Kashmiri Beautician’s Brush With Big Screen

 Monisa Zargar with rapper Badshah. KO Photos by Special Arrangement.

Before beautifying stars of tinsel town in Kashmir’s winter wonderland, Monisa Zargar had to gloss her own gloominess with the gentleman support in life.

SHE may be part of yet another domino effect in the valley, but unlike others, Monisa Zargar’s rise as a celeb cosmetologist is a childhood love affair almost shattered by her father’s sudden demise in her teens. But the departure couldn’t gobble her passion, as she found a supporting sibling at her side, before her spouse became her shadow.

There’re stories, and then there’re glories glossed by her sharp-eyed pursuit.

“Would you believe it,” says the 31-year-old makeup artist with a teen’s curiosity, “that I did my own makeup on my wedding day!”

During the makeup act.

Since her childhood, Monisa Zargar has been fond of beauty brushes. She would initially adorn her relatives on special occasions, like marriage ceremonies and other parties.

Over the years, the walled passion became a full-fledged profession for this Srinagar girl.

“When I was still trying to explore my dreams, my father passed away,” she says. “It was a big blow for me.”

As a teenager, she saw her mother struggling as a single parent to support her and her two siblings. Later, her brother’s abroad shift brought the much-needed relief.

Years later, and after her marriage in 2018, Monisa shared the idea of starting a make-up studio with her husband.

With his support, she flew to New Delhi and completed a yearlong course in cosmetology from Lakmé.

During the shoot.

When she came back, the concept of makeup art was still emerging in Kashmir, with many young Kashmiri women trying to make career out of it.

“I never wanted to be a street bridal makeup artist,” Monisa continues.

“Wearing the right makeup is not as easy as it looks. You need a lot of experience and patience, to give a complete diva look. And that’s why I did that makeup course, so that, I could take the art to the next level in the valley.”

Astute decision-making ability is a game-changer in the beauty business, says Monisa who also treats skin disorders, pimples and hair-fall.

“You need to understand what the subject demands and then apply the right products.”

Lately, her social media-driven journey culminated into her own bridal fashion studio, titled “Glamup with Anu”.

She now gets big assignments for bridal makeup under this brand only.

One such assignment came this winter.

Monisa with Shehnaz Gill.

This past February, when ex-Bigg Boss contestant Shehnaz Gill and popular music rapper Badshah landed in famous ski-resort Gulmarg for a video song shoot, Monisa was called for beautifying the Bollywood celebrities in town.

She didn’t miss the opportunity offered by KJ Productions — a Srinagar-based line producing firm dedicated towards promoting Kashmir as a film destination.

“I was so thrilled and excited,” Monisa recalls the moment. “This was my first project with any actress.”

Prior to that, she had handled a project with Jigar Saraiya—a popular singer and music director—during her song shoot in Kashmir in November 2020.

The award moment.

Today, she may have cemented her place as among the best beauticians of town, but Monisa is crediting gentlemen in her life for everything.

While behind every successful man there’s a woman, but in Monisa’s case, her sibling and spouse proved to be her difference makers.

“If I’m doing something in life today, the due credit goes to my husband and brother,” she says.

“It’s not possible for any woman to work in the field without the support of her family members. I’m lucky to have such gentlemen in my life!”

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Auqib Javeed

Auqib Javeed is special correspondent with Kashmir Observer and tweets @AuqibJaveed

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