Master Strokes

Mickey Contractor,Bollywood’s favourite make-up artist,is looking to pen it all down in a book soon

Written by Jagmeeta Thind Joy | Published:September 21, 2013 12:32 am

While it wasn’t exactly deja vu,it was a happy trot down memory lane for Mickey Contractor as he arrived in Chandigarh on Thursday. One of the country’s leading make-up artists and Bollywood’s favourite man with the magic fingers — in this case,aided by a make-up brush — Contractor remembered the time he was roped in by veteran Punjabi actor Mehar Mittal more than three decades ago to be the make-up artist for his leading lady,Archana Chaudhary. “The film was Jatti and I still remember those days. I was just starting out and had to struggle to make a foothold,” recalls Contractor,who is currently the director of make-up artistry for MAC,the international cosmetics brand,in India.

Today,Contractor can be credited with truly changing the face of Bollywood,especially when it comes to the way the leading ladies look on screen. “When I started out,the look for heroines meant high-volume hair,heavy-duty foundation and heavily made-up eyes. Almost everyone looked the same,” says Contractor,who worked hard at changing all of that with his brush strokes.

“Traditionally,Indian women have always accentuated their eyes and mostly it’s with simple kohl. It remains our secret weapon till date,” says the artist,who has traveled the world with his make-up kit. His inspiration comes from the West — from the backstages of London,Paris,Milan,New York,and where he needs to,he tempers them for the Indian face.

“In India — unlike in Paris — you don’t do looks that are so nude,you look like you just got out of bed,” says Contractor,who feels the trick is choosing a trend and modifying it slightly to suit the Indian skin type. “Smokey eye make-up remains a popular trend and it’s in this season as well,along with bolder lips and slightly glossy cheeks,” shares the expert,who also rolled out a session at the MAC store in Elante mall,dishing out make-up tips.

“Indian women have only started applying make-up in the last seven to eight years. We are blessed with great skin and just need to brush up on what suits us,” says Contractor,admitting that he does a “mental face scan” when he spots someone. “It comes naturally to me,but in the last three decades,I have learnt to respect individuality,” says Contractor,who has made actresses such as Aishwarya Rai,Rani Mukherjee and Madhuri Dixit look stunning.

“Aishwarya has been one of my favourites as I feel she can carry diverse make-up trends,” says Contractor who is also a regular at fashion weeks in India.

With more than three decades in fashion and Bollywood,he’s now looking to put it all together in a book. “I am in talks with a publisher currently. I don’t want it to be just pretty,photo-intensive book. I want it to offer more than just that. It should include the changing face of make-up in India as well as be informative about the latest in the industry,” says Contractor,who is inspired by Vanguard: The Ultimate Classic on Indian Fashion,by Rohit Khosla.

“It’s a must read for anyone who has interest in Indian fashion and also a good example of how I would like my book to be,” says Contractor who after working on last year’s hit Student Of The Year,will sign on a new film in 2014.

For all the latest Chandigarh News, download Indian Express App

    Live Cricket Scores & Results