Indonesian skincare and beauty supplies are hot items, but what’s an expat to do when looking for the best items and brands? Beauty writer Ahda Arifa Ismail explains what’s best amongst the leading products and lines.
Homegrown Beauty – A Simple Guide to Indonesian Cosmetic Brands
Often considered as the recession- proof business, the beauty industry attracts both the enthusiast and entrepreneur around the world. There is always a place in the market for growth and a chance to change the trends. After all, beauty has become a vital necessity in this modern age.
Severe competition between companies trying to out-best each other is no secret. Pinning down the who’s who in cosmetics can be difficult because this business deals with people’s preferences. For decades now, Paris and the United States have set the stage for beauty. The companies that operate from there deliver high quality goods, and dictate a certain standard for what’s in style and what looks good.
Beauty companies from South Korea have recently tipped the industry into a new phase. They have successfully marketed a new look to the world focussing on the health of skin as equally or more important than traditional cover ups. People are gradually realizing the significance of skincare products, with a preference for ingredients sourced from nature.
Despite the aggressive marketing campaigns from these companies in the past few years, the Indonesian market has seen a steady-butdefinitive new wave of locally sourced and manufactured beauty products. Although Indonesia has been producing cosmetics and skincare lines for the market for a while, the response from consumers has never been more exciting for these up-and- comers. More and more Indonesian consumers are proud to purchase local brands. The young entrepreneurs behind the local companies are also eager to promote beauty innovations. The locally-made products are now almost comparable to the world- class brands. Some of them have even succeeded internationally.
Over the course of two years, Indonesia’s market has been flooded with local cosmetics companies that focus on lip wear. More specifically, lip cream in a non- drying matte finish. Several Indonesia-based companies started off with entirely new concepts. Their arrival was a breath of fresh air for a sagging market for which there is always opportunity for creativity and innovation.
Here are some of the vastly popular local brands with homegrown appeal:
Arguably the only youthful, local brand that pioneers a broad- spectrum lip cream with matte finish, Rollover Reaction is one of the most popular brands amongst Indonesians. It is a brainchild of four young women, who successfully married simplicity with elegance. It is one of the holy grails of lipwear with an unprecedented formula that seems fitting to any type of skin condition. Rollover Reaction is recently expanding their collections to eyebrow makeup. (Price range Rp.109,000 to Rp.129,000 at website www.rolloverreaction.com) Make Over In a world full of possibilities, the only thing that remains a rule is the perception of beauty. However, does beauty have to fulfil a certain standard in society? Determined to answer this profound question, Make Over initiates a line of beauty products suitable for every skin type and concern. They are not one type of beauty, but beauty for every type. Their lines of cosmetic and skincare products arrive with classy black packaging, giving world- class elegance. (Price range: Rp.45,000 to Rp.305,000 at Make Over Stores and local drugstores)
This skincare company combines ancient, Indonesian beauty rituals and herbal medicinal practices within the confines of modern science. Even though it is based in New York, the originator of the brand features traditional Indonesian spices such as candlenut oil, clove, tamarind or turmeric. They offer an array of herbalheritage-meets-botanical- science concept skincare products and body treatments. (Price range Rp. 329,000 to Rp.994,000 at Sephora Indonesia).
Imitation and repetition are two of the largest issues in the digitized era. A majority of local companies have started to encourage women to be brave and flaunt their uniqueness. Celebrating the vivacious world of pop culture with innocent optimism at its core, Polka’s brand livens up with originality. The cosmetic company offers a range of colours that can hardly be found anywhere else. They are also one of the few Indonesian brands that have broken through the international ranks to Australia and the United States. (Price Rp.185,000 at www.polkabeauty.com and Sephora Indonesia)
Delivering beneficial elements that only nature can, Mineral Botanica produces cosmetics and skincare without the use of chemicals. The products are developed with extracts and essential oils that are manufactured under the strictest quality control. Often
Inspired by world- class beauty experts, Esqa Cosmetics shows how sophistication can be achieved with the subtlest of colours. The founders of the brand infuse natural ingredients inside their iconic rose- gold packaging. Even though the brand has now launched another line of products, Indonesian cosmetic aficionados are still championing their lip products, in both matte-finish liquid and satinfinish crayon. (Price range Rp.185,000 to Rp.295,000 at www.esqacosmetics. com, Sociolla and Sephora Indonesia) overlooked due to its relatively lowranging price, its quality is comparable to internationally manufactured brands. They offer an unprecedented collection of cosmetics, skincare, tools and body care. (Price range Rp. 20,000 to Rp.197,900 at their outlets across Indonesia and local drugstores)
Switching loyalties from one cosmetic brand to another and trying new things can be diffcult to do. However, using locally-made cosmetics would be a wise choice as some are designed to fit the skin conditions experienced by Indonesians along with the impact of the climate to the skin’s overall health.