Have you ever wondered who is that individual who makes your favourite Bollywood actress look so gorgeous on screen? We can introduce you to one of the best who has styled some of the biggest Bollywood divas for the past 11 years, including Sridevi, Aishwarya Rai, Madhuri Dixit, Priyanka Chopra, Sonam Kapoor & Katrina Kaif. She has also worked on many NRI brides globally including many from Hong Kong itself.
We talk to Ojas Rajani exclusively about her journey till date.
Q: How did you break into the industry?
I was always in love with makeup and dressing people up. In my early teens, I would replicate make-up on my mom and sister with the very little makeup available at that time which my father didn’t like. Whatever I did, I did without technical knowledge. I got a regular job as a cost accountant, but never enjoyed it. That’s when I decided to pursue make-up. I eventually started working with vee-jays on Channel V, including a lot of freelancing and music videos. My first break began working with Suniel Shetty as a costume stylist in his boutique, Mischief, where I learnt how to work on various window displays, styling the mannequins and in-store assignments.
Q: What was your first big assignment?
Whilst working at Mischief, many people started noticing my work and eye for detail. I was approached by Anna Singh (Fashion Designer & Stylist) who at that time asked me to quit my job and assist her on Saajan with Madhuri Dixit & Sanjay Dutt.
Q: How does it differ from doing make-up on Bollywood celebrities compared to your bridal clientele?
Earlier, there were many brides who’d want to adapt a particular look from their favourite Bollywood celebrity, but nowadays brides want a simpler and more natural look than heavy bridal make up which at one point was a trend. Many of my celebrity clientele for instance: Aishwarya Rai, Katrina Kaif, Deepika Padukone use very minimum foundation, giving them a more natural and clean look.
Q: What is the skin prep process for brides prior to getting married?
I make it a point to make to have an appointment with the bride-to-be months before D-day, where depending on the client, I provide personalized tips and solutions to maintain healthy, glowing skin throughout all functions.
Q: What are your “must have” make-up products?
There are a few basic products that should be in every woman’s makeup kit ie:
- Lip Balm – Often, our lips get dry and require the additional moisture. Its cheap and highly essential.
- Kohl Pencil Eyeliner – Does wonders and gives a refreshing new look. To skip the mascara, apply the pencil eyeliner on your upper eyelid and smudge it slightly, followed by an eyelash curler.
- Shu Uemura has an excellent eyelash curler which is most important – I simply cannot do without one!
Q: What would you be doing if you weren’t a makeup artist?
My second passion has always been interior decoration. I’ve always had a flair for decorating homes. I have done up my entire house myself and I am also working on Malaika Arora Khan’s place. If I wasn’t a makeup artist, I’d undoubtedly be an interior designer.
Q: What is the toughest part about your job?
The long working hours and the traveling gets very demanding at times. I’m constantly living out of a suitcase and travelling all over but despite that, it’s a lovely experience as I get to meet all kinds of people from everywhere and work with different faces constantly.
Q: Favourite celebrity clients to have worked with why?
Urmila Matondkar during Pyar Tune Kya Kiya & Malaika Arora Khan from her veejay days; I owe it all to them for where I am today.
Aishwarya Rai Bachchan; she’s worked with me from the time I wasn’t very popular, I won an award recently with the work I did on Robot.
Q: Difference in doing make-up on Indians in India vs NRI Indians?
Every bride has different preferences with the look she wants, for example: many Hong Kong brides would opt for a much simpler look compared to a bride in Dubai, since a Dubai bride would prefer a slightly more dramatic eye makeup whilst living in the gulf. A few of the Hong Kong brides like Payal Shahidadpury Goel or Jashna Savalani opted for a more subtle and natural look. But there is no prominent difference between an NRI bride or an Indian bride from India.
Q: Any message for our readers in HK?
To begin with, I would like to thank all the lovely brides from Hong Kong, it’s been a great pleasure working with all of you guys.
Also, I would like to say this to all the youngsters all across: when I started off, I wasn’t allowed to pursue my dreams and passions but every individual is always allowed to dream big and always make sure you follow your heart and your passions. If you do something you’re passionate about, you will no doubt give it your 100% percent.
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