It's finally happened! Philippines, you're really the next beauty crew!!! 

This is my first post for 2020, so it's quite exciting to be talking about a new entrant. A few weeks back, I was able to attend the launch of Espoir Philippines at SM Makati. At the time, they had a popup store which was put up fro, December 20-22, 2019. Currently, they have a shelf at the beauty section of SM Makati Department Store, and thereafter they'll announce their next launches and store openings via social media. 

As I've mentioned in a previous feature post, Espoir's brand DNA is all about not caring about what others think. The color palettes are designed to be explorative but suited for Asian skin tones. There is also a professional equity to the brand, and as such, there is a strong focus to make high performing base makeup. 

This was their popup store! I also have yet to find out if they'll be opening permanent stores like this, or have brick and mortar stores, or just stick to having shelves in major department stores.

Their bestselling foundation is Espoir Pro Tailor Foundation Be Glow (Php2200 for 30mL, Php900 for 10mL). This has essentially won all the significant beauty awards in Korea, and has been deemed by retailers, users, and makeup artists as a top pick. If you're looking to do a real dewy look without the feel of oiliness, this is the perfect item. Using this, I was amazed that I would look like I have no problems and essentially have glowing goddess skin. It's also amazingly natural-looking, without a mask-like or ashy feel that other Korean brands give. It's not 100% hulas-proof in the Philippine heat, but I heard that this was doing so well in other countries is because it's one of the top picks for harsh winters. 

For those who are not necessarily into the dewy look, but want a foundation that gives a fresh look to the skin, they also have their Espoir Pro Tailor Foundation Be Silk (Php2200 for 30mL, Php900 for 10mL). For those who want a sort of matte look, but want something that doesn't look chalky nor feel dry to the skin, this is the right choice. 

Other key bestsellers are Espoir Pro Tailor Be Glow Cushion (Php2000 for 13g), and Espoir Dewy Face Glow (Php1400 for 20mL). Espoir Dewy Face Glow is amazing because it's like 8 hours of sleep in a bottle! It really combats dullness, helps dewy makeup adhere better, and also helps in generally giving the wearer a nice glow. 

These are the swatches for the Espoir Pro Tailor Foundation Be Glow (Php2200 for 30mL, Php900 for 10mL). From top to bottom are: 23W, 22C, 23NC, 25NC, 26C, DARK3. 

They also pay attention a lot to lip makeup, and have various ranges for various needs. They have quite an extensive Espoir Lipstick No Wear (Php1100 for 3.6g) selection, and also have Espoir Lip Up (Php900 for 4.6g) and Espoir Lip Up Velvet (Php900 for 4g) tints for those going for the natural tinted look. They also have their Espoir Couture Lip Fluid Velvet (Php1000 for 7g) for those who like the concept of tints, but want something in mousse texture so as to not dry out the lips. 

Here are the swatches for Espoir Lip Up (Php900 for 4.6g). From top to bottom are Duende, I Am Me, Orenda, Soulful Kinda, Sugared, and Tension Up. 

Here are the swatches for Espoir Lip Up Velvet (Php900 for 4g). From top to bottom are Aries, Balmy, Coachella, Freak, Pinkney, and Snatched. 

Here are the swatches for Espoir Couture Lip Fluid Velvet (Php1000 for 7g). From top to bottom are Chilling, Ornament, Serenade, Finesse, Modest, Moonlight 

They also did introduce essential eye items, such as Espoir Simply Brow Tone-Cara (Php900) and  Espoir Simply Brow Designing Pencil (Php700). For eyeshadows, there are Espoir eyeshadow singles overseas, but for now, they brought in the Espoir Lookbook Dusty Rose (Php1900). 

For the program, we got to see Espoir makeup artist Aiden Park do a makeup show! It was so fun to watch him mix several lip creams to come up with a custom shade. Apparently, whenever they did this in Korea, they would broadcast it via live stream, and usually, people would hoard the custom shades immediately. It was an honor to go home with an Espoir custom lip shade.

Interestingly, after Aiden was able to combine the different shades, he added powder to mattify it. And then he proceeded to put it in a piping bag to dispense it.

It was so cute to see all the little jars with lip cream getting dispensed into them! He came up with a lovely mauve shade, like the exact kind you'd want to wear to church or any other Sunday outing. It doesn't hold structure, though, so I always make sure that it's upright as the contents do shift if left tilted for quite some time. 

Fellow Espoir makeup artist David Park proceeded to show a makeup demo. He explained that Espoir Dewy Face Glow and Espoir's Pro Tailor Foundation is a favorite amongst makeup artists in Korea as these give good dewy skin. Espoir's brand philosophy is to make base makeup that provides an authentic expression of the skin. They're not into mask-like foundations, and even in the application of makeup itself, David took care to make the base makeup an enhancement instead of a mask on the model. He used a paddle brush for the entire face to keep it light, and he used a sponge to dab on some more on the nose and other areas that needed some more coverage. 

One other interesting tidbit I learned is that apparently, Koreans like to put eyeshadow on the lower lashline for the reason that the eyeshadow from their upper eyelids would usually smudge onto the lower lashline. So they would put makeup on the lower lashline so that it looks proper, instead of how it'd look like if the eyeshadow smudged on its own. All this time, I thought that it was to add definition, or to accentuate an aegyo-sal, but well, apparently, the reason was much simpler. 

So many exciting things ahead for the brand in 2020! 

For more information on store expansions, launches, and other activities of Espoir, follow them on Facebook and Instagram

Doll Up Mari: Top Beauty and Female Lifestyle Blogger Manila, Philippines