Monday, July 7, 2008

In Pursuit Of Excellence - Vancouver Make Up Artist

For Shaifa, a model's backbone is more important than the cheekbones, but inspiration runs skin deep. By DARLENE BROWMERMAN

Shaifa dreams of painting masterpieces the colours of a Rembrandt, Rubens or Vermeer. She knows about facial bones, the texture of skin, the quality of colour and the slant of light. She starts with a blank canvas, primes it, then paints. But Shaifa doesn’t paint models. She paints on models. Or rather, she paints their faces.

If fashion dictates beauty then the magic of make-up impacts image. This is how Shaifa describes the symbiosis: “Put a girl in a mans trousers. Blank she is androgynous. Paint her lips red and she’s no longer a boy. Draw black eyeliner and she’s a rockabilly”. Shaifa speaks in poetic terms. Her brush is her artistic pen.

Artistic rewards aside, Shaifa’s full schedule and her refusal to slow down are part of a socialised working-class ethic. Shaifa painted throughout university and supplemented her income by doing make-up for model’s portfolios. Tyra Brook at Malones of London gave Shaifa her first break. A half-day job was followed by a week job, followed by a three-month stint in London, Milan and Paris and a 7-year career as one of Vancouver's foremost make-up artists. Shaifa proved to be a better painter than pedagogue.

She’s survived the enormous egos of the industry by remaining humble about her success and self-deprecating about her disappointments. Selected as one of a handful of global make-up artists to work on the celebrities for Bollywood Film Fare Awards bash (the guest list included Shahrukh Khan, Kareena Kapoor, Aamir Khan, Darsheel Safary and Tabu to name a few), Shaifa laughs at her “illusions of grandeur” at the prospect of doing some of the most painterly faces in fashion and at her subsequent disillusionment at being overlooked while an international make-up artist ceremoniously painted the background dancers and a few Bollywood actresses “by numbers”. She shrugs it off. It was by working with such well-known faces as celebrity model-turned-actress Tabu – who kept her waiting for hours, rudely leaving her five minutes to slap on some paint – that she realised a model’s or celebrities cheekbones can always be shaded in, but there is no remedy for a bent backbone.

She, in turn, treats her models with enormous integrity. Her tool kit is the Rolls Royce of make-up cases: Shumera brushes, La Mer moisturisers and lip balms, and expensive spritzers. The high end cosmetics are bought with money earned from moonlighting on weekends for weddings, doing the faces of brides and their retinues. A beautiful brunette of indeterminate age, her own face has a flawless make up application. “Make-up is the fine-tuning between looking good and looking incredible,” claims Shaifa. “Sometimes dark circles under the eyes can have their own charm.”

Although her eyes take on a particular sparkle when she speaks of her husband, businessman Moe Somani, Shaifa seems genuinely surprised that anyone would want to know the details of her life. “That’s all there is,” she says. “There really is no glamour.” As a seasoned well known indian bridal make up artist who has spent half her working life on exotic locations, one could argue, but Shaifa is keen to move on to more neutral territory. Mention beauty regimes and her voice takes on a professional, confident tone: Perricone face wash, La Mer and 10% Eurea

These are her tips for winter: don‘t forget sun block, even when the sun isn’t shining; choose a light reflective base such as Giorgio Armani or Mac Mineraliser; invest in a good mascara such as Chanel Intimitable; if you’re using an eyeliner, make it black; if you’re going to paint your lips, make it red (lipstick should not be deliberately applied – it should look as if it really doesn’t matter). This winter, there can be only one hero – the mouth or the eyes.

Shaifa is working in a photographic studio. Suddenly, the volume is turned up on a heavy base background noise that shakes the basement stained-glass windows. The photographer Tonino Guzo, who she claims is the best takes up his camera. The stylist finishes dressing a male model and Shaifa is summoned, like an angel of mercy, to do what she does best: create visions of exceptional beauty.

Topshop UK has landed Vancouver Make Up Artist Shaifa | Vancouver

Topshop UK has landed Vancouver Make Up Artist Shaifa | Vancouver | Canada

Posted by Rahina Keenan June 28,, 2008 1:03 PM |

Get ready for a whole new wave of the British invasion, but this time, for the trendsetting bunch. Straight from the UK comes the infamous TOPSHOP brand, appearing exclusively to Canada at Holt Renfrew. Topshop is basically UK's version of Sweden's H&M and Spain's Zara. With stores across Europe, the Middle East, and parts of Asia, it's high time Topshop made its way to O-Canada.

The Kate Moss TOPSHOP collection features old skool style (Grecian & '30s and '50s inspired flowing frocks) with a distinctly "destination" look -- all girly, bright, and summer-y.

Best of all, Topshop prides itself on hiring the best photographers and make up artists in the industry and has contracted Shaifa as their catalog make up artist and Tonino Guzo as the photographer.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Vancouver Make Up Artist Wins Award At London Academy

On Friday June 27, 2008, at the London International Convention Center Shaifa attended the London Make-up Artists Annual Awards Ceremony. These prestigious awards honour, acknowledge and celebrate top international make-up artists from around the world and recognize them for their creativity, work excellence and achievement in 2007-2008.

