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.


    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.


    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.


    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 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.


    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.


    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.


    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.


    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.


    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.



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


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!



  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.


    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?


    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!


    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.


    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.


    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?

    Too cute!!!


  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.


    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.


    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
    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!


Find some mistletoe and have a good one!

Fashion in Film

I love movies and I love fashion. So when these two collide, the result to me is truly an exhilarating experience. There used to be a time (before Google and cellphones) where, as an 8 year old girl, I’d hit the pause button on the VCD just to draw the outfits of the characters, then I’d color it and describe them to my mom in great detail so that she could have the seamstress make me something similar. If that’s not an obsession, I don’t know what is! Anyway, looking back, I realize I’ve been living my life as though it’s one big movie, complete with script, costume, and soundtrack—perhaps you can think of your own iconic movies that influenced how you dressed over the years, but here’s a list of favorites (in random order):

  1. Clueless. When Alicia Silverstone and her sidekick Stacey Dash showed up to school in those plaid skirt suits, my jaw dropped in awe and envy. That set the tone for the rest of the film, including the red Azzedine Alaia minidress that she wears in the movie poster, lots of A line skirts, cardigans and knee high stockings, even their P.E. attire was the bomb! This movie totally rocked 90s fashion and some expressions like ‘Whatever’ and ‘As if’ are still used today. It’s now been 21 years since Clueless, and since 90s are all the rage, it should be time for a viewing party!

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  2. Funny Face, Roman Holiday, and Breakfast at Tiffany’s. These three Audrey Hepburn films are so fashionably on point that you can wear any of the outfits today and still look stylish. In Funny Face, she wears a sophisticated pink cropped blouse with a white column skirt, and an elegant red strapless gown. In Roman Holiday, it’s the white polo and midi skirt with lace-up sandals that steals the show. In Breakfast at Tiffany’s—who could forget the classic Givenchy little black dress from the opening credits or her hot pink party dress? Just watching these movies is enough to educate women on style, timelessness, and the importance of dressing the part.
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    The Devil Wears Prada. To witness Anne Hathaway’s transformation throughout this film is so rewarding. I must have watched this more than 5 times and I still feel giddy! She went from slouchy sweaters to Chanel tweed blazers and thigh high leather boots, that classic ivory trench coat and beret, the brown belted dress, the black lace gown and red lipstick, the chunky Chanel charm necklace—heck, even all of Meryl Streep’s outfits as well as Emily Blunt’s was drool worthy from start to finish! The wardrobe room of that movie is truly my version of heaven.


    I Die!!!!

  4. Sex and the City 1 and 2. What we loved the most about the TV series, was, of course, the fashion. So of course, the expectation for the movies to deliver the same trademark fabulousness was sky high, and these two did not disappoint. Much of the first movie revolved around Carrie’s wedding, and the girls’ outfits- an incredible Vivienne Westwood number for the bride and beautiful Zac Posen gowns in black, red and blue for the bridesmaids- are just about as iconic as you can get. Then the girls go through a whole delectable fashion year together, from summer in Mexico, the fall fashion shows, and the sapphire Manolo Blahnik shoe that launched a gazillion knock-offs. In the second movie, the level of fashion fantasy goes up even higher as the foursome take on Abu Dhabi. Oh, the floaty maxidresses at the desert safari! Carrie’s Dior t-shirt and lavender ball skirt at the market! I can’t even begin to detail all the rest- suffice it to say, watch both movies and learn.SATC2


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  5. The Dressmaker. Say what? I’ve never heard of this movie until I saw it on the inflight menu on a 13-hour trip. Suffice it to say I wasn’t just pleasantly surprised when I watched it—I was floored! In the movie, Kate Winslet plays a genius designer and seamstress in the 1950s who completely transforms people into fashion plates in her hometown (located in the middle of nowhere). Such glamorous gowns and day dresses reminiscent of the screen sirens of the golden age! This is a definite must-see for all the fashion fans.

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  6. The Great Gatsby (both the 1974 and 2013 versions).   Since the story is all about the excesses of the roaring twenties and early thirties, it follows that fashion is an important element in the film. Mia Farrow of 1974 wears a slinky silver gown and chic headpiece for the bash, while in the later version, Carey Mulligan wears a glittery gold gown and a bejeweled headband. For the daytime scenes, Mia Farrow wears a pretty white lace dress and hat, while Carey Mulligan flirts with lavender ruffles. What a face-off! I can’t decide who won!

