Celebrity make-up artist Daniel Bauer works with Bollywood’s leading ladies – from Aishwarya to Kareena to Alia. He’s the man behind Bollywood’s beauty – working on the biggest fashion weeks such as Lakmé Fashion Week (LFW), iconic cover shoots such as Aishwarya Rai-Bachchan on Noblesse and the hottest blockbusters such as Deepika Padukone’s look in ‘Happy New Year’. Having worked with respected magazines such as Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Elle and Cosmopolitan, he’s definitely the right person for make-up advice! Daniel Bauer takes us into his world of beauty in Bollywood, sharing tips and secrets on the latest trends.
On the transformation of make-up in Bollywood:
When I arrived in India seven years ago, you could sense the beauty and fashion industry was ready for transformation. GQ, Vogue, L’Officiel – they were all launching their Indian versions and it felt like the right place to be for me. The work that I love to make, is beautiful work and in India, the work always needs to be beautiful. Bollywood make-up is no different to Hollywood make-up; sometimes it’s fantastic, sometimes too heavy and sometimes just natural. Last year, I worked on Deepika’s contrasting looks for Happy New Year such as her item-girl look for ‘Lovely’ and her simple Maharashtrian girl look in the movie. I also worked on Katrina Kaif for Bang Bang. The production, budget, direction and quality is no different to any blockbuster film around the world. The transformation within Bollywood is phenomenal – looking at the movies produced today to even just five years ago, the change and appetite for Bollywood is huge!
On the most iconic look I’ve created:
The look I was most excited to create was Aishwarya Rai-Bachchan’s avatar for the Noblesse cover. It was her first magazine cover after almost three years. It’s really challenging to create a unique look for one of the most photographed women in the world, but I think I created a look that hasn’t been seen before. I’ve done over 150 magazine covers, but this one still remains to be the one I’m immensely proud of.
On working with beautiful faces in Bollywood:
For any actress to carve her place in the hearts and minds of the Indian population, you need to be authentic, beautiful and possess something that no other actress has. Deepika, Priyanka, Kareena, Aiswarya, Katrina – they are all outrageously beautiful but equally unique. The looks I do on them are all about creating different characters, never to imitate somebody else. I also know how far each of them are willing to go in terms of hair and make-up. Some will give me great freedom, while others will request me to keep it simple.
On Arpita Khan’s wedding:
It was a very special wedding at one of the most spectacular venues in the world; the Taj Falaknuma Palace in Hyderabad. I make a promise to all my brides – I don’t kiss and tell. Sorry!
On working Fashion Weeks vs Bollywood movies:
With anything in life, doing something that you are emotionally connected to brings great satisfaction. Fashion shows and editorials allow for the most creativity and give a great feeling of pride. I recently did two shows at LFW, one for TRESemmé and another for Manish Malhotra. On the day itself, the work is only around five hours. However, you spend almost a month preparing for that, becoming really emotionally involved with every element. While a show remains in your heart, a film scene can capture the imagination of a nation, so it’s also very special. Same same, but different.
On the top trends for the season:
This year at LFW, #TheSculptLook was the hottest trend. It’s very striking and exudes old school glamour with high-defined lips, chiselled cheekbones and graphic eyeliners. I was privileged to work on Deepika Padukone’s three appearances at LFW – for each of those I was able to experiment my interpretation of the Sculpt Look across her lips and eyes. Broadly speaking though, I’m noticing that while last year gloss was huge, the texture is now moving towards satins and matte. While I do believe trends are very important, especially in my job, I don’t always believe they are very translatable. For example, bleached eyebrows were pretty big last year, but nobody was trying it out at home. Before you focus on trends, try to understand your own look and what you like. Trends come and go every season, but your sense of style will make you fashionable.
On bold lips:
Love your lips and they will love you back! Lip care may not be considered as important as dental care, but it definitely shouldn’t be ignored. When choosing a lip colour, pick one that matches your outfit, skin tone, lip shape and the occasion. For thinner lips, I would suggest you enhance them with bold, strawberry and cherry colours. For those girls lucky enough to have strong, voluminous lips, I would suggest you keep to vanilla and peachy colours. I personally love deep coloured lipsticks, like the look I created on Deepika at the IIFA Awards, but I know it’s not to everyone’s taste.
On beauty essentials:
Every woman should own a Lakmé Kajal, a Mason Pearson hair brush and her very own signature lipstick.
On the biggest faux-pas women make:
Women need to know that less is more. Heavy lips, bombastic eyes and chiselled cheekbones all at once – it’s far too much. Pick one thing to highlight and let that shine. And as for fairness – please always stay within your skin tone colours! Making dusky skin look fairer actually makes your skin look grey as it washes out the contours of your face. This is something I especially notice with brides; you’ll only come to regret this once you see your wedding photos.
On the Middle-East:
I’m actually planning to get more active here in the Middle-East. It’s a place of huge excitement and opportunity for me!