Makeup is an art. It is a known fact that makeup artists have the power to transform people. They alter appearances and enhance people’s beauty. But there are also some artists who can take their skill to an entirely different level altogether. From converting into famous celebrities to trying out goofy Halloween makeup, there is no limit to what these incredibly talented artists can do.
We at The Week caught up with some of the most celebrated transformation gurus on Instagram who delightfully shared with us their experiences in the makeup world.
The makeup goddess
Hailing from Nepal, Pratigya Tamang is probably one of the most renowned makeup artists on Instagram and YouTube today. She has followers and fans from all over the world who admire her for her work and her ability to literally bring makeup to life. Also known as the human chameleon she is famous for her transformative techniques. Till date she has transformed into many celebrities like Meghan Markle, Lady Gaga, Kim Kardarshian, Selena Gomez etc.
With more than 1.2 million followers on Instagram and about five million subscribers on YouTube, Tamang has been able to draw together uncountable fans all over social media. “To me, make up is beyond just trying to be more attractive. It’s about creating unique eye shadow combinations, mixing red and orange to get the perfect coral lip and shading, contouring and highlighting my face to look like a completely different person,” says Tamang who tells us that her first transformation was into the popular rapper Lil Wayne.
Tamang says that she first started her YouTube channel primarily to listen to music. It was only when a famous YouTuber, who is now her sister in-law (Michelle Phan), uploaded a picture of her Avatar makeup on her Facebook that she started getting thousands of requests the very next day from people all over the world asking her to film a tutorial.
Today, she feels blessed to have such a large audience on social media that loves and appreciates all her content. She says it was hard at first to stand out from other beauty gurus. But it was just a matter of time till she discovered what worked for her and created her own identity as the makeup transformer and human chameleon.
She encourages women all over the world to love what they do and do what they love. “Success happens the moment you embrace your uniqueness and individuality,” says Tamang who believes in optimism, love, and creating opportunities with hard work and dedication.
The self-made artist
Mereena Dalee got interested in makeup only in her second year of college. Prior to that, she was never fascinated with any kind of makeup. But she had always been a very creative person and had a strong inclination towards art.
Her journey into this makeup world first began with nail arts. She would randomly sit and paint her nails and mold them into different designs.
“It was only when YouTube got flooded with makeup tutorials and tips from beauty gurus did I first try putting on makeup,” says Dalee who is now a self taught makeup artist. She works for various companies and also does freelance work whenever she has the time.
Professionally, she is a dentist and makeup for her is just a medium to relax and soothe her tired and overactive brain. “Nepal does not really have Halloween makeup. But Halloween makeup and makeovers had always been very popular on YouTube. So I wanted to give it a try. There were various YouTube makeup gurus who inspired me to do so,” says Dalee.
She was a bit hesitant in posting her weird and transformational makeovers in the beginning. It was her friends who encouraged her to open an Instagram account and post her transformations there. Her first makeover was copied from Promise Tamang.
“For me, makeup is an art. Like artists make different kinds of art on a canvas I like to assume that my face is my canvas. My parents do not understand this concept. My mother usually makes funny comments after seeing my transformations,” she says.
In the future, she wants to learn and teach makeup. She also intends to open a makeup class for beginners. According to her, these days makeup has given people a platform to showcase their talents as well as to earn. “Now with Instagram and Facebook, you do not need a parlor. People can do keep their day jobs as well as do some freelance work whenever they have some free time,” says Dalee who is happy that the scope for Nepal artistry is increasing every day.
For Pree, makeup is all about expressing her personal style and having fun with it. It is the ability of makeup to empower and comfort a person that makes her love it so much. “Through makeup, I channel my inner Michelangelo,” says Pree who loved makeup ever since she was a child. She reminisces the times when she used to play with her mother’s makeup mostly when she was not around.
“I didn’t know what I was doing then and would use it too liberally, ending up mostly with my face looking like a patch of apples and strawberries with a nose, mouth, and eyes,” she says.
Pree bought her first makeup kit when she was a teenager. In her teenage years, she had a huge acne problem. So she used what money she had to invest in her first foundation. She remembers feeling liberated and confident after efficiently concealing her acne.
It was only a few years ago when Halloween was approaching that Pree thought of being a little creative to craft something scary. At that time, she did not own much makeup so she only used two products to create something magnificent.
“I used the black liner to give the illusion of a face cracked open and, using a blending brush, I made the lines not too harsh but soft enough to make it look real. Using a red lipstick, I then made it seem like my face was bleeding from all the cracks I had made,” says Pree who posted a few looks on her Facebook page at the end of the night and received a lot of positive feedback for it. That is how she began her journey of transformational and unique makeovers, and there has been no looking back ever since then.
She says she enjoys the process of putting on makeup. She loves thinking about and coming up with new looks combinations, colors, hues and enjoys posting it on her social media accounts. For her, some makeup and some soothing music are great stress relievers.
Pree feels that makeup in many respects is just like fashion. There are new looks and trends every now and then and she likes learning about new things and growing as an artist.
Choosing a career path as a makeup artist was not easy for her. “I knew it would be very challenging,” says Pree but deep down she always knew if she worked hard she would get what she desired. She says she is very grateful and considers herself blessed to get the support of her followers and fans on social media. The fact that they appreciate her makeup recreations makes her very happy.
She advises young and budding makeup artists to not give up when they do not get recognized by brands or on social media.
“It is so easy to fall off the track and give up but that will only bring you down. Keep doing what you love and success will definitely be yours one day,” she concludes.