Ami Desai: Breaking Boundaries and Embracing Authenticity in the Dynamic Digital World
In a digital era where everyone strives to be heard, it’s often the most authentic voices that stand out and make a genuine impact. This is a truth understood and embodied by none other than Ami Desai, a trailblazer whose multi-dimensional journey, unwavering resilience, and commitment to authenticity continue to inspire a generation.
As a former broadcast journalist, Desai honed her skills in a demanding and fast-paced environment, learning the many facets of media creation, from filming and editing to lighting and makeup. These skills would prove invaluable later when the world went into lockdown, and Desai had to navigate the rapid evolution of the digital landscape. Desai was quick to adapt, becoming a one-woman-band who managed every aspect of her productions, from pre-production to post. This comprehensive approach meant she was not just the face in front of the camera, but also the driving force behind it. Her ability to single-handedly produce quality content allowed her to work with a plethora of brands and earned her respect
and admiration within the industry.
What truly sets Desai apart is her genuine and relatable connection with her audience. She appreciates that in today’s world, people crave authenticity over curated perfection. Her real, raw, and unfiltered content resonated deeply with her audience, establishing a strong bond that extends beyond the digital realm. Recognizing a content void around motherhood, Desai bravely tackled this delicate subject, shedding light on its many challenges. She shared her own experiences and provided comfort, support, and much-needed advice to mothers navigating this life-changing journey. Her honest reflections created a sense of community, making many women feel seen, heard, and less alone.
At the heart of Desai’s content creation philosophy is a simple, yet profound belief: Be true to yourself. By embracing her unique voice and maintaining her authenticity, she’s cultivated a dedicated and loyal following. Her mantra serves as a powerful reminder for content creators everywhere: be organically yourself, and people will naturally gravitate towards you. Desai’s expertise extends beyond content creation to her deep passion for beauty and fashion. With an acute understanding of the industry and a keen eye for detail, she has been able to offer invaluable guidance, particularly for South Asian brides. She believes in prioritizing personal comfort and confidence over following transient trends, a sentiment that resonates with
As a beauty enthusiast, Desai is passionate about breaking down the misconceptions that often accompany the beauty industry. She envisions a future where beauty and education coexist harmoniously. It’s her dream to launch a venture that allows women to embrace their love for beauty without sacrificing their intellectual pursuits. A place where women from all walks of life can learn, share experiences, and build a sense of belonging and community. Ami Desai’s journey is not just a story of personal success; it’s a testament to the power of authenticity, resilience, and unwavering passion. She is an embodiment of the modern woman, who breaks boundaries, embraces authenticity, and inspires others to do the same. Her journey serves as a beacon of inspiration for all women, proving that with dedication, authenticity, and a
bit of courage, anything is possible.
In the dynamic world of digital media, Desai continues to leave her mark. Her story is a reminder that sometimes the most powerful tool we have is our unique voice. As we navigate our own paths, let’s take a leaf out of her book, celebrating our authenticity, acknowledging our challenges, and always striving to remain true to ourselves.
What are your top five must-have makeup products for a radiant bridal look?
1- Water – as much as we may hear this throughout our life, water does have SO much to do with our skin and how it appears. I always say good makeup starts with good skin so no better way to start from the inside out. I have to actively remind myself to drink a sufficient amount of water, but it absolutely does wonders for skin looking more bouncy and hydrated. Plus, it keeps you energized and cravings at bay. Little tip is to add flavored drops to help make intake easier
2- Regular Facials starting 6 months prior – this doesn’t have to break the bank. There are some great at home options available for at-home facials. Shani Darden and GloSkin beauty both have at-home kits ready to use in the comfort of your own home. If you can opt for a professional service, HydraFacials are the one facial I think is so worth it and actually makes a difference. There’s no downtime, each service can be customized to your individual needs and you look so rested & glowy even if you’ve hardly slept, becuase wedding planning!
3- A good long wearing foundation that isn’t too matte or doesn’t cake – I love a good dewy look but for weddings, especially SA ones, it’s important makeup stays put and is long lasting. The 2 I have found to work wonders for all skin types are the Clinique Even Better Makeup (medium coverage foundation that can be built on and has a beautiful finish even with 2-3 layers), and the NARS soft matte complete. This has a matte finish so would be great for someone with oily prone skin. Touch ups will be minimal and skin will still glow.
4- Cream blush – this has changed the game for radiant skin. Adding a cream blush adds instant glow without being over the top and also a fresh face. Especially if you are going heavy with other parts of your makeup like a dramatic eye, this really balances out the look and brings a youthfulness to the look. I am currently loving Persona Cosmetics blush multisticks and ELF halo glow wands.
5- Setting Spray- Some people thing all setting sprays are created equal but they are not! And they really do seal the deal when it comes to your makeup. It can also add freshness to a look and revive dull skin. I like using setting spray throughout the getting ready process for a seamless look. Try spritzing before applying your base makeup, then after any powder product like setting powder and blush, and then again at the end. Follow up by patting in the product with your sponge. The results are an airbrush finish that looks radiant. My top choices are Urban Decay All Nighter, One Size setting spray & Pixie Beauty Glow Mist.
