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Simply Cory

Meet Cory Wallia who has been-there-done-that when it comes to make-up for ramps, films or ad campaigns


BEHIND MANY a face that has launched the proverbial `thousand ships', read film stars, Aishwarya Rai, and hot shot models, including Madhu Sapre, Lisa Ray and Malaika Arora Khan, as also socialite brides, is the deft brush and sponge work from this famous Mumbai-based make-up artiste, Karamjit Singh Wallia a.k.a Cory Wallia, a sought after name in the business of beauty today with the likes of Mickey Contractor, Pandharidada Juker, Michelle, Jojo and Bharat Godambe.

Talk fashion, and you find that he has worked with leading designers such as Shahab Durazi, not forgetting his long association with Lakme India Fashion Week - for the ramp as well as for forecasting the look of the season. Apart from innumerable commercials and ad campaigns, he has been elementary in crafting the sizzling Gabbar Mix look for Namrata Barua, in the popular video. As for films, he worked with Preity Zinta for Soldier and Raveena Tandon, for a song sequence in Aks, and turned down quite a few films. "I take up cinematic make-up if I see splendour. I belong to the glamour side of make-up," he says.

Ask him about his favourite face and he says, "I have worked on all beautiful faces but the one I always liked to do was a plain looking face from the audience, and elicit a gasp for the make over. Everybody is capable of looking good. I only help them, highlighting the beauty hidden in their features. Anybody can look glamorous in 5-10 minutes. By glamorous I mean a simple, understated look that does not require falsies -- artificial eye lashes and the works," he says while conducting a workshop in the twin cities recently.

Cory's penchant with colours started 15 years ago when he decided to leave his thriving family liquor business to follow what he loved to do — make-up. "I was not interested in selling liquor. In fact I was bored with that," he says. A visit to the US followed, to study international hairstyle and make-up trends. He returned only to join Jojo as a replacement of his assistant who was leaving for Paris.

"I started my career very late, at the age of 30. I guess I am lucky because there was a niche created for a person like me then, and also may be because I am loquacious," he explains. His innumerable workshops, including episodes of Zee Khubsurat, lectures and demos for leading international brands, or imparting the essential tips to fellow beauticians across the country, accounts for the latter. "I love teaching. Some of the people that I have trained, such as Subhash Vagal, Kapil Bhalla, Faiyaz Zariwala and Vipul Bhagat, are doing well for themselves, which givens me a sense of accomplishment. I also plan to set up an academy shortly," he says, one from a pro who considers converting a hobby into profession, a good recipe for contentment.

S.F.

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