The Edit

Illamasqua interviews… Sangeeta Dosanjh

Illamasqua is the Official Sponsor of India Fashion Week in association with the National Asian Wedding Show. Sangeeta Dosanjh is the head of make-up artistry for the event happening at Olympia London 11th & 12th November 2017. Ahead of the show we talk with Sangeeta about her involvement with the shows, Asian Bridal Make-up trends and her love of Illamasqua.

Question: What make-up colours & textures can we expect to see at India Fashion week this year?

As the head of the artistry team for India Fashion Week, I will be working alongside many elite Indian designers to create the ideal look for their individual collection. As a general overview, there will be more of a soft and diffused look throughout India Fashion Week, almost like a modern renaissance feel. I want the focus to be on creating very clean, healthy-looking skin with an inner glow coming through. You are going to see more muted, earthy tones but still having that element of sparkle and glamour. Creating more of a softer top liner rather than the traditional winged liner. But let’s not forget, this is India Fashion Week after all. So don’t be surprised if a graphic liner or a hint of colour will make it down the runway.

Question: India Fashion week joins the National Asian Wedding Show at Olympia, which Illamasqua are sponsoring. Which colours & looks are popular with Asian brides this year?

It’s been a year of brides knowing what they want and expressing that through their bridal looks. There has been a great shift from the traditional Asian bridal look and gone more towards the ‘less id more’ approach. The focus has been on how I can enhance their features rather can change them. Most brides have wanted the gold / bronzed eye with hints of glitter, finished with the traditional black winged liner. It has been out with the traditional red lip and in with either very nude pink tones or very deep maroon tones. It has also been the year of the shimmer highlighter. With the cheeks being more softly sculpted rather than strong contouring and lightly touched with muted tones rather than bright pink blushers.

Question: What’s the most popular bridal look you create for your clients?

The most highly requested look would be my signature Sangeeta Dosanjh bridal look. My brides love the way I apply makeup, especially the base and it’s not heavy or cakey, creating a flawless look. I am always asked to create what is now known as my signature eye looks.
Which is a semi cut crease using champagne gold tones on the eyes with hues of browns (not black) to define the outer corners. It’s a great combination of shimmers and mattes. No black liner in the inner waterline, instead smoking out the outer edge of it with browns to create that intensity. I use many different techniques and products to warm up and define facial features, and one of the popular ways to achieve this is by using bronzers. And finishing them with shimmery, warm tones. Finally, the lips are never over lined but still shaped and defined.

Question: When did you first realise you were destined for a career in make-up artistry?

I actually accidentally fell into the world of makeup artistry. I had always been really creative, from writing poetry to creating artwork at school. I was about 13 when I first purchased my first eyeliner. I started experimenting with different products and before I knew it, I was doing hair and makeup looks for friends and family. It seemed to have become integral to studies too. Whilst studying Fashion Design at University, we would often have fashion shows to raise money for Graduate Fashion Week and I would be helping with arranging them as well as helping with the hair and makeup looks for the models. Working backstage at London Fashion Week, I was able to not only see the outfits, but also the hair and makeup team work their magic to bring it all together. When I got married in 2008 I really wanted another creative outlet. So that’s when I got my hair and makeup qualification and started to take it a bit more seriously. I think my destiny was written to become a makeup artist once my son was born. Cutting a very long and heartbreaking story short, hours after he was born he got an infection whilst in hospital. Within 24 hours he was rushed to intensive care and was only given hours to live. It was an absolute miracle he survived but suffered major brain damage. After spending nearly 7 weeks in intensive care, we finally were able to bring him home. We were told whatever we can do with for the first 6-8 years of his life is what he will have for the rest of his life. And that was that. I handed in my notice to the design company I was working for whilst on maternity leave. I am not going to lie, it has been a very tough, hard and often a lonely journey being a parent to a child with special needs and I found myself not doing anything apart from focusing on my son and his development. I lost who I was as a person. One day, I woke up and just wanted to do something for myself. So I started to do test shoots for photographers to build up my confidence in doing makeup again. Then I started to apply for makeup competitions for Illamasqua and L’Oreal. From that, I even got recognition by Val Garland and the Mastered team to be a part of their makeup mentoring programme which opened a huge door to doing projects with I.D magazine and Vivienne Westwood to name a few. Today, I can proudly say that I am not only the Official Hair and Makeup Artist for The National Asian Wedding Show, which is Europe’s biggest Asian wedding show. But also I will be leading a team of hairstylists and makeup artists at India Fashion Week. I still cannot believe it myself.

