The story of India’s No.1 makeup and prosthetic look designer

Chachi changed her life

Today, Preetisheel Singh is a super-accomplished lady. The makeup, hair and prosthetics wiz who received a National Award for her work in Nanak Shah Fakir has worked with the who’s who of the industry, including Ajay Devgn, Akshay Kumar, Amitabh Bachchan, Ayushmann Khurrana, Deepika Padukone, John Abraham, Priyanka Chopra and Ranveer Singh. The No. 1 look designer of Bollywood has been an integral part of huge box-office successes such as Bajirao Mastani, Padmaavat, Chhichhore, 102 Not Out, Mulk, Bala and Housefull 4.

Recently, in an article in the famous Indian-American publication India West, Preetisheel revealed how she started out and how Kamal Haasan’s look of a woman in Chachi 420 inspired her to enter the world of makeup, hair and prosthetics. Here is an excerpt from the article by veteran journalist Rajiv Vijayakar:

Born to a Sikh family in Pathankot, Singh repeatedly calls her parents “brilliant” for their unconditional support and encouragement at all times. She exults, “After I completed my B. Tech. in Engineering (Electronics & Instrumentation) in 2004, I was hired by Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), but I soon realized that I was not wired for such jobs. I was giving my 100 percent, but there was nothing standout that was really happening! I told my mom I wanted to quit, and she just said, ‘Do whatever makes you happy!’”

Her parents are film fanatics and that led to Singh being floored by the 1997 “Chachi 420.” “I was blown by Kamal Haasan’s look as a woman! I came to know that they had to call in foreign technicians for it. I also started digging online into what goes into such prosthetic make-up, initially only just for knowledge. And then I thought, ‘What if I myself do all this?’”

At that time, as luck would have it, TCS had posted her in the US, and Singh resigned, invested all her savings into an expensive six-month course at the Cinema Make-Up School in Los Angeles, and in 2010, arrived in Mumbai, putting up with her sister. She made strategic rounds of producers every day, with contacts derived from JustDial—the Indian search engine.

Predictably, the response was disheartening. Most filmmakers had no clue about her special skills and no requirements either because they did not understand how different she was from the average make-up artiste. But make-up veteran Anil Pemgirikar, who is 70-plus, saw her work, praised her and promised that he would put in a word for her wherever possible.

In 2012, came her first small assignment: of a swollen eye for Akshay Kumar in “Joker,” a film that went unnoticed by the audience. That portion was shot in Chandigarh, and then came the designing of the mutants in “Krrish 3,” under U.S.-based make-up whiz, Mike Stringer.

After finishing her work on the film, in which she helped on the mutants, the production person offered her peanuts as payment and Singh refused to accept the meager remuneration. The person was furious and demanded, “Who do you think you are? Miles Stringer?” Singh recalls, “I told her not to talk to me that way, I don’t owe her anything. But she went on shouting, so I went and told Mike. He got so furious he blasted the person, saying that without me, the mutants would not have been ready on time.”

Gradually, word-of-mouth spread and she got “Nanak Shah Fakir” and “Haider.” The former needed six months prep and she was given a bungalow where she set up a full lab. “I had to do aging for men, make someone’s face fat, show a leper, a chopped off part of a body and so on.”

The rest is history.

Indian-American publication showers praise on Preetisheel Singh

India West, the numero uno publication for the Indian-American community in the US has featured India’s No.1 makeup and prosthetic wiz Preetisheel Singh, showering praises on her “exceptional innings” in Bollywood.

Giving references of Akshay Kumar’s character of Bala in Housefull 4, Ayushmann Khurrana as the hero in Bala, Sunny Singh in Ujda Chaman and many more, the article by veteran journalist Rajiv Vijayakar points out that look designer Preetisheel “specializes in making up the faces of those we know to look like someone we do not!” Adding that with Preetisheel, “it is not just about faces but the entire body, the persona.”

The article goes on to give more details. “Look at Bhumi Pednekar’s appearance as a dark and simple social worker in Bala and contrast her va-va-voom looks in Pati Patni Aur Woh and you know what Singh is up to in film after film. Remember also the plump body-suit of Maanvi Gagroo in Ujda Chaman.”

“The complete look design of every actor in Housefull 4 in the period portions and of every artiste in Chhichhore both in their 1990s youth and current middle-aged versions, the Tamil hit Bigil featuring Vijay in a dual role, and a treasury of past excellence in films as diverse as Bajirao Mastani, Shivaay, Padmaavat, 102 Not Out, Mulk and PM Narendra Modi shows that Singh is no ordinary achiever.”

“Exceptional innings in less than eight years sees Singh have no predecessor in Indian cinema,” the article analyses.

