Nabela Noor can't believe it. On Oct. 6, the mega beauty influencer is launching her first makeup collaboration with a major beauty brand — the Nabela Noor x e.l.f. Cosmetics collection. "It's still setting in that it's happening," Noor tells Bustle in an exclusive interview. You can hear the excitement in her voice as she talks about how the collection came to be and how proud she is, both of the products she's created and the fact that she was able to infuse her Bangladeshi culture into it.
"From the jump, e.l.f. was very amazingly open to anything that I wanted to do, anything that that felt right for me, so I felt really empowered to go wild and say, how about we do something extremely culturally rich? How about we do something that's never been done before? How about we bring all of the elements of who I am to the forefront and really embrace it?" Noor shares.
The Bangladeshi-American says that the brand empowered her to go large and grand, from color to formula, which even influenced the gorgeous imagery for the campaign. "I have henna on my hand. I'm wearing traditional South Asian attire and it's just a big splash. You don't really go into an ULTA or any store and really see South Asian representation to this magnitude. For e.l.f. to dream big with me and allow me and empower me to dream big in creating this campaign, it just allowed me to be really, really daring and bold and make big choices."
Followers of Noor's will see a lot of her and her culture in the four-piece collection she created with e.l.f., which includes a brush set, a lip kit, a highlighter, and a clutch. The Lip Cocktail Kit in Maira Nude ($10) is a lip liner and liquid lipstick duo that creates a pinky-nude lip. The Gleaming Loose Highlighter in Neharika Glow ($8) is warm pearlescent gold highlighter designed to flatter all skin tones. (Fun Fact: Both products were named after her little sisters who remind her of the impact she has on younger girls and how they are the driving force behind why she does what she does, Noor says.) The Beautifully You Brush Set ($20) features all of Noor's favorite, must-have brushes. And if you purchase the entire collection, it'll come in a gorgeous gold clutch and cost you just $35.
If Noor had to pick one product that you absolutely must grab from the collection, it would be the Lip Cocktail Kit. "It's such a personalized look, you can customize it in such an amazing way. With lipliner, it can be very va-va-voom or without it, it can be very everyday," Noor describes. "It's just such an amazing cocktail for your lips that I hope everyone grabs."
Of course, Noor hopes you'll buy the entire collection, and at $35 for the whole set, she's really not asking for much. The inexpensive price point was actually extremely important to Noor and a reason she decided to partner with e.l.f. Cosmetics on her very first makeup collaboration.
"[Working with e.l.f.] was the perfect marriage because it's really, really important for me to provide accessibility. In a world of championing representation and championing inclusiveness, we have to also think about access. E.l.f. is really doing that. They provide amazing quality products at an affordable price," Noor tells Bustle. The beauty content creator recalls the first time she used e.l.f. when she was younger, discovering the eyeshadow primer (a product that she still loves today) and feeling impressed that it was so good, but didn't cost her a fortune.
"I come from very humble beginnings in that I'm the daughter of immigrant parents that worked really hard. And when I first started dabbling with makeup, I didn't have a crazy large budget. We lived a very modest life and I found e.l.f. and started using their products," Noor shares. "It only made sense for me to make sure that when I created something, it was affordable and it was luxurious. It's always about paying it forward for me. It's always been that for my platform, so it only made sense that the brand that was there for me from the start would be the brand that I could do something so special and so game-changing with."
Noor celebrated her new collection with a South Asian-inspired bash for her friends and family at Fig & Olive in LA on Thursday night. Party-goers were treated to mango lassis, lobster samosas, a sitar player strumming pop song covers, and custom henna. They also partook in the #eyeslipface challenge, an exclusive collaboration between e.l.f. Cosmetics and TikTok. Users were invited to film themselves dancing to an original song (created by a Grammy Award-winning songwriter) on the platform. As for Noor? Well, you'll have to follow her on TikTok to see how she does. "I am planning on getting on TikTok, so you might see me doing the challenge," Noor laughs.