B&B! Q&A: Maleka Dattu, Merumaya Integrative Effective Skincare

MalekaRecently launched in Arnotts, Merumaya Integrative Effective Skin Care is the brainchild of Maleka Dattu. Part of the team that grew the Clinique brand into the number one spot in the UK, she began working in beauty at the age of seventeen, moving through field sales, training, marketing, communications, new product development, and general management. The Cosmetic Executive Women’s Achiever of the Year in 2006, after twenty seen years in the business, Maleka decided to follow the dream, and developed her own brand.

Maleka is a charismatic speaker, and in many of her answers, gets straight to the point — the bullet point, to be precise!

What’s the first product you remember using, the one that has always stayed with you?
The first skincare range my mother bought me was from Avon — the entire range of six products for problem skin. I felt so grown up, so indulged especially because my Mum spent more on my skincare than her own. My second influence was working with Sothys Paris skincare, and their ampoules of concentrated product. That could be where my instinct for creating effective, active products came from.

Had spearheading your own brand always been a dream?
Yes. I always wanted to have my own business and it was always going to be in beauty. My whole working life has been in beauty and I still get a thrill from it every single day.

What was the first question you asked yourself when you were brainstorming the Merumaya brand? What were the defining characteristics that you wanted Merumaya to bring to the market?
> What are the USP’s? {Unique Selling Propositions}
> What makes it better than other brands?
> What do customers want from skincare?

I had flip charts up on one entire wall all headed with different topics such as; active ingredients, product line up, tag line, distribution, positioning, customer benefits, packaging, brand design, as shown here!

inspiration wall all

Maleka’s Inspiration Wall {click to enlarge}

What would be your best advice for someone wanting to start in the beauty biz— not only as a career move, but also someone wanting to start their own business?
>Be prepared to go the extra mile in every instance.
>Take on a mantra such as “‘It will do’ will never do.”
>Build good relationships.
>Be customer focused and retail oriented (vs. wholesale).
>Keep in touch with the customer and your front line sales team.
>If starting a business: allocate resources towards the customer facing initiatives. Underestimate sales and overestimate expenses so you have a buffer.
>Make sure your cash flow works and have plenty of funds available.

I am loving the Melting Cleansing Balm! Why is this a good, if not better option, for cleansing the skin, and what is different about its formula?
It is not waxy, therefore it’s easy to apply and easy to remove. You can do a double cleanse with MCB as quickly as one cleanse with a waxy formula. It is a superb formula with Sweet Almond and Echium oils, MERUMAYA Cleansing Balmand mangosteen for anti-oxidant properties. The scent makes you feel fabulous, and your skin feels soft and velvety after use. It is in a tube so portable and easy to use. You can use without the Daily Cleansing Cloths {€15.50} if you wish — I recommend with! It is a fantastic price and a little goes a long way. It is thorough and yet, gentle, and takes the chore out of cleansing, and puts some pleasure back in. What more do you need?

Any special tips for use?
If you wear face make up, double cleanse at night. The first cleanse removes your make up, and the second cleans the skin underneath the makeup. Enjoy cleansing: it is a cornerstone to vibrant, healthy looking skin. Last tip is: tell all your MERUMAYA Iconic Youth Serumfriends about it!

What other product from your line would you heartily recommend to women who want younger looking skin?
The Iconic Youth Serum is the heartbeat of the brand, and it is an essential product for every skin type. It has huge benefits to the skin and everyone who uses it at night will see and feel a difference tomorrow, and see softer, smoother, plumper, more radiant skin. Importantly, it helps to prevent further skin aging, while perfecting the existing signs of skin aging — so it’s never too early or too late to start!

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Merumaya Melting Cleansing Balm €18.50
Merumaya Iconic Youth Serum €43.50

http://www.arnotts.ie

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