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Gayani Batz : The Crazy Fantazy

Gayani Batz Samarasinghe make up artist

Gayani Batz Samarasinghe make up artist
It was another exciting day for the “You and XY” crew since finally, the much awaited interview with Gayani Batz – the makeup artist was going to take place. We found a beautiful location near a lake for a photo-shoot along with an interview with her. It showed the signs that our eager photographers were going to have a great time.

Looking at Gayani’s creativity and the professional nature in her work, we expected her to be in a serious and heavy talking mood. But the moment she arrived she added a new vibe to the air with her awesome easy going personality. Photo-shoot went great with her flowing poses that came fast and with ease. She was so full of energy and added a whole new fun to the moment with her chit chat. It did not take her five minutes to become friends with all the people in our crew.

After a successful photo-shoot (You can see below!) we sat down to get to know more about this wonderful and adorable person.

Let’s break the ice with a little introduction about you for our fans out there!
Yeah, sure. Well, normally the beauty, photography, modeling and the other fields I associate with know me as Gayani Batz. Anyway my real name is Gayani Samarasinghe. My real name was a bit too long for the practical use in this field. In my school days my pet name used to be ‘batti’. That is what eventually became ‘Batz’. So that’s how it went.

Tell us about your initial interest to join this field.
Honestly I really did not have any special interest to join this field. I’m an Ayurvedic beautician in profession and I’m still studying to be an ayurwedic doctor. I learned Ayurvedic beauty therapy for 7 years under 10 doctors. I have an ayurvedic spa for my own. The place I opened my spa used to be a salon before. That made me open a beauty salon as well. Anyway I must specially say that make up is not a field I have done any further studies on.

How did you start working as a makeup artist?
It’s an interesting story really. I had a client in my spa called Shaani Thilakarathne. She is a fashion designer. One day she asked me to do a make up for her to go to an interview. I said no at the first but she asked me not to worry and just to go for it. So I gave a light make up which she was very much satisfied with. She passed from the interview too! After about 2 weeks she came again and told me that there’s a fashion show done by one of her friends and that they need doing make ups for 4 models. I laughed at it first telling her that it will be impossible. But she was very encouraging and insisted on me doing it. That day I went to the convention with my make up tools and it was the beginning of all this.

The title you use to describe yourself is ‘makeup artist’. Who really is a makeup artist? What does a makeup artist do?
Again I don’t know about the theory side of being a makeup artist but I will tell you who I am. I do this as art as a hobby. I have a salon and a spa as I told you earlier. So making money is not the main thing I look for being a makeup artist. I help the new comers and my friends a lot by being a makeup artist. My work is to make someone look good. It depends on the purpose I do the make up for. The make up for a fashion show varies from what I do for a photo-shoot. I learn new things and keep up with the trends in the internet always.

Gayani Batz Samarasinghe make up artist What are your favorite products in your make up kit?
Another thing that is special in my makeup is that I do not stick to the usual way to use products. I sometimes use eye shadows to the lips even. Improvisation is a must have skill for a makeup artist. I use face paints and sometimes even colorful dusts in my work. One of the biggest disadvantages we have in Sri Lanka is that we don’t have branded makeups here. Many of them are fakes. So whenever I can I prefer going to Thailand to buy make up products for my work.

Since you are a known celebrity make up artist in Sri Lanka at the moment, tell us about the celebrities you have worked with and your favorites among them.
I have worked with many experienced and novel artists in Sri lanka. It was a pleasure for me to work with all of them. All have been very supportive and friendly for me. I can name Sabeetha Perera and Ranjan Ramanayaka as two of the people I loved working with. It is always fun to work with Ranjan Ramanayaka. From the new artist I can name Shalani Tharaka, Udari Warnakulasoora and so many young talented actresses and artists. I can specially mention a photoshoot of Udari I did with Raffaella Farnando. I did a special lip art for Udari in it and that brought me even more into the lime light and I got many chances after that.

We have seen your signature style as “fantasy makeup” in which you go beyond the typical make up styles. Can you tell us more about this style?
I really don’t know about the theory side of it. I just make the photographer or designer’s imagination come alive. For an example today I have to do a make up on the theme of “zebra”. At this moment I have only that in my mind. You need to have the creativity in you and most of all you should be fearless. That’s the weakness of many makeup artists we have. They fear to go beyond their theories. But personally I love to explore beyond the rules. I do what I love and that’s that.

Did you show any art skills back in your school days?
Actually no. I did commerce for y A/ls and this is not a field that I leaned even slightly. I may have had some art skills considering some competitions I have won when I was a kid. But I didn’t follow up them until now. The main reason for that because my family didn’t support at all for this field. Even now also they don’t like me getting into the business side.

We love to know if you have any unforgettable moments in this journey you have come so far.
The most unforgettable day I think is the day Rozanne Diaz invited me to work for her Modelz magazine. I really dreamed about working there before even invited me since in my opinion that’s the best model magazine now in Sri Lanka. Another special thing is the photoshoot I’m going to do today. It’s a photoshoot for the cover page of a popular Maldivian magazine done by a Maldivian photographer.

Shall we talk about the people who encourage you to go forward?
Before all other I should say Facebook. Even though I don’t know many of them, they are the people who encourage me more than anyone. Each time I upload an album of a photo-shoot they admire them through so many comment, messages and likes. Saying that, I do say sorry for not being able to chat or message with every one of them. I do not feel like sharing my personal life much with them, that’s the main reason for not chatting. But if they contact me for a business matter or any help I make sure to reply them always. It’s because of them I have become who I am today. Then I should tell about my dear friends. They encourage me a lot. I love it when I meet my old crazy friends now and they admire me for the person who I have become today.

