Diane Hilal-Campo, MD.

NEW YORK—Diane Hilal-Campo, MD, knew she wanted to be an ophthalmologist from a young age—but she had no idea that she wanted to be the founder of a makeup brand called twenty/twenty beauty. Her father, neuroradiologist Sadek Hilal, MD, influenced her desire to enter the medical field in some way, but, as she tells VM, “it was as a young girl, when I first visited ophthalmologist Dr. Stephen Trokel, one of the inventors of the excimer laser that is used to perform Lasik, that I became fascinated by ocular health. He prescribed me my first pair of glasses, and being able to see the beauty of the world with such clarity changed my life.”

The road to ophthalmology was the straightforward part: Dr. Hilal-Campo went on to graduate pre-med with a focus in chemistry from the first co-educational class at Columbia University, and then finished her medical degree there, too. After completing her residency, Dr. Hilal-Campo went into private practice immediately, and has been working in private practice now for over 25 years.

Over the years, Dr. Hilal-Campo has seen her fair share of ocular issues—but there was one issue in particular stood out. She said, “I saw countless women coming into my medical practice with eye conditions caused by beauty products and treatments, including infections from bacteria overgrowth from poor eyelash and makeup hygiene, corneal abrasions from loose lash extensions, and dry eye caused by years of following harmful eye makeup techniques.

“I saw shimmer and loose powders from eye makeup contaminating the tear film and tattooing the conjunctiva, and significant damage to the lashes caused by lash extensions and perms.” It was clear that there was a pattern here—and a gap in the market that no one was stepping into. Dr. Hilal-Campo explained, “In talking to my female colleagues in ophthalmology, I knew that these concerns were an epidemic in the ocular health community, and I knew I needed to do something about it.”

Starting a business is like entering into the Wild West, and Dr. Hilal-Campo admits she wasn’t sure how to get started at first. Eventually, it was a patient who helped connect her with a team of experts ranging from packaging professionals and chemists to marketing and PR—a testament to just how special and valuable it is to build relationships with patients. Once she was paired with the right team, Dr. Hilal-Campo’s twenty/twenty beauty brand was born.

Above all, twenty/twenty beauty is designed to be safe for the eyes. Products run the gamut from traditional makeup like mascara to eyeshadow to tinted brow gel, and treatments including lash and brow serum and facial spray, and all are formulated with eye-safe ingredients. The brand has a hard ban on popular but harmful makeup ingredients including glitter, loose mica, loose mineral powders, prostaglandins, fragrance, argireline, acetyl hexapeptide and benzalkonium chloride, too.

Dr. Hilal-Campo said, “The driving factor behind this passion project is, above all, supporting ocular health. I am very close to the product development process and work with my team to hand select every ingredient that goes into each formula. If there is even a question of whether or not an ingredient could negatively affect the eye, I don't even consider it. That's why I keep my product collection so tightly edited. Everything has to enhance and never disrupt the health and beauty of the eye.”

In the past two years, twenty/twenty beauty has seen massive success, with thousands of followers on Instagram and TikTok and an ever-growing product list. Products are available on the twenty/twenty beauty website, but making them available to patients through ECPs is a priority for Dr. Hilal-Campo, too.

She said, “I'm very proud to have already partnered with over 500 eyecare professionals in the United States and Canada who support my passion of protecting ocular health through clean beauty. We’re now focused on expanding our wholesale partnerships even more with eyecare professionals who sell out of their office and can educate their patients.”

As twenty/twenty beauty continues to grow, Dr. Hilal-Campo is aiming to strengthen the brand’s relationship with ECPs across the country while the product line expands. She said, “We recently expanded our cream eyeshadow stick range to include four new shades, which has been a huge success, and are also working toward the launch of a new product. I think those who love enhancing their lashes will be thrilled with it.

“Of course, there are many other products in development; at twenty/twenty beauty, we take our time in launching new formulas as the ocular health of consumers as well as product quality is of the utmost importance to me…. I am very proud of what we've accomplished in under two years of being on the market and am so grateful for how much the brand has resonated with people. That has been incredibly rewarding.”