It was my first visit to Beyond Beauty ASEAN Bangkok (or BBAB for short) and – spoiler alert – it’ll also be my last BBAB. The reason: from 2020 onwards Beyond Beauty ASEAN will be combined with another key Thai beauty show (ASEAN Beauty) to form the latest addition to the Cosmoprof world of cosmetics trade fairs: Cosmoprof CBE ASEAN Bangkok (organised by BolognaFiere, Informa Markets and China Beauty Expo). These are the three of the biggest cosmetics trade show organisers in the world (and definitely the leaders in the Asian markets) so the new show is bound to be interesting, to say the least!
The reason why Cosmoprof CBE will continue to take place in Bangkok is simple: Thailand is the biggest beauty retail market in the ASEAN region and (excepting Singapore) it’s also the most highly developed ASEAN country. In fact, according to official figures by the Federation of Thai Industries, the Thai beauty and personal care market is growing strongly. In 2018, the market reached a total value of 6.2 billion USD, says Federation chairman Suphan Mongkolsuthree. And the industry grew 7% annually over the past six years making it the #1 export country amongst the largest export income earners in the ASEAN region.
ASEAN, by the way, stands for Association of South East Asian Nations and comprises ten countries. In alphabetical order: Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
The new Cosmoprof show will take place from 17th to 19th September 2020 at IMPACT Trade Show Centre in Bangkok – just like this year’s Beyond Beauty ASEAN did – and I think it’s an excellent idea, combining two small shows into one large trade fair platform.
Because frankly, Beyond Beauty ASEAN Bangkok was a bit disappointing in terms of exhibitors. Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoyed the trade fair very much and met some charming local beauty brands, but I’m trends journalist and when I visit a regional beauty trade fair (as opposed to pan-Asian shows like Cosmoprof Asia) I’m primarily interested in domestic and regional finished cosmetics exhibitors.
And at Beyond Beauty ASEAN 2019, the Chinese and Korean exhibitors massively outnumbered the Thai companies. I just did a rough exhibitor count and there were some 120 Thai brands and companies (including finished cosmetics and OEM/ODM manufacturers; I’d estimate that the split was around 50:50 with perhaps a slight bias towards OEM/ODM).
The number of Chinese exhibitors reached 150 and Korea was present with some 100 companies. Taiwan had some 20 exhibitors and Japan around 5-6, plus around 20 European/Western brands. Basically, if you’re looking for home-grown talent, Beyond Beauty ASEAN isn’t quite it. The new Cosmoprof CBE ASEAN show, however, should be very worthwhile from what I’ve read about it so far!
Still, I had a good time at BBAB 2019 and below you’ll find some of my favourite brand discoveries. I focused on whichever Thai brands I could find, of course, but I’m also including a few interesting brand exhibitors from East Asia.
BBAB 2019: Clean beauty
Unsuprisingly, the clean/natural beauty trend was much in evidence at BBAB. And practically all clean beauty brands that I saw at the show were new, usually launched less than 12 months ago. Lots of brand innovation here! And a strong focus on local ingredients with a strong made-in-Thailand vibe.
IAM ORGANIC (Thailand)
Like Iam Organic, a nice little Thai niche brand which was founded in early 2019. The brand manufactures two products, the Fabecea Shampoo formulated with pea sprout, hydrolyzed corn starch and beetroot extract and the Aqua Cacteen Shower Gel which contains hyaluronic acid and cactus pear extract. Iam Organic’s products are primarily sold through social media and other online shopping sites, such as shoppee.co.th, but also in selected offline organic stores, spas and salons.
The ingredients are not organic according to any of the European standards but they’re solidly near-natural. The packaging is simple and stylish and the products are priced at 1,200 BHT which equals 40 USD, making this a distinctly premium product.
Auriza is even younger than Iam Organic: the Thai startup brand launched this September. The company offers three products formulated with traditional Thai ingredients: a toothpaste with lotus seed extract, the Auriza Brightening Serum which also includes lotus seed extract as well as niacinamide, vitamin B3, hyaluronic acid, liquorice root extract and centella asiatica and the Face & Body Soap, a solid body cleansing bar which contains turmeric root powder and tamarind fruit extract.
