Recently, if you were able to spend some time on TikTok (for as long as it lasted) or have had a look through Reels, surely, you must have seen some supremely talented people transforming their faces with makeup or face art. The outcomes of these unfathomable looks range from subtle, everyday makeup looks to wild, rule-breaking looks.
While face art is ever-so-popular now, its history lies in purposes of culture and hunting. In India, henna has been used for years to decorate certain parts of the body for special occasions. Now, with countless options of skin-safe colours to choose from, artists let their imagination loose and create stunning face art.
As a vehicle of self-expression and artistic outlet, makeup and face art have enabled countless people to feel comfortable in their skin whilst introducing them to the world of an artform that is bold, unafraid and complex.
We at Homegrown are all about blending art and identity with expression. And so, we scoured the Indian Instagram sphere for all those that do so. In complete awe and with immense pleasure, we bring to you a list of a few talented folks that are bringing the makeup revolution to the subcontinent.
I. Chongphang Rai
There is no guarantee our words will do Chongphang any justice, solely because the talent displayed, creativity and confidence are beyond us. Sometimes subtle and sometimes adventurous with the looks, Chongphang’s make up skills make way for not only putting on a full face of brilliant makeup, but also create looks such as that of a deadly clown for Halloween. Apart from the killer selfies, Chongphang has recently also begun using Instagram Reels to create transformation or before-and-after makeup looks, with an ever-so-slight tinge of humour. The make up is absolutely unafraid, just the way we like it.
You can find Chongphang here.
II. Deep Pathare
Deep Pathare is a combination of elegance and fearless flair that we never know we needed. Not only does he have you covered with simple glam, but he also goes all out in his looks such as those of Hekate the Goddess of Magic or Invidia, the Roman Goddess of Envy. Deep’s transformative looks are awe-worthy not just in their final appearance but also in the tedious process that goes into their making. His recent drag queen looks are no short of extraordinary and we absolutely cannot help but stan. Daring, beautiful, artistic — Deep is an all-round favourite.
Gush over Deep’s looks here.
III. Gayathri Mohan
A model, stylist and content creator by profession, Gayathri sure knows how to whip up surreal makeup looks. Almost as if they are full of passion and the will to make a statement, these looks aren’t the kind that is easy to pull off. Presented wholeheartedly in highly aesthetic pictures, Gayathri’s fearlessness and fresh perspective are commendable. We absolutely adore her Euphoria look, but here are some of her favourites too.
Check out Gayathri’s work here.
IV. Glorious Luna
One of India’s forerunners in the Drag culture, Glorious Luna is not just an inspiration for those in the queer community, but also someone who sets a benchmark for marvellous make up looks and face art. With extensive and impeccable use of colour in order to create looks that are out of this world, Luna is unapologetic in the array of guises they put on. Going beyond your usual party and glam style, it’s as if they create a new personality using the power of art. One of their recent looks, as someone mentioned to them as well, is giving us serious Cher vibes, and we couldn’t not be in awe of it.
Find Glorious Luna here.
Chic Asian model, Gyalshenlha, is more about the everyday, fresh makeup looks. He places his focus on skincare and vouches for simple looks created by enhancing the natural features of one’s face. As part of promotions for Blur India, a homegrown make up brand, Gyalshenlha used their products to transform himself into somewhat of a Ken doll (not that he needed much help for that). He is also vocal about his support for local make up brands and regularly reviews them.
Look through Gyalshenlha’s feed here.
Find his skincare page here.
VI. Kripali Samdariya
Apart from creating aesthetic content on her feed, Kripali is also far more than capable of creating low-key as well as slightly adventurous looks of her own. From bold eyes to subtle glam, her skills cater to it all. Additionally, she tops off her looks with chic accessories. Her looks may not be transformative with heavy doses of colour and ornamentation, but they are definitely something you would want to try out for your next night out (whenever it’s safe to do so!).
You can find Kripali here.
VII. Malavika Jayaram
Giving us the best of both worlds, Malavika is successfully able to create looks that are unique, themed and colourful but also serves us delicate and subtle looks. Her Medusa look for Halloween remains one of our favourites as she effortlessly transformed herself into the perilously glam character. ‘The Flower Study’ is her recent attempt at capturing the essence of different flowers and recreating them as makeup looks. Paired with her aesthetic sense of putting together photographs, Malavika’s powerful journey is well on its way.
Take a look at Malavika’s looks here.
Mallika is one we consider a whole package deal – from her subtle (and not-so-subtle) glam and festive looks to extravagant and artsy looks, her talent is limitless. Not only are her make up looks unseen, but they also make you wonder, how on Earth did she pull that off? Our personal favourite is her recreation of Van Gogh’s ‘Starry Night’ on her face! A textile designer by profession, Mallika finds solace in the process of make up.
Go over Mallika’s looks here.
Far from mundane styles, Nimishaa creates wholistic looks that go beyond makeup. Her use of accessories and the ability to enhance one’s natural features are unmatched. Fearless in her approach, Nimisha not only slays her make up looks but also defies society’s expectations by going against all ‘norms’ that exist – whether that be showing off body hair or dressing unconventionally. If we absolutely had to pick one favourite, we would go for the monochrome blue look, enhanced by the subtlest of jewellery, acting as the perfect finishing touch to the look.
X. Shantanu Dhope
Mumbai-based Shantanu’s make up looks are the kind we only dream of pulling off, and somehow, he makes it look effortless. With clever use of colour and patterns, that make smart use of the curves and crevices of his face, Shantanu is able to create looks that range from somewhat minimalist to absolutely jaw-dropping. To top it all off, his boldness and confidence is more than evident through his pictures and show off his talent and hard work in the best way possible. On Halloween, he seamlessly blended Indian culture into his look and created the perfect look for ‘#DesiHalloween’.
Find Shantanu here.
If you’re looking for crazy, themed makeup looks along with a step-by-step tutorial of how to recreate them, Zainab’s page is your destination. Unafraid to translate her fun thoughts into makeup looks, she uses patterns of ladybugs hearts and snakes amongst others. She also tells tales and expresses emotions through her art, which is why we couldn’t pick just one favourite — her ‘Cinderella’s glass slippers gone wrong’ is an artful (yet gory) representation of a fairy tale gone downhill, and her ‘Florals in the sky’ is just something for you to smile about!
Appreciate Zainab’s work here.
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