We were working in a chippie – but after saving up we launched a face mask company, now we've got a £10.6m business

A PAIR of best pals have made themselves a mint by launching a skincare line that gives users glowing skin and it's an influencer favourite.

Manny Barbas and James Hachem, both 25, managed to rake in £150k in just one day when they launched their new "Pore Perfecting Elixir", part of their Alya, range, that promises to reduce redness and prevent breakouts.

The product is causing a stir on social media as the £24.95 potion is designed to brighten and rejuvenate skin by "dissolving excess oils".

But the lads weren't always as successful as they are now.

They used to work in a chip shop – which is how they saved to set up the business which launched in 2018.

Speaking to Dynamic Business they revealed how they used savings from the fish chip shop and a cafe, as well as a credit card to launch their business. 

“James is like my brother,” says Manny to the publication. “We’ve both got such different skill sets. James is good with the numbers, and I’m on the more creative end with the marketing. We just work really well together.”

Either way people love the product – and the lads revealed by September 2020 they'd turned over £10.6m.

One influencer wrote: "It is a holy grail product for oily and acne prone skin … TOTALLY impressed with it already!"

And with reviews like that it's easy to see why the flush fellas are cleaning up.

The brand's focus is targeting the elusive "micro-infulencers" who have between 1k and 100k followers, but who tend to specialise in skincare.Plenty of other Insta-glam beauty fans loved the new product too.

One said: "Say hello to perfect pores and smooth skin."

And another commented: "I have been looking for a hydrating cleanser as my skin has been looking drier than ever. After using the foaming micellar cleanser from Alya Skin my skin has been feeling soft and hydrated."

But the these products aren't the Australian duo's only win.


Co-founders Manny and James made £3.75million in their first 14 months as they sold a pink clay mask that people dubbed the "world's best clay product".

The face mask which costs £29.95 reportedly "defends against pollutants, dirt and toxins."

After the huge success of the mask, the savvy pair created an anti-acne exfoliator and moisturiser, and now sell one of these every 22 seconds.

For more inspiring stories, we spoke to Molly Robson who set up her first business when she was 18 – now Mrs Hinch has turned her furniture company into a £5m empire.

Plus lockdown nearly killed their fashion business but now sisters Natalie Reynolds and Lexi Panayi are making £600k a month selling face masks – and Sam Faiers is a fan.

And Pamela Gruhn gambled her life savings to set up her chalk paint business – now Frenchic is worth £16m.

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