Happy Skin Cosmetics

HappySkin8You’d have to be living under a rock to be a beauty lover in the Philippines and not have heard about Happy Skin Cosmetics. Since its launch just three months ago, this adorable line of homegrown beauty products has been mentioned frequently by bloggers and gorgeous skin lovers all over the country. (Click here, here, or here if you’d like to read other reviews).

Jacqe and Rissa. Photo courtesy of Happy Skin

Rissa and Jacqe (photo courtesy of Happy Skin)

Happy Skin was founded by Jacqe Yuengtian-Gutierrez and Rissa Mananquil-Trillo, two women who know more than their fair share about beauty products and what makes skin look its best.

I decided to ask these two beautiful ladies to share a bit about their brand and they were also kind enough to send over a wonderful selection of their products for me to review.  I hope you enjoy their genuine love for quality products and my review of these beautifully-packaged goodies.

Cat JL: What sets Happy Skin apart from other beauty lines in the market today?

Jacqe Yuengtian-Gutierrez: Happy Skin is the first makeup line that offers an entire range of skin-caring makeup! Happy Skin was specially created for women who want to look naturally beautiful but wants to make sure that their skin is also cared for – it’s for women who don’t want to compromise on beauty! All Happy Skin products are infused with special skincare ingredients such as Japanese tea leaf, Cherry blossom, Hyaluronic Acid & Argan oil to name a few. Majority of our products are sourced from Japan where they truly value the importance of skincare. We’ve been closely working with the R&D team to ensure that women will actually feel the difference of a Happy Skin product! You’re skin will feel hydrated, moisturised & cared for!

Rissa Mananquil-Trillo: We believe that healthy skin is happy skin. Other makeup products give you great-looking skin only as long as you have the product on. But with Happy Skin, you continue to enjoy and experience great-looking skin even after you wash it off. It’s makeup that cares for the skin. For me, what makes Happy Skin better than the rest is it can make a difference in the way your skin looks not just today but tomorrow.

Happy Skin is for the woman who believes that looking beautiful doesn’t have to be difficult nor damaging to your skin. It’s for the woman who feels she deserves nothing less than makeup that cares for the skin. Yes, looking beautiful no longer has to be a compromise.

People always ask us who our market is for Happy Skin. We’ve launched only three months ago and yet we have women aged fifteen to fifty buying our products. We have students, debutantes, brides, career women, models, moms, even makeup artists and celebrities buying Happy Skin. To each woman, it boils down to finding a makeup brand that finally makes it easy to look beautiful without harming your skin.

Which products were the hardest to formulate? Which products are your favorites? Why?

JYG:  I think it’s important to have a good base and a good quality foundation will do wonders for your skin. I’m always on the lookout for a light foundation that’s natural looking and wouldn’t clog my pores! I’m perfectly happy with my skin and I just really want something that would make it look more flawless! So I became obsessed with formulating & re-formulating our Second Skin Creme until we got it right. I truly believe that it is one of our most special products as it doesn’t contain silicone which may clog up the pores (silicone-free is now a big thing in Japan). It also contains a good amount of Hyaluronic acid to ensure that your skin is properly hydrated the entire day. To top it all off, you don’t have to use a makeup remover- a simple facial wash will wash it off!

RMT: My favorite product is the Don’t Get Mad, Get Even powder foundation. This is perfect for days you want skip foundation but hide your blemishes. It provides good coverage on imperfections, redness, blemishes and even the spider veins on my cheeks. It does not crack or crease even when you smile. There is no fake powdery trace of makeup up close or in photos. Even if you zoom in, it simply looks like real skin! Pores are minimized and the powder is so finely milled that it sits so smoothly on skin with a barely-there feel. It’s so weightless, you’ll forget you’re wearing it. If there’s any product that can make your skin really look like skin while providing ample coverage, this would be it. It feels AND looks like you have nothing on. Yes, even HE won’t be able to tell.

