Human Nature’s creative director, Camille Meloto was just a fresh graduate looking for her identity in the US, doing freelance makeup gigs, when she received a package of natural cosmetics as a gift from one of her clients. “It was my first time seeing cosmetics that are 100% natural. Prior to that, I didn’t think it was possible. It got me very interested and I showed it to my sister,” she shares.
Camille says that her sister, Anna, and Anna’s husband, Dylan, have previously made a conscious effort to be more environmental. This started with the food that they ate, and their decision to use washable diapers instead of using disposable ones, as it’s one of the biggest percentage in the world’s landfills.
“Since then, we started researching everyday in the library about toxic chemicals that harm our health and the environment. As our knowledge expanded, we decided to change all our conventional personal care products to natural ones. We know that natural products are expensive in the Philippines, so I guess that’s where the dream started. Since all the leading natural products in the Philippines are imported, they would cost an arm and a leg. We also found it immoral that a three-week’s supply of shampoo would cost more than the average daily minimum wage of a Filipino,” Camille explains.
While doing further research, Camille, Anna, and Dylan noticed that most of the ingredients in these natural products are grown or can be grown in the Philippines. Camille shares that this is what caught Dylan’s attention. “At that time, my sister and Dylan were full-time volunteers for Gawad Kalinga (GK), so when Dylan heard this, he saw that it can be the next phase of GK. Since it generates livelihood for communities, the GK communities can be the ones to grow and farm these ingredients.”
Read more as Camille talks about what it’s like to be a company that is pro-poor and Pro-Pinay.
What is Human Nature’s goal?
We dream of becoming a global beauty brand—a Filipino brand that’s at par with global standards! We also hope to inspire more businesses to follow pro-poor business practices, such as saying no to contractualization, and having a fair market trade.
What makes Human Nature different from other local beauty brands?
We’re a genuinely natural beauty brand. We’re the only personal care, home care, and cosmetics brand that’s certified by the Natural Products Association, which is the largest and oldest nonprofit organization in the US, and is dedicated to the promotion of natural manufacturing, environmental safety, and the protection of consumers’ health.
What made you release foundations and loose powder that match morena skin?
I remember going to the department stores, looking at foundation shades, and seeing that even the darkest shades available are no match for my skin tone (and I’m not even that morena!) This brought us to think that our view of ourselves, our beauty, the beauty brands that we’ve been conditioned to believe, has really been dictated by the media. Because of this, we made it a point to have morena and Filipina friendly shades in our range, and giving it names such as, Boracay Bronze to not only be a better fit for the shades of morenas, but also be proud of the beauty of the Philippines.
Was it a difficult process to create unconventional shades?
It was difficult because we found that Filipinas didn’t really want to admit that they’re morena. I’ve had experience when our customers would get the lightest shade even if they didn’t match them, saying that they’re in the process of using a lightening product, and they’ll eventually get to that lighter shade. It really gave us a wake-up call that we need to communicate our brand of beauty differently. Few years after that, we now have a good following, and have been getting a lot of messages of gratitude that we came up with Filipina skin friendly shades.
What are some tips on how to find the perfect shade to match with Filipina skin?
Know your undertones! Most Asian brands, especially Filipino brands, have more neutral and yellowish tones. Because of our weather, most of us have combination to oily skin, which can react with your makeup changing the tone after some time. So when testing makeup, wait twenty to thirty minutes before buying it to see how your makeup reacts with your skin. For color makeup, choose warmer tones, even for pinks. Makeup made for Pinays (like Human Nature!) take into consideration that most Filipinas have a warm undertone. Know your skin tone and embrace it—whether you’re fair or morena, you’re beautiful.
What’s the best skin care routine that you can recommend to Filipinas who love to wear makeup in the Philippines’ unpredictable weather?
It’s important to stick to your beauty regimen! Never sleep with your make up on. Double cleanse, tone, and never forget your moisturizer and sunscreen. With our humid weather, it’s really important to choose a lightweight moisturizer that’s also packed with vitamins and nutrients, for a glowing skin.
As a beauty company, what can you say about the issue between accepting yourself and still being able to love makeup?
Accepting that we are beautiful the way we are is what’s important. Makeup is there to just boost our confidence, and to have a picker upper for when we feel like we need to look our best. I also feel that it’s through makeup that a girl realizes parts of herself that she appreciates the most, and begins to consider her assets. I know I did.
What message does Human Nature want to send out to Filipinas?
We believe that behind every proud moment is a woman whose strength and exceptional virtues have shaped and molded the course of our histories. That woman is either a mother, a wife, a daughter or a friend. So be Pinay and proud!
What else can we look forward to seeing in Human Nature’s beauty line?
Creating 100% natural makeup that matches what synthetic makeup can give is always a challenge. However, we continually push ourselves to innovate and meet the standards of consumers. So we’re hoping to launch new lip balm flavors, and makeup shades for the holidays, even new makeup formats! We’re also continually refining and improving our other existing products.