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The Leading Beauty Changemakers to Know

FEATURE: LONG READ
WORDS BY OLIVIA DE COURCY

In 2022 we’re taking beauty further than just feeling good. Experts, Huda Kattan, Sharon Chuter, Alicia Keys and Francis Kurkdjian, alongside iconic products, are rewriting the rules. 

When you come to Harrods you don't only get lost in a world of beauty exclusives and state-of-the-art services, but you discover a luxury space dedicated to budding creatives and creations. A destination that is set on raising the bar and rewriting the rules, there isn't a brand that you won't find at Harrods. Between launching Huda Beauty in the UK and being home to stellar voices like Dr Marwa Ali and Tara Lalvani, unlock the key names that make up some of our beauty universe.

 

Huda Kattan
HUDA KATTAN
Founder and CEO of Huda Beauty and Wishful Skin

Since launching, Huda Beauty has gone on to change the beauty game with GloWish, Wishful and Kayali, spanning make-up, skincare, and fragrance. Kattan oversees a billion-dollar empire and has 2.4 million (and counting) followers on her personal Instagram account. But – unsurprisingly – she’s not finished with her plans to innovate the industry: “In 2022, we’re going to continue talking about challenging beauty standards. When I was growing up, I did not feel part of the beauty conversation... we have come a long way since then in our industry, but there is still a lot of work to be done.”  

"True beauty lies in our differences; I want everyone to feel beautiful for who they truly are."

For Kattan, the social constructs of what beauty is and what is so deeply ingrained in the beauty world need to be broken down. “That’s really one of my missions and why I got into beauty in the first place. For me, true beauty lies in our differences; I want everyone to feel beautiful for who they truly are.”  

Alicia Keys
ALICIA KEYS
Singer-Songwriter and Co-Creator of Keys Soulcare

If there is one thing that Alicia Keys has mastered with her skincare wellness brand, Keys Soulcare, it is beauty with intention. In the current beauty landscape – which is now focused on relearning and recultivating the connection between mind, body, and soul – the Grammy-award-winning singer has collated meaningful mantras and bespoke rituals. With the purpose of reconnecting intention in beauty and turning routines into rituals, Keys’ brand is reimagining our relationship with beauty.  

 

It’s about “creating simple moments to fill yourself up while you’re washing your face, putting on a mask, while you unwind at the end of the day... lighting a candle with an intention or just repeating the mantras on the bottles to remind yourself of how special and unique you are,” says Keys. With the focus on taking time for yourself, she describes it as being the chance “for your soul and beauty to radiate even more.”  

 

Moving with purpose and innovation, Keys explains that “it’s not just about being beautiful on a surface level, but our beauty coming from within; born from the love we feel towards ourselves that can then be brought to the world through us. I’m excited about the unlimited ways we can express that.” And not only is Keys breaking the traditional boundaries between beauty and wellness, she’s also finding meaning as a black woman in the wellness space.

"it’s not just about being beautiful on a surface level, but our beauty coming from within."

“I’m excited about building a lifestyle brand created by a woman of colour and run by a tremendous group of women in an industry that is ready to evolve and be more consciously diverse,” she concludes. 

Sharon Chuter
SHARON CHUTER
Founder of Uoma Beauty and Uoma By Sharon C

Sharon Chuter's forward-thinking vision and creative thinking has spanned both a corporate career at Revlon, L’Oréal and Benefit Cosmetics (to name a few), and her position now – as founder of inclusive cosmetics brand Uoma Beauty. With a mission to rewrite the rules on diversity, Chuter walks the path for change with a fearlessness that we can only take our hats off to.  

 

“My focus is on all the work that we have to do... and a lot of things that we still have to do must be done,” she explains. Moving towards a level playing field in the beauty world is where Chuter is focusing on making significant change. “We’re taking baby steps, and we need to stop high-fiving for it because it’s a distraction from the main work,” she says. With highlights including Make It Black (an initiative that partners with leading brands to showcase the beauty of black and raise funding to support the economic development of black founders) and the launch of Uoma by Sharon C, the seasoned beauty leader is adamant about developing strategies and charting permanent change that is inclusive on all fronts – such as skin tones and affordability. 

 Expect to see innovation, creation, and a beautiful revolution. “I’m excited to continue to speak louder about the things that matter, even though they’re uncomfortable. That’s not going to change.”

Using the path of evolution to push forward and break boundaries is exactly what Chuter hopes to focus on in the future. “Where are we now, in our third year, versus year one?” she says. “It’s important to ask ourselves: how do we speak? How do we act? And how do we continue to do the things we do? I think that’s a very long-winded way to say a lot of candy is coming through the pipeline.” 

