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Omotenashi goes global: Malaysia

A land of diverse people and beauty ideals

The multi-ethnic, multi-religious Malaysia is one of the most vibrant economies of Southeast Asia and a key tourist destination in the region. The country stretches from the Malaysian peninsula in the West to Malaysian Borneo in the East, encompassing diverse geographic attractions such as dense rainforests, beautiful beaches, and high mountains. Malaysia basks in sunlight and warm tropical temperatures all year round.

Ethnic Malays make up 62% of the population, Chinese account for another 22%, and Indians and others make up the rest. The special ethnic mix of Malaysia’s people has evolved a unique tradition of hospitality. Visitors describe their Malaysian hosts as humble, spirited, and comfortably friendly.

As in most Asian countries, beauty care and hair care are important routines for living a good life. Recent rises in personal income bring Malaysian women the time and means to nurture their own beauty, especially for their skin. Yet the standards of beauty are diverse in Malaysia, as each of the ethnic groups has ideals of its own.

Ethnic Malay women seldom leave the house without full makeup. They tend to prefer strong, cleanly defined colors with matte finishes. Malaysian Chinese, on the contrary, go for a natural beauty with little to no makeup. Their chief beauty concerns are skin radiance and firmness, and they often visit facial salons to achieve them. Malaysian Chinese also have a rising interest in cosmetic surgery.

Customer service and Omotenashi with passion and dedication

Cosmetics counseling is both challenging and fascinating in a country with such diverse beauty ideals. A beauty counselor in Malaysia meets women from many ethnic and cultural backgrounds on a typical day.

While beauty preferences may differ, Malaysian women are all receptive to the attentive service and personalized counseling offered during Kanebo Omotenashi.
Four beauty counselors from different parts of Malaysia have met with us to share their insights on beauty care in Malaysia and their secrets of customer hospitality and service.

What, in your eyes, is the key feature of a beautiful woman in Malaysia?

Mindy Cheah: I would say good skin texture and natural beauty without makeup.

Ruby Yeoh: I agree. A healthy and glowing complexion is essential.

Amy Chong: Apart from fair skin, a woman should also have good health and a good temperament!

How would you describe the typical skincare routine in Malaysia?

Phoay Jin: The general focus is on 3-step skincare: cleansing with soap, toning with a skin toner, and finally moisturizing with creams or oils. Malaysian women have yet to take up double cleansing in their daily skincare routine.

Mindy: That’s very true. Most Malaysian women prefer time-saving, easy-to-use, multi-function skincare.

What tends to be the main concern of customers who come to your counter?

Mindy Cheah is from Malacca, a UNESCO world heritage site in the southern region of the Malay Peninsula. Mindy is a proficient makeup artist and dedicated skincare counselor who always follows up with her customers after their visits to the store.
Store: AEON Bandaraya Malacca.

Amy: Most customers try to manage the effects of the hot climate here in Malaysia. They want to reduce sebum secretion, keep their skin refreshed and try to avoid heavy foundation.

Phoay: My customers want to find skincare solutions to problems like dryness and dehydration, sagging, and skin dullness.

Ruby: Apart from finding suitable skincare products, the customers at our counter ask about the best ways to apply makeup for enhanced natural beauty.

What are the essentials of the beauty counseling you offer?

Mindy: The keys are to understand the customer’s needs, to listen to her skin concerns, and to provide appropriate advice and product recommendations.

Phoay: That’s absolutely true. I also like to provide hands-on demonstrations to let the customer touch, feel, and compare the products.

Do you offer any special counseling services?

Ruby YEOH is a passionate beauty counselor from Kuala Lumpur. She makes great efforts to understand the needs of her customers and follow up. Her dream is to become a senior trainer for Kanebo in the future.
Store: Isetan Garden Midvalley.

Ruby: Kanebo provides special counseling service with the Beauty Analyzer, a tool for comprehensive skin measurement and analysis. Seeing their own skin under high magnification makes them more receptive to skincare advice.

Amy: We also offer hand-based demonstrations, face balancing massage, and makeup advice in order to bond closer with our customers and gain deeper insights into their needs.

Phoay: I have been able to build strong relationships with my customers by listening to their needs and offering them careful makeup advice. I also make sure to follow up frequently to make sure that they use the products effectively.

How do your customers respond to Omotenashi counseling?

Phoay Jin LEE is from bustling Penang on the Northwest coast of the Malay Peninsula. Phoay Jin has built up strong relationships with her customers by providing attentive service and follow-up. Other beauty counselors in the North of Malaysia look up to her as a role model.
Store: Parkson Gurney

Mindy: My customers always feel happy and appreciate the way we take care of them. They recognize our professionalism and trust in the high quality of Japanese products.

Amy: I still remember one of my first customers at Kanebo. She lay prone on the facial care bed and surrendered herself to my care. “I’m all yours,” she said.

My head spun with a mixture of excitement and worry. Her skin had papules, coarse pores, and acne. I had no idea if she would be pleased with the results.

In our chat during the first part of the session, a double-cleansing, I discovered that her skin problems were symptoms of poor lifestyle habits, a stressful diet, and improper product use. I shared some tips on skincare and a healthy life, and it worked! This customer now has better-looking skin with improved pores and papules.

Ruby: My experience has been similar. When you genuinely care and give your customers 100%, you can win their trust and confidence.

Why aspect of your work do you like most? And why?

Mindy: Customers in Malacca seldom put on makeup when going out. They do make up, of course, to attend wedding parties or other functions like that. In my counseling sessions I encourage them to wear makeup more routinely. I share simple makeup techniques they can practice every day.

Ruby: I enjoy interacting with people from all walks of life and helping them look beautiful.

Phoay: I always like to share my personal makeup techniques and beauty tips with customers. By sharing, I deepen my relationships with customers and even do something good for society.

Special Kanebo services and events offered in Malaysia

Repeat customers at selected department stores receive complimentary facial massage and makeup services. Key counters regularly offer DIY Beauty workshops and individual makeup sessions with Japanese makeup artists.

Amy CHONG is from Miri, a resort city in the North of Borneo. Her extraordinary passion and hospitality are well known to all around her. Dedicated and hard working, she spends much of her time learning her profession and thinking of ways to help her customers.
Store: Parkson Miri


Kanebo Cosmetics Malaysia Sdn. Bhd.
Address Suite 8.02&8.03, Level 8, Menara AmFIRST, No.1,Jalan 19/3, 46300 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia
TEL +603-79549171 FAX +603-79549172
Website http://www.kanebo-my.net

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