Monday, September 1, 2014

Malaysia Boleh: Homegrown Beauty Brands We're Proud Of

[As published on HERE]
This year, Malaysia celebrates her 57th birthday. The recent couple of years haven’t been so good to us, especially with the uproar caused by last year’s elections, and two airplane tragedies this year.
However, we’re known for our ability to bounce back. Challenges make us more resilient, and therefore less prone to repeating the same mistakes.
There have been many ‘Malaysia Boleh’ moments that have made us proud to be Malaysian. In the beauty world, where competition is tough and merciless, these homegrown beauty brands have managed to hold their ground.

Datuk Siti Nurhaliza a well-known name in every Malaysian household. Not only has she made her mark in music as one of the best singers Malaysia has ever had, she’s also an illustrious businesswoman. SimplySiti is her venture into cosmetics and skincare, which was launched in 2010. The products are formulated and manufactured in Korea, and bear the Halal mark that is important for Muslim users. The brand has won many beauty awards, including Halal Journal Awards 2010’s Best Halal Product Kecantikan Untukmu Cosmopolitan Awards 2010’s Best Waterproof Mascara, UDC Business Awards 2011’s Best Upcoming Cosmetic Product and more.
Must-try product:
SimplySiti CCDD Cream, a ‘multi marvel in a tube’ which promises to restore skin structure, diminish spots, even out skin tone and disguise imperfections while bringing back skin’s natural glow.

Founded by the rather flamboyantly-named Professor Dr. CocoAlex Yeoh, Empro’s ticket to fame came at a time when the market was experiencing a lack of good brow products. With the introduction of its award-winning Triangular Brow Pencil, Empro gave hope to Malaysian women who suffered from sparse, barely-visible brows. The famous CocoAlex went on to develop a unique semi-permanent brow embroidery technology that could be done over a lunch break without any pain. To date, Empro has an extended range of skincare and makeup products, mostly dedicated to the eye area.
Must-try product: 
Empro HD Slim Cut Dual Lead Brow Auto-Pencil, which comes with two shades (Soft Brown and Olive Brown) on each end. The pencil is enriched with herbal essences, which nourish and stimulate hair growth.

VL Skincare
When she was younger, Dr. Reiko Soo suffered from acne, which was made worse after going for multiple painful facials. It all changed when she met her future father-in-law, a chemist who gave her a set of skincare products to try. The products worked so well, she decided to start her own brand called VL Skincare. The secret apparently lies in the formula of the products, which are all water-based. Only pharmaceutical-grade plant extracts from Europe and the USA are used, ensuring ingredient efficacy and safety. These products complement Dr. Reiko Soo’s ‘miracle hands’ extraction technique, which is said to be so effective in removing stubborn whiteheads and milia seeds once and for all.
Must-try product: 
vl skincare
VL Skincare Les Age Serum, an all-in-one fluid that erases all skin concerns without weighing it down. A blend of plant extracts and scientific ingredients address problems from ageing to acne to UV damage.

Esmeria Organics
You wouldn’t have guessed that Esmeria Organics is actually a true-blue Malaysian brand! It’s also the first Malaysian (and South East Asian) skincare brand to receive the organic ECOCERT certification (can we say Malaysia Boleh?). ECOCERT is well-known for its stringent guidelines, so for an organic cosmetics brand to receive this is like an award in itself. To minimise waste and avoid unnecessary packaging, all Esmeria Organics products come in recyclable boxes, tubes and bottles (so no fussy pump bottles for you). However, despite the simple packaging, it’s what inside that counts. And best of all, the prices are so affordable for organic skincare, you’ll be surprised!
Must-try product:
Esmeria Organics Prickly Pear Moisturiser, which contains Mexican Prickly Pear (a type of cactus) to hydrate and protect skin both day and night from pollution while controlling excess sebum production.

Sometimes we’re so caught up in chasing dreams that we forget the good things we have on our own soil. Why don’t we take this opportunity to appreciate all things Malaysian for the rest of the month. You might be surprised by what you discover.

(Images:, and from respective brands’ websites)

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