"I used to do my best friends' hair and makeup for school dances. Makeup was something I wanted to do, but it was also one of the higher-paying jobs in the small town that I lived in, so I could buy fancy clothes that my parents wouldn't buy for me. Not like, Chanel. It was more the $50 button-down from Gap. [Laughs] When I started doing it professionally, it was for . It was all about finding the perfect shade and applying flawless foundation, and those elements are really important to my work right now—getting the base and texture right, especially on darker girls. But my problem at the counter was that I wouldn't wear a lot of makeup, and women would get upset with me, like, 'You don't look like you work for a makeup company!' Then I started getting these other women who were afraid of having a full-face on, and they would bee-line to me. That was always a bit of conflict.
It wasn't until I moved to Los Angeles that I started working on shoots. I was living with my best friend, and we were completely educating ourselves on fashion and the things we loved and who we wanted to be. It's very uplifting, allowing yourself to feel inspired by the people around you. I moved to New York in 2008 and was assisting, but now I'm doing freelance work. This is a great moment [in makeup]. It's a bit like the Wild West, where you don't need the credentials to create. There’s a lot of new fun, interesting talent right now. I’m hoping for and I'm feeling the era of the 'no-makeup makeup' fashion thing coming to an end. My best tool on set is a strong concept.
A while ago, I realized that not everything that looks good on other people is going to suit you. So my biggest thing is, know your face and your skin and how they’re going to react to product. I also completely believe in signature looks. I think New York especially is great for that—a lot of New York women have their go-tos. It's as much about the makeup as the essence you give off while wearing it. As much as I'm exposed to it, I still love it.
I don't wear makeup to work because it requires a little upkeep... I'll put a lip on and it's gone in two seconds. If I'm doing anything else, I'll wear it. My favorite base is , it’s just so yummy. It gives you a glow but it’s a semi-matte with a powdery finish, and it doesn't look gunky on your skin. Then, is my favorite concealer. It can be a little heavy, so I make sure to layer it over . I always want there to be a lot of moisture, especially around the crows feet. I'm a big light-contour person, and I like using . I think contouring as we know it today is more stage makeup than something for every day, but I like to do a subtle one to give some color and shade. It should be so light that if someone took a picture, you would look contoured, but if I was sitting next to you, I wouldn't know.
Usually, if I'm doing a look, I'll line my eyes. I have a great kohl from . Dior has a in Brown and it doesn’t budge, so sometimes I’ll use that first and then go over it with the Guerlain. Sometimes I'll put mascara over it, like . Maybelline has the and it’s really good. It looks really fucked up at first, but if you comb it out, it looks great. I also generally use two mascaras at once because I've never found one that does everything. I just started filling in my brows this past year, after over-tweezing them in the '90s. For a long time, it seemed kind of gross to have pencil in your brow because it was so noticeable, but now I've embraced it. Givenchy has a great set of that they just came out with. They also have a that’s clear, so I use that over top.
Nude lipstick, too, I love. 'Nude' for me can range from a gray-ish brown to a light peach. I think the thing with nudes, if they’re not sheer, is you need to put a lip balm on first and then pat it in with your finger. There is nothing worse than a chalky, dry nude lip. For reds, it ranges from a brighter orange to a vampy dark plum. is a great red and then obviously . Not only is it the color, but the texture of that is just so good. Other than that, is a great liquid red. Chanel Chic [ed note: discontinued] I like too—it's kind of a green brown that looks so ugly in the tube. But it’s the best.
Part of my beauty routine is that I don't like to dress very sexy. Then I can have vampy nails or hair, and that makes me feel sexy and act sexy. Hair at the beach is my favorite hair ever. Right now, I’m using and . When I get out of the shower, I put on the right before I comb out my hair, and it softens, shines, and detangles. I'll blowdry it half way, maybe put some in it, and then put it into a bun for some wave. is my colorist, and we're working on getting the depth of color back. In my dream world, my hair is more gray-blond, because that's more natural-looking.
I’m really big on cleansing. Whatever cleanser you use, keep it a bit on the gentle side and cleanse your skin in circular motions for two or three minutes. And I’m acne-prone, too, so I go over those oily places when I'm cleansing a little bit more. In the shower I use , which I think makes your skin just feel so good. Then I cleanse again when I’m out of the shower. Which, I don’t necessarily recommend, but the second one adds more moisture. My second cleanse is , it's a balm, and I do the circular thing. Then I’ll take a wash cloth and wipe it down. Especially in the winter, that balm is a lifesaver.
I use a , which feels tightening and yummy. My skin just feels better from using it. The other thing I use is the . It’s a cream, but it soaks into your skin quickly while still moisturizing. The La Prairie products tighten more. I’m in my 30s, so the tightening products seem like a good investment for me, because I don’t ever want to do fillers or Botox. Laser and anything that helps your body regenerate itself I’m totally down with, but I don’t want to add anything in. I take the money I would be spending on that, and I put in my skincare instead."
—as told to ITG
Fara Homidi photographed by Tom Newton at her home in New York on February 5, 2017.