Hosted in a sunshine-filled room at The Edition Hotel in Times Square, earlier this month Uoma Beauty Founder and CEO Sharon Chuter introduced the brand’s summer makeup collection Salute to the Sun. Addressing a room full of editors and beauty lovers alike, Sharon explained that she wanted to capture the essence of the sun in her new line, one that nods to Egypt and its unique relationship to the sun. Here, Beauty News caught up with the CEW Catalyst for Change Honoree to discuss the Egyptian-inspired collection and her dedication to authenticity as a brand owner.
Uoma Beauty founder and CEO Sharon Chuter was inspired to create a summer makeup collection during a trip to Abu Dhabi just as the pandemic first impacted everyone’s lives.
“The idea for Salute to the Sun came to me while I was in the Middle East. I was in Abu Dhabi when the pandemic first hit and there was so much confusion around the world. I was supposed to tour Abu Dhabi, Kuwait, Dubai, and Saudi Arabia and all the borders started to close, so that was really a time of a lot of uncertainty and panic. I was in this mall which had a completely open sky, and in the midst of all that insecurity I was thinking, ‘What’s next?’ Then I felt a ray of sun on my skin, and it felt like 1,000 hugs at once. It felt so beautiful and comforting and that feeling was just surreal. The inspiration was how the sun can be such redemption or rescue in a time of uncertainty, how freeing, and how beautiful the sun can feel. This led me to start researching the sun and spirituality and I landed right in ancient Egypt and started to learn more about the ancient Egyptians and their very unique relationship to the sun.”
The collection was intended to launch during the summer of 2021, but as Sharon remarked during the event, no one was particularly enjoying the outdoors due to various Covid-related lockdowns. The making of the collection also took additional time so that Sharon could conduct appropriate research to avoid cultural appropriation.
Sharon explained, “When I decided to tell the story of Egypt it was very scary because I didn’t want to appropriate, I wanted to celebrate…It was also important not to trivialize the culture – I see this a lot where people just take a logo and symbolism and throw it out there. This is deep storytelling and hopefully from this collection people not only feel good about themselves, but they also take time to actually explore ancient Egypt to find the treasure and beauty that lies there.”
The names of the items in the collection refer to Egyptian culture and mythology, including a nude-pink lipstick titled Nefertiti, an Ancient Egyptian queen known for her devotion to the sun god Aten. Shades of the eyeshadow palette, written in an Egyptian Arabic font, feature names such as Nebu, the Egyptian symbol for gold, and Red Ochre, a bright red pigment that ancient Egyptians viewed as a symbol of life.
The Salute to the Sun collection consists of 12 items including mascaras, lipsticks, eyeliners, liquid highlighter, and an eyeshadow palette that features a notable reference to Ra, the Egyptian god of the sun. The line also features several of Uoma Beauty’s best-selling products, such as Black Magic Hypnotic Impact High Shine Lipstick and Drama Bomb Extreme Volume Mascara, both repackaged in metallic blue and gold components. The entire assemblage consists of one eyeshadow palette ($44), three high-shine lipsticks ($24), two mascaras ($19.50), three kohl eyeliners ($19.50), and three liquid highlighters ($25).
The collection launched July 15 and is available on https://uomabeauty.com/uomabeauty.com and retailers including Ulta Beauty and Harvey Nichols.