According to the women behind the brands, there’s more to looking and feeling good than beauty products.
Will investing in a 20-step beauty routine or a pricey laser treatment for unblemished skin be enough? Would applying serums or indulging in an expert eyelash extension procedure for lengthier lashes do the trick?
While different questions can arise, at the end of the day, it’s all about feeling your best. So, from the people behind the brands and services available, we ask what’s the best way to beautify ourselves so we can look and feel great.
These beauty entrepreneurs ventured into the industry to help Filipinos gain confidence through their products and services. With their professional experience, Nikki Tang, Michelle Takijima, and Melody Chung share their expert advice.
Nikki Tang – DMark Beauty
DMark Beauty’s debut products were only available for dermatologists and doctors in the nineties for in-clinic use. The range tackles common patient problems such as acne, pigmentation, dark spots, and wrinkle lines. After developing strong collaborative relationships with doctors, the brand eventually introduced products customers could use at home.
The first brand they introduced was Neostrata for skin discoloration, then Heliocare for sun protection. Now, they offer hair care products through Sebamed, Iraltone, and Regenera for issues like hair loss, dandruff, and oiliness.
“I became so passionate about beauty and the skincare industry because I have seen the effects of our products on Filipino consumers,” CEO Nikki Tang shares. “Through the use of products that underwent rigorous scientific research and clinical trials to ensure maximum scientific efficacy, it has empowered women and men in building self-esteem through confidence.”
After founding DMark Beauty in 1998, DermAsia Corporation, a medical and beauty devices distributor, was launched eight years later. According to Tang, both companies complement each other by providing skincare products and treatments.
“My number one tip is to have a good and healthy diet,” Tang shares. As an advocate of holistic beauty, she recommends taking care of yourself by hydrating, exercising, and maintaining work-life balance as beauty principles.
“It is vital for me that our range of products provides a holistic approach to basic skin care. For the people who know me, I wouldn’t try anything on my skin that is not backed up by clinical studies,” the entrepreneur says. “And, of course, they are prescribed by my dermatologist as well.”
Michelle Takijima – Tokyo GLAM
Using Japanese techniques and technology, Tokyo Glam specializes in eyelash extensions and gel nail art. In fact, their technicians are trained by Japanese trainers and only service clients after taking a detailed course.
“The inspiration for the brand was born out of the experience I had with Japanese salons during my annual visits to [the country]. I fell in love with the quality and style that the local Japanese salons provided me with,” founder Michelle Takijima shares.
She opened Tokyo Glam to let Filipinos feel “happy and confident,” in the same way she does after a professional beauty session. Beyond nails and lashes, Tokyo Glam also offers spa and waxing services—from paraffin treatments to full body massages. Their large celebrity clients include Small Laude, Ruffa Gutierrez, Kylie Verzosa, Sofia Andres, and Liz Uy among others.
For healthy eyelashes and nails, Takijima advises you to seek well-trained technicians to maintain them. “Hence the meticulous training that all of our staff go through so that we can provide the safest and most quality-rich possible services,” she adds.
She also recommends purchasing supplementary serums to help preserve eyelash extensions and gel-painted nails. For a nourishing boost, Tokyo Glam provides the Ageless Eyelash Treatment, Eyelash Shampoo, and Eye Gel Sheet.
Melody Chung – Fresh Skinlab
For Melody Chung, her love for skincare stems from her mother, “I would always be reminded to care for my skin and not go to bed without a routine. And my mom has really good skin at the age of 85 now.”
With her company, Fresh Skinlab, she offers Korean-value skin and personal care products for reaching beauty goals without spending on treatments. Before launching their first items, the Korean Aloe Vera and Collagen Face Mist, the company went through 40 prototypes in one year before finalizing the formula.
“We were one of the first local brands which carried the Korean technologies in Watson’s. We were overwhelmed by the love and how people were drawn to how it made their face look glowy yet not oily,” Chung shares. Just simply radiant.” Now they also offer the Korean Tomato Glass Skin Range.
According to Chung, they pioneered tomato skincare in the Philippines, providing people more options to find what works best for them. “We just want to make people happy and feel confident, fresh, and clean every time they use our brand,” she adds.
“My number one tip would be [always to stay] hydrated and nourish your skin from within at all times; vitamins, fruits, and veggies are a must,” Chung advises. Secondly, she recommends using a regimen that suits your skin, not just because a product is popular. Chung believes that no “one set formula” works for everyone.
Mutya Buensuceso – True Story
Like many young girls, Mutya Buensuceso got into beauty by watcher her mother practice her routine. “Gosh, I even remember how they smell and taste like! My fascination was on overdrive such that I built a whole career out of it from my very first job out of college to [the] present day,” she shares.
Buensuceso founded True Story intending to offer a new perspective on skincare—one that respects the skin you’re born with. According to the entrepreneur, the Philippines skincare standards have been “defined by years of bar soap, astringent, and skin whitening use.”
With her husband, Jinggoy, and nieces Ella and Hannah Pangilinan, Buensuceso offer products to let their “whole” beings glow, not only their skin.
As a result, Buensuceso is proud of True Story’s entire range. Hi-Res is a cleanser that combines pre, pro, and postbiotics. Meanwhile, the Hydracushion chemically exfoliates with gentle acid. For serum, Plan C provides a stable form of Vitamin C, and Skinvison is a mineral, reef-safe sunscreen. Lastly, the All-Nighter is a face and eye cream that helps skin recovers from a day’s stress.
“Keep yourself hydrated, avoid late nights like keep to a 10 pm cut-off, ease up on the alcohol, and [use] sunscreen every day,” she advises. “I know that sounds hard, especially when you really want to do many things, but it is true,” Buensuceso adds that having a dermatologist is essential and complementing your skin with a suitable regimen.
Banner photo from Nikki Tang.