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Makeup Artist Fara Homidi on Her Journey from Afghanistan to NYFW and Her New Brand

From Afghanistan to New York Fashion Week, makeup artist Fara Homidi’s newly launched beauty brand is an ode to diversity.

Photo: Zoë Ghertner

It was editions of Vogue that first offered Afghani-American makeup artist Fara Homidi a glimpse into the world of luxury beauty. As a 12-year-old, she would pore over copies of glossy fashion magazines from her perch in her mother’s beauty salon, transfixed by glamorous photoshoots. Born in Afghanistan, she was three when her family left he country in the 80s. Settling in a small town outside of San Francisco, the Californian lifestyle was both a different world to her home country and a safe bubble to explore her new interests. “Fremont was the cultural hub for people who fled Afghanistan; we were with a lot of family and friends, which offered a huge support system,” she says. “It was kind of a small town, it wasn’t really fashion forward, so those magazines gave me an outlet to dream and a window into what life could be. I would study the hair, the makeup, the clothes, the lighting, and try to understand why those images were so elevated and incredible in comparison to what real life was.”

Fara Homidi. Photo: Aaron Stern

From her daydreams to creating backstage beau looks for brands like Off-White and Coperni, Homidi has now launched her own eponymous brand. With a focus on lips, the tightly edited first drop for Fara Homidi Beau includes the signature Color Plush Soft Matte lip color, available in four shades. A gently whipped pigment that boosts buildable color pay-off, it pairs with the hydra ng Prime Baume, housed as a duo in a mirrored, refillable compact. Six shades of the Smudge & Contour Pencil and a travel-friendly lip brush complete the vegan collection. Homidi says that as a makeup artist, she’s had years of real-life experience to work out what is needed from a lip color. “It should be creamy and moisturizing and a matte, but it should never dry your lips out. I want all these oils in it, but it also has to have a powder finish and be pigmented and clean.” The result is a color lip cream, which feels light without being drying – a common pitfall for matte lovers.

Homidi’s makeup look was paired with Bella Hadid’s viral SS23 Coperni moment

Having pushed through the notoriously cliquey ranks of New York’s runway scene, Homidi’s brand is the result of years of hard graft. As a makeup ar st in late 2000s New York, she assisted some of the beau industry’s biggest names, including Virginia Young, Wendy Rowe, Dick Page, and eventual RMS founder Rose-Marie Swift. Building relationships along the way with other assistants, stylists, photographers, and models, Homidi says that she had to hustle hard to create new opportunities with her growing network. “At the end of the day, you have to be the one to push your narra ve forward, to be putting those shoots together,” she explains. It was one of these strong, on-set connections that gave Homidi the opportunity to work on runway looks with a stylist friend forwarding Homidi’s portfolio to Virgil Abloh. Impressed, the late Off-White designer booked Homidi for his 2017 Paris show. “From that point on, Off-White became huge and the idea that I was a makeup artist that does runway was out there,” she shares. Throughout her career, Homidi has maintained a balance between the exaggerated high fashion world and real beauty. “Even when I do something that’s more avant garde, there’s still some reality in the work and some wearability,” she adds. Her backstage work has allowed Homidi to test out products in progress directly on models, with recent shows offering a diverse range of faces. “I’ve been able to try these lip shades on ultra light alabaster skin and someone who has a blue undertone in the deepest shade range.” Diversity remains a crucial brand pillar for Homidi; her first campaign featured boundary-breaking Paloma Elsesser.

Homidi’s first campaign featured boundary breaking Paloma Elsesser

Closer to home, Homidi values her connection to Afghanistan, with family ties, the language, and cultural norms keeping her grounded. “I try to speak Farsi with my parents as much as possible, so I’m very conversational in the language, and I’m proud of that. My parents taught me the language, the music, which kept us connected with the culture and feeling close to home.” Giving back to the region, Homidi has been involved with nonprofit group Central Asia Institute. “They bring education to young women in the Central Asia region, with a big focus on Afghanistan. Even though I’m not there, it is still in my mind and important to me.”

Originally published in the May 2023 issue of Vogue Arabia

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