Summer Essentials

In case you missed it, summer is in full swing and everything is burning up–it is that hot!!! School’s out, work people are on vacation mode, and the annual party called summer in the Philippines is definitely raging this year. Don’t miss out on these must-haves to keep you looking fabulous all season long:

  1. agnes b. Lunettes– This très chic French fashion brand first opened its doors in 1975, and now has more than a hundred stores all over the world. It’s known for classic apparel, accessories, watches, jewelry, and eyewear. A couple of weeks ago, the eye care center Ideal Vision launched the very first line of agnes b. eyewear made available in the Philippines, and the whole collection is delightful! The styles are timeless and elegant, whether for glasses or sunglasses, but come with a fresh twist, like colored or striped frames, mirrorized lenses, and flattering shapes—all embodying the brand’s free spirited vibe.   I think I just found a new favorite! Check them out at select Ideal Vision branches soon. Visit idealvisioncenter.com.ph. and like or follow Ideal Vision Center on Facebook and Instagram for all updates.

    FullSizeRender 464

    Fresh frames by agnes b.

  2. Tipsy Pops– I tried one of these and after that first taste I Just. Could. Not. Stop! Such an awesome idea to create these yummy alcoholic popsicles perfect for any summer bash. They come in all your favorite flavors too: Piñacolada, Kalamansi Margarita, Mango Rum, Strawberry Daiquiri, Orange Arancello, Seabreeze, Bloody Sunset, and Tropical Tequila Sunrise! You can order a party stash by emailing tipsypops2015@gmail.com, or swing by Cebu’s number one weekend market Sugbo Mercado IT Park for your fix. Check out their Facebook page at facebook.com/lickmoderately.

    14597250_204430559968817_582496147721945088_n

    You know you want this…

  3. The chic one piece– Yes, those itsy bitsy bikinis will never go out of style, but if you want to amp up the ante on the fashion front this year, go for a sexy one piece instead. Whether it’s the side cut-out variety, the lace up neckline, or the sideboob-baring type, you’ll surely sizzle like the sun. Check out styles at Cotton On, Forever 21, or the many online shops available and rock it like you mean it at the beach!

    662410-03-2

    A Cotton On one piece– bet you’ve never seen denim look this good!

  4. Metallic tattoos– Move over, henna, and don’t even get me started on those ridiculous flower crowns. The coolest body adornments to wear this season are of the metallic kind, on smooth, bronzed skin setting off resort chic dresses and lace up sandals.   The easiest way is via stick on metallic/glitter tattoos, or even better, try out metallic body paint with a friend! Now who’s a gleaming goddess?  2da069525e2b251eb6d1ad470dd58ca1
  5. Inflatables– We went crazy for them last year, and we’re definitely still crazy for them this year! Buy your giant rainbow unicorn, swan, winged horse, donut or slice of pizza and float away to summer bliss. A word of caution: it’s better to use these babies in the pool instead of the sea, it’s kinda hard to get back to shore against the current on a giant inflatable creature, unless you tie it down.

    unicorn-inflatable-side

    Take your new pet unicorn to the beach!

  6. Yellow– Literally the color of summer (and Coldplay), and what a heyday it’s having right now! Make sure to add a splash of lemon yellow to your wardrobe this season, whether via a bright yellow top worn with denims or whites, or a skirt/shorts, a bag, or a pair of gorgeous yellow heels. Trust me, it’s impossible not to be happy wearing such a vibrant color, and more smiles will be headed your way.

    2656100300_2_1_2

    Loving this butter yellow top from Stradivarius

  7. Crop tops– As the temperature gets hotter, the tops grow smaller. So I hope you did all your crunches, core work and everything you possibly could to get a flat tummy (and abs, perhaps?) in time for summer…because since 90’s fashion is so back, we are seeing blouses shrink to Britney Spears 1997 levels filling up all the fashion racks. Wear with high waisted jeans/shorts, or drawstring-waist skirts.

    73400ff105ee8df9dd361320fe714c48

    Tiny tops to wear on endless summer nights

So there’s my lucky seven for the summer. Now all you need is some sun, sea, sand, and an awesome Spotify playlist, and you’re all set to have the best season ever. Have fun, kikays!

