Fabulously Halal

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Consumers today are more savvy and knowlegeable about what they consume and how their consumption habits affect others. Thus empowered, they seek halal and sharia-compliant products and services. By Afia R Fitriati and Cynthia Prayudi.

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Halal products are about more than just the exclusion of haram (prohibited) components such as alcohol, pork, and the meat of animals not slaughtered in the Islamic way. The consumption of halal products is part of a halal lifestyle, which is one that seeks to be in balance with the environment and all living things. Here is our selection of fabulously halal beauty products.

1. Biokos Martha Tilaar (Indonesia)

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Price: From US$19

www.marthatilaarshop.com
www.biokos.com

The brand caters to the skincare needs of women in their 20s to 40s. Biokos and its sister brands, including Sariayu and Sariayu Solusi, are all produced with the Muslim community in mind and incorporate natural plant extracts such as black tea, mulberry, ginkgo and biloba amongst others.

Lookin’ good: The Botu-Like Complex treatment line is Biokos’ patented formula that helps to treat facial lines and wrinkles.

2. Farmasi Colour Cosmetics (Turkey)

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Price: From US$4.50 for an eyeliner

www.farmasi.com.tr

Farmasi is one of the largest halal cosmetic brands in the world in terms of distribution. The Turkish company offers almost everything that a girl needs, from multi-colour eyeshadows and eyeliners to concealers and French manicure sets. Some of their lipsticks are also enriched with natural ingredients such as ginger extract and macadamia oil.

Lookin’ good: Lipstick in all shades of red, pink and brown.

3. OnePure (USA)

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Price: From US$29 for The Perfect Toner

www.onepurehalalbeauty.com

Ex-makeup artist Layla Mandi along with a chemist and a dermatologist developed OnePure, a skincare range that suits Middle Eastern and Asian skin types. OnePure applies sharia-compliance in all stages of its production chain including banking, R&D, sourcing, production, marketing and logistics.

Lookin’ good: 100% Luxe Eye Crème, enriched with camomile and aloe vera extracts.

4. Pure Halal Beauty (UK)

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Price: From £0.99 for PHB Mineral Miracles Foundation Sample

www.purehalalbeautyproducts.co.uk

We love the candy-coloured website of this UK brand as well as its tagline, “Where Beauty and Belief Co-Exist”. PHB products are free from synthetic ingredients, harsh chemicals and animal derivatives, and are not tested on animals. The company also ensures that their ingredients are ethically sourced. Their pretty packaging is made from recycled materials and is fully recyclable.

Lookin’ good: A range of products for men, mothers and babies too. There is something for everyone in the family!

5. Saaf Pure Skincare (UK)

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Price: From £9.50 for a pair of Organic Face Cloths

www.saafskincare.com

Saaf Pure Skincare, the first halal cosmetics company in Europe has a long list of certifications to prove its claims that the products are organic and vegetarian. Saaf also makes sure that their packaging is recyclable. Dr Mahvash says that 75 percent of her customers are non-Muslims, proving that the halal concept is a winning recipe in the world of beauty.

Lookin’ good: Saaf’s Complexion Boosting Serum promises to “balance oily skin” and “clear breakouts” while fighting the ageing process. Clinical trials are carefully controlled studies that test on human volunteers the safety and efficacy of new treatments, drugs, medical products or procedures.

FASHION AND ACCESSORIES

From Brazil to Indonesia, the Islamic fashion industry is teeming with creativity and consumers are spoilt for choice. Dressing modestly is no longer confined to humdrum outfits — thank goodness!

1. {r}evolution apparel (USA)

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www.revolutionapparel.is

Started by two ladies who love to explore the world, this fashionable, minimalist clothing line for women travellers was created with the belief that every purchase we make has an impact on the world. As stated on the brand’s website, “We wanted to create a business that preserved the environment, cut down on pesticide and chemical use, and said ‘no’ to the exploitative labour that keeps our clothing cheap in the [Western] world”. The company’s vision is to create an eco-ethical fashion brand from start to finish. Signature pieces are made locally using 50 percent–recycled cotton and 50 percent–recycled water bottles. They also plan to use more sustainable energy resources and unconventional zero-toxin, zero-waste fabrics.

Lookin’ good: The Versalette, a multi-functional piece that can be worn in over 15 different ways (including as a hijab).

