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Daniel Bauer

Makeup and hair artist

Australian-born, Mumbai-based Daniel Bauer is widely considered to be one of India's best makeup and hair artists. Whether it's the red carpet glamour of Bollywood, backstage at runway shows, or on the covers of venerated fashion magazines, the award-winning Bauer has got the look.

How did you start? What made you choose this career path? 

I’m not your typical Australian, my mom is Thai, my Dad is German, grandmother is Chinese, grandfather Indian, but my brother and I are proud Australians born in Perth. When I was around 5, we left WA and moved to Germany. Two Aussie kids in Bavaria, we didn’t look German, we didn’t look Australian and we barely spoke German...but we sounded Australian. I never really felt one thing, but many things. And to this day, I feel my character is built of many different aspects of being Australian and also having a German dad and dual citizenship. Being a kid of the 1970s, I was old enough to have been swept away by supermodels of the 1990s and the cultural role they played. At the time it was Elle Macpherson and Claudia Schiffer who ruled my world; as unlikely as it seems, they both influenced me greatly; my German character you could say was what Claudia showed the world – control, precision, while my Australian attitude and identity was everything that Elle stood for – fun, carefree. From about the age of 14, I knew the fashion and beauty industry was the one for me. I felt it was a place where different was championed and welcomed; where those of the don’t ‘fit-in’, fit-in. After completing my training in makeup and hair in Germany, I moved back to Sydney to make a name for myself...and there this career I now have begun. 

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How did your Australian experience contribute to your success, your approach to your work? 

Living in India, plans don’t always work out, things change, and no day is the same and rarely is as you thought or planned. I think being an Australian helped me to cope and see situations with more humour and positivity...In my job, you need to leave the ego outside and being Australian, I’ve always felt a big part of my character is to enjoy work, but enjoy life more. My passion in life is fishing and nature, but the fashion and beauty industry is what has helped define me.

"Your best work should be the minimum standard" – Daniel Bauer

What made you take the leap overseas and why India? 

I had done many assignments across Asia being based in Sydney, and one of those was in Mumbai around 10 years ago. This was a time when Vogue and other magazines were opening up in India. It was very raw, very experimental – in my earlier years here, I did some of my best work. Timing is everything, I just happened to start working in India when it was perfect. I was part of that early influence and still am today.

What do you think is the single most influential factor in your business success? 

I work with a simple motto, treat every job, like everyone is watching you. I never categorise my work, all clients are equal, your best work should be the minimum standard.

"I think being an Australian helped me to cope and see situations with more humour and positivity" – Daniel Bauer

What’s one of your most favourite things about living and working in India? 

Working and living in India is undoubtably special… and to be able to play a role in the growth and development of the fashion and beauty industry is something that I value and treasure immensely. 

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Have you been inspired by the achievements of any particular expat Australians living and working overseas? 

When you work abroad and especially in India, you work alongside Americans, British, Russians, Brazilians, etc, and when an Australian comes to set, there is genuine excitement…it makes me very proud that we do ourselves justice when we step outside and fly our flag abroad.

More on Daniel Bauer: Named makeup artist of the year at the annual Vogue India Beauty Awards in 2015, Bauer has been based in India since 2008. His client list includes top Bollywood actresses and models and his work has featured on more than 150 magazine covers.

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