Beauty Bulletin 2017

Hello darlings! Spring is here, and it’s not only the flowers that need to get blooming. We’re lucky to be living in this day and age of flash technology, where products get upgraded at the blink of an eye. When you read up on all the latest beauty loot below, you can’t help but wonder what they’ll think of next! So get your online shopping face ready, take out those credit cards, and I’ll bet you you’ll be ordering away by the end of this article. Here are the top 10 products I’m excited about for 2017:

  1. Dyson hair dryer– We all know Dyson for their hi-tech cleaning machines, but they’ve gone a step further and created hair dryer that is as quiet as they come! With 3 precise speed settings and 4 precise heat settings, this gadget is going to revolutionize your blowout, not to mention make your husbands very happy! An even better idea—tell him to get you one if he wants to be able to hear anything while you’re doing your hair!  dyson-supersonic-iron-fuchsia
  2. Avene or L’oreal Micellar water– Cleansing oil is a thing of the past, you can say goodbye to that greasy, sticky feeling in this humid tropical climate of ours. These days girls in the know are using Micellar water, which feels literally just like water but deep cleans your face of all gunk—from makeup to waterproof lipstick, deep seated dirt and whatever else. No need to go anywhere near the sink! Just swipe that dirt away with a cotton ball and crash into bed.  loreal
  3. Charlotte Tilsbury Dry Sheet Mask– You know how using those individually wrapped face masks can get super messy? Here’s a mask that’s completely dry, like a sheet of paper. There’s a thing to put on your ears to keep it in place, and the idea is to massage your face for about 30 seconds before the product comes out of the sheet and onto your skin- everything you need from hydration to brightness to smoothness and lift. And you can use it up to 3 times, which is more than you can say for your messy mask.  multi-pack-mask
  4. Cutex BB Nail Concealer– When you’re always getting your nails polished, you know very well that there are periods where you need them to rest and breathe. But you can’t exactly go around with yellow, brittle nails no matter how clean they are! So this BB nail concealer is infused with vitamins to help your nails recover from damage, but hides any discoloration under a healthy, pinkish hue. Nice!  cutex-bb-nail-concealer-0-5-oz
  5. L’oreal Extraordinary Clay Pre-Shampoo Mask– For those of you with oily roots, this clay-texture mask absorbs all that excess oil so that you can clean your tresses properly. Just massage into your scalp for 5 minutes, and when rinsed out, your roots are completely clear and the ends much softer. Who wouldn’t be a fan?  loreal2
  6. Shiseido Synchro Skin Glow– How about a foundation so smart that it knows your skin better than you do? Yes, sounds unbelievable. But this fluid foundation (with SPF 20, mind you) has a special sensing technology that gets in sync with your complexion and adjusts itself throughout the day as your oil levels- and stress levels- change. So you’ll always have that gorgeous glow and just the right level of hydration.  shiseido
  7. Urban Decay Vice Liquid Lipstick– We’ve all used waterproof lipstick, and long-wearing lipstick, but this baby is transfer-proof too. That means, once that color is on your lips, it ain’t going nowhere. No lipstick marks on your teacup, bf’s face, or whatever. And it comes in 30 shades, so you’ll definitely find your perfect match.  urban
  8. Murad Matte Effect Blotting Perfector– This little gem is a cushion compact that contains a serum that immediately absorbs grease, perfect for those besieged with oily skin. It dries down to a clear, velvety finish and goes over your makeup without messing up your perfect blending and contouring. You know that saying ‘oiliness is next to ugliness’… murad
  9. Tweezerman Expertweeze Lighted Slant Tweezer-Even when you tweeze your brows during the day, it can sometimes get difficult to see what you’re doing. This tweezer has a built in LED light and is slanted in such a way that it makes it easier to catch those little buggers of hair strands. How did we even survive without this?  tweezer
  10. HiMirror– Okayyy so I saved the best for last. The Hi Mirror is a data protected smart mirror that not only analyzes your skin but also suggests a customized skincare routine, offer beauty tips and track progress. I am totally sold on this one! Check it out on amazon.com.  Hello Santa baby, any chance you’ll give me my Christmas gift early this year?hi-mirror-640px

 

I don’t know what my credit card bill is going to look like after this rampage, but hey—your best investment is and will always be yourself. As that famous brand tagline goes, ‘Because I’m Worth It’. Cheers and tell me your kikay stories on muskwie@yahoo.com or Tweet @MiaZamora116.

Of Charms and Crystals

It’s only been a recent thing of mine—this fascination with crystals and what they can do. To be honest, I was never a new age kind of girl. I’ve been very conservative with my beliefs, and always avoided discussions about metaphysics, or anything I would label as supernatural. Life is busy enough as it is, I didn’t want to think about things I couldn’t see.

But then, one thing led to another. Being in HR, I was exposed to the 7 Habits for Highly Effective People workshop (Stephen Covey), and it was particularly Habit 1 that struck me the most: Be Proactive. In any situation, and despite any conditions, you always have a choice. Your thoughts affect your words, actions, mood and general well-being. So the ultimate power is to control and choose the thoughts you allow into your mind.

