filipino beauty standards

This Ain’t Build A B*tch: 7 Filipino-Owned Brands That Are Defying Beauty Standards

Unrealistic beauty standards? We don't know them ?

Defying age-old unrealistic standards, these beauty and fashion brands are walking their talk with inclusivity and diversity being central to their purpose.

In a desensitized and saturated world like ours, it’s easy to feel insecure when it comes to feeling comfortable in your own skin. In this conversation, it is necessary to frame things in important contexts, especially for us Filipinos who’ve been colonized by first-world countries in the past. (Like, why are y’all so obsessed with us?) Whether we like to admit it or not, the Philippines is still one of the countries in Asia who are plagued with an obsession for skin-lightening products. Not to spit facts about colorism, but it’s been the elephant in the room for the longest time, which has led to the new gen challenging the notions of unrealistic beauty standards. Who says we have to follow what they think is beautiful?

Shutting down the white-washed patterns rooted in colonialism, these Filipino-owned beauty and fashion brands have been slowly shifting the game. It’s about time those “ang itim itim mo” or “ang ganda mo sana kaso…” comments finally be retired forever. Now, it’s time we get realer than real.

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The brainchild and growing thriving legacy of proudly Filipino beauty guru, Patrick Starrr, ONE SIZE continues to make its mark with its empowering products and mantra. A beauty brand for every brand of beauty, “ONE SIZE is redefining beauty by elevating the voices of the unheard,” as their site reads. From campaigns that is expansive in terms of highlighting every possible unique point-of-view and personality to the products that puts the customer first always, they really are a “one size fits all.” In case you’re still unsure about which shade matches your skin tone, they have a quiz you can take to determine which suits you best.


Ever since Morena the Label landed on the Internet three years ago, they haven’t stopped empowering us with the sassy clapbacks on their tees and IG filters. More than just a fashion brand, the brainchild of content creator Ayn Bernos also shares ways on how to celebrate kayumanggi skin and consistently opens conversations on how to deal with condescending, colorist comments. They really said, FOH with your beauty standards!


Internationally-acclaimed fashion designer Lesley Mobo put the spotlight on the true pearls of the orient in real Filipino fashion. Just when he was about to fly back to London where he’s currently based, Lesley was stuck in Aklan because of the pandemic and ended up reconnecting with his roots by making a terno everyday. The end result? A tropical terno collection not with professional models, but with Aeta and Badjao beauties. In a previous interview, Lesley said, “it’s time to decolonize ourselves.”


For local fashion brand TOQA.Tv’s collection, Moodyisle, that was shot in El Nido, they lensed different island locals and their stories from the bangkeros, the hotel staff to the landscaper they met. The narrative and TOQA’s approach when it comes to creating their campaigns showcase the best of Filipino culture. Brb, adding that patchwork top to cart!


Making the “imperfect girl” feel seen and heard has been the core value of Sandy Cheeks since their humble beginnings in 2015. True to their word, their colorful swimmies reminiscent of Malibu Barbie have sizes that range from XS – 4XL. Since then, they’ve also branched out to accessories, footwear and now, home decor.


After being in hiatus for a while, Lustrous by Nadine Lustre is back and bolder than ever before. It’s never too late to be inclusive as a brand and we love how they highlighted different versions of Filipina beauty in their recent posts. The best part? Lustrous is also cruelty-free and paraben-free! Truly borderless as their bio reads.


Aside from their cute packaging that screams Filipino AF, local beauty brand Filipinta co-founded by Joyce Pring has been shining a light not only of the sugar and spice kind, you know, being dolled up and all. Most importantly, they are challenging the ugly truth about unsolicited advice most Filipinos get from our fellow countrymen. All the more reasons to buy their products such as the Diwata Palette and Kendi lippies!


Avon Philippines has been pushing conversations on female empowerment, self-love and body positivity for as long as we can remember. But recently, they’ve went above and beyond the boundaries with their #ComeAsYouAre campaign featuring different personalities that are unapologetic and comfortable in their own skin. Beauty standards? We don’t know them! We stan even more.

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