altM recently talked with Azrin Isa, the founder of a fabulous halal cosmetics line, Aisa Cosmetics. Check out her story below!
1. What is Aisa Cosmetics and how is it unique among other cosmetic brands?
Aisa Cosmetics is a halal cosmetic line. We pride ourselves on using only high-quality natural ingredients, GMP’s certified ( Good Manufacturing Practices- approved by the Ministry of Health in Malaysia) and pharmaceutical-based formulas that are not harmful to your skin and that are cruelty-free. All of our products are Halal certified by an Islamic Association in Perth, Australia.
We promote halal makeup globally, to Muslim and non-Muslims working in the fashion and beauty sector, and to individuals who use makeup for self-expression, empowerment and creativity.
2. What inspired you to start this company? How does your faith play a role?
I was inspired through my experience working as a makeup artist for multiple jobs and location. I found it really hard to find high quality Halal products that are fresh and modern.
As a Muslim and a makeup artist, I feel strongly that it is important for us Muslims to be aware of what we apply on our skin/body. With so many top brands in the market, we are often not aware of the ingredients used in the products. Ingredients such as petrolatum, fragrance, glycerin, carmine, lard, fatty acids and gelatin, as well as other items such as alcohol or ingredients extracted from animals like pigs, can be found in most makeup products.
I believe whatever products are applied to our body, we’ll eventually ‘consume’ the product–especially when we wear lipsticks. Which is why, at Aisa, we pride ourselves on using only high-quality natural ingredients, pharmaceutical-based formulas that are not harmful to your skin and that are cruelty free.
3. Explain what you mean by “halal” cosmetics, since most people associate halal products as merely those that do not include alcohol and pork products.
“Halal” is a holistic approach to life for Muslims, rather than just a list of ingredients that are allowed or not allowed for the followers of the Islamic faith. “Halal” signifies the safety of the ingredients and the process involved in the manufacturing and production of the products. Halal cosmetics are increasingly used by people who want to wear makeup safely and minimize harm to their skin.
4. I tried both of your liquid lipsticks and they were amazing! The way they glided on, stayed put, and the colors are exactly right for my South Asian skin tone. I can’t say I’ve had the same success with other liquid lipsticks, even from high-end brands. What’s your secret? How did you choose these specific colors?
Research, test, test & test! We’ve gone through months of R&Ds and working together with the pharmaceutical team (heaps of different combinations of ingredients!) to get everything right and up to the standard that we’d like for our launch.
How did I chose the specific colors: I had a vision of creating a collection that is wearable on a daily basis and great for all skin tones — not too bright nor pale. I’d say through a combination of testing and personal experience, I managed to figure out that nude red (watermelon pink red) which looks coral on light skin, and soft pinks on medium and dark skin tones, would be suitable for the “day look.” And the second colour is slightly nude with a mauve-brown undertone that is suitable for that “night look.”
5. Where is Aisa Cosmetics headed next – which new products can we expect to see in the coming months? Years?
We are currently expanding in Australia and soon will be in the UK and Europe market. We’re also actively looking for distributors/partners in the North Americas and the Middle East as we feel there’s a huge potential for halal cosmetics.
Regarding new products, we are working on releasing new products/collections in the coming months. Potentially a new lip colour range or something shimmery.
6. What are your promotional strategies with Aisa Cosmetics? Islamic or modest fashion is making waves in the fashion industry and on runways – how are you taking advantage of this, if at all?
Most of what we do is really building that brand trust and organic referral from people who’ve used our products. Our goal is to establish a brand that truly embodies the spirit of female empowerment in Islam.
Over the last few years, I have seen Muslim fashion getting a lot of attention. We find more and more Muslim women are breaking that common misconception that Muslim women live under some sort of oppressive dictatorship ruled by their husbands and fathers. We’d like to be the brand thats associated with Muslim women’s self-confidence.
Beyond promotion, we’ve also partnered with this awesome charity called Gaza Sky Geeks. They focus on helping Gazan girls learn how to code. Gaza Sky Geeks is on a mission to create the most inclusive startup and tech community in the world. To ensure that women are securing investments and jobs in 5–10 years at the same rate as men, we need to support girls’ confidence now — and make sure they feel that they belong.