Makeup is about celebrating and adoring your own self: Makeup artist, Samaira Sandhu

Celebrity makeup artist, Samaira Sandhu has turned her passion into a profession, defying the age-old stigmas of society. Today she runs her own brand and makeup learning programmes for aspiring women makeup artists in the country

Samaira Sandhu-Makeup Artist

If you want to be successful in this world, you must follow your passion, and not just pursue a pay cheque.

And this is exactly what Samaira Sandhu, a makeup artist, influencer and beauty blogger is doing. Hailing from humble beginnings in North India where makeup is still a stigma, it was her innate passion for makeup that she chose to follow as a career. It was sheer destiny and her passion that propelled this nutrition and dietetics major into the makeup profession and today she has made herself a brand.

She tells us that she was into makeup from the very beginning of her life.

Samaira’s journey in the makeup world started with Kryolan Academy in Berlin, which turned this young protégé into a full-fledged beauty career aspirant. She returned to become a Pan India Trainer for a famous makeup brand. She has also worked for world renowned brands such as MAC Cosmetics and Lancôme.

With years of experience, a huge social media follower base and a large clientele, she decided to step into the world of entrepreneurship with her own brand, Samaira Sandhu Makeup Artist, in 2016. Since then, Samaira has been empowering women with the power of makeup and turning them into better, stronger, and more confident versions of themselves.

In her own words – “That moment and many like it are the reasons why I am what I am today. To be able to make a woman’s most important day even more special with a few strokes of a brush gives me immense joy and gratitude towards the industry I am a part of. I would not trade this life for any other as I was destined to bring smiles on faces with my work and this is what I intend to do with my talent, experience and artistry for years to come.”

In an exclusive conversation with SME Futures, Samaira shared the story of her journey from passion to profession.

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Edited Excerpts:

How would you describe yourself as a person?

As a person, I am creative and versatile. The same qualities define me even as a makeup artist because I keep innovating and improvising instead of sticking to a single makeup technique or style.

Tell us about your love for makeup, how did it begin and turn into your profession? What do you like most about it?

As far as I can recall, I was into makeup or perhaps it was into me since the very beginning of my life. As a child, I loved makeup and with time, my passion for it increased fourfold. So, what started as a childhood interest became my passion and ultimately my profession.

Something which I like most about my profession is that it provides me with the opportunity to catch up with new people every day. Fortunately, it also keeps me from being inside the same office with people, some of whom I may or may not get along with.

What is the most memorable moment of your life or during your entrepreneurial journey?

If I recall my journey, I will describe my entrepreneurial journey as simple and smooth. So, there is no single moment which I can say has been the most memorable one as there have been many such moments. I light up every time I see a bride or someone else cheerfully smiling at what they have become with the help of the appropriate cosmetic products and my skills as a makeup artist. Every such moment is memorable for me and I cherish each one of them!

What is the focus of your makeup brand in the current times when people are going for no-chemical products with sustainability in mind?

I am certainly against using animals as test subjects and animal cruelty in general. However, chemical free makeup is both impractical and impossible. With two atoms of hydrogen and one of oxygen, even water is a chemical. Likewise, natural or otherwise, ranging from pigments and foundations to colours and glosses, everything is chemical in nature. Also, for cosmetics to be available as packed products and last for longer, preservatives and additives are required. So, I am not sure what is implied by no-chemical products or if they even exist.

What is your perspective on beauty? How does makeup empower women today?

Makeup is about celebrating and adoring your own self, so of course, makeup is empowering in its essence. Whenever there is some time to spare, you can experiment with makeup styles and adorn yourself. It makes you feel good and positive about yourself.

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But applying makeup and experimenting with it is still a stigma in our society, be it for males or females. Do you see it as an issue and how can we change this perspective?

In most societies of the Subcontinent and South-East Asia, makeup has been looked down upon for quite a while now. The stigma is so much that anyone seen wearing makeup is considered to be fickle-minded or simply dumb. Bringing any form of reform is a bit difficult but it’s not impossible to educate and convince people.

As a makeup artist, I often promote makeup practices and encourage more and more people to indulge in skincare even if it is at home. According to me, it is with such steps that people who are into makeup or makeup artists can get the respect that they have earned and deserve due to their skills and hard work.

Nowadays, social media sites have given a vast opportunity to people to showcase their talent, how does the makeup industry benefit from this?

Social media platforms came for makeup artists as a blessing.

It is because of platforms such as Instagram that I have been able to become whatever I am today, and such platforms also help me to earn my bread and butter. I am sure it is the same for several other makeup artists out there who got the opportunity to showcase their talent because of social media. These platforms have helped the makeup industry and a number of makeup artists such as me in reaching thousands or perhaps millions of people and making them feel and look beautiful.

For me, makeup is not so much about trends. I take it face by face as I work, be it with brides or other clients. My motto is to bring out the best in every face, as naturally as I can, and not deviate a lot from the face itself.

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As I said I do not believe in trends, however in 2021, as long as COVID-19 does not go away, I feel that minimalist makeup trends are here to stay. Minimal makeup tags along well with masks and frequent sanitization.

What is your message to budding women entrepreneurs out there, who want to achieve success in this industry?

My message to budding women entrepreneurs is that success is not just a moment, it is rather a journey. You are successful if at the end of the day you are not where you were when it began. Also, it takes weeks, months and sometimes even years and decades to create something significant. Nothing gets built in a day or two. So, as an entrepreneur, you must stay focused on your art and hone your skills every day without using marriage, household chores etc. as an excuse. Remember it all feels worth it when your time finally arrives.