From lawyer to award winning makeup artist, Mandy Kaur proves no matter what your passion, the key to success is focus.

Managing one high-profile career is difficult enough sometimes but Mandy has combined two seamlessly.

She said, “My diary is back to back one year ahead of the current year. My legal background has given me the amazing ability of being incredibly organised. My work in both areas have become a well-oiled machine.

“I love both of my careers. They are both so different from the other. One is logical, problem solving and methodical, the other is creative, spontaneous and fun.

“Even when I was studying law, I was always making someone over in my spare time. I was fascinated to watch how people treated you when you got makeup wrong, how it changed people’s perception of you as a person. 

“Even though I loved makeup, I never took it seriously as a career. 

“Whilst in the middle of my law studies I was constantly being approached by managers at MAC Cosmetics and Bobby Brown, so finally I took the plunge to consider this as a serious hobby. Through my learning and practice I started getting bridal bookings. This then turned into a viable career.”

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Asian Image:

Mandy said being a makeup artist entails contending with unprecedented requests and sometimes quick and innovative thinking.

“If a bride books an Aphrodites artist they also get the additional bonus features of room security, comedian, personal advisor, product advisor, wedding assistant, skincare consultant, snack keeper, emergency tailor, jewellery fixer and emotional therapist!

“There have even been additional requests where I have become a bride’s lawyer.”

From making ad hoc bindi’s out of lipstick to hiding a prayer written on cardboard in the bride’s hair to employing teams of aunties to surround the bride with duvets from the hotel so she can avoid being seen, Mandy says all requests are a welcome challenge.

“The bride is mine from pyjamas to aisle.

“The earliest start time for a bride has been 12-1am. I am incredibly meticulous about timings. When travelling to my bride I take into account any roadworks, accidents and rush hour. Some brides ensure I have accommodation the night before.”

Mandy’s work has seen her company Aphrodites win Makeup Artist of the Year at the 2018 Asian Wedding Awards and she is also a finalist for the 2019 British Asian Wedding Awards.

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Having parlayed her hobby into a lucrative career, Mandy, a staunch vegan, is keen to promote ethical awareness of cruelty free makeup products.

“We should not be taking the life of another for our own personal gain. I believe this wholeheartedly and have applied this to my entire lifestyle. In the beauty industry, animals should not have to die horrific deaths just so we can have some mascara.

“Since its inception, Aphrodites has been pushing awareness of animal cruelty in the beauty industry. A lot of makeup brands still test on animals or use animal parts to produce makeup. You would be surprised how many red lipsticks have crushed beetles in the product to give it that red effect. If you knew this would you still use it?

“In this forward thinking and new age, barbaric animal testing is super outdated and it’s been proven by the likes of Urban Decay, Smashbox, Charlotte Tilsbury, Tarte Cosmetics, Morphes, NYX Cosmetics, Inglot, Becca, Hourglass and many more that it is not necessary. Our beauty shouldn’t be carried off the back of innocent lives.”

Mandy is adamant that makeup artists need to take ownership of the rise in demand in makeup products and in doing so, they should also be aware of where they come from and have a better insight into how they are produced. 

“I tend to educate every bride of the brands that do and don’t animal test. We have found a lot of brides are unaware of this and have also passionately taken a stand with us. In fact, a lot more brides tend to come to us specifically because they do not want to be a part of the animal testing culture. 

“Awareness and banning of animal testing features very high in our core values. It is our moral, social and environmental responsibility to make this positive change in any way we can and for me it starts with makeup.”