I’ve been finding some real gems on Pinkoi lately. Yes, there are plenty of clothes, bags and accessories there. But did you know the online shopping platform is also a testing ground for emerging Taiwanese brands?
One of the standouts is 北緯23.5°N, a Taiwan beauty brand that uses all-natural local ingredients. The label is named after the latitude of the Tropic of Cancer, which cuts through central Taiwan.
23.5°N was conceived in August 2009 by four MBA classmates brainstorming business ideas. Helen Ho was the one to take the idea and run, working full-time on 23.5°N after graduation. The team now has seven people at their office in the Xinyi District focused on design and packaging, operations, sales, product development and customer service.
Damn, that packaging is nice.
Helen’s advertising and branding background means she takes a different approach when it comes to growing the brand. First of all, every part of the design process from packaging to photography is created in-house.
Secondly, to contrast against the artificial, science-heavy trends common in Asian beauty, Helen leans on Taiwan’s biotech expertise to create more natural formulas using 100% Taiwanese ingredients such as rice, tea, bamboo and red pearl barley.
One night I tried the “Rice Soothing Ultra-Feather Mask” (above). A box of 5 masks is just 420NT. I noticed it fit much better than other masks I’ve tried (mostly Japanese brands) and was generously goopy and refreshing.
The range also includes cleansers, toners, moisturizers and gel masks for all skin types and conditions. If you want whitening, go with the red pearl barley products. For dry skin, choose the bamboo line. For irritated skin, rice is your best bet.
You can order 23.5°N online through Yahoo, Momo, Pinkoi and their website. Or you can try products on the third floor of Eslite Xinyi. There is a display where you can test products and buy special sample sizes.
One more thing, I just love the brand promise: “From farm to face. From face to faith.”
That’s Helen, who’s doing an incredible job building a credible Taiwan-made beauty brand. Respect.