When we were testing several Japanese samples for this, I was very picky with the coverage, feel and finish. There was only one whose performance stood out. When I made my choice among the different formulations, Jacqe laughed and said “You really know your products. The one you chose is actually the most expensive.” It didn’t matter to us that it cost more. We really wanted Happy Skin to truly address the beauty frustrations of women. With Happy Skin, I really wanted to be able to create products I can swear my life on.

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Jacqe used her experience as a top beauty brand manager to create Happy Skin. (photo courtesy of Happy Skin)

Did you look to any international beauty brands for inspiration? Did you ask other beauty experts/ dermatologists to help you with your formulations?

JYG: I think it was really a great collaboration between me & Rissa. Rissa is a respected beauty columnist & a model who has a lot of experience in trying different makeup. And I’ve seen her at work and she will not stop until we get the perfect formulation before we release it to the market. She’s also very much involved in conceptualising our PR & digital strategies as we bring Happy Skin to life. I oversee the entire strategy & operations of the brand. I maximised all the learnings I’ve had from my brand career – from insight mining to brand visioning and of course getting the 6Ps (Product, Promotion, Price, Proposition, Place & Packaging) right.

RMT: Jacqe possesses one of the most brilliant minds I know. Her Unilever background (former Pond’s brand manager; former Unilever Philippines marketing manager for skin care; and former senior regional brand development manager for Unilever Skin Care for Southeast Asia and Australia) where she handled personal care brands not just here but across different countries, allowed her to devote a decade of her life to understanding beauty. She brings a global touch to the brand and likewise envisions an international path for the Happy Skin brand. After leading several multi-national brands under her wings, brand building and operations for Happy Skin are easily just second nature to her. And I love it that she’s a perfectionist like me! We are both first-time entrepreneurs so failing is not an option for us.

I once asked a make-up artist what was the most difficult thing she had to deal with in her profession. Her answer? Bad skin. I’ve been modeling for more than a decade and I have had every imaginable makeup brand on my face. Many of them instantly prettify you but the biggest beauty woe is going home with ruined skin. As a beauty columnist, I’ve road tested countless beauty products. My skin has been subjected to pimples, rashes, burns, and itching – all for the sake of beauty. But I have likewise made the most wonderful discoveries and realized which products are worth keeping. Truly good makeup should be your ally – not your enemy – in making you look and feel more beautiful.

Despite all the beauty disasters my face has experienced, I have continued to try more beauty products. Yes, my quest for beauty has become a passion. With Happy Skin, I really wanted to be able to create products I can swear my life on.

JYG: Our products are actually from different parts of the world where we feel they best represent the best version of that specific product. Our bases – foundation, powders & blush are all from Japan as they are experts in skincare and we want to make sure that our makeup bases are infused with skin-loving ingredients. Our lippies are from Taiwan because they are able to create highly pigmented lipsticks that really shows the pop of colours. Our eyeliners are from Korea as we all know that Koreans are the best when it comes to eye makeup.

RMT: It’s simple. We chose to harness the strengths of the different beauty capitals. Japan is revered for their skincare and flawless makeup. That’s why our foundations, powders, concealers and blushes are from there. Additionally, nothing agrees more with Filipino skin than cosmetics from Japan. Koreans, on the other hand, are brilliant when it comes to making the eyes more beautiful. That’s why our newly released eyeliners originate from there.

We consulted dear friends and respected dermatologists, beauty bloggers, and editors for them to try our prototypes because we really wanted Happy Skin to make your skin happy and beautiful, no matter your skin type.

Many Filipinas have expressed difficulty finding their perfect shade of foundation or concealer. How has Happy Skin addressed this issue? 

RMT: With Jacqe being fair and I being morena, yes, our skin color played an important role but it wasn’t the only factor that guided our decisions. We’ve both been exposed to the business of beauty for the past ten years and we have a great understanding of what frustrates women when it comes to makeup. Apart from skin color, we were also very particular that our products suited different skin types, weather conditions, our topical weather, and even beauty habits and routines.

