At the Retail World Show Philippines, we are delighted to be featuring innovation and progress from a uniquely Philippine perspective. Not new to the world of beauty, local Philippine fashion icons, Jacqe Yuengtian-Gutierrez and Rissa Mananquil-Trillo decided to team up to create Happy Skin, an original retail brand of skin-caring makeup. “I always knew I wanted to be in this business of making women happy,” shares Jacqe who spearheaded developing global brands under personal care leader Unilever. “I remember how I always felt giddy when I got to talk to consumers, and they would tell me how a beauty product could made them feel confident, more beautiful, and more in control of their lives,” recalls Jacqe. “I would get a real sense of satisfaction and fulfillment when I heard such stories. So, I realized it was always really my dream to create a brand of my own, one that will provide the best products that will excite people, make their lives happier and better!”
And so, after nearly a decade in the beauty and personal care industry, Jacqe took a leap of faith and created Happy Skin, makeup that cares for the skin. “Happy Skin is the first makeup line that offers an entire range of skin-caring makeup,” Jacqe proudly explains. “It was especially created for women who want to look naturally beautiful, but want to make sure that their skin is also cared for. It’s for women who don’t want to compromise on beauty!”
“For me, it’s really simple. I think good makeup should be easy to use, good for your skin, and makes you feel more beautiful,” Jacqe continues. “I’m a firm believer in good skincare and I don’t like compromising my skin because of the makeup that I use.” Jacqe expounds: “I’ve talked to a lot of women, and they’re scared to use makeup because they feel that it will harm their skin. So why not create a makeup line that actually cares for your skin, too?”
Sisters in Beauty
To give Happy Skin its wings, Jacqe partnered with one of the country’s top models, beauty columnist for national newspaper The Philippine Star, and former president of the Professional Models Association of the Philippines (PMAP), Rissa Mananquil-Trillo. This isn’t the first time Jacqe and Rissa worked together. Unknown to many, they built a close relationship when Rissa was asked to come on board as consultant to skincare brand, Pond’s, which Jacqe was handling. “Jacqe possesses one of the most brilliant minds I know, and I love that she’s a perfectionist like me. Ours is a friendship that goes beyond the workplace,” Rissa shares. “Every time I’m with her, she always makes me feel like we’re sisters, so partnering with Jacqe felt so logical and natural.”
Recognizing the strength of their tried and tested tandem, Jacqe likewise speaks fondly of Rissa. “I may have devoted many years of my life in understanding how to make women feel beautiful, but I have partnered with Rissa who is an actual expert in beauty,” explains Jacqe. “She’s the first one I approached to try sample products. With almost fifteen years of experience, I very much respect Rissa’s expertise both as a model and a beauty columnist, and I knew she’d be able to understand if this was something that women would love. I was very ecstatic that she loved the products, so much so that she signed on to become my partner and joined me in creating Happy Skin.”
From Model Beauty
“What drew me in were the products,” reveals Rissa. “I held the same standard I had for the products I endorsed as a model and
recommended as a beauty columnist; it was important that the products were something I genuinely believed in and will use.” When Rissa first tried the samples, she felt they had so much potential. “With just more testing, reformulating, and tweaking, I saw future beauty award winners in them.”
“It has always been my dream to have my own makeup line,” Rissa shares. “Not the kind that merely attaches my name onto the packaging but the kind which allows me to be hands-on with creating, formulating, testing everything from the start.” She explains further: “What fueled this dream of mine was how hard it was to find good makeup for Filipinas when I first started modeling. Even as a beauty columnist, I always dreamed to create the perfect makeup line that would wonderfully celebrate Filipina skin.”
“Partnering with Jacqe allowed me to make this dream come true and offer even so much more to make the Filipina feel effortlessly more beautiful,” Rissa says with a smile.
Making Skin Happy
Together, Jacqe and Rissa developed a brand like no other. “I’ve been modeling for so many years here and abroad and I have had every imaginable makeup brand on my face,” shares Rissa. “Many of them instantly prettify you, but the biggest beauty woe is going home with ruined skin. Truly good makeup should be your ally—not your enemy—in making you look and feel more beautiful.”
