Meet the queen of tween beauty
- Yvette Tan () - November 13, 2009 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Allue Hortaleza-Ang knows what she wants. More importantly, she knows how to get it. Thankfully for a lot of women, what this young lady wants is to make everybody look and feel beautiful.

Allue is HBC’s chief-of-staff. The eldest child of Drs. Rolando and Rosalinda Hortaleza, who pioneered the billion-peso Splash group of companies, this young lady knew from the start that creating cosmetics was her life’s mission.

“I can’t imagine doing anything else,” says Allue, who has been involved with the company’s research and development since the age of five.

The Allue allure

Aside from overseeing the company, Allue has brainstormed on products that have become some of the company’s top selling items. One of these is Allue, the country’s first cosmetic line especially designed for tweens. The cosmetics are package into three distinct “personalities” based on common customer profiles — the princess, girls who like dressing up, playing pretty and favor hues based on the color pink; the glam rocker, girls who prefer wild colors and far out styles; and the girl next door, who likes to keep things simple with neutral tones and a natural look.

The Allue line is packaged in eye-catching paper-based containers, “Because kids tend to drop things,” Allue explains. The whole range is hypo-allergenic, because tweens’ skins tend to be sensitive.

When asked how she came up with the idea for a tween line, Allue tells a story that a lot of little girls have experienced: one of growing up playing with her mother’s cosmetics because there were no brands that catered to her then age group. It was a gap in the market that she was destined to fill. Now, young girls can’t get enough of Allue, some of them even collecting all of its products.

Everything under the San

Allue is also behind San San, HBC’s vitamin-enriched cosmetic line that combines vitamins A, C and E in its various products. “We don’t just think of what women look like with makeup on, we also think about what they’ll look like years after,” Allue says.

San San’s bestsellers include its Age Defense Pressed Powder with CoQ10. It has also come up with a limited-edition Krisanne Coral line with colors that evoke tropical weather. Allue is very excited about San San’s new products, which will include a do-it-yourself eyebrow palette and a whole campaign that stars the color red, both of which will be out next year.

Bringing beauty to the masses

HBC has grown aggressively though the years, opening stores all over the Philippines and in countries like Singapore, Bahrain, Oman and in US cities like Los Angeles and Las Vegas. At the time of the interview, Allue was set to leave for Australia, where HBC will be opening its first store in Melbourne. “Filipinos gravitate towards (HBC) because it reminds them of home,” she says.

Surprisingly, the overseas stores have also started attracting Latinas, who share similar skin types. “We’ve studied Filipina skin, which tends to be oilier because of the weather,” Allue says. “That’s why we’ve been able to tailor out products to fit it.”

HBC stores also double as service centers, where clients can get free treatments and derma services for a minimum product purchase. It’s all part of the company’s belief that everyone has the right to be beautiful, no matter who they are or where they come from.

Just this year, HBC turned vans into portable parlors and brought beauty to far-flung barangays, with great results. Women who availed of the free services such as hot oils and makeovers said they felt lighter, and that looking beautiful really made an impact on how they viewed themselves and interacted with others. One woman astonishingly said in Tagalog, “So this is what I look like when I’m beautiful!” Allue says that there are plans to continue the program next year.

With Allue and San San’s wide range of beauty products at consumer-friendly prices, there is no excuse for not looking your best, no matter what your income bracket. “We know of the owner of a big company who buys San San because it works for her. It’s not about the price, but about how the products make you feel.”

And if Allue had her way, everyone would feel beautiful.

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