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Rissa Mananquil Trillo On Juggling Business, Post-Grad Studies, And Her New Book

PHOTO: Pau Guevarra

Cosmopolitan BEAUTYCON, the biggest beauty and wellness festival in the metro, happened from August 31 to September 1 at the SMX Convention Center. It was so fun to shop (read: hoard) ~new~ beauty products as well as listen and interact with our favorite celebs and influencers!

One of the speakers of Day 1 was Rissa Mananquil Trillo, a model, beauty columnist, published author, and co-owner of Happy Skin Cosmetics. Her segment was titled Read My Lips: What It Takes To Build A World-Class Homegrown Brand, which incidentally, is the title of her new book! 

She talked about how she started Happy Skin in 2013. It all began when she wanted to address the problem of Pinays who like to use makeup but were too afraid of getting breakouts as a reaction from the product. She became inspired to put up a cosmetics brand that is budget-friendly and of high quality, so Happy Skin was born! She called it a "mass-tige" brand aka a perfect mix of high-quality products with reasonable price tags.


She also talked about how she managed to juggle writing her book, overseeing Happy Skin, and studying for her MBA degree. 

Here are several things we learned from her talk:

  1. If you're thinking about starting a business, research the gap in the market that needs to be filled. In Rissa's case, she wanted to create makeup products that ~care~ for the skin. 
  2. It's important to think long-term when starting a business. Rissa mentioned the term "sustainable competitive advantage." It's about asking yourself, "What can I create that no competitor can easily copy or imitate and will allow my brand to survive even five to 10 years from now?"
  3. "You don't succeed by killing competition, you succeed by creating value." There's no point in introducing products that are already in the market. It's all about focusing on an innovation that meets the consumers' needs.
  4. You have to be passionate about what you want to create. When tough times come, hold on to that dream to carry yourself through.
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Learn more life lessons from Rissa's full segment here:

Watch Rissa Mananquil Trillo's full segment about what it takes to build a world-class homegrown brand at Cosmopolitan BEAUTYCON.

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