For the record, Preetisheel is a National Award-winner, having worked for huge box-offices successes such as Bajirao Mastani, Padmaavat, Chhichhore, 102 Not Out, Mulk, Bala and Housefull 4, and designed looks for all the A-listers including names like Ajay Devgn, Akshay Kumar, Amitabh Bachchan, Ayushmann Khurrana, Deepika Padukone, John Abraham, Priyanka Chopra, Ranveer Singh and Shahid Kapoor. What’s more! After conquering Bollywood, she is now exploring the Southern industry more and more.

Phalke Academy recipient Chaitanya Padukone honoured with Mumbai Achievers Award

Two decades before Bollywood megastar Deepika Padukone made her dramatic Bollywood acting debut, there was already yet another Padukone — eminent senior film journalist and columnist Chaitanya Padukone who was already making an impact in the print-media by winning laurels and accolades for his brilliant newsy acumen and creative writing calibre.

The latest gem to his career crown is this honour from the online annual Mumbai Achievers Award 2020 founded by Ahsaan Rehan, bearing the citation ‘Certificate of Excellence’ for ‘outstanding contribution to film journalism backed by absolute dedication and professionalism’. This online event has the formal best wishes of the Hon’ble Maharashtra State Governor Shri B.S.Koshyari.

Reacts Chaitanya, “This award carries extra significance for me because the awardees also include Sonu Sood who has been awarded for his meticulous efforts in helping distressed migrants during the pandemic.”

With a large number of filmy breaking news scoops to his credit in the past, Chaitanya is the recipient of the prestigious K.A.Abbas Memorial Gold Medal and Trophy, which was conferred on him for excellence in film journalism by megastar Amitabh Bachchan. More recently, he was honoured with the prestigious Dadasaheb Phalke Academy Award in the presence of icons like Dilip Kumar and Amitabh Bachchan and other top Bollywood luminaries for his outstanding contribution to showbiz journalism.

Interestingly, altruistic-by-nature Chaitanya has this commendable (perhaps unique) distinction of being honoured with coveted film journalism awards by both Bollywood superstars Rajesh Khanna and as well as Amitabh Bachchan. In the past, Chaitanya has been known for his widely-read colorful columns for leading Mumbai-centric daily newspapers like Mid-Day (for over 18 years), DNA After Hrs and Afternoon Dispatch & Courier.

Listed in the Limca Book of National Records for maximum number of awards for film journalism, during a given span period from different reputed organizations, rhythm-savvy Chaitanya opted to make his literary debut in 2016 as an author by penning his popular memoirs bestseller book titled R.D.BurMania on legendary Bollywood composer-singer R.D.Burman (Panchamda), with whom he shared a personal rapport for ten years.

The unassuming Chaitanya who has to his past career credit, first-ever exclusive interviews of a galaxy of top Bollywood stars when they were absolute newcomers, was appointed on the Advisory Jury Panel for the Indo-American Young Achievers’ Awards for three consecutive years. For the past three years, multi-faceted Chaitanya has been appointed by the I&B Ministry, Delhi, as an active Member on the Advisory Panel of the Film Censor Board, CBFC, Mumbai.

Feryna Wazheir gallivants to Turkey

Feryna Wazheir gives us a glimpse of her travel adventure exploring the city of Cappadocia, Turkey. Cappadocia is a most beautiful region in central Turkey, famous for its fairytale scenery, cave dwellings, remarkable rock formations and of course, the hundreds of hot air balloons that soar in the sky during sunrise each morning. What’s more! As late as the 1950s, people lived in cave dwellings in this region.

The Airlift and Commando 3-fame actress visited the fairy chimneys of Pasabag Valley, the open-air museums in Göreme, the Love Valley (which is given this name due to the phallic-shaped rock formations), stayed in cave hotels, and went up in a hot air balloon at sunrise — all of which she shared with her fans on Instagram and Facebook stories. And going by the pictures, her magical experience really does look like a fairy tale. Check out the pics.

Anisha Victor is the apple of Reddit’s eyes

The House Next Door and Zee 5’s REJCTX-fame actress Anisha Victor has suddenly become extremely famous on the social media platform Reddit.

So much so, that her fans have been drooling over every part of her body. Lol. We know that sounds a bit crude, but that’s the way it is with these Anisha fans on Reddit. They love her figure, her face, her hair, her legs, her calves, her waist and even her toes. And now one is even drooling over the ‘size’ of her eyes. 😉

Yeah, you read it right! Anisha has “eyes the size of an apple” wrote a fan this week, with a close-up pic of her with big sparkling expressive eyes, typical of a good actress. Gee! But Anisha is loving all the attention.

“I’m so flattered by this Reddit post,” she quips. “I want to tell all my fans there that I love them and they are a helluva bunch of super-cool people. If someday I can be with you guys on Reddit, I’m sure we can have a fantabulous mutual admiration society,” she says with a wink.

