Organic, natural, cruelty-free and vegan are just a few of the many specialised markets in the beauty industry that are gaining the public’s attention. However, it’s an entirely new ballgame when it comes to certified-halal beauty or skincare products. Which was why when PrettySuci went live in March 2017, it managed to create a strong buzz among the beauty community. And when I say the beauty community, I mean beauty junkies and beauty lovers from all over the world. The first homegrown digital halal beauty platform allows you to shop in the knowledge that anything you buy will be of the highest quality and safe not just for Muslims, but for all as well. So who are the beauty buffs behind PrettySuci?
Which are they: Childhood friends or family relatives?
TUNKU DATO’ KAIYISAH KAMIL IKRAM: Sort of both. But way before our families were connected by marriage, we were already childhood best friends. And apart from being business partners, we are also neighbours now.
NATASHA MOHAMMAD OZEIR: [Laughs] I promise you we didn’t arrange this to happen. It was purely coincidental that my family decided to get a house in the same neighbourhood as Kaiyisah.
KAIYISAH: Shocking, but true. Her house is just down the road from mine. She can’t live without me, I guess.
PrettySuci is not their first business venture together.
KAIYISAH: Well, back in our early 20s, both of us would organise our own bazaars to raise funds for our own vacations.
NATASHA: Oh yeah! We would go through our closets and filter through all of our stuff one by one. We’d also go around distributing flyers in the neighbourhood to create some buzz. We even got all of our family members, maids and drivers involved.
KAIYISAH: There was a lot of work that needed to be done prior to the event but it was fun nonetheless. Our parents were surprisingly supportive. They even got their own friends to come over. But more importantly, we were happy to have the sufficient amount to go for our trips at the end. It was a very rewarding experience.
Nor is it their last
NATASHA: Apart from PrettySuci, we also co-own a credit recovery firm.
KAIYISAH: Both of us are from a public relations background. So this is something relatively new. But we do like a challenge and don’t mind spending time studying the business from scratch to fully understand it. It keeps us focused.
Skincare vs makeup: I would rather splurge on…
KAIYISAH: I’m a big believer of all things natural and organic. And chemicals are a big “no” to me, especially when I have to use it on my skin. Which is why I’m a fanatic when it comes to organic brands like Naveen and Caudalie.
NATASHA: I don’t think I have a favourite brand in mind. I can’t think of one right now.
KAIYISAH: No way. You were going nuts about La Mer’s eye cream just a few days ago.
The first beauty purchase.
KAIYISAH: This I will always remember! Simple, I got it myself from Guardian. Makeups I would normally “take” from my mum. All the M.A.C, Chanel, Estee Lauder and what not. I remember my favourite product from the stash was a Chanel eye palette.
NATASHA: Even though I’m now living in KL, I would say I’m still pretty much an “island plantation” girl. I’m not as detailed when it comes to beauty products. My mother, on the other hand, is very particular and she was the one who constantly bought brands like Dior, Clinique or Chanel for me. But if you really need an answer from me, I guess my first beauty purchase was a La Mer face cream which I bought just five or six years ago.
KAIYISAH: Come to think of it, the majority of our aunts have really good skin. I’m not sure if it is either genetics or due to the skincare products they use.
NATASHA: I mean, they do have good skin but I think I’m more of a hair, mani and padi kind of person. I hardly focus on the face.
KAIYISAH: [Eye-rolling] She says that now but she has been obsessed with finding the perfect foundation lately.
NATASHA: I mean it’s just a phase. It’ll wear off soon enough.
How would you describe your style?
NATASHA: I would like to think I dress like Rihanna, but sadly I don’t.
KAIYISAH: You think you are not, but you are. You’re so in love with off-shoulder now…
NATASHA: The thing is, I like to experiment with different things. I don’t mind wearing red jeans and all. I can even run out with a tutu dress out of the blue. My style highly depends on how I feel on that day.
KAIYISAH: I guess this makes me the dull one. I’m the jeans-and-shirt kind of girl but I do have my moment where I’d want to be a bit more girly with dresses. As a mum, I’d need to run around, doing errands and all. When I’m heading out for dinners or just meeting up for luncheons, that’s when I’d dress myself up a bit. However, I do have a soft spot for shoes and bags.
NATASHA: Oh yes, Kaiyisah has the best collection!
KAIYISAH: It helps when you have people around you who have the same passion as you [laughs]. Me, my sisters and my mum would share our jewellery and bags among ourselves.
What is the one product that you can’t live without?
KAIYISAH: I can’t decide which is more important so I have to say I have two products that I can’t live without, namely moisturiser and lipstick.
NATASHA: Ou, I have to agree on the moisturiser. It gives you that glowy, dewy look that can help lift your overall presence.
Any pet peeves when it comes to makeup?
NATASHA: Erm… I don’t think I have one… If it helps, I’m still working on mastering the smokey eyes makeup.
KAIYISAH: Speaking of smokey eyes, I’m not a big fan of the pink and purple hologram kind of eye makeup. It’s too funky for me and it’s something I can never understand.
The one makeup product every girl should own or learn to use?
BOTH: PrettySuci lip creams, of course [laughs]!
Any personal favourite items at PrettySuci that our readers should try?
NATASHA: Honestly, we love everything at PrettySuci and I’m not lying when I say I only use or advocate things that I like. Quality is something both of us strongly believe in, which is why we only stock products that we personally will use.
KAIYISAH: Exactly! There is really nothing that we dislike at PrettySuci. But Le Mia and Argania are a couple of the top brands that are highly sought after by our followers.