Beauty

Meet HUE, the British-Somali and Arab Duo Revolutionizing Inclusive Skincare

Dive into the story behind the brand, as told by its founders.

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Meet HUE, the British-Somali and Arab Duo Revolutionizing Inclusive Skincare

Dive into the story behind the brand, as told by its founders.

Our appearance is the first thing that most strangers tend to observe; the makeup of our texture, hues and skin. Because of this, it is easy to fall prey to the peak of consumerism as it targets our insecurities. Yet, there is a bright side beyond the push to change our perception; an embrace of what makes us feel good without any underlying pressure. We like to call it a skincare awakening driven by the demand to obtain and support ethical products made for and by us, especially products which cater to Black and POC women.

Notably, US-founded Eadem and Topicals  have led this movement with products targeted towards hyperpigmentation for melanated skin. Now, there is a U.K. newcomer on the cusp of taking over the scene.

So, without further ado, meet, HUE.
HUE, Inclusivity, skincare, interviews
HUE was co-founded in 2023 by British-Somali medical doctor Hani Hassan and British-Arab architect Mona Haidar. Like many brands, the two started HUE after lasting dissatisfaction and a need for affordable skincare, catered to them. Numerous discussions with each other, their peers and case studies ignited a passion for redefining diverse beauty by creating products that addressed confidence and certainty.

Before HUE, Hassan held a firm footing in educating others on skincare for People of Color; as an NHS medical doctor and as a skincare YouTuber. Today, HUE, with its savvy tagline #madeforhue, has been raved about by many, including The Receipts Podcast featuring leading influencer makeup artist Uche Natori and authors such as British-Nigerian author and screenwriter Bolu Babalola, who stated, “HUE is so luxe! It feels like an experience.”

Ahead, we interview the founders to hear more about their experiences, inspirations and values.

HUE, Inclusivity, skincare, interviews

On the inspiration behind the brand

The lack of holistic skincare experiences, creatively and scientifically formulated for People of Color, led us to ask, “If not now, when?” The old approach to skincare doesn’t work. The reason is clear—it doesn’t include everyone. Finding commercially available products for hyperpigmentation or sunscreens that don’t leave a white cast on dark skin is nearly impossible.

All skin isn’t made the same. The science is unambiguous that melanin-rich skin is structurally and biochemically different from white skin. It responds differently to triggers like UV and inflammation. It has increased tendencies towards things like dyschromia, melasma, and xerosis.

HUE, Inclusivity, skincare, interviews

On becoming business partners based on shared values

Hassan: Mona joined me very early on in the HUE journey. I first asked her to consult for HUE and knew within days that she was the person I wanted to build this brand with. I originally wanted to create a hyper-functional skincare brand for POC. Mona helped me realize that it was insufficient to create products for POC that were only effective.

She is my co-founder but also my biggest hater and best friend. We share the same frenzied thinking and attention to detail but with different vantage points. There is a beautiful tension in all of our conversations. Mona is extremely fanciful with visuals and I’m the same with the formulation. We alternate being the responsible founder and questioning the feasibility and execution of ideas. I hope our sincerity and love eachother and our products are palpable within them.
HUE, Inclusivity, skincare, interviews

On art direction and imagery

Skincare often uses a stark, sterile visual landscape to reinforce hyper-functionality and clinical efficacy. For us, it was crucial to challenge these performative modes of communication and the outdated pseudo-signals of intelligence and scientific rigor. We wanted to blur the false boundary between science and art, exploring a path where form follows beauty while still serving its function. We believe that scientific precision can be expressed through beautiful design.
HUE, Inclusivity, skincare, interviews

On the brand’s first campaign

Haidar: At the start of the project, it was all about the feeling of introducing HUE to our community through tenderness and intimacy. Daniel and I embarked on a journey to translate these emotions into images. We spent considerable time gathering references from cinema, music, fashion and cultural archives; weaving a tapestry of research that captured our intentions. This comprehensive brief was then shared with our collaborators.

Jose crafted a beautiful narrative with the cast, focusing on various expressions of love to tell our story of tenderness. Ray assisted with production and sourcing the props needed to build this narrative—securing that dove took two weeks of relentless emails. The beauty team, Tina and Joy, brought their expertise to translate softness into each frame, paying attention to details like the way the hair falls or the interplay of makeup across faces. Riley beautifully married the nails with the styling.
HUE, Inclusivity, skincare, interviews

On the brand’s goals

We’re not in a rush to join the constant churn of new products and fleeting trends. Instead, we’re carving out our own space, aiming for something enduring amidst the whirlwind of consumption. Our approach is grounded in two key principles. First, we’re dedicated to fostering open dialogue by prioritizing People of Color in our clinical trials and conducting accessibility-focused research. Our recent launch of HUE V001, a community-led insider program, further emphasizes our commitment to collaboration. Through this platform, our community can shape the future of our brand, ensuring their voices are valued and heard. Second, HUE reflects collective brilliance—a journey where our community and creative collaborators unite.

On empowerment and community

HUE stands for, “Here U Exist.” We want our brand to be a safe space for anyone as they exist, wherever ‘here’ is for them. We want to be wholly accepting of people’s unvarnished self-presentation. As a beauty brand, we straddle a careful line. We don’t ever want people to feel like they have to use our products to pursue perfection. Instead, we want them to know that if they want to use skincare for targeted solutions, HUE is the brand to support them on that journey.
HUE, Inclusivity, skincare, interviews

On their favorite brand moment

Haidar: When my grandmother repurposed her supra-egg to store her bakhoor, I truly understood the transformative power of creativity and heritage. Witnessing her re-contextualize an object inspired by the architecture of her dressing table—these collections, passed down through generations, carved incense burner, sculpted perfume bottles and delicately etched eyeliner vials—revealed to me that they are not just objects. They carry a sense of permanence, a connection to a timeless collective memory. Her reimagining of its purpose while staying true to its essence fills me with a profound sense of fulfilment. Each piece holds a story, a continuation of tradition and reimagines our beauty rituals as acts of artful expression.

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