Lifestyle

Meet The World’s Quickest Make-Up Artist

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For those who think airbrushing is difficult, it probably is. But Delhi-based Ishika Taneja makes it look easy – the quality of her art didn’t take a hit even when it came to airbrushing 60 people in 60 minutes – a Guinness World Record she totted up in 2014 for the highest number of faces airbrushed at the DLF Emporio in Delhi.

In Mumbai for a bit of fun and to crack a deal with two companies to expand her Alps Beauty Clinic, Ishika has worked with Britney Spears, Micky Avalon, Jay Young, Danielle Kerkoven (Miss Sri Lanka) and, closer home, Carol Gracias, Sunny Leone, Veena Malik and Amanpreet Wahi (Gladrags Miss India). She has also been the make-up expert for Miss USA and Miss Teen USA and worked at the Los Angeles Fashion Week as well as Fashion Minga.

Introduced to the world of flawless faces by her mother Bharti Taneja, an industry veteran with 28 years of experience, Taneja did her first course from Alps Beauty Clinic, then a course in beauty and hair from The London School of Beauty and Make-up and lastly, a course in international business from the London School of Economics.

She learnt airbrushing from make-up artist Nelly Recchia in Los Angeles, before returning to India. “I wanted to do something for India and struggled for almost a year before making it to the Guinness Book of World Records,” she reveals.

Remembering the Guinness journey, she adds, “My judges included an advocate (for legal viablity), a person who knows airbrushing, two people from Sports Authority (to keep time), and one from Guinness World Records, who had to do a course in airbrushing (to judge perfectly).”

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With challenges galore, Taneja had to ensure 100 per cent coverage; even a crack or teardrop would merit disqualification. For this, the colours had to be darker than the skin tone and no two looks could be the same. That’s 60 different looks! “A minimum of three colours had to be used in each look, but sometimes I used four, if I added blush,” she recalls.

With no airbrushing record noted in Guinness World Records, Taneja says she had to guide the committee in standardising it, should someone wish to challenge the record in the future.

They say practice makes perfect. And it sure did with Taneja. Having practiced for a year on mannequins and facesheets with kilos of make-up from Bangkok and two airbrush machines, she spent the last week working on models. While the target was set at 25 models, she prepared herself with 80, but had almost 100 models ready on the big day. “Out of the 64 models I had finished working on, only four were disqualified. I had applied eyeshadow in different hues for everybody, but two girls got disqualified – the make-up looked similar, though technically it was not.”

Having just returned from LA in the midst of the Nirbhaya rape case, Taneja was quite disturbed and dedicated her award to the young physiotherapy intern who was gang-raped and killed in Delhi. She picked December 16 as the day to set this record in her memory and invited Nirbhaya’s parents for her event. “I believe we have to build a beautiful society,” she concludes.

What is airbrushing?
Airbrushing is make-up that is sprayed on the skin using an airbrush machine, minus sponges, brushes or fingers. Airbrushing was first used in the film Ben Hur, then in horror films and now, for almost everything shot in HD.

Pros

—Time saving

—Hygenic

—Blends evenly

—Lasts longer

Cons

—Expensive

—Not many shades available for Asian skin tones

—Machine works only on electricity

—Machine needs regular maintenance

—If you make a mistake, you have to clean it off and start from scratch

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