Lip service: Personalised lipstick brand zeroing in on clean and sustainable beauty trend to drive growth

By Amanda Lim

- Last updated on GMT

Lips Carpenter aims to tap into the interest in clean and sustainable products to drive growth. [Lips Carpenter]
Lips Carpenter aims to tap into the interest in clean and sustainable products to drive growth. [Lips Carpenter]

Related tags Personalisation make-up

Pandemic-born bespoke beauty start-up Lips Carpenter aims to tap into the interest in clean and sustainable products to drive growth after relying on the personalised gifting market to sustain itself during COVID-19.

The Malaysia-based start-up that specialises in personalised lipsticks. It offers more than 30 shades of lipstick that can be paired with over 20 different cases that can in turn be personalised with an engraving.

In addition to the personalised beauty trend, the company is tapping into the interest in clean and sustainable products to drive growth with natural formulations and eco-friendly packaging.

“When we first started the brand, we wanted something people could relate to, so we focused on clean ingredients and the sustainability factor. Of course, there are a thousand similar products on the shelves out there and with a personalised product, everyone can have something they truly love. I think this all together gives us a very good position in the market,” ​said founder Law Yifon.

“All our ready-made products use sustainable materials like glass or paper packaging. And as for our customised products, customers can request to refill once they finish their lipstick. They can just request a pickup and even choose a new colour. We will handle clean up and refurbish the whole thing for them.”

Adapting to a pandemic

The company was established in 2018 but officially launched its customised beauty brand at the end of 2019, just months before the COVID-19 outbreak.

“When we started out, we were going from event to event just to be on the ground with the customer and gather feedback. The plan was to go towards e-commerce down the road, but COVID expedited the process and in turn accelerated the company’s progress,”​ said Law

Additionally, the company expanded its product line-up to include ready-made face and lip care products.

Despite the impact of COVID-19 on the make-up category, the company is on track to double its business this year.

Law told CosmeticsDesign-Asia​ that the company managed to thrive under such uncertain conditions all thanks to the personalised gifting market.

“People may not be going out and using as much make-up as they used to, but they are still gifting, especially during tough times. We saw the gifting market really surged during this time and having personalised lipsticks really gave us an edge.”

The company does not plan to rely on gifting for long and is banking on the post-COVID return of make-up.
“Once the doors open more, we should be seeing an increase of make-up use, going back to what it used to be. We expect a spike and as a business, we’re getting ourselves ready. Ultimately, we can’t know for sure what will happen, so its important to be ready for anything,” ​said Law.

While the company’s ready-to-made products are manufactured externally by a local manufacturer, its personalised products are made by hand in its own workshop.

In preparation for a possible surge in orders, the company is on a hiring drive to increase its output of personalised lipsticks.

“We plan to increase our manpower to lead in customisation. We believe we can scale with efficiency with the right number of people. At the moment, we are lacking in manpower, but once things open up, we will be able to scale soon,” ​said Law.

More hires would also allow the company to expand its range of personalised cosmetics to include products such as blushers and eyeshadows as well as skin care products.

“The idea is to build up and become an all-rounded beauty brand that focuses on personalisation and sustainability. We will be increasing the number of products we currently have and hopefully that will help us when we expand into new markets,” ​said Law.

Law elaborated that the company was targeting neighbouring Singapore as well as the US and UK, where it has observed a high volume of orders. Additionally, the company was looking forward to opening its own brick-and-mortar outlet.

“In five years, we hope to have a store, but it won’t just be a retail place. I see it as an experiential space that people can come in to experience the customisation and the handcrafting behind the brand.”

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