It’s a chilly, windy Sunday morning, and the conference room at the Coastlands Musgrave Hotel in Durban, South Africa is packed with eager women. My front row companions— Karishma Ramdev, Maryam AB, Naliyani Govender and Brett Robson— were dressed to impress as we gathered to witness a whole lot of magic. The occasion? Neil Ramautar’s Master Make Up Class, an exclusive event that sold out in a matter of 72 hours a few months prior.
For those living under a rock in Durban and South Africa, Neil Ramautar is the most sought after make up artist to not only dashing brides but prominent celebrities as well. His expert hand combined with his charismatic presence (and good looks, I might add) is enough for make-up lovers to crave a piece of what he had to offer. Decked out in his usual designer get-up, Neil wowed his learners with his technique, creating 3 stunning yet achieveable looks using cult-favourite beauty brands to the palettes we drool over on social media.
“I am his biggest fan!”, beamed an audience member of the affair, adding with a laugh, “I can’t wait to purchase Etrebelle products after the class.” And indeed she did, as the queue lined up to shop their Etrebelle wish list. On it? The products from the leading skincare brand, which singlehandedly cured my topical acne earlier this year, was sold out within minutes, but we would save that for another article.
The talented staff of Etrébelle SA welcomed guests with a generous gift bags containing high-end beauty products, in-house favourites and vouchers to claim at Etrebelle’s glamourous studio in Overport, Durban.
Each guest was allocated a number which was then used as lucky draw entrants for stunning prizes, which included a Glam Palm Hair Styler and $1000 worth of Etrebelle skincare products.
Kajal Bagwandeen hosted the master makeup class, interacting with the audience with her charming and lovable personality, while looking ethereal at the same time.
The most important part of the day was the looks created by the king himself. First up, Karishma Ramdev, who was placed in the Miss SA Top 5 earlier this year, joined Ramautar on stage. He created a stunning soft glam visage with pink eyelids and a matte lip, using products that were under $40(about R500). The look included cult favourites such as LA Girl, Kiki Beauty and NYX.
The second look was a classic South African-Indian bridal look on the one and only Shashi Naidoo, South Africa’s supermodel, if there ever was one. Neil created a beautiful rose gold eye with lashes that reached heaven and a soft pink lip to tie up the entire look. Her cheekbones were highlighted to photographic-friendliness and her skin was buffed to perfection with Ramautar’s unbeaten skill. The audience’s interjections at her transformation made this look a firm favourite.
The last look, my personal favourite, was created on Mira Sewpersad, a loyal Etrebelle customer, who uses the brand’s entire offering on her skin. As she removed the Burberry BB Cream off her skin before Neil could start his artistry, I couldn’t stop admiring the condition of her skin, which looked better than most teenagers I know. The even-toned complexion and supple texture provided a flawless canvas for Ramautar’s handwork. Neil created a simple day look on her, while showing the audience how to practically transform the day look into a night one.
I felt disappointed that the class was over, for the simple fact that no one can get enough of Neil Ramautar’s impeccable talent. Everyone was grinning uncontrollably, while waiting to take selfies with the King of MUAs himself and attempting to pre-order more Etrebelle products. There was truly no better way to spend a Sunday morning and noon.
Photo credit: Thufayl Ali | Liquid Media