Often goes unnoticed is the magic of people working behind the big screen, and one such person is Shraddha Naik. A celebrity makeup artist, Shraddha is beloved for her talent in makeup and beauty – from styling Bollywood’s frontline on and off-screen, to supermodels for the Fashion Week. She’s an artist dearly committed to her art- bringing out-of-the-box ideas to life effortlessly for the big screen.
A simpleton from the city of Thane, young Shraddha’s future dreams involved either media management or teaching. A shy introvert backed by no one in the industry, she never expected fashion or beauty would be her destiny.
An enthusiast of all-things-beauty, her journey with makeup began during her 10th standard when her mother launched her beauty salon. In hopes of assisting her mother with her newfound business, she went on to pursue a makeup course alongside attending college. Throughout the days, the artist found herself growing fond of the profession and how she truly enjoyed doing makeup.
Soon after graduating Shraddha landed her first project as a hairdresser for a regional Marathi film. Impressed by her sincere determination, she went on to work on another project with the director. There she met Cory Walia, a senior celebrity makeup artist, who inspired her to no end. Shraddha reveals that when she started, the industry had its cues where men were to do the makeup and women the hairstyling. Cory helped break the norm and allowed girls to step in for doing makeup. Shraddha grew part of his team and continued to assist him on set for six months. She then left for London to pursue higher education in beauty and makeup.
Graduating from the Glauca Rossi School of Makeup, Shraddha explains that gaining academic knowledge in fashion and beauty from the institution helped her ardently in improving her skills and techniques. She then flew back to India and began freelancing as a makeup artist before making her way straight into Bollywood.
Her first notable project was with actress Asin for the movie Ready, where she opens up about facing her fears as a beginner. She says she’s been lucky to have worked with some of the kindest people in the film industry. Eventually, she was able to fight off her fears and create a comfortable environment for both herself and her clients.
Anushka Sharma, Katrina Kaif, Alia Bhatt, Yami Gautam, Asin, Athiya Shetty, Kriti Sanon, Parineeti Chopra, Divya Khosla, and Mrunal Thakur are some of the A-listers the makeup artist is beloved by in the industry. She is also known for creating looks for Shraddha Kapoor as her makeup artist and a close friend.
For her, makeup is something she enjoys to the core. She looks forward to creating new looks every day, and as a neat freak, obsessively enjoys cleaning her kits and brushes. This gnawing love for makeup was her turning point in choosing a makeup artist as a full-time career.
Life as a makeup artist includes creating looks for a character, performing look tests, and maintaining a neat vanity. Being punctual is a must, and being comfortable with meeting new people every day is too.
Her contribution as a makeup artist for a film begins by first reading the script, then analyzing the background of the characters like their personalities, social status, and set era for the movie. The director and stylists’ vision are put into discussion, and finally, look tests are implemented to finalize the look.
One of her most difficult looks was for Shraddha Kapoor in Haider where a no-makeup makeup look was required. Another was for her for Street Dancer. The actress has sensitive eyes, and being unable to see the monitor for touch-ups due to restricted access was nerve-wracking for the perfectionist.
Spanning a twelve-year long journey, Shraddha humbly shares her memorable achievement was seeing her name credited on the big screen for the first time. Even today she feels the same pride and thrill while watching her name scroll by on the big screen of credits. Being recognized for her work by her name is another achievement. Shraddha believes that recognition as a makeup artist can be difficult, but she deems herself fortunate to have her name associated directly with her success today. Personally, buying a house at the age of 30 on her own is another milestone she deems special.
She finds travelling the biggest perk to her profession as she loves to travel. She gets to see the world and experience best hospitality. The other side of her job looks like waking up at odd timings for the artist. If it weren’t for her love for makeup, she would have never been punctual in the mornings. With traveling and shooting hours taking up 18 hours of her daily life, it can be tough for her to wake up in the mornings that can be detrimental to her work.
Follow your dreams and work hard is her everlasting motto for success. Working with actors for years can make it easy for people to take each other for granted, but the artist has kept her head focused and never once taken her client or job for granted. She’s still as passionate about her work. Even today there are sleepless nights for the professional, thinking about ideas for her next look and the characters.
For aspiring makeup artists, Shraddha suggests asking yourself why you want to become a makeup artist. Only join this industry if you’re passionate about makeup because just like engineering or doctor, you need to pursue higher education on beauty, and as innovative and helpful learning through YouTube and other online courses can be, having a good foundation is necessary. It’s easier for your journey to have your basics covered earlier in your path.
For those dreaming of the industry, Shraddha suggests you can start by assisting other makeup artists or interning for other brands. What books can’t teach you experience will, so interning will be sure to bring you that.
The artist has been sailing well throughout the pandemic. Following her mother’s advice, she attested to her savings for survival. Staying positive was another mindset she sailed through. With dozens of rumors overwhelming her, she decided to cut off for a while, meditate, and protect her positivity.
Walking hopefully onto the future, Shraddha is truly an inspiring icon for all makeup enthusiasts breaking into today’s film industry.