FRANCIS KURKDJIAN

Master Perfumer of Maison Francis Kurkdjian

A perfumer for modern times, Francis Kurkdjian may well be the most in-demand nose in the industry at present. Not only is his own brand, Maison Francis Kurkdjian, hugely successful, but his appointment in October 2021 as perfume creation director at Dior has cemented his position as the current leader of the pack. Kurkdjian was just 25 when he created his first fragrance, Le Male for John Paul Gaultier; now, 27 years on, as the man behind the #tiktokfragrance Baccarat Rouge, he is still turning heads.  

Francis
Augustinus Bader
AUGUSTINUS BADER, The Scalp Treatment

 

No matter what you apply to your hair, the secret to lush locks is a happy scalp. But, so far, the scalpcare category has not been particularly sexy. Enter breakthrough skincare brand Augustinus Bader, which recently expanded into the haircare space after discovering that its signature ingredient – a TFC8 cocktail of natural amino acids and vitamins – can work wonders for the scalp too. “We are a technology platform that has relevance to any part of the body,” says Charles Rosier, brand co-founder and CEO. 

 

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Olaplex
OLAPLEX, NO.3 Hair Perfector

 

The Olaplex two-step in-salon treatment is legendary; this third step is akin to a mini at-home salon experience, hence the name. No.3 acts like a hair mask, which you apply to wet hair two to three times a week (depending on the severity of damage), and then watch the magic happen. The star ingredient to know is a molecule called bis-aminopropyl diglycol dimaleate – a ‘bond builder’ – which helps to rebuild broken bonds that have been damaged because of bleaching and colouring.  

 

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Acqua Di Parma
ACQUA DI PARMA, ZAFFERANO Eau de Parfum

 

The brand’s origins lie in sharing the warmth of Parma, Italy, with the world; its latest Harrods-exclusive scent, Zafferano, also takes you on a journey, transporting you to a faraway land without a plane ticket in sight – and, in typical Harrods fashion, the ingredients are far from ordinary. Saffron – nicknamed ‘gold dust’ or ‘red gold’ for its precious nature – has been specially hand-harvested in its pure state from Iran. It is collected during autumn only; distilled into a powerful oil for scenting within 24 hours of being picked; and, in Zafferano, is balanced with bright citruses, bergamot and mandarin, creamy vanilla and tonka seeds – ingredients you perhaps wouldn’t immediately associate with saffron.  

 

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WOMEN TO WATCH

For these Harrods ‘beauty family’ members, the sky really is the limit. 

Lyma Laser
LYMA LASER

 

A sub-category of the skincare market that has exploded in popularity is at-home laser treatments. This sector has seen impressive results regarding reduced pigmentation, redness and wrinkles, and sagging of the skin, as well as helping to clear up acne. And Lyma Laser is the latest device bidding to prove that at-home tech really can rival a trip to the clinic. Its 500mW infra-red laser and four antibacterial blue LEDs are said to be up to 100 times more effective than typical at-home LED devices – 500mW is the kind of power you’d usually only see in a professional environment – which means the Lyma Laser can reach the deepest layers of skin, fat and muscle tissue.  

 

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Ex Nihilo
EX NIHILO, Brompton Immortals

 

Looking for Harrods in a bottle? The underrated juice from disruptive fine-fragrance brand Ex Nihilo may be the perfect answer. The exclusive Brompton Immortals eau de parfum, created by perfumer Jordi Fernandez, was inspired by the architecture that influenced Harrods’ Egyptian escalator, as well as by the mythology around ancient Egypt and immortality. The result? A beguiling combination of saffron, pink pepper, Madagascan vanilla and Bulgarian rose that is a fitting celebration of our iconic Knightsbridge store.  

 

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111 Skin
111SKIN, Y Theorem Repair Serum NAC Y2

 

Celebrating 10 years and adorning the bathroom shelves of many celebrities and influencers worldwide yet all starting with their hero Y Theorem Repair Serum NAC Y2. Developed by renowned Harley Street cosmetic surgeon Dr Yannis Alexandrides in his mission to find the perfect product to give to his patient’s post-procedure. NAC Y2 breaks down into a trio of super-active ingredients: N-acetylcysteine, ascorbyl phosphate and aesculus hippocastanum extract, all of which have healing and strengthening benefits to help the skin to recover after trauma. No surprise, then, that over the past 10 years, it has become a skincare perennial and a crucial element of our beauty roster.  

 

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Christian Louboutin
CHRISTIAN LOUBOUTIN BEAUTY, Rouge Louboutin

 

Unlike many fashion houses that choose fragrance when they dip their toes in the beauty water, Christian Louboutin took the colour route. Stiletto-shaped nail varnish was quickly followed by artistic-looking lipsticks, which launched exclusively at Harrods. And, of course, haute couture was carried through to the make- up, with Louboutin’s original lipsticks made to be worn as pendants for easy touch-ups throughout the day. Since the Louboutin lipstick launched in 2015, household names including Carolina Herrera have followed the trend with their own customisable make- up lines. This year, with the welcome resurgence of colour across both fashion and beauty, what could be chicer than the fiery Rouge Louboutin?  

 

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