While en route to a shoot for EX1 Cosmetics yesterday with ‘Our Girl Friday’ Rose Miyonga, she turned to me and said “I’ve never really worn foundation.”
She went on to say, “As a mixed-race teenage girl growing up in white, rural England, there wasn’t really much on offer when I first wanted to wear make-up. It was pretty much Superdrug. There was nothing for my sisters and me in the beauty department.”
Sound familiar? This is echoed by so many women and we all wonder- when is this going to change?
So while I got to work on make-up, I asked Rose to tell us all more and to interview Farah Naz, founder of EX1 Cosmetics.
When friends came to visit from London, they would bring gifts for my Mum in the form of shampoos and conditioners from Afro Hair/Beauty Supply Stores to help her manage our hair, so different from her straight, blonde bob.
“I remember buying the most orange-tan foundation I could find and trying to mix it with brown eyeshadow and blend it into my skin….
Suffice it to say, it was not a good look, and once I realized that I decided it was better to just go barefaced.
I love my natural brown skin, but some days I just want something to enhance its color and I’m still looking for the right products.
EX1 Cosmetics is part of the shifting landscape of skincare and beauty products emerging to provide quality cosmetics that a wider spectrum of women can enjoy. It specializes in foundations and concealers for brown and olive skintones
When did you first develop an interest in beauty? What drew you to it?
Around my teenage years, mostly driven by my own insecurities. I desperately wanted to cover my blemishes and it was then that I realized that the mainstream self-selection cosmetics industry didn’t seem relevant to me.
Who is EX1 for?
EX1 is dedicated to women with yellow/golden undertones to their skin. Although premium lines existed for women with my skin tone,
I wanted to create the first affordable line of cosmetics exclusively for women with olive skin, yet which has all the hallmarks of a luxury brand in terms of formula quality.
What makes EX1 unique?
Our pigments. As a biochemist, I started looking carefully at olive skin tones, creating a unique blend of pigments designed to mimic the natural pigments found in olive complexions.
What have been some of the highlights of creating EX1 so far?
When I created the line I could have never imagined the products would be worn by some of the world’s most iconic celebrities or that we’d get such great press reviews.
But the real highlight will always be the heartfelt messages we get from everyday women who have previously struggled to find an affordable foundation that perfectly matches their skin tone. I was that woman, and getting such incredible feedback from the very people I created the products for makes it all worthwhile.