Mumbai based fat mu happens to be one of the most reputed and top makeup agencies in the country and its academy is the ultimate platform for those wishing to enter the world of makeup artistry.
Founded in 2006 by Natasha Nischol and Virginia Holmes, fat mu has worked on numerous eclectic faces over the years, both in fashion and film, designing over 100 TVCs, 35 feature films, from Hollywood’s ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ to Bollywood’s ‘Dil Dhadakne Do’ and Toronto’s favorite Indie film of 2015 ‘Margarita With A Straw’.
So here in an exclusive interview with Ispeakwhatyoulove, celebrity makeup artist Natasha Nischol talks about her experiences and gives us an insight into the beauty world.
It was a great experience, all the cast members were gung-ho and full of energy and very open to the look we gave them. Most of them were the boys from the previous Rock On movie, but even the new additions – Shraddha Kapoor and Shashank Arora were equally enthusiastic and team players. Shujaat, the director was great to collaborate with and very open to ideas. Overall a great cast and crew with fantastic energy on set. Shillong was a highlight of the shoot- with its beauty in the backdrop and its lovely people – the whole experience was very refreshing.
2) How are the looks different from the first part?
Different. The film takes place 8 years later – so the actors have naturally aged through the years but now their characters are in a different place too.. more grown up, older, each doing something different. So Farhan works on his tea plantation in Shillong- he has a farmers tan and is a bit weathered from working in the sun and being outdoors and an overgrown beard as he’s not into his appearance and doesn’t need to shave for work anymore.
Prachi is a Jewellery designer and a working mom- so she’s fairly simple in her look but with a sophistication to her.
Arjun has come into money now and is the owner of a slick new nightclub and also a judge on a reality TV show. So he has lost his handlebar moustache from the first film and is now groomed and sharp , sporting a dark well maintained slick stubble through the film-enhancing his good looks!
Purab is a music director but still clinging on to his youth- and while he’s lost his trademark plaited goti beard.. he’s just a hipster with a stubble. Shahana has moved to Paris to pursue her career as a fashion designer. While she’s still her natural self with make-up only on occasions, you definitely see a more polished version of herself, now that she’s come into her own.
3) You have worked on a number of Excel entertainment movies. Which movie was most challenging for you as a Makeup artist?
The most challenging movie was definitely Baar Baar Dekho. A lot of time and energy was spent on every character’s look.
We spent a lot of time trying to envision how a person would look as they get older at different stages of their lives…. how they would look, what kind of make-up their character would wear, would the character follow the trends of the future or would they have their own individual style, these were things one had to imagine while still trying to keep the actor relateable and recognizable to the audience and also having him or her be in sync with all the other characters. So there was a lot of referencing and homework done on the natural ageing process as well as on the future and what it would look like.
Although the actors didn’t conform to the futuristic looks as they were older during those phases, we did play around with ideas for say Arjun, their son and of course the background- which sadly you didn’t get to see too much in the final cut of the film. The further we went into the future, the more back we went into time for inspiration- so that was a lot of fun and challenging to design in collaboration with hair and costume and sometimes even production design so it all worked – and while there was a semblance of the era it was inspired from it definitely had a futuristic feel – a feel we wanted to be obvious, but obvious in its simplicity- versus overboard futuristic stuff that we are used to seeing in films.
4) What made you decide you wanted to open a Makeup academy? Where did you get your inspiration from?
Fat mu is the brainchild of my business partner Virginia Holmes and myself. We set it up with the intention of changing the perception of make-up in India and also setting up a one stop shop of make-up services for anyone needing it. Having sensed a real void and need in the market for make-up education of an international level, especially as not everyone could afford to go abroad and study. In 2010, Virginia and myself we set up our fat mu pro make-up academy – the first of its kind in India. We designed and pioneered a professional course to teach a non formulaic, artistic approach to make-up artistry and make-up design- taking the art of make-up in India into the 21st century.
Just this year in fact we have completed 10 years of fat mu and are very proud of what we have managed to achieve. Both Virginia and I have studied and seen how make-up works abroad and in India, we wanted to bridge the gap that we saw between the two and bring the advanced knowledge and techniques from abroad into India. That was our main inspiration.
5) Do you have plans of opening fat mu in other parts of the country?
Watch this space!😛
6) One thing about your makeup that sets you apart from other makeup artists?
I would say vision, I don’t want to toot my own horn but I feel many make-up artists see make-up as nothing more than that. For me, it is an art and I feel that I have understood how to put a look that will portray the character and the feel of the film through the humble medium of make-up. That understanding of how it helps shape, transform and bring characters to life so it’s a more authentic and believable experience for the audience, is important.
7) What’s your favorite beauty product?
As a brand Bobbi Brown has to be a definite winner for me! She has created a line that can suit any woman- with any skin tone or skin type. Her concealers and foundations are beautiful and the range of colors she has created for the everyday woman is perfect! Product wise there are quite a few- I love Elizabeth Arden’s 8 Hour Cream, Becca Shimmering Skin Perfectors and Lancome Hypnose mascara.
8) What do you love most about Makeup?
Make-up has the ability to transform- it helps you put your best face forward. This is of course in the case of beauty make-up but even if you look at character make-up, transforming a person into something completely different is fascinating and satisfying to see. I see make-up as an art and skin is the canvas. You can create anything on a living, breathing canvas and that is an amazing feeling!
9) Do you feel that it’s important for budding makeup artists to know Prosthetics makeup given the fierce competition nowadays?
No; prosthetics is a very specialized form of make-up, you need to be very sure about taking it up as a specialization as it takes up a lot of time, energy and money and a true passion for the art. If you can give all those things definitely go for it. That’s the reason there are so few prosthetic make-up artists out there. Definitely think about it as an option but also focus on getting the basics right. You can be an amazing make-up artist otherwise as well but with prosthetics it is better to not to be a jack of all trades.
10) One beauty advice that you would give to all the women out there?
For Indian women? I would say fair is not necessarily lovely! Embrace your skin color and your individuality because dark is beautiful as well. Wear the right colors of foundation/ bb/ cc creams- as the lighter ones only make you look grey and wrong. Another piece of advice I would give would be to use correctors. Indian women have a tendency to have pigmentation and dark circles and I feel correctors are not given enough importance in the make-up world. Instead they are misguided about concealers which cause conditions like having white rings under the eyes or greyness. Orange and peach correctors are very important to get even toned skin so don’t forgo them. Bobbi Brown makes the best ones for sure!
You can follow her on Instagram @tashaonline and fat mu @fatmupromakeup!