Ever followed a smoky eye tutorial, only to come out looking like a panda? Don’t worry, we’ve all done that, and more. Shaved off eyebrows, dyed our hair the wrong colour, and cut our bangs too short. Hair and make-up is tricky business! Yet there are those who make it look so easy! Meet Pooja Sharma, an ex-technical advisor at L’Oreal who has paved her way into the industry in the last 10 years – with scissors in both hands, and a brush clutched between her teeth! This ever-so-modest and down-to-earth (slightly hippie) female would never give you the impression that she has regularly worked on the sets of Harpers Bazaar, AIB, Airtel, Femina, and Lakme. Here are the details of our super fun conversation.
Getting right down to business, I wanted all the dish on the celebs!
I’ve worked with some really great people including AR Rehman for NH7, I’ve done a look book with Archana Kochar for LFW, worked with Yuvraj Singh and Narain Karthikeyan, and Sarah Jane Dias for a pilot episode of a Romedy Now travel show (which sadly never aired). I really enjoyed working with Sukriti Kakkar, Neha Kakkar, and Tony Kakkar for T-Series music videos. In fact, I had a HUGE crush on Tony Kakkar! At first I was talking to him and didn’t quite know who he was, but when he starting singing, I just could not stop staring at him! My top most favourite project will be with AIB for 10 episodes and promos. It was amazing, they’re exactly the same off screen as they are on screen – full power chilled out and hilarious! I had a blast!
Didn’t you work with Hrithik too?
No actually, but he was giving an interview on a nearby set, so I just walked into the frame to get a picture! *I stare at Pooja* What?! It was my birthday!
What about the non celebs? There must have been a lot of rotten apples!
Outside of the shoots, I do a lot of bridal hair and makeup. It’s an entirely different feel though, because people actually share a lot. Many people are insecure about the way they look and express it honestly; I’ve also heard relationship issues, sex stories, financial troubles, and social problems. You’re a part time therapist too!
I haven’t met any bitchy people, just annoying brides at the most, but I zone out. When I’m working, I’m in Zen mode so I can take all their tantrums. They do come out on my husband later though. *I make a mental note: patient husband is a must to be a hair & make up artist.* In fact, I’ve met interesting people; on one of the sets I met a spot dada who has climbed Mt. Everest!
How did you get here?
I started with myself. I did crazy stuff to my hair when I was 14 (my teachers used to hate me). I convinced my hairdresser to train me. Then after my 11th I did a professional hair dressing course, and was working at the same salon within a year. After a few years of working at different salons I moved to Bombay and became a technical advisor for L’Oreal. A year and a half of that and I realised that I wanted to work for myself. A classmate got me in touch with someone at OML and I worked with them for over a year. Once I was back in Pune, getting work was easy since I already had a small personal clientele. From there it just grew! I’ve also worked with Javed Habib for some time.
What’s the good, the bad and the ugly of your profession?
I’ll start backwards. It’s not as easy a job as it seems, I’m always working overtime. I’ve done shoots where I’ve worked 22 hours straight. To add on to that, people are always late! Waiting five hours on the set is quite normal. Carrying all that makeup is also hard, it all weighs about 12 kg! The good thing is that time just passes by when I work. I feel utmost peace to be honest; it’s my form of meditation. I also love traveling and I get to travel quite a bit for shoots. I recently went to Ranthambore for a wedding and I’ve been to Malaysia for the IIFA awards. The best part of it all is just seeing people walk out with smiles on their face, and looking beautiful for a special day. It’s knowing that you’ve helped someone find a boost of confidence.
Not sure whether she was born doing this, but Pooja Sharma was definitely born to do this! See more of her work and get in touch with her at here.