Left to Right: Ashley Yong and Jo Yong | Co-Founders of Two Halves
In the midst of a global pandemic, this mother-daughter duo launches their vegan skincare brand in Singapore.
One look at 29-year old Ashley Yong’s smooth visage and you know this lady knows her way around skincare. It comes as no surprise that Ashley and her mother Jo Yong, 60, a beauty industry veteran are co-founders of a Singaporean beauty brand.
Aptly named Two Halves, the vegan skincare brand name is a reflection of the mother-daughter duo’s symbiotic working relationship, as well as their skincare beliefs.
“Two Halves reflects the idea of balance, which we feel is central to our mission and vision,” Ashley said. “After all, great skin is really all about a balance between skincare and self-care, everything in moderation.”
A vegan skincare brand in Singapore with years in the making
Beauty industry studies all point toward a huge growth in skincare, especially in light of the global pandemic. More women are working from home, wearing less make-up, and are shifting their focus to healthy, glowing skin. While Two Halves was launched in the throes of Covid-19, the brand actually had years in the making.
Ashley first started seriously working on Two Halves in 2017, after leaving her first full-time job after university.
“Growing up… I knew I wanted to be a part of (the beauty industry)… but it was only during my time at university did I even think about wanting to start a skincare company. (But) it was really just a dream (then),” she said.
Dismissed with being “frivolous”
The biggest challenge Ashley faced was to get her mother on board.
She is strikingly honest about the difficulty of winning over her mother, who has 30 years of experience with beauty giants like Estee Lauder, over.
“She knew how demanding and fast-moving the industry is and coming from a brand with state of the art R&D facilities, as well as their voracious financial appetite for advertising and promotions, she told me that there would be no space for me in this market.”
Ashley recounts having multiple business plans rejected by her parents, who thought Two Halves was just another “frivolous idea”.
However, with the support of her husband, Ashley always works relentlessly to conceptualize the brand, eventually winning her parents’ support.
Skincare isn't a quick fix; the skin needs to be nourished on a routine basis.
The vegan skincare brand prides itself on encouraging users to stick to a suitable routine for their skin and lifestyle needs, instead of chasing instant results.
“Everyone wants fast results and quick fixes. Modern beauty calls for potent formulations to achieve glowing glass skin,” Ashley rued.
“Still, we often forget that there is no flash fix – the skin has to be nourished day in and day out.”
Two Halves launched in October 2019 with their first product, the Better Balance Soothing Hydration Essence.
Better Balance Soothing Hydration Essence
Better Balance Nutrients Networking Water Cream
The line focuses on managing skin sensitivity and dehydration, realizing these were among the most common modern skin woes.
The line is also formulated to be vegan, finding that plant-based formulas work well for sensitive skin, and are in line with the growing trend of ethical consumerism.
Two Halves, a Singaporean vegan skincare brand, has an exciting future ahead.
Today, Ashley wears so many hats. She is a co-founder and business owner, a daughter in a business partnership with her mother. Likewise, she is a loving wife and mother to a newborn. How does she manage all this?
“Three words: Strong support systems,” she said.
She explains that while has days where she stretched thin, she feels blessed to have the support of family and friends.
While she felt overwhelmed at the start of this journey, “things are looking up now – I’m hopeful for Two Halves’ growth and excited for everything the future holds for the brand. It’s going to be an exciting year ahead for us!”