Celebrity makeup artiste Swarnalekha Gupta talks about pursuing her passion and how she managed to create a niche in the beauty industry.
An avid reader and a mother to two adorable cats, Swarnalekha Gupta is known for her beauty expertise. Originally from Kolkata, she spent a few months in Singapore studying beauty, but loves her life in Mumbai. She has also worked on some of the best faces in the Bollywood industry, from the uber-glamourous Kapoor sisters to the eternal favourite Madhuri Dixit Nene. She has built herself a strong portfolio, but still believes in grasping every moment and doing more of what she loves. Gupta believes in letting her work talk for her. Here, we quiz her on all things beauty, and get to know about her journey and how it has changed her life for the better.
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO GET INTO MAKEUP?
My journey started around 15 years ago. I used to work in corporate as a finance professional, after having completed my MBA. But I loved experimenting with my looks—playing up the eyes or adding a little blush. I was my own model back then. I’d get compliments from my friends and family because of the way I would do my eyes and lips. That is when I realised my inclination towards makeup. It made me rethink my career progression. In 2009, I did my first makeup course from Cory Walia in Mumbai and never looked back after that. In June 2011, I quit my well-paying corporate job and went to Singapore to pursue my passion at the Makeup Forever Academy.
TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOUR JOURNEY SINCE THEN.
After I came back from Singapore in November 2011, I had no work at all for the first three months. I would do bridal makeup or model photo shoots, or anything else that came my way. I soon realised that it is a competitive industry and I started doubting myself. I didn’t think it was the right place for me. I wasn’t sure about pursuing it further and often wondered if I should go back to my comfortable corporate job.
But I didn’t give up. I waited for my moment. In March 2011, I got an assignment from India Resorts Fashion Week, which is when I saw some light at the end of the tunnel. That was followed by the Kingfisher Calendar Hunt in 2012. The Ponds Femina Miss India proved to be my major break, and I knew this was it.
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE BIGGEST CHALLENGES THAT YOU HAVE FACED?
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May - June 2018