Makeup artistes don’t get their due – The Hindu

We always hear character artistes and junior actors complaining that the Telugu film industry is always importing talent and never encourages local Telugu artistes. This is not the case with just actors, the problem is prevalent with technicians as well. The makeup artistes and hair dressers union was established in 1982 with 34 members.

After the industry relocated to Hyderabad, there are currently 529 registered members in the Union. While the stars and senior heroes have been continuing with their services from the beginning, the current generation of actors, specially heroines, are employing makeup artistes and hairdressers from Mumbai, leaving the local artistes without work.

The reasons are many. Hair stylist Sheetal from Mumbai who has been working since 2000 and has styled Manisha Koirala, Kiran Rathod, Hazel, Rituparna Sen Gupta and others says that they use makeup material which is of superior quality. “We don’t compromise on quality. Our eyes are always on the artiste, we seldom move away from their presence. We make an attempt to check them out on monitor to see how they look.”

The chief of the makeup artistes and hairdressers’ unions, Girish says the union has been established to provide employment, give loans and offer compensation during bad times. They make sure the employees get paid accordingly to the call sheet. He retorts angrily, “Why should anyone think that only Mumbai stylists know best? Haven’t we all worked on the blockbuster Baahubali? Did we not do well? It is loss for the producers too if they spend so much money and import people from Mumbai. I don’t agree when you say our folks are not updated with the latest trends in make up and styling.”

A well known actor insists on having his entire team except assistant directors from a neighbouring state. The reason, that’s stated is, chances of the story getting leaked is less and they’d gossip less and are well trained, updated and more professional. There could be extra expenditure incurred on their travel and stay but they feel it’s worth it.

There are actors like NTR, Mahesh Babu and Chiranjeevi who never change their team. It is a collaborative job, they come along with research and work alongside the costume designer and the set designer to make sure the actor is in congruence with the environment. Naresh, make-up artiste for Nagarjuna, Naga Chaitanya, Andrea, Bellamkonda Srinivas, Rashmika and others observes that the local artistes who started working on the actors still continue to do so for decades because they have a greater understanding of the actors’ features, skin tone and are well versed in providing any look. They also know what suits them the best and are considered a ‘good hand’.

Naresh also says that local people hesitate to invest in makeup material which costs around four lakh. “That initial investment is necessary if you have to give a good finish. Also the old timers who are skilled tend to be arrogant and value their self respect immensely. The ones who have upgraded themselves are employed with stars and the ones who haven’t are happy with the thousand rupees they get per day and are okay working in small films. The senior actors continue with senior technicians but their sons and their contemporaries after the first two films, change the makeup artistes and hair stylists.”

Naresh avers that it is very important for an actor to continue with the same team as they do not wish to disturb their look or struggle to maintain their look from film to film. Perhaps actors go for Mumbaikars is that they are well groomedhe avers. “The first impression is the best impression, if you don’t maintain hygiene how would a heroine allow you to come close. Also, it could be a prestige issue to have make up artistes and hair dressers from outside the State. If one is skilled they can earn a maximum ₹10,000 per day.”