Germany-born make-up and hair stylist Daniel Bauer speaks about being engulfed in the manic magic of Bollywood.
Daniel Bauer, with his tattoos, ear studs and top heroine clients is making waves in the world of movie make-up. And all it took was one assignment on Indian shores to suck this Germany-born make-up and hair stylist into the manic magic that is Bollywood. Daniel admits that India is not for everyone, even if it did take him by storm. Here now since the past seven-and-a-half years, he finds himself fascinated by the vast difference in the work ethics between B-town and the West.
In Germany, for instance, everything must work with clockwork precision. Not a single wave of the hair of the model can be out of plan – if it isn’t, the shoot could well be cancelled. Weather changes too result in cancellations – not so in India, where things change all the time but it doesn’t grind things to a halt. Grinning, Daniel reveals that sometimes nothing could be working out, but you know that somehow in the end, it will and you simply go with the flow. This method of functioning, in fact, gives him the space to be creative.
Evidence of this creativity is seen in the number of magazine covers he has worked on – no less than 250! – and let’s not even talk about the countless bridal assignments. The biggest high would be that every top heroine, from Deepika Padukone, Kareena Kapoor Khan and Priyanka Chopra, to Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Katrina Kaif, trusts him implicitly to make them look their best. His rewards, however, are not hefty pay checks or even awards; it’s the creative satisfaction he gets working on Aishwarya for her first performance after the birth of her daughter, his deft strokes enhancing her “one-of-a-kind” beauty.
Sharp with his work but extremely chilled out as a person, it helps that Daniel, coming from the outside, is not exactly in awe of the stars. He reveals that he himself had no preconceived notions about Bollywood’s heroines, as he hadn’t grown up watching their films. Tantrums, if any, do not hinder his creative process.
He reveals that if an actress believes something is not working out or if she is not happy with something, he willingly tweaks it but more often than not, he is able to convince them and bring them over to his point of view! He does push his boundaries and it helps that he shares a comfortable equation with most of them. For instance, he convinced Deepika to let go off her puffed up pony tail and wavy hair, to try sleek hairdos for the promotions of BAJIRAO MASTANI and TAMASHA – and the results were amazing.
The business of beauty and glamour is not an easy one, he points out. Shooting in the mountains, sometimes there’s no electricity, it’s freezing cold and the lip gloss has frozen! It takes hard work and dedication to hang on and give your best.
Daniel has more plans in his make-up box – namely, his own academy which he plans to start, with the aim of producing more professionals. The business of beauty just got more exciting.