TL;DR – Cosmetic industry has explored more than just capitalising on women, but also on men. Adlina Nadhirah, the founder, Managing and Creative Director of Velvet Vanity Cosmetics touch on inclusivity of make up and also transcending boundaries in local and international market.
“Make up has no gender,” says Adlina Nadhirah, the founder, Managing and Creative Director of Velvet Vanity Cosmetics. She launched the campaign Break the Internet to promote two new shades of matte liquid lipsticks, Shook and Legit, with the appearance of male and dark skin tonnes female models.
As she emphasised the inclusivity of makeup to cater to all gender and that matches all skin tones, she chose matte liquid lipstick to enter the cosmetics business because everyone needs a lipstick to complete their days.
Break the Internet campaign does not only see the emergence of gender neutral representation of makeup, but also the utilisation of social media influencers, especially among Malaysian millennials.
“Millenials are all over social media, they spend more time on their phones. Social media influencers has large number of followings, that can influence potential customers and get them to hit the checkout cart.”
For Adlina, the first thing that she do in the morning is to check up on the Instagram page, which is the most dominant platform for her business where visuals are appealing to customers. In the evening, Adlina kept their page updated with latest content, and manage continuous interaction with Velvet Vanity’s customers.
Not only limiting working staff to be based in Malaysia, Velvet Vanity too have a team in Indonesia that catalysed the campaign direction for the cosmetic line. When asked about the team that she have, Adlina said everyone gets along with each other, but when it comes to work, everyone is focused on their goals. And they all love makeup!
“I will start my work and planning on Sunday, so I already have a momentum kick-off from Monday to the end of the week.”
Adlina who is an architecture graduate from Lim Kok Wing University of Creative Technology, Cyberjaya, who realized that there is a need of local cosmetic brands to fill in the gap and compete in international brands, she was determined to start an independent cosmetic lines. Facing challenges from the perception of Malaysian consumer, Adlina said “Malaysian consumers are used to buy international brands, they often think that local brands has lesser quality.”
There are not only international brands to compete with, but in the local scene as well, whereas more emerging local makeup producers and brands, but Adlina are not scared and ready to face the healthy competition.
Convincing local consumers to buy local brands has been a big challenge for her, but Adlina believes that customers are everything.
“Without customer, we are nothing.”
Taking care of customers goes a long way for her, and not just to provide the best customer service, gaining their trust and make sure they always come back. Good product, as she emphasised, is the key for sustainability of a business.
In maintaining the quality of their product, Velvet Vanity is known as vegan and cruelty free. What does this means to the cosmetic industry?
“It is important to have a vegan and cruelty free products, especially in the industry because consumers want products that is safe to use on their face and their body as well.”
Adlina believes that to be beautiful and produce good products, the industry should not sacrifice animals to become lab testers. For her, it’s unethical.
Another rising issues in cosmetics industry recently is counterfeiting of fake makeup which originally sold at higher prices, but now resellers selling them at a cheap and affordable price. Tackling the issues, Adlina said the makeup junkies know how to differentiate between original and fake makeup, because they are risking their health if they lay hands on this harmful unknown substance.
Over the year, there are stories exposed about the process of producing counterfeit products which involve unclean apparatus and environment, including the use of substance such as animal urine and glue to produce identical products.
“I advise makeup users to not use counterfeit products. It may be cheap now, but it is more expensive to fix your skin and cure your health in the future.”
Talking about Velvet Vanity’s future, Adlina hope that the brand will be more visible not only in Malaysia’s market, but also to explore and compete at international level, visioning Velvet Vanity in Sephora’s display shelves in 5 years time.
Velvet Vanity is in setting to launch a new product which is not liquid matte lipstick on January 1st, 2018. We might want to watch that out.