Everybody wants to look good. Akriti Sachdev has made it her business to ensure we do!
“It’s official! UTV Disney - Akriti Sachdev association :) 2013 marks a new chapter in my life! My YouTube Channel akritisachdev is getting a facelift! Yay! Brand new make-up videos shot with professional videographers! (No more shaky cameras, echoes, cows, background noise etc haha)...” Thus reads a post on Akriti Sachdev’s Facebook page: Mesmereyes Make-up, a brand started by her.
The language and excitement though typical of a 23-year-old, Akriti Sachdev’s achievements in a short span of time and in a field that not many consider “serious enough”, can in no way be called typical! A make-up artist, instructor, fashion blogger and an International Business graduate, Akriti’s schedule is packed! But she is not complaining. “Make-up may seem oh-so-pretty and straightforward, but it’s a tedious job which calls for a lot of patience!” she forewarns.
Talking to NXg, Akriti tells us how she successfully changed track from economics to cosmetics!
How did you get into the make-up field?
While growing up, my older brother influenced me into becoming a die hard fan of WWE, got me addicted to the PlayStation and made me a tomboy! To a certain extent, my younger sister brought out my feminine side! It was only while I was studying in the University of Manchester that I got fascinated by the world of make-up. I was a simple girl who wore nothing more than Kajal and lip gloss. The thought of make-up intimidated me! During my first visit to the MAC store in the UK, I was awe struck by the transformation they had given me in a few easy steps! It was after this experience that my curiosity for make-up grew stronger which led me to join the make-up giant MAC as a Make-up Artist. Of course, a lot of eyebrows were raised when I considered it as a serious career choice, but as long as my family supported me, it didn’t really matter.
Being just 23, what gave you the confidence to take off on your own?
I’ve been brought up in a family filled with entrepreneurs. Graduating with a degree in International Business, Finance and Economics from the University of Manchester boosted my confidence and gave me the green signal towards starting my own company. My first “real” job was while I was studying at University. I worked as a part-time waitress in a fine dining restaurant and I realised how much I learned from it in terms of interpersonal skills. It broadened my mind and taught me ways to understand and serve people better. I also pursued an internship with a Consultancy firm, was an active member of AIESEC and volunteered at Oxfam — a charity organisation in the UK, while I was pursuing my Business Course. It’s a combination of my exposure in different fields that has moulded me and given me the confidence to start off on my own.
What defines Akriti’s brand of make-up and styling?
Mesmereyes Make-up focuses on enhancing your natural beauty without looking “made up”. There are so many women (and men) who dislike the thought of make-up because they immediately associate it to a caked up face where you look like a different person. My goal is to change that approach and pay attention to highlighting your features rather than masking your face. My style is more to do with smooth, glowing skin, accentuated, defined eyes with lots of mascara, contoured cheeks and a pop of colour on the lips.
What prompted you to blog and start your own YouTube channel? Aren’t you giving away trade secrets?
Once I began teaching in Chennai, I received messages from women around India who were curious about make-up. Given the geographical limitation, I realised that social media was the best way forward to expand my reach. YouTube was a medium through which I could teach women the art of enhancing their features. It’s the sense of satisfaction that a woman experiences when she looks at herself in a new light that keeps me going. I want to share all my beauty knowledge through my Facebook page, twitter, blog and YouTube channel to empower women across the globe and make them feel more confident. I truly believe that the more you give, the more you get in return.
Tell us about other projects you are involved in at the moment.
Apart from being a Bridal Make-up Artist, I work with Hindustan Unilever as the Beauty Blogger for their website: www.bebeautiful.in. Through Be Beautiful, I got the opportunity to attend the Ponds Femina Miss India Pagent across India and the Lakme Fashion Week. I’ve also recently signed a deal with UTV-Disney who are going to be producing and marketing make-up videos on my own YouTube Channel — akritisachdev, which will be launched shortly.
How has the social media changed the game for youngsters like you?
I can’t stress on how much exposure you get through the social media! Social Media is the next big thing and corporates are now focusing on this medium to reach out to their audience. I wouldn’t have got half the opportunities if not for the social media. Most of my marketing is done online and I make sure I always stay connected no matter where I am!
Advantage or disadvantage of being a youngster in your field…
Advantage: In this new age, it’s all about being young, restless, dynamic and innovative. You don’t have to rely upon traditional methods of doing things. Also, being a youngster, I can relate to people on every level and tweak my marketing strategy accordingly.
Disadvantage: Convincing people that you have a dynamic idea in mind that you want to pursue. Initially, most people didn’t take me seriously because they thought it was a phase I was going through! Once you’re in the market, people may hesitate to consider your services because you don’t have much experience.
Having said that, the advantages outweigh the disadvantages!
Challenges in your profession...
The biggest challenge I face is the timing. Even though I am my own boss, I find it challenging to balance my work live with my social and personal life. I try to stay connected at all times to try to be on top of everything. I multitask as much as I can — bridal make-up, workshops, shoot videos, blog, travel for events etc. But by the end of the day, there is always some work pending! With an increased number of beauty related questions from women, it can be difficult to respond to queries on my Blog, YouTube channel, Facebook Page and personal e-mail. There are people who take offence if their question hasn’t been attended to, so I want to manage my time better so that I can respond to each and every query.
Before applying make-up, no matter what your skin type, you need to make sure your skin is well moisturised. Massage it on your skin at least 10 minutes before applying make-up so that it absorbs into your skin leaving it soft and supple.
Next, stand in front of a mirror and examine your face’s shape and structure. This way, you can find the features that work best for you and focus on highlighting them.
Facebook: Mesmereyes Make-up