Legend Has It

Leyende on Philippine Star YS Section

Legend has it
By Yvette Tan Updated November 21, 2008 12:00 AM

Some legends are born. Others are made. While still others give you better skin and a clear conscience. Leyende, which is Spanish for legend, falls into the last category. This homegrown skincare line is fast cultivating a cult following that includes the likes of makeup artists (Rosa Rosal’s makeup artists swear by the Face Canvas makeup base), celebs (Lucy Torres Gomez has commented on her TV show that she loves the skin butter), and beauty columnists (Rissa Mananquil has written about it in Style SOS). Not bad for a brand that isn’t even a year old.

Love the earth, love yourself

The thing that sets Leyende apart from other skincare lines is that it uses all certified organic ingredients. “Generally, organic products mean the ingredients came from a certified source where the planting and harvesting process don’t include chemical fertilizers, pesticides and insecticides,” says Neva Talladen, Leyende’s owner and creator. “This means no synthetic chemical residue in the final product, and inevitably, less chances for allergy or skin problems. More importantly, organic ingredients don’t contribute to pollution because it doesn’t contaminate groundwater and soil with harmful chemical residue.”

Some of Leyende’s ingredients include organic soy milk from the UK, shea butter base from West Africa and essential oils from Australia. And though Neva wold love to sourse ingredients locally, the country’s lack of an organic certification program prevents her from doing so.

Leyende’s earth-friendliness also extends to its packaging. All of its packaging material is recyclable, with some of it made from recycled acrylic. The brand also has an incentive for customers — every six empty containers returned earns them a free skin butter. The collected bottles are then turned over to a Materials Recycling Facility.

The brand’s commitment to customer excellence doesn’t end there. Leyende is one of the very few local organic skincare producers certified by the Bureau of Food and Drugs (BFAD).

Having a BFAD license means the company was willing to subject itself to government quality inspection and standards. This speaks well of the confidence of the company in its products, services and facilities. “I wanted to strengthen my commitment to customer service,” Neva says. “Having a BFAD license makes my company accountable to the customers. This means that I have to focus on quality and service even more now that I have the license.”

I am legend

Another thing that makes Leyende a hit with fans is its range. The brand covers all aspects of skin care, from hair products that give hair a glossy sheen to post-pregnancy creams that target cellulite. And while it comes in classic berry smells, it also has its own unique blends, such as Beach Bomb, a refreshing aloe and vetiver scent anchored by the slightest hint of vanilla musk available in skin butter and eau de cologne and Norte, a comforting vanilla scent with coconut notes that remind one of warm kitchens and tropical islands in the sun that’s available in skin butter, shower gel and lip balm form. “I don’t follow trendy scents or colors,” Neva says. “And the scents I choose aren’t dupes of popular fragrances. I really think them through and choose ones I truly love.” This alone sets itself apart from the fruity, flowery, native or rainbow-colored branding scheme typical of local brands.

And just in case you’re wondering, Leyende isn’t tested on animals. Neva’s “guinea pigs” are usually herself and her boyfriend Ramon, who has gotten compliments on his skin and hair.

Fuss free and fragrant

Leyende products are simple to use, and form part of a skincare routine that can be fitted into even the most hectic of schedules. Neva suggests that first-timers start with Leyende’s best seller, the No Rumple Silk Skin Butter. “It’s the most basic thing: slather it on your hands or arms or legs — it’s not complicated and you don’t need much consideration before you use it,” she says, “But most of all, the mineral oil-free shea butter base is truly non-greasy, so even commuters and active people will appreciate that it’s not (sticky or) slippery.”

Another best seller is the Face Canvas face moisturizer and makeup base, which has garnered a cult following. “It’s non-greasy but locks in moisture. Plus it really keeps foundation or powder fresh longer. I initially marketed this to makeup artists, and its reputation grew from there,” Neva says.

She adds, “Leyende is simply a passionate brand. It’s handmade, so you know the effort that was put into it. And every ingredient and embellishment has been a product of inspiration and imagination. I think this is why my customers respond well to the products; a lot of love was put into them!”

Holiday cheers

Leyende is gearing up for the holidays with personalized gift packs, available through pre-order on their website, www.leyende.com. Just give them your budget, the number of people you need to give gifts to, and they will customize a gift set for your approval. A great way to get your Christmas shopping done with minumum fuss.

The brand has plenty of resellers in Manila, as well as Bacolod, Batangas, Bulacan, Dumaguete and Cebu. A list of authorized resellers can be found on their multiply site at http://leyende.multiply.com.

For those who want to shop the old fashioned way, Leyende has a stall at the ground floor Activity Center of Glorietta across Havin’ a Baby Maternity Shop and inside Crossings Department Store, Shangri-la Plaza Mall.


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