The Power of Makeup

I would like to state here that odissi dancing is sacred to me, and in no way am I doing this to take advantage or exploit the art of Indian classical dance makeup, nor am I doing this to disrespect the art form in any way, shape or form. If you are a dance purist reading this, let me tell you I value and love odissi like I love God Himself. I am treating this post as respectfully as I can and I do hope that no offense is taken.

I am not typically someone who gives long explanations but I felt like that was necessary.

Moving on.

When I first saw Nikkietutorial’s video here, I have been wanting to do this tag in some way or another but was afraid to do it because I would basically be putting on makeup just for this post, which I may receive backlash for. However, when The Body Shop Malaysia announced a competition with this very tag, I thought to myself, it’s now or never.

Nikki is by no means the first person to do this tag. There have been so many other Asian YouTubers that have completely transformed themselves. Larger eyes, slimmer nose, higher cheekbones, pout-ier lips, etc. Nikki is however, the YouTuber who popularised the tag. Over, 22 million views on that video in 5 months!

So here is my version.


The blocked, darkened, thick eyebrows and the thick winged liner is deliberate. This focuses the eye and enhances expressions on the dancer’s face, essential when performing on stage as the eyes deliver many expressions. In Indian classical dancing it is called navarasa (literal translation; nine expressions, you can actually Google this). The darker lip liner is also deliberate; it defines the lips and makes it stand out since the lips are as just an important part of a dancer’s facial expressions as the eyes are. The yellowish tint of colour on my cheekbones, under the eyes, down my nose and my brow bone is a shimmery gold eyeshadow which makes the high points of the face and the brow pop i.e. highlighting. Lots of blush gives the dancer a glow that attracts audience to the facial expressions of the dancer.

Nikkie’s goal was to inspire the art of beauty makeup and to empower women (or men) to wear makeup and not be sorry for it. My goal is to put it out there the importance of makeup in the performing arts and to break stereotypes that men cannot (or should not) wear makeup.

If you are inspired to do this, please tag me so that I can see your work. I would love to see all the wonderful looks you guys can create.


Ultimately, it is about loving yourself even when it is all off.

-Harivaindaran, 2015

11 thoughts on “The Power of Makeup

  1. Omg!!!Hari you nailed it again. What a beautiful and detailed look and it does depicts the power of makeup or shld I say the power of confidence. Me being from Odisha, feels proud everytime I see someone bring Odissi dance to an international platform. Kudos to you and full marks for the look.proud of you friend !!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Me too! Like tribal face paintings from Africa, geisha makeup from Japan (they’re actually part of a beautiful Japanese culture unlike the negative label they often get), and Chinese opera makeup!!! They are always so intricate and absolutely breathtaking.

      By the way, google Kathakali makeup and trust me, you’ll be amazed! I’ll attach a one minute video just showing you a glimpse. Kathakali is a Indian classical dance from Kerala (a southern state in India) performed exclusively by men. Even the female roles are performed by men.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Indian Dance Makeup; Eye | Makeup Tutes

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