What would #MakeupMonday be without a feature from an MUA and today we go down under to bring you an exclusive interview with Nikki Arora! This talented MUA is know for her editorial and bridal looks that have women glowing! Keep reading to learn about the beauty and talent that is Nikki Arora.
Tell us a bit about yourself and who you are outside of being a MUA? (Hobbies, Fav Food, Fav Designer, whatever you would like to share with our readers to help them get to know you better)
My Name is Nikki Arora. I moved to Australia with my family when I was 5. I love dancing and used to perform quite a lot growing up! On the path to discovery, I tried Fashion Design, Event Management and even Business Management – none of which worked out, but I am glad as it lead me to my true calling.
How did you get into makeup and being MUA? What fascinated you about this line of work and made you pursue it? Are you trained professionally?
I love the transformative power this career has, we’re like the fairy godmothers every girl wants on their special days. I can definitely say it is far more rewarding than it is labour intensive! I am trained professionally from an Australian accredited institution, this was less for skills but more for the hygiene and safety aspects of working on people, which might I add, is essential when booking a makeup artist!
How long have you been a MUA? How long have you worked on Brides?
I have been doing Hair & makeup ‘on the side’ since I was 17 years old. I only took it on as a full time profession in Jan 2016!
If you had to pick one word to describe your style for your makeup application, what would it be? Why?
Flexible! No two people and their likes can be exactly the same. Starting quite young, I was able to meet people with so many varying types of preferences that you realise that the ‘conventional makeup look’ actually doesn’t even exist!
How important are trials do you think, especially for a bride? What is involved exactly in a trial?
The first and most important thing to know is that there are two types of trials. This trial is to narrow down the artists to the one who you would like to be a part of your wedding. The second is the Bridal trial. This one is to determine the entire look/s you will have for your wedding functions.
A bridal Hair and Makeup trial is the most essential part of your entire wedding planning process. Talking from the artists point of view, it is not really about the hair and makeup at all. For us, its important to know who you are, what you like and what makes you insecure, (Aesthetically). Whether it is having all your hair off your face, draping a 10kg veil into your bun, or a black smokey eye.
A good, informative trial should be early in the day, preferably one when you’re not going anywhere or doing anything in particular. This will allow you to see how your skin looks and reacts after a few hours of application.
Here’s a tip I have always given my brides. Co-ordinate a meeting with your photographers on that day- (not a photoshoot) -to take some test shots. One in natural light, one in flash, and one indoors. It would take them 5 minutes but would give you an idea of what you loved, and what needs to be changed.
How long does a trial take? How advance should a bride book the trial for?
Anywhere between 2-4 hours. I suggest doing a trial 6-8 weeks prior the wedding.
Normally when booking a MUA for a hindu wedding, it involves not only make up application but also hair, saree draping and sometimes even accessory rentals. Do you work solo? Do you have assistants to help you with any of the aforementioned?
At this stage I work alone. I think when it comes to the finished product, it is very difficult to find people who are on the same wavelength and as such, I find it easier to keep the creative process between me and the bride.
When it comes to a wedding, everyone wants to get their hair/makeup done. Do you take on another person(s) along with the bride (Mother of the Bride, sister etc.) Why or why not? Do you have other MUAs you recommend?
I will offer packages for the bride and 2 more people. Usually, it would be the mother and the sister or Maid of honour. I do two, because it gives me enough energy and time with the bride, and also makes it worthwhile for them to not have too many other people to source out. I do recommend other local Hair and Makeup artists upon request.
Out of the 3 (Hair/MakeUp/Saree Draping), which do you find the most challenging? What is one tip/trick/secret you have been taught to deal with that?
The most challenging for me would be Hairstyling. When I started, I was only doing Makeup and then taught myself hair, out of the demand for it. I went to Canada to learn more about South-Asian hairstyling- but more on that later! I tackle it just the way we would tackle anything that is slightly more unpleasant, “Get it out of the way first!” In my opinion, the end reveal is more dramatic that way anyway!
We all know the importance of great skin and how it’s the ultimate foundation for great makeup application. What are some tips/guidelines you pass along to brides who book with you to help them achieve great skin?
