This 2015, we encourage you to look for local brands to support and pass on your raves to family and friends. Allow me to contextualize this friendly reminder: buying from local businesses helps nanays put food on the table, tatays pay mortgage or kuyas pay college tuition. This is far better than helping bossings or country managers purchase their third home away from home. Gone were the days when our own products hardly look enticingly world-class and only foreign consumers can enjoy our finest exports. In fact, we’re giving you 15 reasons to believe in tatak Pilipino.
True to their core values as pro-Philippines, pro-poor and pro-environment, Human Heart Nature has been producing all-natural personal care products using locally-sourced and ethically-acquired materials and employing Gawad Kalinga residents and farmers since 2008.
As a testament to the safety and effectiveness of their products, particularly their best-selling items like sunflower beauty oil (read: 23-in-1 miracle worker for pimples, stretch marks, dull hair, sun burn, eye bags, insect bites, dark lips and more!), hair care and facial wash and toners, their following continue to rise after every product release.
In the recent years, they introduced their mineral make-up line comprised of the popular pressed powder, mineral blush and tinted lip balms. And they refuse to rest on their laurels; PR Manager Tish Martinez-Castillo says they release spanking new products every eight weeks and they offer improved formulations for existing products depending on client’s feedback and requests. Nurse/dealer Edzel Love Suobiron, for instance, loves the latest batch of Mineral ColorCreme lipsticks the most for its creamy feel on her lips and perfect match for her dusky skin tone. And speaking of, Human Heart Nature does not intend to come up with whitening products because they believe in the awesomeness of the kayumanggi skin.
2. Milea Bath and Body Wellness
Edilee Omoyon was just making natural soaps and moisturizers for her son who’s long battling with skin asthma. Little did she know that her intensive research would lead to creation of soaps as requested by family, friends and eventually clients thus giving birth to Milea. This journey made her build more products for All Organics (bath and body), Milea Baby (baby products), Milea Mineral Make-up (chemical-free cosmetics) and Coco Bee (bee products). You guessed it right. Her solution for skin asthma, particularly the goat’s milk honey oatmeal soap, and lemongrass facial toner (works as make-up remover, too) are the most in-demand items. In their cosmetic line, clients are raving about bee propolis concealer stick, metallic powder eye shadow (available in 14 shades), powder blusher (available in 5 colors), and sassy lip crème (available in 10 shades).
When asked what makes Milea different from other organic brands, Edilee says they do not mass produce to ensure customers will get to use fresh cosmetics. They also grow their own raw materials in Milea Bee Farm in San Jose, Batangas. In fact, Edilee allows “beesita sa bukid” for interested parties.
Milea’s most-requested products. Photos lifted from the official website.
It takes a gifted eye to see fashion in scraps of cloth, yes? But don’t be quick to conclude; Rags2Riches founder Reese Fernandez has a bigger fashion statement: she asks YOU to wear your compassion.
Upon realizing how middlemen exploited the rug-weavers in Payatas (controlled access to the market, so little profit), the team opted to empower these artisans and train them to make creative fashion pieces and, eventually, home decors, using upcycled scraps, organic and indigenous materials. They even teamed up with big names like Rajo Laurel, Oliver Tolentino, Amina Aranaz-Alunan and Olivia d’Aboville to give their handwoven handbags, wallets, purses, wristlets and others an appealing touch. Today, R2R continues to expand and lift talented Filipino artisans from poverty. After all, her company’s philosophy is firmly rooted on People (quality of life + quality of dreams), Planet (shared home and shared future), Profit (surplus for sustainability) and Positive Influence (belief in the power of generosity).
4. Jacinto & Lirio
Did you know that production of leather necessitates slaughter of billion animals every year? These industries also use dangerous chemicals like mineral salts, formaldehyde and coal-tar derivatives, among others. Read about it here. Good thing Filipino innovators discovered that the stalk of water hyacinth or water lilies can be turned into a leather-like material!
Jacinto & Lirio founder, Noreen Bautista, collaborated with Cora Jacob (or Cora Jacobs as she is known globally), the renowned Filipino eco-chic bag designer and regarded as the pioneer of Philippine handbag design, for their first collection of plant leather bags. And the rest, as they say, is history. Aside from handbags, they now have made journals, iPad cases, planners and laptop wraps. And it’s exciting to know what new items they’ll come up with!
5. Ever Bilena
Ever wondered what’s in sexy star Ellen Adarna’s kikay kit and what particular cosmetic the award-winning actress Eugene Domingo hoards? It’s Ever Bilena’s lip and cheek tint! In her KrisTV guesting, Ellen swears by how it gives her a long-lasting natural-looking blush. Such a good steal for P135!
For make-up artist Danielle Leonardo, she appreciates the creamy texture of their black and brown eyeliners as it is truly easy for her to blend it with eye shadows. Also, she lauds their matte lipsticks, particularly the Pink Flame and Skin shades.
In a nutshell, most blog reviews spell satisfaction in how this household name can keep up with international brands and provide high-end quality in for affordable price tag.
6. FS Cosmetics, formerly known as F21 Cosmetics
Make-up artist Fanny Serrano’s own cosmetic line had been getting the much-coveted nods from beauty awards since 2004. Their eyelash curler, for instance, is something beauty blogger Jolly considers a “nice dupe of Shu Uemura” happens to be a Cosmo Beauty Award winner in 2006 and 2009. Make-up artist Danielle Leonardo raves about the two-way cake for being good-to-go upon application and being as effective as M.A.C’s studio fix powder. Both Jolly and Danielle adore their pigmented eye shadows; it’s easy to blend, long-lasting, budget-friendly, plus it offers wide array of color options that complements the Pinay skin.
Fanny Serrano Cosmetics’ award-winning products: concealers, eyelash curler and blush-on.