For example, we wanted to make sure our liquid foundation was stellar whether you applied it with your fingers, with a foundation brush or with a sponge. We wanted the powder to keep women shine-free yet allow dry tired skin to look hydrated and healthy. Our lippies? We even went to lengths testing them to make sure they didn’t melt in the car despite our humid weather. Our concealers are divine whether you apply them before or after foundation – and yes, they even work wonderfully even over a made up face! Again, we are extremely particular with not just how our products look, we also ensure that they deliver.

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As one of the country’s top beauty experts, Rissa has tested countless products. (photo courtesy of Happy Skin)

You mentioned that you plan to add other products to your line, can you share a little more about them? 

JYG: Yes. We’re actually testing new products as early as now as it takes a bit of time as we re-formulate it with the Japan R&D team. We can’t divulge yet our next products but what we can assure you is that it will be top-notch quality –as I said, Rissa is a perfectionist and she’s very very stringent on approving the final product lineup.

Do you have plans to offer Happy Skin in other countries as well? 

RMT: Currently now right now but we’ve been getting inquiries from women all over the globe every single day. To be the first Filipino makeup brand to make it to the international beauty arena would be a dream come true!

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Don’t Get Mad Get Even Hydrating Liquid Foundation in 02 & 03 (PHP 900)

Pros:

  • No fragrance. A big plus for me. 
  • Glides on beautifully with just your fingers.
  • Lovely packaging that makes sure the product stays clean. 
  • Offers a lovely dewy finish and just the right amount of coverage.
  • No flakiness. Skin feels well moisturized the entire time its on. 
  • No breakouts. 

Cons:

  • Not a lot of shade choices. I was given 02 (Natural Beige) to try, but it was too light for my MAC NC40 skin tone. Thankfully a friend of mine had purchased 03 (Deep Beige) and it was a better fit.
  • It would also be nice if future shades had a bit more of a yellowish tone to them. Something I’ve noticed many cosmetic brands lack in their foundation lineup. 
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Don’t Get Mad Get Even Hydrating Powder Foundation in 02 (PHP 1,299)

Pros:

  • This highly pigmented powder foundation definitely makes your skin look matte and well-covered.
  • I love the plastic flap to keep the mirror of the compact clean. A big gripe with other powder foundations.

Cons:

  • Once again, it’s an issue of lack of shade choices for me. The look was also a little too powdery at the start.
  • The coverage when paired with Don’t Get Mad Get Even Hydrating Liquid Foundation was a little too intense for day time use. Might be more suited for a long night out. 
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Shut Up & Kiss Me Moisturizing Lippie (PHP 499)

Pros:

  • Glides on like butter.
  • Offers gorgeous intense color that lasts.
  • No gross fragrance or icky chemical smells.
  • Adorable names and packaging.

Cons:

  • Absolutely none. This products is made of win. I want to collect all of them.
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Get Cheeky With Me Blush in Summer Fling (PHP 699)

Pros:

  • Gorgeous, simple packaging.
  • Lovely subtle peach shade which actually acts like a bronzer as well. Perfect for a beach trip.

Cons:

  • None. Great little product. It adds a healthy flush that doesn’t look fake.
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Eye Need A Miracle Concealer (PHP 699)

Pros:

  • Highly pigmented , you only need the tiniest bit.
  • The rich Hyaluronic Acid in the product makes skin look plumped and well-rested.

Cons:

  • Only one shade available. If you’re on the morena side, this might be too light for you. 

Bottom line: Happy Skin is clearly a quality brand. Their products are affordable, beautifully packaged, and obviously have had a lot of thought and love put into them. This brand can easily compete with those in the international market. I look forward to hearing about new shade formulations in the near future.

If you’re interested to learn more about Happy Skin Cosmetics and where you can buy some for yourself check out their:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram 

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