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A brush of elegance

brunch Updated: Sep 20, 2013 10:29 IST
Usmeet Kaur
Usmeet Kaur
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

In town to launch the new MAC store at Elante mall, Mickey Contractor gets candid about the make-up industry, his USP — the smoky-eyed look — make-up in Bollywood and its evolution from the ’80s.

Having perfected the smoky-eye look, which is big in Bollywood right now, Mickey has become an inevitable part of the make-up industry today. About the essentials to create the look, Mickey states, “Women always look beautiful with the smoky effect and if that’s the simplest mantra to look good, then why not do it the right way?”


“The most important thing is respecting one’s individuality. Each face has to be treated differently, and that’s what I do when I play with my brushes. To do the smoky-eye look, an eyeliner gel is the most important. Add some Carbon and Folie coloured eye shadows, a lash mascara, a nice highlighter, and you are good to go.”
Contractor says trends in India are not dictated by ramps, fashion is Bollywood-driven, and adds that he still remembers doing make-up for Kajol for the track Suraj Hua Maddham in Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham, where she looked gorgeous with sensual eyes.

For Mickey, sensual eye make-up has always been an important factor. “Sensuality in eyes is very important, which is possible with smoky eyes. These days, if you see reality TV show Jhalak Dikhla Ja, observe Madhuri Dixit’s eyes; you will know what I am talking about. I did the smoky look for her,” says Mickey.

Having worked as a make-up expert for more than three decades, the first thing Mickey gave the industry was toning down the ‘cakey’ make-up, a so-called trend in the ’90s. Instead, he gave them flawlessness and elegance, his signature style, says he.

Comparing the looks of ’70s and ’80s with Bollywood’s look today, he says, “Back then, women used to do a lot of make-up. In the past eight years, I have seen mindsets change; Indian women carry western trends more beautifully now. Each actress today has her own beauty connect. The most appreciable factor is that they are not following trends blindly — minimal make-up according to the Indian skin tone and weather is being done. I am glad women are coming back to mascara, a make-up essential.”

Mickey also feels that the industry’s men are over-styled. “It puts me off when I see a man sporting a feminine look. There was a time when actors such as Rajesh Khanna and Dharmendra had macho personalities, which is missing in men today.”

Giving us a tip, Mickey signs off saying, “The key to look good is to take inspiration, and not aimlessly copy western trends.”