You’d be forgiven for thinking that she is some curious college kid who has wandered onto a high profile movie set. With her youthful spunk, and mischief-laden eyes, she hardly looks like the hard-wired professional that she is. Ruhi Bindra is the woman behind the unique looks of the 'Chak De' girls. Makeup artist to the stars, she adds shine to their glitz, and with the tricks in her bag, makes them look like a million bucks. Her impressive portfolio includes prestigious television campaigns like BPL Mots, Nestle, Polo, Samsung, Mother Dairy, Hutch and Santro.
She barely has time to sit and contemplate the success she has achieved in a very short time. But I caught her online, and she could not refuse a quick question and answer session. She is every bit as adorable as she looks.
Shotcouture: How did you start in the makeup industry?
Ruhi: I always had a flair for Make-up n Hair-Styling since I was a child. I used to do Make-up n Hair Do's on my aunts and cousins when I was just 8 years old. Also I got into Modeling after getting out of school so I always did my own make-up and hair most of the times as I had the knack of it. And then, one fine day in 2004, I just thought of getting into it professionally. I had never been to a Make-up School or done a professional course to begin with. I hadn’t even assisted any Make-up Artist. I just started working on Ads, Music Videos, Press Campaigns, Fashion Magazines, and then work started flowing in. I got my first Bollywood break on the feature “Fanaa” with Yashraj Films and then I did “Thoda Pyaar Thoda Magic”. Then “Chak De” happened, and I got a chance to design the look for all the actors in the entire film. From then on, it’s been a great journey.
Shotcouture: What celebs have you been working with recently?
Ruhi: I recently worked with Gauhar Khan, Shahzan Padamsee, Tisca Chopra, Manjaree Phadnis, Karan Huku, Madhavan, Nisha Jhamval, Avanti Birla, Yash Birla, Shabana Azmi, Mandira Bedi, Shaheen Abbas, Minissha Lamba, Genelia Dsouza, Amrit Maghera, Sheetal Malhar, Diandra Soares, Rita Dodhi, Sarah Jane, Gul Panaag, Ayesha Takia and many more. You will have to log on to my site and check my entire celebrity client list.
Shotcouture: Wow! That reads like the who’s who of the industry! Can you tell us about a memorable moment you had while doing a celebrity's makeup?
Ruhi: Recently I was working with Gauhar Khan's look on Rocket Singh and I remember Shimit Amin had briefed me on her character in the film and had instructed me not to make her look beautiful as the character demanded a garish look. So keeping that in mind I had to try my level best not to make her look pretty but loud and garish. And I remember I had to convince Gauhar everyday on sets while doing her make-up. As each day was even more challenging. I had to keep giving her different looks on the same lines. I had to use heavy bindis, thick layer of base and heavy eye make-up, bright blush, and dark colored lipsticks to bring out her character. This was one of my most recent memorable moments.
Shotcouture: If we took a peek in your makeup kit what would we see?
Ruhi: If u take a peek in my make-up kit u would see loads of make-up: EYESHADOWS, BLUSHES, LIPSTICKS, MOISTURISERS, SHIMMERS, BASE, LOOSE POWDERS, BRUSHES, FACE MIST SPRAY, MAKE-UP FIXER, LASH CURLERS, MASCARAS, KOHL PENCILS IN ALL THE BRIGHT COLORS, GLOSSY EYELINERS, LIP PENCILS, WET MAKE-UP REMOVING TISSUES, NAIL FILERS, NAIL PAINTS, NAIL CUTTER, SCISSORS, FAKE EYE LASHES, STUDIO FIX, PUFFS, SPUNCH, WATER SPRAY, LIP PLUMPERS, LIP LOCKERS, BRONZER SPRAYS, SUN KISSED SPRAYS, ETC
Shotcouture: What sets you apart from other makeup artists?
Ruhi: My minimal base and make-up sets me apart from the other make-up artists. I believe in giving a realistic look as per the requirement of the on screen character.
Shotcouture: How do you keep up with all the new trends and styles? How do you incorporate them into your makeup repertoire?
Ruhi: I always watch the Golden Globe and Oscar Awards, International fashion channels, Vogue and all the Ace Fashion magazines. I always keep myself updated with the new trends and styles. Even when I travel abroad I pick up loads of make-up and funky hair accessories. I always get fascinated with new trends and make sure they are in my make-up kit before anybody is even aware of it.
No wonder this pretty lass is headed for the Bollywood hall of fame. Bringing back realism to make-up, and understanding character traits has given Ruhi an edge that film-makers now recognize. Making her one of the most “in-demand” artists in the industry. Here is wishing this very talented girl a great future in Bollywood and beyond!