In Focus: Exploring the Playground of Filipino Beauty Communities
In Focus: Exploring the Playground of Filipino Beauty Communities

In Focus: Exploring the Playground of Filipino Beauty Communities

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Digital communities are considered home to thousands of beauty enthusiasts. Here, we delve into the fascinating world of our own virtual space that focuses on different categories of beauty

The appeal of communities is deeply embedded in the digital culture. In the early naughts, general chat rooms connected users worldwide. It may not be as much, but it became the blueprint for creating an ideal virtual neighborhood for fans with a common niche. And from then, everything changed for the better. The ever-evolving sphere refined an accessible, adaptable, and personal approach to creating communities online—it’s more than a platform. In fact, it became a space for fans to express themselves and genuinely establish friendships with one another. 

Photo Credit: Judilyn JC Dixie Cruz

It translates the same way for the beauty language. “I can only speak from personal experience, but there is that sense of empowerment that comes from knowing that you are celebrated for your individuality and that you are not inferior for being different,” Glee Menorca, moderator of Frag Revolution PH, candidly shared. The scent enthusiast is impressively the moderator behind one of the biggest online fragrance communities in the country. She continued, “There is a real sense of support there, and that support informs your confidence.”

At the other end of the spectrum is The Project Vanity’s beauty expert, Liz Lanuzo, who expressed her love for beauty communities. “It’s definitely more fun!” she said. “Imagine trying a new lipstick you just love, but not being able to tell anyone about it because none of your friends or family are into that kind of thing. When there are other people to share beauty finds and advice with, it feels more exciting. It’s also nice to find out about what other people are loving as opposed to buying blindly and wasting money.”

In an exclusive interview with MEGA, we spoke with outstanding women behind some of the country’s notable beauty communities. We sat down and explored their story, the lessons they have learned, and the real value of communities in this age. 

The Project Vanity 

“Project Vanity started as my personal beauty blog in 2008,” Liz looked back when asked about the history behind her community. “15 years later, it has become a platform and an amazing place where women (and guys, too!) gather to share their advice and finds with one another when it comes to beauty.” Her knowledge and love for the category made Liz one of the most celebrated beauty experts in the scene. After all, she is one of the pioneer bloggers in the country. 

As the years passed, Liz found a new way to interact with her readers. “The Project Vanity community on Facebook started around 2016, if I’m not mistaken.” She explained, “It’s an open, safe space for people to ask questions about beauty, and even fashion, and receive actually useful answers. There’s no drama here and no mean people—everyone just wants to help out each other, and also support local beauty.” The beauty expert also shared her memories about growing her platform. “In 2008, I started Project Vanity before social media as we know it was a thing. Facebook was unheard of, [and] Twitter was, too. I was just writing about beauty products in my bedroom to the void,” she reminisced. “I had no idea that Project Vanity would be what it is today, and it’s with the help of social media. The community grew from it organically as we have the most lovely readers. We do a lot of events, too!” 

“I started out Project Vanity alone, but I learned that everything is better when there are other people to explore the world of beauty with. I’m really grateful for the community, especially during the pandemic when we were all locked in. It kept me sane!”

The Project Vanity now houses 15,000 members on its Facebook platform. Aside from its growing community, an admirable factor about the beauty space is simply how active the community is. Liz shared, “I get to learn a few new things myself. I’m a veteran in the beauty industry, but I always learn a thing or two whenever I read people’s responses to discussions. That’s always something I appreciate.” 

Frag Revolution PH

“The community started as a small group of perfume collectors looking for an avenue to stay connected,” Glee Menorca answered when asked about the Frag Revolution PH community. “We all came from varying backgrounds, online groups, and fragrance experiences, but we all had the same desire—to be in an online community where we all felt included, despite our differences.” True to her name, Glee showcased so much enthusiasm as she explained how the group wanted to create a safe space where everyone can share their love for fragrances and feel welcome while doing so.

RELATED: Fragrance File: Beauty Lovers on the Scents That Get Them the Most Compliments

The Frag Revolution PH community is hard to miss. Despite it focusing on one category, its platform is continuously celebrated by a diverse group of scent enthusiasts. In fact, it is home to 38,000 members. “We never expected our small group of 130 people to be the size that it is now. There was even a time when we didn’t want it to grow so fast!” Glee looked back. “We sometimes miss that intimacy because we started this group with almost everyone knowing each other. But we’ve had wonderful experiences with new people we have since met, and so we are more than happy to see the community thriving.”

Basically, we encourage people to be themselves, to share their personal experiences, and to learn about the craft of fragrance together, while having fun!

As we close our chat, Glee reflected on the impact the community has on her as a moderator. “The best part would have to be the new things we get to learn every day. There is this constant exchange of ideas, and in an atmosphere where people feel comfortable to share, that energy remains consistent. It becomes a form of escape, in a way. From the routine beat of daily life. You get really good laughs, too. It’s just great when a group does not take itself too seriously.”

Curl Community PH

Zahraa Bani’s vision for the Curl Community PH is simple yet impactful. “Basically, Curl Community PH is a Facebook group created by my business, Curlssential,” she explained. “My main purpose for creating this group was to link curlies with one another, and for us to have a safe loving community where we can just be our authentic selves! I grew up having no curl-haired friends so it felt good meeting other curlies in our little growing community.” 

A community by curls for curls, Curl Community PH is a beauty space shared by 4,000 enthusiasts who actively exchange best-kept products, practices, and techniques to care for the hair texture. However, Zahraa admitted that she never expected the community to grow. “I was so insecure about my natural curls growing up, and younger Zahraa would never think it was possible for me to love my hair and to actually inspire others to love their hair, too.”

Growing up, I was insecure about my curls because I felt like I [didn’t] belong. Especially in school or even when you go out in public, everyone had shiny, straight hair. [I] literally had no curly inspiration, so I decided I’ll be that person for other curlies.

As mentioned previously, online communities are more than just a platform—t’s a safe space for fans and enthusiasts. “Finding the right circle is so important and can help boost your confidence,” Zahraa answered when asked about what she learned from creating the group. “Moderating the community gave me the chance to be the person I wish I had. I wanted to find my own curl inspiration, so I became one for others.”

Our point of view

In an industry saturated with campaigns and content, these communities tell a different kind of story with beauty. It mirrors the passion of enthusiasts who dedicated their time to deep dive into a product background, create a conversation, and deliver a review. More importantly, there is so much power in beauty communities. It exemplifies honesty, diversity, and transparency while sustaining a positive culture for members. To say the least, beauty brands can learn a lot from these communities. 

“With new platforms that involve more personal and virtual content, it is indeed easier to hone in on content that one might want to explore,” Glee said. “These platforms may evolve, but the need to feel connected will always allow for shared spaces such as online beauty communities, perhaps through a different interface. Anything is possible, really.”


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