It’s About Damn Time For Andrea Brillantes
When you get stuck on the daily grind—and you can’t see anything but your ever-growing to-do list—it gets hard to see the bigger picture. The reason why you started a project becomes blurry; the dream you had as a kid gets lost in the noise. And with Andrea Brillantes having been thrust into the public eye at such a young age, we can only imagine what has gotten de-prioritized in her almost decade-long career.
And yet, one afternoon with the 19-year-old was all the proof we needed to know that not everything gets lost in the midst of fame, fortune and ambition. Sometimes, if you’re careful and focused enough, the detours only make reaching the final destination that much sweeter.
Andrea Brillantes started acting at the age of 10; while some of us were still practicing our spelling, she was memorizing scripts. But this story actually begins earlier than that. She brings us back and explains, “Lumaki po kasi ako na mahilig na talaga ako sa makeup. Nag-start po ako mag-makeup at the age of three kasi ako yung parang tambay sa botika namin before. Ako yung parang face ng botika namin, so lagi ako nag-aayos—[yung] lipstick, ginagawa ko na siyang blush, eyeshadow.”
(“I grew up really interested in makeup. I started putting on makeup at the age of three because I was always at our family’s drugstore. I was the face of the drugstore, so I was always putting on a face—the lipstick, I would use as blush and eyeshadow.”)
By the time she was 13 years old, Andrea (or Blythe, to those close to her) watched Kylie Jenner launch her own makeup brand at the age of 18. It was an eye-opening moment for Andrea. She says, “Sabi ko, ‘Someday, magkakaroon din ako ng sarili kong brand. Magagawa ko din yan. (I told myself, ‘Someday, I’m going to have my own brand. I can do that, too.’)”
But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. Because before Andrea Brillantes found the right people to partner with and the right time to make her own brand and produce her own products, she was a kid growing up under the public eye.
To say it’s been difficult for Andrea to grow up would be an understatement. Known for her youthful roles, it sometimes escapes recognition that she’s actually a young lady. That she’s of legal age and is able to make her own decisions. But if anyone cared to really take a look, they’d realize that Andrea is not a kid you can push around. She’s experienced more than her contemporaries—not less—and even on a set where she’s the youngest one in attendance, she gives input on beauty, styling and storytelling.
“Mahirap kasi ang dilemma ng mga people sakin, masyado ako nagmamadali tumanda,” explains Andrea. “Pero, yung iba naman, masyado daw akong nagba-baby, eh matanda na ‘ko. Nasa gitna ako.”
(It’s hard because people’s dilemma with me is that I’m trying to grow up too fast. But other people think I’m playing a baby when I’m already more mature. I’m in the middle.)
Andrea Brillantes didn’t just grow up amidst bright lights, bigger-than-her cameras, pages-long scripts and even longer working hours, she grew up facing a public that both adored and criticized her. But the one thing that she has learned is that there’s no better strategy than just let people be, and to let herself be herself.
“Meron lang ako napanood lately…[and it] made me realize na tatanda din tayo lahat. Isang beses lang tayo magiging teenager. Mas madaming portion ng life natin na matanda tayo kesa bata tayo…so sulitin natin siya kasi kung kailan pa tayo malakas at nag-grow pa tayo, i-enjoy natin siya,” explains Andrea. “Pero, while enjoying, ihanda na natin yung sarili natin for our responsibilities as an adult. We can make mistakes pero we should learn from [them] din kasi walang point kung ‘di ka matututo sa mga pagkakamali mo.”
(“I watched something lately…and it made me realize that we’re all going to grow old. We’ll only be teemagers once. There is a bigger portion of life when we’ll be old rather than young…so make the most of it because we’re strong and growing; enjoy it,” explains Andrea. “But while you’re enjoying, prepare yourself for your responsibilities as an adult. We can make mistakes but we should learn from [them] because then there’s no point if you don’t learn from what you did wrong.”)
It’s the YOLO mentality that has taken Andrea this far. Among the scrapes, falls and negative press, she has learned: “Ayokong [sa] last memories ko, meron akong mga pinagsisihan. (I don’t want my last memories to have regrets.)”
If it hasn’t been clear, this is Andrea’s coming of age story. And it’s one that’s unlike any other.
All roads have led to this. All those days Andrea spent carelessly putting on lipstick at her family’s drugstore, the hours spent on makeup chairs, the afternoons she spent with friends swapping lip glosses and eyeshadow palettes—they have brought her here. And it’s about damn time. As she counts down the days to the release of her own brand, Andrea is grateful that she waited.
