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'Deepika told me not to use tapes for her eyes' says Mallika Bhat, The Key makeup Artist on CC2C

The only brief director Nikhil Advani gave 28-year-old makeup artiste Mallika Bhat was 'make my lead actress look Chinese'. The fact that doe-eyed Deepika Padukone was the lead actress did not help Bhat's case. She says, "They had been through makeup artistes who decided to stick tapes on Deepika's face to pull her features back. But when we were done Nikhil asked if we had used tapes and I said no and he gave us the thumps up." Bhat did away with the tapes and instead researched heavily on the look. They watched the movie Memoirs of a Geisha to get a few ideas.

For Meow Meow's character Bhat had to flatten Deepika's sharp features and also add a tinge of yellow to resemble the Chinese skin tone. Nothing a few layers of foundation could not do. Moving on to the eyes, a base of pearly white eye shadow was applied and the inside of the eyes was lined with white pencil. But it was the eyeliner that did the actual trick. It started thin at the beginning of the eye and then became thicker and stopped just before the eye ended. Below and very close to the lower lash line, Bhat used foundation to make the eyes look smaller, a faux pas she committed while at makeup school. The eyes were complete with grey lenses to give her a cold look.

Lips were pinched with a lot of reds used. For the hair, a wig was rebounded and thinned to appear similar to the reed thin hair that those in the orient have. Sharp asymmetrical bangs gave the edgy look that Deepika's character has.

For Sakhi's part that is of the modern Indian girl, there was not much Bhat had to work on. She used shades of pink as that's what the character is mostly dressed in. The skin tone was a few shades darker than the Chinese and the hair was styled to have a lock of curls at the end and side bangs that were constantly falling over one eye. "

Surprisingly this look took an hour and a half to put together while the Chinese look was complete in 25 minutes! Deepika was very professional. She knew we were working against the odds. She only told me not to use tapes," laughs Bhat. She says that a lot of the ladies are asking for a hair cut similar to Meow Meow's and well, she only hopes it's a trickle down effect of her hard work.

Nikil Advani talks Deepika Padukone's Makeup

IT was director Nikhil Advani who insisted on the half-painted lips, imitating the Japanese geisha girl style. "The make-up artiste Mallika and I really fought about it because she wanted to make it Chinese and authentic. But for me, it was more important to give something back to the audience that was trendy — Chandni Chowk To China is, after all, a Bollywood film. I wanted people who saw it to pick it up as a trend and try it back home."

So Deepika's Meow Meow character sports pouty lips, shot with a strip of red. For the rest through, the director said that his crew stuck to authenticity, got their materials from China and tailored them there. Nikhil saw Deepika's double role as Sakhi, damsel-in-distress and Meow, ruthless and steely. "So we even experimented with how we did her hair — for Sakhi's Barbie doll character, she had it soft, while Meow Meow had poker straight hair with a fringe. She even uses her braid as a weapon." Motifs helped too. Sakhi had a flower one and Meow Meow, well… a cat.

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