Full-fledged skincare brands are a rarity in Singapore, simply because it takes considerable know-how and investment to create a brand from scratch. After all, with so many skincare brands available from cult to pharmaceutical to luxury, customers are spoilt for choice. New on the scene is Auolive. Started by Singaporean entrepreneur Claire Au, with the backing of her family, Au truly believes that Auolive has something unique and functional to offer the Singaporean woman (or man). Find out more about how the brand allows you to hack your skincare regimen from Au herself.
What was your vision for Auolive?
Our vision for Auolive is to be a leading company in multi-functional skincare solutions using natural active ingredients. Our mission is to provide skincare solutions made from natural active ingredients that are safe, multi-functional, fuss-free and effective in maintaining beautiful skin for the busy multi-tasking woman.
I truly believe that good skincare should not be a hassle and can be achieved in a jiffy. With Auolive, you can hack the traditional multi-step skincare regimen, and do more with less skincare products. Women are very time strapped, climbing the corporate ladder, traveling or multi-tasking as mothers. There is hardly any time left for multi-step skincare routines and some even give up the idea of skincare totally. Auolive is created to ensure women can still indulge in good skincare with a simple routine in just a minute for day and night each. Then they do not have to rush every morning and catch a little more sleep at night. Auolive also saves them the time and hassle of having to decide from the many ranges of products out there.
Tell us about the brand. How did you come up with the name? What inspired you to get into the skincare business?
We brainstormed many names and at the same time prayed really hard for a name. God downloaded the name to my dad and we all loved it! It is pronounced as 'olive', and is a combination of our family name Au, and the evergreen tree olive. Olive trees and olive oil are known to be symbols of strength, health and beauty. Many olive trees are centuries old, and can live beyond a 1000 years and still bear fruit. Olive oil is natural and multi-functional, and can be used for cooking and also soothe and nourish skin, which is really in line with our brand because we're bringing women multi-functional beauty products using natural active ingredients.
It was my dream to have my own beauty business. It the past, it used to be the 3-step cleanse, tone and moisturise, but with time, more steps like serum, essence and sunblock were added. And it came to a point where I couldn't keep up with the routine especially when I was running my own F&B business due to the long hours. On some nights, I have to head to the wholesale fish market at 2am and by the time I was home, I just want to plonk on the bed. I tried my best to stick to the routine, but many times I fall asleep after just one step- cleansing. It was the same thing in the morning — I had no time for an elaborate multi-step skincare routine because I had to rush out to make deliveries.
That convinced me that I was on the right track — skincare has to be made easier and faster with multi-functional products, allowing all the other time-strapped, busy, multi-tasking women out there and myself, to skip the multi-step skincare regimen with simple and effective skincare solution. After more than two years of research and development, Auolive was born.
Why have you chosen to work specifically with multi-tasking products? Where are your products developed and made?
Before embarking on Auolive, my family and I had been in the skincare business for three years. And it was through conversations with many women that we knew Auolive would be a hit because there was great demand from busy, multi-tasking women who simply cannot afford the time for a multi-step skincare regimen. Auolive is developed with these women in mind.
Women travel much more than before and the added value of multitasking products is you now pack and carry only three products (besides your cleanser) instead of the five to eight in the past, so you can save time and space. We explored countries like Japan and Switzerland and finally we had our products Swiss formulated. Then we chose to have our products manufactured here, as Singapore is known for having high manufacturing standards, something which I am very proud of and benefit from. Logistics can be better managed as well.
We love the cheeky, rhyming names of the products. How did you come up with them and why?
We realised skincare can be intimidating for some ladies, and can cause some confusion and frustration. For example, when they walk into a store, from one brand alone, there are already so many different ranges, and so many steps of skincare to follow. Some will depend on recommendations from the store assistants and for those without, it takes time to go through them all.
A lot of thought and care was put into the creation of our skincare products to keep things simple and easily understood, right down to the naming of Auolive products. We strive to be women's beauty companions, and the names are beauty reminders to motivate women and perk up their day. Also, when you read the rhyming names, you immediately know what the product does, what it stands for and when to use them. For example, the colour of the font used in Day Glower, our signature day cream, is orange in colour, which is associated with the sun. It says, "Rise & Shine, Moisturise", which is meant to be used when you wake up in the morning. Also the Day Glower has brightening properties which will brightens up the face with a glow. Likewise, the Night Booster says "Seep in Deep, Rest and Sleep" so we're reminding them that they need to catch our beauty sleep.
How will a customer be able to pick out the right products and tell us about your sampling programme?
The first point of contact that a customer has with a beauty brand is likely online, because nowadays a lot of ladies’ shop for skincare by reading up reviews and content online, and likely have made up their minds before they even decide to hit the stores. Therefore, Auolive is well-positioned to leverage on that by having a strong online presence with our ecommerce store. Also, online ordering will save them time as the products are delivered to them.
The modern consumers are very savvy and already know what they want or need. Some will go ingredient-shopping after trying different products or getting advice from a skincare doctor plus reviews from users etc. These are the group who will reference the natural active ingredients listed on our product pages, and buy when it fits their list.
