Breaking down halal makeup with Zahara by Amira Geneid
Did you know that to be considered halal, more than just the ingredients involved in the product needs to be halal? Amira Geneid walks us through the process.
We’re all familiar with the term halal, which translates to mean ‘permissible’ or ‘allowed’ in Islam. Although more commonly associated with food, it can extend to include a myriad of other things, like income and, lately, makeup.
“Halal makeup is makeup that does not contain ingredients that are considered haram,” tells Amira Geneid, the founder of the latest muslimah beauty brand Zahara.
Named after the Arabic word meaning ‘flowers in bloom’, the beauty line was birthed following Amira’s own frustration at not being able to obtain quality cosmetics that is halal-compliant.
“Before Zahara, I could find halal cosmetics, but none of the brands really resonated with me. My main issue was that the halal alternatives were not on par with my MAC and Benefit products, which I really couldn’t give up,” she elaborates.
Instead of settling, the driven cover star of ours saw to creating a brand that will bridge both worlds and thus Zahara came about. It is a brand that she proudly calls “the muslimah beauty brand we’ve all been waiting for”.
We were intrigued to find out that to be considered halal, more than just the ingredients involved needs to be halal. Amira walks us through the process.
Not all halal certification bodies have the same criteria, which makes the process doubly strenuous. “There are so many regulations and they vary all over the world so it’s really quite a complicated process,” says Amira, “but in general most bodies will look at the ingredients and the process itself to ensure it is permissible for use for Muslims.”
In terms of ingredients, each ingredient that goes into the making of the product needs to be halal-certified. “That means no alcohol and pork products,” Amira clarifies.
The production and manufacturing also play a role – products need to be handled with only clean utensils, made with materials that are not harmful to human health and even packaging, distribution and logistics need to respect the halal laws. “We have several different manufacturing partners as different products are made in different countries because we are committed to finding the best partner to create the best product,” Amira tells.
Zahara has a very successful line of halal eyeliner, matte lip cream, and eyeshadows but what helped it break onto the scene is its oxygen nail-polish – wudhu-friendly nail polish that is water and oxygen permeable. “Do you notice that after wearing regular nail polish your nails end up weak and yellowy? That’s because your nails are being suffocated and that doesn’t happen with Zahara polish because it allows wudhu water to pass through thus it’s healthier for your nails!”
Good for all
Religion purposes aside, halal makeup is generally better for long term use because of the absence of alcohol in its making. “Alcohol is actually very drying so it definitely is kinder on the skin to use alcohol-free products. I highly recommend checking ingredients, especially those you don’t recognise, when buying make-up. We have a 5-free nail polish which doesn’t use 5 commonly found detrimental chemicals, like camphor, which is literally a poison and can cause seizures and disorientation.”
To learn more about Zahara and its products, log on to the official website here.
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