Last week, tucked away inside Wind Chimes play school on Hill Road, Bandra, models were having make-up blown on to their faces by make-up artists using pen-sized metal guns.
Rather than applying foundation with conventional brushes, the artists were blowing foundation on to the models’ faces. Started by Virginia Holmes and Natasha Nischol, Fat Mu, the same make-up consultants that worked on Slumdog Millionaire, held the workshop to introduce airbrushing to the city.
Jillian Lagasse, an American make-up artist based in London, had been brought over by Fat Mu to train the Indian make-up artists in the latest Hollywood trend wherein make-up is sprayed onto the face with an instrument called an airbrush.
“Airbrushing is mandatory in the UK since all the channels have gone to High Definition (HD). HD shows wrinkles and blemishes more clearly,” Lagasse says. This technique is said to create flawless looks, suited to HD films. Make-up airbrushing evolved from painting cars, furniture and spray-painting, thanks to its pioneer, American Dina Ousley.
“It wasn’t originally meant for make-up and then someone thought it could be used to camouflage pigmentation and it took off from there,” Holmes says.
Apart from covering up pigmentation and scars, the foundation can be applied in one-tenth the time needed for conventional application. It sets on contact, leaving a flawless appearance, suited for online photo albums and weddings. It’s also used for special effects, especially bruises, Holmes says.
“We used it to create Amitabh Bachchan’s look in Paa. And it was used for Star Trek. But I don’t think A-list Bollywood stars are using it yet, even though it is used in Hollywood and at Cannes,” she adds.
It is hygienic as there is no need to touch the face. And the make-up sits on the skin like a veil and does not seep into the pores. Small bottles of make-up have to be bought to go with the guns, but it is cost-effective as only a few drops are needed for the whole face, Holmes says.
It is recommended mainly for applying foundation, blusher and highlighting the brows, but must not be used for eyeliner. Fat Mu is holding workshops, inviting experts from all over the world to train Indian make-up artistes in the latest beauty techniques. They recently had an expert who taught artistes how to recreate periodic hairstyles such as Victorian wigs.
“We want people to keep up-to-date with the latest trends and what is happening around the world,” explains Holmes.
The speed of application and flawless finish make it ideal for the film world. In roughly 45 seconds, you can airbrush a full face with foundation, blusher and highlights.
It creates a flawless look and only eight to 10 drops of foundation are needed for a full face of makeup, making it economical.
It is water and sweat-resistant and lasts for 12 hours, making it ideal for humid conditions, harsh studio and film lights, and weddings
It is hygienic as airbrushing never touches the skin and so is suited to acne-prone skin.
Professional air brush pens can be bought for Rs 22,000 and the home kits for Rs 20,000 from Beauty Palace, New Link Road Oshiwara.