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Israeli-born man makes halal nail polish for Muslims

Orly cosmetics company turns its Breathable varnish into an acceptable option for observant women

Jessica Steinberg covers the Sabra scene from south to north and back to the center.

One of the Muslim Girl x Orly halal-certified nail polishes in the cosmetic company's Breathable line (Courtesy Orly)
One of the Muslim Girl x Orly halal-certified nail polishes in the cosmetic company's Breathable line (Courtesy Orly)

It took an Israeli-born cosmetics entrepreneur to create a halal-certified nail polish that’s “kosher” for practicing Muslims.

Orly, a nail polish company founded by Israeli-born Jeff Pink, collaborated with website MuslimGirl.com to create #HalalPaint, a capsule collection of six nail polish colors that cater to Muslim women.

“This line is important because there are so many girls and young women who aren’t represented in mainstream beauty,” said Azmia Magane, MuslimGirl.com chief of staff, in a press release. “They either don’t fit that definition or see things about them that are designed without them, instead of for them and by them. This is our way of bridging that gap.”

Some Muslim women avoid wearing nail polish for religious reasons.

The polish creates a barrier on their nails against water, which is a problem when performing “wudu,” the ritual ablution done before prayer, when water must touch every part of the body.

The capsule collection of halal-certified nail polish has six colors (Courtesy Orly)
The capsule collection of halal-certified nail polish has six colors (Courtesy Orly)

Orly touts its “Breathable” formula for nail polish, saying it allows both oxygen and moisture to pass through the layer of polish. It’s also vegan, cruelty-free and halal-certified, the company says.

The nail polish company got a lot of buzz among practicing Muslims when it launched its porous Breathable collection in 2016. MuslimGirl’s Magane reached out to Orly, looking to create a beauty experience that was customized for Muslim women, by Muslim women.

Like Orly founder Pink, who was a makeup artist in Hollywood in the 1970s before launching the Los Angeles-based Orly, Magane had also worked as a makeup artist while studying social work, but tired of the constraints of the beauty industry, as she wrote recently in Elle Magazine.

#HalalPaint, however, offered a viable alternative.

That wasn’t the intended aim when Orly began working on its Breathable collection. The company had noticed the need for healthier nail polish in the market, said John Galea, a company spokesperson.

“Treatments were on the rise, and although consumers were concerned about nail health, they didn’t want to go without color,” said Galea.

When MuslimGirl’s Magane reached out to Orly, the partnership seemed obvious.

There are other benefits to #HalalPaint, said Tal Pink, Orly’s digital director. The company’s Breathable line is infused with argan oil, Pro Vitamin B5 and Vitamin C, and the permeability of the polish allows oxygen and moisture to reach the nail.

The nail polishes feature clever names like “Haram-Bae” and “Wallah Bro Wipe Out,” as well as familiar Muslim names like “What the Fatima?” “Ig-Noor the Haters,” and “The Perfect Amani-cure,” named after MuslimGirl.com’s founder, Amani Al-Khatahtbeh.

“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,” said Al-Khatahtbeh.

The Orly brand name is named for Jeff Pink’s wife, Orly.

The limited edition collection launched on June 3 on halalpaint.com and retails for $49.

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