Contrary to popular belief, what is vegan and cruelty-free isn’t necessarily halal-certified, and what is halal isn’t necessarily wudhu-friendly.
For a better understanding of these terms: a vegan product means that it is free from animal derivatives; a cruelty-free product means that no animal is harmed or tested on in the making of the product; a halal-product means that it is permissible in Islam; and a wudhu-friendly product means that it is not waterproof and can be water-permeable.
Here are eight homegrown cosmetic brands serving up Muslim-friendly beauty products.
1. Nita Cosmetics
Aznita Azman founded her namesake brand in 2016, describing it as “fun, quirky and unapologetically upbeat.” Inspired by her travel adventures, she incorporates Malaysian customs, traditions, and even cuisine, into the product name and packaging.
Aznita shared: “Nita is the personification or embodiment of every young woman out there who has dreams of seeing the world, and who wants to live every day to the fullest.”
The brand’s extensive range of hypoallergenic makeup products are not only made by halal-compliant manufacturers, but they are also vegan and cruelty-free. Its most impressive and inclusive line – the Mikrofon Foundation with 15 shades in total is the first of its kind in the local cosmetics scene.
2. So.Lek Cosmetics
Co-founded by siblings Dahlia Hadirah Juhari and Luqman Hakim Juhari in 2016, So.LeK takes its name from the Malay word solek (which means makeup in English), and the phrase “So? Relax!” often used by the siblings.
Since day one, the brand’s lip creams that are formulated with moisturising properties have remained a fan-favourite over the years.
From the eyes and face to lips and nails, So.Lek truly has you covered with its halal-certified, paraben-free, cruelty-free and wudhu-friendly products.
3. Orkid Cosmetics
Tech and beauty serial entrepreneur Raeesa Sya founded Orkid Cosmetics in 2016 to fill a gap in the Muslim beauty market and was listed in the 2018 Forbes 30 under 30 Asia list.
“The halal product business is one area that is less tapped by Malaysians. I feel that halal cosmetics have far fewer players, hence the establishment of Orkid Cosmetics,” Raesesa
Besides hitting all the right notes of being vegan, non-toxic and cruelty-free, the brand’s specialised liquid lipsticks are formulated using high-quality imported ingredients and made fresh in Malaysia.
4. Sugarbelle Cosmetics
Muslimah fashion mogul Belle Al-Yahya built Sugarbelle Cosmetics from the ground up, making it the first Malaysian brand to be recognised and sold in drugstores.
The brand first started in 2014 with only a handful of liquid lipsticks, and now includes a wide range of makeup essentials that are hassle-free and easy to wear, such as its latest Gold Series collection 2020 with lipsticks, foundation, eyeliner and eyeshadow.
5. Breena Beauty
Beauty blogger turned entrepreneur Sabrina Tajuddin co-founded Breena Beauty with her husband Tawfiq Nasir in 2014 to introduce high-quality yet affordable makeup essentials for Malaysian beauty enthusiasts.
The star of all the products is its widely acclaimed makeup brushes made with the finest and softest synthetic bristles. Be it contouring the face or shading the eyes evenly, the 12 brushes are specially designed to give an overall flawless makeup application.
6. Velvet Vanity
Never have we seen a local cosmetic brand that has gained such cult status the way Velvet Vanity has.
Founded in 2016, this brainchild of Adlina Nadhirah is inspired by the youth and pop culture, and speaks to everyone, from makeup hobbyists to working professionals.
Velvet Vanity checks all the hallmarks we’re looking for and more, by also being fragrance-free, a notable respect that most would appreciate for peace of mind.
Replace your regular lip balm with Velvet Vanity’s Glossy Glo Lip Oil that is formulated with apricot, mulberry, jojoba and rice bran oils that deliver moisturising and skin-healing results.
7. Pretty Suci
Established by two entrepreneurs, Tunku Dato’ Kaiyisah Kamil Ikram and Natasha Mohammad Ozeir, Pretty Suci is noted for being the first halal cosmetics brand to be sold in Sephora.
Besides their very own beauty products, the founders also launched a one-stop online store in 2017 that is touted as “the world’s largest halal beauty portal”, hosting over 30 halal beauty brands from all over the world.
8. Muka & Co
Founded by Nabilah Mohd Isa in 2018, Muka & Co embraces real beauty with an enjoyable experience for an everyday solution that works. Inspired by her new phase of life as a mother, Nabilah created an all-in-one serum and primer-foundation blend to get that effortless, “no makeup, makeup look”.
The Tint Glo Serum with SPF 35 was most recently given a new sustainable and environmentally-friendly packaging facelift, made with sugarcane tubes of 89% biobased organic carbon.
The clinical-formulated product is also hypoallergenic, non-comedogenic (doesn’t clog pores), mineral-based, chemical-free, cruelty-free, halal and wudhu-friendly.