Although this year’s National Day celebrations won’t be the usual party and firework filled affair, we’re still feeling celebratory. And what better way to honor our hometown than by pampering ourselves with all-organic body buffers, holistic mists, citrusy scents, and cruelty-free makeup buys, that are made right here in Dubai? Yes, you may not realize it, but these 15 beauty brands are all homegrown, and the perfect way to #supportlocal this year.
Shirley Conlon Organics
Born into an Irish family that consumed homemade, homegrown, and natural as much as possible, Shirley Conlon went on to create her own line of all-organic skincare products. After studying cosmetology in London, she moved to Dubai and was shocked by how many people suffered from skin problems – leading her to think, “Why not create clean, pure, and effective products that won’t stress out skin?”. Free from chemical nasties and packed with potent botanical extracts, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and essential oils, there’s everything from serums and cleansers to masks to look after your skin from the inside out.
Shirley Conlon Organics ‘Hydrating Serum’
Shirley Conlon Organics
When it comes to all-natural, Ayurveda-inspired products, Herbal Essentials should be just that: your essentials. This chemical-free range of skincare products is infused with pure Himalayan spring water that passes through natural layers of rock, sand, and clay over the course of 20 years and is loaded with mighty macro minerals. Whether you opt for a moisturizing mask, calming face cream, or soothing serum, you’ll look good while doing good as one percent of this company’s global sales go straight to supporting environmental protection.
Herbal Essentials ‘Purifying Face Wash’
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll have heard (a lot) about Huda Kattan and her sell-out brand Huda Beauty. Dubbed the most influential beauty brand in the world with over 48 million followers on Instagram, Kattan is the creator of some of the market’s best-selling products – lashes, liquid lipsticks, highlighters, eyeshadow palettes, and foundation included. Having trained in Hollywood, this Dubai-based Queen of Beauty has learned from the very best to ensure her products deliver seriously impressive results.
Huda Beauty ‘NUDE Obsessions’ Eyeshadow Palette
Speaking of Huda Beauty, 2018 saw the Kattan sisters launch their new perfume line, Kayali. Teaming up with renowned French perfume house Firmenich, they have created a collection of four stunning scents ranging from the fresh but feminine ‘CITRUS | 08’ to the heady and seductive ‘ELIXIR | 11’. Inspired by the Middle Eastern tradition of scent layering, they are designed to be worn alone or paired with another, allowing you to mix and match according to your mood.
Kayali ‘ELIXIR | 11 Perfume’
Okay, there’s one more beauty venture from the Kattans (for now), and that’s Wishful – a cruelty-free skincare line packed full of complexion-soothing ingredients inspired by Huda’s own skin problems. Free from parabens, sulfates, and phthalates – and instead packed full of nourishing, natural goodness (honey, turmeric, fruit enzymes, and botanical oils included), there’s everything from a beautifying cleansing balm to a glow-boosting enzyme scrub and skin evening rose oil, which Huda dubs her “magic oil”, to answer all your skincare wishes.
Wishful ‘Clean Genie Cleansing Butter’
If you’re after some of the best beauty brushes in the business, look no further than Odist – a luxury homegrown brand that launched during a global pandemic to instant success. Founded by Amy Hanbury, who saw the need for a Middle Eastern brush brand backed by responsible values, the brand boasts 10 100 percent vegan and cruelty-free brushes developed to the highest possible standards. They’re so good, in fact, that they come with a two-year guarantee, and they’ll help you achieve everything from flawless foundation coverage to smudging out the ultimate smoky eye.
Odist ‘Essential 10 Makeup Brushes’
After trying every product and medical prescription available when suffering from severe acne as a teenager, Sarah Al Musili saw an opportunity to create vegan, cruelty-free, nourishing skincare without drying, harsh side-effects. Working alongside leading industry professionals, she carried out extensive research and trials that armed her with the knowledge to create additive-free skincare that effectively tackles breakouts and acne while restoring the skin’s natural glow. Packed full of natural ingredients known for their beauty-boosting abilities, there’s everything from an activated charcoal and matcha mask to a chickpea, turmeric, and cinnamon cleanser, and soothing rosewater, aloe vera, and witch hazel toner to transform skin from within.
By Noussou ‘Eastern Spice & Everything Nice Facial Cleanser’
Aspire Beauty Co.
