Shirin Charaniya

Shirin Charaniya – Celebrity Brow/Henna Artist

A talented Brow/Henna Artist from New York, Shirin Charaniya, is a self-made woman and is known for her workload of talent today. Her celebrity client’s list comprises of Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Jane Krakowski, Hailey Steinfield, Anna Baryshnikov, Ella Hunt, and more!

Shirin Charaniya

Academically, she has pursued her Bachelor’s in Hotel Management from Hyderabad and has earned her Master’s in Instructional Technology from New York. Both her academic choices had a left-wing influence and merely a stream to satisfy her yearning for doing something in the name of art.

Shirin Charaniya

Personally, Shirin is one of many proud #Vitipeople (One suffering from vitiligo- the skin discoloration caused due to the loss of melanin). Because of this, the beauty industry was never something on her mind growing up. Due to the lack of knowledge about vitiligo back in India, things didn’t seem to come as easy. Despite such experiences, she was extremely creative and passionately drew beautiful sketches, paintings, and patterns, which led her to discover the beautiful healing art of Henna.

Shirin Charaniya

However, a constant judgemental society with unreasonable superstition did create a silent norm to keep her out of festivities to avoid bad luck especially when it came to designing henna for brides. Many people consider those suffering from Vitiligo, as bad Omen or Bad luck. Often treated as an untouchable or the lack of knowledge usually regards vitiligo as leprosy in many minds. She shared the glimpses of incidents, where she was mistreated, judged, and was set apart from others in the name of being cautious.

Shirin Charaniya

She says, people in western countries are much more accepting and accommodating (In her situation) as these societies are far from concepts of reincarnations, myths, and superstitions. She also feels the world has more battles worth fighting for right now in the name of humanity than fighting her battles with myths and superstitions, and hence she calls New York home.  After venturing out as a Henna artist here in New York, she slowly received the unexpected acceptance, love, and support that was undue. During that period she shared many memorable and enriching experiences of meeting recovering cancer patients and has designed “Henna Crowns”, Henna Necklace, and other Henna Mandalas to make these warrior women feel welcomed and empowered in their journey of healing. She was featured on Jezebel.com for her henna necklace and she also represented the United States at International Jubilee Arts Festival in 2017 with another beautiful Henna Crown. Though Shirin has her beef with myths, yet there’s one that’s her favourite – Ancient myth is that since henna extracts the heat (warmth) from one’s body, it removes ego, anger, lust, jealousy, and evil eye, in turn, to give a beautiful colour to the designed pattern and hence it’s an underpinning part of Indian weddings.

Shirin Charaniya

Meanwhile, Shirin also works as an aestheticians, a block away from the United Nations Headquarters, explaining the significance of brows, she mentioned brows have the power to change and structure a face as well as expressions. She states that shaping a brow also goes back to the ethnicity but is not limited in imagination. While interviewing her we realized how she had such an in-depth knowledge about her job and how she willingly shared her exclusive insights with us. When asked about why she loves her job of being a Brow/Henna artist, she shared a glimpse of her work stating how every year in September, during the ‘Unites Nations  Week’ they have an opportunity to meet Ministers and Ambassadors from all over the world. And this has led her to meet different ethnicities of the world leaders/influencers under one roof and had allowed her to learn about their stories about the uniqueness of brows and how the shaping is pursued back in their countries. She says that every brow comes with a story and a very personal one at it!

This journey of excellence also brought Shirin to the sets of Quantico, and have had the privilege to work with Priyanka Chopra Jonas, She has been an extreme source of inspiration for Shirin. To break the societal superstition and norm, Priyanka Chopra Jonas also got her Brows done by Shirin for her Big- Day. And Shirin calls it her journey from bad omen to what-a-omen!  As a society,  it is a shameful act of bullying someone for being born with a certain condition. We must overcome our superstition and insecurities, by becoming more accepting of each other. Shirin herself wants to spread awareness in Indian society. She believes that to flourish well, an artist needs acceptance, support, and encouragement, which does come with a price if you look different. We have to break this pattern not only for an artist to flourish but for us to cherish the colours of humanity in a greater array.

Shirin Charaniya

Presently, she is all over the place. Being a brilliant multitasker, Shirin is an adjunct professor at a college in New York where she teaches computer science, works as an aestheticians, and colours the whole city with henna every year at the Mayor’s House for his Diwali party. Her success mantra intrigued us the most. She quotes “Always have room to learn and unlearn. As learning doesn’t have any boundaries and so does the art of unlearning – unlearn antiquated & inessential when necessary and adopt something more intriguing & thought-provoking. Therefore learn the art to unlearn, while you learn”. This pertains to the positive aura Shirin carries and wants to pass it on to the younger generation ahead.

Thank you, Shirin for teaching us simple values and brightening up the world with such valuable thoughts.

7 thoughts on “Shirin Charaniya – Celebrity Brow/Henna Artist”

  1. Was fortunate to work with Shirin at Dell in Hyderabad. Her story is very inspiring, gives us hope that nothing is unachievable. Way to go girl.

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