Having carved a niche in hair styling and makeup, Diya Umar, a professional makeup artist recently launched her studio ‘De YOU Makeover’ located in uptown Barzulla. Sitting in the cool confines of her studio, Diya recounts that life was not always a bed of roses especially when it needed to first win hearts for getting into this profession.
“Making family and near ones realize that makeup and styling is a dignified profession like other jobs was the first challenge. Having done so, the next thing was to get a professional hands-on experience in makeup for which I did several professional courses from Delhi. I must say that my husband Umar and parents have been an immense support,” says Diya.
After facing several cynics, it was a well-wisher doctor friend who made Diya realize that visiting a client home for makeup has no taboo attached to it as is perceived by many. Once convinced, there was no looking back for Diya who has done makeup and styling for many brides so far.
“It was a doctor friend of mine who explained that how visiting a bride’s home is perfectly alright. If doctors, engineers and architects can make site visits what is the harm if a makeup artist does the same,” Diya says.
Diya’s entry route to professional world came in the form of running a travel company but monotony of this job made Diya think of changing tracks. For Diya, a dream profession was one that could provide her eternal joy and bring out the creative self in her. “Moreover I wanted to do something that was associated with women and was all about bringing smiles to their faces,” says Diya.
The first serious effort to understand the nuances of makeup and styling for Diya was in the form of a 9-month training programme at ‘MSTC London Based Academy’ in New Delhi. “I learnt manual makeup and hair styling after which I used to do makeup of friends and family,” says Diya.
The learning for Diya has never stopped as she also underwent a training programme at VLCC in Delhi. “I used to contemplate of going abroad for doing some sort of a training in makeup but the fact is that in places such as UK, focus is largely on international standard makeup which goes well with western outfits. In Kashmir it is Indian standard bridal looks, which are prominent. So my training in Delhi helped a lot,” says Diya.
A step further in the makeup skills of Diya was when she did air brush makeup training from the ‘London Based Academy’. “The air brush makeup has become an instant hit with brides in Kashmir. I also learnt Arabic eye makeup at Delhi School of Makeup, which added to my skillset. First, I worked as a freelance makeup artist but realized it is important to own a brand,”says Diya.
Diya is gaining popularity for not just making brides look gorgeous on their wedding day but also help others attending weddings and parties look stylish.
Apart from providing makeup and hair styling services, Diya has added yet another feather to her hat by offering lehangas, jewellery, accessories and party wear on rent. “I brought exotic Jadau jewellery from Hyderabad and showcase a whole lot of range of accessories at my studio which is put up for rentals. This even includes party wear, which has been appreciated to a great extent. I have clients coming from every part of Kashmir but I offer home visits only in the vicinity of Srinagar. The clutches and potlis, I offer are quite special,” says Diya.
Passing on her skills to to-be brides and students is a heartfelt passion for Diya. Such has been her longing for providing beauty, makeup and styling tips to others that Diya has already helped six aspiring makeup artists to learn tricks of the trade.
“I provide them self-grooming tips and among those I trained, recently, also includes two brides. I am glad that from doctors to engineers and lawyers to other professionals, there are so many women and young girls who want to learn the art of makeup,” says Diya.
De You Makeover is a brand emerging fast and there has been no looking back for Diya. However, not everything has been hunky dory for this talented makeup artist, whose Facebook page and mobile was hacked by some unknown person recently.
“The level of competition of makeup artists is becoming so intense that someone recently hacked my accounts and my phone. I think this is purely out of envy for my brand. I had thousands of ‘likes’ on my Facebook page but now would need to start my social media campaign all over again,” says Diya.
While Diya is making all out efforts to ensure that she makes as many women look gorgeous, the uncertainty of the situation in Kashmir is always at the back of mind. “My bookings for makeup and styling have been made till end of October but fingers crossed I hope things remain normal and we get to see a happy and joyous wedding season unlike last year when I had to return advance money of several clients,” says Diya.
Hygience and skin care are of utmost importance to Diya who claims to use brands that are tried and tested from markets in London, Netherlands and Dubai etc. “Cheap products can be harmful for skin so I ensure that I use branded and quality products. In addition I inform all my clients about both pre and post makeup skin care,” says Diya.
Diya signs off saying more than just doing business she believes in making brides look the best on the most important day of their life and “leave behind happy smiles”..