The Armenian Mirror-Spectator. YEREVAN/MOSCOW — Nanara Berezina, a leading beautician and makeup artist in Russia, world champion, creative director of the aesthetic section of the World Organization of Hairdressers, coach of the Russian national team for decorative cosmetics, teacher at the Dolores Academy of Hairdressing and the SPiKR Training Center, World Trainer, Golden Trainer of the World, laureate of international competitions, is a pioneer in her profession.
She was born in Armenia, lived in Nalchik (Kabardino-Balkaria, North Caucasus) and then moved to Moscow, where she still lives. She graduated from Moscow State University with a degree in biology. Back in Soviet times, she was the main coach of the USSR national team of beauticians, as well as an international judge. Since 1982, her works has received prizes at all international competitions for makeup artists and beauticians, including 18 gold medals.
Berezina made a tremendous contribution to the development of the Russian and international competition movement of makeup artists. For her, makeup is an art created on women’s faces and bodies…
Dear Nanara, can we say that you are the founder the Russian school of makeup artists?
The founders of makeup art in the USSR were Dolores Kondrashova, S. F. Mozheleva and T. I. Karsova. It was a laboratory where specialists from all over the Soviet Union were trained.
When I started my competitive career in the 1970s, the terms included daytime and evening makeup. It was boring for me, I wanted to complicate things, make them more creative. There was haute couture in clothes, and I wanted to create haute couture in makeup to go with the beautiful dresses. I came up with the phrase “Runway Makeup” competition. This was included in all countries in their championships, and to this day everyone uses it. Then I created makeup for young people — prom, then wedding makeup.
Your life motto is “Feel the joy of beauty!”
Yes, and back in the 1970s I was interviewed and asked to say a few words about my profession. So I came up with “Beauty is a good mood, and a good mood is a guarantee of health not only for her, but also for the people around her.” Each face is individual, and one must be able to emphasize what is beautiful on each face.
But the criteria for beauty change over time. What, in your opinion, is the ideal female beauty of the 21st century? For example, as a man, I am repulsed by silicone injections in a woman’s face. How do you feel about the fact that today even young girls are very prone to artificial changes?
Nowadays, admiration in fashion is a blind imitation, especially for the young. Artificial beauty is terrible. Care should be reasonable, after consultation with competent specialists. All these swollen lips are a mark of dissatisfaction in one’s personal life.
Which method of skin rejuvenation do you prefer: Botox, cosmetic surgery or thread lifting?
The best rejuvenation method is a kind smile on your face and daily face care!
I believe that theater and music occupy an important place in your life. Some of your makeup items bear the names “Ravel’s Bolero,” “Harlequin” and “The Queen of Spades.”
Since childhood, I have grown up surrounded by beauty — my father’s paintings, my beautiful and always fashionably dressed mother. In 1976 I visited Leningrad (now Saint Petersburg) for the first time and did not leave the Hermitage for two days. The majestic luxury, created by human hands, simply captivated me. I visited the best museums in the world and got inspired there. I am also very fond of music – from classical to pop. This is what I use in the Body Art category. I love pure shading (as in classical painting), this purity of the work distinguishes my students from all over the world with their beautiful works.
You are a specialist at the Wella-Dolores Moscow beauty center, established by our fellow countrywoman Dolores Kondrashova (Terteryan), who founded also the first Union of Hairdressers and Beauticians in Russia. The De Vajan International Academy of Hairdressers, Makeup Artists and Nail Service is headed by Vazha Mkhitaryan also operates in Moscow; the names of internationally acclaimed hairdressers and fashion designers Marina Amirbegova and Marina Vaskanyan are also known in Russia. And you have long been called the legend of modern Russian makeup art. How do you explain such high achievements by Armenians in this field?
In 1972, Dolores opened a Beauty Center and brought us all together — Marina Vaskanyan and Marina Amirbegova, also Olga Berberyan, a very talented master from Rostov-on-Don was in the national team. The USSR team of makeup artists also included Vladimir Mkrtchyan, Ivan Grigoryan and Vazha Mkhitaryan. And how can one explain the presence of so many talented Armenian makeup artists… you know, the Armenians are a talented people, skilled and creative, who appreciate beauty.
Please tell me about your background.
I was born in Gyumri-Leninakan. The surname is indeed Mkrtchyan, and my passport name is Armenuhi, but my dad called me Nanara from childhood, and remained so. In Leninakan, my father was known as Izoyi Vagho, as his name was Vagharshak Mkrtchyan. He took part in the war, was a scout. He had a workshop in Leninakan, drew a lot, sculpted, engaged in church mural painting. A lot of my father’s paintings were hung at our house, but after the earthquake of 1988, when we went there, the neighbor gave us only three of his paintings. Unfortunately, the life of my parents turned out so that I grew up with my grandmother in Nalchik, studied and started my career there (in 1983 I was awarded the title of Honored Worker of the Household Service of Kabardino-Balkaria). Since the ninth grade, I clearly knew who I would be and walked step by step towards my goal.
Do you remember your native language?
In the eighth grade, I bought a self-instruction book for the Armenian language and learned to read, write and speak. And in childhood, I repeatedly went on vacation to Artsakh (Karabakh).
If I am not mistaken, the last time you were in Armenia was in 2015, at the 10th Armenian Championship in hairdressing, decorative cosmetics and nail art. How do you assess the state of the makeup art in Armenia?
Armenia, under the leadership of the President of the Union of Hairdressers and Cosmetologists of Armenia Marina Avetisyan, has been taking part in the world and European championship of makeup artists since 2002. The level of work is very high, which speaks of the awards and prizes that the Armenian masters have. The makeup art under the guidance of Hranush Yegoyan takes well-deserved prizes. I can say that in Armenia it is very developed, like nowhere else, to do makeup before going to any events.
By Artsvi Bakhchinyan
Special to the Mirror-Spectator