Aww. Anisha sure comes across as a happy, fun-loving, caring and attractive person… and oh yes… one with eyes the size of an apple. 😛

Anisha Victor encounters frozen waterfalls and Himalayan bulbuls in Himachal

There are some actresses who slog and go through the grind, living a monotonous mundane lifestyle. And there are others like Anisha Victor who really know what it is to live it up.

The House Next Door and REJCTX fame Anisha is a total fun gal who loves everything from creative arts to scuba diving. This month she thought of taking a break at the foothills of the Himalayas. The travel bug took her to from Karnal in Haryana to Manali in Himachal Pradesh.

From Manali she headed to Kasol, a smaller and quieter town near Kullu. Anisha spent a couple of days there and went on treks to Tosh, Grahan and Kheerganga. “The Kheerganga trek has two routes. We took the forest route to go up where we came across many beautiful waterfalls, some frozen on the way which made it difficult to walk as one could easily skid,” she reminisces.

“On the top of the hill at the Kheerganga base camp, the temperature was -1 and went down to almost -5 in the night. Back in Kasol, it rained non-stop and snowed in the surrounding mountains,” recalls Anisha. She excitedly adds, “We got to see some brown dippers, Himalayan magpie, Himalayan bulbul and some vultures etc on our trip.”

Must say, there are very few actresses who get to balance their professional and personal lives as well as Anisha does. We really envy her unbeatable spirit for exploring life. Kudos, girl.

Preetisheel Singh transforms 10-year old girl into a 90-year old

It is not often that we see drastic and dramatic makeovers which stun us to the extent of giving us an ‘OMG’ feeling. So when one like that happens in the course of a short 45-second advertisement, it does surprise us.

One such advertisement happened this week when makeover wiz Preetisheel Singh turned a 10-year old girl into a 90-year old with makeup and prosthetics.

The National Award-winning character designer, Preetisheel carried out an elaborate look transformation on this little girl for a public initiative by Star TV network, promoting a cleaner, pollution-free tomorrow.

The short clip is all about bringing awareness to the bad quality of air we breathe in and how it ages our insides. And it’s been dealt with in a very smart and safe manner.

“What can happen if children continue to breathe this air? Drive one day less for #CleanAirEveryday,” prods the post accompanying it on social media. The advertisement urges us to hope and work at having cleaner, clearer air and less pollution in future.

For the record, Preetisheel has designed looks for a number of top artists in Bollywood’s box-office successes such as Bajirao Mastani, Padmaavat, Chhichhore, 102 Not Out, Mulk, Bala and Housefull 4. Her other credits include movies such as Andhadhun, Thackeray, Shivaay, Haider, Hawaizaada, Rangoon, Brothers, Talwar, Finding Fanny, Parched, Mom, Romeo Akbar Walter (RAW), Malaal, Pati Patni Aur Woh, Raat Akeli Hai, Panga, Ujda Chaman, House Next Door, Bigil, Boomerang and 24.

Along with her work partner-husband Mark D’souza, Preetisheel has set up India’s first makeup and prosthetic lab called Da Makeup Lab in Mumbai. The talented lady is now preparing to launch the Preetisheel School of Character Design.

PHOTO GALLERY: Snooping on Feryna Wazheir’s private escapade in the Maldives

Airlift and Commando 3-fame actress’ post-pandemic getaway pics

For Anisha Victor, art as meditation is a lesson in mindfulness

Anisha Victor is a girl of many talents. The House Next Door and REJCTX-fame actress amazed us with her scuba-diving pics just a while ago, and now she’s surprised us once again, revealing a new aspect of her creative instincts.

We stumbled upon her Insta account called Art For Sanity which she reveals she began to keep herself occupied during the lockdown.

Finding some old magazines, Anisha started creating surreal collages sometime in April in the initial days of the lockdown. Most of them had a message; something to think about, something relatable to everyday life. While others were her “longings and daydreams and things I missed during the lockdown” which poured onto white sheets of paper, gently pasted with glue.

“My great grandfather was an art teacher for a few years in Ethiopia. My mum says, I have got his genes. Though I don’t consider myself a good painter, which he really was, I’ve always been drawn to beauty, aesthetics and art,” says Anisha.

As she ran out of magazines to make the collages, she went back to watercolours and also tried oil painting and sketching. “Art helped me be sane in the lockdown by providing me with an outlet to let my creativity flow. It has been a meditation for me. Hence, the name Art for Sanity,” she explains.

Anisha reveals that she even took inspiration from some female iconic painters and recreated their portraits on herself. And just as we thought Anisha was this spunky adventurous girl who brought life to the outdoors, she’s revealed a whole new thoughtful side of her creative personality.