At the moment Auriza’s products are only sold via Facebook and through the brand’s own webshop but the company has big plans for its future expansion, including sales through department store brand counters and on the key Thai shopping sites like Lazada, Shoppee and Konvy Beauticool. There will also be a kids product range by 2020, Auriza says, and within five years the company is aiming to enter the international market.
Patapee is another young Thai beauty brand introduced in early 2019. The company manufactures exactly one product, a creamy clay mask based on volcanic bentonite. The entire product in made in Thailand; the bentonite is sourced from Patapee’s own clay mine in Lopburi province in Central Thailand.
I tried out the mask and it’s super soft and creamy, and a light grey in colour. The ingredients: 99% bentonite clay, 1% phenoxyethanol. The packaging: minimalistic and stylish. Priced at 2,500 THB for the larger tube (the mask is available in two sizes) which makes this a total luxe product. Patapee is currently selling its mask online and in a store in Siam Paragon mall in Bangkok.
I also liked Herbalrika, a traditional Thai beauty brand which was launched earlier this year and offers a single product: the Organic Herbal Facial Cleansing Gel which is available in two sizes. All products are free from SLS, alcohol, parabens and colourants.
The formula contains typically Thai herbs such as bamboo grass, gotu kola and turmeric as well as wild honey, peppermint and aloe vera. Herbalrika is another brand that is primarily sold through social media and online.
BBAB 2019: Spa brands
No collection of Thai beauty brands would be complete without a major spa beauty presence! Seriously, theThai country pavillion that I’ve seen at other Asian trade show are always dominated by spa and wellness labels. And no surprise there: after all, Thailand is internationally famous for its spa culture and spa cosmetics are an integral part of the Thai beauty market – in fact, it’s probably the product category that the country is best known for. Big Thai luxury spa labels like Panpuri, Sabai-Arom and Thann have a global distribution and their products are sold in luxury stores across the world.
However, there are also scores of smaller and local spa brands in Thailand, many of which are popular souvenir choices with international tourists – according to a 2017 market study from Thai banking group Kasikorn, some 48% of in-bound tourists are buying beauty products whilst visiting the country. I did notice shelves full of spa cosmetics and herbal beauty products in the more premium supermarket retailers, like Gourmet Market, that are located in Bangkok’s luxury malls.
Anyway, Thai exhibitors at BBAB included a number of spa brands. Like Rakmai which offers skin and body care formulated with traditional Thai ingredients, especially silk protein derived from discarded silk worm cocoons. The brand’s range includes a Serum Silk Soap formulated with silk proteins and available individually or in a gift pack together with silk worm cocoons to be used as skin massaging devices – they make awesome exfoliating finger mitts! See pic directly below.
Rakmai’s line-up also offers two silk serums, one with whitening vitamin C and the other formulated for more sensitive skin; three massage oils (orange, kaffir lime leaf and lemongrass) and – these are the brand’s latest launches – a kaffir lime leaf body scrub and kaffir lime leaf powder which can be mixed with water to form an exfoliating paste. The company also sells the silk worm pods in different bag sizes as well as a massaging body glove which is woven from the silk worm pods. Talk about upcycling : )
FCT HERB (Thailand)
Another interesting Thai spa brand is FCT Herb from Chiang Mai. The company was launched in early 2019 with a line-up of 15 classic spa-style skin and body care products, including six creamy body scrubs (sakura, coconut, lemon & lavender, rice milk, jasmine rice and wild water plum), five massage oils (coconut, champaka, sakura, lavender and lemongrass) as well as five home fragrance reed diffusers (including champaka, lemongrass, lavender, tulip and wild water plum).
And of course FCT Herb also offers a herbal stamp, one of the quintessential Thai spa products. The stamp is a blend of medicinal and wellness herbs including camphor, galangal, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves and tamarind leaves. This herb mixture is bound up in a stamp-shaped cotton cloth which is then saturated in water, heated and then used to massage the body by “stamping” it with the warm herb mixture. FCT Herbs sells its products mostly online; the company’s home market is Thailand but I was told that they also have customers in Japan and China.
