By SG Ang
It cannot be denied that if you are a woman or the modern man, looking good is paramount to your confidence levels. How you look on the outside often reflects how you feel on the inside. But ageing and the harsh sun can wear away one’s outer beauty with the passing of time.
The modern woman’s mantra may be to age gracefully but the truth is many of us do not want to look 45, even though we may have turned 55.
These are the days of the “rocking grandmas”. She is the one who is toting designer handbags and striding purposefully in high heels as she treats her grandchildren to a fun-filled day at an indoor playground. She wants to be admired for her well-put together looks.
It’s no longer frowned upon to indulge your vanity. It’s now acceptable to embrace and celebrate the desire to look good.
Worldwide, the beauty industry is seeing a boom and in the period between 1998 and 2010, the total cosmetic sales (beauty and personal care products) is said to have more than doubled from US$166 billion (RM528 billion) to US$382 billion (RM1.2 trillion).
According to statistics provided by researchers at the Maria Curie-Sklodowska University in Poland, throughout the last decade, skincare was the most significant segment in the beauty industry with its 23% of market share. And currently, its growth is driven primarily by the Asian market.
They also noted that the success of the skin care market is prerequisite for the prosperity of the whole beauty industry.
A Malaysian who could foretell the growth of the skincare industry worldwide was a secretary working with a German company in the early 1990s.
While attending a seminar in Germany, Ruby Siah (pic) was introduced to a representative from the German skincare industry. He was so impressed with Ruby’s insights about the industry that he invited her to become an agent for his products. And from that day onwards, Ruby’s rise in the world of skincare has been meteoric to say the least.
Although she became a successful skincare agent, she believed she could do more to fulfil her potential in this field. She had visions of creating her own line of skincare products and travelled to Switzerland where, with help from a chemist, she successfully formulated her own high-end skincare range to join other international players in this industry.
In 1997, the Beaubelle skincare range was born when Ruby opened her first agency in Hong Kong.
Sitting in her office in Dataran Prima, Petaling Jaya, the stylish Ruby relates her success story to Business Circle.
“I didn’t want Beaubelle products to become just an ordinary skincare range,” says Ruby.
“I wanted products that you could relate to at the subconscious level. I wanted to incorporate eastern philosophies of rejuvenation and harmony to achieve total wellness for users,” explains an impassioned Ruby, adding that her products adhere to Swiss quality and safety standards.
“Beaubelle’s premier face, body and spa products are researched and developed by Beaubelle Advanced Dermocosmetic Research Centre in Switzerland (pic). Our research centre is backed by more than 53 years of solid experience and expertise in perfecting the beauty of face and body.”
Beaubelle follows a franchise model with spas and beauty clinic using the product for various therapies.
“There are over 50 beauty clinics and spas using our products here in Malaysia. And in 33 countries worldwide, we have another 500 salons using the Beaubelle range.
“We are proud to say that our products have been successful in developed countries. As a Malaysian, it makes me very proud that we are able to compete with established international brands,” says Ruby.
The Beaubelle group has distribution centres in London and Paris and a beauty clinic in Perth.
The CEO of Beaubelle also established her own academy a few years ago to train beauty and spa therapists so that they have a holistic understanding of the industry.
“At Beaubelle, we understand that each person’s beauty and health needs are unique and this is why Beaubelle’s therapists are trained to be professions to serve you better,” explains Ruby (pic).
At present, the many spas in the country rely heavily on foreign spa therapist and the long-term goal is to encourage locals to replace foreign therapists.
The Tourism Ministry hopes that Centres of Excellence such as the Beaubelle Academy will be able to provide the much needed skills training for local recruits (pic).
“Many people here don’t seem to understand the true purpose of the spa. Spa is all about wellness. Our trained therapist will know that is wrong with your body and will try to help rejuvenate it. There is science behind this type of work,” says Ruby passionately.
Ruby is concerned that our country with its rich multicultural heritage is fast losing much of its traditional knowledge.
“Our country is blessed with so many types of traditional beauty and massage therapies. It would be a shame if we do not utilise our heritage to promote the country to foreign visitors.”
Ruby believes that the Malaysian beauty and spa industry can achieve international recognition as it has all the elements necessary for a long term success story.
And what it needs do now is chart its own course, much like what Ruby did almost two decades ago with Beaubelle.
More information Beaubelle and its products and services can be found here.