|Internationally recognized makeup artist and skin care consultant Karuna Chani is known for her ability to blend eastern elements with western beauty trends. Born and raised in New York City, Chani graduated from Parsons School of Design, and later attended the Makeup Forever Academy in Paris, France. During her internships and post-graduate work, Chani was inspired by how a face could be transformed in a short amount of time.
Switching her focus from fashion to beauty, Chani worked with big-name brands Laura Mercier, Chanel, Giorgio Armani and NARS on how to use their products and create custom looks for clients. Chani transforms young South Asian brides and professional models with ease and expertise. Owner of and lead makeup artist at KC-Makeup, Chani opened her first studio in 2007 and recently opened a new one in NoMad, Manhattan.
Recently, Chani shared more about her background and favorite beauty secrets.
|Tell us a little bit about your career and how you came to be where you are today.
|I did fashion internships while studying at Parsons [School of Design], coordinating fashion shows for designers such as Carmen Marc Valvo, DKNY, Calvin Klein, etc. That work led to a realization that I wanted to be in the beauty industry, which changed my path from fashion to beauty in 2001. At the time, I was totally fascinated by how makeup could transform a face in 30 minutes and give a person such confidence all in one. Fashion and beauty go hand in hand though, so I wasn’t far off.
|As a renowned makeup artist, you have had the chance to work with quite a list of stars. Who are some of your favorites and why?
|Bollywood actresses Priyanka Chopra and Nimrat Kaur are my favorites, not only because they are natural beauties, but also talented, hard working, and an inspiration to all females. They are perfect representations that not only can you be beautiful, but smart and have it all! And to top it off, both are incredibly human and down to earth.
|You also work with brides to ensure they look fabulous for their big day. What can a bride expect when working with you and your team?
A bride can expect exceptional professionalism (punctual, polite, personable), creative, unique concepts. No cookie-cutter look or technique. Understanding the client’s needs and coming up with a unique concept to suit her personal style and vision for her big day is what KC-Makeup is all about!
|What is your favorite skincare product – one item no woman should be without for healthy, glowing skin?
|Any skincare product that has hyaluronic acid and/or triple peptides is definitely one of my favorites! It’s an instant skin booster giving a slight lift and glow all in one!
|Is there one particular step in a skin care regimen women should not skip?
It can’t be one step. it has to be at least two steps! (I promise the one additional step won’t take much more time). Every woman should never ever skip cleansing and moisturizing daily. It keeps the skin clean and hydrated and is a must for supple looking skin.
|Many South Asian women struggle with finding the perfect shade of makeup. Do you recommend any particular brands to ease their search?
This has been an ongoing issue in the industry, since I began working in beauty and still continues to be an issue to this day. While it has improved in the past five years, for many it is still difficult to find the right shade of foundation. I would recommend NARS, Bobbi Brown, Laura Mercier and/or Makeup Forever to find the perfect shade for South Asian skin tones.
|Increasingly today, younger generations in the South Asian community are choosing “non-traditional” careers. What words of wisdom do you have for those who aspire to careers in fashion and/or beauty?
|Don’t do it unless you’re 100% committed and prepared to put in the required hard work, passion, perseverance and dedication. because this career is demanding, always changing and forces you to remain at the top of your game creatively and professionally. Oh and your social life may slowly slip away as you become more and more successful.
Work is my life. I wouldn’t have it any other way, but it’s not for everyone.
|How would you characterize your own style?
|Classic and trendy with my very own unique flair.
Visit www.kc-makeup.com to learn more about Karuna Chani, KC-Makeup, and her services.
|About the Author
|Rina Shah is the CEO and founder of The Arpan Group, a boutique ad agency and public relations firm that specializes in capturing untouched ethnic markets. From press releases and media kits to marketing materials and by-line articles, The Arpan Group customizes solutions based on the client’s needs. For more information, visit www.thearpangroup.com or call (703) 651-6670.
Photos provided by Karuna Chani and Tara Sharma Photography.
Article appears in November 2015 issue of Desh-Videsh magazine.