Beauty for all: the power of halal makeup
Makeup has a powerful way of making people feel beautiful. Halal makeup is allowing Muslim women to feel their best, without a sense of worry.
BY: NIDA ZAFAR
A GTA man created a formula that can allow Muslim women to wear nail polish while they pray.
Dr.Umar Dar is the CEO of Tuesday in Love, a company that sells halal cosmetics, and the creator of the ground-breaking water permeability test used for nail polishes.
Permeable nail polish means Muslim women can wear it for prayer as water will go to the nail during ablution, which is washing the body before prayer.
Muslim women have restrictions into when they can wear certain cosmetic products. While almost all cosmetic products can be worn in day-to-day life, women usually end up removing them before prayer.
This can be a hassle.
For example, the tedious task of applying and removing regular nail polish five times a day to comply with prayers may become overwhelming to those who wish to wear certain products.
The water permeability test consists of placing two paper towels on top of each other, applying two layers of nail polish and then some water. If the water goes through the paper towel at the bottom without the use of human force, then the nail polish is permeable. The paper towel resembles the human nail.
Dar’s products are only permeable with two coats, anything over that will disqualify it from being ablution friendly. But being permeable and allowing the nail to breath is what makes the product halal.
The test falls into the larger realm of halal makeup products, which are made without the use of things that aren’t permitted in Islam such as alcohol, carmine and certain animal fats.
Halal cosmetics originate from Asian countries such as Malaysia and Indonesia. Both are home to large Muslim populations.
According to Grandview Research, a research company based in the U.S., the halal makeup industry is expected to be worth $52 million by 2025. The report credits this number to the rising awareness that Muslims have with the ingredients they’re using.
Dar’s products are certified by ISNA Canada, a religious organization that provides official certification to halal products.
“ISNA is really strict... they’re like you have to prove this actually works.”
“ISNA is really strict… they said it’s one thing for us to give you the certification, just for the ingredients. They’re like you have to prove this actually works,” Dar said.
A team of doctors, chemists, scientists and imams went through the process of certifying Dar’s company. After a demonstration on Dar’s part and testing from the organization, they got the certification. The process took almost a year to complete.
But the process was well worth it for Dar because he said it gave his customers ease to find out the products are certified halal and not just a claim to attract an audience that finds these products suitable.
Larger Western companies have also jumped on the trend of halal nail polish. European cosmetic company, Inglot, sells breathable nail polish. U.S. nail care company Orly does the same.
But everyone has their own interpretations of what is halal. The breathable and water permeable nail polishes may be halal to some but not to others.
Sara Hassan is a makeup and hijab stylist who doesn't believe in the concept of halal cosmetics.
“It has become this way to market to Muslims where I honestly don't think there’s anything about the product that makes it halal or haram for that matter,” Hassan said.
But she doesn't believe the same rules apply to skin care. Hassan said skin care doesn’t change women physically in the way that mascara or eyeliner does. Changing one’s appearance with makeup can be seen as taboo in some communities.
“To be more modest with makeup, your skin has to be good and your skin has to be healthy,”
- CLAUDIA CRUZ
However, halal-friendly skin care is not readily available in Canada. But across the border, Claudia Cruz is creating what she calls ablution-friendly and halal skin care.
Cruz created the cosmetic company Claudia Nour when she converted to Islam in 2014 and wanted makeup from Muslim-owned companies.
Cruz focused on skin care because she said that her goal wasn't just to sell people makeup, it was to make people feel comfortable in their own skin. A lot of her customers were also interested in what Cruz was doing herself, which has a large emphasis on skin care and minimal application of makeup.
“To be more modest with makeup, your skin has to be good and your skin has to be healthy,” she said.
Another issue common with halal makeup is consistency. Some halal products aren’t the same as their non-halal counterparts that consumers are used to, as both products may not contain the same ingredients.
But there is a way around this. Fadumo Botan, co-founder of Botxn Beauty, says this can be solved if companies take the time to craft formulas. “You have to go with the process. You can’t rush it,” Botan said.
It took the company, which largely focuses on lip products, a year to create a formula that was halal, light weight and didn’t crack lips. The company is also halal certified.
Photo courtesy from top down: Adzuanhashim, Tuesday in Love, Claudia Nour and Botan Beauty.