This beauty brand is run by a girlboss duo of mother and daughter

This beauty brand is run by a girlboss duo of mother and daughter

Organic, cruelty-free, handmade, and homegrown. It’s the complete package.

Photos by Kitkat Pajaro

 

Mawy Conferido- Sapuay was in New York late last year to attend the Girlboss Rally, where she learned about empowerment and what it takes to build an empire from speakers like Beautyblender founder Rea Ann Silva, creative director and former Women’s March organizer Sarah Sophie Flicker, and the original Girlboss herself, Sophia Amoruso.

To many young women, attending a Girlboss Rally is a dream come true. But for Mawy, it was just another crash-course to fostering a better brand — in this case, the fast-rising Filipino skincare and makeup company Hello Gorgeous, of which she’s the CEO. (It also didn’t hurt that the trip, having already been scheduled for months, became her perfect excuse to have a dreamy, picturesque Big Apple wedding.)

Skinline Essentials was an in-house brand of products used in her family’s chain of day spas that could be taken home. When Mawy’s late brother, stylist and theater actor Gello Conferido, was stricken with cancer, they began joining bazaars to sell the items and raise funds.

Aside from the beginnings of a loyal cult following, the experience showed Mawy who her customers are — young and daring — and what they like. It was then that she decided to change things up and rename their brand Hello Gorgeous.

One of the things she learned at the Girlboss Rally was to stay true to her brand’s identity and to value originality and authenticity. “If you do that,” she says, “people would love and know you for what you are.”

Mother Gladys del Rosario and daughter Mawy Conferido-Sapuay are very hands-on with their brand Hello Gorgeous, which started out as Skinline Essentials, the in-house brand of products used in their family’s chain of day spas.

For almost three years, Hello Gorgeous has become known for natural, organic, and cruelty-free skincare and cosmetics. They’re handmade in small batches, the quantity growing larger as time passes and demand increases, which explains why they’re often sold out.

The brand has a cute, approachable, fun-loving quality to it, using adorable illustrations on its packaging and giving items pun-filled names: Whattuh Peeling for peel-off face masks, Fruit Punch for water tints, and Super Base for makeup primers. Bestsellers include the Rose Face Mist, Unicorn Tears liquid highlighter, and Unicorn Elixir, a truly magical cure-all with actual gold that serves as a moisturizer, anti-acne potion, toner, hair serum and leave-on conditioner, nail hardener, skin brightener, and lip balm. (That’s not even a complete list.)

 

Customers get more homegrown options that fit their budgets as well, which have been adjusted to work better with the country’s climate and Filipino complexions.

 

Hello Gorgeous becomes a way for Mawy to fill in the gaps of her own beauty collection. Instead of buying from international brands, “I choose to make my own,” she says. “Namamahalan kasi ako.” As a result, customers get more homegrown options that fit their budgets as well, which have been adjusted to work better with the country’s climate and Filipino complexions. “We know we can offer them at these prices without sacrificing their quality,” Mawy’s mother and co-founder Gladys del Rosario adds.

Mawy, who has worked as a makeup artist, took biochemistry and pharmacy classes in college, along with makeup and beauty therapy courses. She and her mother are very hands-on with their brand, and the research and development process is mostly a dual effort between the two of them.

A lot of the work — and time, and finances — go toward overseas trips to places like Korea and Japan, which are spent checking out what’s new in the beauty market and studying how to make them by attending seminars, some of which actually invite them. Suppliers hold classes on producing basic formulations that can be customized with different fragrances, colors, textures, and active ingredients.

Hello Gorgeous is known as a fun-loving brand with pun-filled product names and adorable packaging.

It may take a lot of effort to keep up in the beauty industry, which is constantly evolving and always benefits from creativity and inventiveness, but they enjoy it. Mawy describes the pair as “eager to learn,” but Gladys summarizes it best when she explains, “Very important (yung) alam mo kung ano ‘yung produkto mo.”

“We’re proud of being really hands-on,” Mawy says. “We could get (outsourced) suppliers (and have somebody else create the makeup for us), but for me it’s not fulfilling. Parang hindi mo siya inanak.”

This year, Hello Gorgeous has even more tricks up its sleeve, including cool new products — especially exciting is a velvety lipstick that transforms from powder into cream — and a fan-favorite international brand that reached out to Mawy for a collab, which is still pretty hush-hush right now.

 

“Things are only hard if you don’t like what you’re doing. And I like what I do.”

 

“Before namatay ‘yung anak ko, ‘yung brother (ni Mawy), ito na ‘yung plan namin for the business,” Gladys says. “Sinabi ko na may guidance din siguro siya. He (must be) very happy na we started the business and it’s growing bigger, na hindi namin na-anticipate.”

Nakakatuwa kasi hindi talaga namin ine-expect,” she continues. “Ano ba naman kami? How do they know us and what is it about our product? This is just what we love to do.”

“It’s really passion lang talaga,” Mawy says. “It’s my outlet, creating new products.” Sometimes she doesn’t sleep, her brain working overtime with all these new ideas. “Things are only hard if you don’t like what you’re doing. And I like what I do.”

 

Shop the products at hellogorgeousph.com.

Tags:
#beauty #career #family #profile

Share this:

FacebookTwitterEmailGoogle+