Today, we have the pleasure of interviewing Momoi Supe, Founder and CEO of Strokes Beauty Lab.
Please tell us about Strokes Beauty Lab. What's the history of the brand?
Strokes Beauty Lab is the home of our cosmetics line that promises everyday confidence in the new era of beauty.
Strokes started its journey as a brand with the opening of Strokes Eye Beauty Studio in 2015: the pioneer and the only eye beauty studio in the Philippines, providing semi-permanent makeup and innovative eyelash and skin care services, with brow sculpting as its signature service. It quickly achieved indubitable success.
Because of the realized potential of my studio's services, I dreamed bigger. I thought, “why confine the potentials of my artistic creations in a room when I can bring them to the world?”
I wanted to make the art of microblading and eyebrow permanent makeup available to the world by creating its product counterpart of the highest quality marketed at the best price, and I envisioned having a global impact because our products can compete on a global scale. Our products are calibrated to exceed international market standards, so we made sure that people from all over the world will get to experience that level of makeup artistry in their everyday lives to unleash their everyday confidence.
Now, after two years of dedicated research and meticulous product development, Strokes Beauty Lab is gearing up to impact the international beauty industry with its groundbreaking vision of everyday confidence made possible by hand-held makeup artistry.
Why did you choose New York for your campaign shoot? What does it mean for you and your brand to have New York as your starting point?
New York is known for all things high-end, luxurious, and dominating, and that's exactly how we want our brand to be perceived. Our goal is to bring the brand to the world, and shooting our campaign in New York began to solidify that vision.
We worked with globally prominent creative talents from New York to shoot our campaign in preparation for our September 2020 launch. And, in doing so, Strokes became one of the select few Filipino brands to make New York their creative playground!
Who were the creative talents you worked with, and how did you select them?
Our campaign shoot's Creative Director is Audie Umali, a New York based Filipino talent Audie Umali. He is a creative genius who has worked with several luxury brands from New York, London, and Paris. He has actually been tapped by several Filipino brands in the past, but Strokes is the first Filipino brand he's ever worked with.
To share with you a quote from Audie when we interviewed him via e-mail, he said, “the team at Strokes approached me with an intriguing proposition: to help shape their new beauty brand by bringing the craft and aesthetic sensibilities of a global brand to a homegrown Manila brand.”
I needed someone who not only believed in our vision but also someone who can achieve the creative quality that is expected of global brand promotion. I sought to work with an artist who has an extensive background and experience in creative direction. Someone who has already worked with international brands and has a clear understanding of Strokes' vision as a makeup brand. Audie really was the first and only choice, and I'm so glad he believed in us as much as we believed in him.
The shoot's makeup artist is Misha Shahzada, an internationally renowned beauty maven whose works were featured in Vogue, Marie Claire, among others, and who's worked with the likes of supermodels Alessandra Ambrosio, Barbara Palvin, and singer-model Dua Lipa.
Our shoot ravishers were models from varying ethnic backgrounds. We wanted to highlight the diversity and non-gender-conforming standards, so we rounded up a roster of models whose beauty and identity would resonate with the world.
Among the models were Merille Raagas, the Filipina model from STATE Management; Haejin Lee, the Korean stunner from Wilhelmina Models; and many more.
So many other talented creatives were on my team, and we had a blast bringing the campaign to life! It was everything I wanted it to be and more.
Strokes Beauty Lab's will officially arrive at the international beauty scene with the introduction of the Microblade Pen Perfector and The Brow Artist Collection. Can you tell us more about this product and this collection?
This collection is our brand's promise of everyday confidence.
The Microblade Pen Perfector is a bleed-proof and long-wearing brow beautifying tool that makes perfection a norm rather than a standard. It is a detailing pen that fills in and defines natural-looking brows, with an ultra-fine brush tip that creates the thinnest hair-like strokes for microblade-worthy effects without the blade.
It is the hero product of The Brow Artist Collection.
The Brow Artist Collection is the brand's eyebrow cosmetics line that was made to challenge deeply rooted beliefs of high quality having to come at a high price. It consists of five products, including the Microblade Pen Perfector, that will help attain any brow look perfect for any occasion:
The Brow Painter is a waterproof, smudge-proof, and long-wearing brow shading pen that fills in and defines natural-looking brows. The translucent formula and sheer finish provide the freedom to define brows without overdoing it and is sure to be one of the collection favorites.
