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‘The trick is looking as if you are not wearing makeup’: EX1 cosmetics is solving a beauty diversity problem

It has been worn by a host of celebrities, and it costs just £12.50. Andy Martin speaks to Farah Naz about the creation of EX1 Cosmetics

Wednesday 10 March 2021 11:07
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<p>Farah Naz says foundation used to be either too pink or too orange for her complexion  </p>

Farah Naz says foundation used to be either too pink or too orange for her complexion

First it was Adele at the Brits. Then Britney Spears at the Apple Music festival. Then Joaquin Phoenix at the Oscars. They were all filmed on stage or on the red carpet wearing EX1 foundation, setting off reverberations across social media and triggering headlines like “Adele wears £12.50 foundation bought in Superdrug (and looks fabulous)”. “Sitting in my 100sq ft office in the suburbs, I would never have dreamed of a global superstar using our cosmetics,” says EX1 founder and CEO, Farah Naz, “especially when you’re operating on a tight marketing budget.”

A British Asian who grew up in London, Naz’s own foundations were set in place when she started studying sciences at school and ended up taking a degree in biochemistry at Imperial College. She was taking a molecular neuro-science module and cloning proteins for her thesis, but all the time she was asking herself the question, “Where can I find the right foundation?” The simple answer was she couldn’t. It was always either too pink or too orange for her complexion.

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