These Under-the-Radar Local Brands Make Perfectly Pretty Lip Colors

PHOTO BY Tala Beauty / Pili Ani

( It's been said that when times are tough, lipstick sales go up. There’s a theory by Leonard Lauder, chairman of Estée Lauder Companies, which hypothesizes that lipstick sales are a way to tell whether the economy is shaky, and thus, women who buy them make themselves feel better with a lipstick or two. So it comes as no surprise that modern women turn to this relatively affordable “armor.” Whether you're on the hunt for a new beauty obsession or simply need an MLBB-assisted confidence boost, here are some proudly homegrown brands worth checking out.


Here are under-the-radar beauty brands where you can score new lippies:

Tala Beauty

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There's something about lippies in pretty pink tubes that just make us want to reach for them—and it was love at first swipe of Tala Beauty's Creamy Matte Lipstick. This richly pigmented lippie goes on smooth and has a soft, matte finish, with decent staying power so you don't have to touch up too often throughout the day.

Choose from four shades: Dream (a dreamy nude pink), Everyday (an extremely wearable peachy nude), Day to Night (a lovely warm-toned, medium plum shade), and Fearless (a classic deep ruby red for a bold look). Promising “No bad days,” Tala Beauty's lippies are cruelty-free, paraben-free, made with love, and offer value for money at just P275 a pop. 

Available online or Cabanna at Power Plant Mall.

Breathe Beauty

PHOTO BY Breathe Beauty Instagram page

Launched in October 2019, Breathe Beauty is a plant-derived, practical, and multi-use line—aiming to beversatile essentials in the modern woman's beauty kit. On our must-try list: their “Cheat Sheets”: Oil and Acne Recovery Mask and Illuminating Night Repair Mask, or the exfoliating Glow Powder cleanser for clear, radiant skin. 


But the star of Breathe Beauty's collection is undoubtedly the lead-free, blendable tinted oils  that come in regular and matte formulations, which can be used on lips, cheeks, and eyelids. Infused with jojoba oil for a moisturizing yet non-sticky feel, the tinted oils come in a range of wearable, Filipina-flattering colors, and are encased in roller-ball applicators (which can be novel or tricky, depending on the user). Other plant-based skincare products are in the works and launching soon.

Available online.

Pili Ani

PHOTO BY Pili Ani website

Have you discovered our indigenous beauty secret yet? We first spotted Pili Ani at a hip pop-up, and this organic, sustainable, all-natural brand has since been picked up by various stockists and select malls, and even raved about in international beauty sites. Pili Ani came about when its founder, agricultural advocate Rosalina Tan, was inspired to harness the power of the nutrient-rich pili nut from Bicol (reportedly the richest source of vitamin E among all nuts). With a potent blend of pili and elemi oils as a base, Pili Ani products not only offer natural, nourishing care, but support the local industry by working closely with pesticide-free farming communities. Check out their extensive range of world-class skincare and beauty products—from moisturizing lippies (try Toasted Latte!) and anti-aging lotions, to hair serums and essential oils. 


Available at Kultura, Beauty Bar, selected malls, and online.

Artem Skincare + Apothecary

PHOTO BY Artem website


Looking for a beauty brand that matches your 2020 self-care goals? Artem Skincare + Apothecary promises “products that nurture both skin and spirit.” Combining herbal and age-old traditions with modern techniques, Artem's 100% natural, sustainable products include scented beeswax candles in energy-infused onyx jars, relaxing bath soaks, kid-safe essential oils, and botanical skin care serums in roller bottles (with real crystals as rollers!). Our favorite? Tinted lip balms that keep your kisser soft while tinting lips with color that actually lasts! 

Available at Naturale Market, BGC or online.

Pierra Calasanz-Labrador is a former magazine editor turned freelance writer, stylist, and author of two poetry books (The Heartbreak Diaries and Dear Universe). A staunch advocate of pretty, Filipino finds, follow her local treasure hunt on Instagram.

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