Indian Experimental Artists Are Using Makeup As A Form Of Surrealist, Avant-Garde Art

Indian Experimental Artists Are Using Makeup As A Form Of Surrealist, Avant-Garde Art
Anoushka David & Simone Lalwani

Somewhere along the line, in a reversal of roles, makeup which was considered a tool of patriarchy to subjugate women was recaimed by them as a medium of liberation and self expression. Now it has become an artscape for people of all gender identities to explore who they are. Using it beyond the purpose of aesthetics, here are some experimental makeup artists that are making impactful visual statements with this artform.

MAkeup by Anoushka
MAkeup by AnoushkaAnoushka David

Anoushka David

Anoushka, a Delhi-based stylist and multimedia artist uses unconventional ways for makeup like rhinestones, googly eyes and acrylic paint. She sees it as a medium of self-expression along with her eclectic fits that become part of her artwork. Inspired by rebellious figures such as Prince and Dadaist artist Raoul Hausmann, Anoushka creates surreal self-portraits on themes of existentialism, identity and femininity.

Follow her here

Makeup by Nirrhit
Makeup by NirrhitNirrhit


Originally a fashion designer, Nirrhit is from a called Cooch Behar small district in West Bengal. Because of its proximity to Assam, Sikkim, and Nepal, Nirrhit was able to explore the silhouettes of Bhutia culture (a community of Sikkimese people) and even get inspired by indigenous art styles, such as the unique calligraphy that goes into thangka art in his makeup designs. His goth makeup comes from his love for German expressionism and films like The Cabinet Of Dr Caligari.

Follow him here.

Makeup by Simone
Makeup by SimoneSimone Lalwani

Simone Lalwani

The Goa-based artist creates dramatic looks based on themes of horror and fantasy with makeup and body paint. She has an inbuilt ability to assess her client’s skin type, including coloring, condition, and sensitivity. She also studies her client’s bone structure which helps her choose the type and colors of makeup to achieve the desired results. Simone uses water-activated paints to create special effects and characters.

Follow her here.

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