Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Origins Behind Creative Beauty Brands

[As published on HERE]
The world is saturated with beauty brands. There are the major powerhouses like L’Oreal and Estee Lauder which monopolize a major chunk of the market share, with more than twenty brands under each empire.
And then there are small, independently-managed cult brands that have a more creative approach to beauty. Unconventional, interesting and utterly desirable, there’s no escaping the clutches of these beauty brands once you set eyes on their products.
Here are a few of our current obsessions:

It all started from a cup of tea
For Connie Tai, her dream of working in the beauty industry came true when she graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry and another Bachelor’s degree in Cosmetics & Fragrance Marketing. She became the product developer for Bliss and Cargo Cosmetics, but soon discovered that her drem job came with certain drawbacks. Combined with a poor diet, lack of sleep and stress, her skin was looking worse for wear.
So, she set out to create a line of products that could nourish her skin from within, and MIYU Beauty was born in 2013. The name is adaptation of the Chinese term ‘mei yuan’, which means ‘the origin of beauty.

What’s special about MIYU Beauty:
It’s the first-ever brand to pair skincare products with complementary teas that are good for the skin.

De Stress Mi (USD42, approx. RM138.20) – a calming essence/tea combo
The essence contains dandelion, ginger, licorice and honeysuckle, while the tea is made from a blend of peppermint, licorice and chamomile blossoms.

Hydrate Mi (USD42, approx. RM138.20) – a hydrating essence/tea combo
The essence contains goji berries and mangosteen, while the tea is made from a blend of green rooibos, goji berries, rose petals and snow pear essence.

Not your typical makeup brand
For starters, I don’t know any other makeup brand founder who refers to herself as a Unicorn Queen, except Doe Deere, founder of Lime Crime. The brand was launched in 2008 after Deere, a makeup artist, found herself tired of the same old predictable shades on the market. She decided to take matters into her own hands to create vivid, unique shades that allowed people to be adventurous with their looks.
However, it hasn’t been a smooth ride for Lime Crime. The brand, together with its Unicorn Queen, has received a rather controversial share of flak from the blogosphere since day one. When asked about her haters, Deere stands firm by her principles as a professional business owner. Judging by the success of Lime Crime, we’re sure that these unicorn-haters will be punished by having shards of glittery rainbow pieces thrown at them.

What’s special about Lime Crime:
The packaging is to-die-for. The colours are out-of-this-world. The prices, although not very cheap, are still affordable to a certain extent.

Fantasy Palette in Aquataenia (USD34.99, approx. RM115.10)
For all our inner mermaids, this palette contains five pearlescent shades that are reminiscent of the ocean and its wonderful beings. The colour payoff is simply superb, as kindly illustrated by Google search.

Opaque Lipsticks (USD15.99 each, approx. RM52.60)
From Great Pink Planet (a totally safe baby pink), to Mint To Be (a traffic-stopping pastel mint) to Serpentina (a 100% mad metallic emerald), we’re kind of mindblown by the choice of crazy opaque colours available.

The marriage of two companies
When Lisa Devo, Shannon Burch and Elizabeth Grubaugh first met, they were part of two different companies: Brickhouse Soap and Dewey Howard Paper. After meeting at a trade show, they became friends, and ended up staying at the same apartment block. The three ladies started doing some small projects together, such as using Dewey Howard paper to wrap soap, and as with all fairy tales, an epiphany happened and the rest is history.
Known for their candles and soaps, Soap & Paper Factory has been featured in top magazines like Lucky, Martha Stewart Living and People. From time to time, they collaborate with designers to launch a stand-alone collection.

What’s special about Soap & Paper Factory:
All the eco-friendly products are handmade from scratch, and the beautiful boxes and bottles can be reused. We love how dedicated these ladies are towards making the world a better place to live in.

Stag Triple Wick Candle (USD62, approx. RM204)
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Perfect for casting a warm light in the living space, the triple-wick candle scents your room with siberian fir, cilantro, citrus and raspberry. Makes a great gift for candle aficionados too!

Hand Cream (USD18, approx. RM59.20)
Enriched with pure essential oils, these luxurious hand creams are paraben-free and petroleum-free, and come in relaxing scents like neroli, green tea, jasmine and more. They’re not tested on animals either.

(Main image:   Other images: From respective brands’ Facebook pages and official websites)

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