Beauty and fashion brands are increasingly looking for ways to cater to Muslim clientele ― a move that makes sense, since globally, Islam is the fasting growing major religion in the world.
As part of that trend, the Los Angeles-based nail polish company ORLY has teamed up with MuslimGirl.com, a lifestyle website for Muslim women, to release a limited-edition collection of six nail polishes.
#HalalPaint, which debuted during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, features nail polishes that are made from 100 percent halal ingredients. The Arabic word “halal” simply means permissible, and is used to denote items that fit within various religious requirements.
In the case of nail polish, this means that the ORLY polishes are permeable to water and air. This is important because of a ritual washing, called wudhu, that Muslims perform before prayers.
As part of the ritual, Muslims are instructed to wash their hands and arms, up to the elbow. Water must reach all parts of the hands. Some Muslim women forego wearing nail polish because they are concerned it may interfere with this requirement, since it may act as a barrier and prevent water from reaching their nails. For those who have this concern, “halal” nail polish is a potential solution.
#HalalPaint’s “breathable” technology reportedly makes it possible for both oxygen and water to pass through the layer of paint on a molecular level.
ORLY also claims the formula results in longer wear and less chipping, and eliminates the need for basecoats or topcoats. It’s also infused with nutrients like argan oil and vitamin C.
ORLY certainly isn’t the first company to produce halal nail polish. Other brands, such as Poland-based Inglot Cosmetics and the Canadian company Tuesday in Love, have also created nail polishes they claim are water permeable.
Islamic scholars have had varied responses to halal nail polishes ― from those who are cautiously optimistic about the trend, to those who are concerned that these polishes may invalidate the ritual washing before prayer. To be absolutely certain they’re not doing so, some Muslim women choose to only wear nail polish during their periods, when they are not required to pray. Others wear water permeable nail polish during prayer, and think of the trend as an interesting new way to adhere to their faith.
#HalalPaint claims it is certified halal by the Islamic Society of The Washington Area.
MuslimGirl.com’s chief of staff Azmia Magane said she feels the collection is important because it highlights an American beauty brand’s desire to cater to Muslim women.
“This line is important because there are so many girls and young women who aren’t represented in mainstream beauty. They either don’t fit that definition or see things about them that are designed without them, instead of for them and by them,” MuslimGirl.com chief of staff Azmia Magane said in a press release. “This is our way of bridging that gap.”
#HalalPaint’s polishes were given names that would be instantly recognizable to American Muslim women ― including titles that cheekily play with common Muslim names, like “What the Fatima?”, “Ig-Noor the Haters,” and “The Perfect Amani-cure.”
“Many of us are the girls who could never find our names on a keychain, so we wanted to make sure we provided that experience through this collection,” MuslimGirl.com founder Amani Al-Khatahtbeh said in the release.
The collection of six nail polishes is selling for $49 (plus shipping and taxes) at www.halalpaint.com.