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Lakmé Fashion Week: Exclusive Backstage Access

Rohit Singh, Regional Makeup Trainer and Vinay Arya, Senior Hair Stylist


In conversation with Rohit Singh, Regional Makeup Trainer and Vinay Arya, Senior Hair Stylist,  both from Lakmé Salon.

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On choosing a profession predominantly ruled by women….
Singh: “Growing up, I was specifically fascinated with the world of beauty and glamour. When I was around 12 or 13 years of age, I began to notice men from my favourite alternative/pop punk boy bands wearing make-up. So, I wanted to try it myself. I was also involved in the performing arts, so the idea of wearing makeup on stage didn’t seem odd to me. I am fortunate to have grown up in a home that prioritises my happiness, self-expression and safety, above all. After I graduated, I decided to take a certificate course in make-up artistry and have been doing it professionally since. I’m proud and grateful to be a part of Lakmé Salon—as I’ve learnt a lot here, received some fantastic opportunities to hone my craft and been associated with one of the best brands in the country. I get to learn and then pass on that knowledge to other artists as well. Every day here is both fun and challenging!”
Arya: “Each one of us wants to look good and feel confident, and hair plays an important role in defining our personalities. So, I saw the enormous scope in the hairdressing industry, and decided to pursue it. Lakmé Salon offers customized training and growth plans for each of us, based on our skills and what we want from life. If I want, I can even own my own salon someday, thanks to LEAP (Lakmé Entrepreneurship Award Program). The possibilities here are endless and I’m so glad this is where I am.”

On beauty and gender….
Singh: “Make-up (or self-care) has nothing to do with gender. Every film actor wears makeup. Male models are aware of the evolving times and know that they need to keep up with trends. They often want to match their make-up with their skin tones. Some people still think it is feminine, but there’s nothing wrong in hiding your dark circles with the help of a little corrector and Blemish Balm (BB) cream. I, for one, can’t leave my house without putting on some BB cream—I feel more confident and fresh.”

On being backstage at the recently concluded FDI x LFW, 2021
Singh: “The LFW backstage is always super fun and stressful at the same time. It’s a true test of a professional artist, in terms of how quickly he or she can adapt in stressful situations. I love how everyone stays calm and patient, while creatively doing some of their best work because the adrenaline is so high! What you see on the models at every show is thanks to the artists who are working on their feet nonstop, and I’m thrilled that I’ve also got the opportunity to do this.”

The products they can’t live without
Singh: “I have a set daily routine, which I think may help other men as well. I always prep my skin well before going out with a toner or hydrating spray—a few drops on a damp cotton and press it into your skin! On days I’m in a rush, I use a face hydrating mist, spray it on to my skin and let it dry on its own. This helps minimize pores and gives me glowing skin. Before stepping out, I take a few drops of BB Cream with SPF and apply it all over my face in gentle strokes. This helps to blur imperfections or marks, and I regularly use a lip balm to avoid painfully chapped lips.”
Arya: “I use a non-greasy serum for shine and protection. A texturizing moulding paste is great for adding movement to the hair. To add definition to your haircut/style use a wax or gel.”

Advice for aspiring make-up artists and hairstylists….
Singh: “As you work your way up, take up any job where you can build experience. Start from the bottom and work your way up. No job is ever too small. Learn as much as you can and from whoever you can. Work with a brand or company that will support and invest in your ambitions and dreams. Also, always be kind and courteous. You never know who you are going to meet, and where that person will end up next, so always treat your clients and colleagues the way you would like to be treated.”
Arya: “You need to be passionate, and the only mantra to success is: Practice and more practice. You need to keep learning to improve and upgrade your skills. I’m fortunate to be working with this company, where I have consistent access to education and training from some of the best in the country. I was also able to participate in the Backstage Heroes programme, where I was trained and mentored by the National Creative Directors of Lakmé Salon to then work at the backstage of Lakmé Fashion Week. These are opportunities that are available to all salon employees!”