September 30, 2020
Interviews

Wake Up With Make Up Featuring Rooma Sarika

By Shevlin Sebastian

Rooma Sarika runs the ‘Rooma Permanent Cosmetics’ at Kochi. She talks about some beneficial treatments her offers.

The doorbell rang at the flat in Mumbai. Priya Sharma opened the door. It was her former boyfriend Deepak. He had a small plastic bottle with him. It was uncapped. He threw the liquid at her face. She moved sideways, but drops of liquid still fell on her face. She screamed. Deepak fled. Priya realised he had come to take revenge. A week ago, she had ended their two-year relationship.

The 30-year-old went to the hospital. The treatment did not cure her. Her lips fell to one side. One eyebrow had gone. She had to keep using the eyeliner to make an eyebrow but it gave off an artificial look.

Rooma Sarika

One day, her Delhi-based aunt Mona, who runs a chain of nail studios, called her. Priya told her about the problems with her face. “I have a solution,” Mona said.

About a month earlier, Mona did a Google search to look for beauty therapists who did permanent make-up. And she came across the name of Rooma VS who runs a clinic, ‘Rooma Permanent Cosmetics’ in Kathrikadavu, Kochi. She called Rooma Sarika, fixed an appointment, flew down and got her eyebrows fixed and lip contouring.

So Priya called Rooma Sarika, and came to Kochi.

When Rooma had a look, she saw that the acid had damaged the eyebrows and an area near the eyes. Her lips did not have a proper shape. “This affected her self-confidence,” she says. “But the other side of her face looked beautiful.”

Rooma Sarika

Rooma  propagates a technique called microblading. It is a method by which, with the help of microblades, a pigment is placed in the upper layers of the skin. This results in eyebrows becoming full and it can be shaped in a way the client wants. This lasts for two years. Rooma imports healthy pigments from the PhiAcademy, USA.

Rooma’s first celebrity client was a noted singer and popular Malayalam TV anchor. Rooma worked on the eyebrows and made it permanent. “I also made the eyeliner permanent,” she says. “So, before a shoot, she does not have to bother about her eyebrows and eyes at all.”

Another Mollywood star is also a client. She wanted her eyebrows to be done. So Rooma used the microblading technique. So happy was the actress with the treatment, she appeared in an online advertisement for the beauty clinic.

For celebrities, this treatment is a God-send. Because of the mobile phone, people are always taking photos. “So even if a guest comes to the house, they have to rush and put on make-up, because there is a high possibility of a selfie being taken with them,” says Rooma Sarika. “It will be uploaded on social media, and so they must look good all the time. That is why permanent eyebrows are an enormous help.”

On being asked whether women come to beautify themselves, so that they can look good for their spouses, Rooma Sarika laughs and says, “No, it has got nothing to do with husbands. Women want to increase their confidence levels by looking good. Plus, it will help them in their careers like acting and in jobs where they have to interact with the public.”

Rooma Sarika

Rooma has a wide range of customers: from 25 to 72. But most of the clients are in the 30 to 40-year age group.

Women with distinctive problems come to see Rooma. One woman told her that because of an illness she lost her eyebrows. So, she could never step out of her bedroom without using a pencil and making lines. Unfortunately, the eyebrows looked fake. “She had become self-conscious,” said Rooma Sarika. “So, she felt relieved when she could get permanent eyebrows.”

Some suffer from alopecia (spot baldness) and have lost their eyebrows. This also happens to women who have undergone chemotherapy.

Apart from microblading, other services include permanent eyeliner and lip contouring.

Sometimes, when women smoke too much, their lips can grow dark. Or it could be because of the daily use of lipstick, which has lead and mercury in it. To hide the dark patches, they increase the use of lipstick. “But this is like a slow poison,” says Rooma Sarika.

In lip contouring, Roopa replaces the underlying melanin, a natural skin pigment with mineral pigments. “These are safe,” says Rooma. “It is only metallic pigments that have a side-effect because it gets oxidised. After the procedure, you need not use lipstick at all.”

Another procedure is the lifting of the eyelids through plasma treatment. After the age of 30, the collagen content in the skin goes down. When this happens, the skin tends to collapse. “By using a small needle, I try to create some breaks. This will allow the body to make collagen naturally, and the drooping will go away,” she says. Earlier, people used Botox, but it resulted in deposits under the skin.

Rooma Sarika

Rooma is also adept at hair extensions. The earlier way was to put clip-on extensions, but that damaged the roots of the hair. “You have to remove it often,” she says. “We use micro ring hair extensions. You don’t need glue, heat or braids.”

The strands, matching the original hair colour, are placed seamlessly into the hairline. “You cannot spot the difference,” says Rooma. “The advantage of these types of extensions is that you can wash and comb your hair and nobody will notice the difference. These are also lightweight so that the wearer will not even feel there is extra hair.”

It is clear while talking to Rooma that she has a passion for her job. And this love began very early.

Early influences

One of Rooma’s aunts ran a beauty boutique in Mumbai. During summer vacations, she would come to the ancestral house at Ambalapuzha, in Kochi, where Rooma lived with her maternal grandmother. (Rooma’s father, who worked in the Central Reserve Police Force, had a transferable job).

As a child, Rooma idolized her aunt. “She was very beautiful and wore impeccable make-up, with lipstick and mascara,” says Rooma. “I got interested in cosmetics from that age.”

After her schooling at the St Mary’s School in Kayamkulam, she did her pre-degree at the Fatima Mata National College in Kollam. At that time, she came across a course for beauty therapists in the newspaper. They would conduct the theory classes through the post. And then she had to do some practical classes. She did not tell her family as nearly all of them are doctors and engineers. “They would not be interested in me doing this course,” says Rooma. “So, I did the course without telling my father. But I confided in my mother, and she gave me the money to do it.”

After her BA from the same college, Rooma moved to Kochi where she got a job in Naturals Cosmetics at their Kadavanthra branch. She gained plenty of experience by working there. Later, she became a trainer for other beauty therapists.

In 2013, she got an opportunity to do a three-year degree in cosmetology at the Houston Community College in the USA. When she finished that, she took a 1000 sq. ft area, and opened a beauty centre at Houston.

Rooma Permanent Cosmetics

This location turned out to be lucky. Because right next to her centre, former Mollywood star Divya Unni was running the Sreepadam School of Arts. Rooma befriended Divya, and the latter sent many clients to her.

“Divya gave a lot of support to me,” says Rooma. At that time, she got a chance to do a six-month course at the PhiAcademy on permanent cosmetics.

Soon, Rooma got the idea to start a clinic in Kochi. This came to fruition on September 10, 2018. “Ordinarily, I would have been just a cosmetologist and a beauty therapist,” says Rooma. “But the course at the PhiAcademy was a game-changer.”

Today, she is the only one to offer permanent make-up in Kerala. And the clients are coming from all over India. The reviews have been good.

S. Krishna Som, who did microblading and hair extensions, says, “I am very happy with the quality and efficiency of their services. Also, the products are of superior quality. Rooma and her team are dextrous and qualified.”

Priya Anoopkumar says, “Rooma has added a new light in the life of people suffering from alopecia. This is the best service available in Kochi.”

Annu Philip, who works in the airline industry, had suffered from thinning hair for many years. It affected her poise and self-confidence. “When I did my hair extensions, I felt so good,” she says. “A big thanks to Rooma.”

Pic Courtesy: Unique Times Photography

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