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Rowi Singh’s beautifully bold looks marry make-up and her Indian heritage

TextDominic Cadogan

The Sydney-based make-up artist and content creator recently founded @theartives as a way of further celebrating POC creators in the beauty industry

The Dazed Beauty Community is our ever-expanding encyclopaedia of creatives and emerging talent from across the world who are redefining the way we think about beauty. From supermodels to digital artists to makeup prodigies transforming themselves in their bedrooms, these are the beauty influencers of tomorrow who embody everything Dazed Beauty is about. Discover them here.

Scrolling through Rowi Singh’s Instagram feed is like being punched in the face by a rainbow, but in a way that you can’t help but love.  

The Sydney-based content creator and make-up artist uses her looks as a way to escape from everyday life (who doesn’t need that right now) and express how she’s feeling. To say that her looks are eclectic is an understatement, she goes from looking like a pixie queen in one to full-on Euphoria glamour in another. 

One thing that is consistent though, is Singh’s celebration of her Indian heritage. She admits coming to this place took a while though after moving around a lot while growing up. “I cruised under the radar and floated through different identities in order to fit in,” she says. “As an Indian woman growing up in a predominantly western society, there was this dissonance with my roots that I hadn't come to terms with. It was this feeling of never being Indian enough to be Indian, or Australian enough to be Australian.” 

Now comfortable in her own skin, the creative often channels Bollywood icons on her feed. “I love being able to communicate the strength and power of my South Asian womanhood,” she muses. “I’m empowered to visualise the natural fluidity between my culture and art.” This has culminated in the launch of The Artist Archives – @theartives – a platform for celebrating POC locally and globally and promoting their incredible looks. 

Here, we speak to her about meeting Rihanna, bold beauty, and why she feels like Squidward. 

What is it you do and how did you get into it?

Rowi Singh: I’m a content creator, specialising in artistic make-up. It was a chill, creative outlet for me in the beginning. Creating these extravagant looks was escapism; allowing me to morph into different looks and personas and escape the mundanity of everyday life. I'm completely self taught; I would spend my weekend dipping my make-up brush into bright colours and wearing the looks out on a night out with friends.

What are you trying to communicate through your work and why?

Rowi Singh: I use make-up and artistry as a medium for self-expression; a visual portfolio of my lived experiences as an Australian-Indian woman. I love being able to communicate the strength and power of my South Asian womanhood. My creative process is mostly centered around this; I’m empowered to visualise the natural fluidity between my culture and art. I’ll start by jotting down colour combinations I love and will combine them with abstract techniques, sometimes tying it all back to a core message that’s resonating with me that week. 

Who or what inspires you? 

Rowi Singh: My looks are often inspired by my surroundings; by colours and structures that pass me on the day to day.

Can you talk us through some of your favourite beauty looks and how you created them?

Rowi Singh: This is one of my most unique looks that allowed me to play with bright colour and the idea of distortion. My audience loved this as it was something I hadn't really done before.

This is my favourite crossover of nature and my Indian culture. It's super soft yet powerful, and resonated a lot with my POC audience.

Green is my favourite colour – this whole look made me feel powerful. I created this in the peak of quarantine life, so I really appreciated getting all dressed up with nowhere to go.

What’s been your career highlight so far and what do you hope to accomplish ultimately?

Rowi Singh: It was pretty surreal being flown to LA for Fenty Beauty and meeting Rihanna in the flesh. She's such a role model and an incredible multidisciplinary artist. I'd love to continue my craft and pass on my knowledge to others. I'd love to expand into product and service, creating my own brand of colourful make-up products and running creativity workshops internationally.

What are you working on at the moment? 

Rowi Singh: I've just launched my inclusive platform called @theartives, sharing work from emerging POC creators locally and globally. I'm also working on product expansion and a jewellery line with my favourite ethical jewellery brand @mountainandmoon.

What does beauty mean to you?

Rowi Singh: Beauty is the freedom to act, dress and express however you feel. Beauty is extremely personal, I find. It's what makes you happy as an individual, putting aside any external expectation.

Describe your beauty aesthetic in three words.

Rowi Singh: Eclectic, bold, and ethereal

How do you assert your identity and experiences through your beauty?

Rowi Singh: My make-up looks are a form of visual storytelling. It allows me to paint my experiences as a contemporary brown woman, expressing myself through bold pigments and graphic lines.

Which fictional character do you most relate to and why?

Rowi Singh: Squidward from Spongebob Squarepants – everything annoys him and he's just trying to get going with his passion; I feel that.

When do you feel most beautiful?

Rowi Singh: Either fresh out the shower after my skincare routine, or when I'm adorned in cultural embellishments.

How do you want to change the world?

Rowi Singh: I want to do my best to protect, support and elevate my BIPOC people. I want to continue spreading colour, inspiration, and good energy through my work.

You’re the editor of a time-travelling beauty journal 100 years from now, what beauty trends are you reporting on? 

Rowi Singh: The new digitally projected/AR eyeshadow that can be swapped out at any time with the click of a button (hoping this exists).

You have to donate a feature/limb of your body to an icon of yours. You get nothing in return. What feature/limb do you give and why?

Rowi Singh: There is no icon in the world that I care that deeply about! So, something insignificant, like a toenail or something.

If you had to choose one surgical enhancement, what would it be and why?

Rowi Singh: Elf ears! Feel that would just be cool.

It is the sixth day and you are creating humans. They can look however you want them to. What do they look like and why?

Rowi Singh: Everything is exactly the same except everyone's eyes are spaced much further apart so everyone kind of looks like a sloth. If I were an almighty being, I'd have a chuckle.

What is the future of beauty?

Rowi Singh: The future of beauty is freedom from trends, standards, and expectations. It's individuality at its finest. 

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