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Happy Skin co-founder exits after 8 years

Model and entrepreneur Rissa Mananquil Trillo announced Monday her decision to leave the makeup brand she co-founded in 2013. 

Rissa Mananquil Trillo steps down as chief brand officer of homegrown makeup brand Happy Skin, which she co-founded in 2013. 
(Photo from @rissamananquiltrillo/Instagram)
“This is a decision I thought long and hard about. It takes a lot of strength to leave something I poured so much of my life into,” she said in an Instagram post. 

Mananquil Trillo, together with Jacqe Yuengtian-Gutierrez, established Happy Skin on October 18, 2013 to provide Filipino women with skin-caring makeup. Mananquil Trillo served as the company’s chief brand officer. 

The cofounders propelled the local skincare brand to success, becoming a favorite of many Filipino women and setting up 14 stores and 80 beauty counters across the country in a span of three and a half years. 

“When I look back at my goals when Happy Skin started, I’ve ticked off everything on my list—to provide a solution to a problem Filipinas had been facing and empower them with skin-caring makeup, to fill the gap in the cosmetics industry with a local makeup brand that offered premium quality products at affordable prices, and to create a homegrown brand that Filipinos can be proud of,” shared Mananquil Trillo. 

With 15 years of experience as model and beauty columnist, she said the challenge of finding a makeup line that celebrates and cares for the skin drove her to establish Happy Skin. 

By entering the right retail channels – their first beauty boudoirs were established at Rustan’s and Beauty Bar, then later at SM and Watsons – Happy Skin became the first “masstige” cosmetic brand that attempted to break into a local market dominated by 90 percent foreign names.  

Since its creation, Happy Skin has won over 40 beauty awards. It also collaborated with global brands Disney, Sanrio, and Havaianas, as well as local personalities Kris Aquino, Liz Uy, KC Concepcion, Heart Evangelista, and Kathryn Bernardo. 

Stepping down was, Mananquil Trillo said, “a difficult decision”. “The final step I took was to seek the advice of some of the country’s respected business leaders. Turning to them proved to me that no matter what generation you are from, right is right and wrong is wrong.”

“I understand during a time like this, I’m in a privileged position to walk away from something that no longer aligns with my values. But it’s time we all made better choices. Success to me is being able to check all the boxes in my list, but also knowing when to walk away.”

Topics: Rissa Mananquil Trillo , Happy Skin , Jacqe Yuengtian-Gutierrez
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