As Muslims, we often find ourselves reading food labels to ensure the halal status. But would you think to do so in the cosmetics aisle?

Shamalia Mohamed did. She is the founder of Amara Cosmetics, the first company in North America to provide only halal-certified makeup manufactured in the United States. Mohamed explains, “I wanted to create a brand for Muslim ladies where they don’t need to read the cosmetic labels before they purchase the products.”

Many mainstream cosmetics are made with alcohol, gelatin, and animal fats, though the labels often don’t spell them out in terms most of us are familiar with.

Concerned about the ingredients in the makeup you’re currently using? With Amara Cosmetics, you don’t have to be. Mohamed insists she “wanted to make it easy for our [Muslim] community.” What could be easier than looking for the Crescent-M logo? All Amara products are halal-certified by IFANCA, except, of course, for the makeup brushes, and they all display the Crescent-M logo on the outside packaging.

Mohamed chose IFANCA for halal certification because she felt comfortable discussing the project with IFANCA staff. “The staff was very helpful in guiding me with the ingredients and all the procedures that went into developing the product.” Still, she admits it was very challenging in the beginning to obtain this halal status. She says the factories she was working with needed to alter their formula according to IFANCA requirements, as many of the ingredients found in mainstream products do not comply with halal standards.

Currently, Amara Cosmetics can only be purchased online at But, Mohamed has her sights set on making Amara available in retail stores. “It’s important that the cosmetics industry makes halal an accessible option for practicing Muslims.” As a consumer, you can help in this endeavor by making it known there is a demand for halal products wherever you usually purchase your makeup.

Mohamed is doing her fair share of spreading the word to the Muslim public that “halal isn’t limited to what is consumed as food but also applies to what is put on our skin.” She’s taken Amara overseas to trade shows in Dubai and participated in local community events to educate Muslims on the need for her products.

As stated on the website, “We can all be pretty and worry free.”

Got a question? Contact Amara Cosmetics at 818.783.6126 or via email at


IFANCA Halal-Certified Amara Cosmetics Include:

  • Lipstick
  • Lip gloss
  • Pressed powder foundation
  • Liquid foundation
  • Blush/bronzer
  • Eyeshadow
  • Mascara

Check out the article on page 28 (“Caring for the Skin God Gave Us”) to learn more about the relationship between skincare and halal status.