How do you recommend incorporating traditional elements into a modern bridal look?
The most important thing to keep in mind here is to be true to yourself and what makes YOU comfortable. I’ve seen many brides choose a look or style for their hair or makeup that their moms or friends like but they don’t feel 100% themselves. It’s why trials are really important too. Test out that bold lip and see if it’s really something you want for your ceremony or reception and if it’s not, then maybe opt to wear it for a pre-wedding event like your Mehndi or Sangeet. I love playing with color or trends for pre-wedding events where it’s supposed to be more fun and I know not as photographed as the main event itself. For me, I love the way slicked back hair or a parted bun looks traditionally, but I really feel comfortable in more ethereal looks. So I opted for a low chignon and loose face framing fringe for my ceremony. It’s about taking elements you love and making them your own.
Can you describe your favorite Indian bridal makeup look that you have created or seen?
I am such a creature of habit so I love when people want to push the envelope and try new things. That’s the most fun to do as an artist. But, for my favorite looks, I love something really classic that you could do today and 50 years from today would still hold as on-trend and beautiful. To me, that means neutral shades that compliment your skin tone rather than your outfits. And for hair, that means stick to something more natural as far as color goes. I see lots of women do more stark highlights and I think down the line it’s really nice to see subtle color that highlights naturally. I loved Alia Bhatt’s makeup and hair for her wedding looks. Even though I might have gone a little more heavy on the shadows I love how it was so true to her style and character.
How do you approach the challenge of ensuring the bride’s makeup lasts throughout the entire wedding ceremony and reception?
Trials are so important for this very reason. It’s at that time you really get to know someone’s skin, how they react to certain products and how they last. Everyone’s skin is so different so it’s an important step to ensuring things are done right the day of. If you don’t have time for a trial prior to booking your artist in person, it’s important to do a virtual consultation and go over concerns you may have or any sensitivities. You also may have an idea of what your dream look is and once you actually try it, realize it’s not for you. So as much as a trial seems like another thing to add to your already full to-do list, it’s so important!
Do you have any tips for matching bridal makeup with different styles of sarees or lehengas?
I’m not big on matching makeup to outfits as a hard rule. Instead, I like to foucs on what compliments your skin tone and work off that. It’s easy to incorporate pops of color that can tie in a beautiful lengha with your makeup too, such as a bold liner on the bottom waterline or a pop of color in the inner corner of the eyes. It doesn’t have to be super loud or bold. Same goes with lipstick- just because you’re wearing bright pink doesn’t mean you have to wear it on your lips too.
How would you approach creating a bridal look for a bride who wants to fuse elements of Western and South Asian bridal fashion?
I love having us both create mood boards off Pinterest. This really helps align what the bride and artist have in mind individually and can work towards what the final results will be. What you may think is a dark smokey eye may be very different from how I perceive it. One exercise I used to love doing with my clients before a trial was asking what celebrity style they identified with most (ie laid back Jen Aniston or glamazon Jlo). Both beautiful in their own ways, each woman would also have a very different dark smokey eye. This can really help gauge what your client will like. Makeup is subjective and should be fun so this helps ensure everyone is happy!
What’s the biggest mistake you see brides make when it comes to their wedding day makeup and fashion?
I said this earlier, but not doing what makes them 100% comfortable. It’s like wearing a pair of heels that you can’t wait to take off so instead of focusing on the fun you’re having at your event, you’re counting down until you can take them off. Choose what styles speak to you and don’t stray too far from that. If you like up-do’s do one that you like vs going the extreme and doing something you’ve never really seen yourself doing. Remember, these are pictures and videos of the day you might be captured the most so make sure it’s how you want to see yourself.
In terms of bridal makeup, what is the balance between embracing current trends and sticking with a timeless look?
I like to equate this to fashion – start with staple pieces that will last forever and incorporate small things like accessories that are more on-trend or of the moment. Same with bridal looks, do the fun fishtail braid for your sangeet or the bold graphic liner but keep your outfit more classic. If the current trend is heavy embellished colorful beading incorporate that into your outfit but keep the silhouette classic. Again, I like to keep the fun colors and looks for pre-wedding events. And since most SA weddings have at least 3 events or more we have lots of room to play. For the wedding and reception, I love classic color choices with maybe 1 fun silhouette or trendy cut.
What’s your take on the use of bold colors in Indian bridal makeup?
I love it as an accessory. But if bold is something you do regularly, then more power to you. I have some clients that wear red lipstick daily so for them it’s nothing new. For me, I’m a neutral lip gal all the way, so playing with a bold color is definitely stepping outside my comfort zone. I would choose either lipstick or eyes, but not both. So maybe a pretty bold shadow I can add to define my water line but not that with a bold lip. It’s like revealing top or short skirt, choose one and you’ll be safe!
What are some tips for transitioning the bridal look from the ceremony to the reception?
I love choosing hairstyles that are prepped for both hair being up or down. For instance, a low chignon can be set with curls then put up with a duppata and for the reception easily taken out and refreshed for a beautiful old hollywood waves look or side part.