Bb Exclusive: Our Favourite Desi Boy In Makeup Shantanu Dhope Talks About His Career Choice, Breaking Stereotypes, And Inclusivity In Beauty

Written by Sumona BoseNov 30, 2023
 BB exclusive: Our favourite desi boy in makeup Shantanu Dhope talks about his career choice, breaking stereotypes, and inclusivity in beauty

Social media content creators have emerged as unlikely allies of inclusivity. They are constantly pushing boundaries and breaking stereotypes in terms of the content they are creating. There is no such thing as a ‘Boys club’ or a ‘Girls club’ anymore. A dashing German dad/fashion model is going to work in skirts, and a gorgeous brunette is making major moves in the gaming world — nobody cares about rigid, made up gender rules anymore.

This massive tonal shift is indeed exciting, especially for talented youngsters who often are exposed to online trolling for breaking taboos. We spoke to one such young creator, Shantanu Dhope, who, in the past couple of months, has charmed us with his incredibly creative makeup artistry. This brown boy’s blending skills have left us in awe and made us want to go beyond the ‘looks’ to get to know the man. Here’s what we learned during our exclusive chat with Shantanu…

 

On his childhood and early beginnings…

On his current beauty and makeup faves…

Talking about baby Shantanu, the self-proclaimed Nikkie de Jager fan (@nikkietutorials)said, “I was born and raised in Mumbai. I had a very typical childhood, but my parents have always been the ‘cool’ parents. I studied for a diploma in civil engineering and pretty soon realised it wasn't for me. Soon after that, I completed a course in makeup artistry in Mumbai.”

As for how he found the confidence and inspiration to wear his passion proudly, he revealed, ”I started wearing makeup when I was about 19, and I realised it as an art form more than anything else. I get inspiration from pretty much anything — nature, surroundings, people. I was honestly intimidated to wear makeup on myself the first time, but it also made me feel powerful.”

 

On getting comfortable in his own skin and taking his craft to social media…

On his current beauty and makeup faves…

It is always exciting to learn about the first step that people take towards living a truth they want to live unapologetically, for Shantanu, that came in the form of a snatched smokey eye. “When I first wore makeup, I was working in retail at a mall. So walking around wearing a full smokey eye felt intimidating, but it almost felt necessary because I knew it was starting a conversation with people. From then on, I never looked back!”

If you were unsure about the sheer level of sass Shantanu displays in the face of a conservative society, his Insta bio is “Brown boys wear makeup too”. As catchy as it is, the statement itself is weighted. “I came up with this line in my bio because we don't see enough brown skin representation in the beauty industry. In India, a guy wearing makeup is still considered taboo. I think this line just pretty much sums up everything that needs to be said,” revealed Shantanu.

 

On sparking a conversation with his work…

On his current beauty and makeup faves…

For many creators today, starting a conversation about social change ranks very high on the priority list. Shantanu believes the same and feels optimistic about the place we are at with these revolutionary ideas, “I think we’re at a good starting point, but there is a long way to go. It makes me really happy to see messages from young boys from all over India telling me how they feel comfortable experimenting with makeup now. I am really happy to be sharing this beauty space with some other amazing beauty content creators like Deep Pathare, Ankush Bahuguna and Siddharth Batra.”

“Having conversations of inclusivity is at the forefront of everything I do. The only way to do it is by expressing it through my art, and I think people understand it now. I hope that we keep experimenting with new types of makeup instead of sticking to the type we know because everyone has their own special point of view in wearing makeup. It's what makes us all unique to our own styles,” revealed Shantanu about his hopes for the future of beauty content by desis.

 

On his current beauty and makeup faves…

On his current beauty and makeup faves…

A makeup content creator’s skin and hair is always overworked and needs to be taken care of. Here’s how Shantanu takes care of his own: “Double cleanse! This is probably the most important step for my skincare routine at night. I follow that up with a toner if necessary and then a hydrating moisturiser and a good under eye cream. I never forget to hydrate my lips. I use an overnight lip mask for that.”

A shocker for many, Shantanu revealed his hair routine to be pretty simple, “There is no secret! I have had the same hairstyle for so many years now. It's just a combination of blow drying it for volume and using a hair styling powder to give texture and keep it in place.”

Lastly, a makeup trend that he wishes to try? “I'm not a huge fan of makeup trends, but the one I have been loving lately is the different eyeliner shapes like the fox eyeliner and the batwing eyeliner!”

Images courtesy: @shantanuuu

Sumona Bose

Written by

Sumona Bose is a writer, skincare junkie and a self-professed makeup connoisseur. Equipped with a Master's degree in Fashion Management and over 3 years of experience writing in the beauty and fashion space, her passion for learning new things has no bounds. Working closely with dermatologists, beauty excerpts, makeup artists and hairstylists, she brings you the best of all things beauty. From trending skincare ingredients to makeup looks that help you slay, she manages to bring something new (and vital!) to our readers every single time. Her hobbies include home workouts, watching foreign films and binge-watching makeover shows!

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