The brand 786 Cosmetics has widened the parameters of halal — or Islamically permissible — nail polish, and is now eyeing an expansion into additional beauty categories.
GlossWire revealed Thursday that the brand has won the GlossPitch competition held in partnership with Cosmoprof North America in Las Vegas earlier this month, and will take home the grand prize of $5,000 in grant funding.
More than 70 companies pitched at the trade show to a panel of judges consisting of GlossWire founder and chief executive officer Kimberly Carney, “Selling Sunset’s” Amanza Smith and CEO of mobile app and blockchain development agency DevelopingNow, Hooman Hamzeh.
The founders of 786 Cosmetics Iqra Isphahani and her husband, Ibrahim Ali, showcased their recent rebrand at the trade show, unveiling a new product look, which included updated packaging and 100 percent recyclable boxes.
“We are focused on being sustainable wherever possible,” said Isphahani, who also serves as the company’s chief marketing officer. “This rebrand came from wanting to create something a little more palatable for everybody.”
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All of the brand’s polishes are vegan, cruelty-free and water-permeable — the latter being the key element that qualifies the product as halal.
Because Muslims pray five times daily, they partake in a body-cleansing ritual before each one called wudu, which translates to “ablution,” with the aim of entering prayer in as clean of a state as possible.
While most nail polishes on the market create a barrier over the nail that prevents water from reaching the nail bed, thus rendering one’s wudu incomplete, Ali and Isphahani founded Cosmetics 786 in 2017 with the goal of offering a breathable alternative to existing polishes on the market.
“A lot of Muslims have historically felt that they need to stay away from nail polish,” Isphahani said. “Our goal has always been to develop an inclusive brand in what we see as an undervalued market.”
The brand’s mission struck a chord with the GlossPitch judges panel at Cosmoprof, with real-estate-agent-turned-reality-TV-star Smith saying in a statement that she believes nail artistry is presently “the most important trend” in beauty, and that she “immediately connected” with 786 Cosmetics’ sustainability-minded, breathable solution to nail care.
While 786 Cosmetics’ core consumer is the Muslim community, the brand seeks to serve consumers of all walks who value cruelty-free products. With its winnings, the brand plans to expand its reach into additional categories, naming mascara, eyelash serums and (pork gelatin-free, halal-certified) biotin gummies as products it has in the pipeline.
Coming in second place at the GlossPitch competition — which marks the second one held in partnership with Cosmoprof — was body care and lifestyle brand Joy of Beauty, which was granted $2,000, while third place was a tie between olive oil soap company Le Joyau d’Olive and scalp care company Bea’s Bayou Skincare, which were each granted $1,000.