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Rissa Mananquil-Trillo Exits Happy Skin Business in Cryptic Instagram Post

“Shared values are so important,” she said.
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This story has been updated with a statement from Mananquil-Trillo's business partner Jacqe Yuengtian-Gutierrez.

Rissa Mananquil-Trillo is exiting Happy Skin, the cosmetics label she co-founded with entrepreneur Jacqe-Yuengtian Gutierrez in 2013. In an Instagram post on Monday (October 18), which also happens to be the exact day eight years ago when Happy Skin was officially launched, Mananquil said she thought long and hard about the decision.

“It takes a lot of strength to leave something I poured so much of my life into,” she said. 

The text of the Instagram post accompanied a video of Mananquil taking off a necklace with a gold pendant which she had made soon after the launch of the Happy Skin makeup line. She said she wore it “almost every day” close to her heart “as a reminder of all the hard work, purpose, and passion.” The video goes on to show her clutching the pendant close to her heart and then placing it inside a box.

“Shared values are so important,” Mananquil says. “Doing a good job has always meant so much to me—not just a good job, but doing it with integrity. It never made sense to me to compromise what I believed in because that meant compromising my respect for myself, too." 

She added that she sought the advice of “some of the country’s respected business leaders” to make her decision to step away from the business she helped build.

“Turning to them proved to me that no matter what generation you are from, right is right and wrong is wrong,” she said.

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Yuengtian initiated the creation of the Happy Skin line and eventually partnered with Mananquil, a former ramp and commercial model-turned beauty columnist who said that it had always been her dream to have her own makeup line.

“Not the kind that merely attaches my name onto the packaging but the kind which allows me to be hands-on with creating, formulating, testing everything from the start,” she says in the company’s bio on its website. “What fueled this dream of mine was how hard it was to find good makeup for Filipinas when I first started modeling. Even as a beauty columnist, I always dreamed to create the perfect makeup line that would wonderfully celebrate and care for the skin.”

Happy Skin has since become a popular mid-priced Filipino makeup brand, which is sold in nearly every department store counter as well as multiple standalone stores nationwide.

Yuengtian is also the co-founder of blk Cosmetics, another makeup line which she co-founded with actress and entertainment personality Anne Curtis in 2017.

On Tuesday (October 19), Yuengtian replied to Esquire Philippines's request for comment.

"While Rissa has not been working with Happy Skin since March of 2020, we will always be grateful for her contributions to the brand. We wish her well on the journey ahead of her. Happy Skin will of course continue to fulfill its mission of elevating Filipino beauty and offering world-class products."

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