Meet Pakkhi Pahuja, the make-up maverick


Pakkhi Pahuja of Team Vanity is a bridal specialist who offers a one-stop-shop for brides.

With a journey that started with M.A.C Cosmetics, Pakkhi Pahuja has come a long way. After honing her make-up skills at Christine Blundell Academy, UK, Pakkhi founded Team Vanity in 2017, in Mumbai. From dolling up celebrities to working on editorial shoots, Pakkhi has done all this and much more. Today, she is the undisputed leader in bridal beauty within her circuit. Professional Beauty has an exclusive tete-a-tete with her about her love for make-up and her journey as an artist.

Tell us about your initiation into the world of make-up.

My inclination towards make-up started when I was 17 years old. While my parents wanted me to pursue an MBA, I felt that it will not gratify my creative itch. I wanted to try something new, something different. Make-up just really happened unknowingly. I assisted an artist called Vipul Bhagat for three years and that’s pretty much how my journey of being a make-up artist started.

How was Team Vanity born?

One of the reasons that I wanted to have my own salon and studio is because I felt that there was a huge need for brides to find everything under one roof. They are always looking for a bunch of services, consulting different people. For instance, I am extremely particular about brows and I feel like it kind of makes or breaks the look. That’s why I did a brow specialist course. The ideology behind starting a salon was to actually offer real services for brides-to-be. There are so many places that are over styling them. The idea was to just kind of cut the wiff-waff and give them what they really need.

You excel in bridal make-up. What are the most common mistakes that bridal makeup artists make?

The most common mistake is using the wrong base for the make-up. A lot of make-up artists use lighter shade of foundation and sometimes too much powder to give that extra coverage for the bride to look perfect in her wedding pictures. It’s a pity to see that in some parts of the city, you will still find some people wanting do get their make-up done with the intent of looking fairer or white washed. Another common mistake is not using water proof make-up. We all know that wedding is an emotional event and one of the key aspects to keep in mind when doing bridal makeup is using water proof make-up.

How has the make-up industry in India progressed?

The beauty industry is blooming and has tremendous potential. There are so many amazing platforms to learn from now, given the fact that the digital space has made the world much smaller. In a metropolitan city like Mumbai, there are a lot of places churning out some amazing work. Times have certainly changed, make-up used to be just powder, lipstick and kajal for Indian woman but now, every girl knows and wants to learn how to do makeup.

Bridal makeup trends for 2018…

The trends we noticed in Paris and Milan Fashion Weeks with hair was basically loose waves, texture and tussle. With make-up instead of it being avant garde, this time it was a lot more dewy but wearable make-up. However, international trends and real trends don’t actually affect India or Bollywood. I think they have a dominance of their own. The beauty magazines and articles may probably talk about that at length. But when we talk about bridal make-up, it still stays the way it has always been been. Pretty, enhancing, glamorous and beautiful.

5 qualities that every bridal make-up artist must have…

  1. Professionalism: Most brides think that anyone who is a labeled make-up artist has the talent. One should consider the experience and past work before hiring a make-up artist for your big day.
  2. Reliable skills: Expect that he or she will create the look as per your requirements and a look that complements your attire. The artist should be experienced enough to give you a clean, long lasting and waterproof make-up.
  3. Customer service: Make-up artists should be able to communicate with a variety of people to understand client goals and provide necessary feedback. Artists need to be confident and tactful when suggesting changes that may benefit a customer’s appearance.
  4. Compatible and quick: The makeup artist should put you at ease. You should be able to communicate what you want. Last thing you want is someone spending 45 mins in your face.
  5. Punctual: You don’t want to be late for own wedding. Hire someone who understands the importance of time.

How do you plan to make a difference in the makeup industry?

Like I mentioned earlier, some folks just don’t want to agree to being brown skinned. It’s beautiful to be brown skinned. There is whole different sense of beauty to that colour. It’s just so sad that some people want to look ‘white’. I want to create more looks, which are natural. I feel people are intimidated to try something new. They are scared because it might be something expensive but I wish it was easy for people to avail professional services. My idea is to do that with Team Vanity. I hope that it translates and reaches out to as many people as possible.

How should make-up artists interact with bridal clients?

The most important thing is listening to the people you are working with. It’s all about imbibing what they want and adding your own creativity to the mix of things. Bear in mind the skin type of the canvas one is working with, and the end you are hoping to achieve. Try creating a look that is quite close to the expectation of the person and strongly stick to the brief given by the client. I believe that makes for the most crucial part of working towards achieving any look. I think everything comes from taking your brief really right and trying to apply your skill towards cracking that.

Your future plans

I feel like I already have too much on my plate at the moment. I honestly don’t know anything about the future at this point in time but maybe yes, I want to have kids, that’s definitely part of my plan. I feel like I’ve found a big goal for now and it’s keeping me busy and I have a lot to do with it yet.



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