Faryal Makhdoom is a busy 26-year old. The New Yorker is launching her own global cosmetics brand, is pregnant with her second baby, and just emerged from a marital media storm. The Sybarite sat down with Faryal at Sanctum Hotel in Soho to talk about her life and career.
Faryal’s self-named make up collection is sold internationally, but only online so far, and has its biggest following in the UK and the US. The plan is to distribute the products to shops all over the world.
Why did she decide to create the collection? “It was just something I wanted to do and that I’d dreamt of for so long, and I had to make it happen. So that was my goal; I said I was going to make it happen and I did,” says Faryal.
Her first collection had a nude colour theme. “Nude is something I always wear, it’s my signature look,” she comments. Now, she says she focused more on autumn and winter time: meaning brown shades like ice frappe, colours that are more wintery; one called Dubai nights, and “a perfect red that I’ve been working on for so long”.
“I finally managed to make one called red carpet so now I don’t have to go and search other brands for red”, she laughs.
The makeup line is aiming to suit all skin tones. Faryal thinks the first collection is always the hardest [to make] because you have so many things that you want to improve. “This range was easier because we already knew what we wanted to change and not change this time around,” she explains.
Her own favourite makeup items include foundations from MAC, Estee Lauder’s ‘Double Wear’, Dior, Armani and Anastasia. For inspiration, she says she uses ‘everyone and everything’: Bollywood and Hollywood actresses, Kim Kardashian for her features (“they are great to work on”), and believes that women should compliment each other more in general.
Faryal went through some volatile times in her marriage (to boxer Amir Khan) recently. When asked if she would do anything differently if she could live her life again, she confides that she’s very happy with what she’s learned and that it made her who she is today.
“At the time you go through things you think ‘why?’ and it hurts, but it just makes you stronger and it makes you chase your ambition more,” she says.
“Seeing my mum build an empire with my dad makes me want to do that for my children. It’s so important for women nowadays to stand on their own two feet and not depend on anyone because you just don’t know what could happen tomorrow and in the past few months I’ve realised that,” says Faryal.
“I’ve been through so much and it made me realise that we are born alone and we die alone, so you have to be a strong independent woman before anything else. I want my daughter to become a strong woman before she finds herself a husband, before anything,” says Faryal, and continues: “education is so important, as important as a career because no one can take that away from you.”
Faryal admits that moving to Bolton from New York for her British husband was a massive culture shock, and says she wants to move to London eventually. Her favourite places in London include the Mayfair hotel, Novikov for dinner, Harrods for shopping, and Winter Wonderland as it’s similar to the Rockefeller Center.
“[London’s] my favourite city in the world, after New York,” she says, “it’s a cosier, smaller version of New York, it kinda feels like home.”