Preetisheel Singh D’souza third time lucky with Sanjay Leela Bhansali

As Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Gangubai Kathiawadi finds abounding acclaim and success, Bollywood’s No. 1 makeup, hair and prosthetic character designer Preetisheel Singh D’souza says it feels surreal. Preetisheel has curated the looks for all the lead characters including that of Alia Bhatt as Ganga Jagjivandas aka Gangubai, Ajay Devgn as Rahim Lala, Jim Sarbh as journalist Amin Faizi and Vijay Raaz as Raziabai.

This is the third time the illustrious filmmaker Bhansali entrusted Preetisheel, the first two films being Bajirao Mastani and Padmaavat. After the tremendous response to Gangubai Kathiawadi, Preetisheel has been feeling overwhelmed.

“I’m overwhelmed with all the appreciation. Designing characters takes a lot of patience, time and thoughts,” quips the expert known for her look transformations in many Bollywood and Southern movies too. “When my work gets recognition and is appreciated, honestly there is nothing more valuable than that. I am thankful for the faith Bhansali Sir has put in my work and the freedom he has given me to work on the looks,” says Preetisheel.

Preetisheel adds, “It’s also heartening to see the number of messages I receive from my well wishers. When I see how much the young generation of makeup and prosthetic artists are keen to learn from me, it really leaves me speechless. I would just like to thank everybody for valuing our work — the directors, actors, artists, audiences and my entire team at Da Makeup Lab.”

After working on Ranveer Singh’s character as the Maratha Peshwa Bajirao in Bajirao Mastani, Preetisheel again managed to stun everyone by curating the look of Ranveer as the evil ruler Alauddin Khilji in Padmaavat. This as well as the characters of Deepika Padukone as Rani Padmavati and Shahid Kapoor as Maharawal Ratan Singh won her humongous praise from all quarters. And now with Gangubai Kathiawadi it’s happening all over again.

Starting out a decade ago, Preetisheel received the ‘National Film Award for Best Makeup’ for the pre-Mughal historical epic Nanak Shah Fakir. She has also handled character transformations for various movies like Chhichhore, 102 Not Out, Mulk, Bala, Thackeray, Mom, Andhadhun, Housefull 4 and the more recently released Pushpa – The Rise. Along with her partner-husband Mark D’souza, she runs India’s premier makeup and prosthetic outfit Da Makeup Lab which is a landmark in Mumbai’s posh seaside locality of Versova.

Preetisheel looking forward to Gangubai Kathiawadi, Bachchan Pandey and Pushpa: The Rise

When it comes to makeup and prosthetics in Bollywood, she has been the undisputed leader from many years. Having won the National Award for best makeup and prosthetics, character designer Preetisheel Singh D’souza has handled challenging look transformations for many movies such as Padmaavat, Bajirao Mastani, 102 Not Out, Housefull 4, Mom and Chhichhore.

Her studio Da Makeup Lab, which she runs with her partner-husband Mark D’souza, has emerged the number one outfit for makeup and prosthetic requirements in the entertainment industry.

In spite of the pandemic, Preetisheel had managed to give us some of her best work in the last two years. While Vijay-starrer Master broke major Southern box-office records, the various looks she designed for Divya Agarwal for the web series Cartel won her rave reviews.

Her work for the varied looks of Saif Ali Khan, Rani Mukerji, Siddhant Chaturvedi and Sharvari Wagh in Bunty Aur Babli 2 have been the talk of the town.

Apart from this, Chhichhore, which had won our hearts with the young and old looks created by Preetisheel, has bagged the National Film Award for Best Feature Film.

But that’s not all! Preetisheel also gathered praise designing transformational looks for Ranbir Kapoor in advertisements, for Southern superstar Nagarjuna for his movie Wild Dog, as well as for a stunning promo with him of the Telugu Bigg Boss.

And as if all this is not enough, the makeover specialist will showcase her talent once again with three new movies soon — Gangubai Kathiawadi, Bachchan Pandey and Pushpa: The Rise (Part 1). There is no stopping this lady. Her accomplishments are like a never-ending marathon.

Preetisheel Singh recalls the greatest compliment she received from Sanjay Leela Bhansali

Makeup and prosthetic look designer Preetisheel Singh may be the best in what she does. She may have worked with the who’s who of Bollywood including all the A-list actors such as Ajay Devgn, Akshay Kumar, Amitabh Bachchan, Ayushmann Khurrana, Deepika Padukone, John Abraham, Priyanka Chopra, Ranveer Singh and Shahid Kapoor.

But when it comes to compliments, she almost gets teary-eyed when she recalls a time she took her mom to meet the majestic filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali.

For the record, Preetisheel has done a hatrick with Bhansali, having worked for the awe-inspiring maker, first on looks of Ranveer Singh for the superhit Bajirao Mastani, then on looks of Ranveer (who can forget that Alauddin Khilji getup), Deepika Padukone and Priyanka Chopra for another blockbuster Padmaavat. And she is working with the prolific filmmaker once again where she is curating Alia Bhatt’s look for his upcoming Gangubai Kathiawadi.

“Sanjay Sir is a gem of a person,” says Preetisheel. “He understands my work and gives me space,” she adds, stating that she has had some of her best experiences working for his movies. In a recent interview, Preetisheel recalled a time, when once she took her mom to meet Bhansali.

“When I took my mom to meet him, he told her — She (Preetisheel) does not need people like us. We need people like her!”

“Imagine how proud that made me. And imagine how proud my mom felt. It was one of the best moments of my career,” adds the look transformation wiz.

Preetisheel Singh does a hattrick with the prolific Sanjay Leela Bhansali

Working with Sanjay Leela Bhansali for the first time in Bajirao Mastani, National Award-winning makeup and prosthetic designer Preetisheel Singh curated Ranveer Singh’s look in the film. She got a second chance to work with the prolific filmmaker with Padmaavat.

Here, she not only worked on the stunning looks of Deepika Padukone and Shahid Kapoor, but designed the look once again for Ranveer Singh, this time transforming him as the intimidating Alauddin Khilji.

And now, Bhansali has repeated Preetisheel to curate the look for Alia Bhatt for his upcoming saga Gangubai Kathiawadi.

“Working with Sanjay Sir is one of the most important milestones of my career,” says Preetisheel. “It feels surreal. You always feel part of something larger than life. I cannot express in words how grateful I am to him for showing so much faith in my work,” she adds.

A master with makeovers, Preetisheel has emerged as the most sought-after look transformation specialist in Bollywood. Apart from Bajirao Mastani and Padmaavat, she has attracted acclaim for her deft work in numerous movies including Haider, Mom, 102 Not Out, Thackeray, Shivaay, Hawaizaada, Housefull 3, Rangoon, Brothers, Parched, Romeo Akbar Walter (RAW), Pati Patni Aur Woh, Mulk, Bala, Chhichhore, Malaal, Andhadhun, Panga and Housefull 4.