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How to look like a box-office hit

Hire the very people who make the stars look good. Presenting the little black book to Bollywood. Book these top names in the business well in advance if you want to look like a 100-crore hit in 2014.

brunch Updated: Jan 11, 2014 18:15 IST
Rachana Parekh
Rachana Parekh
Hindustan Times
fashion,make-up tips,hairstyle tips

Love how Ranbir Kapoor looks so dapper every time he steps out of the house? Can’t get over Alia Bhatt’s signature lip colour or Deepika Padukone’s sexy sheer dress? How does Ranveer Singh’s moustache stay in place? And most of all, could you ever get the kind of star treatment that Bollywood celebs always seem to do?

Of course! Bollywood’s backstage experts are only too willing to work their skills on lesser mortals like us, for a fee. Book these top names in the business well in advance if you want to look like a 100-crore hit in 2014.

Check out their style tips and price range for services. Use the left and right navigation buttons to click through.

Ayesha Devitre: Hair
Personal hairstylist for Imran Khan, Kalki Koechlin and Nargis Fakhri, DeVitre has worked on films like Go Goa Gone, Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani and Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu. Connection

In 2008 when Imran Khan made his debut with Jaane Tu... Ya Jaane Naa, he inadvertently provided a perfect launch pad for his friend, Ayesha DeVitre. "At one point, Imran used to be my guinea pig for my hairstyling experiments," says DeVitre. "I have known him since before he wanted to be an actor. So when Jaane Tu... happened, he asked me to do his hair. I auditioned, the team loved my work and asked me to do the whole film."

DeVitre started off at Nalini & Yasmin and then picked up additional styling skills at London’s Vidal Sassoon. "But once the film bug bites you, it’s hard to give up," she says. "After Jaane Tu... I started doing Imran’s personal work, his movies and photo shoots. And I also started getting film offers. In six years, I have worked on 18 films."

Services for aam janta
Hair cutting and styling. While she also has a fledgling career as a screenwriter (she wrote Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu), DeVitre continues to work at what is now Nalini of Nalini & Yasmin salon, Bandra, squeezing in 8-10 hair appointments a week.
Expect to pay: Rs 2,000 plus taxes for a haircut.
Rock that bob:
* A lot of people believe that a blow-dry is the best way to deal with hair during winter. But they don’t realise that the blow dry makes your hair drier in an already dry climate. What’s nicer is to keep your natural hair texture. If your hair is wavy, wear it curly. Scrunch it instead of blow drying. Doing the opposite of what you think will make it look nicer!
* Many people request for a hair-cut like Imran’s [Khan] or Madhuri Dixit’s. But they don’t realise that their hair is not just cut but also styled. Their hair doesn’t look the same through the day, especially not after a wash. People should realise that celebrities have professionals who create and maintain a style.

Jayati Bose: Fashion
She’s styled magazine shoots, television commercials and print ads featuring Priyanka Chopra, Katrina Kaif and Deepika Padukone. See her styling work in the upcoming Farhan Akhtar-Vidya Balan starrer, Shaadi Ke Side/Effects. Connection

Bose got her first round of applause after she styled a film magazine cover, featuring Deepika Padukone in 2008. Since then the offers kept pouring in. "Magazine shoots led to styling for TV commercials." Bose has also put together wardrobes for Miss India winners. "I’d pick what they would wear at breakfast, lunch and dinner. Also to the gym and to dance sessions."

Services for aam janta
Trousseau styling and personal shopping advice. While she mostly sources from designer labels, she occasionally uses her own designs too.
expect to pay: Rs 5 lakh for trousseau styling and Rs 1.5-2 lakh for personal shopping. Write to her at
Dress your best:
* If you have a tummy, avoid fitted silhouettes. Go for A-line cuts. If you have to wear something fitted, wear small prints. To disguise flabby arms, wear a jacket over a sleeveless dress.
* Worried about your big butt? Just wear an A-line dress.
* To make thighs look slimmer, choose snug-fitted jeans that make your legs look toned. You can wear pants that have panelling details on the sides as they offer the illusion of length.

Kunal Rawal: Fashion
Costume designer for Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai Again and Shootout At Wadala. He has also styled Amitabh Bachchan, Salman Khan, Akshay Kumar, Shahid Kapoor, Ranbir Kapoor and Abhay Deol for shoots. Connection

A Juhu kid, Kunal Rawal grew up around Bollywood. After he opened his store D.Stress in 2006, many actors started wearing his clothes to events. His career took off after designing clothes for Sonam Kapoor’s home production, Aisha. "Ten years from now, when I look back at my work, it should be diverse and exciting," he says.