Shaifa took the award for Best Make-up Artist in the Make Up Application category. Her outstanding contribution and dedication to her artistic skills makes her well deserving of this award. To qualify for this award Shaifa was nominated by the teachers at London School of Make Up and Hair Design. Based on thle number of nominations she received, Shaifa and 5 others qualified to be finalists for this category. Each judge was asked to individually pick the winner for each category and submit their selections on an official tally sheet to Thornton Chartered Accountants. The results were revealed at the Awards Ceremony where the air bristled with anticipation and excitement.

In 1997 Shaifa was th leading make up artist for Millennium Jeans International, an international private label clothing designer offering colour co-ordination, stage and photography make up application for photo shoots and runway models. Since 1997 Susan has taught hundreds of young girls through her private consultations and at Vancouver's Elite Retailer Holt Renfrew, and volunteered her services at many private institutions for girls. Combining her Bachelor's Degree in Commerce with her make-up and image training she has worked, through her programs, to build self-esteem in young girls and to teach them about true beauty secrets which she insists come from within.

In the area of Televison and Film Shaifa's work can be seen in Topshop UK and Schema Magazine front page layouts. For several years she has worked as an image and Make-up consultant for Holt Renfrew during their special event promotions. A highlight for Shaifa was doing the make-up for many Bollywood actresses who come to London and Vancouver for filming. In the Spring of 2007 Shaifa attended a full-time program at Vancouver Community College to train as a professional hair colorist and stylist, and grraduated with honors in June 2008.

Shaifa has also volunteered numerous hours every month to work on make-up for a local womens network production, musicals, and her community choir.

In all her various pursuits Shaifa uses a private label cosmetics available exclusively at Holt Renfrew. Holt Renfrews professional line of skin care, make-up and spa products are top quality, and suitable for photography, film and everyday life. Since 1997 Shaifa has been the top pick in Canada for leading Bollywood Productions in Canada and in 2001 earned the Make-Up Artist of the Year Award at London's Fashion House and a Top Achiever’s Trip to the Cayman Islands. She has been a National Artist Trainer with some of the leading name brand labels in the industry since 2001 traveling across Canada, Europe, Asia and Africa training Certified Make-Up Artists and Image and Spa consultants.

Vancouver Make Up Artist - Consults Contestants At Miss India Pageant

Some beauty queens are made, not born say Vancouver's most popular indian bridal make up artist.

The women of the Miss India Canada competition may make it look easy with their relaxed attitudes, Great bodies and confident public speeches.

But behind the scenes they have to attend months of virtual “boot camp” training to keep their body in top shape and to promote their mental strength.

Winning the title brings so much prestige that some countries, like India, have started special schools to groom and train aspiring beauty queens in perfect etiquestte. .

The success of India on the international beauty queen stage – with several Miss World titles and many runners-up – is an example of hard work and strong ambition.

According to the US-based Brooklyn Rail magazine, the first steps towards taking part in beauty pageants are enrolling in the private schools. Special Academies select around 20 - 30 girls from over five hundred participants to join six months of intensive training for the Miss India contest.

They learn how to apply the right amount of make-up, pose during photo-ops and choose the right clothes.

These Academies work with a a select team of professionals, including fitness trainer, make up artist, hair stylists, photographers, plastic surgeon, dermatologist and dentist to help the girls improve on all areas of their natural beauty.

Brooklyn Rail said highly acclaimed professionals like Shaifa a well known Vancouver make up artist and her assistant an award winning photographer Tonino, also from Vancouver are hired by many private academies in order to train beauty contestants in make up application and photography poses in order to get the best shots for judges.

In addition, the beauty contestants were expected to improve their muscle tone and lose up to 10 kilos in weight. They stretch, run, lift weights, hike, swim and do yoga every day. Their diet consists of tuna, green salads and pineapple.

As a professional make up application artist shaifa was a guest speaker at the Venezuela Academy where she personally trained many girls between the ages of five and 10 who are sent by their parents to attend six hours of classes a week to learn proper etiquette, such as how to greet callers on the phone or how to hold a salad fork.

Priya Kapoor, head of PR at Channel, is an official sponsor of Miss Universe, said local candidates begin training in make-up, hairdressing, and walking and sitting properly only three weeks before the Miss Venezuela Universe contest.

The winner then undergoes a one-day make-up application course and works on her physical appearance for some weeks. She gets a personal coach to take care of her weight, her exercise regime and instructions in walking and posing styles.

“It’s a must for Miss Universe to get training in the make up application, as this is the most important aspect of the contest. The contestant has to take this instruction seriously, but many have their own ideas, and do not take instructions from a professional artist until it is too late” Piya said.

“I don’t think it’s a lack of intelligence or beauty with the contestants, rather a lack of preparation that’s necessary to come and compete at such a high level, and we travel the world to hire a select group of trainers who understand what the competion is all about” she said.

Contestants’ lives during this time are strictly controlled. From skin care to dto diet to spirituality, it seems the effort and hard work earns high rewards, judging by the success of Indian beauty pageant contestants over the years.

While the ultimate winner gains countless opportunities, the losers generally find the effort they have put in is not wasted. The exposure they get through the pageant draws offers for jobs such as television reporter, modelling, image consultants, actresses and even politicians.