Then my boss clued me in on a video and book called The Secret (Rhonda Bynes), and it was quite a revelation. It shows you that what you believe, what you think, creates your reality because of the energy you create. And since all of matter is energy (quantum physics, anyone?), then the Universe responds to you based on this vibration. Therefore, if you want to be happy, abundant and healthy, you need to start believing, feeling and acting as though you already are, and the rest will just follow. This is how you can manifest your desires into reality. How would you feel if you had everything you ever wanted right now—pretty grateful and overflowing with excitement, right? So start channeling that feeling, be grateful and appreciative of all the big and little blessings, and soon you’ll find even more things to be grateful about, including your heart’s desires. Let the worries slip away because the Big Guy up there has our back, always.

Then I was fortunate enough to have met an energy healer named Michelle almost two years ago…it’s a long story, but at that time I felt stuck in a rut and needed a life shift. She explained to me that she could sense I had issues with control and a lack of self-confidence, among other things, which happened to be spot on. After some meditations she said, ‘get a rose quartz crystal generator and put it on your bedside.’ At the time, I was thinking I had stepped into some new-age Twilight Zone. Wands? Generator? Crystals? But then again, what did I have to lose, right? So yes, I bought a small rose quartz crystal and put it right beside my bed. Over some time, I noticed a shift in how I felt. I was better at letting things go, at making choices that were good for me, at appreciating myself. So I looked up the rose quartz benefits online and it said—self-love and healing. One day, the crystal broke squarely in half, and I panicked. Did it mean I was cursed? The healer said it only meant that it had served its purpose in my life, and I could give both pieces away to whoever might need it.

Last Christmas, my best friend gave me a citrine crystal bracelet. At the time I wasn’t even sure what crystal it was, I just thought it was pretty and started wearing it. In a few weeks’ time, things that I wanted seemed to just come easier, and I felt cheerful and more excited than I did in a long while. True enough, I looked up the properties of citrine and the online source said it was a prosperity and happiness stone.

Now don’t get me wrong, I haven’t gone batty. This ‘discovery’ has not replaced or diminished my faith or praying habits in any way.   I just feel like the crystals amplify whatever energy I feed into them and remind me to always be positive and grateful.   People who know me know that when I get into something, I usually get really invested in it—so in typical fashion, I bought a crystal book and started reading. Here are some of the uses of the popular crystals and gems we use as accessories:

  1. Jade– This green stone is a special gemstone of healing, calmness and stability. It relieves anxiety and lightens emotions developed from fear, and blocks negative energy or influences from affecting the individual wearing it. Jade promotes wisdom, balance and peace, is said to help you realize your full potential, and can also be used as a dream enhancer if you sleep with a piece of it under your pillow. It is also known for prosperity, and keeping a jade stone where you usually stash coins is supposed to attract abundance.

    jade

    Jade Bangle

  2. Rose Quartz– Named as such for its delicate pink color, this crystal is associated with love, compassion, healing and comfort. It can help dissolve emotional wounds, fears and resentments, and facilitates circulation of love around your aura. Because it allows you a deep sense of personal fulfillment and contentment, it makes it easier to give and receive love from others. It is also known for beauty, and there are treatment centers that use a polished rose quartz stone for facials and massages.

    rose-quartz-crystal-pendant-1

    Rose Quartz pendant

  3. Citrine– With its happy yellow energy, the citrine draws in abundance, success and prosperity and instills self-confidence and self esteem. It is a great crystal for manifesting, imagination, and personal will, helping you transform your dreams and wishes into tangible form. It also encourages new beginnings and fresh pursuits, allowing you to let go of the past and move onward and upward. Your lemon yellow stone also wards away negative vibes, including those who might break your heart!

    citrine

    I’m in love with these citrine earrings!!!

  4. Amethyst– This deep purple stone is said to calm, protect and cleanse the spirit. It can help detoxify the body, removes negative ions from the surroundings, and is even used as an ingredient in those foot detoxification pads. It helps with physical ailments and nervous disorders (nightmares, insomnia) by stimulating and soothing the mind and the emotions, allowing one to remain clear and centered while opening to spiritual direction. Amethyst is also known to enhance creativity, passion, intuition and imagination.

    amethyst-ring

    Amethyst cluster ring

  5. Turquoise– A stone used for protection from injury and evil from the olden times, it is also used for self-acceptance, self-forgiveness and the release of useless regrets. Turquoise is a strengthening stone—good for exhaustion, depression, or panic attacks, as well as enhancing the immune system. It is supposed to be specifically effective for the brain, eyes, ears, throat, relieving migraines, viruses, etc. It can also help calm your nerves and stabilize mood swings. Very cool (literally).

    turquoise

    Turquoise cuff

  6. Lapis Lazuli– This is a crystal of truth, promoting self-awareness, self-expression and inner truth while diminishing repressed anger and disease.  It encourages honesty and compassion in dealing with others, and allows you to communicate or express your thoughts and emotions better. It is physically beneficial to the throat and ears, thyroid, and is said to help with problems like vertigo and blood pressure.

    lapis-tumbled-mrpl-15

    Breathtaking lapis lazuli

  7. Ruby– A fiery red crystal of passion, the ruby stimulates circulation, strengthening your heart and blood vessels. It can act as a catalyst of all forms of love, deepens a couple’s relationship and encourages closeness and commitment. It is also said to help in fertility and also sharpens the mind, helping maintain energy and concentration. Ruby can protect the wearer’s home from fire and robbery, and can transform anger into positive energy. Interestingly, it also frees the wearer from martyrdom and heightens protection of the oppressed.

    ruby

    Ruby-licious!

