UK blogger Amena Khan joins viral campaign celebrating strong women

Amena Khan made headlines earlier this year when she stepped down from a L’Oreal campaign due to tweets she posted in 2014. (@amenaofficial)
Updated 03 March 2018
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UK blogger Amena Khan joins viral campaign celebrating strong women

DUBAI: Hijab-wearing British fashion blogger Amena Khan is taking part in a campaign celebrating women with The Body Shop, she announced on her Instagram page on Friday.
Dubbed the #FORSTRONGWOMEN campaign, the drive encourages women to nominate a women who has “guided, empowered and inspired” them by uploading a picture and a brief description of the nominee to The Body Shop’s website. Nominations end on March 11 and the lucky winners will receive a weekend break away and beauty hampers.
The Muslim beauty blogger is taking part in the campaign and nominated make-up artist Paula Durance in a heart-warming video sponsored by The Body Shop.
Leicester-based make-up specialist Durance overcame a childhood of bullying over her hearing disability to build her own business.
In the video spotlighting Durance and her achievements, Khan explains why she is taking part in the campaign.
“This Mother’s Day, I’m working with The Body Shop to celebrate all the strong women who have inspired us.”
Of Durance, she said: “She’s positive, supportive, fierce and fabulous.”
“Having strong, supportive, authentic friends in your circle is a blessing. Today I’m celebrating strong women everywhere with @thebodyshop,” she added on her Instagram page, before encouraging other women to upload their own nominations.
Khan made headlines earlier this year when she became the first woman wearing a headscarf to feature in a major mainstream hair campaign for L’Oreal.
However, controversy ensued when just a couple of days after the announcement Khan stepped down due to anti-Israel tweets she made in 2014 during the Israel-Gaza conflict.
Taking to Instagram Jan. 21, the British beauty blogger said: “I deeply regret the content of the tweets I made in 2014, and sincerely apologize for the upset and hurt they have caused.

Making a reference to the L’Oreal campaign, she added: “I recently took part in a campaign, which excited me because it celebrated inclusivity.

“With deep regret, I’ve decided to step down from this campaign because the current conversations surrounding it detract from the positive and inclusive sentiment it set out to deliver.”


Startup of the Week: Coco Sabon’s natural skincare

Coco Sabon. (Supplied)
Updated 21 May 2019
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Startup of the Week: Coco Sabon’s natural skincare

  • Coco Sabon’s customers are mostly Arab women aged between 20 and 40, “though we have many loyal fans that span different age groups and come from all over the world”

RIYADH: The healing and relaxing powers of nature are at the heart of Coco Sabon’s philosophy.
Launched by Dr. Cynthia Mosher — an American living in Riyadh — the skincare firm is committed to sourcing high-quality, natural oriental ingredients that provide the skin with gentle care and nourishment.
“I launched Coco Sabon in November 2015 at Alfaisal University’s first bazaar,” she said.
Mosher, who completed a bachelor of science in natural health sciences, said she hoped to do something more than simply diagnose illnesses and prescribe treatments. She also wanted to have time for other important things and people, so now she is working as an educator, training a new generation of medical students.
She encourages people to make healthy choices when it comes to ingredients they use on their bodies.
“I fell in love with formulating and creating beautiful, natural skincare products. I continued my creative journey while pursuing my medical degree, which deepened my commitment to develop ‘do no harm’ skincare based on natural ingredients,” she said.
“Layered with my admiration of Arabian culture, the rich regional ingredients, and my passion for integrative medicine, I developed a deep sense of holistic self-care that guides my formulations. My love for the fragrances, natural remedies and skincare routines of the Middle East are the heart and soul of Coco Sabon.”
There is a growing demand for Coco Sabon products. “After years of requests from family and friends to make and sell my products, I tested the waters, so to speak. We sold out of everything that day.”
She added: “About six weeks later we were invited to participate at the Gathering in Al-Bujairi in January 2016. We had a crowd of customers nonstop for three days and again sold out of everything. It was a decisive weekend. Coco Sabon was born and we have not looked back since.”
Mosher’s family and friends offered encouragement, but one of her strongest supporters was her best friend, Audrey Wilkinson. She said: “Audrey was my supporter, helper and adviser. She now works with me, formulating and producing our candles, cremes and face care line.”
Coco Sabon’s customers are mostly Arab women aged between 20 and 40, “though we have many loyal fans that span different age groups and come from all over the world.”
The brand offers a wide range of products, including soap, bath bombs, scrubs, cremes, face and body oils, perfumes and candles.
“Everything is produced by hand in small batches here in Riyadh using natural, safe and organic ingredients, sourced locally wherever possible,” Mosher said.
Coco Sabon believes in supporting local businesses and in sourcing the best ingredients possible. The store also designs its packaging and hand packages, labels and wraps each item, selling through an online store (cocosabon.com), Instagram, WhatsApp, and local popup shop events.
Mosher has also started offering workshops on making her products.
“Some might think that to be unwise because I could very well teach a future competitor,” she said. “Well, that’s true for the medical students I teach now. Should I withhold my knowledge for fear of them becoming better doctors and doing better? Of course not. The more knowledge we put out there, the better our society will be. The workshops also help build community.
“I connect with people who are curious, who want to learn how to create and how to make good choices for their health. I welcome workshop students young and older (my youngest so far was just 6 years old), and I encourage them to take what they learn and use it to improve their lives and that of others around them. If they make a business out of doing so, then good for them. We all have something to offer the world,” she said.
Mosher is happy that she created a job she loves. “Sometimes I miss practicing clinical medicine, but I remind myself that I am helping people make healthier choices for their bodies, their minds, their souls and the planet,” she said.
“That’s a special kind of medicine that I believe can help heal the world.”