A workaholic never off her feet, Arti Nayar is a celebrity makeup artist that’s worked with some of Bollywood’s most sought-after – Sonam Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra, Alia Bhatt, Katrina Kaif, and the list goes on. Passionate and enthusiastic, she’s a joy to work with as much as she is inspiring.
For Arti, making it as a makeup artist wasn’t what she always had in mind. From a young age, she would watch indie films with her family, especially her father, but it was after she completed college from St. Xaviers College Bombay that she found her calling in the film industry. Arti right away credits her mother as her biggest source of clarity for choosing this path. Working in advertising, she was able to explore what goes into filmmaking. Initially, a stylist, Arti’s love for makeup evolved when she first met Rhea Kapoor on the sets of Wake Up Sid (2009).
Arti recalls that Rhea was producing the film Aisha where she was again, a stylist, but through it all, she was equally dedicated to researching more on makeup. Renowned makeup artist Namrata Soni came into the picture, and from working on the sets of Wake Up Sid to Aisha, the duo came a long way. Arti continued to assist Namrata for six years after, having garnered practical knowledge she’s grateful to have gained from the artist. She says heartily how her entire journey has been the right time at the right place and letting things happen when they’re supposed to happen.
Her first-ever day on set was Priyanka Chopra’s infamous Desi Girl from Dostana (2008). The song was her first experience with Bollywood. Arti remembers being awestruck by Priyanka’s confidence on set. She reveals how much she felt inspired by the woman in front of her. It was the first time she had looked at an actor as another person working hard and doing her best. She remembers the feeling of contrast between seeing them on television and interacting with the stars on set. It felt like a walking family. Everyone was warm and welcoming. What made her want to continue in the same industry was understanding the character and then bringing that character to life; giving it a face, a name, a look, and a personality was what encouraged her the most to be part of more films.
Reminiscing her exciting journey, Arti is most proud of working with Sonam Kapoor in Neerja (2016). The experience of working with director Ram Madhvani was unlike any other she had lived. The sheer accuracy and precision of what he wanted to be helped her grow immensely as a makeup artist. Another career milestone she shares is having worked with Parineeti Chopra in Meri Pyaari Bindu (2017). Arti suggested a subtle yet modern new look for the actress and Parineeti showed no hesitation to let her go for it. That utter faith and trust she received was something that completely changed her approach as well as the actress’ makeup style. She mentions how proud she is of herself for having achieved that. Working with Katrina Kaif in Bharat (2019) was another film experience she got to grasp many a substance from as an artist. Arti further reveals how every new achievement was met only by humble happiness. Only her satisfaction in creating the look she wants what matters most to her.
As a makeup artist, Arti most enjoys the process of playing with colour, creating new looks, and the different aspects of makeup. Her most cherished part about her job is how she gets to travel around the world, meet different people, and be introduced to a wide range of makeup products that exist around the world. She also loves the fact that her job helps her understand cultures and cities that is exhilarating since you don’t know when or how she would find inspiration. She also loves that she gets to try makeup on different skin tones and face structures around the world. The downside, she believes every makeup artist would agree to, is they have to pack and unpack every single time for a shoot. You have to carry everything and you also need to know where to draw the line.
When it comes to success, there are two things Arti stands by. Number one – the passion should come from within, and number two – your work should speak for itself. Being patient as well as having calm energy around you also goes hand in hand.
Arti also emphasizes the responsibilities one has to carry as a makeup artist. Be inspired, learn from others, but put your take on it. Moreover, one needs to be attentive and as observant as they can be. There will be light-hearted memories, but a shoot requires you to be one step ahead of your mentor. Always have your eyes and ears on the spot, and be willing to learn. Another essential for sustaining is being passionate about your job. Without passion, you’re not going to make it in the industry.
Her advice for makeup aspirants is for them to accept you can’t learn everything. You have to give it time, and you have to give yourself time to understand what makeup is and what goes into being a makeup artist.
Today as Bollywood’s go-to makeup artist, Arti is a prime example of how far perseverance and passion can take one in life.