  8. Emerald– This is a beautiful green stone of vitality, also strongly connected with the heart. You can wear it out of sight (near the heart) to attract love, compassion and balance between partners- in fact it was used as an offering to Venus in ancient Greek history since she was the goddess of love. It is also a stone of wisdom, balancing the mind and the emotions and increasing memory, mental acuity and eloquence in speech, and enhancing success in business.

    emerald

    How to wow with an emerald

  9. Moonstone– This stone is linked to the magic of the moon, protecting travelers in their journeys, attracting first love or new love, reconciling estranged loves, encouraging fidelity and fertility.   It promotes peace, alignment with God, composure and tranquility. For women, it aids in honing intuition and cleanses negative vibes from all energy centers. It stimulates inspiration, serendipity, and synchronicity.

    moonstone

    Mystic moonstone

  10. Aquamarine– Legends call this stone the treasure of mermaids, as it was used by sailors to invoke the calmness of the sea. It is also known as the stone of eternal youth, inspiring truth, trust and letting go. It allows you to articulate your truth with courage and conviction, so it is helpful to those who speak as a profession. It is also good for long haul travel, whether by air, sea or land. Since it is a cooling stone, it can help in treating infections and is good for alleviating problems with breathing or the lungs.

    aquamarine

    Alluring Aquamarine

 

Gosh—now I want them all! So those are the stories behind your famous birthstones and bling. Honor them with your intentions when you wear them and see whether you notice any difference in your energy. And if you’re interested to learn more, visit www.crystalvaults.com, plus read up on chakras (energy centers) at http://www.chakras.info. Tell me about your experiences! Here’s to a more balanced life.

Tokyo Drift

When one thinks of mega cities, Tokyo always appears near the top of the list. I’ve always been fascinated with this bustling Asian hub because it showcases the best of the best from this side of the world, going head to head with New York, London, Paris, and Sydney in terms of cutting edge technology, style, culture, sophistication, and modernism. Tokyo excels in so many things, from food to fashion, that it’s hard not to feel a bit jealous and overwhelmed when you visit—especially when you’re trying to cover as much as you can in just a few days! I happened to be lucky enough to make a trip there a couple of weeks ago, and here are my absolute favorite things about this Japanese gem of a city:

  1. Food– You can’t leave Tokyo without going to the Tsukiji Fish Market for a super fresh meal. Be there pretty early, like 9-10 am, to line up at the popular restaurants inside the market and so as not run out of food. Prepare to wait in line at least an hour, and for the dishes to spoil you for life–because after this, Jap food at any other restaurant will never taste the same! Another must-try is Ichiran, which I now fondly call ‘antisocial ramen’. You line up, place your order via vending machine, choose your preference for flavor, and sit at a tiny cubicle for one. Then the window opens, your ramen comes out, and that’s that. It’s so efficient and so good! You don’t even need to say a word to anyone the entire time—perfect for hungry travelers.
  2. Shopping– Japan is known for several world-class brands like Onitsuka Tiger, SuperDry, Royce chocolates, Mikimoto pearls, Muji, Seiko, Uniqlo, Issey Miyake, Yohji Yamamoto, and (surprise!) Comme des Garcons. Stock up on your favorites here. And as far as shopping centers go, can anything be better than Takashimaya? If outlet stores for branded items are more your thing, go to Gotemba and shop to your heart’s content, with the majestic Mt. Fuji in the background.
  3. Monuments– Despite the general look and feel of the city being ultra modern, it has plenty of preserved culture and tradition over centuries. Go to the Tokyo railway station, built as early as 1914, and take in its beautiful architecture. A short walk away is the Imperial Palace, and the lush garden that surrounds it. Also check out the Meiji Jingu Shrine, a Shinto shrine lovingly dedicated to the spirits of Emperor Meiji and Empress Shoken. You’ll see barrels and sake and wine offered to these deities, and a line of people waiting to have their turn to worship—with a ceremonial bow, two claps, and another bow. Lastly, if you have more time (because I wasn’t able to), go the the Sensoji temple in Asakusa, Tokyo’s oldest (at 645AD) and most significant Buddhist temple.