Preetisheel Singh rocks South Indian cinema

For quite some time National Award-winner Preetisheel Singh has been the leading makeup and prosthetic designer in Bollywood. From box-offices successes such as Bajirao Mastani, Padmaavat, Chhichhore, 102 Not Out, Mulk, Bala and Housefull 4, she has designed looks for all the A-listers including names like Ajay Devgn, Akshay Kumar, Amitabh Bachchan, Ayushmann Khurrana, Deepika Padukone, John Abraham, Priyanka Chopra, Ranveer Singh and Shahid Kapoor.

After conquering Bollywood, Preetisheel is now looking at exploring the Southern industry more and more. She has designed for movies such as 24, Boomerang and Bigil earlier, but is now gearing up to work with many other superstars of the South.

And the lineup of movies she’s been signed up for and working on, is stunning. Starting with South style icon Allu Arjun-starrer Pushpa, there is Vikram-starrer Cobra, Thalapathy Vijay-starrer Master and Nagarjuna-starrer Wild Dog.

Preetisheel has even designed a grandfather look for Nagarjuna for the promo of Telugu Bigg Boss, and has also done an experimental bald look for Chiranjeevi which the actor posted on social media recently. The way she is exploring new avenues, looks like the makeover wiz is all set to give a whole new dimension to the world of make believe.

Meanwhile in Bollywood, Preetisheel’s work is about to be showcased in upcoming movies like Yash Raj Films’ Bunty Aur Babli 2, Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Gangubai Kathiawadi, the Kangana Ranaut-starrer Dhaakad and Bhansali Productions’ Tuesdays and Fridays.

Photo Gallery: Water baby Anisha Victor

Tracking some of House Next Door and REJCTX-fame actress Anisha Victor’s escapades by the moon and the stars and pools and the sea.

Sonam Kapoor features Preetisheel Singh in Women of Film series

“I am in awe of her talent, you guys. Seriously. Being a makeup lover, I can truly sense the burning passion she has and it makes me so happy to see her shine,” said Sonam Kapoor about India’s No.1 makeup and prosthetic designer Preetisheel Singh in a 10-part Instagram post this week. It received a whopping 32k likes in a day.

View this post on Instagram

Did you know, it took over 3-4 hours of makeup everyday for John Abraham’s look in Romeo Akbar Walter (RAW)? Did you know, dentures for Amitabh Bachchan had to be created from scratch for 102 Not Out? Did you know, Nanak Shah Fakir was the film that won a National Award for Best Makeup? Did you also know, the woman behind this, is @preetisheel ? I am in awe of her talent, you guys. Seriously. Being a makeup lover, I can truly sense the burning passion she has and it makes me so happy to see her shine. Tell me your first impression of her art using emojis… I’ll tell you mine too! 😱😍 #PreetisheelSingh #FeminismInIndia #MakeupArtist #ProstheticArtist #NationalAwardWinner #ProstheticMakeup #Movies #Bollywood #Padmaavat #102NotOut #NanakShahFakir #NationalAward #NationalAwardWinner #RanveerSingh #AmitabhBachchan #BollywoodFilms

A post shared by Sonam K Ahuja (@sonamkapoor) on

Sonam’s post is part of her famous Women of Film series and goes on to showcase Vivek Oberoi being transformed into the character of PM Narendra Modi for the film by the same name.

She also features some videos of the National Award-winning makeup and prosthetic designer, asking readers questions like, “Did you know, it took over 3-4 hours of makeup everyday for John Abraham’s look in Romeo Akbar Walter (RAW),” “Did you know, dentures for Amitabh Bachchan had to be created from scratch for 102 Not Out,” “Did you know, Nanak Shah Fakir was the film that won a National Award for Best Makeup, ” and “Did you also know, the woman behind this is @preetisheel.”

Sonam has also shared some videos of Preetisheel along with images of transformed looks of Ranveer Singh in Padmaavat, Amitabh Bachchan and Rishi Kapoor in 102 Not Out and of Akshay Kumar in an old look for an advertisement, all curated by Preetisheel. Apart from this, Sonam has even shared a pic with Preetisheel receiving the National Award by former President Pranab Mukherjhee.

For the record, Preetisheel has designed looks for a number of top artists in Bollywood’s box-office successes such as Bajirao Mastani, Padmaavat, Chhichhore, 102 Not Out, Mulk, Bala and Housefull 4. Her other credits include movies such as Andhadhun, Thackeray, Shivaay, Haider, Hawaizaada, Rangoon, Brothers, Talwar, Finding Fanny, Parched, Mom, Romeo Akbar Walter (RAW), Malaal, Pati Patni Aur Woh, Raat Akeli Hai, Panga, Ujda Chaman, House Next Door, Bigil, Boomerang and 24.

Along with her work partner-husband Mark D’souza, Preetisheel has set up India’s first makeup and prosthetic lab called Da Makeup Lab in Mumbai. The talented lady is now preparing to launch the Preetisheel School of Character Design.