When it comes to beauty and skincare solutions, we want something that works against the hot and humid weather, is clean, sustainable, fuss-free and effective. We find out how three homegrown beauty brands cater to Hong Kong’s tough beauty crowd.
OMG by SHHH
Marvin Lin is stylist and hair magician to many of the city’s most influential people. So sought-after are her beauty treatments that the Rosewood Hong Kong recently opened an outpost of Lin’s salon, SHHH, within its Asaya wellness sanctuary. For years, Lin promoted the need to look after hair in the same way we’d care for the skin. Having tested thousands of products and treatments herself, she found a lack of production innovation in the market that could create formulas that showed immediate results, and with prolonged use would continue to improve and fix issues such as problematic scalps and hair loss. She set about creating her own and, after visiting countless countries, found a manufacture just outside of Tokyo that could bring her vision to life.
Her line of products includes quality ingredients such as argan- fruit stemcells with anti-ageing qualities, hydrolysed keratin protein and collagen to strengthen hair follicles, and sea minerals to replenish and nourish. Although Lin says that it would be ideal to create hundreds of tailor- made solutions for each individual client, practically speaking it was more realistic to formulate result-focussed home-care products, while offering bespoke treatments at SHHH for those who need extra attention and are willing to commit to a treatment regime. OMG comes in three lines, each with a simple shampoo and a conditioning treatment: Glossy (for dry and damaged hair), Airy (for thin and lifeless hair) and Scalp (to address scalp issues).
Growing up around her mother’s beauty treatment centre, Christal Leung was exposed to skincare from a young age, watching as her mum took care of her clients and tried out all sorts of products from around the world. Soon, though, Leung realised that many of the skincare products, premium as they are, are formulated overseas, with a different clientele in mind. Armed with a degree in biochemistry, Leung opened a private-label skincare business in California to promote indie beauty, before expanding her concept to Hong Kong, where she formulated skincare products for leading beauty centres in the city, as well as co-creating and launching a series of colour cosmetics as the operations partner of clean beauty brand Woke Up Like This. Skin Need is wholly Leung’s own line of products, with a customer-centric approach that puts the needs of individual clients in their own hands.
There’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to beauty, and yet there’s also no need to overcomplicate the process by having a 21-step beauty routine. Leung’s products are simple: a cleanser, a toner and a moisturiser are all that anyone needs. But to ensure each individual customer gets what they need, they’re given a one-on-one analysis to personalise and mix-and-match a skincare set that works for them. Each range of water- and oil-based products is variously formulated to suit different skin types, and includes active ingredients to combat different symptoms, from sensitivity and irritation to congestion and blemishes.
Karen Lee, founder and chief formulator of 21Grams, fell into the business when she was inspired to design a natural and safe deodorant for a friend who was expecting a baby. With an education in natural sciences, she soon found in her research that most natural and organic skincare products in the market were made overseas, designed for foreign skin types and, unsurprisingly, not well suited to the more humid conditions in Asia. 21Grams is the result of her determination to establish a homegrown clean-beauty brand that caters to Asian skin types, formulated with natural and organic ingredients that are safe and sensitive to all needs. To further help clients figure out the right products for their skin type, 21Grams has a simple Find Your Soul questionnaire that helps clients understand their current skin condition and recommends the best product combination and routine. There’s comfort in knowing these products are ethical, toxin-free and simple to use, too. Says Lee, “There’s no more need to buy an excessive amount of products. The power of simplicity is at the heart of what we do at 21Grams.”
(Hero Image: Skin Need)