    img_2788

    Tokyo Station

  4. Modern Marvels– You won’t run out of these here. First off, head over to the Shibuya scramble (right outside the Shibuya station where the Hachiko statue is located), where you’ll see massive crowds of people all rushing in several different directions. It’s unlike anything you’ve ever seen and gives you a real ‘hustle and bustle’ feeling that can only come from a huge city. On a clear, beautiful night, go see the glowing Tokyo Tower peeking over Ropponggi Hills.   For cosplay fans, you must hang out at Harajuku, where all the kooky costume folk make an appearance. The Japanese transportation system is also in itself a modern marvel—arriving on the dot, down to the last minute, and getting you everywhere quickly and super efficiently. You can even cross over to different cities via the Shinkansen bullet train.

    img_2748

    Tokyo Tower making an appearance

  5. Natural wonders– In my opinion, the very best thing you can do in Tokyo is to go see Mount Fuji. It is absolutely stunning, snow-capped tip and all. If you’re lucky, you can see it from the airplane window shortly before landing in Narita Airport, or from the window of your train ride to and from Tokyo. You’ll need to arrange a guided tour for better convenience, or go on your own via bus or train from Shinjuku station. This mountain can be quite elusive– winter is apparently the best time to go because there is hardly any precipitation to block the view, but be prepared for super chilly weather and very strong winds! I actually lost my glove trying to take a shaky selfie and did not know if I’d make it back inside the building without getting (literally) blown away, but it was so worth it. There are 5 lakes surrounding Mt. Fuji, and all of them can give you a breathtaking vantage point. You can do a cruise on a pirate ship over Lake Ashi, or take a cable car from a viewing station in Hakone– either way it’s bound to be unforgettable.

    img_2568

    Hello gorgeous.

  6. Nightlife– Oh you’ll have a lot of choices in this department. There are a lot of restaurants and bars around Shinjuku, Shibuya, Ropponggi, and Ginza. My favorite was a little place in Shinjuku called the Golden Gai, where there are clusters of little bars and taverns where locals hang out for a drink after work. Have an Asahi beer or a Suntory whisky highball (what yummy discovery with cola or ginger ale), eat a bunch of takoyaki balls, and chat with new friends.

    img_2749

    Enjoying a Suntory Highball and some Yakitori sticks

  7. Seasonal activities– There are different things you can do depending on the changing seasons in Japan. In the spring, of course, everybody goes nuts over the cherry blossoms that bloom in full color all over the country. One of the best places to see this in Tokyo is the Shinjuku-Gyoen National Park—and there happened to be a few blossoming trees towards the end of winter! It felt like they came out just for me, and I couldn’t believe how beautiful it was. In the fall, parks around Japan transform from green to gorgeous reds, oranges and yellows; it’s quite a sight to behold. In the winter, a popular activity is to go to an onsen, which is a hot spring bath. You can also go ice skating or take a look at the magnificent winter illuminations in Marunouchi, Yoyogi park, Shiodome, etc. These people sure know how to create a winter wonderland!
    img_2722

    Stunning winter illuminations at Shiodome

    img_2889

    My little miracle 🙂  Sakura in the winter!

  8. People– The Japanese are consistently the most polite, accommodating, pleasant people I have ever come across, and not in a pushy, fakely warm sort of way. They ensure you are comfortable, they give you the best directions they can manage (and even accompany you to the place sometimes just to make sure you get it), they are quiet and efficient and go the extra mile in their work. And although the average person on the street may have a little trouble speaking English, their smiles more than make up for it.

 

It is for these reasons, and many other beautiful memories, that I will always love this city. Till next time, Tokyo!

2017 Trend Report

Hello fashionistas! While I am personally a big fan of classic wardrobe staples that never go out of style, let’s face it—once in a while, our closets need a bit of a boost to stay current. It’s been a while since I’ve been out shopping (life gets in the way like that), but I finally had time to browse the net for fashion updates and look around in stores, and what I found was quite surprising. The trends of today are completely different from my normal style! Was I going around looking like a certified Tita stuck in a time warp all this time?! So here’s my roundup of what’s fresh for 2017.   Get your hands on them stat, and you’ll pass for a millennial.

  1. Greenery– Let’s start with this. Pantone’s 2017 color of the year is called ‘greenery’. And no, it is not the rich forest green you would expect. It actually reminds me of a vegetable, and I am not thrilled about that, but we could all use a zing of color in our lives. Check your instagram feed- if all you’ve been wearing lately is boring, basic black, it’s time to take action. Wear this color with white, dove gray, or beige as its neutral base.  pantone-color-of-the-year-2017-greenery-15-0343
  2. Embroidery– Well what do you know? My grandmother’s embroidered items are now all the rage, cropping up on lace tops, striped polos, and even on bags, jackets and shoes! You don’t need to be all decked out in needlework to be considered stylish, so just pick one or two items for a quick wardrobe refresher. My favorites are the embroidered button down shirts at Zara, and the black lace tops and shoulder bags with embroidered flowers at Stradivarius.

    embroidered

    Zara embroidered shirt

  3. Matte, nude lips– As far as makeup goes, the big revolution has been in lipsticks, with hordes of women stocking up on matte, all-day-long brands like Colourpop, Kylie, and Nyx. Nude is the color of choice, ranging from the barely-there tans, to brick, to deep brown.

    kylie-jenner-nude-rose-lipstick-instagram

    Well hello there Kylie.

