She counts celebrities like Jordyn Woods as fans.
Basma Hameed is a scar camouflage and micro-pigmentation specialist who has worked with celebrities like Jordyn Woods, Anastasia Karanikolaou and many more. After a burn accident at the age of two that left her with a large scar on her face, she became deeply involved, for personal reasons, in the world of scar camouflage and paramedical tattooing. Eventually, her research in medical aesthetics (along with tons of trial and error at home) prompted her to open the Basma Hameed Scar Camouflage Clinic in Toronto, and then open a second location in Beverly Hills.
Today, Hameed is unveiling Basma Beauty, a new brand whose first product is a buildable foundation stick that comes in 40 shades. “The Foundation Stick is suitable for all skin types and for everyday use,” says Hameed. “It’s an ultra-hydrating creamy formula with lots of soothing ingredients like aloe vera extract, apricot butter and vitamin E. Best way to describe it [the texture] is buttery – it simply melts into your skin, leaving that crisp, satin finish. “
We chatted with Hameed on the launch day of Basma Beauty to find out how she became the celebrity’s favorite scar camouflage expert.
What led you to the concept of Basma Beauty?
“It was one of my lifelong dreams. When I was two, I burned half of my face in a kitchen accident. Despite countless surgeries, the doctors were unable to cover up the bright red scar that covered my face. As a result, I started doing makeup at a very young age. My relationship with makeup started out of necessity, but quickly turned into a passion. I was obsessed with the colors, shades, ingredients, and the chemistry behind makeup formulas.
“Make-up played a very important role in my life growing up. It helped me feel confident on the days when I wasn’t feeling my best. My childhood was anything but normal, but putting on makeup made me feel less like “the burnt girl” and more like an ordinary high school student. But there were always things that bothered me about the beauty industry. I remember that when I asked for help buying makeup, I was immediately categorized as “scars”. The options were extremely scarce and everything felt thick and cakey on my face.
“I also felt like I couldn’t relate to any beauty brand. I’ve never seen myself – or anyone I knew for that matter – in the pictures and ads of beauty companies. It was always these incredibly “perfect” girls. In 2018, I was finally able to realize my dream of developing a beauty brand. Basma Beauty is truly a brand for everyone – regardless of your skin type, skin tone or shade. We develop versatile, truly modular and portable formulas that adapt to your lifestyle. “
You said that when you were 17, you started experimenting with different skin techniques to reduce the discoloration of your skin. What worked and what didn’t?
“I’ve tried everything to reduce the discoloration on my scar – from lasers to surgery to creams – but nothing has worked. At the time, permanent makeup was slowly becoming popular and I had a thought: if color could be implanted into the skin to mimic makeup, why couldn’t the color of my skin be implanted into my scar? ? I presented the idea to all the doctors, but each told me that it was impossible. They said the scar tissue would not hold the color and I would be wasting my time. I had nothing to lose at the time, so I decided to test my theory.
“One night I developed a pigment that matched my skin tone, looked at myself in the mirror and implanted it on my scar. The results have been remarkable! I kept practicing on myself and learned a lot about color correction along the way. And although it would take some time to fine-tune the procedure, the results kept getting better every time I tried. Eventually I got to a point where I was very confident not only in how my scar appeared, but also in how to perform the procedure itself. This gave way to the opening of my first clinic.
Were you already in medical aesthetic school and planning to take this route?
“I am an entrepreneur at heart. I have always enjoyed creating and bringing new ideas to life. After seeing the results of the Scar Camouflage treatment on myself, I knew I wanted to use it to help others who, like me, had scars and their skin. I opened my first clinic in Toronto and once the demand increased internationally, I opened my second facility in Beverly Hills.
“Although I studied medical aesthetics before opening clinics, the best training I have had has come from my life experience. Because of my accident, I had to learn a lot about the skin and how to treat it. Also, a procedure like the one I developed never existed, so being able to work on myself and study the results at each step was very beneficial.
You work with a lot of celebrities in your clinic. How did it happen?
“I was really lucky that my story went viral. I was featured on CNN, Vogue, Cosmo, CBC, The doctors and more. It was crazy! From there, word quickly spread about the effectiveness of the procedure I had developed. I noticed a lot more high profile clients were coming after all the media attention and of course opening a clinic in Beverly Hills made the procedure a lot more accessible for them.
What was the development process for the Basma Beauty Foundation Stick?
“It took over three years to develop The Foundation Stick for Basma Beauty. It was truly a labor of love. We developed the formula from scratch because I had a very specific vision: I wanted the formula to be ultra-hydrating and easy to apply, like a tinted moisturizer, but to have buildable coverage to match a liquid foundation. It took 15 iterations over a period of a year to get the perfect formula. I would use my skin as a base – if I couldn’t wear it on my own, we would go back to the drawing board.
“Once we created the formula itself, the real challenge began: developing personalized shades. From the start of this project, we made a commitment to have 40 shades. I always felt there was a void in the shades available for foundation formats other than liquid foundations – whether pressed powder, stick foundation. or tinted moisturizers. We’re proud to be one of the few stick foundations on the market to offer 40 shades! This shade development process took another year.
“So what fair just as we were about to start production, the pandemic struck. We were essentially at a standstill. It was a very difficult time because we were so close to the finish line but we had to stop everything. Looking back, this has taught us the importance of being able to adapt to any circumstance or scenario that comes our way. The pandemic has not only changed the role of beauty and makeup in people’s daily lives, but also the way we shop. We have used this time to strengthen our website and focus on developing features and content to help people buy foundation online – without ever trying makeup. Being flexible in the way we operate is a fundamental part of the way I do business now. “
What has been your personal experience with using makeup to empower yourself versus using makeup to hide?
“I firmly believe that you should do what makes you happy – period. We are all different and makeup is extremely personal. So, I guess the question is: why does it matter how or why one chooses to wear it?
“I remember wearing full makeup to school every day and I was asked why I was wearing so much makeup. Whether or not it came from a place of genuine curiosity, there were always nuances of judgment. From the outside, people have just seen the makeup itself. But what they didn’t see was the emotional and physical pain from my scar. It’s really hard to know where someone else is coming from and to know their traumas or insecurities. That’s why I think it’s irrelevant if I – or someone else – is wearing makeup to hide or empower myself.
“My experience has taught me the importance of being true to yourself without any excuse. And that’s what this brand is. It doesn’t matter how much or how little makeup you wear. Beauty on your own terms!