Elton Fernandez, one of B-Town’s favourite makeup artists, became a professional makeup artist after spending a few years of doing corporate stints. He was a young college graduate with a degree in literature when he bagged a college placement at HSBC, and started working there a week from when he graduated. Post which he worked at a gaming company for 2 years and finally went onto working with Google for 2 years, with a collective corporate experience of 6 years. The need to start off early came from the need of wanting to be financially independent and through all these years, makeup was something he only pursued as a hobby. However, somewhere along the way, he decided to move away from home – to feel free and liberated. He’d saved some money and decided to sell his shares from Google when he moved to Bombay, and started off as a makeup artist with Mac since that was one skill he trusted.
What a lot of us don’t know about Elton is that his initial career option was to be a musician. However, at the time when he considered that as a career option, mainstream singing meant ‘Hindi songs’ and Hindi wasn’t his forte. As a result of which, he realized it wasn’t going anywhere. Around then, he took onto growing his love and passion for makeup as well.
“When I moved to Bombay and started working with Mac, in about 9 months I quit that job and started freelancing. However, my break was when I was the makeup artist for a film called ‘I Am’, which was directed by Onir and has also won a National Award. Onir had seen some of my work and connected with me on Orkut and things worked out. He was the reason why I got opening and closing credits and that helped get me recognized,” says Elton. “It’s funny that when I decided to move to Bombay, people laughed and said, ‘you’re going to go there become a makeup dada’, and I look back in retrospect and laugh to myself thinking.. look at how that worked out,” he adds with a laugh.
His break into Bollywood was when he started working with Juhi Chawla. A few years later, he has worked with almost everyone from the industry. “All of this being said, the industry is structured in many ways and does have a hierarchy. Earlier, we were looked as ‘makeup dadas’ and it was believed that most of us didn’t know what we’re doing or didn’t have an opinion. But thankfully, things are changing and with years, a lot has changed and I love the work I’ve been able to create,” says Elton.
The only thing he signs off saying is, “Makeup gives me purpose and after all, it’s only makeup, it’s not rocket science,” he says with a smile on his face.
Visit him at: Instagram