  4. Chokers– If you’re a child of the 90s, you would remember this trend. Well, the black chokers are back in full force baby! You can use the stretchy nylon ones that look like a lace tattoo on your neck, or a simple long black leather cord tied up stylishly. Obviously, this looks good with a V neckline or button down shirt.  choker
  5. Straight, center part hair– Time to say goodbye to sexy beach waves and take out your hair straightening iron, ladies! Part your hair in the middle a la Liv Tyler in Empire Records or Gigi Hadid and Kendall Jenner of today, and better suck in those cheeks or contour them well so as to create an oval shaped face.

    sleek-straight-long-hair-for-round-face1

    Mila Kunis rockin the ‘do

  6. Cropped, ribbed tops– Also taken from the 90s book, tops are getting smaller and smaller. Look for the ribbed, stretchy variety and wear with anything from pencil skirts to cropped wide pants. I am crossing my fingers you’ve been doing your ab work all this time, because it looks like this trend will be around for a while!

    gigi-hadid-kendall-jenner-crop-top-600x600

    Gigi or Kendall- who wore it better?

  7. Sneakers– I do not know how this happened, but somehow it has become acceptable for sneakers to be worn as actual shoes, and even be considered stylish. In fact, as a lazy bombshell, I do not understand this whole athleisure trend at all, but c’est la vie. So yes, white sneakers (first popularized by Adidas Stan Smiths), those things called Yeezys, NMDs, metallic slip-ons, Nike flyknits—you need these in your life right now.

    nmd

    Adidas NMDs

  8. Colored lenses– Not contact lenses, silly. Sunglasses! The rounder, more geometric, or more colorful, the better. Never mind if it makes you look a bit like Willy Wonka, the point is they’re quirky and cute, and can add a pop of life to an otherwise dull outfit. I’m currently lusting over the Dior SoReal, which is unlike anything I’ve ever seen before. Awesome design.

    dior

    Want!  Need!

  9. Flare jeans– It was bound to happen. Our skinny jeans and jeggings have to be set aside, because the flare is back. Wear with one of the aforementioned tiny tops and chunky sandals, and you’re good to go.

    flare

    Ugh I hate you Miranda Kerr!!

  10. Zip up varsity jacket– The collegiate varsity jacket has generated a lot of interest in recent months, with popular brands coming up with silk, floral and embroidered varieties. You have to admit, while it again invokes the anti-glam ‘athleisure’ feel, it is both comfy and cool.   This is one trend I very much approve of.

    zara

    Another hit by Zara

  11. Shoulder bag– Whether it’s a drawstring bucket bag or a mini, a shoulder sling bag is your accessory du jour at present. Isn’t it awesome to finally have your hands free to chat with friends and boylets on Viber or Whatsapp without having to lug those dreadful oversize slouchy bags on your arm? The only other alternative is the mini backpack, like the Prada one from the 90s. I’m not sure how legit a 30 something year old would look wearing a backpack, but whatever. That’s beside the point.

    stradivarius

    Got this at Stradivarius- what a steal!

  12. Pleats– And to round up this dainty dozen, I’m hearing my mom’s voice screeching ‘electric pleats!!!’ when she saw a pleated skirt hanging in a store. The ideal length for this is mid-calf, or palazzo style, and it looks good with (again) cropped and tiny tops. Very classy, ladylike, and polished.

    pleats

    Swish!

Here’s to looking good all day, every day! Cheers, chicas. Till our next catch up.

Living It Up in 2017

Happy new year, all you beautiful people out there! It’s 2017 and I couldn’t be more excited…as they say, every new year brings with it 365 opportunities.   Every day we wake up is a gift, and we would have a much better world if we all started acting like it!

It has always been a tradition for me to start the year with a list of resolutions—and yes, as corny as it sounds I do try my best to actually check them off.   I’d like to think this practice has made me a better person, because articulating my goals has made me more aware of what it is I’m really trying to do. It is very important to choose your goals well, because they will then shape your thoughts and behavior. This year though, instead of a to-do list, I decided to make a list of principles I’d like to live by. Have a look at this and see what you can come up with for yourself this year:

  1. Quality always trumps quantity. This one applies to everything! It is better to keep a smaller group of true friends who have your back come hell or high water rather than a large number of fair-weather friends who are nice to you one day but gossip about you the next. It is better to have fewer clothes, bags, shoes or jewelry as long as the quality is impeccable, none of it is fake, and they can last years, decades, even generations without falling apart or going out of style. So this year, instead of having a mindset of amassing more, be more mindful about who you spend your time with, and what things you spend your hard earned money on. You deserve only the best.

