If ITG were a person we’d like to think we were your “Beauty Best Friend” – you know, the person to whom you write when you have the latest range of supplies or an opinion on a serum before the big one Shell out money. But for Faridah and Sidrah, ITG was just one way of finding their best friend as a beauty: each other. They typed from different sides of the world, connected online and used the product talk as a vehicle for real conversations. And now they have been friends for seven years! Sid and Fari tell the story much better themselves – read it in their own words below.
Sidrah Syed: Here’s an opening line for the ages: I met one of my closest friends through Into The Gloss.
Faridah McCaul: It all started in 2014 when Sidrah was featured on the #ITGTopShelfie series.
SS: I was in law school at the time, and like any other ITG reader, I lived and breathed beauty. I loved talking about it, so probably the most exciting thing that could happen to me was being introduced. As an unexpected result, I gained quite a few followers on Instagram who saw the post and liked my mood.
FM: Sid’s story resonated with me. Style and aesthetics aside, she has the warmest soul full of compassion and the fact that she has dedicated her professional life to helping people speaks volumes! ITG really captured these traits in their #ITGTopShelfie, so their friendliness reached me overseas. I felt totally inspired so clicked the Handle hyperlink and followed her on Instagram – she was just as cool as her feature suggested, if not cooler. She followed me back and shortly after we started commenting on each other’s posts.
SS: Fari was such a breath of fresh air and everything I admire about a person – effortlessly cool, super stylish, calm, very insightful and so incredibly nice. We clicked immediately. It’s been so long that I can’t remember what our first DM talks were about, but we most likely raved about the BR P50, talked about a movie, or exchanged opinions on a particular outfit. Even then, it felt like I’d known her all my life – like we were sisters of souls.
FM: The chat inevitably became a long lasting internet friendship where all things like beauty, fashion, movies, music etc were shared from different sides of the world.
SS: It was amazing to learn from my hub in New York about Farri’s life in Australia and to see how different yet similar our lives and our desires are.
FM: Navigating different time zones was always fun. We were both so excited for The Strokes’ The New Abnormal album. It was released at midnight so it came out earlier in Australia and I spoiled it for Sid. I will never live it out! But despite the uncomfortable time difference, we somehow stayed connected during those years.
SS: We ignored each other’s ups and downs, talked about politics, love, losses, people, careers and life. Fari is someone I turn to on both small and large events – she has given me some of the best advice and exudes warmth and certainty even in the toughest of times. I’m pretty sure that since we first sneaked into each other’s DMs, not a day has passed without a conversation between us. And we became friends in the fall of 2019 when Fari visited NYC.
FM: I dreamed of visiting New York from the moment I saw it on the big screen as a kid. But it always felt so far. When I was 29, I made it my personal goal to visit the city before I was 30. The thought of traveling alone to the other side of the world as a young woman was frightening, but Sid was generous in helping me plan my trip properly up to a week before my flight.
SS: I knew the trip was very personal for her and jumped into full host mode.
FM: It created a sense of security. When I think back, I’m not sure if I would have had enough confidence to visit NYC if it hadn’t been for the bond Sid and I made and the inspiration to make my dream come true that our friendship instilled in me . In October 2019, I actually did the solo trip from Sydney to NYC.
SS: We met over coffee in Washington Square Park, and Fari totally turned the wandering squirrels on – I don’t think I laughed at anything this early in the morning anymore. It was such an “OMG!” Wait, because IRL, we could actually see each other’s reactions and mannerisms!
FM: A face-to-face meeting after around six years of virtual friendship was so surreal. We kept saying it out loud to each other.
SS: I knew Fari was Australian, but I’d completely forgotten that she would have an Australian accent. That was amazing!
FM: You don’t take the accent into account when talking about text! It was a nice surprise to really talk to each other for the first time and it deepened our connection. After that, we spent a few days together so she could show me the city through her eyes. Sid and her equally friendly sister Mahirah showed me the best rooftop views in town and helped me realize my vampire dreams for my first Halloween. We watched a parade, consumed plenty of culinary delights, drank a few cocktails and marveled at the really special story of how we had met.
SS: Fari visiting NYC was really a turning point in my life – I had been in this city for a decade and hadn’t noticed how much I was passing by. The few days we spent together fully unleashed my appreciation and gratitude for NYC, which would not have been possible without her.
FM: Sid also took me to Williamsburg so I could finally buy my first Le Labo fragrance after flooding her with the brand for many years. Of course I decided on Santal 33 and an aptly personalized label from “Fari in BK”. It’s essentially my trip to NYC, bottled in a stunning glass jar. At that moment the circle came full.
SS: During the pandemic, Fari has been such an inspiration and calming presence in my life. Despite our time difference, we did FaceTimed at the start of the pandemic and talked for hours about mental health, WFH, hobbies and the state of the world. Fari is dedicated to painting and it was so inspiring to see her determination to give some time to do something she loves. It was an important motivator for me to start blogging –
FM: Outside of her nine to five, Sidrah writes passionately on her blog!
SS:– which I wanted to do for ages but was always crazy. That’s friendship.
FM: Sidrah is cool, stylish, incredibly smart, and successful, but never too busy to be an incredible friend. Undeniably, she encourages you to be the same.
SS: Years later, we’re really bloody good friends. Thank you, Into The Gloss, for your community, for this friendship and probably for the many, many more that would not have been possible without you.
– as ITG said
Photo via the authors