Sabreen Cosmetics - Clean Beauty for Women of Color

Educating and empowering women of color about the importance of using healthy and clean beauty products.

Photo of Kareemah Mustafa
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Additional categories (optional)

  • Education

Website or social media url(s) (optional): Instagram: @sabreencosmetics Facebook: Sabreen Cosmetics Twitter: @sabreencosmetic

Date You Started Your Project Started


Project Stage: Select the description below that best applies to your approach.

  • Growth (have moved past the very first activities; working towards the next level of expansion)

1. The Problem: What problem are you helping to solve?

According to the EWG, 75% of cosmetic products marketed to women of color have potentially harmful ingredients. Many of these ingredients have been linked to cancer, hormone disruption, developmental and reproductive damage and other adverse health effects. Currently, women of color are purchasing cosmetic products that are toxic and harmful. Many of these women are uneducated and uninformed about the damaging health effects.

2. Your Solution: How are you planning to solve this problem? Share your specific approach.

Sabreen Cosmetics mission is to provide a solution to the current problems in the cosmetic industry. To fill the void of lack of healthy products for women of color we created products that are all non-toxic, PETA-certified vegan and cruelty free. In October 2018 we launched our first product which is a liquid matte lipstick. Through our products, social media platforms and community engagement events we seek to educate women about the importance of using safe and healthy products. Our goal is to use our story and personal testimonies to empower women around the world to embrace their natural beauty, boost their confidence and self-esteem.

3. Personal Journey: What’s the story behind why you decided to start this project?

Sabreen Cosmetics was founded in the honor of my aunt, Nabeehah Sabreen, who passed away from Breast Cancer in 2009. Nabeehah was a strong, regal, and classy woman who placed emphasis on the importance of maintaining great health. She was an avid cosmetic consumer, purchasing products that enhanced her beauty. To preserve her legacy, we came up with the idea to create a cosmetic company in her honor. It is Sabreen Cosmetics goal to follow in her footsteps to continue to educate women about the importance of using healthy and safe cosmetics products, as well as uplift and inspire women to exude confidence to reach their full potential.

4. Selfie Elevator Pitch: Include 1-minute video that answers the following “I am stepping up to make change because...”

5. Example: Please walk us through a specific example of what happens when a person or group gets involved with your project.

People can get involved with Sabreen Cosmetics in many different ways. The first way is through our social media community (Facebook, Instagram and Twitter), on these platforms we share inspirational posts, promote diverse women and create a safe space where women can share their struggles about health, wellness and beauty. The second way is through pop-up shops. We have participated in many pop-ups sponsored by universities, women's expos and festivals where we are able to connect with all types of women and educate and provide them with clean beauty products. The last way people get involved is through panel discussions or short talks. We were invited to speak at the inaugural Brooklyn Nets Health and Wellness Expo and the WBENC Business Conference. While here we were able to bring awareness of our mission and connect with women.

6. The X Factor: What is different about your project compared to other programs or solutions already out there?

Sabreen Cosmetics seeks to serve the often underrepresented women of color in the clean beauty industry. We create products that women of all shades can use whereas other brands don't. We also use clean ingredients, our products are free of harmful ingredients. The most importance goal of our brand is educating and empowering our consumers through our social media platforms, blogs, panel discussion and products. The cosmetics industry tends to set the standard of beauty in society, our goal is to uplift the self-perception, self-esteem, and self-confidence for women of color.

7. Impact: How has your project made a difference so far?

Sabreen Cosmetics will be celebrating its one year anniversary in October 2019. Since our launch we have accomplished a lot. We have participated in over 10 popup shops, was featured in publications such a Black Enterprise, XONecole and Diversity in Steam Magazine, launched a marketing campaign that featured prominent women of color including Ms. Kiko Davis and inspired women in our community to live healthier and safer lives. Since our launch we have also engaged with hundreds of women on social network and in-person educating them about our mission. I remember meeting a women at a business conference and she told a tragic story of how she almost lost her life from using toxic makeup. From that moment on I knew what we were doing was so important and women of color need access to clean beauty products.

8. What’s Next: What are your ideas for taking your project to the next level?

Within 1-3 years our goal is to expand our product offerings of more cosmetic products. We want to become the premier clean beauty brand potentially expanding to retailers, educating and providing safe and healthy non-toxic, vegan and cruelty products for women of color. By being a brand that represents diversity and inclusion we want to inspire the beauty industry to do the same. In order for us to achieve this goal, Sabreen Cosmetics is seeking funding that will allow our brand to expand our product line to provide healthy and safe products rapidly, obtain marketing expertise to help develop educating and empowering marketing campaigns and social media strategy to grow our brand visibility via press, social media and print.

9. Which of the following types of expertise would be most useful for you?

  • Marketing Strategy

10. Finances: If applicable, have you mobilized any of the following resources so far?

  • Friend support
  • Family support
  • Sales

How did you hear about this challenge?

  • Ashoka page or contact


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