Hearing entrepreneurial stories about women is the need of the hour in the modern world. And with Farnaz Shereen Alam, we have an incredible story to share indeed. The prolific makeup artist/businesswoman from Bangladesh has made a prominent mark in the beauty industry early in her career. DMD of Woman’s World Ltd, CEO of WW Cosmetics and Founder of Kona By Farnaz Alam, Farnaz is known for donning many hats in her day to day life. We had a tête-à-tête with her to get inspired ourselves. How does she do it?
Farnaz’s beauty journey began with L’Oreal Paris – The Brush Contest; while she was pursuing her bachelor’s in Interior Architecture from Taylor’s University in Malaysia and Northumbria University in the UK. After winning the contest, there has been no looking back since. To improve her skills, she has also completed degrees in Skincare and Esthetician from Canada.
Farnaz worked with L’Oreal Paris for a year post her contest win. While with the company, she endorsed five collections. Since then, she has actively participated in several editorial and beauty shoots with iconic brands and photographers. As a makeup artist at London Fashion Week, her stint catapulted her into an internationally acknowledged name. The experiences she gained were a catalyst for building a platform for all the makeup enthusiasts in Bangladesh. That’s when the idea of “Color Your Dreams” came in, a first of its kind reality TV show to give a platform to young freshers to showcase their talent and contribute to the industry.
Flexing her entrepreneurial skills further, Farnaz spent three years of extensive research and hard work to develop the makeup line called ‘Kona by Farnaz Alam’. A unique blend of a wide range of beauty products such as matte liquid lipsticks and foundations complementing compact powders, shimmer moisturiser and sunscreen lotions; the brand is a love letter to her mother. The beauty line also joined other big names like MAC, L’Oreal, Bobbi Brown and Urban Decay at The New York Fashion Week Spring-Summer 2020.
So, what drives an incredibly successful and legacy businesswoman like Farnaz? Read on to find out –
ELLE: Can you give us a brief insight into what inspired you to join the beauty industry?
Farnaz: It has always been my childhood dream to do something big in the beauty industry. I have grown up watching my mother work hard, and I used to assist her in some of her works sometimes, and that’s where I had started learning in this field.
ELLE: How will you describe your makeup philosophy?
Farnaz: My beauty philosophy is very simple. The makeup process should be quick, natural, and enhance who you are. We are all unique in different ways. According to me, celebrating various facial features is the most exciting part. To be honest, I find all women beautiful. With a balanced diet, a healthy lifestyle and the right makeup, anybody can be a better version of themselves. Beauty is all about being comfortable in your own skin. The happier you are with yourself, the more beautiful you’d look.
ELLE: Who or what is your inspiration behind starting your own makeup line, Kona By Farnaz Alam?
Farnaz: ‘Kona’ is my mother’s name who has started Woman’s World 31 years ago, before I was even born. It was a tough time for a woman to prove her ability to run a business, and I admire her courage, which is why it was an honour for me to name my brand after her. I wanted to create products I am most comfortable using.
ELLE: What are some of your personal favourites from Kona?
Farnaz: The personal favourites from my own brand would have to be my lipsticks. I usually love matte lipsticks. The problem I have faced with matte lippies was that it becomes so dry after a certain period that it comes off in bits and parts. While testing my lipsticks, I have been too conscious about this part and emphasized that the manufacturing process should resolve this issue.
I also dearly love my shimmers as well. I love the glow of each of my products, especially the ‘Twinkling Star’ with the subtle glow it has. When I want a glamorous look, I want the amazing glow my ‘Dancing Star’ has got.
My foundations are also my favourites; only a little bit gives a flawless look right away.
These are my three favourites currently.
ELLE: As someone with experience working backstage at major fashion events, what is the one tip you will give to budding makeup artists?
Farnaz: Working with the best professionals from all around the world has made me realize that if you work hard, nothing will stop you from achieving your dreams. Stay humble, be kind, read to know a lot about your work, be sincere and always be punctual.
ELLE: What impact do you think the beauty industry can have on Bangladesh’s evolving culture?
Farnaz: The beauty industry can bring drastic developments in the evolving culture of Bangladesh. A globally relevant look could change the way a society thinks. The opportunity to learn through social media platforms is rising exponentially. Technology has genuinely served well in terms of introducing one too many. I have personally experienced it by meeting my reality show’s new talents at “Color Your Dreams”. Their knowledge and ideas have expanded more through the development of technology. But at the same time, I believe makeup is an individual way of making yourself feel better about the way you are. I have always found beauty in the different features of exciting faces.
ELLE: Who is your beauty muse?
Farnaz: I have always seen my mother as my biggest inspiration. Maybe I had it in me from her. Muse would be the Egyptian art and how beautifully the goddesses portrayed themselves.
ELLE: Lastly – You, and your mother, have already contributed a lot to creating a legacy in the beauty world. What are your hopes and dreams for the future; what else do you wish to achieve?
Farnaz: There’s still a long way to go. What I want to achieve is yet to be conquered, and the goals are yet to be fulfilled. You must wait and watch to see what I am coming up with.
In addition to her life story, Farnaz has also shared a special treat with us. With the upcoming holiday season in mind, Salam Mohammad Aldass, a prominent makeup artist from Dubai, has created a breathtaking look on Farnaz using her products.
Products used –
1. Foundation base by Kona S03
2. Kona K03 andK06 compact
3. Contouring with Bobbi Brown
4. Blush by The new Kona “Blush Rush”
5. The magical eyes have been done with Fenty Beauty
6. Kona Classic Palette (Wood) for the cut crease
7. Hide from Kona Palette for the eyelid
8. A little Gleam 003) from the new Gleam and Glits collection for the eyelids for a touch of shimmer
9. Kona lashes
10. Mocha and Wood from Kona Palette for the under eyes
11. Highlighting with Twinkling Star
12. To finish the look lipstick Caramel Cream, Dating and Charm was used for gloss
To check out the full tutorial on the look, head hit play below!