A well-known Thai spa brand is Divana (body care, spa and home fragrance) with its sister brand Dii (face care). Divana has been around for almost 20 years, Dii was introduced some ten years ago. There are four Divana spas in Bangkok and one will open in Pattaya this December. The company also operates the intriguing-sounding Divana Café chain (there are two locations in Centralworld mall here in Bangkok) and brand counters in around half a dozen Bangkok malls plus in ten King Power Duty Free stores across Thailand.
Dii’s bestseller amonst its 11-sku range is the Collagen Time Renewal cream and the brand’s latest launches are the Time Renewal Eye Cream and the Time Renewal Lip Balm. And Divana’s newest launch are four home fragrance diffusor sets which combine fragrances with the power of healing crystals and semi-precious stones. White Jade, for example, features jade stones suspended in the scent bottle. The other three diffusor sets are Blue Sapphire, Purple Amethyst and Rose Quartz. Divana is sold in department stores and malls, online and through salons and spas.
BBAB 2019: Making it up, Thai style
Thailand has a range of successful colour cosmetics brands which are sold across the ASEAN region – like Cathy Doll which is probably the best-known Thai makeup brand.
Or Thai makeup brand Cosluxe, which was launched around 8 years ago. The brand’s doing very well indeed, offline retailers include domestic perfumery chain Beautrium and Eveandboy as well as drugstore chain Watson which equals a massive market presence. Cosluxe’s products are also sold on South East Asian online shopping site Lazada as well as various other online stores.
The brand’s line-up is particularly heavy on eyeliners, fake lashes, and brow products (including brow liner, brow powders and brow mascaras – their brow bestseller is the 4 Real Eyebrow Pencils but the range also include colour pencils (in five colours), gel brow liners (three colours), eyebrow pencils with triangular tips (four shades), glitter pencils (two colours), eyebrow creams (in four colours), a brow powder palette and brow mascaras in three different shades.
The portfolio offers five different lines of eyeliners (glitter, gel, black, waterproof, liquid, pencils) and almost 20 different fake lash products. On the face side Cosluxe offers two ranges of liquid foundations (Tap Mix Me with three shades and Shine & Shade Super Matte in four colours), powder foundations (the Tap Semi-Foundation Oil-Locked in five colours and Tap Blur & Bright Air Compact Powder – one shade only) and cream concealers (four different shades) as well as powder blushes as part of the new In The Mood collection (see below).
The lip colour range is more compact: there’s the ten-sku Curve Lipstick range of highly pigmented matte lipsticks and the Bloomy Lip & Cheek Whip range of five lipglosses which can be used on lips or, well, cheeks. At Beyond Beauty, Cosluxe presented its newest makeup collection: In The Mood offers a 5-sku range of luscious shimmer eyeshadows, the afore-mentioned range of powder blushes with various finishes and four trip eyeshadows which have an ingenious magnetised lid – it comes right off, no hinges or anything.
Cosluxe’s sister brand Code Cosmetics was also at the trade show (see pic above). Code was launched three years ago and it caters to a younger and less luxury-oriented demographic. Code is sold in various domestic health and beauty retail chains, including perfumeries Beautrium and Eyeandboy and Robinsons department stores and supermarkets.
Code Cosmetics are colourful, peppy and accessible, with a particular focus on lip colour – the brand’s portfolio includes a 12-sku lipstick range and 12 lip glosses. However, the line-up also offers powder foundations in three colours, brow pencils (three shades) and a matte liquid eyeliner. The brand’s latest launch is the 3-sku range of compact powders, Wonder Fruity.
Thai makeup brand Ver.88 has the most eye-catching orange packaging and around 34 sku across ten product categories. The company was launched in 2015 and they’re retailed in various beauty and lifestyle retail store chains, including perfumery chain Eveandboy, the B2S bookstore chain and 7-11 convenience stores. And indeed, it feels like I’ve seen the brand’s bright orange makeup counter in pretty much every beauty store I visited.
Anyway, Ver.88’s bestseller is the 10-sku Liquid Lipstick range and the Bounce Up Pact SPF 50 PA++ BB compact foundation. The brand’s newest launch is a range of lipsticks available in ten shades which will be rolled out across 7-11 stores in Thailand soon. I absolutely adored their Glitter Liquid Eyeshadow packaging which to my eyes looks very 1970s.
