The beauty industry has never lacked successful female entrepreneurs throughout the years. In the early 1910s, Florence Nightingale Graham founded Elizabeth Arden, before going on to build a beauty salon and cosmetics empire that made her one of the wealthiest women of the time. In Pakistan, Mehrbano Sethi put the foundation of her beauty brand by the name of Luscious Cosmetics in 2007, which led her to turn the tables in Pakistani beauty industry and paving the way for others to try their hand at the business. Later, Masarrat Misbah started MM Makeup in 2014 and introduced Pakistan’s first halal certified makeup. Nabila brought NO Makeup palette and then Zero Makeup a few years ago. Apart from these famous beauty entrepreneurs, a number of beauty enthusiasts are also following suit and giving a boost to local brands such as Zay Beauty. This year on International Women’s Day, You! taps some famous beauty entrepreneurs who gained popularity owing to their quality products …
Nabila has an experience of 35 years in hair and beauty industry. Guided by research and development, unique influences and scientific precision, she has been able to provide effective solutions for all makeup junkies through her brand. Claiming to be zero tolerant to unethical practices, this makeup brand is vegan, gluten, animal testing and paraben free. It is also dermatologically tested and irritant free. The ZERO Makeup line consists of an All-In-One Face Perfecting Palette, Kajal Liner and a blending brush. The perfecting palette covers seven shades ranging from fair to darker tones that makes it inclusive of all skin types.
Luscious Cosmetics has grown to become Pakistan’s largest colour-cosmetics brand with a majority of its stake recently acquired by a global retail group. According to Mehrbano, the brand is popular within the South Asian expat diaspora and everyone in the Asia Pacific region responds positively to the product because it settles smoothly with their skin types. The 14-year-old-brand has products ranging from eye to blush palettes and its popular lipsticks. The recent innovation has been made with its Camera Stick and Camera Powder which has built-in photo filter technology that evens out the skin for photographs without making it look cakey. Keeping it relevant to the current times of Instagram-worthy clicks and selfies, the brand claims to be a perfect choice for modern women.
Offering a range of luxury skincare products, Farsali was founded by Sal Ali and his wife Farah Dhukai, a high-profile social media influencer with a huge following of on Instagram. The brand aims to bridge the gap between makeup and skincare, creating innovative formulas that are cruelty-free, Halal certified and high quality. The most popular product of the brand is the Unicorn Essence Antioxidant Serum + Primer which has become a cult favourite of almost every makeup and beauty influencer.
2013 was the turning point for Huda as she and her sisters Mona and Alya worked together to create a collection of false eyelashes under the Huda Beauty brand name, which would later launch at Sephora in Dubai Mall. Huda’s experience in the beauty industry has allowed her to expand the range to include liquid lipsticks, lip contour pencils, textured eyeshadow palettes and complexion products - all of which have been instant best-sellers across the globe. Beginning as a blog in 2010, Huda Beauty has fast become the number 1 Beauty Instagram account in the world with over 26 million followers and counting!
Entrepreneur and breast cancer survivor Cashmere Nicole is the incredible, fearless force behind Beauty Bakerie’s sweet success. Beauty Bakerie Cosmetics Brand L.L.C. operates as an online cosmetic store and was curated in 2011. The company provides eye shadows, eyeliner, face oil, illuminator, glitter, setting powder, foundation, lip care, and other related personal care products worldwide. During a challenging, but successful fight with breast cancer, Cashmere became extremely health conscious and research-driven about the products we put in and on our bodies. The Beauty Bakerie brand is a direct reflection of Cashmere’s perseverance and passion for both high quality, healthy ingredients that enhance the beauty in everyone, every day. She continues to grow her brand which is now sold in 1000 locations worldwide. She embodies the sweet life not only by developing cruelty-free, all-inclusive cosmetics but more importantly while implementing initiatives such as the 501(c)3, Sugar Homes that she founded in 2016 which supports the needs of orphaned children worldwide.
It is an Australian/US-based company co-founded by supermodel Miranda Kerr. As an international model, mother and someone who is passionate about nutrition, health and wellbeing, having healthy skin has been important to Kerr from a young age. In 2006, the former Victoria’s Secret model started the development of KORA Organics - a company she founded on the values of making a transformative difference to people’s skin, their confidence, and offering them a healthier alternative to other brands in the market. The brand uses certified organic and natural products for one simple reason - because what you put on your skin soaks in.
Along with a team of researchers and consultants in microbiology, aromatherapy and organic chemistry who specialise in organic and natural formulations, Kerr identified Active Ingredients based on their natural healing and protective powers, such as Noni Extract, Rosehip Oil, Sea Buckthorn Oil and Green Tea.
KORA Organics launched in 2009 and since then, it has expanded to over 200 retailers across Australia, including Sephora and in 2017, launched exclusively in the U.S.A in over 300 Sephora stores and Sephora.com. Today, the award-winning range is now also stocked globally across 30 countries/regions, including; United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Spain, Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong.
Started in 2019, Zay Beauty has gained prominence with leaps and bounds. In such a short span, it has become a part of many makeup lovers’ vanity. In an interview, Zainab shares, “Zay Beauty products are made keeping Pakistani women in mind, keeping their skin tone, texture and preferences in mind. I identified a huge gap in the Pakistani beauty sector for good quality, affordable makeup products that are easily accessible. Our women spend thousands on products which don’t even suit them most of the time because they are designed for the international market.”
The products create a sense of belonging with customers because they specifically cater to Pakistan’s desi girls! The shade range, the names and the packaging are something which the Pakistani women can relate to. For example, the Zay Beauty highlighters are called Chand Tara and Chamak Damak.
Misbah is successful in adapting to and evolving with the ever-changing needs of their modern-day customers. She pioneered in putting up a brand which is Halal Certified for every ingredients-conscious consumer. According to the official website, the brand claims to be a revolutionary turn point between science, beauty and pure values.
MM Makeup is acclaimed for its breakthrough formulations, technological innovations and unwavering commitment to reinvention. With Masarrat Misbah at helm of it all, each product is designed specifically for the Pakistani and Asian women with conscious details given to each ingredient so every shade in the range is not only beautiful but best created for you. The products are designed and formulated with the most essential colour ingredients from Halal sources that create unbelievably surreal looks and you are guilt free about what is going onto your delicate skin.