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Mezhgan Hussainy inside Simon Cowell’s car at Fountain Studios where ‘The X Factor’ is televised in London, England on December 12, 2009. Credit: Tony Clark/

American Idol makeup artist Mezhgan Hussainy is Simon Cowell‘s new girlfriend, according to recent reports.

The 36-year-old former dental hygienist cut her teeth in the cosmetics industry working at the Lancome counter at the Robinsons-May department store in Los Angeles. She got her big break when she was hired as makeup artist for John O’Hurley, best-known for his role as catalog entrepreneur John Peterman on “Seinfeld,” who had just begun work on a game show. She eventually scored a position with “American Idol” during the second season, rising to lead makeup artist by season three.

Cowell and Hussainy were first seen together in public just six weeks after the Idol judge’s split from long-term girlfriend Terri Seymour, when he asked her to be his date at his 50th birthday party.

See photos from Simon’s 50th birthday party

Unlike “sweet-natured” Terri, Mezhgan can reportedly hold her own, and has aspirations to be “more than Cowell’s equal” as a businesswoman. For years, she has been trying to sell a feature-length documentary about her life story, say sources.

Hussainy fled Afghanistan with her family after the Soviet invasion in 1979. (See her story here) Four years ago, she wrote her autobiography and has been trying hard to excite media interest.

As for romance rumors, the two were photographed driving away from Mr. Chow restaurant in Knightsbridge, London, this past weekend, and sources say they have finally emerged as “a couple proper” and are no longer hiding their relationship.