It’s an age old tale & I am not about to tell you anything new. Drink lots of water!
Being based out of Australia, you have to endure long flights when travelling, whether it be for work or pleasure.What is your go to regiment for travel skin care? How do you deal with the air on air planes and how it dries up the skin and hair?
When I am travelling, I like to not wear makeup! However sometimes if it’s an evening flight or if I will be landing and jumping into a meeting or a booking, I have to look polished. I will always carry A small face mist, my favourite right now is the Mac Fix+! I think I must go through 10 bottles a month! If it’s a long flight, Make sure you’re drinking enough water!
Take some hydrating eye mask patches, or if you’re daring enough, a face mask along with you to just relax. My Hair gets quite oily, and surprisingly when I am travelling my hair gets all this volume! I love it!
I can’t really complain about that. I have heard Ouai is a fantastic hair care brand though, and have gotten many raving reviews of the Ouai Hair Oil to help with the static and dryness when travelling
Give us some tips for brides who are travelling for their weddings in regards to their skin care. What is something they should definitely plan to pack with them? Anything that is a must to have with them in their carry on?
Currently what’s in my Travel bag:
Simple Cleansing Makeup Wipes
Sephora Avocado Sleeping mask
Benefit Cosmetics Total Moisture
Benefit cosmetics Puff Off
Frank body Lip Balm
Benefit Gimme Brow
Name a staple in your kit, something you would cry over if you left at home?
Probably my Brow products!
The cosmetic industry is slowly evolving to have better shade ranges to include asian skintones. Even then, certain lines don’t carry exact matches. What kind of products do you use to custom blend an exact skin match for your asian clients?
I have never seemed to have issues with this. I have used the Nars Foundation in my kit since the beginning of time, I think it is the best foundation for south-Asian skin as the line provides so many colours that cater to a range of undertones.
Tell us about one of your first experiences getting a bride ready? How did it go? Were you nervous? Did everything go as you’d hoped?
My first bride, was a school friend! She was fantastic! She left everything to me and that really took some of the pressure off
When you look back on your first client, what is one thing you would do differently now? Use Brow Products!
For brides that are reading this – what are a few things you would recommend to them to ensure MUA can do their job more efficiently and smoother.
I’ll be honest, it comes down to the trial! If your artist didn’t deliver at the trial or even if you weren’t on the same page. chances are, on the day, you will have to go through the same thing.
Your go to lippie for a bride would be a) Lipstick (specify formula type) b) Liquid Lipstick/ Lip Stain c) Lip Gloss?
I prefer matte lipsticks and not liquid because they look hideous after a little while!
Give us your go to in the following categories, a product that has never failed you:
- Foundation – Nars Sheer Glow
- Setting Powder – Laura Mercier Translucent
- Eyeliner – Inglot Gel
- Lipstick – Inglot/MAC
- Mascara – Tarte, Lights Camera Splashes
- Highlighter – Anastasia Beverly Hills
- Setting spray – MAC Fix + or the Skindinavia range
Who do you consider to be a role model? Who did you look up to when you first started out as a makeup artist? How this person was shaped who you’ve become in the wedding industry?
The girls from Pink Orchid Studio! They are my Inspiration; their hustle and success, despite having a family and additional responsibilities they manage to remain focused and down to earth.
If you could collaborate with any other MUA, who would it be and why?
I can’t think for Makeup, however I would love to work with Aamir Naveed Hair! His hairstyles are to die for!
If you could have anyone in the world do your makeup for your wedding, who would it be and why? If you are already married, if you could redo your wedding, who would you have as your MUA and why?
That is so stressful, I haven’t even thought about it! I’ll go out on a limb and say, probably the Pink Orchid Girls, more because they are fantastic at making someone feel comfortable and confident.
Through the power of social media, you have reached followers all over the globe. Are you willing to travel overseas for a bride that wishes to book you?
100%, That would be surreal!
If you guys are lucky enough to be in OZ or looking for an excellent makeup artist for your big day, make sure to check out Nikki Arora on Facebook and Instagram as she is sure to leave you wowed. Tie • The • Thali would like to thank Nikki for letting our readers get to know her better and can’t wait to see all her future works and projects!