Ms Lynsey Lim has been concocting her own creams and balms since she was 15.
"I've always been interested in natural skincare and concerned about what I apply on my skin. But so many natural skincare products in the market are expensive, so I made my own," says the 26-year-old.
That did not stop even when she started working and, two years ago, she quit her bank officer job to start her own natural skincare brand.
Handmade Heroes, which launched in January, consists of nine products - three lip balms (from $4.90 each), a lip scrub ($6.90), three body scrubs (from $17.90 each), a dry shampoo (from $6.90) and a make-up remover ($12.90).
The brand has been stocked at Isetan Scotts since February and distributed in Malaysia at pop-up stores since March. It is also sold on the brand's own website and at multi-label store Naiise.
It boasts natural, paraben-free, preservative-free and synthetic-free formulas that Ms Lim has been using on herself for years.
She does everything herself, blending the formulas in a rented facility in Phoenix Park. She spends about five hours a day making the products in small batches by hand.
"The products are made based on what I like and how they work on my skin."
Ms Lim, who is single, knew she was on the right track even before the brand was launched.
Her sister got married last year and requested that she make a few beauty products for her bridesmaids. They loved the items so much, they asked Ms Lim for more. "Three of them ordered 15 products each to give away to their friends, and that got me thinking about my own line," she says.
Ingredients used in Handmade Heroes products are mainly sourced from the United States. While all are natural - some are also organic - Ms Lim says price points are kept low.
It certainly looks like she is on to a winning formula: She invested about $25,000 to kick-start her business and broke even in just six months.
This article was first published on July 23, 2015.
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