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Delhi gets a fancy new address for high fashion makeup

Nayonika Chatterjee inaugurating the store; model Laxmi Rana (left)

mbika Pillai has been an acknowledged heavyweight in the lifestyle industry for some time now. Her eponymous hair styling salons at various locations in the capital (like Rajouri Garden and Punjabi Bagh) have catered to the city's fashionistas for a long time, whether it's models, actresses or socialites. She's also one of the most wanted makeup artists around. A brief brush with Bollywood happened with the 1999 Subhash Ghai film Taal. Here, her job was the makeup for a certain Aishwarya Rai Bachchan.

Last week saw Pillai celebrating the launch of her new hair and makeup studio at Chhatarpur. This was one of three new salons launched, the other two being at Malviya Nagar and Gurgaon, respectively. The celebratory bash saw a fair cross-section of the city's rich and famous in attendance, exchanging beauty tips with Pillai over champagne. The guests included Manav Gangwani, Tarun Tahiliani, Sumanth Jaikishan, Gauri Karan, Nina Manuel, Joey Mathews and Anushka Menon among others. Speaking about Pillai's experience in the fashion world, Shaan Thadani said, "Hers is one of the best luxury brands in the country, and from what I saw her new salon has been styled in a really different manner. She has rebranded her stores."

Pillai is no stranger to the international fashion circuit as well, having done fashion shows in New York, London, Paris, Singapore, Dubai, Mauritius and Switzerland in the past. Her exploits have won her several awards in recent years, including the Vogue Best Makeup Artist award 2011 and the Cosmopolitan Fun Fearless Female Awards for Best Hair and Makeup artist, 2009.

Her own beauty product line 'ambikapillai' includes nail polishes, eye kohls, liquid liners and makeup brushes. Designer Namrata Joshipura waxed eloquent about her relationship with Pillai and her brand, "She has trained her team so well. The real USP of the brand is their versatility. Whether it's a Punjabi bridal makeup, or a cutting-edge fashion show, they get it bang on. They're thoroughly professional and experts at customisation." If last week's bash was any evidence, Pillai's brand is set to be bigger than ever before.

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