If there’s something that made us proud and left us awestruck in equal parts from the Cannes Film Festival this year, it has to be Deepika Padukone’s mesmerising looks. From bold to soft, from Indie to Parisian chic, Deepika endeavoured every vibe, and shone all the way. What made a lot of noise, however, were her striking makeup looks, each of them masterpieces of sorts – unveiling a different side of Deepika. In a tête-à-tête with Sandhya Shekar, the makeup artist who brought DP’s many ethereal looks to life, we get an insider view to what went behind the creation.
All of Deepika’s looks at Cannes have been stellar. What was your experience like?
I think this Cannes experience was so different from the ones that I’ve done in the past because she was a part of the jury and that changed so much for us – what we were going to be experiencing as a team. From the looks that we were creating as well as the kind of time we had to get her ready, it was one the most hectic schedule we’ve been in. I can’t imagine how Deepika managed to do it all. It was very fulfilling, but I don’t know how we did what we did.
Before getting into individual looks, can you talk about the overall theme? What was the brief?
There wasn’t a specific theme or brief per say but French chic was something that was running in my mind all the time. And, that was a brief of sorts. We were not really going for extra drama, it was more simple, cool and understated, wearable stuff. As chic and minimal as possible.
The first look went viral and how. What was your inspiration and how did you create it?
Though I wanted to keep it minimal, I’m aware of all the noise that the opening red carpet look made – it went viral. We wanted to play around with the hair and makeup, but didn’t want to make it very Indian. We wanted a look that was globally relatable. Initially, there was always an idea of a winged eyeliner, but I didn’t know how much I was going to wing it (she smiles). The focus is always on doing something different; while we were there, it just happened. I created the look in 30 minutes, it’s nothing short of an achievement for me.
You’ve either gone for bold lips and muted eyes or vice-versa. Was that a conscious choice?
I think that’s just a part of what my work represents. I feel that there’s always that one thing that I like to focus on, apart from doing great skin. When you’re doing red carpet looks especially, it shouldn’t get busy. Then that one element – a lip colour or the eyes – stands out. So yes, it definitely is a conscious choice and also it’s a part of my signature kinda makeup.
Deepika’s outfits had a great mix of western silhouettes and ethnic saris. How did this affect your choice of makeup looks?
Honestly, every time I’m working with Deepika Padukone, my only aim is to enhance her natural beauty. For me, it’s all about taking it to the next level. And, she’s so open to new ideas which makes the experience more fun. With respect to silhouettes, it doesn’t really influence my makeup much. Also, as a person, I tend to get bored of my own work; even if I have to do one nude look on a face for a week, I try to keep changing things up.
Everyone’s been obsessing over the lip shades across Deepika’s looks. Can you share some of your favourite lipsticks used across the looks?
I think this is the million dollar question that I‘m asked about all the time. To be very honest, I don’t share the lip shade names often only because I mix up 3-4 shades on her lip to play with the hues and textures. But some of the shades that I’ve used are Mocha, Taupe, Burnt Chilli and Marrakesh from M.A.C Cosmetics. I’ve also used some of Pat McGrath and American Woman from NARS. However, on no given day did I use just one lip shade on her.
We know this is difficult but if you had to pick one favourite look, which one would that be?
I obviously loved every look on her; it could be because we see her in person too. No camera can do justice to the way she looks, she looks like a million dollars all the time. It’s difficult to pick just one look. Having said that, the last day – her look in the white Abu Jani & Sandeep Khosla sari was my favourite. Dreamy, clean and minimal.
Could you elaborate on the steps of creating any one look of your choice, that’s wearable and easy to recreate?
The look where she’s wearing the orange outfit is the easiest to recreate in my opinion. Prep your skin with a moisturiser and primer. Ensure that your foundation shade matches your skin and use minimum amounts to avoid a caked up look. We picked a mattifying formula. For the eyes, I used a combination of brown and burnt orange and added some individual lashes and mascara. A soft brow, a natural-looking contour and statement lip.
Also read: 5 Beauty Lessons To Learn From Sonam Kapoor