Despite the recent efforts by plenty of beauty brands to be more inclusive, the number of major makeup companies that cater to a diverse range of ethnicities is limited. Areej Sultan Al Essa is hoping to change this, by launching her very own makeup line entitled K7L (a play on the Arabic word Kohl) created specifically for the Arab woman, by the Arab woman.
“Beauty is in our DNA. It’s who we are, from putting henna on our hands as little girls to applying coconut oil to our hair after a day spent swimming in the Arabian Gulf,” Sultan Al Essa shares with Vogue.me. “These rituals were part of our daily lives so naturally we graduated to other beauty treatments. When it came to K7L, I wanted to create products as powerful as we are.” The result? A lineup of humidity-defying eyeliners, long-lasting mascaras, and heat-resistant concealers made with the Middle Eastern climate and woman in mind.
The comprehensive offering (there are over 500 products to choose from), which started with a decade of meticulous market research, includes non-toxic nail polishes, cream eyeshadows, lightweight eyelashes, and long-wearing lipsticks that last up to 24-hours. The foundations come in 15-different shades that all suit Arabian skin tones, which means one needn’t mix two or three different formulas to achieve a suitable color. “I create formulas that I believe most Arab women look for in the makeup that they choose,” admits the Kuwaiti entrepreneur.
To ensure only the best quality, all of the products in the extensive range are manufactured in five different countries, including the United States and Japan. For instance, the bristles used in the makeup brushes come from Japan and are made from a special kind of anti-microbial polyester called Taklon, which mimics human hair. As an added bonus, K7L is totally cruelty-free. “I am very passionate about animals and our products are only tested on humans,” reveals Sultan Al Essa.
Spending on cosmetics in Saudi Arabia has nearly doubled over the last ten years, from US $280 million in 2005 to US $535 million in 2015, according to data compiled and analyzed by Euromonitor, a London-based market-research firm. The time is now to launch a fresh brand with an inclusive perspective. Sultan Al Essa is not only sending a “for all” message of beauty, but impacting the way Arab women approach the industry. However, this is not to say that K7L is strictly for women with Middle Eastern or North African backgrounds. “I want K7L to continue to stand out as being innovative and to be inspired by the trends and women it was created for. I want to see all women wearing and enjoying K7L. It is for everyone.”
K7L can be purchased at TRYANO in Abu Dhabi, select flagships in Kuwait, as well as online.