In life when we feel we have reached a limit, that is when the true battle begins. Just when you despair and think it is impossible to go any further, will you become apathetic, or will you say it’s not over and stand up with an unyielding spirit? The battle is decided by this single determination. – Daisaku Ikeda
A couple of years ago, I was going through what I consider the lowest moment in my life. I was introduced to SGI Buddhism and I invested time in self reflecting and redefining my goals. I continue to learn how to use the Buddhist philosophy of redetermining to live, think and act with courage, wisdom and compassion in each moment. I’d like to think that this post is a result of my on going human revolution.
Last weeks news cycle about Brett Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford here in the United States and similar news about a Bollywood actress, Tanushree Dutta in India hit me hard.
I have always kept my opinions about the news to myself or to a limited private circle. In fact, in 2016 I deleted social media apps like Facebook where people sparred on political and religious views. It broke my heart how divided people were and didn’t want to be a witness. Was I apathetic? Definitely not, but did I fear confrontation ? Most definitely I did. I am conditioned to think that I was ‘too loud’, ‘too opinionated’, ‘felt too much’ and that ‘this is the real world, grow up’ and did not want to participate in the dialogue.
Things changed for me last week. The on going dialogue on violence against women made me confront situations where I have been violated, and said nothing, did nothing because maybe I didn’t want to ‘overreact’. Memories of incidents in the past surfaced and I was full of self loathing and hate. In that moment of despair I decided that in order to heal myself, instead of hating all of mankind and the unjust ways of this world, I want to celebrate the struggles and challenges women face and yet push forward every single day. I want to celebrate hope, growth and change.
So this is the start of a series of posts celebrating female entrepreneurs I have met over the years and sharing their journeys with you ! ModaNinja is a lifestyle blog, and I want to start with small business owners and creators of apparel, accessories, cosmetics and other lifestyle products that I personally love. There is no telling where this will go, and what I’ll continue to write about, but I’d love for you to join me on this journey. I am holding myself accountable, to write and share a female led brand every month. Do you know a female entrepreneur who deserves a shout out? Tell me or better yet tell her first!
Today, I’d like to introduce and celebrate Sabeen Zia, the founder of Muskaan. Sabeen and I met at a PHL Blogger event early on this year and we chatted briefly about what we do, soon I learnt that my friend and ace Philly based fashion photographer Brandon of Wyche Studios had shot Muskaan’s look book! What a wonderful coincidence, so I reached out to Sabeen to say hello again and she sent over a couple of ‘cozy on the lips hydra-matte’ lipsticks for me to try. Here are 5 things I love about Muskaan and why Sabeen’s thoughtful approach to building her brand deserves a shout out
Made in Philadelphia : Need I say more?
Packaging: I am a sucker for good packaging. The messaging of the brand (smile with heart) runs through the outer box and the matte case for the lipstick gives it a classic yet luxurious feel.
Shade Names: Sabeen explained that the 4 shades are named after memories she had with friends or family but also should be relatable to anyone. For example, “bougie brunch”(violet)- You know we’ve all had one…or many!!
Formula: The formula promises a demi matte finish with high pigment. I was excited to try it out and it delivered! It glides on smoothly and feels light, more over I did not have to swipe more than twice to get the color I wanted. Her formal is vegan, PETA certified cruelty free, non GMO and alcohol free!
Giving Back: Most importantly I love that her brand wants to give back via Mission Muskaan! Muskaan has tied up with two small charities and gives you the power to choose which of them you’d like to donate a the portion of your purchases’ proceeds. At checkout, select a partnering local or global charity to help spread the love! When the charities change, they’ll send an email informing you the total amount donated to each charity, a perfect way to see how your lipstick made a
Her collection, all of 4 shades (for now) is priced at $29 a pop, comparable with other female led make up brands like NARS and higher than HUDA. Check out all the colors here on www.muskaanmakeup.com
Hope you’ll come back in a couple of weeks to celebrate another business babe. Stay tuned on our insta stories for an interview with Sabeen in November.