    2-55

    In shopping and in friendships– look for quality over quantity

  2. Low risk, low return. I first learned this principle in finance, but quickly realized it translates to many things in life as well. Sometimes, you really need to take bigger risks and step out of your comfort zone in order to get what you’ve always wanted. Whether it’s leaving your predictable 9 to 5 job to start a new business, shifting careers, moving to a new country, pursuing a passion, or even falling in love, there comes a time in your life when you need to go beyond the safe confines of what you know. It doesn’t always work out, but the experience will teach you much more than you could have learned if you never tried. And—there’s that small encouraging voice that whispers—what if it does?  pros
  3. Health is wealth. You never really value your health until something goes wrong. What’s worse is if the damage is irreversible and you get stuck with a medical condition for the rest of your life. There is nothing more important than ensuring your wellness because it affects, well– everything, especially your disposition. So make this the year you are finally going to get healthy, not just to look good but to feel good too. Get active, be it through dance, running, spinning or yoga, and make an effort to eliminate junk and eat only fresh, nutritious food.

    zink

    Zink at Banilad Town Center offers one heck of a fun workout!

  4. Be authentic. Stop living your life according to the expectations, opinions and standards of other people. It doesn’t matter what they say. What’s important is you do what makes you happy. Say what’s on your mind instead of what you think people want to hear. Act on how you feel. Accept your mistakes and shortcomings. Live your truth. Be at peace with yourself. Remember it is your life, not anybody else’s, and you only get one shot at it. Make it your best one.  dr-seuss
  5. If you could choose to be anything, be kind. You can be driven, successful, brilliant, whatever, but if you are not kind, it doesn’t count much. When your life is over, you cannot take your money, belongings, titles, or achievements with you. What will be left behind is the memory others have of you– how you lived your life, whether you spoke compassionate words, found ways to help those in need, or smiled often, or did your best to make others happy. If you could leave a legacy in this world, make it one of kindness, because that’s the only way it can become a better place.  SONY DSC
  6. Happiness is a choice. An important realization is that you alone are responsible for your own happiness and contentment, regardless of your circumstance. Whether you are single, married, employed, unemployed, rich, poor, popular, or not, you can choose to be happy. You can choose to appreciate what you have, to count your blessings instead of complaining about your burdens. You can’t make anyone responsible for your happiness—be it your family, your friends, your boss, or your spouse. It is all a mindset, there a people with so much less who are so happy. So wake up with a smile, don’t sweat the small stuff, and carpe diem.  happy
  7. Change is the only constant. That’s the thing about life, it doesn’t run out of surprises. Be prepared for change, and buckle up for all the twists and turns that are bound to come your way. Nothing lasts forever, you will not always be high and mighty, and you will not always be downtrodden. Trials are unavoidable but for as long as you’ve done your best to live your life right, you should emerge from them not only unscathed but even better than before. And only then do you realize that this is what makes life beautiful.  Butterfly Metamorphosis
  8. No expectations, no comparisons. The quickest killer of happiness is expectation. It should be like this, it should be like that. I deserve this, I deserve that. She has this, so I should also have that. Why can’t we all just chill out and let things be? Appreciate things and people for what they are instead of whatever you think they should be or do. If you learn to see everything as a gift instead of something that the universe owes you, not only will you be happier, you will also be more grateful. And if for some reason you don’t get what you want—maybe that in itself is a blessing too. expectation
  9. Life is not a race. Success is relative to a person. Not everybody is cut out to be at the top of the corporate ladder, or married with kids, or loaded with money and expensive things. That’s just the way it is. There’s no guarantee that if you have all of that, you will automatically be happy. So base your success on what truly makes your life meaningful instead of the standard, cookie-cutter criteria, and know that you are where you are for a reason. There’s no need to compete with others because we are all on a different journey.

    canoe

    Might as well enjoy the view…

  10. There is always room for improvement. That said, never stop growing, find ways to keep learning, explore new places, do new things, and stretch yourself to the very best of your potential. That’s the least we can do with the talents and abilities we’ve been given! Make 2017 your year of positive transformation and share your gift with others.  onward

 

Here’s to another fabulous, colorful, adventure-filled year ahead with all of you.