Services for aam janta
Kunal Rawal, under his namesake label, runs a retail studio in Mumbai. He also takes up designing assignments for weddings and special occasions.
expect to pay: Rs 3,000 to Rs 20,000 for shirts; suits range from Rs 21,000 to Rs 40,000; Indian wear starts from Rs 7,000 and goes up to Rs 80,000; kurta shirts for women are from Rs 3,000 to Rs 20,000. Call 26233124.
Look dashing every day:
* If you’re not a Bollywood hero, don’t experiment much. Find your style and stick to it.
* Indian men need more colour in their wardrobe. And don’t be scared of browns.

Kapil Bhalla: Make-up
He’s the man behind Priyanka Chopra’s Babli Badmaash look.

Cinema Connection

Bhalla has been in the business for 18 years. But he only shot to fame after working with Bipasha Basu. "I gave her bronze make-up and curls in Jism. Nobody was playing with eyeliner and kajal at the time. But the smouldering eyes and bronze blush worked very well on Bipasha and for me." powdered almost every face in Bollywood, he now works on endorsements and item songs for Priyanka Chopra, Kareena Kapoor and Bipasha Basu.

Services for aam janta
Bridal make-up and hairstyling. Bhalla doesn’t do hair, but designs a look and has a professional team recreate it.
expect to pay: Rs 30,000 for hair and make-up. Call 9820097774.
For that perfect face:
* Unfortunately, most Indian women do not put too much thought in choosing the right colour of foundation. For wheatish skin, the foundation should have a yellow tone. If you have fair skin, pick up one with pink tone. And for a darker skin, use a foundation with an orange base.
* If you get the eye make-up right, you can look like a goddess without doing much. For instance once you start wearing kajal, you will understand that you probably look your best with it. Most actresses put a lot of focus on their eye make-up and rightly so.

Dr Kavita Sheth: Nails
The nail-extension expert for Rani Mukerji, Sonam Kapoor, Gauri Khan, Suzanne Khan (the former Mrs Roshan, left) and Zarine Khan. Connection

Dr Sheth opened Kavi’s Nail Care Salon, the first of its kind in Mumbai in 2001. She got her first celeb client in 2003 – Farah Khan. "But she never visited me again," Sheth says. A few years later, Sonam Kapoor’s mom, Sunita, visited her salon and after that, there was no looking back. "Most stars prefer neutral extensions because they are easier to maintain," she says. "Once you get natural extensions, you don’t need to worry about your nails for some time."

Services for aam janta
Manicures, pedicures, nail art, nail extensions and short-term courses in nail technology.
Expect to pay: Rs 450 minimum for a manicure. Nail art starts from Rs 400, nail extensions are typically Rs 2,000-3,000. Call 26486372 or 65022100.
Flaunt those great nails:
* If you have nail extensions, go for maintenance sessions every three-four weeks. Improper care can damage nails in the long run.
* A great way to keep nails healthy is to file the tips regularly and massage them. This prevents the nails from chipping. Use olive oil, almond oil or cuticle oils to soften the skin around the nail.

Leepakshi Ellawadi: Fashion
Stylist for Amitabh Bachchan, Sonakshi Sinha, Sonam Kapoor, Ayushmann Khurrana and Virat Kohli. Connection

Leepakshi Ellawadi’s biggest dream was to style a Bollywood star. "Five years ago, Prahlad Kakkar asked me to assist him. One thing led to another and I started styling for shoots," she says.

But the film that shot her to fame was Bbuddah Hoga Terra Baap. "I think people wanted to know who dressed Mr Bachchan in floral and paisley shirts and brightly coloured shoes," she says. Three years on, she is the stylist in Yash Raj Films’ untitled Sonam Kapoor and Ayushmann Khurrana starrer, Sidharth Malhotra and Shraddha Kapoor starrer Villain and Jackky Bhagnani’s next.

Services for aam janta
Personal styling and shopping consultancy for weddings.
expect to pay: Rs 75,000 to Rs 1.5 lakh. Call 9819937187.
Look your best:
* Understand your body type. Not everything in a magazine will look good on you. Go online and research on what is going to suit your body type.
* Give a girl the right pair of shoes and she will conquer the world. n A great pair of denims and great shoes can transform anyone.

Mallika Bhat: Make-up
She’s wielded her brushes on Priyanka Chopra, Shilpa Shetty and Malaika Arora Khan. She has also worked on films like Anjaana Anjaani, U Me Aur Hum. Connection

Remember Bipasha Basu’s sculpted cheeks and smouldering eyes in Ishq di galli from No Entry? That was Bhat’s work. She studied make-up in LA and worked with make-up artist Cory Walia for a few years. In 2003, she worked on Darna Mana Hai and Bollywood sharpened her skills.

