Meet The Founder, Sabreen Cosmetics
Introducing HelloYUTY, a series where we journey alongside inspirational individuals to learn about the impact beauty has had on their lives.
Next in the HelloYUTY series, we’re speaking with Saliah, Najiyyah and Kareemah. The US-based founders of clean, cruelty-free and sustainable cosmetics brand, Sabreen Cosmetics. These sisters are dedicated to preserving their aunt's legacy by continuing to educate and empower women of colour in the clean beauty industry.
Describe the moment that birthed the idea for Sabreen Cosmetics
In 2016, Saliah, Najiyyah and Kareemah founded Sabreen Cosmetics. It took roughly two years to turn an idea into an actual business and in October 2018 we officially launched Sabreen Cosmetics. Our aunt Nabeehah Sabreen, passed away from Breast Cancer in 2009. One day Saliah was reminiscing about our aunt Nabeehah and the idea to start a cosmetic company in her honor came to her and the next day she took steps to establish the company. Throughout our research and development phase also we learned that “Less than 25% of products marketed to Black women scored low in potentially hazardous ingredients.” This inspired us to also fill the void of healthy and safe products in the cosmetic industry. Sabreen means patience and endurance. We wanted to name the company Sabreen to honor our aunt’s legacy.
What was the vision for the brand?
Sabreen Cosmetics seeks to serve the often-underrepresented women of color in the clean cosmetic beauty industry by empowering, educating, and providing luxury, clean and sustainable, vegan and cruelty-free products. Our vision is to build long-lasting brand equity with our consumers, whom we affectionately call “Sabreen Queens,” in order to become the primary luxury clean beauty brand that serves women of color now and for future generations globally.
What’s a defining piece of feedback you’ve had about the brand that validated what you’re doing?
It’s hard to pinpoint one specific piece of feedback that validated what we were doing, but over the years interacting with so many amazing women and hearing how our brand story, mission and products resonate with them, is truly amazing. The positive and negative feedback pushes us to refine our business and continue to create products that serve women of color.
What’s the best thing about where you live?
Sabreen Cosmetics is located in the Washington DC area. The best thing about where we live is that we are surrounded by so many different cultures, thought leaders, and people. We are able to learn and grow from different perspectives. We are able to pull inspiration from our surroundings and add it to the business. Washington DC is considered an entrepreneur ecosystem for Black people, being in such a unique environment, you are able to learn and network with so many entrepreneurs right in your backyard
How has your upbringing influenced who you are today?
Growing up in a traditional family, our parents instilled the values of integrity, discipline, excellence, respect, and love. With their guidance and values in hand, it heavily influenced and shaped the women we are today. Our parents have always taught us that anything we want in life is achievable through diligent hard work, dedication, and etiquette. We are immensely grateful to have supportive parents who support our business and personal endeavors. We love you mom and dad ! Finally, our beloved aunt, Nabeehah Sabreen, heavily influenced us, as she was someone that instilled in us the importance of hard work, integrity, the importance of self-care, kindness, strength, and be courageous!
What’s been the most valuable makeup advice you’ve received?
Less is more. We believe that you do not need tons of products to have a snatched face. Understanding how to properly apply your makeup is key to creating a signature look that you love!
Describe your skincare/makeup regime and the one product you can’t live without
Currently, we are loving Nolaskinsentials skin products. Some of the products we use in our regimen include their Omega Kale Cleanser, DulseFlora Toner, Revitalizing Serum, Vitamin C Moisturizer, Ultra Glow + Protect Serum, Arame Eye Cream, they are truly amazing!
Describe what makes you look and feel good?
First a balanced, calm, and confident spirit. If our minds are at peace and I am happy I normally feel great. This addition to a really chic outfit, a beautiful hairstyle, simple makeup with of course a Sabreen Cosmetics lippie, and a nice luxury fragrance. Looking good normally makes us feel amazing!
What has your role at Sabreen Cosmetics taught you about yourself?
Sabreen Cosmetics has refined our discipline, patience, communication, and team-working skills. It has forced us to grow individually to pour everything into Sabreen Cosmetics.
Who inspires you most in either life, beauty, fashion or music?
Surprisingly, we are inspired by our family legacy in the past and are inspired through this brand to build a company that will stand the test of time. Fashion and Music also served as a pillar of inspiration for all of us. We are heavily inspired by Soul, Funk, Hip-Hop and R&B, and its roots. Fashion is something that we display in our unique ways, and when we collectively collaborate with our uniqueness, we are able to create amazing things.