The term ‘make-up artiste’ carries the respect that those once called “parlour waali” have garnered over the years, says Aashmeen Munjal, who has been member of the beauty industry for close to three decades. Munjal, who was first an assistant at a local salon, acquired special academic skills at London School of Make-up and the City and Guild University in Britain. She currently operates seven high-profile salons and three academies in the capital.

She says as a profession, make-up artistry wasn’t really talked about when she entered the industry.

“When I entered the beauty industry, it was not a very proud profession to be in at that time. We were called ‘parlour waali’… Right now, we are respected in the industry by being called make-up artistes. We are experts and we are designers of make-up and hair,” Munjal told IANS here on the sidelines of a competition and convocation of her students at her Star Hair and Make-up Academy.

Citing the booming wedding industry, Munjal spoke about the importance of the role of a make-up artiste today as brides and relatives seek the best and are ready to splurge to get the perfect look.

“Everybody wants to look beautiful and perfect. People have become more and more conscious of their looks. Therefore, the demand for make-up artistes and hair-stylists is booming like no one’s business.

“Whether it’s a wedding, a show or a party, everywhere make-up artistes are required. The beauty industry is so enormous at the moment. So, no matter how many people join it, there is a shortage,” said Munjal.

Munjal has worked with celebrities like Freida Pinto, Soha Ali Khan, Jacqueline Fernandez and ramp models like Krishna Somani, Amanpreet Wahi, Yuvika Choudhry, among others.

What is the future of a make-up artiste in India — and is Bollywood the sky here?

“No, growth for artistes here (in India) is not restricted to Bollywood. If you are good, then you will also be a part of fests like Cannes Film Festival… Your art, work will reach Hollywood as well. Our students are associated with a lot of Bollywood celebrities at the moment,” she said.

“We have been working with Frieda Pinto for a long time, That day isn’t far when our students will make their name in Hollywood, or rather international shores for that matter. Currently, we are working with L’Oreal and all the looks that the brand is associated with,” Munjal said.

She wants students at her academy to be proud of who they are and of their profession.

“When students are learning make-up, what they are learning at the Academy is just 20 percent of the whole real world. So they need to get trained in dealing with models, clients, breakdowns and so many circumstances which they will actually face in their career,” Munjal said.

“I need to train them. I need not train them only in make-up or hair, I need to train them to be confident on ramp, be confident in dealing with so many people, posing in front of the media and photographers… We train them to deal with it all — a wholesome package of beauty industry as they are the future of this industry,” she said.

Munjal and hairstylist Niell Talwar have also launched their new salon, Ash & Niell Unisex Salon, in Janakpuri here, and they are planning to open franchises in other states of the country, as well as abroad.