The ‘artisan’ label is steadily becoming a prerequisite among discerning Malaysian shoppers. Move over, terms like ‘handmade’ or ‘homemade’ – artisan goods are too cool to be called that.
That being said, the artisan market has really grown over the past few years, with enterprising Malaysians beginning to pay more attention to aspects like aesthetics and product design. We have to give credit to these young people who devote precious time and effort into making their brands worth remembering, for all the right reasons, of course.
Here are some of our favourite artisan beauty brands, proudly made in Malaysia:
At a low point in his life, Be Good founder James Wong decided to rekindle his long-term interest in aromatherapy. With ‘positivity’ as his main mantra in life, the business began attracting attention from people who felt the need to pamper their skin with natural ingredients. The oils for Be Good’s ‘Body Food’ are imported from the UK, and the products do not contain any preservatives.
Emmagem likes: Be Good Afternoon Tea Handmade Lotion Bar, RM18
A solid body lotion made of apricot kernel oil and beeswax, scented with orange and bergamot essential oil. A perfect pick-me-up on dreary afternoons indeed.
What started out as a hobby for Ku Shazwani Ku Azhar has become a full-fledged business, covering a product lineup ranging from body scrubs to deodorant to soap bars. The inspiration behind the brand’s name is to-the-point: simply because she loves the smell of soap (and so does everybody).
Emmagem likes: The Sabun Lip & Cheek Stain, RM15
Made from beetroot, this all-natural lip and cheek stain transforms on your skin, giving you anywhere from a berry-pink shade to a deep seductive red. If you’re looking for alternative ways to tint your skin without worrying about chemicals, this might be it.
Louise Chu’s labour of love has transformed her passion for homemade bar soaps into one of the most well-known artisan beauty brands in town. Named after her daughter, Claire Organics products are vegan, and do not contain any preservatives or artificial fragrances.
Emmagem likes: Claire Organics Mother’s Milk Face & Body Cream
Breast milk isn’t just good for baby, it’s also good for the skin! Moms can customise their very own face/body cream at Claire Organics, so that the benefits of breast milk can be shared. It protects baby’s delicate skin, soothes skin sensitivity and even treats stretch marks.
Earth Care Soaps
For people like me who are suckers for packaging, Earth Care Soaps hits the nail on the head so many times over, I stopped counting. Founder Samantha Tan’s natural flair for the creative meets in the middle with her lovingly-made natural bodycare goodies, spurred on by her personal experience with sensitive skin.
Emmagem likes: Christmas Edition Face & Body Soap, RM16 each
There are simply many things to love about this – it makes a great gift, it’s handmade and the box is too cute for words! Available in 3 scents: Rosemary Pine, Grapefruit Mint or Lavender milk, each adorably-shaped soap is mild enough to be used on the face and body.
First off, The Saponifist isn’t your run-of-the-mill, cutesy fluffy beauty brand. It’s dark, bordering on goth, and founder Nadya Lee looks like she’d get along pretty well with Kat Von D. One look at the products, and we became instant converts. Where else can you find a handmade soap display decorated with vintage Victorian accents and a skeleton? And for that, we love. Long time.
Emmagem likes: Ambrosia Hydrating Body Oil, RM65
This allover nourishing oil can be used on both hair and body. A blend of essential oils within a sesame oil base also makes it perfect for scalp massages to release tension. For us, the packaging alone is enough to get us happily parting with our $$.
(Images: facebook.com/BeGoodTo, facebook.com/claireorganics, facebook.com/earthcaresoaps, facebook.com/saponifist, facebook.com/thesabunku)