The line-up also includes six different Silky Touch Powder Blushes, a liquid foundation in two shades, two BB Creams which are available as a full-sized tube and in a trial pouch size.
BBAB 2019: Best face forward
Skin care is the largest sub-category in the Thai beauty market, with an approximate value size of 3.4 billion USD, which equals around 38% of the domestic beauty sector. And there were some rather interesting skin and body care brands at Beyond Beauty ASEAN Bangkok 2019.
TAI TIER (Thailand)
Tai Tier (this is not a mis-spelling; it’s the brand’s name), for example, is an artisan soap manufacturer.
Tai Tier specialises in fruit and vegetable shaped soaps although the company basically does any shape you want – at the trade show I saw the most amazing set of fast-food soaps (including a pizza slice, fries and a fried egg, sunny side up) which was a commission for a UK-based chef.
The company was launched around five years ago and the product range comprises a staggering range of fruit and vegetables: there are some 30 sku in the premium range (where the fruit/veg look especially life-like) and around 27 “normal” soaps. Tai Tier covers just about any tropical and Western fruit – longan, mangosteen, starfruit, dragon fruit, different kinds of mangos, different kinds of melons, different types of bananas, apples, pears, coconuts, lemongrass stems, passionfruit, guava, oranges, avocados…
Each soap is made by hand and they do look spectacularly real. The reason why they’re so shiny in the pictures is because of the plastic layer around them. Without the plastic the surfaces look matte and very believable.
I was interested to find out that around 70% of Tai Tier’s production is ear-marked for export; the company is selling to a wide range of international markets, including the US, Korea, Japan, the UK, China, India and Russia. In Bangkok you can find their soaps in selected offline retailers, like Siam Discovery mall, and online, of course.
The brand’s five top sellers include the pineapple slice, the watermelon triangle, the opened coconut, the small Thai mango and a special kind of mandarine. The most recent launch from September was a very special kind of regional pineapple from Northern Thailand (called Phulae Pineapple); presented in a carved-up shape. They really do look like the ready-to-eat pineapples you’d buy from a street vendors!
And sheet mask brand Annaclan was actually launched on the occasion of Beyond Beauty Asean Bangkok: the Peach Blossom Romantic Lucky Mask is formulated with peach blossom extract and is claimed to make the skin so beautiful and peachy soft that you’ll also be lucky in love.
The packaging design is pretty and the sheet masks are (or will be) sold in Watsons and Boots drugstores and Beautrium perfumeries.
And Pacare Bessie’s skin care brand Le’Skin was launched a year ago. The brand’s face care portfolio is sold in 7-11 convenience stores (which is a major distribution channel in Thailand, by the way), in King Power duty free stores and Tops supermarkets. The brand’s portfolio comprises four ranges: the Snail Whitening range, the Gold Snail range (contains 24 karat gold), the Milk series and the Sunscreen line, plus several smaller sub-ranges.
Snail Whitening offers a facial cream, sheet mask, serum, face mist, sleeping mask and cleansing gel. Gold Snail is more compact, comprising a night cream and a sheet mask while the Milk line includes a sheet mask, face cream, cleansing foam, body lotion, cream bath additive and facial mist. Finally, the Sunscreen line offers two products, a SPF50++ face cream and SPF50++ body lotion. The sub-ranges include various face and body care lines, like the Bird’s Nest Whitening Mask and Water Drop face cream, the Perfect Body 3-Step Wax Remover and the Secret Whitening Face Cream.
Le’Skin’s newest launch is the Aroma Series of sheet masks. There are four variants: Lavender, Rose, Orange and Coconut which are formulated with moisturising argan oil and various fragrances: relaxing, harmonising, uplifting etc.
