Mellow Cosmetics ramps up international expansion into Middle East, Asia as makeup rebounds

By Si Ying Thian

- Last updated on GMT

Mellow Cosmetics taps into inclusive beauty trends to appeal to Middle Eastern and Asian consumers © Mellow Cosmetics
Mellow Cosmetics taps into inclusive beauty trends to appeal to Middle Eastern and Asian consumers © Mellow Cosmetics

Related tags Color cosmetics clean beauty Skin care Makeup Skin health inclusive beauty vegan beauty cruelty free Cosmetics

Australian makeup brand Mellow Cosmetics plans to break into the Middle East and Asia to capitalise on recovery in the makeup category.

The vegan and cruelty-free makeup brand is currently available in Australia, New Zealand, the US, and the UK.

Its online channels include its official website and e-commerce platforms. It is also accessible offline via department stores and pharmacies.

Founder Ima Asali told CosmeticsDesign-Asia ​that markets such as Dubai, India, Saudi Arabia and Vietnam were target markets for the firm.

Additionally, it was aiming to expand its physical presence in the UK as well.

The direct-to-consumer brand launched in 2014 with four SKUs and has since expanded to over 50. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the company was affect by the softening of the global colour cosmetics market.

However, as of last year it has experienced a steady uptick in sales with the loosening of pandemic restrictions. Asli told us growth has been healthy at about 50% year-on-year in 2022.

The global recovery of the makeup category has also sparked interest from overseas distributors.

Blush shades © Mellow Cosmetics

Asali credits the brand’s efforts to be inclusive as the one of the main drivers of interest from the Middle Eastern and Asian distributors.

“In our photoshoots online, we try to use models from Asia, different races, and skin colours. We try to cater to everybody. A lot of brands in Australia still cater mainly to a Caucasian audience, and they mainly only do the nude or lighter colours in their cosmetics range.”

Not a trend chaser

Asali told us that she was careful not to chase trends, as they “come and go”​ rapidly. Instead, the company focuses development on products that have evergreen appeal.

This includes makeup products with skin care benefits.

“Currently, we’re working on tinted moisturisers that have skin care ingredients that provide additional benefits,” ​said Asli.

She added that the firm is also developing cream blushes, bronzers and eye shadows for textured skin.

While the clean movement remains strong among beauty consumers, the company does not let it “limit the way of product development”,​ as efficacy and safety remain paramount for the brand.

Skin care developments

Stuf Skin's products © Stuf Skin

In addition to Mellow Cosmetics, Asali also founded Stuf Skin. Founded in 2021, the skin care brand aims to develop efficacious products that are also gentle on the skin.

Unlike Mellow Cosmetics, Stuf Skin is focusing mostly on Australia and New Zealand. It is available in this market through offline retailers such as department stores and pharmacies, in addition to its online website.

Asali cited intense market competition and high shipping costs for its decision to keep close to home.

We’re doing the opposite with Mellow Cosmetics as we expanded internationally [to the US] first, then came back to Australia and New Zealand to grow. With Stuf Skin, we’re putting our investments in marketing within these two countries to build a good customer base and returning customers.”

However, it hopes that it can expand overseas next year onwards and has its eye on the US and UK markets.

The brand currently has seven SKUs and is set to launch a face oil next.

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