Beauty may lie in the eyes of the beholder but it is also natural for women to want to look good.
Women in this era juggle multiple roles, and mums often lament the lack of time to spend on grooming.
Skincare is the basis of looking good. But how can we pile on those assortment of potions in a fraction of the time?
When we heard that a newly launched skincare brand aims to help busy women like mums save time while caring for their skin, we lost no time to find out more!
This month, we caught hold of Ms. Claire Au, founder of Auolive, a premium Swiss formulated skincare line created to help declutter our skincare regime. We found out how she dipped her fingers into creating her own skincare brand, the story behind her entrepreneurial family and why every women will love Auolive.
Hi Claire! We hear that you’ve recently launched Auolive, a smart set of skincare series which promises to help busy women like mums save time while looking good. What inspired you to start this?
My family and I have been questioning ourselves… “How did the skincare practice of ‘the more the merrier’ started?” It used to be the 3-step routine cleanse, tone, moisturise, but over time, more and more steps (and confusion) were added.
I grew up watching my mum wear multiple hats, juggling between a full time management job, business trips, family and her social calendar. And to top it off, she was also a board member on my dad’s listed company.
In my eyes, mum was always in a rush, especially in the mornings as she spent time applying layers of serums and creams on her face before heading off to work and dad often asked “Are you done?”
In my teens, I started to grow my own stash of skincare products, thinking that I too have to go through the skincare regimen with multiple products and steps to maintain a good complexion.
When I started working in an FMCG company, I then asked myself what a lady truly needed to have beautiful skin. And it came to a point where I couldn’t keep up with the beauty routine when I started running my own F&B business due to the long hours. I had to head to the wholesale fish market at 2am on some nights- by the time I got home, I fell asleep after just one step- cleansing! It was the same thing in the mornings – there was no time for an elaborate multi-step skincare routine because I had to rush to make deliveries.
Marriage preparations and entering a new stage of life made me more convinced I was on the right track, because I recalled how busy my mum was, and knew I wanted good skin in less time; not to mention more time for family and interests. Knowing that this was a common beauty struggle for busy, time-strapped multi-tasking women, I wanted to make life easier for them, my mum and for myself. And this made me determined to find a solution.
I roped in my family and we embarked on researching and formulating a range of effective multi-functional skincare products. A quicker skincare solution also means having more time for other important things.
After more than two years of research and development, Auolive was born!
What were the challenges that you had to tackle? How were they sorted eventually?
Finding the right lab partner who understood our needs and what our brand stood for was tricky. We wanted to develop products using natural active ingredients that will reduce time and remove clutter in a women’s skincare regimen. More importantly the products have to deliver effective results for the busy multi-tasking women.
Also, we spent a lot of time on R & D as we want to ensure efficacy and getting the desired textures of the products. E.g. our Day Glower (which is a day moisturiser with antioxidants, anti-ageing, brightening and sun protection properties) is absorbed so quickly that you only need to pat on some powder and you are ready to go. It does not leave a sticky oily feel which most women do not like especially when they are in places with no air-conditioning.
So there was a lot of effort spent on testing, going back and forth with the labs etc. to finally get the products right.
We chose to have our Swiss-formulated products manufactured locally as Singapore is known for its high manufacturing standards, something which I am very proud of.
My prime challenge is to share the benefits of a simple yet effective skincare regimen to the busy women out there.
My bigger challenge will be to bring our homegrown brand to the international markets.
What was your childhood ambition?
I’ve been passionate about beauty since young, devouring magazines and newspapers to find out the latest skincare tips and trends. It was in the university that I dreamt of having my very own beauty company, and sometimes, till now, I can’t believe that my dream has really come true!
Were your parents surprised with your decision to take the entrepreneurial route?
Not at all because I’ve started a business before, and my dad is a successful entrepreneur and private investor with over 30 years of experience. He was Founder and CEO of a public listed company – it’s his dream for his children to follow in his footsteps to be entrepreneurs!
Do you think women are confused with the endless choices of beauty products available?
That’s precisely why I started Auolive!
We spoke to many ladies and the unanimous feedback was: it can be very confusing and intimidating! For e.g.when they walk into a store, there are so many different ranges of products and steps to follow from just one brand.
With Auolive, you only need one product for the day, one for the night and one for the eyes.
Gone are the days of spending time over multiple steps in a skincare routine and being confused by the myriad of skincare products for different beauty functions.
What are the 3 must-have products to kickstart the day so we can put our best face forward?
With Auolive you only need two!
After cleansing, gently dab on Auolive Eyes Lifter, an invigorating eye serum to help fight the signs of ageing and bid tired looking eyes goodbye.
For the face, our signature day cream, Auolive Day Glower is a lightweight, non-greasy brightening moisturiser that offers protection against UV rays and environmental pollutants.
it is very important to give your skin a much needed radiance boost once or twice a week. Our Radiance Revealer is a gentle Superfruit Exfoliating Gel that helps to increase blood circulation and allow better absorption of skincare products. The Radiance Revealer will help 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 look more radiant and pores are finer after using the Radiance Reveale too!
What is your typical day like as a #girlboss?
I’ll have meetings with different parties, e.g. follow up with distributors or engaging potential distributors to talk business; with our marketing agency, suppliers; or with the management team. As we are planning for more products in the pipeline, I’m also meeting with the lab to create and test new products.
As Auolive retails online, I also need to constantly read up and meet with subject experts to stay on top of things in the e-commerce world which moves very fast!
Any advice for would-be entrepreneurs who are planning to take that first step?
Before you start, do your groundwork first and make sure there is demand for your product or service!
Before embarking on Auolive, my family and I were 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 time-strapped, busy multi-tasking women who simply cannot afford the time for a multi-step skincare regimen.
Wow, it certainly sounds like there’s hope in maintaining healthy skin in a jiffy!
Thank you, Claire, for the earnest anecdotes of fulfilling your childhood dreams! I’m sure it must be surreal to say the least, and may Auolive continues to make a difference in our skin and time management! For more information about Auolive: Website / Facebook / Instagram
If you’ve got an inspiring story to share, or know someone who should be featured, drop us a note!