On my site I load font awesome asynchronously, so it doesn't affect page load at all. It's simple to do with the loadcss js snippet (google it) and the aysnc attribute on the script tag for js. I also use a tool that combines all js and css files into one file so it loads quicker with only 1 file required to download with less overheads. I even experimented with loading the page with the minimum css for render and loading the rest of the css async. Basically get all the structure loaded first and fade in the rest with transitions. Big gains there, but then had to move to a new site and got side-tracked never finished it.