 

Xoxo,

Mia

The Kikay Christmas Giftlist

I don’t know which part of the holiday rush I enjoy more—wrapping presents for friends and loved ones, or unwrapping their presents for me!  It’s the last few days to Christmas and if you followed my advice from the previous article, you should be feeling cheery and stress-free despite the party fatigue.   It is highly possible though, that you have put off your Christmas shopping for the most important people in your life because you had no idea what to get them. And so, in keeping with tradition, here is Kikay’s Christmas Gift List. Take your pick from here: 

  1. Lipcolor– I don’t know any female who isn’t raving about the Colourpop, Kylie, or Nyx matte/metallic lip tints, and for good reason. You rub it on, purse your lips, and 8 hours later without checking the mirror, you can rest assured you still look fabulous. So if you’re thinking of giving makeup to any lady this year, make it this. And remember– the more, the merrier!

    colourpop

    #LipsDon’tLie

  2. Artisan Soap– True luxury these days goes beyond the brand or the price tag of an item. It is all about artisanal, handmade, or bespoke items that people can treasure because they are the opposite of run-of-the-mill. When it comes to soap, I cannot think of a better one than Soapjam (found on Instagram and sold inside Café Georg Banilad). With gorgeous swirls, intoxicating fragrances, and interesting shapes, you’ll be spoiled for choice.

    soapjam

    These soap bars are works of art!

  3. Crystals– If you believe that everything in this world is interconnected, and that energy plays a big part in a person’s well-being in day to day life, then crystals are a good choice to give friends and loved ones. Each stone (like rose quartz, amethyst, citrine, etc) has its own meaning and can restore a certain balance needed by the wearer. You can choose from bracelets, a pendant, or something they can put by their bedside or desk. Who knows, you might actually be giving them a source of good vibes all year- what could be better?

    crystals

    For luck, love, success, prosperity, and general good vibes

  4. Footwear– A woman can never have enough shoes in her life; this is an established fact. And so, what better gift than to up her shoe game courtesy of Sala chaussures? You can choose from a dragon winged heel (for Game of Thrones fans), fairy wings, or angel wings, or other fabulous accents like an Egyptian stacked heel, Zebra print, or a big bow for the ultra feminine. They’ve got great sandals too—I can’t count the number of compliments I got for my own pair. Check it out on Instagram and order away!

    sala

    Attention Daenaerys fans…

  5. Personalized items– From embossed monograms on leather goods (passport holders, luggage tags) to embroidered monograms on towels, handkerchiefs and robes, printed monograms on stationery, stamps and gift tags, or better yet- monogram gold-plated pendants, bracelets and rings, anything personalized is indeed a classy choice. Since you’re pressed for time already though, what you can do is take a photo of the item and tell the receiver they will get it after the holiday rush. Better a useful, well thought-out present that’s a bit late than some generic item bought in a store.

    crane

    So classy

  6. Art– If you’re looking for a one of a kind present, this is the best idea yet. The Qube gallery at Crossroads, Banilad is selling over 200 works of art by select artists at just Php1000-2000, for the benefit of Little Bamboo Foundation. So not only are you supporting the arts and culture and contributing to the talent of local artists, you are also helping support a good cause. Now there’s a great Christmas gift if I ever saw one.

    qube

    Check out Qube Gallery for great art finds

  7. Collectibles– For pop culture fans, no present is quite as thrilling as little knick knacks related to their favorite movie/book/series. Look for Game of Thrones bobbleheads at Fully Booked, Harry Potter merchandise like a Gryffindor hoodie, or stuff related to Stranger Things, Westworld, or The Walking Dead. If you can’t find them in stores, you could silkscreen the designs yourself on a plain t-shirt. I mean if your friends can’t stop talking about it, might as well indulge them right?
    got

    Too cute!!!

    shirt

  8. Bling – Okay this is the top of the charts, people. We all know that bling is the ultimate gift for ladies, and you’re in luck because the fine jewelry brand Vero just launched its newest collection called Love Vintage. You can find these gorgeous, one-of-a-kind pieces at the Vero shop inside the Marriott Hotel or follow the Vero page on Facebook and Instagram.

    screen-shot-2016-12-21-at-10-48-17-am

    Can you handle this?!

  9. Handmade– By you. Anything that is the work of your hands is truly a precious gift that nobody else can give. So if you have the time and energy spend it on this. You can make truffles, or chewy chocolate chip cookies if you are good in the kitchen. You can paint, sketch or draw something if you are gifted with art skills. You can write someone a poem or even a song if you have that talent. You can make a scrapbook or something crafty if you have that inclination. You can frame a photo that you took if you have a good eye. The possibilities are endless, but the point is that sharing yourself with others is the sweetest present of all.

    sketch

    Found this on Pinterest.  Just wow.

  10. Gifts that Keep On Giving– Since Christmas is supposed to be about kindness and generosity, look for gifts that would benefit the greater good. Brands like Human
    anthill
    Indigenous textile making, supported by Anthill Fabric Gallery

At the end of the day, whatever it is you decide give your friends and family, put your heart in it. That’s more than enough. Merry Christmas, darlings!

kiss

Find some mistletoe and have a good one!