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#FireStarter: Navreet Josan, The Makeup Artist With Muscle Power

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Let me paint you a picture. You see a woman in a gym. She looks tough, the kind you don’t want to get on the wrong side of. She’s picking up weights, those don’t look easy. The sweat glistens on her shoulders, every muscle straining as she continues to tackle the weights. Then, with a final grunt, she puts those weights down and walks over to get her water. If you were to venture a guess, you’d think that this was a full-time job, being an athlete. If you were asked again about what profession she could be in, you’d venture a guess – construction? – maybe something that requires her to lift heavy weights? Allow us to surprise you.

Meet Navreet Josan, the 31-year-old girl who is sculpting her body and sculpting faces with equal ease. Navreet is a National Artist with Mac Cosmetics India. With makeup, it wasn’t really like she was gunning for it. It just happened to her. She says, “I was studying to go to dental school. My mom one day read out a career counselling article to me on choosing makeup as a career path. Being someone who loves creativity, I started researching makeup as a career and landed at a makeup school. Post that in 2007, I was very lucky to get a job at MAC and since then there has been no looking back. I now work with this amazing brand as the National Artist.”

That’s the makeup artist side of her. But this girl isn’t just deft with her blending, she’s great at building as well. Reet (the name she goes by) is a bikini body builder. While makeup was something that she stumbled upon, fitness was something she was always into. She says, “I wasn’t really into makeup in my teens until I went to makeup school and started working as a makeup artist. That’s when it became a part of my life. With fitness, I have been athletic since school. I began going to the gym fairly early in life and started competing as a professional bikini fitness athlete 7 years ago.”

Being a makeup artist is gruelling work. You spend a lot of hours on your feet, you’re constantly running around and there’s plenty of back-breaking work with the brushes. Her days can be a blur, flitting from one shoot to another, lugging around a heavy makeup kit, being patient through the many outfit changes and leading a team of makeup artists.

And while shoots happen and models walk down the ramp, backstage is a chaotic mess with people guzzling colas and munching on fried snacks to keep them going. It’s got to be trying when you want to be healthy. We are pretty sure there’s a hack. Reet lets us on on her secret. “Discipline and planning are the key to juggling both. I set new exciting goals for myself, whether it’s a fitness competition or a photo shoot. Setting goals that I actually care about makes me want to jump out of bed and go kill my workouts. They help me not want to cheat on my diet as the pleasure of instant gratification does not even come close to the feeling of victory.”

“I prep all my meals and make sure I have my food with me at all times. If that’s not feasible, I order something that fits my nutrition plan. I have a coach who lives in the US who guides me with my nutrition and workouts. It’s important to be stubborn with your goals but flexible with your methods. “

Sigh, so the only way to do this right is to eat right? Oh well. But hey, we can cheat with makeup right? There’s nothing a good contouring job can’t hide. Not that Reet needs it, she’s got cuts so sharp they could draw blood. The rest of us aren’t like that though. Even though we like our makeup, it’s saved for a special occasion.

On an average day, the Indian woman seems happy to put on her kajal and lipstick and leave the house. Does she see this changing? Reet weighs in. “I remember there was a time women used to take pride in not wearing makeup. Gone are those days. It’s the time when every woman owns a Ruby Woo lipstick and knowing how to do basic makeup is a necessity.” That certainly does ring true.

We are so intrigued by Reet. She’s powerful and powdered! She’s everything a #Firestarter is. But why does she think she’s one? “I am a #Firestarter for marrying health with beauty – making people look and feel beautiful and inspiring people to live a fit life,” Reet says.

Oh, we agree! I mean, she’s inspired our entire team to get moving. Though washboard abs remain a distant dream. *muses while munching on a French fry*

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Mansi Shah is the resident humour writer and random conversation starter. Tends to laugh manically at puns. Deeply enjoys the blunt force of sarcasm. Preys on chauvinists and people with incorrect grammar. Hoards makeup and beauty products. Attacks Nutella with vigour.

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