Desi Inspiration: Interview with MAC Senior Artist Vimi Joshi!

Vimi Joshi MAC Senior Artist Middle East is an inspiration to many makeup artists and makes us desi’s super proud!  She discovered her true passion of makeup while in medical school and had the courage to leave a conventional career path to pursue her dreams as a makeup artist (imagine telling your parents!).  Her career has been incredible, as one of the MAC Senior Artists the Middle East  she’s done makeup for Royalty, Rock Stars, Bollywood and Hollywood celebrities and shows her magic behind the ramp for runway shows.  Vimi is some of the best talent in the industry.

Read our interview with Vimi where she talks about her career, living in Dubai and gives us some makeup recommendations for South Asian skin tones!

1.  We want to know your story, when did you know a career in beauty was for you? How did you grow in your career and make your dreams into a reality? What has been the highlight & biggest challenge of your career?

I started my career in Beauty in 1995 and it was purely by coincidence that I became a makeup artist. I was actually training to become a doctor and begin work in the medical field. I went to a U2 concert that changed my life: my friend was their stylist and we were all backstage when I met their makeup artist. She told me how she travels the world with them doing their makeup. I knew then that I wanted to be a makeup artist. It all sounded very exciting and I was only pursuing a career in the medical field because it was my parents dream, not mine. I went to do a makeup course and my first job was working with Tony Blair who was campaigning to become the prime minister of UK, Within 3 weeks of leaving makeup school I was working at MTV Europe in London. The highlight and the biggest challenge of my life was organizing and designing the looks the iifa awards which is the Bollywood Oscars. We had a team over 30 makeup artist and 300 makeups to do in one day. It was so inspiring.

Vimi Joshi behind the scenes at the IIFA Awards

2. When did you move to Dubai & what brought you to the Middle East?

I moved to Dubai in 2004 before which I lived in Kuwait. I came to the Middle East to work with the Kuwaiti Royal Family and then started working for MAC. I loved living in Kuwait and it is through the Kuwaiti women I learnt Arabic makeup.

3. What are your favorite things about living in Dubai? Do you think living in the Middle East has changed you in any way?

I really like living in Dubai because it’s such a cosmopolitan place. You meet people from all over the world and it teaches you to accept and    respect different cultures, it also teaches you to become compassionate and non judge mental towards people. I have become more spiritual since moving to Dubai and for that I am grateful.

4. Tell us about your experience working with MAC and what do you think sets MAC apart from other makeup brands?

Working for MAC has been a life changing experience. I have travelled the world and met the most incredible people. MAC as brand has a philosophy of  “All Ages, All Sexes, All Races” which I totally believe in and it’s a trend setting fashion brand that leads within the market. I also admire the fact that MAC is innovative and its always pushing artistic boundaries.

5. What are some of the differences you see between makeup styles in the UK and in the Middle East? And why do you think this is?

Women in the Middle East adore make up, they enjoy experimenting with colours, textures and makeup styles. The women in the UK prefer their makeup more natural and softer. The reason for this, is that here in the Middle East make up has been inspired by the culture that is rooted deep within their history. In the UK the makeup is inspired by 20th Century fashion.

7. Having been working as a makeup artist since 1995, how do you think MAC has evolved over the years and do you think the makeup industry has changed since you first begun?

MAC is a very fashion forward brand and it is constantly evolving with times. The makeup industry is also evolving and I believe that technology and textures has a lot to do with this. MAC has an incredible range of products in their “Prep and Prime” and “Mineralize Skin Finish” Range. Women want their skin to look velvety and natural with minimal product.

8. Where do you find inspiration and are there any Makeup Artists out there who inspire you? What do you think sets one makeup artist apart from another?

Life inspires me… I could look at a flower, painting, building, nature and get inspiration. I have so much respect for all makeup artist out there and I really celebrate their creativity and artistic perspective. My make up hero is Val Garland.

9. You do a lot of different type of work. What do you enjoy most about your job? What has been your most favorite makeup job ever?

Each day is a different experience and that’s what I find so inspiring working with MAC. I really enjoy each and every job as it allows me to express my artistry.

10. East Asians generally have a hard time finding a foundation that matches their skin tone perfectly. Can you share any tips on how East Asians can find the right shade of foundation?

The first thing to bear in mind is to understand the undertone of your skin which could be golden, peach or pink. Most East Asian women have a golden or peachy undertone’s and they want a foundation that is pink. By choosing a foundation that is pink in undertone will actually make your skin appear blue or grey. So, I suggest that you find a foundation that matches your skin tone exactly.


11. In your opinion, what are the most common makeup mistakes women make?

Choosing the wrong color of foundation that does not match their face or body.

12. What are the top 5 lipstick shades from MAC that you think are the most popular and suit Asian skin tones the best?

Please Me, Impassioned, Chatterbox, Vegas Volt and Ruby Woo

13. What is your favorite makeup trend of the season? Which MAC products would you recommend to achieve that look?

Sense and Sensibility: It’s about beautiful skin that looks creamy and velvety. A strong statement red mouth with a rosy flush of blush. I would recommend the below products for this look:

  • MAC Studio Sculpt Foundation
  • MAC Lip Pencil in Cherry
  • MAC Lipstick in Ruby Woo
  • MAC Blush in Pink Swoon.

14. Desi’s love Kohl. But for many of us the kohl tends to run. In your expert opinion, how can one avoid their kohl from spreading and becoming raccoon eyes?

The best way to ensure that your kohl stays in place is by setting it with some loose powder under the eye area.

16. Do you have any “go-to” signature looks that work every time?

The good old classic smokey eyes…. Every woman loves this look.

17. In “celeb-land” which celebrities would you love to make over if given the chance?

Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn.

18. If you could tell our readers the top 3 most important makeup tips you’ve learned over the years – what would they be?

  1. There is nothing more beautiful than inner beauty. Most women focus on what they are not happy with. Celebrate who you are!
  2. Hydrate your skin for a radiant glow.
  3. Always take time to find the correct shade and undertone of foundation because once your skin looks great, your make up will look great too.

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