Fajer Fahad, Contributing Editor, Violet Grey


"I've always been known for beauty, which is probably why I recently started contributing to Violet Grey. Before them, I worked for Azzedine Alaïa here in Paris—I started as an intern when I moved here from Kuwait. I don't think I said a word for the first two weeks. [Laughs] I was in the showroom, dressing models for presentations. Then I moved to PR, and they offered me a job, which I loved. It's such a small team, and we worked with Azzedine directly in the studio. Today, the people there are still like my family. Paris is kind of a small community like that. I'll go out to Café Flore by myself and end up seeing 10 people that I know.

Tonight, I'm going to my friend Jen Atkin's birthday party. I can get ready pretty quickly... If I'm in a hurry, I can do it in 15-30 minutes. If I'm taking my time, I'll shower, wash my face, and change and everything, and I can do that in 30-45 minutes. I love that process, how it changes my mood. You're not feeling so good, and all of a sudden, you put on eyelashes and a bit of concealer and you feel like, oomph! It's an affordable luxury. And I'll pick up tricks from anywhere—like, I'll be on Instagram at night, watching those videos, learning how to contour. [Laughs]

I love makeup, but I try to enhance my features rather than cover them. Makeup shouldn't wear you! My face should look matte—Nars Velvet Matte Tint is good, I've been using that all the time. Laura Mercier's Tinted Moisturizer is great, too...it has such a good finish. A bit of bronzer, too, if I'm looking pale. I love Tom Ford, but Sensai Bronzing Gel is also really nice. Before I put those on, I'll use a little bit of the Nars Multiple in Laguna. I'm not into a shiny look usually, except for in the evenings when I'll apply highlighter. Always liquid versus powder. I love Josie Maran's Argan Enlightenment Illuminizer because it photographs really well. I always do a highlighter at night. I think that's really important.

Obviously I'll do some kind of lip. Right now I'm not even putting on lipstick—I'm really feeling lipliner. So I'll color in my lips with MAC Lip Pencil in Soar and Spice, very fresh and pretty, very matte. And then I'll put on Diorshow Mascara. I try to avoid waterproof mascara. I don't plan on swimming! But I never fill in my brows. Ever. Skip completely. I get them done with Anastasia Soare, and I'll tweeze them to keep the shape. Instead of coloring them in, I'll use Anastasia's Brow Gel and then I'll put almond oil on my brows and lashes.

Oh, my hair! Well, Christophe Robin has been my colorist for the last 10 years. I see Catherine Deneuve at his salon all the time. I went to him when I first moved to Paris, and nobody has touched my hair since then. And I’m very loyal to a lot of his products. I love his The Perfect Balm for styling. I use it to slick back my hair and my pedicurist will use it on my feet. [Laughs] My hair will lighten sometimes, and I use Christophe's Shade Variation Care to touch it up when I'm in LA and I can't see him. I try to wash my hair every three to four days. I love Ouai Shampoo and Conditioner—my best friend Jen's line. Her hair mask is also amazing. And I love Oribe's Volumista Mist because it smells so good. When you're out and people are always making comments about how good your hair smells, you know you're doing something right."

My scents are usually vanilla or jasmine. I like them to feel very fresh. In the Middle East, we're all about layering fragrances, so people get to create their own scent—that's very important. I use some specific ones that you can only find back home, but I love C.O. Bigelow. Their musk is really good, so I'll wear that and layer some other sprays on top. I wear The Body Deli Tahitian Vanilla Body Oil, then body spray, then essential oil, then perfume. And I think peoples' bodies take in scents in different ways.

The most important thing I do [at the end of the night] is wash my face. I'm a strong believer in never sleeping in makeup. It all has to come off. I use two different products to take off makeup—I use Lancôme Bi-Facil Double-Action Eye Makeup Remover and coconut oil. And I use a Clarisonic in the evening. Once my makeup is off, I like using a milky cleanser. Darphin Cleansing Milk is good, and there's also this DHC Cleansing Oil that I buy from Urban Outfitters.

And always eye cream. Right now I'm using Royal Fern Phytoactive Anti-Aging Eye Cream, they have such beautiful packaging. Then, I apply a serum. I love IS Clinical C-15 Serum Advance—I got that from Shani Darden, my facialist in LA. Or I'll use her Resurface Retinol Reform. I put it on at night, and it really helps give you that, I don’t know, that almost filter-finish. And you can quote me on that!"

—as told to ITG

Fajer Fahad photographed by Tom Newton at her home in Paris on March 6, 2016.

Next up: Karmen Pedaru's makeup routine begins with a face massage, Jenné Lombardo's ideal night out involves Red Lobster and a limo, and Riley Keough's evening ends with eye gels in the Top Shelf After Dark.