It was several years ago when a package from Happy Skin arrived at the office of a publishing house. Unlike countless other cosmetic products sent to editors, this particular package had punch. Bright pastels enveloped blush and powder compacts hinting at the young and approachable nature of the new makeup brand. Names for each of the samples were playful and conversational, as if lifted from witty banter between friends talking about beauty. Matte of Your Dreams were words emblazoned on a mattifying powder compact. The lip kits and lippies were particularly amusing as it carried labels like Shut Up And Kiss Me, How To Conquer The World and How To Take The Perfect Selfie. The new makeup brand was engaging and amusing. It reverberated with easy-to-use appeal that resonated with women often intimidated by the highfalutin lexicon of cosmetics.
This fun spirit about beauty established Happy Skin as the locally developed makeup label in the Philippines for a new generation of women. Co-founder Jacqe Yuengtian-Gutierrez shared, “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.” There were basic ideals that inspired the development of the Happy Skin products. “It’s really simple. Good makeup should be easy-to-use, good for skin and should make you feel more beautiful.”
Once the first few samples were in, Jacqe got in touch with beauty columnist and top fashion model Rissa Mananquil Trillo. Jacqe had initially meant to get feedback from Rissa whose experience in the beauty industry was invaluable to the launching a new beauty line. “I respect Rissa’s expertise both as a model and a beauty columnist, and I knew she would be able to understand if this was something that women would love.”
Rissa was sold as soon as she tried on the first few samples and signed on to become a partner. “It has always been my dream to have my own makeup line. 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.” As a top fashion model, Rissa has had to deal with one of the biggest hazards of the job: less than perfect skin due to makeup. She recalls that back then, it was almost impossible to find products that would also care for her skin. “I’ve had every imaginable makeup brand on my face. Many of them instantly prettify you, but the biggest woe is going home with ruined skin.”
Focus on formulation for skincare was pivotal in the success of the label. Japanese tea leaf, cherry blossom, hyaluronic acid and Argan oils were key ingredients that made Happy Skin products safe even for sensitive skin. It also helped of course that the brand offered reasonably priced cosmetics that actually featured good color pigmentation. One of its earlier products, the Glisten Up Cream Blush and Highlighter was particularly impressive, leaving a natural flush onto the cheeks that stayed for hours on end. Its highlighting counterpart was also launched at a timely manner. When the blush and highlighting duo hit shelves, the beauty world was fixated on creating highlights as an alternative to contouring. Many were yet to try out and learn how to wear this new beauty trend and Happy Skin’s tubes seemed a friendly option especially for women with little to no experience in makeup application.
Such was the magic of Happy Skin. It made makeup accessible in a variety of ways. For women worried that wearing makeup would clog pores or cause breakouts, Happy Skin was the solution. The label’s products came at reasonable prices while maintaining high quality standards. Rissa adds, “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.”
It has only been a little over three years since Happy Skin hit the shelves. Since then, the beauty label’s products have become staples in makeup kits of many Filipina women. Today, the beauty brand has almost 100 counters and 14 stores across the Philippines. Happy Skin has also done several collaborations with renowned global brands—most of which have sold out. The formidable duo behind the brand is still writing the next chapter for the company’s happily ever after. Suffice it to say that for users of Happy Skin, they’ve found a fairytale product for their skin.