She is vivacious, serious about her craft and makes it all look natural and effortless. Makeup artist Chitra Maudgil armed with talent, experience and vigour, all working to her advantage tells IAD about her journey so far
How did you get into this profession?
I learnt whatever I could from the Internet while I was doing my Masters. I used to watch videos and spend my college money on makeup but it was not even good make up. I’d buy silver and purple eye shadow for instance (laughs). Then I started freelancing and the word got around. People working for MAC, asked me to interview with them. Once I got through and saw other artists at work, I realised I was bad. I learnt a lot from my trainers and others who were working at MAC.
What was your first official job as a makeup artist that you got paid for?
My first work was for IPL that I got paid for. In IPL, I met a girl who is one of my best friends now, she is a hairstylist. She had a makeup kit which she gifted me. I took the job I was offered for IPL. There are these special box seats – the VVIP section for the players and their wives. So I was doing makeup for the hostesses who were attending to the VVIP section. At that time, it was the biggest payment. I thought shit man this is good money. Looking back, I feel like I should have asked for more.
Who are some of your favourite actresses you love working with?
I have been working with Adah Sharma, Lavanya Tripathi, Sonal Chauhan. I have tons of fun with Adah Sharma. Even if I wasn’t working for her, I would still hang out and be friends with her. On outdoor location shoots, it’s so much time pass. Allu Sirish is also awesome; when I worked with him he sent his Audi to pick me up. He’s a really nice person.
What’s your work schedule like this season?
My major work is in Hyderabad but I’m trying to expand. I am part of a Telugu movie with Adah. It’s called Kshanam; it’s a thriller and I learnt so much doing the movie. It’s one movie that I am a part of from start to finish. Sometimes you work for a movie but the makers only call you for special scenes. But this one wasn’t like that.
What is the bridal season like for you?
Currently I am warped with the bridal season festivities with beautiful glowing brides and I love making them look their best. On their wedding day, it’s overwhelming because last year was the first year I freelanced; my whole month got booked out. It was the second last week of October and by the end of the day, after a whole day filled with calls, it got all booked out. Since then I have been so busy. Initially when I started freelancing, I would be like please le lo merko; I had to sell myself and I still do, but now my work is out and so clients approach me.
What’s your focus as a make-up artist?
For me my focus is doing good quality work and put it out in the world. If it’s a movie that I have worked on and it looks amazing, I will be happy when I know I have given my best.
How do you deal with an overwhelmed and hyper client?
People don’t throw tantrums on movie sets because I am working with professionals and it reflects on them too. But there are a few brides who once they hire you, think they own you. They try to push you to the edge but I have always been patient; there is a peak and then it subsides but if you are a little patient and let them get it out, it clams down from there. So mostly I just bite my lip and be more professional and focussed.
You have worked with so many different skin types; tell us about the Indian skin type and what works and what doesn’t?
Indian skin is one of the most difficult skins to work with because of pigmentation; there are techniques to deal with all kinds of skin types. But people in Hyderabad, where I am based at the moment, have a perception that if they get makeup artists from Bombay or Delhi, their work will be better in comparison to a person from the South. But that’s not necessarily true for the skin. Your work will be average in comparison to a person who has worked with Indian skin is laden with so many colours on your forehead, under eyes, etc.
Indian skin is most prone to have a lot of pigmentation. People want to look fairer but that doesn’t mean you put lighter foundation; it’s more challenging than that and I spend a lot of time studying it. I face skin challenges myself and I understood a lot from it.