With the rise of cosmetic entrepreneurs in Malaysia, I can't help but to notice (and got a hold of) a few brands that have made it into my favorites list. One of them is So.lek, the brainchild of Dahlia Nadirah that produces matte liquid lipsticks. I am personally a fan of the shades - they're wearable, not drying and suits most Asian skintones. As they're pretty new in the market, they've only been selling by setting up booths as well as via their instagram so I had a quick 'interview' with the founder to find out more about the story behind the brand, it's name and why they she decided to venture into cosmetics.
Why did you decide to start your cosmetic line, and why liquid lipsticks?
It all started about a year (or so) ago as I was in America between December 2015 to January 2016 and went crazy at their drugstores - their cosmetics are good and they're very affordable. At the same time, Kylie Jenner also just released her line of matte liquid lipsticks (which became a huge phenomenon) and I thought at the moment, "Why not?!". I had just left my previous job as a corporate Digital Brand Manager and was looking into exploring other territories. I collect lipsticks and felt like it is the right product to start off with. At the time there were only one or two local brands that has liquid lipsticks unlike now!
Why the name So.lek?
The people that knows me well knows that I love classic Bahasa Melayu - it is beautiful and perfect to me. I told myself that if I were to start anything, I'd make sure I use our national language as the product name and brand. 'Solek' is literally translated to makeup in English so it's only apt for me to use this. Plus, my brother and I always use the phrase "So? Lek Lek la" (Chill out or relax in English) whenever we get into an argument or gets annoyed (laughs). Plus, our target market are the masses so using Bahasa Malaysia is much easier.
What were your inspirations behind the name of each lipsticks?
My daughter's name is Anggerik (Orchids) and while I've seen other brands using cool, urban names I figured that I'd choose floral-based names in Bahasa Malaysia for each lipsticks as they also represent beauty and elegance. I chose Anggerik and Dahlia based on the two colors I love most and would wear almost daily. Chempaka I have a daughter and her name is Anggerik. I've seen other brands using really cool and urban english names and I told myself why not I use Bahasa and choose Flower-based name for each lipstick as flowers represent beauty and elegance. Chempaka is my mom's favorite flower and the shade reminds me of her too. Mawar (rose) is pink and Seroja (lotus) is a mysterious and dark to me so I chose the darkest shade for it.
What's the plan in the near future for So.lek.
We will be releasing (it is released by now) our one limited Holiday colors together with our eyeliner called Celak soon! There would be four to five more new shades coming along after together with another new product so I am excited and nervous at the same time!
Places So.lek is being sold and prices.
We are currently selling via instagram and taking orders through Whatsapp and e-mails. Our website is going to be ready in the near future so hopefully we get to launch it soon. We will also be announcing our stockists and dropshipping agents as well. The liquid lipsticks are currently being sold at RM39 each but we do have sales and promotions via our instagram so do follow us!
, by Hanie Hidayah