“Makeup is not a mask that covers up your beauty; it’s a weapon that helps you express who you are from the inside.” ~ Michelle Phan.
For 26-year-old Nimshim Jajo from Manipur, makeup helped discover her inner strength as a creative force – when she discovered the art of makeup at a low point in her life “Makeup gave me wings to fly, and a boost to my confidence when I lost sight in my right eye.” Nimshim used the tools of make-up and art as a weapon to shut down everyone that closed doors for her and eventually led her to win the first NYX Face Awards in 2017. Here’s her story.
R&L chats with the talented, positive and super driven, Nimshim Jajo about her struggles in the beauty industry, her journey as a make-up artist and everything she hopes for in the coming years.
Hello Nimshim! Tell us about yourself, where you’re from and what you have been up to?
My name is Nimshim Jajo or Nim Jajo. I’m 26 years old from Ukhrul, Manipur, and I am a freelance make-up artist based in New Delhi and specialize in wedding make-up, both traditional Indian as well as western Christian weddings. I’ve got two formal pieces of training – one Diploma in Comprehensive Makeup Artistry from MSTC and an Advanced Professional Makeup Course from Vidya Tikari.
Why did you choose to be a make-up artist, and tell us more about your work.
I was never too keen on the chase for educational degrees. So after I moved to Delhi, I developed a keen interest in the art of makeup. About 6 years ago, I was looking for a video called “How to do everyday makeup by Michelle Phan” on YouTube and it got me hooked to becoming a makeup artist. And now, after realizing the power of makeup and the transformations you can do, I am more determined than ever to take it further.
“I work full time as a freelance makeup artist and collaborate with make-up giants, Nykaa and Jesse Eye Cosmetics to create exclusive looks for them. I have also been part of North East Festival in Delhi and Goddess Awards (GOA) and have worked with models like Varsha Rajkhowa (Miss Scuba International 2016), Aakanksha Manchanda (Miss Summer Asia 2016), Rewati Chetri (World Miss Asia 2016), Aradhna Buragohain (Miss India Universe 2016), Jessica Marbaniang (Miss Northeast 2015), and Joseph Radhik (Sony global Ambassador)”
Nimshim Jajo (middle) with team NYX in Mumbai
Nimshim Jajo with Rewati Chetri- Miss International India 2016
What have been some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced while working in this industry?
“When I first started out as a makeup artist after getting my diploma, the work was going great. Then shortly after, I had to undergo an eye surgery and lost my eyesight on one side. That became such a hurdle for me and slowly all my applications to big makeup houses got rejected one after another. That was when I decided to freelance and prove nothing can stop me from doing what I love… Not even losing my eyesight!”
“Cleopatra” – A Halloween themed makeup look by Nimshim Jajo.
Nimshim Jajo with Super model Aishwarya Susmita
L- R: Nimshim with Varsha Rajkhowa (Miss Scuba International 2016) and Aakansha Manchanda (Miss Summer Asia 2016)
How have your roots and upbringing influenced your work?
“I’ve always tried to incorporate the tit-bits of northeastern culture and art into my looks. Growing up, I was never keen on doing something that everyone around me was doing. Make-up was something that has always intrigued me.
I kept learning and progressing over the years and fortunately, my winning makeup look for NYX Face Awards 2017 was one that was inspired by a tribal Naga warrior queen. Our traditional handlooms and pattern designs in the northeast use many bright colors, and that’s something I always try to do when I work on new looks.”
Nimshim’s award-winning entry titled “The Naga Tribal Queen” at the NYX Face Awards 2017
Nimshim with her “NYX Beauty Vlogger of the Year 2017” trophy.
What keeps you motivated to work towards your goal and dreams every day?
“I live everyday like it is my last day… Like it is the last day I will have my eyesight and that’s what keeps me going. It makes me strive to do my best for the people around me while I still can in my full potential.”
Nimshim and her close friend’s enjoy a sunny day in the park.
What do you wish to achieve through your makeup artistry? What are your plans for the future?
“I hope people never give up on their dreams. If one door closes, knock on the other. If there is a will, there is definitely a way. Make-up is more than a profession for me.”
I also intend to start a makeup studio in the coming years. I find that makeup artistry as a profession is very lucrative and is a very good option for the youth – especially folks from North East of India are naturally pretty artistic; so why not use it for the greater good. Through my studio, I would like to encourage more of people from the Northeast to take this up as a profession, and hopefully be able to create looks that are influenced and connect both our native and modern influences.
Nimshim Jajo Backstage for North East Fest in Delhi
Nimshim Jajo talks about her personal story and why makeup is more than a profession for her in her beautiful video titled “Power of Makeup” Follow her on Instagram to be inspired.
Follow Nimshim on Instagram to see her make-up tutorials and more of her mind-bending looks.
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