As a model and beauty columnist “who has road-tested countless make-up brands,” it was always Rissa Mananquil Trillo’s dream “to create my own make-up line that would take good care of skin and wonderfully celebrate Filipina beauty.”
As a beauty columnist, she wanted to create products she could genuinely recommend to others, the kind that would allow her to be – “hands on, with creating, formulating, testing everything from the start.”
This dream became possible with Happy Skin, which is on its way to become a global Filipino brand—proudly homegrown with Filipino minds behind it and committed to offering world-class quality.
When it became time to retail the brand, Rissa remembers asking help from her Mom to connect her to Tessie Sy-Coson, and she was advised to write a letter. “That was in 2013, and I still keep the letter I wrote and the reply I got back,” she recalls.
Happy Skin’s first SM Store counter was significantly inside Megamall, a place where she says she “grew up”.
“I celebrated a lot of firsts at SM,” Rissa recalls. “Buying my first pocket book as a reward for good grades. Experiencing ice skating for the first time and loving it. The first time I was allowed to watch a movie with just my friends. My first ‘job’ interning for a fashion retail store one entire summer. Seeing my modeling photos for the first time on the walls of a fashion boutique. My first jewelry purchase to reward myself for hard work. And even the first time I lived on my own and bought my first piece of furniture.”
“Malling for me nourished my love for books, fashion and beauty, and I want to pass on certain mall traditions to my own family,” she adds. And now as wife to PBA‘s Meralco Bolts team manager Paolo Trillo and mother to Enzo, Celestia, and Audra, she continues “to make new memories and celebrate new firsts at SM—this time with my family.”
And Happy Skin continues to grow with its biggest store in SM Aura Premier. “Every time we open a new counter with SM and Watsons, I look back with gratefulness for SM’s giving this dream a chance and continually supporting it,” she says.
Working with a very sophisticated team of suppliers from Japan, Korea and Taiwan, Rissa – together with co-founder Jacqe Yuengtian-Gutierrez – delve into all imaginable aspects of beauty and well-being, from biology of the skin to discovering new innovative skin care techniques.
With that, Happy Skin has grown to become the Philippines’ favorite brand of skin-caring make-up in a span of five years. Starting with 5 counters and 20 SKUs in 2013, it now has over 300 SKUs and several stand-alone stores across the country. Happy Skin has been honored with 40 beauty awards and has had 10 high-profile collaborations with Kris Aquino, Liz Uy, Heart Evangelista, Plains & Prints, Beauty Bar, Disney, Beauty and the Beast film, Sanrio, Havaianas, and most recently, with KC Concepcion. Soon to be launched is the collaboration with Kathryn Bernardo.
Rissa was awarded by Ernst & Young as Woman Entrepreneur of the Year 2017 for Entrepreneur of the Year (EOY) and SGV & Co. She was also recognized as one of Go Negosyo’s Inspiring Filipina Entrepreneurs for 2018.