Across spaces in Greenbelt and the Ayala Museum, Lancôme feted its official launch in the Philippines with swirling blooms and nostalgia across generations.
Beauty acts as a conduit to distant memories and hard-to-name feelings; a scent or color’s effect is almost instantaneous. It can be the whiff of a passerby’s perfume or picking up the same lipstick you had as a teenager that really transports you. Last Tuesday, for many, it was when Lancôme hosted a series of makeup, skincare, and fragrance pocket events across Greenbelt and the Ayala Museum. During their culminating dinner’s opening remarks, L’Oréal Philippines’ country managing director Yannick Raynaud delivered an endearing speech that opened on the same note: “This event, and tonight, is very, very special because I’ve grown up with Lancôme.”
It’s a simple sentiment, but one that encapsulates the thoughts and feelings articulated by the guests that attended the pocket events. This Grand Launch event marks Lancôme’s official entry into the Philippine market, but their products have long been staples in the handbags and medicine cabinets that had defined many of the guests’ childhoods. Fashion content creator Jaz Reyes, for one, is taken back to hers by an unexpected skincare item.
“Lancôme has been a brand I grew up with. If you tried out one of the sunscreens that they have—the scent throws me all the way back to my childhood,” Reyes mused. “It’s a brand that my mom loves, and still loves. And it is not just a brand that just helps me with my skincare, makeup, fragrance, all of that, but it’s real memories—real experiences with it.”
At the fragrance pocket event held in the Ayala Museum, Vogue Philippines fashion editor Daryl Chang hosted video sessions where guests posed as the faces of the Lancôme Idôle fragrance, guided by her creative direction. The center stage was divided into three for guests’ choice of backdrop, featuring supersized botanicals and freshly-cut floral stems. The vivid imagery evoked could be traced back to feeling, which anchored guests’ answers on what the fragrance meant to them.
“When people describe scents,” content creator Rei Germar elaborated, “they usually go for like the top notes—fruity, floral. But I’m the type of person who usually correlates scents with memories and feelings. I [would describe] the Lancôme Idôle as confidence in a bottle. It’s like an instant confidence booster, and it reminds me to be my most unapologetic self.”
In Greenbelt 5, the guests of the makeup pocket event glistened under Shaira Luna’s lens. “I have new profile pictures coming up,” makeup artist Jelly Eugenio joked, saying that the photo station—complete with an editorial set-up and art direction from Vogue Philippines’ Jann Pascua—was the highlight of the event. Eugenio was able to test out the products himself, too, crafting a look on Vogue Philippines publisher Rhoda Campos-Aldanese.
“I really love the lipsticks because the formula is, of course, exquisite,” he shared. “I think one of my favorites is the Hypnôse Mascara, forever. It’s a cult classic for a reason—a lot of people really like it. They use it all the time, and it really does the job of opening up the eyes really nice.”
EJ Nacion, who actually got to try on the makeup products, fell in love with the Hypnôse #18 Nude Sculptural palette, which managed to transform a “3-minute morning touch-up” to full glam with one swipe of color: “What I love about it is it’s functional, so you can use it as an eyeshadow palette [and] you can also use it as contour, which is so cool and convenient because you can bring it anywhere you go. And you know, when I tried it earlier with my [pocket event] makeup artist—sobrang ganda [it was really beautiful].”
And in Ember in Greenbelt 3, a glamorous gathering took place over wine, canapés and good conversation, backdropped by serene painted scapes. Divided into sections, guests had their skin analyzed by experts in the Génifique room, while others could take pictures in a photo booth downstairs. After experiencing the Génifique Skincare Collection, guests were able to enjoy a chat with Vogue Philippines beauty editor Joyce Oreña, who asked them about all things skin, with questions ranging from “What does skin mean to you?” to “What’s the best beauty advice you’ve ever been given?”
With products already much-loved years before its launch in the Philippines, Lancôme’s Grand Launch event was less of an introduction and more of a sweet homecoming. “Finally,” Reyes smiled, breathing out a sigh of relief. “I think it’s been a long time coming. They should have been here a really long time ago.”
Candice dela Cruz
Nina Amoncio & Antonette Amoncio