BEAUTY BUFFET (Thailand)
And now we’re coming to a true Thai beauty giant: Beauty Buffet is both a retailer and a cosmetics brand. The Beauty Buffet chain is one of the oldest Thai cosmetics retailers and operates some 280 Beauty Buffet stores in shopping malls and retail locations across Thailand, as well as the 87-strong Beauty Cottage store chain. Beauty Buffet has been around for more than 20 years; Beauty Cottage has a slightly younger demographic and was launched 7 years ago. I already decided that I’ll be doing a dedicated company profile on Beauty Community soon – that’s the company behind Beauty Buffet and Beauty Cottage.
Unsurprisingly Beauty Buffet has a very wide distribution, not just through its own retail store but also in pretty much all domestic drugstore and perfumery chains. For more information on Beauty Buffet and Beauty Cottage, check out my Insta feed, I posted a detailed store profile on the company.
At Beyond Beauty Asean Bangkok the company presented a shed-load of new launches, particularly in the Beauty Cottage brand: like sub-brand Juicy Farm with three new scented product ranges, Mango Mania, Apple Absolute and Berry Bomber. There are five products in each scent: a body lotion, shower cream, hand cream, body mist and a face scrub.
Also new in the Beauty Cottage brand: a line extension in the company’s Victorian Sensation fragrance range (check out the awesomely retro packaging!) which offers three new body colognes as welll as the 5-sku Luxury Velvet Matte Lipstick range which features art deco-inspired packaging.
FREYJA PEAU (Thailand)
I also liked Freyja Peau. Named after the Norse goddess Freya, Freyja Peau is a Thai skin care brand which was launched two years ago.
The brand offers a compact product portfolio: a Japanese micellar cleanser (billed as the first micellar negative-ion mineral cleansing water in Thailand), square makeup removing cottonwool pads and six different sheet masks (including Whitening, Firming, Collagen, Hyaluronic, Honey and Aloe).
BIBURY COLN (Thailand)
And Thai beauty brand Bibury Coln was launched four years ago; their 8-sku product range (5 face care, 3 body care) is made in Korea and sold online and in selected offline retailers, including the recently opened Kis perfumery in Centralworld shopping mall. Bibury Coln has a minimalistic brand concept: the face care line-up offers two cleansing products (a pH balancing micellar cleansing water and a balancing cleansing foam), a sleeping cream, an SPF30 PA++CC cream with encapsulated pigments and an light-textured clear SPF35 PA++ sun cream.
On the body side of things there’s a rich body cream, a refreshing body serum, and a relaxing body serum. Bibury’s latest launch is Glu-C-Gen10, a nutritional supplement that is available as a 5-day pack or a 15-day pack. The recommended daily dose is three tablets per day.
DOUBLE TWO DOUBLE FIVE (Thailand)
Double Two Double Five has such a stylish product logo, don’t you think? They launched this spring with a single product, the Facial Gold Essence.
Priced at 790 BHT and sold in Siam Paragon, Centara and Icon Siam malls (these upmarket malls usually have a “Thai zone” section which features food and beauty products that are made in Thailand, in order to make it easier for international shopping tourists to pick up local products) as well as Boots drugstores. The essence is light and fresh with a subtle golden shimmer and a soft floral fragrance. Very pleasant indeed.
And here’s another Thai niche brand that entered the market with a serum product: Enzo was launched in 2018 and their star product (and only product) is the Potency White Flower Serum formulated with six different white flower/blossom extracts.
Google Translate managed to decipher three of the plant names (chamomile, narcissus poeticus and white lotus) and then gave up. I assume that the remaining three plants are local flora which might not even have an English language common name, like some of the more obscure TCM extracts.
The White Flower Serum is sold online and in the CastleC beauty store in Siam Square shopping malls. Price point: 690 BHT. The packaging is pretty and floral and entirely matches the character of the product.
Nakiz’s Lively Butt Whitening Cream was one of my favourite at BBAB 2019! Nakiz was launched two years ago and it’s such a well-designed brand: an interesting product, cool and eye-catching packaging; quirky, fun positioning and a competitive price of 490 BHT.
Nakiz is sold in various online stores as well as in EveandBoy perfumeries and Hej Street stores. The brand’s also doing quite well in the ASEAN region, I was told, with e-commerce sales in Cambodia, Vietnam, Myanmar and Laos.