Let’s move on to quick and fun Qs. Tell us what you do in your leisure time.
Parties.. Parties… PARTIES!!! (laughs) I love going to parties. I never miss one. When I get invitations I make sure to drop in at least for an hour. They say that “where’s the party – there’s Batz!”
Specially mention that I am a total nondrinker. Anyway dance and have the maximum fun in parties. I love shopping too!

How was your school life?
I did my primary education in Pannipitiya Dharmapala Vidyalaya where my mother was a teacher at that time. Then I entered to Visakha Vidyalaya Colombo. I had the most amazing school life. I remember one special incident now. My mom went to meet my class teacher before O/L exam. My class teacher was Mrs. Lakshmi Perera who also taught Maths to us. Our class was like the craziest there was and Lakshmi miss was the one who took us into an order in the end. So my mom went to her in the parent’s meeting and told her that she was my mother and that asked she can do about me. Lakshmi miss has told her “ It will be more than enough for me if Gayani manages to sit at one place for one and a half hours to write the paper!”. Today she is very happy and even became teary to see the place where I am today.

Gayani Batz Samarasinghe make up artist What does “Fashion” mean to you?
Fashion is my drug! I love fashion and I have no fear to do the fashion I love. The weirdest thing about Sri Lanka is that people look at fashion trends and admire them but they don’t want their girlfriends or daughters to do them. They are bound by silly stereotype beliefs. For an example look at a saree, it exposes your waist and half of the chest. But everyone considers it as good but blames a girl who wears a skinny top. If you wear a short t-shirt and your waist exposes a bit, everyone makes a big deal out of it. But doesn’t say a word when the same happens wearing a saree. What I say is to open your minds and look at fashion as it is. What matters is the angle you look at them. Don’t be afraid to do fashion. Personally I love doing the latest fashion trends in the world even before them come to Sri Lanka. But I must insist that you should do fashion that suits you.
Anyway I see a positive approach in this topic lately in Sri Lanka. Especially boys are more open minded now. They love to see their girlfriends or wives being fashionable and looking good. I admire that.

Tell us about your family and their support for you in your work.
I should say that my family is really different to who I am. They are all very much educated and successful in that way. My mom is a teacher and my dad is the former plantation manager at State Timber Corporation. My brother has his own company here in Sri Lanka and Maldives and he’s a university lecturer as well. My elder sister is an English Teacher and my younger sister is a manager in HSBC. So that’s the family I was born into. My parents wanted me to be a lawyer or to get into banking like my sister did. Or to help my brother with his Maldives branch in his company. But I never liked being under another person. I love a free and fun life. So my family is not in good terms with the work I do. Because you know, I have to be outside in the night, go to parties and things. They think this does not suit to the life style they are used to live. But like I said, I always to what my heart tells me to do and nothing else.

What do friends mean to you in your life?
Friends are the life to me. I live because of them. They mean a lot more to me than money or anything else in my life. I have earned friends more than I have earned money. I know that they will be there for me no matter when, what or where always.
Talking about friend I should specially mention my Facebook friends. They mean a lot to too. I hardly get a chance to tell them how much they mean to me. I take this chance to do that. Some people say that all friends are fake. Luckily I have got so many great real friends. There have been times I was hurt by my friends but I value friendships more than anything in my life.

Here we come to our favorite question. Tell us about what you think of the divine feeling called ‘LOVE’!
Awesome! (laughs) This is the most important thing I want to tell. We al have heard people saying guys are bad or girls are bad. As a girl I confidently say that guys are good. It’s a matter of how we love. We should not try to bind them with rules. Restricting someone from anything is not love. We should love a person as that person is. I’ve been loved the best way it could from my family and also my boyfriend. I have an ex-boyfriend with whom I had an affair of 12 years. But we discussed and broke up due to some mismatch in ideas. The main reason was the business I do. He didn’t like that I work too much. But we both realized that I can go far in this field so we discussed and got separated but still he is my best friend. Then I found a guy who really matches with my ideas and the life style. I get plenty of love from him. So the bottom line, I love the feeling of love.

How do you see Sri Lanka as a country?
Many people ask why I don’t go abroad may be because of my free life style. But I’m never going to leave this beautiful island. I have everything I need here. There are all the love, friendships and freedom. I might get a bigger pay check if I go abroad but I’m never going to leave all these beautiful things for that.

What do you think about ‘being a women’? Does is affect in a bad way or good way for your success?
Gayani Batz Samarasinghe make up artist I love being a woman. We can wear beautiful things and be pleasant and good looking always. In Sri Lanka there’s always special recognition for a girl. Everyone likes to work with us. But you should always know what you do and behave brainily.

Are there any quotes you live up to?
“Say NO to smoke and alcohol”
Please specially mention that you do not need any of those things to have fun or be happy. When people see someone like me they make prejudices over those stuff. I want to say that I am strict in what I said above.

What do you have to tell to the newbies to this field?
I like to tell them that I will help you the best way I can. I am here because there were lots of people to help me. So I’m ready to help anyone who loves to come forward. Most of the people in this field are helpful and corporative. So don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Any final message to your beloved fans?
I just want to tell all my loving fans out there, do come and talk to me if you see me anywhere. It means a lot to me more than you can imagine. And I want them tell me if there are any criticisms so I can correct them and go forward.

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