We've incorporated product reviews on our website so that customers can find out how the products have worked for other women. This is an on-going effort and we continue to engage with customers on their feedback and to leave reviews on our website.
We welcome customers to connect with us by sending us their skincare concerns in order to pick out the right products, and to sign-up for samples on our website so that they can try our products before buying. The process of choosing the products have also been simplified as we have one product for the day and one for the night. We also add regular skincare editorials on our website so that customers can read and learn more about how to take care of their skin.
Tell us more about your products and packaging? Which are your absolute favourites and why?
We have a capsule of four products. Day Glower is our day moisturiser with antioxidant, anti-ageing, brightening and sun protection properties. It gets absorbed quickly, and does not leave a sticky feel despite being a moisturiser cum sunblock. What's great is it doubles up as a good face primer too! After I cleanse my face in the morning, all I need is to apply the Day Glower, pat on some powder, and I'm ready to go.
Night Booster is our night serum with anti-ageing, plumping, lifting and radiance boosting properties. This is the product that allows me to get to bed fast after cleansing. I just need to apply the Night Booster, skipping the multi-step regimen (toner, essence, serum, and moisturiser) and head to be. It penetrates like a serum and protects like a moisturiser and has amazing texture. Most importantly it's a workhorse and helps you wake up with soft, dewy skin, despite sleeping with air-conditioning.
Eyes Lifter is our Invigorating Eye Serum that's my favourite, and also got a lot of ladies raving about it because they love the texture and efficacy. It is lightweight, absorbs quickly and does not cause milia seeds, and it energises the eye area to improve eye bags, fine lines and puffiness.
Radiance Revealer is used once or twice a week, to give your skin a much-needed radiance and antioxidant boost. It is a gentle, superfruit exfoliating gel. Beyond increasing blood circulation and allowing better absorption of skincare products, the Radiance Revealer helps to refine pores, get rid of dead skin cells, rejuvenate and brighten your complexion. We received a lot of feedback from customers that their skin looks more radiant and pores are finer after using the Radiance Revealer.
My absolute favourites would be the Day Glower and Night Booster because the Day Glower helps me get out of the house fast each morning looking good, and Night Booster helps me get to bed quickly each night and wake up with baby soft skin. We put in a lot of thought and effort into ensuring the quality of our products. All our products are dermatologically and clinically tested, which means that there's an added level of trust because the products have been tested by independent experts. We've also formulated all our products to be water-based so that it's suitable for the tropical weather, and for ladies who prefer lighter formulations in their skincare products so that it gets easily absorbed. Auolive products contain natural active ingredients, and are also paraben-, colour- and sulphate-free.
We invested in the packaging so we use Korean-made airless pump bottles which are airtight to ensure that the product has zero exposure to air, thus preventing contamination and delivering maximum performance of the ingredients in our products. We noticed that many times, people misplace the bottle caps of their skincare products, so we selected a bottle with a twist cap so you would not have this issue! Also, the bottles are leak proof so it is convenient for travel. No more need for additional zip block bags in packing in case of leakages.
How is your brand different and unique from other brands and how do you inject your personality, taste, culture or experience into it?
Auolive skincare products was created from our own experience and observation of how we can be game-changers in the skincare industry. Our products are very targeted, and cater to busy women with no time for the multi-step skincare regimen and prefer simplicity with efficacy. What is unique is that Auolive products are multi-functional in efficacy, which is really going against the grain of what most brands are doing, allowing women to hack the traditional multi-step skincare regimen.
We're also obsessed with product texture because we noticed that really matters to our customers! They demand products that are lightweight and absorb fast, and we are very fastidious when it comes to product development because not only must the product work well, it needs to satisfy our, and our customers' requirement of having great texture.
Our Day Glower is a great example. Despite having UVA and UVB protection, the day cream absorbs like a dream and is not sticky. Our Night Booster has upped the ante as well — night creams tend to be richer than day creams but we introduced one with a gel-like texture which penetrates like a serum and protects like a moisturiser.
Was this brand created with Singapore women or your own friends and family in mind? How so?
Auolive is created with the busy multi-tasking women in mind, to help them alleviate the problem of having no time for skincare. We have seen friends who have given up on skincare altogether, especially when the baby arrives, because all the attention will be turned to the child. My turn will come soon because I just got married last year, and I know it will not be easy juggling a start-up and a newborn baby. So, I've paved the way to make things easier not just for myself but for all busy women out there who are wearing multiple hats. Auolive will help you take care of your skin in a jiffy so that you can spend the time on other things in your life or simply have a few minutes to yourself indulging in some "me time"!
What are your hopes for the brand in the near future?
We will continue with our efforts in R&D for products that are in line with our brand of multi-functional effective skincare using natural active ingredients, and we have some exciting products in the pipeline for launch soon. We also intend to build Auolive into a regional and global brand, and are working hard towards that. Auolive embraces women so in the future we hope to support projects which involve women who are marginalised here or in the region.
From $58-$138. Auolive is available here
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