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Painting faces

  • Published at 04:57 pm December 25th, 2019
Photos : Courtesy

One of the most important aspects for any bride during her wedding is her make-up. Not only does every bride dream to look her best on her big day, the photographs that she’ll look back on also need to depict the happiness she felt on the day. A bad make-up job can ruin the experience for years to come, owing to the photographic evidence that stays behind.

To aid brides achieve the glowy, dreamy look that they desire, Karishma Rahman started her venture as a make-up artist with Zuri by Karishma Rahman. We got in touch with her this month to know more about her take on bridal make-up. 

Talk us through your make-up journey. How did you start?

I’ve always been interested in art and everything creative. I love creating things with my own hands and watching them come to life. This one thing has always made me the happiest. Hence, from a very early age, I was always into painting, drawing, experimenting with make-up and designing my own clothes. 

I was the one kid in class who would go to her class parties wearing purple glitter eyeliner, or something even crazier the next time. My sisters noticed this passion and bought me a kid-friendly professional make-up kit when I was about 12 years old. It was a big case with different compartments full of tools and make-up products. I would carry it around like a boss and do make-up on anyone who would want it. After this, a lot of my friends, cousins and neighbours started coming to me to get their make-up done before going to events. I did my first bride’s make-up when I was 15, I believe, and it was super exciting for me.

After years of experimenting on myself and doing makeup for friends and family, I was finally pushed into opening a page on Facebook and starting this properly back in December 2014. It was one of the best decisions I have ever made, and from then on there has been no looking back.

How was the response from your family and friends when you decided to choose make-up as a career? Do you think people recognize this as a legitimate profession now?

I’ll be very honest; I had a lot of trouble explaining this to my dad and some elders. How and why makeup is a proper profession/career was absolutely beyond them, as I did my BBA and Masters in Finance, was a good student and they felt like I was wasting my time.

Most people look at it as a hobby or a side business, but most of my family, friends really supported me throughout. They were ecstatic that I had started this. I had many supportive people around me who helped me set it up properly.

After five years of doing this, I feel like people around us are slowly starting to embrace it. Artists in this sector are flourishing, and just make-up in general is so big now, not just in Dhaka but all around the world. Therefore, I think people are slowly starting to be more open accepting about it. It’s hard to explain sometimes, because I operate from my home studio, and even some of my clients or their parents come to me and ask what I have planned for my career, or what my profession is. I tell them, here, THIS; this is my profession. I am a full time make-up artist now, and there is nothing else I would ever do, because I love it.

Every artist needs to practice to reach a level of expertise. Where did you mostly learn your skills from, and who was your canvas in the initial stages of your make-up career?

As I said, most of the time I have been my own canvas. I was never scared to try out new things. I’d see something on television or magazines when I was young (internet or social media was not as prevalent back then), and I’d try it on myself. I also had my school friends and cousins coming to me, so I would also do their make-up, and that helped me practice a lot. I got better at it every day. After that, I found YouTube and all of these websites with so much information, which helped me immensely to learn different techniques and practice them.

Make-up is all about practice and there are many ways of doing it; it’s all about what your style is and what you’re comfortable with.

What would you say is the most rewarding thing about doing bridal make-up?

I hear a lot of people saying: “Oh, your life is so much fun; you just stand there doing make-up. No tension, no worries.”

In reality, I have one of the biggest responsibilities when I am dealing with a client, especially a bride. It’s one of the biggest days of your lives. It’s the one day when hundreds of people come, see you, take thousands of photographs -- and you have to sit on stage through all of that. It’s a major task to look flawless and put together the entire time.

Therefore, who you go to for your make-up is a huge decision for a bride and when you select someone, you are basically handing out that responsibility of making them look like your best self on that special day.

So my work is actually tremendously hard; I am on my feet for hours doing the make-up, hair and styling, and making sure everything comes together. I also have to ensure everything goes smoothly throughout and, most importantly, that the bride is happy. So when I see the bride is happy after she is done, looking at the mirror, smiling and excited, it’s the biggest reward for me.

Is there a certain make-up trend you can’t get enough of?

The super glowy, radiant, flawless skin with light lips and glittery eyes is my all time favourite!

What mistakes do you think most people make while doing bridal make-up?

Definitely when they want to go out of the box or bring pictures of other brides and say: “I want this exact look.”

First of all, it’s a big day for any girl, and you get photographs taken in very bright lighting and from all kinds of angles. It’s extremely important that you look and feel comfortable and you do/wear something that you know you look your best in. Experimenting with things on that day is a major no-no, because the second you are uncomfortable, it shows up on your face and you end up with terrible photos that you are not happy with. These photos are what stay for a lifetime, and you want to be able to look back at these photos and feel happy.

Secondly, everybody has unique facial features. Some people have big eyes, some have small; some have sharp features while others have round. We are all unique in our own way, and hence there will be some things that look fantastic on us while not so flattering on others, and vice versa. It is perfectly okay to bring photos of other brides as references to show us what kind of look you prefer. However, you also have to consider whether you will be able to pull it off, or if it will compliment your facial structure. 

What packages do you offer? What is the price range?

I have tried to keep my packages as simple as possible. I have a party makeover package where people can come and makeovers (including hair and outfit styling) for Tk6,000.

For brides, we have three packages -- ranging from subtle, simple looks to our signature looks. These packages are priced from Tk10,000 to Tk20,000.

What’s the worst make-up trend you’ve seen this year?

We all LOVE highlighters, but some people tend to overdo it, and you end up looking like a muddy, oily mess. It’s a big no for me. 

Lastly, what advice would you give to budding make-up artists in Dhaka?

Makeup is not a nine to five job. It’s your passion, your business and you’re at it 24/7. Your degrees and certificates won’t matter here; it’s your love and passion for this that will help you grow. Please don’t be afraid to start it. If you’re good at it and you love it enough to make it evolve, definitely go for it -- because today, with everything being so accessible and an almost free-marketing method such as the social media, it’s very easy to put your talents, skills, or products out there and make it available for everybody. You have to be able to stick to it and do it because it makes you happy, not because it’s the trend and you need to jump on the bandwagon too!

Look out for more of Karishma’s work on her Instagram page at https://www.instagram.com/zuribykarishmarahman/

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