and Pass Pass amongst others. Her first shoot was with Prabudha Das Gupta for Samsung and she has been the sole model in a campaign with the Lotus Star Jewellery too.
Over a period of time, as she received firsthand knowledge of makeup and photography, she began assisting event planners and production houses and is fully accustomed to being on the sets. This year, she was also a part of the teams that worked on the launch of Shoppers Stop at Mall de Goa and the Konkani film ‘Mogaan’. Besides, her grandfather was an art collector; and hence artistic skills naturally run in the family.
“It has been a tremendous learning experience in the last four years. When I began, it wasn’t much technical; it was more on a trial and error basis for close family and friends. I have been lucky to have a good steady hand with make-up and I have mostly learned by watching. When I realized that the technical knowledge provided by formal education can prove to be extremely helpful in understanding the finer nuances, I enrolled myself for multiple courses,” says Tejal.
After completing her Bachelors in Commerce from St. Xavier’s College, Tejal did a course from Natasha Nischol and Virginia Holmes’ ‘Fat Mu Makeup Academy’, Mumbai. This year, she has also undertaken a professional course from one of the country’s top hair-stylist – Seema Jerajani. “Being in the industry for 35 years, Seema has participated in many championships for hairstyling and has practically incorporated her knowledge into the syllabus of the course, thus giving us students an enriching experience. Whereas the Fat Mu make up wizards have worked on celebrity studded blockbusters such as Slumdog Millionaire and Dil Dhadakne Do, amongst others. I have picked institutes whose owners have studied abroad but have aptly applied the same techniques for the Indian skin,” she explains.
Tejal has always possessed an artistic streak. In her spare time, and as a stress buster, she paints, but they are works of art that adds to her personal collection and not for sale. “My mother has always been extremely supportive. She has always encouraged me and my sister to be independent,” says Tejal proudly.
Collaborating with a handful of trusted people for major events, Tejal believes that the industry is not a competition, but in fact a support system for each other. “I have learned from each of my projects. It is always the fear within you that makes you give your best when you embrace it as your friend. One of my biggest projects so far was completing the hair styling for a dozen models within 5 hours. This was for a fashion show for designer Syne and it had to be perfect,” she adds.
Bridal makeup is Tejal’s forte that includes pre-wedding shoots and the ceremonies as well. She also does make up for fashion shows, music videos, commercials and various other occasions. “To make someone feel special on the biggest day of their life, when they are about to establish a new milestone; all the positive vibes surrounding them inspire me to make a contribution to their happiness in my own special way. Every season, the trends keep changing. Anybody can buy make-up, but the key lies in knowing how much to apply to enhance ones features. Every look is customized and I believe in giving the clients what they want as well as what suits their skin tone,” she elaborates.
As an artist, one may use various products but ultimately, they are creating a unique piece of art. Tejal handpicks all of her products and most of the times end up putting in more efforts than what she actually charges. “There is a lot of planning that goes into a wedding day. There are couples based abroad, who sometimes give a very short notice for the booking. I make sure that I am working on a personalized look for an individual and not just for a random stranger. Connecting with my clients and building a rapport helps me in my work. Making others happy gives me the boost I need, to remain motivated. I also ensure that I calculate the buffer time as well. I sometimes even suggest the accessories to accompany the entire look. It’s a personal challenge for me and everything has to be just perfect,” says Tejal.
When asked if there are any major projects lined up, Tejal concludes by saying “As of now I want to concentrate on the Goan market and in the future maybe do more movies. Every day, I keep discovering new aspects of life. Most of the times, I experiment with looks on myself before I consider implementing them on my client – one day I am Amy Winehouse, the other day I go Goth. Some days I am a gypsy, while at some point, a princess”