“A year in the making na po kasi ‘to or two years, and it just felt right kasi [when] I started this…Ang dami kong prinesent before yung business partners ko. Kaka-18 ko lang yata nito nung nag-drawing ako, nag-sketch po ako kahit hindi po talaga ako nagdradrawing,” says Andrea. “Ilang beses ko na siya prinesent and ilang partners na din yung hinahanap ko, and nung nahanap ko na yung business partners ko now, parang nag-click lang kami. So, sabi ko, ‘Okay.’ Tapos, game na din sila gawin anytime. So, sabi ko, ‘Okay! Let’s go, let’s do it!’”
(“It’s been in the making for a year or two, and it just felt right because [when] I started this…I presented so many options before my business partner now. I think I just turned 18 when I started drawing, I sketched even though I don’t really draw,” says Andrea. “I presented it so many times and I met with multiple potential partners, and when I found my current business partner, we just clicked. So I said, ‘Okay.’ And they were game to do it anytime. So I said, ‘Okay! Let’s go, let’s go, let’s do it!’”)
Andrea Brillantes now proudly calls herself a CEO. She is not just the face or the ambassador or a character for this new beauty brand. She’s nurtured her idea and produced products that she’s happy to back up and call her own. This isn’t a simple matter of showing up on set and having someone else take the reigns. Andrea is finally sitting on the driver’s seat.
Her brand isn’t just for her generation and definitely not just for her fans. Andrea explains how she made it a point to produce items that are for everyone: “Kahit na anong gender, kahit na anong age din—siguro ‘wag lang yung mga 10 year-olds kasi ang baby pa nila para mag makeup na sila. Pero, it’s [available] to all. I hope lahat din, kahit mga lalaki, maging comfortable na sila na mag makeup.”
(“No matter what gender, no matter what age—maybe not the 10-year-olds because they’re too young to put on makeup. But it’s [available] to all. I hope everyone, even guys, become comfortable wearing makeup.”)
Andrea reiterates the point she is trying to get across and the role she has wholeheartedly stepped into. “I want them to see me not as an endorser, kung ‘di yung CEO of this brand,” she says, citing Selena Gomez and Rihanna as inspirations. “Sana makita nila yung gusto ko ipakita. If not, then I’ll try harder or mag-iisip pa ako ng iba pang ways.”
(“I want them to see me not as an endorser, but as the CEO of this brand,” she says, citing Selena Gomez and Rihanna as inspirations. “I hope they see what I’m trying to do. If not, I’ll try harder and think of other ways to convince them.”)
Andrea isn’t just another artista dipping her foot into the world of business. This is something she’s been dreaming of and building toward for years. So while you’ll see her in the launch materials, don’t get used to it. She’ll soon be taking her rightful place at the head of the table.
It’s the role of a lifetime that’s been a lifetime in the making. Andrea is now the CEO of Lucky Beauty, and there’s no stopping her.
Amidst the acting accolades, brand endorsements and this beauty venture, we ask Andrea Brillantes what she’s most proud of—it’s a loaded question with a resume like hers. But it’s at this moment that she grounds us once again.
“Proud ako sa sarili ko na I still have so [much] love to give…and hope and inspiration—na I’m still me, na I can still smile at hindi ako napapalayo kay Papa God. Proud ako sa sarili ko for being so strong kasi hindi lahat ng tao alam talaga kung ano nangyayari behind the cameras. Siguro sakin na yung iba, [but] I’m proud of myself.”
(I’m proud of myself because I still have so [much] love to give…and hope and inspiration—that I’m still me, that I can still smile and that I haven’t distanced myself from Papa God. I’m proud of myself for being so strong because not everyone knows what happens behind the cameras. I guess the rest should just be for me, [but] I’m proud of myself.”
The hustle and bustle of every day can get dreary and distracting. Sometimes we forget why we are where we are. But Andrea Brillantes is proof that when you stick your heels in the ground and refocus your energies, everything will eventually fall into place. Eventually you’ll get a clearer picture of the dreams you dared to dream when you were younger. And it will all make sense. We just need to get it together.
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Photography Renzo Navarro
Art and Art Direction Alexandra Lara
Interview and Cover Story Adie Pieraz
Styling Eldzs Mejia assisted by Carl Alberto
Beauty Direction Elisa Aquino
Makeup Marben Talanay
Hair RJ Dela Cruz
Location Chroma Studios