To ensure this, Happy Skin products boast of the best skin-caring ingredients. “All Happy Skin products are infused with special skincare ingredients, such as Japanese tea leaf, cherry blossom, hyaluronic acid, and argan oil, to name a few,” explains Jacqe. “All our key products are sourced and made in Japan because we recognize the importance of skincare in this beauty capital,” she says.
Multiplying the Happiness
Jacqe and Rissa are certain that they’re on the right path. As buzz of their beauty venture grows, they find themselves relishing the support of more and more people who believe in the vision of Happy Skin. Among the brand’s first fans were Erickson and Roxanne Farillas, the husband-and-wife tandem behind top Filipino retail brand Plains and Prints.
Finding that Happy Skin was aligned with Plains and Prints’ own brand quest to make women look and feel beautiful, they gave the humble makeup brand a break and agreed to support Happy Skin and become its pilot distribution outlet.
When Happy Skin first launched last October 18, 2013, the brand started with merely five counters. In less than a month after its launch, local luxury department store Rustan’s and leading cosmetics hub Beauty Bar – under the helm of the Store Specialists Inc. which carries the franchise rights to distribute Saint Laurent, Gucci, Prada, Givenchy, Marc Jacobs, Jimmy Choo, Kate Spade, Gap, Old Navy, and Zara locally – asked to carry Happy Skin in their stores. In six months, the number of counters increased tenfold. Today, Happy Skin is located in over 80 counters across the Philippines.
The Path To Happy Skin
Many women have developed a strong affinity towards Happy Skin and its products. Since its launch, Happy Skin has found its way into the kits and on the dressers of countless women. Bestsellers include the Second Skin Cream Silicone-Free Foundation and the Shut Up & Kiss Me Moisturizing Lippies – they sell over a 200 lippies a day!
“We have women aged fifteen to fifty who love our products! We have students, debutantes, brides, career women, models, moms, even makeup artists and celebrities buying Happy Skin,” excitedly shares Rissa.
“It really warms our hearts whenever we receive an email of heartfelt thanks as they were literally wowed with the Happy Skin product they bought and had to personally thank us,” gushes Jacqe. “I’m particularly touched whenever they tell us that they’ve searched for so long for a makeup that will be good for their skin and how Happy Skin became the answer to their prayers. A lot of our happy consumers always tell us that they don’t breakout anymore and feel that they have healthier glowing skin after using our products. We’ve also noticed a lot of new makeup users trying our brand as their first foray into cosmetics.”
“The response of women has been tremendous! To each of them, it boils down to finding a makeup brand that finally makes it easy to look beautiful without harming their skin,” further explains Rissa of the brand’s quick rise up the modern Filipina’s consciousness.
“We also have patrons like Filipina television personality known as Queen of all Media, Kris Aquino, who loved the lippies so much that she collaborated with us to create her own lippie. Newscaster Karen Davila who fell in love with our liquid eyeliner after wearing it during the typhoon Haiyan coverage and saw that it didn’t budge and lasted the entire day. Actress and host Lucy Torres-Gomez who’s so happy that she regularly buys Happy Skin products to give as gifts. Top lifestyle blogger Cecile Zamora (Chuvaness) personally loves the SS Cream and we saw on social media that she actually made it part of her makeup kit!” beams Jacqe.
“The fact that these women, who have access to international makeup, are patrons of Happy Skin gives us that stamp of approval that we have been creating good makeup that is at par with world-renowned brands. Especially for a humble Filipino brand like ours, it really makes us so very proud and super motivated to create more products.”
“The support for a local brand like ours has been really overwhelming! Nothing makes us feel prouder and happier than our very own Filipinos supporting our humble homegrown brand,” echoes Rissa.
Catch both Rissa and Jacqe at the Retail World Philippines show where they will be presenting a joint case study on Happy Skin’s experiences in omni channel retail. Book your ticket now to attend the Retail World Show by clicking here
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