Question: When did you first discover Illamasqua?

I think it was 2008 or 2009 when I really needed a highly pigmented turquoise colour. Every store or counter I tried did not have the colour or intensity that I wanted. Then I discovered the Illamasqua counter in the Bullring, Birmingham and let’s just say not only did I find my turquoise pigment, but also my love for the brand.

Question: Which are your favourite Illamasqua product/s & why?

There are so many amazing products to choose from! So many literally live in my kit as well as doubling up in my personal make-up collection. If I had to whittle it down, it would have to be these 5 products.

Rich Liquid Foundation – If cream foundation were ever to be in a liquid form, this would be it. A little really does go along way and it just gives the most flawless finish.

Infinity Gel Liner – Anyone who knows me will tell you how obsessed I am with gel liners, especially this one. It is the blackest gel liner I have ever used and doesn’t matter how many different ones I try and try, I always come back to this.

Highlight in OMG – This highlight… OMG! It literally has you saying OMG. It is the perfect champagne gold shimmer highlighter to give you that healthy glow from within, especially when used on the high points of your face. It’s great to use as a wash of shimmer over the eyelids too.

Satin Primer – A firm staple in my kit. There isn’t any other primer like it. I often have clients who have combination / dry skin and this primer really helps to create the perfect smooth base before foundation application.

Pure Pigment in Ore – This has been used religiously on most of my clients. It is the most beautiful antique gold loose pigment I have ever seen and it compliments so many skin tones.

Question: Which make-up artists or influencers do you religiously follow?

I have followed artists such as Alex Box, Val Garland, Pat McGrath and Dominic Skinner for so many years. I love their versatility and creativity. However, I do follow a lot of other artists that are not so well known as I love to see new ideas from talented artists.

Question: Where do you find inspiration for the looks you create?

The internet and social media are the greatest tools to access anything. There is so much out there for you to view and to be inspired by. From up to date look trends or even research past trends.
When it comes to bridal looks, I usually take inspiration not only for the bride’s outfit and jewellery but also their personality. It is key to make sure that they are comfortable in the look that I have created as it is their big day, not mine.

Question: What is the best & the worst beauty advice you have ever received?

Best advice was to go with my gut instinct and remain true to myself when it came to everything and anything as an artist and a brand.
Worst advice was to never to use my own name to brand myself. Funnily enough, this advice actually came from another artist, who used their full name for their brand.

Question: If you could only use one make-up item for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Concealer. I could double it up as a foundation if need be.

Question: What’s your favourite make-up hack?

Using black gel liner is not just for lining the waterline or creating a winged liner. It is a great product to create an intense smoky eye. Also, I often use it to fill in brows and if you ever forget your mascara, just put some on your finger and run it along your lashes. It’s a great multitasking product.

Question: What is the easiest way to turn a day look into something that works for a night out/office to bar?

A quick change from a light coloured lipstick to a bright or deep colour, such as reds, pinks or plums, would really change a day look to a night look.

Question: What are your top tips for keeping your make-up flawless throughout the day?

Don’t pile it on. It is as simple as that. Thinner layers of products will help keep your makeup in place all day. Also lightly dusting your face with a small amount of translucent powder will help to keep it looking flawless.

Question: If you could talk to anyone in the world for 5 minutes, what would you say?

Donald Trump. I would tell him exactly how I and millions of others feel about his views and leadership skills. I can’t tell you exactly what I would say, but it would contain a lot of explicits!

Question: What’s next for you, what are your big plans for the next year?

Gosh! That’s a very tough question to answer. Definitely focusing on progressing as an artist and building the Sangeeta Dosanjh brand. I have recently set up my own hair and makeup training academy, in which I will be teaching budding hairstylists and makeup artists all the skills and techniques I have learnt throughout my experience of being a makeup artist. I always knew that one day I would love to share my knowledge with other creatives. So, I got my teaching qualification and now all my courses are fully accredited. There are a lot of big plans for next year but all will be revealed in good time.

Thanks to Sangeeta for talking to us, you can follow her on Instagram at @sangeetadosanjh.



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