“Para sa gandang hindi mo ikahihirap.” This is a frequent tagline comedian Vice Ganda uses on Instagram when talking about his very successful brand Vice Cosmetics. Launched just a year ago, the homegrown brand was an instant success and is now a household name in the local market at SM Department Store and Watson’s branches— to think that it only carries lipsticks so far. It’s all part of Vice’s grand vision for the brand. “What we wanted was that whenever people say ‘lipstick,’ they immediately think ‘Vice Cosmetics,’” he says. “Kahit naglalabas ‘yung ibang brands ng kung anu-anong produkto, we focused on lipstick first, and it worked.” Now with a strong foothold in the crowded beauty market, Vice believes the brand is ready for a bigger expansion. “Very soon, our makeup line will be complete: products for the face, the eyes, skincare products, kahit ‘yung wet tissue for makeup removal, papasukin ko. It’s very exciting.”
For the fans
The witty comedian’s massive fan base is, of course, a big factor for the cosmetic brand’s immense popularity; Vice himself would be the first to acknowledge that. “My everyday TV exposure through Showtime is a big thing talaga in creating awareness about my products.”
In fact, from the development stage of Vice Cosmetics to its packaging, he has his fans in mind. “Pricing is important in the local market, kasi limited talaga ang budget ng mga kababayan natin. Before, I thought that good makeup must be expensive and important. Lalo na with my job, I thought of it as an investment. But since working on Vice Cosmetics, I realized that we can formulate products that are of quality pero hindi rin maghihirap ang tao pag binili nila.” He’s always considering the mother who has to manage the family budget but would also love to have a tube of vibrant lipstick for herself, the teenager who is into beauty but is afraid of getting reprimanded for “wasting” money on cosmetics. “When people buy my products, dapat hindi sila lugi.”
Local love, global target
He’d also like overseas Filipinos to be able to enjoy his makeup. “I want my brand to be global so it’ll be more accessible to more Pinoys. Sila talaga ang number one target of my makeup line, for the good vibes it brings.” Vice would also like to prove that a Filipino brand can go head-to-head against older, multinational brands in the industry, “na baka hindi lang kasing ganda kung di mas maganda pa sa kanila.” He and his partners continuously study various products from competing labels to find out how to further improve the Vice Cosmetics line-up, always with the brand’s authenticity tied in to each product’s quality. “Sobrang hands-on ako, to the point na nakikipag-away ako sa mga partners ko,” Vice admits with a laugh. “Vice Cosmetics is Vice Ganda. Ako ang nakakaalam kung sino ba talaga ako, so kung hindi na aligned sa pagkatao ko ‘yung isang aspect ng produkto, hindi pwede ‘yun.” As creative director of the brand, he oversees everything; even the names of the lipstick shades came from him. The Good Vibes Matte Lipstick range has shades named Eklavu, Havey, and Kavogue. “Vice Ganda is about fun and happiness, so ganoon din dapat ‘yung Vice Cosmetics.”
Given his big influence on the beauty industry, Vice has a pretty simple idea of beauty: “I find anything that is fun, happy, and positive to be beautiful.” “Good vibes,” one of his key phrases, is something he relies on for self-care, given his hectic schedule. “I make sure I’m happy,” he says. “That’s part of taking care of myself. If I’m not happy, I can’t make others happy. I have to take care of my heart first, di ba?” Vice also relies on his tried and tested crew for support in all aspects of his life. “My usual day involves working with this group of people,” he says, indicating his entourage of friends. “Every day of the week, sila ang kasama at katrabaho ko. Without them, I wouldn’t be able to enjoy working. Kahit isa lang sa kanila ang wala, kulang ang buhay ko. They’re my world.”
He may have dreams of global domination, but it all comes down to happiness for him at the end of the day. With his newest film Fantastica about to be released soon, Vice continues his tradition of bringing people light, laughter, and “good vibes” with everything he does. “What I’d like to tell people is to just be happy every day,” he says. “Use me as a tool to be happy and for keeping up with everyday challenges. Enjoy life!” In Vice’s case, the adviser obviously follows his own words of wisdom.