Cult-Favorite Filipina Beauty Brand Sunnies Face Lands In The U.S.
It takes a lot to become a global beauty sensation, but Sunnies Face managed to do so practically overnight. When the brand launched in the Philippines, their website crashed just before reaching 3 million views and the line sold out in 10 minutes at their launch party. Their hero product Fluffmatte, a matte lipstick, has sold almost three million bullets, with one sold every 30 seconds, propelling them to the best-selling lipstick in the Philippines. Sunnies Face brought Southeast Asian beauty to the forefront of the global beauty scene and they’re finally launching stateside today.
Sunnies Face was a natural extension of the lifestyle brand Sunnies Studios and Sunnies Café, eyewear and food businesses, respectively. Sunnies Face was founded by Jessica Wilson, Brand Manager; Martine Ho, Creative Director; and Georgina Wilson, Brand Director. “Whenever we would launch a campaign, everyone would ask what lip color was used on the models,” says Georgina Wilson. “It was an obsession of ours to work with the makeup artists to mix a few colors together to get the right shade. Fast forward five years later, we launched Sunnies Face. We wanted to create products that would simplify and bring ease into the beauty routines of our fellow Filipinos. For so long, we noticed the amount of people in our lives wearing unflattering lip colors that were best-sellers globally, however weren’t necessarily flattering on our skin tone. We wanted to create a beauty line that catered to our southeast Asian heritage, which historically has been neglected by the wider beauty industry.”
When Sunnies Face launched in the Philippines in 2018, their tagline was “we are beauty that gets you.” Georgina Wilson believes that message resonated with many, sparking their success. “When we create our product lines, we think of how to bring ease into people’s lives without compromising on quality and design,” she says. “We design products to be intuitive, with the goal of elevating everyday beauty.”
The philosophy of the brand is straightforward. “‘Beauty that gets you’ is simple,” Jessica Wilson says. “We are you. We are the customer. We spent years on set shooting campaigns as well as sitting in the makeup chair ourselves, and learned a lot about makeup, the processes, the simple and not so simple application methods, and really wanted to create something that simplified the everyday beauty routine for everyone, without the compromise on quality.”
Sunnies Face made its debut with a single product, Fluffmatte, in nine shades. “Fluffmatte is a weightless, modern matte lipstick formulated with a silk-structure technology to give you that second skin feel,” Jessica Wilson says. “Each shade is designed to be universally flattering and easy to apply with one quick swipe. Our creamy Fluffmatte formula is blendable and breathable—it works well as a multistick for your eyes and cheeks, too!” They trialed over 350 colors to find the perfect nine, ensuring they would work for people of all skin tones all over the world.
“Sunnies is face is effortless beauty,” Georgina Wilson says. “It’s the quick swipe of a colored lip, or a dab of air blush on your cheekbones to make you feel put together for the day. It’s not over complicated, yet has you feeling confident for your day ahead.”
The Sunnies Face founders hope their US launch will continue to help bring Southeast Asian to the international beauty conversation. “The Philippines is a melting pot of many different cultures, resulting from our rich history,” says Jessica Wilson. “While there is undeniably a huge influence of American culture present, we know it’s time for Filipino beauty to make its own mark on the global stage.” Sunnies Face celebrates their local culture and heritage. “From our models, to our shade range, even our creatives behind the campaign images, the Filipino community is at the forefront,” Ho says. “It’s important for us to represent our country, especially now as we expand out of Asia and hopefully pave the way for Filipino beauty and products to be known.”
In their efforts to support the earth, Sunnies Face teamed up with 1% for the Planet, a global organization whose members give a minimum of one percent of their annual sales to environmental causes. “We partnered with them because we believe in their mission to ‘build, support and activate an alliance of businesses financially committed to creating a healthy planet,’” Georgina Wilson says. “We were inspired by their idea of building in a set commitment of sales and giving back to resources taken from the environment. We also believe in the organizations they work with and we have consciously chosen to work with Asian-based nonprofits, specifically Philippine-based ones.”
From the day it launched in the Philippines, the founders received countless requests to bring Sunnies Face to the US. “We’re grateful to be part of such a strong Filipino community that is so supportive of what we’re doing, all around the world,” Ho says. “When we created Sunnies Face, we always had intended for it to go global and become a brand that could be available to and enjoyed by many.”
To help bring Sunnies Face to the U.S. and manage the brand, they tapped SuperOrdinary, a global growth partner and omnichannel distributor for beauty brands, which also handles exclusive distribution rights for the brand in China. “As founders, we are all so invested and quite heavily involved in the day to day for our brands as well as managing our family life from home,” Georgina Wilson says. “Expanding into the US is a huge project, and we needed that extra guidance and support. SuperOrdinary made us feel comfortable as a company who could really provide us with a full 360 launch strategy into a brand new market.”
SuperOrdinary will handle product registration, demand planning, marketing, communications, supply chain, fulfillment, commercialization and marketing strategy for Sunnies Face in the US. “Over the past few years, Sunnies Face has developed a cult-like following in the Asian market, which has fueled incredible demand for the brand in the U.S.,” says Julian Reis, Founder and CEO of SuperOrdinary. “It was immediately clear to me that Sunnies Face is filling a gap in the beauty market with its collection of luxurious, affordably priced and meticulously formulated cosmetic products. Additionally, the brand’s extremely loyal consumer base speaks for itself. We’ve developed a comprehensive go-to-market strategy to answer that demand and introduce the beloved brand to new consumers throughout the world.”
Sunnies Face will have a direct-to-consumer model in the U.S. That isn’t offered in China, where the brand is available on marketplaces like TMALL and Little Red Book. “Whereas in the U.S. brands are still discovered on social channels like Instagram, which then drive traffic to their websites,” Reis explains. “We will prioritize direct-to-consumer in the U.S. so we can gain a deep understanding of who our consumer is and build that community before looking to thoughtful retail expansion in the coming years.” He adds the biggest challenging in bringing an Asian brand to the US market has been the exponential increase over the last few years in marketing and acquisition costs of customers. “Additionally, since there is already strong demand for Sunnies Face in the U.S. market, it was important for us to make the products as accessible as possible,” he says.
Ultimately, this is just the beginning for Sunnies Face. They will drop more products throughout the rest of 2022. “We have so many new product lines in the making, and of course global expansion is a huge goal for us,” Jessica Wilson says. “We can’t wait for Sunnies Face to be available to everyone.”