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Indian Makeup Artists On Risks, Fear & Survival in The Pandemic

Make up artists share stories of survival in the coronavirus pandemic. 

Published
My Report
4 min read
Indian makeup artists.
i

One of the most followed influencers on social media are the Indian makeup artists, who have caused a boom in the Indian makeup and cosmetic industry given their loyal and dedicated fan following on social networks, as well as brand endorsements and deals.

Unfortunately, the coronavirus pandemic has changed the entire course of this industry. A nationwide lockdown right in the first quarter of the year brought in a significant loss to the Indian wedding industry and with it, the makeup industry.

Makeup artists are adopting alternate ways to work and minimise human interaction as a precautionary measure, leaving them with no stable source of income. In an attempt to survive the new normal and to fight back in order to keep their business up and running, makeup artists have gone out of their way to come up with new ways to tackle the problem and deal with the clients assuring utmost safety.

'Was Scared to Meet Clients’

Shreya Bhandari is a professional makeup artist and educator who is reportedly the youngest makeup artist in the industry. Shreya finds it difficult to work in the protective gear but assures that all the necessary precautions are taken by her while doing her job.

She wears a mask while doing makeup and sanitises all her products before visiting a client.

Makeup artist Shreya Bhandari.
Makeup artist Shreya Bhandari.
(Photo Courtesy: https://www.shreyabhandari.com/)

A majority of clients are still not sure if they want to come in contact with anyone, she says. As a result, Shreya has taken the opportunity to introduce online classes as a safer platform to conduct makeup tutorials.

“It is obviously going to be difficult for us with most of the weddings being delayed to the next year. I had absolutely no work or a source of income during the first few months and even I was scared to go out if approached by a client. However, I decided to cancel my offline masterclass due to safety precautions and shifted to an online platform.”
Shreya Bhandari, Makeup Artist

She adds,

“I have been taking webinars and classes regularly to help the new and aspiring makeup artists grow in this industry. With a nationwide lockdown, I saw a significant response to my online classes by the people who wanted to learn something new and utilise the time at home.’’

The countrywide Unlock came as a blessing for Shreya and her team as small scale weddings and festivals resumed.

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Her team takes all precautions like face shields, sanitisers, gloves and all the other gear to ensure the safety of both her clients and team.

Shreya is positive about the second half of the year and is hopeful that the rest of the year will fare better.

'Had to Move Out to Save Rent’

Chandni Singh, a famous makeup artist and influencer is the owner of Chandni Singh Studio in Delhi and owns CE Essentials India, a cosmetics brand.

Chandni Singh
Chandni Singh
(Photo Courtesy: www.instagram.com/chandnisinghstudio)

Chandni has been in the same profession for about 15 years and is taking the necessary precautions needed to carry out her business smoothly and safely. Chandni assures that all of her staff wear PPE kits and sanitises every product before use. Even though her sales are not at the level as they used to be, she understands the safety concerns of the people.

“Supporting a staff of 18 isn’t easy during a pandemic. With bills to pay and people to support with no income, it has been an uphill task. It’s been an eye-opener in terms of what one’s business should be like. So, we have moved out of our old premises to save rentals. Currently, we are only focussing on product development for our brand and marketing it the right way.”
Chandni Singh
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Precautions Increase Costs

Anu Kaushik, another popular makeup artist and influencer, is also keen to continue her business safely amidst the pandemic.

She is using all the required equipment like masks and gloves.

Anu Kaushik.
Anu Kaushik.
(Photo Courtesy: Anu Kaushik)

Anu introduced an online boot camp that taught all necessary steps for self makeup, so that people wouldn’t have to step outside. Furthermore, she introduced a makeup sanitiser for public use.

“As a makeup artist, my work, whether at my studio or an outdoor location, involves being in proximity to my clients. Since clients can’t wear masks due to obvious reasons, it involves a little bit of risk. So, I have to invest more in my products like sanitisers and disinfectants, which increases my total cost.”
Anu Kaushik

There is an evident impact on freelancers and artists who were enjoying the boom over the past few years. With increasing uncertainty in the first half of the year, many lost business and clients. As we enter the second half of 2020, makeup artists are better informed and constantly finding unique and positive ways to fight back and survive.

(All 'My Report' branded stories are submitted by citizen journalists to The Quint. Though The Quint inquires into the claims/allegations from all parties before publishing, the report and the views expressed above are the citizen journalist's own. The Quint neither endorses, nor is responsible for the same.)

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