The beauty industry wouldn’t be where it is today if it wasn’t for the rise of social media and the birth of influencers. In 2017 the beauty industry was worth upwards of $450 billion, and by 2024, it’s expected to soar to $750 billion – so it’s safe to say it shows no sign of slowing down.
Seeing as Arab women have always been some of the industry’s biggest consumers—both in number and purchasing power—it’s no surprise that a few entrepreneurial women have decided to create their own beauty brands.
The internet age saw the growth of Huda Kattan, the Iraqi woman who transformed from from beauty blogger to one of the industry’s most powerful women (with an Instagram account boasting an astounding 26 million followers).
Although Huda’s success is both well-deserved and lauded—Kattan is not alone, and we’re here to celebrate both her and a few other Arab entrepreneurs who have chosen to take the same path and launch their own beauty brands.
MILLE rounds up some our favourites.
Originating from the Arabic word shiffa, meaning to ‘heal’, Dubai native Lamees Hamdan launched her skincare brand back in 2004, way before the social media age. Her products are natural, with ingredients carefully selected and sourced from the Middle East and nearby regions. And since her launch over a decade ago, Shiffa has seen immense success. Today you’ll find her products at some of your favourite high-end department stores, as well as at Sephora.
Founded by Sheikha Intisar Al-Sabah and Sheikha Fatima Al-Sabah in 2015, Prismologie is the Middle East’s very own mood-enhancing body care range. The brand uses the science behind colour mood-enhancement by incorporating crushed diamonds, citrine, rose quarts, jade, rubies and sapphire into their formulas.
After studying at The Cotswolds Perfumery in England, Amna Al Habtoor became a certified perfumer and went on to launch her very own fragrance brand, Arcadia. The brand was an immediate success, with her debut collection becoming an instant hit among Arab women in the Middle East. Her brand now spans a collection of 18 different scents—most of which are unisex.
Just how Huda Beauty got its start, Pinky Goat also began with a pair of fake eyelashes—and from the looks of it, the brand is well on its way towards international growth as well. Pinky Goat was launched in 2015 by Maha Morely-Kirk, with Arab women in mind and has since grown to include an eyebrow range that has too become a hit.