The research, needless to say, has paid off. CTZN Cosmetics has been lauded by a wide range of publications and experts, and is now available to buy at major retailers like Sephora and Ulta Beauty. And while running family businesses can be a doozy, the Khan sisters seem to have made it to success without much drama. “The best part about working with your siblings is the level of trust and sacredness only a family business can have,” Naseeha said. And to ensure that work doesn’t cause a rift in the family, the Khans are careful to keep work and play bifurcated. “One thing we do is have separate group chats on WhatsApp: one for work called Sisters CTZN Only and another for any other unrelated conversation,” Naseeha reveals. “The funny part with siblings is that we could be having an argument in our work chat about something one of us didn’t do, while having a completely normal conversation in our other sister chat at the exact same time!”
While the CTZN team has helped to move the needle when it comes to inclusivity in the beauty industry, the sisters are well aware that there is still work to be done. The key to driving change across the board, Aleena believes, is having more diverse teams behind the beauty brands themselves. “Brands that get ‘canceled’ or attacked for releasing a visual or product that unintentionally offends a certain ethnicity or demographic would significantly reduce chances of making these errors if the team making these decisions included a range of backgrounds,” Aleena told us. “If we only see things from our lens, or are only around people who share our same perspectives, we will never be able to truly see things from multiple dimensions – which should be step one when creating an inclusive brand, way before shade ranges and model casting should even be discussed.”
In the coming months, CTZN will be working to expand its footprint even further. “We aim to be reactive as a brand, navigating the changes happening in the world around us, rather than robotically sticking to a marketing calendar when we could actually pivot and create something meaningful that is also current and relevant,” Naseeha said. “As soon as we were informed of the widespread impact of this COVID-19 outbreak, we started developing a sanitizer spray called CTZN Care that is multi-purpose and capable of sanitizing lipsticks, as well as masks, surfaces, and your skin.” As for what we can expect from the team next, the Khan sisters are staying coy, but dropping a few hints. “What we will share is that it is one shade that fits all, and is not a lip product,” they said.
And if that’s not (yet another) reason to look forward to the end of 2020, we don’t know what is.
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