Sunday, September 5, 2010

Hip + Urban Girl of the Week: Farah Balolia

Our new bi-weekly column will feature a local hip + urban girl of the week, who encompasses a fabulous attitude, job and lifestyle. We will feature a mix of entrepreneurs and urban professionals who are inspiring to follow. This week we interview Farah Balolia aka Faces By Farah, a makeup artist and beauty editor for and

So tell us about what you do!  
I have been applying makeup to family and friends for as long as I can remember. I absolutely love what I do and the joy that comes after the fact. I decided to start a blog when I got certified which has now turned into a full on site about beauty, skin care, tips, tricks & secrets so I could share my research and knowledge with others.

What made you want to become a Make-up Artist??
I have always been a girly-girl. I was the one who my friends came to for hair and makeup advice or when they needed help getting dolled up. I remember the exact day I decided to go back to school to become a MUA, I was in Ottawa with my family for a wedding and as usual - I was doing everyone's makeup at the hotel when I blurted out, ‘I wish I could do this for a living’.  My mom turned to me and said, ‘why don't you?’.  I had my ah-ha moment in that hotel room.  I came back to Toronto and enrolled a few days later.

What kind of work do you do?   
The majority of my work is bridal especially during those peak wedding months.  However I have done many photo shoots and video advertisements with clients such as Bank of America and Nike Canada.  My work has even ended up on a billboard in Brazil, which surprised even me.

Where did you learn how to become a MUA?
I trained at the School of Makeup Art (SOMA) in the Yorkville area of Toronto where I learned the basics but have since continued to learn and grow on my own through practice.

Favourite beauty product of all time?
Hmmm…this is a hard one and I hate playing favourites but I don't know if I can go a day without my Vasanti Cosmetic Liquid Cover Up.  It’s seriously my holy grail, of a foundation and cover up in one. 

What do you typically wear on your face?
Cargo Cosmetics Blu Ray Mattifying primer or CoverFX Matte Primer, Vasanti cosmetics liquid cover up, either Cargo or MAC Cosmetics blush, Cover Girl mascara, Annabelle Smudgeliner eyeliner and NYC watermelon flavour clear gloss.

What did you study in University/College?  Would you have done anything differently?
Well let’s see a little bit of this and a little bit of that!  I studied Digital Media Design in college, which has come in handy as I am still in the industry full-time.  If I had to do anything different I probably would have gone into the makeup industry a lot sooner. When I went back to school I was the oldest one there and the other girls very lovingly called me Grandma (in good fun of course)!

Where are your favorite places to hang out in Toronto? 
When I have time to just hang out, it’s usually at a friend’s house or Ten Ren’s Tea Shop for some yummy bubble tea....yup my bar hoping/clubbing days are long gone! 

Best place to shop in the city?
Love Queen Street for its unique shops and you can't go wrong with malls like Vaughan Mills! 

Tell us about your neighbourhood and what you like best about it.
Well I live just outside the city in Richmond Hill and absolutely love it!  Not only is it where I grew up since moving here from BC when I was young, I feel like it’s close to everything.  I am 25 mins (in good traffic) from Downtown and my area is in the entertainment hub so there’s always a lot to do.... plus parking is free!  I lived downtown for almost 4 years and although I loved the experience it just wasn't for me.

What do you wish someone told you when you were younger and just starting out?
I wish someone had pushed me to follow my passion more. I have always loved makeup but truthfully never thought my parents would be ok with me doing it as a career. I found out that day in Ottawa just how wrong my assumptions were.  My parents have been my biggest supporters since.  I have finally followed my passion and couldn't be happier.

What life advice do you have for hip + urban girls out there trying to figure out what they want to do?
Figure out what makes you happy and do it because working in a field you love doesn't really seem like work and to wake up everyday and not dread going to work is the best feeling ever! Don't let anyone ever tell you you can’t do this or that because if you work hard and are passionate about what you do you will have success.


  1. Love this! Inspiring stories are always awesome to read.

  2. Awesome interview with Farah :) Love the girl!