For art’s sake

May 23, 2012

The prosthetic make-up industry is one of the most flourishing sectors of the Indian economy as it holds lucrative job opportunities for those willing to take on the challenge. SANGEETA YADAV brings you a report

Sam Justin, was very fascinated about the fantastic make-up that was trending in Bollywood and elsewhere. Being an ardent follower of art, animation, and sculptures, this 24 -year- old wanted to explore new options where he could realise his dream. It was then that prosthetic make-up as a career option happened to Justin. “It changed my life forever,” he tells you.

His problem however was that India did not at that time offer answers to all his pertinent queries —procedure of prosthetic make-up, what are the things required, is it safe for the skin, how much does it cost et al took him to all parts of the country.

He then realised that there is a well established industry abroad that provides training and opportunities in prosthetic art. It’s been three years since then, and he is now working for well known directors and artists abroad.

Meanwhile the industry has grown manifold in India. There are various training institutes in India which provide diploma and short-term courses in prosthetic make-up. The role of such institutes is to make people look their absolute best and to craft fantasy creatures. Graduates from such schools create a wide range of characters we see in films, television and theater productions.

Nahush Pise, an international make-up artist and founder of One Stop Makeovers, who did up Abhishek Bachchan in Raavan and Hrithik in Krrish, is happy that India is finally opening up to this technology.

“For me, prosthetic make-up is like a scientist experimenting on his pet project in his laboratory. It amuses me to see the stunning result after the entire make-up is done,” Pise says.

“Every time a Bollywood film-maker wanted a certain look using prosthetic make-up, they used to call artists from the US or the UK. But now, we have some good experts in our country who can do the same job and quite well at that,” Ritu Janjjani, the founder of Ritu Janjjani’s Makeup Academy and Lounge, tells you.

But what is the procedure? “It usually starts with the cast of the desired body part.

Then the sculpting is done taking care of the edges and thickness of the final appliances. A mold is created on top of the sculpted cast which can be filled with silicone,” Nahush explains


This has been extensively used in Bollywood and Hollywood films like MIB series, Pan’s Labyrinth Shanghai, Paa, Chachi 420, 7Khoon maaf, Veer Zaara, Kkrish et al have used prosthetic make-up.

Although it is an expensive and a time-consuming activity, the cost differs from character to character and on the basis of the type of make-up requires, how intense the character is. This art includes body make-up, old age make-up, bald cap application, injury simulation, fantasy character design and execution and much more.


In India such kind of make-up is not new, but it is one of the emerging sectors which need recognition on a higher level.

According to Ritu Janjjani, “The use of prosthetic make-up has been really old in Hollywood as they have the technology to support advanced research. Bollywood is only recently opening up to this trend,” Janjjani says.


Prosthetic make-up artists can work as a skilled illusionist in Bollywood or TV and in fashion industry. They can also open their own institute to train people in this art.


The aspirant must possess knowledge about art and make-up. They must have a basic skillset and knowledge of doing make-up and using various cosmetic products,” Janjjani says

Candidates, who have completed their 10+2 or its equivalent, can apply for diploma or short-term certificate programmes.


Various short term courses offered which not only includes training in prosthetic art but also professional and bridal make-up as well as film, TV, theater and fashion industries.


The remuneration in this sector depends upon the kind of projects you get. The industry is highly rewarding in monetary terms as the pay package improves quickly. After completion of the course, students can work under professional make-up artists and earn up to Rs 25,000 to Rs 60,000 per month.

  • Pattanam Designory Academy Of Make-up & Fashion Art, Kerala
  • Ritu Janjjani’s Makeup Academy and Lounge, Mumbai
  • One Stop Makeovers, a studio, Mumbai
  • Make Up Studio Training Center, New Delhi.

(The article was published in the Pioneer Newspaper’s Avenues section).



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