How did you start working in the beauty industry?
I had always been interested in makeup, ever since I was very young. Long before I became a professional makeup artist, I used to enjoy styling my sister’s hair and applying makeup on her and my mother. This lifelong passion became my career when Suniel Shetty hired me to style window displays at ‘Mischief’, where I started receiving attention and encouragement from the amazing people I met.
What do you like best about being a celebrity makeup artist?
Honestly, the exposure you get when you work with celebrities is the most amazing part of the job. When I started doing hair and makeup for Madhuri Dixit, Pooja Bhatt and other celebs in the 90s, I received more requests for bridal makeup and fashion shoots than I had ever believed possible. In this industry, there are thousands of artists trying to get ahead. Talent goes a long way, but the right kind of exposure can make you a household name!
Working with celebrities gives you amazing exposure – Ojas Rajani
Tell us about any Indian/international celebrities whose style you particularly admire.
I adore Jennifer Lopez and Beyonce for their ability to look like a million bucks with the ‘natural/no makeup’ look. Madonna’s dramatic style is also amazing, since she can carry it with so much confidence. I love Rekha’s signature style too - she is a diva and can make the simplest products work for her in a way no one else can.
Tell us a little about your signature style.
I like to emphasize eyes, whether I am working on a celebrity or a bride-to-be. I find that the eyes are the most attention-grabbing part of anyone’s face, as they add a touch of brightness to the rest. Dramatic eyes do not work on everyone, so I like to work according to each person’s face structure and create a stunning effect. This could be simple or dramatic, subdued or bright, depending on the occasion and the person I am styling.
How have fashion and makeup trends evolved over the years?
I think people have become more aware of what works for them personally, rather than trying to copy someone else’s style. Through social media and the Internet, a lot of people get to see the way international and Indian celebrities personalize their hairstyles and makeup to suit them. I always say that not everyone has a model’s face, so the makeup and hairstyles you see in magazines may not work with your face and bone structure.
The same style will not work for every face, so the ‘look’ needs to be personalized
In your opinion, which bridal makeup styles look best on Indian women?
Less is more. Heavy layers of foundation are traditionally expected and I meet many brides or their mothers who insist the foundation should ‘show’, but you actually need a minimal amount just to form an even base. Lip liner is a complete no-no (it just looks so unnatural and old!), unless you pick a nude liner to keep color from bleeding. I think makeup that looks like it’s barely there makes brides look more naturally beautiful, and that’s what I aim for when I work with them.
What is your favorite modern trend for bridal makeup?
I like the fact that bridal makeup has become more inclined towards a natural glowing look, rather than heavy layers of ‘pancake’ makeup. You don’t need a ton of products on your face to look beautiful, as they actually make you look tired and old. A minimal, young and fresh look is always more effective. The same goes for hair, modern brides are picking loose flowing tresses or partial updos, which makes them look younger and prettier. Pooja Tulsyan at her wedding, with fresh and natural-looking bridal makeup by Ojas
What are the top 5 products you recommend for Indian brides?
1. Sunscreen/tinted moisturizer that keeps your skin safe and well-nourished.
2. Lip stain is multi-purpose, since you can use it to color your cheeks and eyelids too.
3. Translucent powder/powder compact to set your makeup, as well as touch-ups.
4. Kajal is the number-one product for eye make-up, especially for Indian women.
5. Mascara is essential, to really make your eyes pop!
Are there any particular colors for makeup and clothing that you would suggest for a bride?
Colors that bring out a bride’s inner glow are perfect for the most important day of her life. Red and pink are the classic choices for bridal attire, with pink being better suited for fair-skinned brides and red for both dusky and fair complexions. I personally love the coral and peach tones that are becoming so trendy in modern bridal wear, as they are fresh, young and vibrant colors for any bride-to-be!