Touch and glow: Makeup artists eye good outing as state Kalolsavam returns in Kerala

While the prices of makeup products have risen compared to last year, the artists said it is unlikely to impact their business significantly.
​  Anu Stephen, a makeup artist, making final touches before a competition   ​
​ Anu Stephen, a makeup artist, making final touches before a competition ​

KOLLAM: As the Kerala School Kalolsavam is set for a much-anticipated return, makeup artists are excited about the prospect of a significant boost to their businesses, in stark contrast to the challenges faced in the past two years. With optimism running high, many artists have been eagerly awaiting the beginning of the five-day festival.

According to these artists, business has experienced a substantial uptick after the coronavirus pandemic subsided. Anu Stephen, a seasoned makeup artist based in Kollam, told TNIE that parents are now showing a greater willingness to invest in the expertise of skilled makeup artists.

“Parents believe that makeup boosts children’s confidence, leading to better results at festivals,” said Anu, who has been in the field for 15 years.

For the latest festival, he has already received makeup work from three students from Thrissur, a notable contrast to the previous year when even the post-pandemic normalcy failed to generate business for him. Artists like Anu have weathered a challenging two years, but the new season holds promise.

“Parents are ready to spend on better services, and they are also ready to invest in expensive products, something that was missing in the earlier years. That’s a good sign for makeup artists,” he said.

Typically, artists charge Rs 2,500 and above for solo performances, with a preparation time of approximately two hours per dancer. However, artists acknowledge that charges for makeup services can escalate to Rs 3,500 during the current season.

Commencing in July with sub-district-level festivals traditionally, the art festival season progresses to the district and state levels, offering greater business opportunities and revenue potential in the latter stages. “This season, artists have been receiving increased makeup service requests from across the state,” said Thiruvananthapuram-based makeup artist Arun Kumar.

While the prices of makeup products have risen compared to last year, the artists said it is unlikely to impact their business significantly.

‘’Some products have gone out of stock and the rest have become dearer. Fortunately, most parents are willing to spend money on makeup,’’ said Sooraj Surendran, an artist based in Kottayam.

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