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  7. Rear Window. Grace Kelly knocks the ball out of the park in every single scene of this movie—it’s no wonder costume designer Edith Head has received a total of 8 Oscars. Plus this is a Hitchcock, so there is absolutely no excuse for not having seen it. Perhaps the most famous dresses in the movie are the black fitted V-neck bodice with full white tulle skirt, the white halter with apple green pencil skirt, and the white silk gown with a floaty chiffon shawl…it’s enough to cause massive hyperventilation whenever she appears on screen. Well, as we know, the girl snagged a real prince!

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  8. The Other Woman. This is not a classic nor is it a huge box office hit, but all of Cameron Diaz’s outfits in this movie are on point for the modern woman of today. White blazer with black cigarette pants, knee length pencil skirts, lots of chic office dresses, a lemon yellow sundress, LBDs. Nothing earth shattering, but she manages to look consistently classy, polished, and amazing. Then again, with legs like hers….

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  9. Atonement.  There is only one dress in this movie that really jumps out at you, but does it ever! It’s a vintage emerald green silk backless gown so gorgeous that you can’t focus on Keira Knightley’s face (or anything else for that matter) as she moves around in it. Recently voted on an online poll of Time magazine as the best film costume of all time, that says enough.


    That.  Green.  Dress.


Honorable Mention:  How To Lose A Guy in 10 Days  


What are your favorite outfits on film? Share them with me! Cheers to one of the joys of being a girl.

Trend Alert

It’s officially the first day of summer in the US and several countries in Europe.   That means, of course, that store racks are about to get a total overhaul of new loot for us to lust over! It’s a lucky thing that considering the monsoon season is upon us, it remains warm enough in the Philippines to follow the latest trends.

I’ve never really considered myself a trendy person—my wardrobe remains pretty much the same year in and year out in terms of basics—but it’s also important to do some seasonal updates in order to remain current.   A blouse here, a pair of trousers there, a statement shoe perhaps, and you should be good to go. Be on the lookout for these items and incorporate them into your outfits in the next 3 months:

  1. Off-shoulder and drop-shoulder tops– They’re everywhere! Whether via billowy blouses and ruffles, or tight and cropped, the common theme is the exposure of the shoulders and collarbones. Thank goodness puffed sleeves aren’t part of the equation (yet), or I’d really think we are in a time warp. I love this look, it’s both feminine and sophisticated. You can wear them with anything too, from trousers to shorts, skirts to jeans.


    Olivia Palermo slayin’ again

  2. Cropped wideleg pants– This cut looks relaxed and quite chic. It also looks great whether you’re tall or petite. Just make sure you wear it with a small fitted top, nothing oversized in order to balance out the proportions. White is a good, fresh choice for this.


    Kendall Jenner looking oh so fresh

  3. Block heels– Say sayonara for the meantime to your pencil-thin stilettos, because it looks like the block heels are here to stay. Not quite as chunky as I remember them from the 90s, but still. That should be a relief for your poor feet, tired of teetering precariously with such little support.


    Aquazzura nudes

  4. White t-shirt and summer dress– Oh, how I loved this back in my tween years. A plain white T-shirt worn under a spaghetti strap floral sundress, whether short or long. 90s kids, do you still remember this? Extra chick points if you wear this whole ensemble with a pair of Doc Martens boots.


    Oh hello, 90’s Drew Barrymore!

  5. Long skirts/palazzo pants– Yes, you can breathe easy because the bandage dress and supertight micromini trends from a few years back are definitely over. Hemlines are long and forgiving these days, via long or midi skirts and wideleg palazzo pants. Pencil skirts are still on point, as long as they are on the knee.


    Amal is perfection head to toe!

  6. Lace up sandals and tops– If you haven’t gotten your hands on a pair of lace-up flats or sandals yet, you must have been living under a rock or something. These babies are all the rage, giving sort of a hybrid ballerina/gladiator vibe. Recently, tops and dresses are also featuring deep v-neck lace-ups– very sexy indeed.


    Jimmy Choos… I die!

  7. Knit crop tops– Here’s another major blast from the past. High neck, tiny little knit tops that show a flash of tummy. Not exactly for the faint of heart, but if you’ve got abs and a small waistline, by all means flaunt it!


    Ugh Taytay I hate you but I love you…

  8. Overalls and jumpsuits– Ok sorry but I will not be caught dead in denim overalls, unless I’m painting the walls of my room or something. Nevertheless, overalls are ‘in’, and have been sort of reinvented too. If you want to wear this trend, choose the non-denim variety, or opt for a jumpsuit instead. They also come in wideleg and cropped styles.


