By Amaris Taylor
Minara El-Rahman found herself in an underrepresented predicament when having to choose between a high-risk pregnancy and beauty. Due to doctor’s health restrictions, being of melanin skin and of Islamic faith, she was at a loss when looking for beauty brands that were vegan, pigmented and halal. Sharing a passion to bridge the gap between health and beauty with her friend Jasmine Dayal, the duo launched Mora Cosmetics; an eco- conscious option for women of color by women of color. This diverse and inclusive brand and it’s products are designed with intentionality to highlight and feature the natural beauty within a diverse array of shade ranges.
“I believe in utilizing products that you can feel good about to amplify your own natural beauty in whatever way you feel most confident. Beauty can help you learn about yourself and also help you show people who you are,” El-Rahman tells thirteen lune.
Brand awareness is the founders biggest focus. A high point for Mora came when their Satin Sheen Multistick appeared on actress Cynthia Nixon during the 2021 Golden Globe awards, a look created for the Sex and The City actress by celebrity makeup artist Matin Maulawizada. Since then, Mora Cosmetics has appeared in Vogue and has gained traction with a loyal customer base who appreciate the smooth application of the products and the deep pigmentation suited for all skin tones.
“I would love to see brands think deeply about diversity and inclusivity,” says El-Rahman. “Rather than just feature one token model in a single campaign, wouldn’t it be more inclusive to showcase a whole array of beauty? And create a space for everyone, especially people who have been ignored by the beauty industry for far too long.”
Get to Know – Minara El-Rahman and Jasmine Dayal
What was the impetus to start your brand?
Minara: Personally, it started when I was expecting my second child. My doctor told me to avoid beauty products that weren’t clean since it was a high-risk pregnancy. Yet, when I looked for clean beauty products, I didn’t see any clean beauty products that were high-performance and pigmented enough for my darker skin. I also noticed that there weren’t any beauty products carried in North American retailers that were labeled halal (permissible in Islam). This inspired me to create Mora Cosmetics, a beauty brand that is clean, vegan, AND halal.
Jasmine: I really wanted to see more eco-conscious and vegan options for women of color by women of color. I have a medium skin tone so the fact that I struggled to find options astounded me.
Do you have a beauty philosophy? What is it?
Minara: I truly believe in beauty minimalism. I appreciate enhancing the beauty that is within versus masking it.
Jasmine: I believe in utilizing products that you can feel good about to amplify your own natural beauty in whatever way you feel most confident. Beauty can help you learn about yourself and also help you show people who you are.
What were some of your first memories of beauty growing up? What are some early beauty influences?
Minara: My first memory of beauty growing up was when I was 6 years old. My uncle was getting married and took me along to pick out gifts for his fiancee. While we were at a department store, he indulgently offered to buy me a gift and picked a Lancome lipstick in a slim gold bullet with the rose on top. I kept that lipstick for way too long! I have been a beauty lover ever since!
Jasmine: Growing up my older sister was definitely a major influence on me. She used to do my makeup for me for every party we would go to and taught me a lot about makeup in practice.
What does self-care look like in your life?
Minara: As a busy mom, self-care is all about making time for beauty. I always take the time to take care of my skin and do my beauty routine.
Jasmine: I love to splurge when it comes to self-care and beauty in general. I try to incorporate new products into my routine and have definitely elongated my daily routine during the pandemic.
What inspires you most about the beauty landscape and industry today?
Minara: I am so impressed at how many beauty brands are being helmed by women of color, especially in the clean beauty space. It makes me so hopeful for the beauty industry.
Jasmine: I am in awe of the growing diversity. Not just in product formulations but in emerging brands focused on underserved populations and being helmed by incredibly inspiring founders and women of color.
What would you like to see more of in the beauty industry when it comes to diversity and inclusivity?
Minara: I would love to see brands think deeply about diversity and inclusivity. Rather than just feature one token model in a single campaign, wouldn’t it be more inclusive to showcase a whole array of beauty? 13 lune is a trailblazer because it creates a space for everyone, especially people who have been ignored by the beauty industry for far too long.
Jasmine: I would love to see more diversity in pretty much every level of the industry that could bring in diverse perspectives as well as show vital representation.