For all things flash lashes, look no further than Lash Dubai. Founded by two lash lovers in 2014, it’s now one of the biggest and best false-lash brands available in the Middle East. From full sets to individual lashes, from daring and dramatic to soft and subtle, there’s a product for everyone. What’s more, they’re all handmade using top-quality, cruelty-free mink hair, silk, synthetic fibers, or human hair. It’s also a brand that gives back; Lash Dubai has already funded an orphanage in Syria, with more projects to follow.
Lash Dubai ‘Hend’ Lashes
Whether you’re after a spray to help you sleep, a migraine-fixing mist, a remedy to help you relax, or even a cleaning spray for your yoga mat, Mr. Fox has the cure. An independent niche brand with products that are completely organic, handmade, fair trade, cold-pressed, sustainable, and ethically sourced, it harnesses the best botanicals to reconnect us with Mother Nature. Using essential oils known for their powerful therapeutic properties, the mists by Mr. Fox have been expertly blended to reset our minds and bodies from the inside out, making them the perfect pick-me-up to keep in your handbag.
Mr. Fox ‘Relax Max’ Spray
A mother, wife, and influential Emirati businesswoman, Dr. Lamees Hamdan has achieved tremendous success around the world with her Shiffa products. After looking for a natural solution to prevent stretch marks during the early months of her pregnancy, she ended up creating her very own product based on natural oils with accurate ratios, which she knew from her work as a dermatologist. Fast forward to now, and Shiffa has won countless awards, is sold around the world, and boasts a range of products from skincare to fragrances and more.
Shiffa ‘Balancing Facial Toner’
Created by Emirati perfumer Amna Al Habtoor, Arcadia fragrances are pure perfection. Made from the highest quality ingredients and completely cruelty- and chemical-free, each scent has been created to evoke a sense of nostalgia. From the saffron-infused ‘Splinter’ that pays tribute to the innocence of childhood to the bold and musky ‘Hassaku High’ that makes its presence known, you’ll fall in love with these scents with just a spritz. Even better? The brand recently relaunched with sustainable packaging made from recycled materials in the UAE as well as a new website that makes navigating the brand a breeze. Win-win.
Arcadia ‘Hassaku High’ Perfume
After moving to Dubai in 2005, Mouna Abassy struggled to find beauty products that were simple, pure, and natural like those she used to use in Morocco – and that’s how Izil was born. Inspired by nature and created using the traditional recipes passed on by her mother and grandmother, each product is rich in all-natural goodness (think: argan oil, saffron, and rosewater galore) and shuns synthetic colors, preservatives, and parabens. There’s everything from at-home hammam soaps and body masks to nourishing hair oils, green-tea face scrubs, and rich sandalwood body lotions to pamper you from top to toe.
Izil ‘Re-Mineralizing Body Mask’
The Dubai Dolls
Inspired by Dubai’s ever-changing, multicultural environment, Canadian duo Gayatri Sagar and Priya Judge made it their mission to create a makeup line dedicated to the city of Dubai. Recognizing that the definition of beauty is to be your most authentic self, inside and out, they sought to celebrate diversity and individuality with a collection of bold, bright lip colors all named after iconic Dubai locations. Whether you pick the bright coral ‘La Mer’, the rich red ‘The Burj’, or the hot fuchsia ‘Marina’, your pout will not only be perfectly coated with a slick of cool, cruelty-free color but also two percent of all sales go to improving young girls’ access to quality education and healthy meals in developing countries.
The Dubai Dolls ‘The Burj’
The Dubai Dolls
The Simplicity Line
What started out as founder Karissa Stelma questioning how her fertility was affected by what touched her skin is now The Simplicity Line, a collection of organic skincare products for women looking to nourish their bodies from the outside in. Its debut product ‘Nine’ is a “stretch mark savior” named quite literally after the number of ingredients in it – shea butter and pomegranate oil included – and designed to reduce stretch marks and keep skin hydrated throughout pregnancy (and beyond).
The Simplicity Line ‘Nine’ Balm
The Simplicity Line
Bringing a whole new meaning to the words “fresh-faced”, KJ Serums is the only UAE based brand to offer made to order, 100 percent fresh, handmade skincare products, brought to you via temperature-controlled delivery, every month. Created by Kathryn Jones, whose experience lies in biopharmaceuticals and making life-saving medicines, each blend was inspired by the skin concerns of men and women in the region and are perfect for hot and humid climates. Following the ethos “fresh = effective”, each serum has been specifically formulated to preserve the skin’s natural balance while delivering a dose of fresh, active ingredients – without unnecessary additives – to ensure maximum effectiveness and results.
KJ Serums ‘SkinKarma’