With everything from 3D puzzles and groceries to organic skincare and even fine jewellery, these local brands give new meaning to retail therapy
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As many Malaysians experience deja-vu with another lockdown around the capital, staying at home is both a necessity and a burden. Managing work, caring for family members, staying entertained and keeping spirits up are the challenges facing us again. One thing that’s dramatically changed since the last MCO, however, is the improvement in digital services and e-commerce.
While it’s not the same as moving freely about the city, shopping online is not only safer, it’s a great way to support Malaysian businesses during an economically difficult time. And the growing options in online shopping – everything from groceries and skincare to fine jewellery – bring many necessities and luxuries right to your doorstep.
Here are a few Malaysian businesses to explore while you’re spending time at home.
Chase away lethargy with YUZU•MI juices and supplements
Spending long periods at home without exercise can lead to lethargy. To stay energised, consider detoxing drinks. Established in Malaysia in 2015, and now with a branch office in Hong Kong, e-commerce health brand TREMELLA specialises in beauty and wellness supplements exclusively formulated in Japan. Try their mixed berry-flavoured YUZU•MI, a comprehensive detox drink made of veggies, fruits and enzyme. YUZU•MI contains a proprietary detox and slimming formula Yuzusenol™, as well as mixed berries (blueberry, raspberry, blackberry and cranberry), strawberry, pumpkin, green tea, konjac and papain. This antioxidant-packed drink comes in tear-off sachets and promises to cleanse your liver, aid digestion, brighten your skin and improve your immunity. Order a bag of 16 sachets by writing to +60 16 266 9696 on WhatsApp or tremellaglobalsdnbhd on WeChat. More information here.
Cook up healthy meals with Loco Store
Preparing all three meals can get tricky when you’re stuck at home – and harder still when you want to ensure they’re nutritious and healthy. That’s where Loco Store comes in. While this “refreshing spin on the convenience store” stocks everything from toiletries and medications to cleaning supplies, the big focus is on pre-prepared ingredients for healthy meals. Stock up on nut butters, pre-washed vegetables, ready-to-cook marinated meats and fresh bakery items – all with no added sugar or preservatives. Order groceries online from the official website – where there are new deals posted every day – or via the Unilever Flagship Store on Grabmart. You also have the option of curbside pick-up at their physical store at G10 Suria North Kiara.
Stay grounded with Joa Lab Organic Skincare
In these uncertain times, it’s important to stay grounded by taking care of body and mind. Homegrown organic skincare brand Joa Lab can help you do both with its artisan soap bars and lip balms. A graduate of the UK’s Organic Skincare School, founder Joannie Chin is committed to cruelty-free products that eschew artificial fragrances, preservatives, parabens and mineral oils. They’re also great for sensitive skin. Unwind with one of the many rustic soap bars, such as the Pink Rose, packed with French pink clay and white kaolin clay, as well as rosewood and rose geranium essential oils. Or pick up the popular Minty Milk lip balm, with nourishing oils and shea butter. Joa Lab products are only available for online purchase.
Keep planning your big day with Frou Frou
Times may be uncertain, but you can still plan for life’s big moments. For 70 years, three generations of the Ng family have handcrafted bespoke jewellery, going all the way back to their Crown Solitaire in 1950. Today, its Frou Frou brand, founded by third-generation jeweller Dorothy Jen, specialises in wedding bands, engagement rings and other custom designs made with the finest craftsmanship. Choose from diamonds, rubies, sapphires, emeralds and other rare gems, each checked by the in-house gem-testing division. Frou Frou’s designers, gemologists and artisans work with any budget to create made-to-order pieces that embody each unique client. Frou Frou now brings its legacy and personalised lifetime service to remote buyers. Visit the website to learn more, and call +60 13254 1117 for a virtual consultation.
Practise some self-care with CS12
Missing your facial treatment? There’s still plenty you can do at home to relieve stress, maintain your skin and just enjoy some me-time. Enter Malaysian brand CS12, founded by mother-daughter team – skincare specialist Madam Heng and beauty blogger Ashley Ong – and bringing pleasurable solutions for people with sensitive skin. CS12’s signature product is the Miracle Mask, made of silk, which ensures better delivery of nutrients than regular face masks. The mask features German technology, ingredients with anti-inflammatory properties and hyaluronic acid. Not only is it great for clearing dead skin and repairing damage from UV rays, it’s also cooling – a big plus in Malaysia’s tropical heat. Pair it with CS12’s other best-seller, the Calming Ampoule, packed with hazel leaf, cowslip and veronica officinalis extracts to nourish sensitive skin.
Give yourself a stylish mood lift with Cardi
While staying at home has been an eternal pajama party for some, getting dressed and styled up every day can be great for morale, even if it’s just for a Zoom meeting. Homegrown fashion brand Cardi is a digital-native platform specialising in trendy accessories, such as handbags, sunglasses, jewellery and lots else, all made by independent designers. Whether your vibe is sporty or vintage, minimalist or arty, there’s something here for you. The company is also big on dynamic e-commerce practices, such as drop-shipping and social media partnerships – in case you want to go into business with them. If you’re just looking to shop, there’s a buy-1-get-1-free promotion on the upcoming 11.11 sale, and shipping within Malaysia is free for orders over RM299.
Discover award-winning Tailored Jewel at an affordable price
Established in 2012, Tailored Jewel offers a range of engagement rings and wedding bands in contemporary designs at an accessible price point. Made with the best of HK craftmanship and handpicked GIA-certified diamonds, Tailored Jewel provides a risk-free shopping experience with a money-back guarantee. Tailored Jewel is a pioneer in Malaysia’s jewellery e-commerce scene, and does 360° virtual consultations service where customers can purchase jewellery completely online with free insured shipment and free 12-month resizing service. And for an in-person experience, check out their experiential stores at The Boulevard Mid Valley in KL or Paradigm Mall in Johor Bahru.
Bond with the family with Puzzle Planet
One of the few silver linings to staying home is all the quality time spent with family. There’s nothing quite as wholesome and fun sitting around the table and working together on a puzzle. Malaysia’s biggest chain store specialising in unique and premium puzzles, Puzzle Planet stocks not just traditional 2D and mechanical puzzles for kids and adults, but also an extensive range of collectible wooden and plastic puzzles that make decorative mementos for the home – provided you can finish them! There’s even a range of 3D globe puzzles. And if you’re already shopping for Christmas, the official website is packed with great gift ideas. Enter the promo code INK10 to get RM10 off your purchase.
Care for your skin with Ischia
Finally start that skincare regime – and support female-owned business K2 PALM while you’re at it. Co-founders Amanda Lim and Julie Park are the sole distributors of Korean cosmetics line Ischia in Malaysia. With R&D by pharmaceutical company Daewoo Pharm, Ischia is inspired by the southern Italian island of the same name. Using Italian hot-spring water, volcanic ash and marine collagen, the products are hypoallergenic and free of parabens, benzophenone and mineral oils. Try the one-step Cleansing Toner 2X which removes even waterproof make-up, paired with the Concentrate Eye Cream that will lighten and tighten the skin around your eyes. If that sounds like too much work, get the easy-to-use Magic Gel Mask that delivers moisture deep into the skin. Learn more on their website.