Bollywood’s secret French connection


HAIR MAESTRO: Florian Hurel
HAIR MAESTRO: Florian Hurel

HOW FLORIAN HUREL IS TRANSFORMING HINDI FILM HEROINES

by RAAKHI TANVI

THE secret weapons of leading ladies around the world are top hair and makeup stylists, who help cast a spell with the magical looks they create for any occasion.
Mumbai-based French hair and makeup artist Florian Hurel is one of these go-to stylists top Bollywood stars reach for when they want to look deadly at high-profile events, catwalk shows, in films, photo shoots or anything else. Since moving to India, the fabulous French maestro has worked with high profile actresses, including Deepika Padukone, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Anushka Sharma, Priyanka Chopra and Sara Ali Khan.

Eastern Eye caught up with rapidly rising star Florian Hurel to talk about hair and makeup, leading ladies he has worked for and tops tips to create a perfect look.

How would you describe your journey of working as a hairstylist?
Being a hairstylist was my childhood dream since I was 13. I have always wanted to be in the fashion industry working with models and actresses. It was my dream to work backstage for a Louis Vuitton or Chanel show. But for that, I had to learn and go through a lot of different experiences.

What first connected you to India?
Back in Paris, a few years ago, my mentor told me that I needed a new challenge and asked me if I would be interested to come to India and train. I readily accepted the challenge, and here I am, doing what I love.

What has the experience of working with Indian celebrities been like?
Working with these actresses is a dream come true. It’s not easy, as you need to be always on the top of your game and be aware of the quality of work that needs to be delivered.

What have been your most memorable moments working with Indian stars?
I have been fortunate enough to work with amazing stars in different situations, whether it is for films, live events or photo shoots, and each gave me a new experience, so I can’t choose one in terms of the looks I created. One moment I won’t forget is the time Aishwarya Rai Bachchan asked me to dance with her on stage, while she was shooting for Fanney Khan. Her assistant was recording it and that video went viral. (Smiles) It was so much fun.

What is the secret of working with big Bollywood stars?
It’s always nice to work at that level in the industry. But biggest means being very sharp and to the point. Sometimes it is not only about your skill set, but about an attitude and a way of being. Discipline is the key, I feel.

What is that one thing you take care of while doing the makeup and hair of celebs?
I always listen to them attentively and make sure I am in sync with what they imagine in the look and what the team wants to do too. Communication on the look is important – it’s never about me wanting to execute a particular look, it’s more about what will be the best for that particular moment or event, according to the entire look. It’s always teamwork. At that level, the artists have their ways of working. Some decide the look beforehand, while some like to discuss with us.

We loved the looks you created for Deepika Padukone and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan. What are they like to work with?
Deepika is one of the prettiest actresses in the industry and it’s important to bring out her natural charm, while accentuating her features. To be working with an actor like Aishwarya, you need to be very good at what you do.

Florian Hurel with Aishwarya Rai Bachchan

Where do you draw your inspirations from?
I travel and I believe I am a good observer. I mostly pick my inspiration from the European streets, but honestly, it can come from anywhere. I believe inspiration is always around us.

What is the secret of a great red carpet look?
A great red carpet look is all about team sync. If everyone is on the same page then we all can do something to make it great. Not overpowering an element, but balancing a look is the secret.

What are the challenges in deciding a look?
The main challenge is mostly you as an artist. What’s important is to sometimes forget what you would like to do and focus more on what would work best. We don’t always do what we wish to do. No hair or makeup should overpower any element. Finding the right balance is the challenge.

What are the hot hair trends right now?
We are back to bold hairstyles – long bold cuts and out-of-the-bed hairstyles. Less is more. Even in hair colour, keep your natural colour and highlight it.

What top hair tips would you give women?
The biggest tip will be to wash and condition your hair. It’s a myth that you should not wash your hair more than once a week. Hair is part of your body, which is the most in contact with pollution, so it’s important to take care of it properly.

What else can we expect from you?
I have opened my own hair and makeup agency and a master class. I wish to come up with my own product line soon.

Why do you love being a hair and makeup artist?
I love being a hairstylist as I feel it is now part of who I am. Creating, redoing, experimenting with hair texture and new products, creating trends, I love them all.

Instagram: @FlorianHurel