When it comes to make-up, local beauty enthusiasts tend to look for products offered by global brands such as L’Oreal, Estee Lauder, NARS, Maybelline, Urban Decay and Bobbi Brown.
Meanwhile, the younger crowd, heavily influenced by Korean music and drama series, go for branded Korean make-up and skincare used by their favourite celebrities.
However, there is a new breed of beauty consumers. Rather than looking up to cosmetic giants from the United States, the European Union, Australia, Japan and Korea, they prefer to buy make-up products from independent local entrepreneurs.
Home grown cosmetic brands began to be popular when Instagram, Facebook and Twitter became a norm in our society. They are mostly founded by fashion entrepreneurs, professional make-up artists and celebrities as well as social media influencers.
According to a 2016 research on personal care and cosmetic products in Malaysia carried out by the United States International Trade Administration, while some big local manufacturers produce and own their house brands, a growing number of local players turn to local cosmetic manufacturers and focus on contract or private labelling.
These home grown brands work on a non-traditional and more personalised marketing strategy i.e. the brand founder is also the spokesperson or “The Face” on billboard advertisements, etc. They sell their products mainly via their own online portal or other established retail platforms such as FashionValet, mySMINK, Zalora and Pretty Suci.
Although operating on a small-scale, some have managed to penetrate international markets or have their brands placed in established retail stores, pharmacies or global departmental stores.
NST reported that Halal and ablution-friendly elements are significant marketing factors in some local cosmetic brands such as SimplySiti (founded by singer Datuk Seri Siti Nurhaliza Tarudin), Ronasutra, Zawara, Nurayysa Beauty and Sugarbelle Cosmetics.
FashionValet is among the established online fashion retail platforms that curate brands by local entrepreneurs. There are more than 20 beauty and cosmetic brands, including local labels, currently retailing on the platform, with colour cosmetics being the fast-selling item.