In the last few years she’s been working on fewer films. "There’s so much happening in events, magazine shoots, advertising," Bhat says.

Services for aam janta
Make up for weddings and special occasions.
Expect to pay: Rs 35,000 to Rs 50,000 per event. Write to her atmallika.bhat
Cosmetic changes:
* To avoid patchy make-up, keep a compact handy. You need to touch up constantly to look fresh.
* Most women don’t get their eyebrows shaped right. But correctly groomed brows are such a difference-maker.
* If you are doing heavy eye make- up, make sure you apply mascara. it’s important to enhance your lashes for that glam look.
* Invest in a good class that teaches you make-up. It’s a lifetime investment.

Sakshi Darekar: Fashion
Sari draper for the bahus on television, Smriti Irani and Sakshi Tanwar. She also worked on Om Shanti Om. Connection

Originally a hairstylist, Sakshi Darekar was once asked to fill in for a missing sari draper on the sets of a Balaji Telefilms show. "I was just thrown in the situation and had to make my way through it. So I went to a well-known industry expert for help." What she learned from the expert was enough to make her a permanent sari draper for Balaji’s early blockbuster serials like Kyunki... Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi and Kahaani Ghar Ghar Kii. Now she has a team of women working with her who specialise in draping saris in the traditional Maharashtrian, Lavani, Gujarati and Bengali styles. They also drape saris in contemporary styles for fashion shows.

Services for aam janta
Sari-draping for traditional and special occasions.
expect to pay: Rs 2,000 for brides and Rs 500 for simple draping. Call 9821331114.
Draping queen:
* Often women shy away from wearing cotton or stiff saris as they make them look bulkier. The trick to looking slim in such saris is to hand-press the pleats from top to bottom after draping. Continue doing it till the sari softens. This way, a cotton sari will fall like a chiffon sari. Pin it up well so it stays in place.
* To look slimmer, opt for a fish-cut petticoat in butter crepe, satin, silk or chiffon. And make sure the colour matches your sari.
* Safety pins are your best friend. Pin up your sari at all the strategic places – pleats near the waist, pallu over the shoulder.
* If you’re tall and most saris fall short, forget tucking it in. Just stitch it on to the petticoat. It is time consuming, but very flattering for the body. There are no unsightly bulges and petticoat marks on your tummy then.

Teresa Chen: Nails
Chen’s salon, Glory has cared for the nails of Kareena Kapoor, Karisma Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra and Twinkle Khanna. into films

Glory has been the go-to place for celebs for nails for 21 years. "Kareena used to visit even before she joined films," Chen says. "Now she gets nail extentions. Priyanka and Twinkle get at-home services."

Chen says that the French manicure is a favourite. "But many also opt for Swarovski studded extensions and gel polishing. Gel paints last upto three weeks without chipping and are also great value for money."

Services for aam janta
Manicures, pedicures, nail art and
expect to pay: Approximately Rs 2,500 for nail extensions and Rs 1,000 for gel polishing. Call 26551808.
For Chic nails:
* If you have beautiful nails, don’t get extensions.
* Don’t keep nail polish on for more than a week. Give your nails a breather. Ideally, remove the polish, wash nails with water, massage with regular oil or cuticle oil and keep it without polish for a day or two. This also prevents the nails from turning yellow.
* Chipped polish also chips your nails and dehydrates them. So take it off immediately. And remember, it looks tacky.

Subhash Singh: Make-up
He’s been Katrina Kaif’s personal make-up artist for nine years. Before that, he was with Juhi Chawla for 15 years.

Cinema Connection
His mad love for Sridevi led him to Bollywood. “I used to watch her film’s shooting,” he recalls. “During one such visit, I met make-up artist Pallavi dada. He noticed my interest in films and asked me to join the industry.” Singh was just 15 at that time. He started working with Dimple Kapadia. “She liked my work and asked me to work with Twinkle and Rinkie,” he says. Later he met Juhi Chawla on the sets of Yes Boss. He also works with Anushka Sharma and Sonakshi Sinha for films.

Services for aam janta
Bridal make-up.
expect to pay: Rs 35,000 per event. Call 9870505025.
* Don’t hide dark circles with heavier foundation. Use concealer instead. Blend it with a foundation and apply it under eyes and overall. You are good to go.

From HT Brunch, January 12

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First Published: Jan 11, 2014 15:17 IST