Let these multi-somethings teach you a thing or two about beauty
The first-ever Cosmo Beauty Con for the beauty-obsessed happened last August 31 and September 1 at the SMX Convention Center in Mall of Asia. The two-day beauty and wellness festival featured speakers like celebrities Alex Gonzaga and Heart Evangelista-Escudero wherein they shared their thoughts on life and beauty. Indeed, *now* is the best time for homegrown beauty brands to thrive. Learn pointers from Ever Bilena, Happy Skin and She Cosmetics founders on how to diversify your business.
A Definitive Timeline of Pinays’ MOTDs
Denice Sy, Ever Bilena
Through the years, beauty has transformed and progressed. Nowadays, playing with makeup is considered a form of everyday expression (and a noble way to pay the bills!) with a diverse selection of multi-functional products in the market.
Beauty entrepreneur and Ever Bilena sales manager, Denice Sy, shared about the humble beginnings of the brand started by her father Dioceldo Sy. In the 80s, there was no local beauty player in the market having been dominated by international companies. After 35 years, the people behind it continue to develop high-quality products for the Filipino consumer at an affordable price.
Read My Lips: What It Takes to Build A World-Class Homegrown Brand
Rissa Mananquil-Trillo, Happy Skin
The epitome of a #GirlBoss (with feelings!), Rissa Mananquil-Trillo sold friendship bracelets as a child. She shares, “If you ask me, I guess I’ve always had an entrepreneurial streak. I wasn’t afraid to create things from scratch, find a solution [and] make the most out of opportunities.”
Her love for reading and creating short stories, poems and comics—even making her own mock-up newspaper and selling it to friends and family—bore fruit now as a newspaper columnist and the author of Read My Lips published by Summit Books.
She continues to break barriers in a profession dominated by men as co-founder of Happy Skin. Their skin-friendly products are actually a result of being in the modeling industry for years. She wanted to address concerns of the everyday Filipino. She notes, “Back then, the cosmetic landscape was mostly international [with] mass drugstore brands or imported expensive brands. That’s where Happy Skin came in, a mass prestige brand [with a] pocket-friendly price but with the quality of imported brands. I’ve always believed that truly good makeup should be your ally and not your enemy so you’ll really feel beautiful. If I think back…when we started Happy Skin, I always wanted [for it to] be a brand that Filipinos would be proud of. Hindi pwede ang sige na mentality. We always wanted Happy Skin to have a global positioning [where] it can compete with the rest of the world.”
Please Stop Comparing Morena and Fair Skin
TV host, writer and She Talks Asia partner, Bianca Gonzalez-Intal, believes that your value is not diminished by how dark your skin color is. She declares, “All of us—in whatever capacity we can, whether you have a million followers or whether you have 100 followers—can use whatever voice it is that you have.”
She shares how representation is important to embrace one’s skin color. Ayn Bernos of Morena the Label and Trish Terrado a.k.a. the #MillennialMorena are both vocal on empowering women and men on their kayumanggi skin. Bianca refuses to live in a world where her daughters will be looked down on because of their skin color; we have to be better.
This Is How I Started She Cosmetics
Kris Bernal, She Cosmetics
She Cosmetics was created out of Kris Bernal’s love for lipsticks. The actress shares, “Hindi talaga madali ang journey ko. Ang dami kong iniyak, ang dami kong oras na nawala [at] nasayang. Pagod na pagod talaga ako sa She Cosmetics pero kahit ang daming obstacles and challenges, tinuloy ko kasi gustung-gusto ko siya. Kaya ang sabi ko, She ang papangalan ko sa She Cosmetics kasi itong story ko can be an inspiration to those who want to start a business—just to push yourself that you can achieve whatever you want in life.”
Aside from being on set 24/7 for her afternoon soap, she does everything from replying to messages on social media and answering e-mails to packing products. (She also has an unlimited Korean BBQ restaurant, btw!) Her practical advice for young girls with big dreams: “Have a budget and know how to use it well. Of course, love the product and trust in it.”
How Being A Content Creator Helped Me Launch My Own Brand
Anne Clutz, Anne Clutz Brushes
“Dream big, set goals and take action.” This is what content creator, Anne Clutz, had to say to kickstart one’s own business. The former nurse turned YouTuber created a makeup brush line for beginners—acknowledging requests of her viewers. Fondly called “Mama Anne” by her subscribers, she has a family vlogging channel and a beauty channel. Her next release? Makeup out by first quarter of next year!
Let’s Have A Heart-to-Heart Talk
Culminating speaker (who needs no introductions), Heart Evangelista introduced her latest book Styled with Heart at the Cosmo Beauty Con, which includes a foreword from Crazy Rich Asians author Kevin Kwan.
How to handle criticism and move on from all the nega? Being part of the industry for 22 years has given her thick skin. She shares, “You can’t win them all. When you really have good intentions, you just have to let it [criticism] go. It may not happen today, it may not happen tomorrow but it will all just work out. Everything that you went through in the past will just kind of complete your story. It will all make sense one day.”
To add to her long list of titles and accolades, she is also now a vlogger, raking in 1.12M subscribers as of counting. She notes, “I’ve been editing my videos ever since before—whenever I traveled years ago. It’s different what you really go through, [it’s the] little things like Fashion Week. They think it’s so glamorous but really it’s work, and I wanted people to see that. I wanted them to experience that through my channel.”
Her sound advice for women everywhere: “Love yourself. Know your worth. It changes the story.”
Art Alexandra Lara