The Lively Butt Cream is formulated with black oatmeal extract, lemon peel, chamomile flower, comfrey and white willow bark to gently brighten, refine and hydrate the skin whilst healing pimples, soothing redness and unclogging pores. Besides the butt area, the cream can also be used on the groinal area, elbows, knees, armpits and any area of the body really.
BBAB 2019: Beauty from China, Korea and Japan
It is always a pleasure to see Chinese skin care brand Santemuse. I first met the Hangzhou-based biotech beauty brand at Cosme Tokyo trade show this January, then again at China Beauty Expo Shanghai this May. The company is currently focusing on its international expansion and the Thai market is very attractive, hence their presence at BBAB.
Santemuse’s latest launch is a range of four seasonal serums which will be available from this October: the products are based on the brand’s bestselling 672 serum but with additional ingredients selected to supply the skin’s different seasonal needs. The serums also feature different textures – Autumn and Winter are slightly richer (although not oily or anything, they are still silky clear serums), Spring and Summer have a lighter texture.
CCLIM GLAM (Korea)
CCLimGlam is a skin care brand from Korea and its latest launch, the All About Pure Toner, focuses on the skin care benefits of the madonna lily.
The toner contains different fruit acids and lactic acids such as AHA, BHA and PHA to gently exfoliate and refine the skin. Very pretty packaging.
And Lilay was a lovely discovery on my last day: the company is from Japan and does natural hair care. It was Lilay’s first time at Beyond Beauty ASEAN; they were launched in 2017 and the product range comprises four products packaged in minimalistic, pastel-coloured plastic bottles and jars.
The Lilay Treatment Balm (pink jar) is a citrus-scented waxy styling balm. Lilay Free Balm (blue jar) offers medium hold with a woodsy-spicy unisex scent while the Lilay Wrap Mist (lilac-coloured bottle) is a protective mist scented with citrus, lavender and bergamot to moisturise hair and body.
Finally, Lilay’s newest product is the All Your Oil, a multi-purpose oil which can be used for face, body and hair (even as a facial cleanser). In Japan the brand is sold in variety and beauty stores such as Loft and Biople as well as around 500 hair salons. I’ll have to look out for them when I’m in Tokyo next month.
Ample:n is a fairly new brand from Korea; it’s part of the brand stable of luxury anti-ageing skin care manufacturer Coréana, actually. Unlike most of Coréana’s products, Ample:n looks modern, functional and sleek.
The line-up focuses heavily on ampoules, essences and serums and there are around 16 face care sku, including the so-called Shots which are intensive skin care treatments. The key sub-ranges in the line-up are HyaluronShot (eight products, including a toner, emulsion and cream, a 2-step sheet mask, an eye cream, the HyaluronShot Light ampoule and a SPF50+PA**** sun cream), PeptideShot with an ampoule and 2-step mask, VCShot, PeelingShot, 24KgoldShot and AcneShot, plus a sub-range called CeramideShot which comprises an ampoule, a cream and a SPF50++ sun cream.
I’ve seen the Ample:n products in various beauty stores in Bangkok; the brand seems to be doing well – no surprise there; serum products are a strongly growing category according to a recent Euromonitor report on the Thai skin care market.
Anyway, these were some of my impressions from Beyond Beauty ASEAN Bangkok 2019. I wouldn’t visit this show again; while it was interesting (albeit small) the location – IMPACT Exhibition Centre near Don Mueang Airport– is just too difficult to get to. The exhibition centre – whilst admirable in almost every other aspect (shops, food places, clean toilets, signposting; I really liked pretty much everything about it) – is not connected to Bangkok’s public transport.
You have to depend on Grab cars (Grab’s the leading ride-sharing app in South East Asia) or taxis and in the Bangkok traffic this is expensive and very time-consuming. It took my Grab around 60 minutes to reach the expo centre every morning and in the evening, the fares back to Sukhumvit (where my hotel was located) were so expensive that I ended up taking a private van shuttle to the closest Skytrain station. Either way, it was exhausting and expensive. And for such a small show like Beyond Beauty it simply isn’t worth it.
For the new Cosmoprof show however, undoubtedly : ). Although I’ll probably try and get a hotel room in either of the two expo centre hotels for the duration of the show at least. We’ll see.