Cyrus Veyssi is breaking boundaries in queer and Persian spaces, one makeup look at a time

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When you take agency over how you identify, no one can tell you who you are. Beauty and wellness creator Cyrus Veyssi is one person to watch who’s making visibility for queer people of color a top priority. 

Veyssi, a Boston native who identifies as a nonbinary, creates short-form beauty content as well as funny videos alongside their family. In addition, Veyssi recently modeled in Glossier’s Body Hero campaign and has been featured in Into The Gloss and The Boston Globe. While creating content for themselves, Veyssi often uses beauty as a means to play within and outside the binary of gender.

“On one side, it’s been so fantastic not only to explore the sort of boundaries and the lack of boundaries of my gender identity and being nonbinary, but also having conversations around nonbinary people and how I can identify and use pronouns he/him and they/them, and still be nonbinary,” Veyssi explains.

Additionally, Veyssi says that as a nonbinary person, they can sometimes feel pressure to perform their gender in a certain way.

Credit: Cyrus Veyssi

“If I’m posting something online, and I don’t have my makeup on, and I’m not femme-presenting, I’ve gotten comments and critiques on my gender identity,” Veyssi says. “In those moments, I don’t really fit what people think or assume a nonbinary person would look like, so it’s almost like they feel like my ‘nonbinariness’ is off. And I’m like ‘I don’t need to wear makeup, I don’t need to beautify myself to maintain and uphold how I feel in terms of my gender.'”

More Than Makeup

Veyssi says that those who use their platform to highlight the voiceless inspire them. In turn, the beauty creator also makes it a point to promote and use brands by and for queer and BIPOC folks. One of their favorite everyday brands? Live Tinted.

I use [Deepica’s] Huestick every day,” Veyssi explains. “Specifically the shades Origin and Rise are my go-to for every day. I use them to color correct, I use them for eyeshadow, for blush.”

Veyssi goes on to talk about how the Live Tinted brand helps brown people address issues like hyperpigmentation and dark circles. Plus, they mention how they’re also a big fan of Fluide Beauty and Fenty Beauty.

Credit: Cyrus Veyssi

“I love what they do and I love their products — specifically their glosses. I’m such a fan I use them all the time,” Veyssi says regarding Fluide. “Honestly, I love brands that are feeding products that are linked to issues and that give back to organizations, which is what Fluide does.”

Though it took a while for them to catch onto the hype, Veyssi is now officially a Fenty Beauty fan. Specifically, they love how Fenty just primps up, well, you.

“It’s the definition of makeup just enhancing your features,” they explain. “From their foundations and concealers to their blushes to their pigments and palettes, I think so much of what they do is inspired by enhancing features and enhancing those things that typically other brands are here to say ‘let’s cover it up.’” 

For Cyrus Veyssi, Support Is All In The Family

Veyssi does makeup, but they’re also keen on making videos with their mom, dad and brother. Recently, they went viral for one of their videos featuring their family. This time, Veyssi gained over 1,000 followers on TikTok in one night.

“I love making content with them, but what’s happened is then I do get an influx of Persian people coming onto my page and a lot of them actually tend to be the ones that are the most hateful,” they explain. “It’s a combination of Persian men who are still very fragile and traumatized I think by having to uphold their own form of masculinity. When they see me not doing it in videos where I dress up in makeup with my mom and we’re both pulling looks, I think they get very uncomfortable.”

Veyssi says that their mom and dad met in art school. Their mom worked in fashion and jewelry for 20 years. Veyssi describes their dad as “this stoic, Persian man, [who] is actually such a sweetheart.” When Veyssi came out at out at the age of 12, they had the support of both parents.

“I was really young, I got so much support from both of them and that’s really a privilege,” Veyssi says. “It’s not typical among Irani communities, and a lot of those parents, especially in the boomer community, are still very much tied to this culture of conservatism that’s really been discriminatory toward anybody who doesn’t adhere to certain Persian cultural norms. So I’m very lucky in that sense.”

Reimagining Skin care Goals In Quarantine

Throughout quarantine, some beauty lovers have swapped their makeup brushes for jade rollers. However, many skin care gurus set themselves up for disappointment with the influx of product and not establishing realistic skin care goals. Veyssi is hoping to dispel the idea of perfect skin.

Credit: Cyrus Veyssi

“Eliminate my under-eye circles, reduce puffiness, reduce hyperpigmentation,” they say. “It was so unrealistic, I was putting so much pressure on myself and so this year I told myself my only wellness goal in terms of skin care is to just stay hydrated and to moisturize my skin.”

Veyssi went through what they refer to as “a painstaking process” after being on Accutane for six months. While Veyssi didn’t undergo any severe side effects, the aftermath of the process left them with dryness. Now, Veyssi says Ole Henriksen’s Dark Spot Toner and Tatcha’s Deep Cleanse Gentle Exfoliating Cleanser remain in their skin care routine.

“A lot of it was rehydration and reintroducing hydration I lost to Accutane. I hit a goal and I feel great about it. That and wearing SPF. SPF, SPF, SPF. Those two skincare goals have honestly made my skincare routine more accessible, easy and less stressful.” 

If you liked this story, you may also enjoy Kulfi Beauty, the brand making inclusive products for South Asian people.

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