Meet Fara Homidi, the Makeup Artist Using Liquid Latex & Petri Dishes

Growing up in San Francisco’s Bay Area in the ’90s, makeup artist Fara Homidi was fascinated by lipstick and eyeshadow from the earliest of ages. “I was obsessed with wearing my mom’s high heels and trying to be grown-up even though I was 2,” shares the Afghanistan-born creative over Zoom from her New York studio. “I also always gravitated toward art and fashion and film and music,” adds Homidi, admitting, “sometimes you’re born and you already have your personality.”

Now known for her minimalist style and runway work for the likes of Coperni and Off-White, Homidi has built a world around her signature natural, emotive aesthetic. Last year, she launched an eponymous line with a creamy lip liner and feather-light, matte lip compact. Fara Homidi makeup has now grown to include a dual-part complexion Face Compact and precise lip and buffing brushes. The custom-developed products are clean, skin-like to the touch, and highly buildable—ideal for crafting perfectionistic, cerebral looks like the artist’s work for Miu Miu, and The Row. Below, Homidi gives the inside scoop on her slow beauty line, the one trend she wishes she had ignored, and why she’ll always pick real over cool.

How would you characterize your aesthetic?

When I moved to New York in 2008, it was really the digital era. Everything was oversaturated. Overly perfected. Really conceptual. But I like things to look hand-applied. I want to see skin. I want to see pores. I love when freckles shine through. In that time period, I started working with some photographers and stylists and we started doing things that showed the subject in a raw way. The makeup looks that I gravitate towards are generally simplistic, but I like to use different materials, interesting concepts to add something to the character. Even if something is really over-the-top makeup-wise, it still has to be rooted in some sort of reality.

Why did you start your brand?

There was this pull in the market where luxury cosmetics were not really living in the fashion space. A lot of times, fashion houses focus on the clothes, the story, and the world that they create. When it comes to cosmetics, it is more commercialized. I also felt like luxury products didn’t really speak to a wide range of skin tones. Knowing that I work on runways and have access to different undertones–anything from super, super light alabaster to deep, deep, almost blue undertones—I wanted to utilize that when creating the colors.

And also, just as a person, I’ve always had an underground mentality. There is generally a wall between luxury brands and their community. They only put out information and rarely receive it back. For myself and my team, we’ve leaned into allowing the community to be a part of the brand. I’m open to things that don’t necessarily seem like what’s cool, or what’s now.

Tell us about your own routine. What’s the first thing you do in the morning?

I adhere to that Steve Jobs philosophy: when you’re busy you don’t have that much time, so you have routines and you wear a uniform. I find makeup and skincare that way. I just do a face wash, an easy one. I’ve been using the Barbara Sturm Foaming Cleanser. I have two moisturizers that I’m loving right now. One is more budget-friendly, which is the Weleda Rose Cream and the other one I really love is the Augustinus Bader The Cream. I swear by my Shiseido Benefiance Eye Cream. I’ve been using that for over twenty years and I really feel like it saved me from crows feet.

What was your biggest beauty splurge ever and was it worth it?

I did a sound wave laser treatment called UlTherapy with Dr. Shafer. It worked really well for me. It penetrates your deepest dermis layer and messes that up, then sends signals to your body to repair it. Your body starts producing more collagen naturally and you get this natural tightening and lifting from it. With anything like that, you definitely have to do your research. It is not one of those light lasers—and it’s quite expensive.

What’s something you’ve learned from working in the beauty industry that the average person wouldn’t know?

Being on the inside is not very glamorous. I feel like I have almost two lives. When I’m on set, I have a uniform. It’s not about me. I have no makeup on. I need to know that I can be on my knees putting makeup on someone’s ankles if that’s what needs to happen. I work sometimes with mediums like liquid latex and it’s going to get messy and you can’t be worried about that.

Liquid latex sounds unconventional for a makeup look.

I’ve done looks where you use scotch tape to manipulate the shapes of the face while still having a lip on. I’ve used string to dip into paint and then apply that on the face or the body to create abstract shapes. Liquid latex to create half fingered tip gloves or over nipples… I’ve painted a lot of nipples, believe it or not. I mix everything in petri dishes. Feathers. Sometimes you work with a designer and you incorporate lace or jewels into the look and it’s meant for clothing.

Are there any beauty trends that you participated in over the years that you would cringe at now?

Unfortunately, I didn’t listen to my mom when she told me never touch my eyebrows. I’m a ’90s teen and I was working at a makeup counter at the time. The girls that I was working with hounded me every day to let me let them pluck my brows. Of course, I caved. I continued to keep the shape. And now that I’m older I think, oh, I have the ’90s brow forever.

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