2. Caelis (Singapore)

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Price: Starts from S$280

Caelis flickr account

This purveyor of exotic animal skin handbags borrows its name from a Latin word which means “heaven”.  The brand not only creates arm-candy for fashionistas, it is also legally authorised under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

Lookin’ good: Green Python Clasp Clutch

3. Elenany (UK)

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Price: From US$40

www.elenany.co.uk

British Muslim designer Sarah Elenany’s eponymous brand captures the essence of contemporary Islamic art-meets-urban culture. Elenany’s edgy urban fashion designs are mainly targeted at youths (or the young-at-heart) who are looking for modest attire. The clothes are designed not with fashion trends in mind and can be worn season after season. Elenany is committed to a fair and ethical manufacturing system that is in line with ETI Base Code guidelines, an internationally recognised code of labour practices that apply equally to migrant and local workers.

Lookin’ good: The Kaleidoscope Gilet Dress is a versatile and casual piece that can be worn with a variety of shirts underneath. Embellished with kaleidoscopic gold graphics, it’s both artsy and edgy.

4. Irna la perle (Indonesia)

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Price: Upon request

www.irnalaperle.com

Indonesian designer Irna Mutiara created the brand Irna la perle (“mutiara” means “pearl”) because she believes that every girl deserves to be a princess on her wedding day. Her designs are suitable for brides around the world, whether they are from Doha or Detroit. Irna la perle’s gowns follow sharia requirements for a Muslim woman’s clothing to fully cover her body without being transparent or showing her silhouette. Her creations are perfect for brides who desire to be modestly dressed. Women love their Irna la perle gowns so much that they wear them again after their weddings to attend grand parties!

Lookin’ good: Their full set of resplendent gowns, gorgeous hijab accessories and exquisite shoes.

5. Melissa (Brazil)

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Price: From US$49.95 for a pair of sandals

www.melissa.com.br

This shoe brand has only love, love and more love to offer to the environment and its customers’ feet. Melissa shoes are made using only one material, which is a highly elastic, wear-resistant and hypoallergenic plastic composite. The shoes are recyclable, excess shoe stocks are simply melted into new styles, and production leftovers are recycled in-house. Grendene, the Brazilian company that owns the brand, frequently conducts environmental talks, holds footwear donation drives to support the poor, and creates seasonal collections from which the entire royalty income is donated to selected charities. Katy Perry is an avid fan, and so are we.

Lookin’ good: The Lua Feather is a pair of sandals with colourful plastic feathers. Lightweight and playful in design, they are the perfect summer footwear.

TRAVEL AGENCIES

Have you ever found it difficult to maintain your Islamic way of life while on vacation? These halal travel agencies are bursting with services catering to the needs of Muslim travellers.

1. Indo Citra Tamasya (Indonesia)

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www.indo-ict.com

Dying to make a trip to Bangkok? How about a sightseeing tour in Beijing? Hesitate no more. Indo Citra Tamasya (ICT) is a boutique travel agency that will ensure you have a blast on your trip, without missing prayer times or starving from a lack of halal food. ICT was established by Dira, Tria and Aura, three travel-loving girls who saw an opportunity in providing halal-friendly travel services. Their thriving business has received a stamp of approval from the National Shari’ah Board – Indonesian Council of Ulama. So, what are you waiting for? Visit their website to plan your weekend getaway!

2. Irhal.com (The Middle East)

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www.irhal.com

Outbound travellers from the Middle East can make their travel plans easily with the help of Irhal.com, a website that offers travel planning assistance for Muslim travellers from the region. “Irhal” is an Arabic word meaning “go away”. With its catchy company slogan “Go away… often!” Irhal encourages customers to take advantage of its host of travel services, which include finding a halal restaurant in Greece to choosing a budget hostel in Guatemala.

So, go away with Irhal.com.

3. Serendipity (UK)

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www.serendipity.travel

With the word “Tailormade” as its company tagline, Serendipity travel agency promises its customers a customised travel experience, whether they are hitting the road for a holiday or flying the friendly skies for a honeymoon. The UK-based travel agency says that they try to make every travelling experience “as halal-friendly as possible” by avoiding, for example, winery tours in Argentina or hotels in East Asia known for its gambling facilities. Getting halal food throughout your journey should be a given when you book your travel through this agency. And for every booking you make, Serendipity will donate £2 to a charity.

It’s a good idea to check whether your hotel is halal-friendly before making a booking. Crescentrating (Singapore) has devised a halal-friendly hotel ratings system to evaluate hotels worldwide. The ratings cover six areas: prayer facilities, halal food services, guest bathroom facilities, Ramadhan facilities, recreation facilities and services, and non-halal activities.

Before you fly, be sure to visit www.crescentrating.com

This article originally appeared in the April 2012 issue of Aquila Style magazine

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