The woman who brought us brow perfection: Cheryl Tan Chua
by Sam Gonzales, contributor
For many beauty lovers, the search for the best eyebrow product ends when they finally try the K-Palette Lasting 2-Way Eyebrow. If you love this stuff as much as we do, you've got Cheryl Chua, President and Brand Manager of Beautybox Corp., to thank for bringing this Japanese brand to the PH. She's also responsible for bringing in our fave exfoliant Cure Natural Aqua Gel, the gel moisturizers and face masks of Kracie, the amazing shampoos of Himawari, and most recently, the ultimate cure for cracked feet, Baby Foot!
We got to chat with Cheryl, who shared with us about how her kilay obsession led her to start her own company and onto the road of success. Read on for your daily dose on inspiration!
How did you get into managing a beauty brand? Have always been interested in makeup even before you got started?
Being an avid shopper myself, I've always been interested in the retail industry. That's why it was natural for me to gravitate towards this industry in terms of my professional career. My interest in cosmetics is average, but if you ask my friends, they would tell you that I have always had a serious case of eyebrow fetish and obsession.
Combining my love for retail and eyebrows brought about Beautybox Corp. The company was established in 2011 for our very first brand, K-Palette, and it was brought about by the encouragement of my husband, Richard Chua Jr., to come up with a business that we could call our own. He handles the business side while I do the marketing side. We started the company with just the two of us. I still remember those days when we had to do everything ourselves. It is with much fondness when I look back — to see our company grow, we now also have Cure Natural Aqua Gel, Kracie, and Baby Foot under our distribution arm.
What was your first ever project as a beauty brand manager? What was it like handling such a project?
My first ever major project was in 2012. This was when we officially launched K-Palette to the bloggers. I have always handled the merchandising side of the brands so mounting an event was completely out of my league! I remember conceptualizing it and not completely knowing if what I was doing was right. I just knew I had to do it because there was no one else who would do it from my team. To this day, I am still baffled that that event was mounted just by me and my husband!
What does your normal work day look like? What's your favorite thing about your job?
On a typical work day, you’ll see me juggling between home and work. The day starts with me sending my kids off to separate schools, hitting the gym (this is non-negotiable), rushing over to the office, and then hurrying back home to assist my kiddos with their schoolwork. When they've both settled down for the night, my husband and I finally get some peace, quiet and quality time. We make sure to talk and share with each other the highlights and other memorable moments of our day.
My favorite part of my job is when I get to meet new people and instantly hit it off with what I call the "brow talk" moment! It's amusing and flattering at the same time, especially when newfound friends would send me photos asking me if they did their brows correctly. It's like an ongoing eyebrow workshop via Viber, Whatsapp or Facebook Messenger!
What are your toughest work challenges? What do you wish more people knew about your job?
It's tough to be competing side by side with bigger cosmetic brands. It is a challenge to sustain and market a product with limited resources. Ingenuity is not impossible but very demanding, budget-wise.
I wish people knew that handling a beauty brand is not all glamour. It is very fast paced, dynamic, and backbreaking. It also requires a great deal of tenacity. When you want to get something done, you have to brave it and get out there!
What are the greatest lessons you’ve learned from being in the beauty industry?
The best learning I've gained is that nothing beats a good product. The product should speak for itself. Product hype dies down, and marketing can only take you so far, but a product that truly delivers can take you miles! It will always outshine all the other competing brands. Thus, we are very meticulous in selecting the brands we carry.
Tell us about your skin care routine and what your daily makeup look consists of. Do you have a a signature makeup look?
My dermatologist advised me to only use Asian skin care brands because, as Asians, they suit us best. My favorite brands include Cure Natural Aqua Gel, Hadabisei, Cle de Peau, Shiseido, and SKII. I do a six to seven-step skincare routine at night, and sheet masks are a must for me every night! I do a simplified version of it in the morning since I am usually in a rush to start the day.
As for makeup, I always go for the classic and polished look: very soft natural-looking brows, eyeliner, light mascara, and minimal blush. I finish off with my all time fave gloss/balm from Dior.
What do you think are the most underrated products from your brands?
It would have to be K-Palette's Zero Kuma Concealer and Baby Foot Peel. Though K-Palette is primarily known for its eye and eyebrow liners, the concealer is also a wonderful product and can hold its own. While the Baby Foot Peel may look painful during the peeling stage, it's actually painless and it delivers what it promises!
[Editor's note: We showed all the gory and fascinating details about Baby Foot here! IT WORKS.]
What is your beauty philosophy? How do you apply this to the way you live your life?
Always take care of yourself because when you look good, you feel good. This will help you do your best in everything.
Hope you were inspired by Cheryl as much as we are!
- What is your dream business? Any plans to pursue it?
- What's your fave product from Beauty Box?