Hiya Ladies !

I have something a lil different for y'all and for Vogue India readers today...

Thanks to a recent event organized by SPICMACAY (Society For Promotion of Indian Classical Music And Culture Amongst Youth), I had the opportunity to meet some wonderful Gotipua artists. Gotipua is a dance form native to Orissa, India and is often regarded as a precursor to Odissi the more popular dance from the state. While Odissi is performed by both male and female artists, Gotipua has traditionally been reserved for boys under the age of 14. These young boys perform acrobatic routines combined with classical dance moves all the while dressed as girls!

I got talking with the artists and eventually the topic went to makeup (it had to didn’t it). The older members of the troupe got nostalgic talking about how much time and effort went into makeup back then. A lot of words were throw in including BC powder, formaldehyde, glycerin, yellow food coloring. Nowhere around were Estee Lauder or L’Oreal. But that was back then. The tiny boys are now made up with pancake makeup and red Revlon lipstick.

Amongst all the makeup talk the longest task seemed to be the one for Kajal. Ain't as easy as going to a store and buying it; but definitely a lot more satisfying. The process began 24 hours before the performance. Earthen lamps were set up with a wick made of muslin cloth. Castor or sesame was the oil of choice. These burning lamps were then covered with a brass pot and let to burn for 12 – 20 hours. The hero here is the soot collected in the brass pot. This soot was later mixed with ghee and applied as kajal around the eyes. Imagine that!

And just in case you were wondering what they use now …its Lakme. The big fat Lakme Kajal stick is their favorite. Apparently it lasts through their rigorous performance! Must try that one y’all!

Indian Girl


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