The iconic make-up artist and hairstylist duo, Bharat and Dorris Godambe, have worked with almost everyone in Bollywood in their career that spans three decades. They have created a niche not just by giving stars mannequin-esque appearance, but also by launching their own brand of cosmetics called B&D. In candid chat with Salon India, Bharat Godambe talks on what it’s like to work with the industry’s biggest names and their spectacular journey
Journey of an incredible career I jined the make-up industry as I was in dire need of a job in order to take responsibility of my family. I was barely 16 when I started working with the veteran make-up artist, Pandhari Dada, which I did for almost a decade. With Dorris too, it started early. It was her sister Veena who used to be Amrita Singh’s hairstylist. Veena fell sick during the shooting of Mard, so she sent Dorris to the set. And this was our entry ticket into the glamourous world of Bollywood.
After almost two decades of having worked with almost everyone in Bollywood and doing several beauty pageants and photoshoots, we launched our own brand of cosmetics B&D in 2005. Back then, there were absolutely no brands in India that werestarted by make-up artists themselves. There were brands like Bobbi Brown, of course, but again these international brands were not exposed to the Indian market.
My wife, Dorris, plays a big role in starting the brand B&D. She knew it had been my dream to start my own brand of cosmetics, which from a make-up artist’s point of view was apt for the Indian market. One day when we were in New York, she decided to surprise me by telling me we were starting our own label! And that’s where the second part of our journey began.
There are so many contemporary and legendary make-up artists that inspire me, but one of my favourite master of make-up would be the most influential and celebrated make-up artist, Kevyn Aucoin. Everything about the man was extraordinary, be it his perfection, philosophy and passion at work.
At work, we strive to deliver our best, no matter what! ‘Satisfaction’ is what we look for in our client’s eyes. And because I am an introvert, I want my clients to remember me by the work I do for them. Otherwise too, we let our work speak for us.
Challenges at work
Make-up is a vast field. So, you need to constantly upgrade and reinvent yourself and your make-up kit. It is very important to learn new technology and products. So, everyday we try to be better at what we do and often try to strike a balance between the business element and the artist within us.
Easiest actors to work with in Bollywood
Madhuri Dixit, Aishwarya Rai, Sridevi, Deepika Padukone and most senior actors are co-operative. Katrina Kaif and Aishwarya are naturally beautiful and don’t require much make-up.
USP of B&D products, pricing and business model for future
The make-up industry has evolved tremendously over the years as clients and artists know exactly what they want. Also, the importance of hair and makeup is understood much more these days because of the exposure that we get due to television, the Internet and travelling. But with a booming brand comes immense responsibility. We alongwith our core team constantly try to monitor the make-up trends and then decide which trend belongs to the Indian market. We also spend a lot of time with our research and development team trying to develop new and improved products. Although, there are so many international brands entering the Indianmarket every day, we have our own set of
loyal customers. Our products are targeted especially for the Indian skin, which makes it very desirable to the Indian market. Another bonus is that our products are priced very competitively as we believe in delivering quality to the masses, being affordable at the same time. We have two retail outlets in Mumbai currently and we plan to expand by year 2015. We also intend to launch a full-fledged online store.
Importance of training
Specific training is very crucial in today’s world. There are several training schools for make-up today, but when I started out, there were none; I was the first person to start an institute called Bharat and Dorris 10 years ago. Earlier, you had to assist a senior artist for five to six years before going independent. Today, you can establish yourself in just six months of training. The Bharat and Dorris Training Academy has
over 200 graduates from our professional course each year. Our aim is to mentor our students in such a way that they will be known for the work they do wherever they get placed after graduating from our academy. We have several courses, such as professional courses for aspiring hair and make-up artists, personal grooming classes and advanced level classes.
Advice to aspirants
Be patient and don’t shirk away from working hard. Always remember Rome was not built in a day! So don’t expect that success will come overnight. If you are ambitious, strong-willed and confident of doing good work, no one can stop you from creating milestones.
For make-up, the natural look never goes out of trend, this look is all about looking like you have no make-up on, almost fresh faced. The trick is to perfect the skin tone and blur any kind of discolouration. The shades for lips are Berry and Orange. The colour pop will be in vogue. For eyes graphic white or nude eyeliners will be in vogue, whereas for hair, it’s messy buns, the sleek ponytail look, soft beachy waves and lots of hair accessories will be big.