The Brow Sculptor Duo is an easy-to-apply waterproof microfine brow pencil that combines the benefits of powder, pencil, and wax to effortlessly fill brows. The double-ended component also comes with a spoolie brush to blend and groom brows into place. The 1.4mm tip provides complete control for naturally defined brows.
Next is the Brow Colorist, which is a tinting pomade that instantly builds color and volume. Paired with a unique dual-sided brush for varying intensities, this fade-proof, clump-free formula provides the freedom to untame or boldly define the brows.
Last on the collection lineup is the Brow Fixer, a strong-holding and long-wearing invisible brow gel that instantly shapes and sets hairs in place for effortless definition. Paired with a custom dual-sided brush that coats brow hairs from root to tip, this formula provides lasting, flake-proof wear in just one sweep.
All infused with vitamin C, hydrolyzed rice proteins, and hyaluronic compounds to volumize brows, the collection's proprietary modern formula provides perfect strokes all day against water, sweat, humidity using modern and advanced water-resistant technology.
Designed in California and made in PRC of responsibly sourced global ingredients, the cruelty-free products boast of its top-level and premium quality.
Tell us about the promise of everyday confidence.
Everyday confidence might seem like an unrealistic concept, because bad days do catch up to us every now and then, thus affecting the way we see ourselves and the way we put ourselves out there.
But we believe that through the good days and the bad, everyone is Beautiful Any Day.
My vision is putting makeup artistry in my consumers' hands, in the form of my products, to give them the encouragement and quality beauty they need to unlock that invincible level of confidence. Our products also all have empowering statements written on the packaging, such as “I am strong,” “I am fearless,” “I am bold.” So, that when they use them, not only do they get to create the brow look of their dreams, they also have that moment of “I am strong,” “I am fearless,” every time they use my products.
Through our brand, everyday confidence is promised.
What do you want your brand to achieve?
First, I want confidence to be an everyday achievement. The Brow Artist Collection ensures that confidence no longer runs on a schedule. No matter how off-track things go, I want my consumers to have one consistent source of confidence and empowerment. That's what our brand promises through makeup artistry: Beautiful Any Day.
Second, I want my brand to be global. I want my products to be compared alongside that of other internationally established brands and for the world to know that Filipino creativity can compete on a global scale.
Third, I want to bust a century-long myth about quality beauty. We have all grown accustomed to high quality having to come at a high price, when it's simply not true and not the correct narrative to have. We do not deserve the burden we feel in our pockets when purchasing a product of a quality we deserve. Our products are of premium quality, made with ingredients we scoured the world for 2 years, and they are marketed at a refreshingly inexpensive price. That is what our narrative on quality beauty should be: attainable and readily available.
Last, I want my brand to be the standard. The main reason why we identified Strokes Beauty Lab as the new era of beauty is that we want to leave behind all the old definitions of beauty. The standard is the different degrees and variations of beauty and perfection. There is no rulebook.
In this era, beauty is defined by you.
Will you be releasing other products anytime soon?
Absolutely! We're so excited for the next few months because we will be unveiling more eye beauty products and many, many more. We don't want to spoil anything, but we're gearing up for a big launch for an entirely new collection, so make sure to stay tuned! Here's a hint, though: There's a reason why our company is called Strokes Beauty Lab.
And we plan to do right by our branding, vision, and mission, forever and always.
About the CEO
Momoi is the mind behind Strokes. He is an interior designer, turned award-winning makeup artist, and is now a brow sculpting expert. Momoi graduated Cum Laude from the University of the Philippines, Diliman, in 2004 with a degree in Interior Design. That same year, he earned the top 2 spot in the Interior Design Licensure Exam.
Apart from these recognitions, Momoi is considered to be the eyebrow and lash lift king in the country for conceiving KeraLift — the first and only FDA-approved lash treatment in the Philippines, and as a beauty advocate, Momoi has taken part in various trainings with internationally-acclaimed artists locally and abroad:
- Irene Teo, Singapore
- Rebecca Chung, Hong Kong
- Alan Spadone, Brazil
- Chuni Beaulo, Germany
- Moshe Alul, Israel
- Rusen Donmez, The Netherlands
- Victoria Tomashivskaya, Russia
- Svetlana Kuranova, Russia
- Different masters from China