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If you want to shine, flaunt your real skin tone: Daniel Bauer

The well-known celebrity makeup artist, who was in charge of the recent Mumbai fashion week, talks about the current makeup trends, tips on how to keep the skin healthy and his creative process

Actor Katrina Kaif's black and silver eye look will be big this season, says Daniel Bauer
Actor Katrina Kaif's black and silver eye look will be big this season, says Daniel Bauer

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The recently concluded FDCI x Lakme Fashion Week (LFW) has given enough insight into what's trending in the Indian beauty and makeup space. 

The lead makeup artist for this edition of the fashion showcase was Daniel Bauer, who works with the biggest Bollywood stars including Katrina Kaif, Priyanka Chopra Jonas and Deepika Padukone. 

After the conclusion of the fashion week, Bauer told Lounge that there's been a gradual shift in terms of how the Indian fashion industry approaches makeup now. “We are no longer following and reinterpreting the trends from international fashion weeks. We are plotting our own course,” he says.

What he likes the most is that the demand now is for beauty trends designed for Indian sensibilities, energy and attitude. “The new, young fashion forward-thinking consumer and fashion designers are bored with fair and pretty; they want authentic," he insists. "The variety of Indian models on Indian and international runways reflects this.” 

This season, his creative process included avant-garde structured hair, bleached and concealed brows, overdrawn lips, high-shine skin, Euphoria-reinterpreted eyes, and reimagining all the classic looks. In an interview with Lounge, he talks about the current makeup trends, tips on how to keep the skin healthy and his creative process. 

Daniel Bauer
Daniel Bauer

Could you tell us about your process for creating fashion show looks.

At LFW, everything starts and finishes with the designer. Collaboration is everything. The process requires trust. Designers need to know we understand their vision, consumer and collection. 

For example, working with Shahab Durazi for his first runway presentation in almost 12 years was probably the most beautiful and honest process. We had been in contact weeks prior to the show. Every interaction was filled with outstanding positivity, warmth and inclusivity. Working with Shahab was a masterclass on how to collaborate and why having a creative process for makeup and hair will always generate the best results. The process was as simple as just listening and finding the right answers, which reflect the truth of the collection, the trust of the consumer and what aligns with the staging, the walk of the models, and the music. This show had every backstage team singing from the same hymn sheet. This was evident by watching his show. For me, it was for sure a career highlight.

What are the current top makeup trends?

Working backstage at LFW is an intense journey. It might be only five days for those attending the shows, but for hundreds of others, it's almost two weeks in total. The key to having our models look stunning from show to show is skin preparation. Having the right base foundation for the morning runway shows means the makeup will last right up to the early afternoon shows. We start the morning makeup routine with our Daniel Bauer Academy Skin Prep: Clean skin, moisture, conceal/correct and then use a foundation that has skin benefits, such as foundations infused with hyaluronic acid, vitamin C and argan oil. We always try and use beauty products with skincare benefits. We also don’t use loose compact on our models. Instead, we use a translucent powder as and when a touch-up is required.

For skin: The big makeup trend I explored this season was loving your skin. We had models representing all skin, body and gender types. I feel this season, inclusivity was very organic and it was beautiful to see this backstage and on the ramp. Anjali Lama paved the way for much of what we see today on the Indian runway scene. For Rajesh Pratap Singh’s grand finale, where we overdrew the brows in reflective metal tones, to Bloni and Kanika Goyal, where we did a mixture of bleaching brows and fully concealing them, the brow has the power unlike anything else in makeup to transform a look. It’s been mostly used by artists for editorial shoots. I definitely expect to see a lot of enhancing and shaping of brows following this season of LFW.

For hair: We saw a shift from boring braids and low buns we so often see on the ramp, to lots of beautiful open hair and flowy, Nordic styling blow-drys. We also played around with fake fringes for Rajesh Pratap Singh, to more playful and experimental looks, such as conical updos for Satya Paul, Shahab Durazi and Bloni.

Your favourite hair and makeup trends from international fashion weeks?

The big trend I see international is the power of simplicity and the power of the unusual model to light up a runway. Models and looks are becoming far more democratic. It’s not always about pretty, thin and tall, it’s about authenticity and this is reflected in the makeup and hair.

Be it the ’90s or Y2K, why do you feel makeup artists are loving nostalgia this season?

Glamour is the name of the game. Even if it’s looking back, the glamour and skin we saw this season is elevated to another level. At LFW too, with Lakmé turning 70 this year, this sense of pride and nostalgia definitely influenced many designers this season, and I have always taken a lot of inspiration from India in the 1970s and 1980s.

Recent makeup trends that don't excite you?

Aggressive rawness. No model should look like she fell out of a tree just before they walk the ramp. Rawness needs to be executed beautifully to enhance the model, not to detract from her. Alexander McQueen usually always made his models look raw, aggressive and otherworldly, but they looked phenomenal. Raw needs to be done with a lot more focus and attention.

Red carpet looks that you have loved recently?

At the moment, I am in the middle of the movie promotions with Katrina Kaif for her movie PhoneBhoot. One of my favourite looks from the promotions has been the black and silver eye look I did. I think this will be a look we will definitely see a lot going forward.

Please share with us a few fun festive or party makeup looks.

There are so many looks from LFW you can take inspiration from. For me, it is all about great eyes. 

Here is how you can recreate a party look I recently did on Katrina. 

(Pro tip: Do your eyes first and then the foundation to not worry about product fallout on to your foundation.)

Create a box liner with a gel liner for precision and fill in. From the other corners, use a highly pigmented silver shimmer or fine silver glitter.

Top tips for better makeup?

Firstly, never go to bed with makeup on. Second, your concealer, corrector and foundation should be from the same brand. Mixing brands for these three core products will never generate flawless results. Third, for lips, line your lips with a lip pencil and then fill in the lip using lipstick to make it last longer. Four, use two types of blush, cream blush while applying foundation and powder blush while setting. This will instantly have your blush looking like it was done by a pro. And finally, be honest and proud of your skin tone. Going wrong here will have you looking older every time.

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