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Searching for the perfect beauty product is an ongoing problem all too familiar to most women. The same goes for Arissa Cheo, Yoyo Cao and Lin Ting, co-founders of ROMI Beauty.

ROMI Beauty marks the trio’s first foray into the beauty industry, which started from their skincare concerns. “I have very sensitive skin prone to rashes, and I constantly struggled to find products that wouldn’t irritate my skin,” explained Arissa.

For Yoyo, her skin is exposed to extreme weather changes from travelling around the world, and she shared that she needed makeup products not only for enhancement but also to provide ample hydration. Meanwhile, as a mother of two, Ting sought fuss-free products that would seamlessly fit into her busy schedule.

“All of us came together and noticed that, like us, many women were searching for makeup products that are multifunctional and had skincare benefits,” shared Arissa, adding that the founders conducted a survey to gauge consumer demand.

Harbouring a desire to offer versatile beauty products, all three founders decided to kickstart the formulation process, which took two years of trial-and-error and meticulous evaluations. Ting added that ROMI Beauty is “100 per cent self-funded by the three of us.”

In 2022, ROMI Beauty was launched, and their hero product — the ‘Dream Skin Tint’, a tinted moisturiser containing SPF and ingredients found in skincare, was released.

When asked to describe their brand to someone who has heard of it for the first time, Yoyo expresses its philosophy in three words: honest, versatile, and uncomplicated.

At ROMI, we are all about self-love. We are here to celebrate you and your skin. Our mission is clear- to create multitaskers that seamlessly fit into the lives of everyday individuals. Our formulations are created through conscious choices and carefully selected high-quality ingredients.

Yoyo Cao, co-founder of ROMI Beauty

Letting the products speak out for themselves

ROMI Beauty Dream Skin Tint Launches
ROMI Beauty’s Dream Skin Tint launches, with two new shades released in the second launch Top row: First Launch, Bottom row: Second Launch / Image Credits: ROMI Beauty

While Ting is not active on social media, Arissa and Yoyo are most well-known for their online presence and branding. It would be logical for both Arissa and Yoyo to leverage their online presence to bring more eyeballs to ROMI Beauty.

However, they have decided to focus on improving the formula of the products instead of using their status to promote the brand.

“There was no pressure [to perform], as we actively made the decision not to front the brand too much. We want to focus on the quality and effectiveness of our products and let them speak for themselves,” said Yoyo.

The founders were not the first to follow this strategy, as many Western celebrities have done the same for their brands. Notably, The Row is a high-end clothing brand owned by the Olsen Twins, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, which was established in 2006 and is now on par with luxury fashion heavyweights including Chanel and Louis Vuitton.

The fashion industry is often described as “cut-throat”, with both big and small name brands trying to differentiate themselves in the market; the same can be found in beauty.

While many mainstay makeup and skincare brands mass produce their products, ROMI Beauty adopts a “quality over quantity” philosophy and introduces a limited number of carefully thought-out products each year.

Yoyo also pointed out that while trends drive many beauty products, ROMI Beauty focuses on producing evergreen products that can be used as must-have beauty staples.

Pushing for more innovation did not come without challenges

However, research and development (R&D) has continued to be a challenge for ROMI Beauty.

Arissa explained that the founders and the team conducted countless brainstorming sessions to develop new product ideas based on customer feedback and market research.

She added that each founder has an active part in the sampling process, and all three must approve all products.

Usually, one of us will come up with an idea for a product, and the rest will come together to refine the concept further. We then go on to work on formulating the product’s base and active ingredients, ensuring that the ingredients are clean and always free of parabens, phthalates, SLS & SLES and synthetic fragrances.

Before final production, we undergo meticulous planning and consideration in every aspect, from formulation to packaging.

Arissa Cheo, co-founder of ROMI Beauty

Ting also shared that the business could not cope with the volume of orders during their first launch and experienced some logistical hiccups.

ROMI Beauty customer queries
ROMI Beauty responding to customer queries on their Instagram page/ Image Credit: ROMI Beauty via Instagram

“However, we have learnt that as long as we communicate timely, take accountability and remain humble and transparent with our customers, they have proven to be very understanding, especially to growing businesses,” expressed Ting.

Founders hope to build a physical space for their products

Currently, the brand has garnered popularity among consumers in and out of Singapore, with 40 per cent comprising repeat customers.

ROMI Beauty treatment mask
ROMI Beauty’s Glow Getter Treatment Mask / Image Credit: ROMI Beauty

Their loyal following allowed the brand to expand into a new product category — skincare. Their first skincare product, the ‘Glow Getter Treatment Mask’, was very well-received amongst their customers, and the product sold out within 24 hours.

Despite their accomplishments, the founders envision more growth for the brand. Currently, they are an e-commerce-only brand, and the founders have expressed their ambitions to venture into brick-and-mortar operations.

One of our main goals is to enter into a physical space and to be distributed in stores. We have been actively listening to our dedicated customer base and know that they express a desire for a brick-and-mortar experience to personally try our products.

And yes, we have several new products in the pipeline for this year, but no spoilers just yet. Watch this space for what’s coming next!

Lin Ting, co-founder of ROMI Beauty

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Featured Image Credit: ROMI Beauty

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Vulcan Post aims to be the knowledge hub of Singapore and Malaysia.

© 2021 GRVTY Media Pte. Ltd.
(UEN 201431998C.)