With the burgeoning demand for new beauty products and out-of-this-world creations, it is not a surprise that the industry is booming with new brands every minute. However, Zarzou Beauty is unlike any other. Although it was only founded about three years ago, Zarzou Beauty managed to thrive against the stiff competition of the local beauty scene. In fact, they are regarded as the next ‘it’ brand that you need on your beauty radar. With the sole mission to challenge the stigma surrounding the local beauty brands, Zarzou Beauty has created a buzz with their impeccable formulation that highlights safe ingredients for healthy skin. Zulaikha Rosli, founder of Zarzou Beauty, gets up close and personal by sharing with Beauty Insider the inspirations behind the brand and recipe for success. 

1.Tell us a bit about why you decided to start Zarzou Beauty?

Back then, I was struggling with financial needs’ so my main concern was to gain extra money during college life. Since I was on my last 4 ACCA professional papers so I want to make it happen, that is my own brand. My boyfriend turned husband, Zareef is the one who encouraged me because he knew that I’m an avid skincare freak and I loved to explore skincare knowledge.

Moreover, I used to do drop shipping such as selling Aztec clay masks, personal shopper for a western brand like The Ordinary, selling shawls online and everything I felt like I could sell. After gaining quite some experience in the skincare business, I saw an opportunity to start a skincare brand of my own. To showcase to the world a truly affordable, yet effective quality skincare product Malaysian brand.

2.You founded the brand while pursuing ACCA, how do you manage to juggle multiple tasks? 

To tell the truth, it was hard to juggle between study and business. However, some effort that I mainly did to manage the hurdles is co-operation. Working together with Zareef really did help! Usually, we will make time to do warehouse picking and postage in between our class gaps.

Next, I would say, discipline is the key to success. I will make sure that the tasks given by lecturers will be completed beforehand, usually, I will finish it during the night time before proceeding to pack my orders. I will sacrifice my free time, sleep late in order to make sure all the packed products will be ready for tomorrow’s postage.

Since ACCA is a paper-based exam, therefore I will give my full effort and focus during final exam week. Luckily, about 2 weeks before the exam in 2019, our Brightening & Hydrating Facial Serum (BHS) sold out pretty quickly which I didn’t expect and am thankful for. Alhamdulillah! Thus, we did have a short hiatus during the exam period and we continue to restock for the second batch of products afterwards.

3.What are the 5 things that people didn’t know about you?

Very tricky question! I never thought about this but, I’ll give it a shot!

  • First off, I still don’t have a car license at this age. To be honest, I kinda like it. You know, that kind of feeling people drive me around while I will just sit in the passenger’s seat beautifully.
  • Surprisingly, I’m a mum of 6 cats. 2 adults and 4 kittens. It would have taken years to talk about my cats so I’ll leave it here.
  • I enjoy watching Korean dramas that have heavy and complicated plot twists. If you are into the same interest as mine, here are some of my suggestions; Innocent Defendants, Sky Castle and The Devil’s Judge.
  • I’d love to learn new things and experiences. For instance, before I hire a third party to perform tasks, I will learn the basics of that field first only then I will outsource and hire experts specialized in that area. The pro is that I can gain a better understanding of that matter but the con is that it is really time-consuming.
  • I used to like to doodle. During my high school time, I often doodled (words and abstract) but now if you asked me to doodle, I don’t think I am able to draw as pretty and creative as I did before (sigh) since all of my skills are gone.

4. As an avid skincare freak, how does it help you to come up with new products or formulations? 

I imagine a product based on my own basic skin needs. Before creating Brightening & Hydrating Facial Serum (BHS), I really loved the power of brightening and hydrating combined together (arbutin and hyaluronic acid) and I want people to love that to feel the same experience as I’ve felt.

I want to help people that experienced skin problems by sharing my experience through the product’s properties/ingredients and brand. Some naive youngsters without prior knowledge about skincare back then will easily be deceived into becoming a victim of beauty scammers such as trying out products that contain mercury substances, which includes me. So I want to give awareness to most teenagers on this matter.

I will also consider trends in the skincare world and try to formulate based on trend needs’. Since I was once a student, I completely understand how expensive skincare products are, so I do want to make them affordable without jeopardizing their quality.

5. Currently the brand has several products, what’s your personal favourite if you can only choose one and why?

All of them, I developed by passion and for my personal need and use! If you asked me last year, I would say Brightening & Hydrating Facial Serum (BHS) without a doubt but since Daily Deep Cleanser (DDC) launched, I would say both of them. The exfoliating and hydrating effects from DDC and BHS help my skin behave throughout my pregnancy journey. My skin needs both of them together to make it work wonders.

6.Is there any product that you wanted to make but didn’t have the chance to do so? 

A lot actually, it’s not that I give up but I postpone it first due to lots of roadblocks which lead me to focus on basic needs first. It was cleansing balm and cleansing oil; the same things but in two different forms.

7.Although Zarzou Beauty is relatively new, it managed to become one of the well known local brands. What’s your recipe for success?

Thank you for the kind words and I’m very thankful for the recognition given. Zarzou is still growing and we still need to work harder to fulfil customer needs and demands. To share my experience during the early years of Zarzou. I prepared myself by understanding my potential customers’ needs. 

I’m very clear on which social media platform I want to start with, observe the trend and pattern of marketing there, then I started to introduce Zarzou. 

As mentioned above, gaining experience in the business world really did help to what I’ve achieved until today. I did everything that I could ever think of like dropshipping, personal shopper and online business. It teaches me prior experience on how to fulfil customers’ needs and many more. All of these won’t be achieved without a good support system, Zareef also encourages and pushes me to surpass my limits. He is always there to help in hard times.

8. As mentioned on the website, you “formulate products that are safe to the skin, far from the stigma that local brands are not on par with the skincare market standards”. As a local beauty founder, why did such a mission is important to you? 

During my teenage days, with very limited exposure to the internet, I used to be very obsessed with keeping up with our beauty standard, the stigma of fair and white skin privilege. This leads me to succumb to fraudulent cosmetic products which were trending in those days.

However, during my college years, I started to learn more about skincare. To have healthy skin is way more important rather than to have fair and white skin. From my learning, I found a lot of international products mainly western and Korean that highlights ingredients for healthy skin. In line with our objective, Zarzou is not about promoting white and fair skin but more to achieve healthy and glowing skin.

I do hope teenagers that have zero knowledge in skincare and are interested in them will educate themselves first so that they won’t be a victim of fraudulent products that contain high levels of mercury or other potent properties. With that, I want to say Zarzou is safe for the skin and we will always do our very best in educating people on how important it is to have healthy skin.

9. Any new launches that readers can expect next year?

If you’d know me well, you’d know I can’t sit still. So currently, I have so many things I have in mind and in planning but what is confirmed is that In Shaa Allah there will be 2 basic products launching next year. For more beauty info make sure to follow us on Instagram and TikTok. Lastly, I want to thank you so much for interviewing me. I’m very honoured to be chosen, being a long time fan of Beauty Insider.