In Conversation With Sushma Karki

Brushes, Blushes, and Big Dreams: Chatting Up Sushma Karki, the Makeup Magician and Boss Lady Changing the Game One Fab Face at a Time.

Sushma, what initially drew you to the world of makeup artistry, and how did your childhood fascination evolve into a career?

I have been very passionate about dancing since my childhood. I was also active doing stage performances, and makeup was a big part of it. There, I acquired basic skills in doing makeup from my dance teachers. Later, when I decided to quit my studies, I discovered YouTube channels where I saw beauty influencers making content.

Nikkietutorials influenced me to take this path of makeup artistry forward.


Can you share a pivotal moment or experience that solidified your decision to pursue makeup as a profession?

There was no such moment that I can remember. All I know is I wanted to take this path six years back and did everything possible to get where I am.


Sushma Karki
Who were your main inspirations or mentors along your journey, and how did they influence your approach to makeup artistry?

Nikkietutorials inspired me at the beginning of my journey. Later, I discovered a few other beauty influencers, too. However, I didn’t have any mentors who personally guided me. Everything I learnt was from YouTube. It was a task. I was my mentor. Hence, it took time to polish my skills.


As a self-taught makeup artist, what were some of the most challenging techniques you mastered, and how did you overcome them?

I never took makeup as a challenge. However, it’s hard to keep up with the changes in beauty trends almost every year. What helps is updating ourselves with the trends and practising them no matter how skilful or professional we have become.



Could you elaborate on the personal and professional hurdles you faced while establishing yourself in the beauty industry?

Being a complete beginner who didn’t have a PR was a challenge. I was 22 when I pursued this career. I wanted to be independent and work on my dreams.

So, when I moved out of my parent’s house and started working, it was difficult for me to manage everything emotionally and financially. Also, I needed to balance my work and personal life.

So, setting boundaries for work was a challenge, and I am glad I have not overcome it.


What motivated you to launch your beauty academy, SPARKLE IN SEQUINS, and how did you navigate scepticism from others?

When I got into makeup, there were barely any makeup academies in the country. I wanted to establish a safe space for everyone to learn makeup because I wanted to prevent anyone pursuing a career as a makeup artist from facing difficulties in acquiring a skill the way I did.

Initially, it wasn’t easy. But, with time, our academic strategy and teaching drew everyone’s attention. Now, we are one of the leading makeup academies in the country.


Balancing career aspirations with family responsibilities and financial constraints can be daunting. How did you manage these challenges while pursuing your dreams?

I am a strong-headed person. No matter how complex the situation, I always believed better days were ahead. Wasn’t that true?


Can you share some memorable moments or milestones from your journey to becoming a leading beauty educator and makeup artist?

I once did a bridal makeover for a leading media personality. The makeup look was viral. Many of my clients demanded that they do that particular look on them. One memorable event had to be when one client googled the look right before my eyes and asked me to create something similar for her.

She said, “I love this makeup; I want you to do something this artist has created”. When I told her I was the artist, she was surprised.


Working with prominent figures in the media must have been exhilarating. What were some highlights of collaborating with big names in the industry?

It’s always exhilarating working with prominent figures. To be associated with them is a privilege. I am just thankful to every one of them. I am loved for my natural-looking makeup skills, and it’s satisfying when I receive appreciation for what my niche is. Their wise words and push have made this journey easier for me.


How do you believe your unique journey and experiences have contributed to your success as a makeup artist and educator?

I feel like I am an artist everyone can relate to. This nature has pulled a lot of people towards me. But, my jolliness and the fact that I am not just an artist but also a friend to my clients and students have contributed to my success.


With nearly 2000 students taught, what key lessons or values do you strive to instil in your students at SPARKLE IN SEQUINS?

Be it a makeup educator or a makeup artist, one thing I want everyone to establish is being punctual and consistent. The respect towards our work should always remain.


What advice would you give to aspiring makeup artists who are navigating their own paths in the beauty industry?

The beauty industry is highly competitive, with professionals vying for the same opportunity, standing out, and finding their niche, which is challenging. Overcoming this hurdle involves identifying your unique strengths, specialities or aesthetics. Continuously improving your skills, building your portfolio, networking, staying updated with industry trends and offering exceptional customer service is vital.


In what ways do you see the beauty industry evolving, and how do you envision your role within it in the coming years?

The personal and beauty care industry is blooming rapidly. Being a “beautypreneur” I would make sure I do my part for the growth by ensuring continuity, educating the upcoming generations about the needs of both personal and professional grooming and creating a safe space for everyone to learn and teach makeup efficiently.


Reflecting on your journey, what does success mean to you personally, and what goals do you still hope to achieve in your career?

Success can mean different things to different people. This is what everyone says when asked. For me, the entire journey I have crafted for myself and that I can achieve everything I have ever believed is a success. However, the journey has just begun, and there are still tons of to-do lists.

However, one crucial to-do list would be for me to build my way to be recognised internationally both for my personal brand and for my country.