Filipinos' lipstick love helps makeup brand keep sales going

Cathy Yang, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 13 2018 01:21 PM | Updated as of Sep 13 2018 04:37 PM


A post shared by Inglot Cosmetics Philippines (@inglotph) on

MANILA -- The sisters behind the Inglot makeup brand in the Philippines said Thursday they were banking on Filipinos' love for lipstick to drive sales, despite rising consumer prices.

Inglot, headquartered in Poland, is targeting make up professionals who put a premium on quality rather than on celebrity appeal, said sisters and business partners Michelle Lim-Gankee, Hazel Lim-Lee Hok and Pauline Lim.

The sisters raised prices last year and said they were holding off on further increases this year to keep cosmetics prices in a "sweet spot." A weak peso is making imports more expensive, adding to pressure from fast-rising inflation.

"What's good in the beauty industry, even if it's not a basic commodity, sometimes if there's crisis, you just want to smile and feel good about yourself," Lim-Gankee said in an exclusive interview with ANC's The Boss.

The beauty industry is undergoing a "great shift" as celebrities lend their names to cosmetics, Lim said, adding, "Competition is tough."

Sisters Hazel Lim-Lee Hok, Michelle and Pauline Lim speak to Cathy Yang for ANC's The Boss.

Local stars such as Anne Curtis and Vice Ganda have launched their own lipstick-centered makeup lines, following the lead of US reality stars like Kim Kardashain and Kylie Jenner.

The sisters flew to Poland in 2013 to pitch their business plan to Inglot's owners and a deal was sealed over lunch.

"We decided we should just take the risk and go there and meet them," Lim-Lee Hok said. "We believe that was really key in sealing the deal."

The sisters parlayed the family's food business into makeup. Their father Henry Lim Bon Liong, is the man behind Sterling Paper and SL Agritech.

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