    Alessandra Ambrosio in overalls… hmm I think I’ll reconsider…

  9. The usual supects- Every summer, know the drill: stripes, florals, checks and ginghams will be about and about. So the usual suspects are back this year, but given a bit of a bohemian flavor. Embroidery is very, very in demand this season too. Celebrate being a girl, eh?


    The Gucci Dionysus bag– cue drooling now!

  10. The half bun– In terms of how to do your hair, change things up a bit and wear it in a half bun (also known as ‘hun’). It’s simple, just tie your hair in a half ponytail then twist the upper portion up in a bun, securing with elastic and hair pins. Young, fresh and current. Isn’t that what we all aspire for?


    Riri’s half bun- peg!


That rounds up our top ten for the season! Have a blast, fellow kikays. Don’t let the rain get in the way of living a colorful life.

The H&M Conscious Collection

In the news the other day, it was reported that the heat index experienced in the country hit 52 degrees. That’s worse than a raging fever or a heated bikram yoga studio. And yes, while we whine about the discomfort and rush to the nearest air-conditioned room available while drinking copious amounts of ice water, there are serious implications to climate change that we shouldn’t be able to brush off so nonchalantly.  It is not for a lack of communication, because I’m pretty sure we’ve all heard the warnings and feel the signs of impending disaster. But we are all too ‘busy’ to actually do anything about it…busy driving to work, busy pounding away at our computers, consuming electricity, busy running businesses, busy earning the means to provide for our families. ‘It is only when the last tree has been cut down and the last fish has been harvested from the ocean that we will realize, we cannot eat money.’, says a quote I saw recently. If we want to live in a sustainable world, we’re going to have to take extra steps to change our lifestyles and habits. Of course you know the drill- Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. Plant trees, conserve water, work to lessen your carbon footprint, and choose products that are good for the environment.

It is always good news to hear about major brands doing their share for the environment. H&M, one of my favorite clothing brands, is a great example. Sustainable development is at the heart of their operations, and affects how they select raw materials for products and how the items are produced. They use efficient lighting in their stores to conserve energy, and work with suppliers to help reduce CO2 emissions as well. How amazing is that?

This year, H&M has launched its ‘H&M Conscious’ collection which is a product of their collaboration with the Musee des Arts Decoratifs located in the Palais de Louvre in Paris. Inspired by the world-renowned museum’s archives, the line consists of glamorous modern red carpet pieces infused with a delicate charm, nostalgic aesthetic and historical legacy. From dreamy, floaty maxi dresses that make you swoon, to glamorous satin palazzos, sweet peaches-and-cream blouses, lace skirts, beaded shift dresses, and even a coat made out of PET bottles, every piece in the collection is drool-worthy and is a wonderful addition to any modern lady’s wardrobe. The clothes and accessories use new innovative materials such as beads and rhinestones made from recycled glass and Denimite, a material made from recycled worn-out denim.  1156_102_sRGB_300_low.png


Parisian Art Director, style maven and sustainability champion, Julia Restoin Roitfeld, is the face of the campaign. “I am honoured to be the ambassador of such a unique project. I think that the idea of creating a collection inspired by the history of art and fashion is fantastic. Especially since it is made with innovative and sustainable materials which are the future of fashion” says Julia. Known for her distinctive, personal sense of style, Julia is the embodiment of effortless, conscious and modern cool.


What’s not to love about this brand? It’s admirable how they advocate a better fashion future- one where fashion not only makes people look good, but do good as well. ‘At H&M we have set the challenge of making fashion sustainable and sustainability fashionable. We want to help people express their personality and feel proud of what they wear, and ultimately we want the future generations to enjoy fashion the way they do now.’ says Dan Mejia, H&M Philippines Head of Communication and Press.


The H&M Conscious Collection was launched last April 7 and hopefully you can still catch some of the pieces at one of their 180 stores globally.

Here are more photos of my favorites!



I’d also like to invite everyone reading this to participate in and promote world recycling week from April 18-24! Every little bit you do goes a long way.

Here’s to our future!

The 2015 Kikay Gift List

I’m back from the Big Apple and crashed right into the holiday madness in the Philippines– land of the 10,000 Christmas parties, with matching gift exchanges, out-of-this world traffic jams, sudden typhoons, and a major, major Miss Universe soap opera brouhaha. What a fabulous welcome home!

After shopping for all your friends and family, the long list of godchildren, office colleagues, service people, manitos and manitas, and everyone else in your NICE list, don’t forget the most important person of all: yourself! It has, after all, been quite a year—you’ve worked hard, made friends, achieved big goals, weathered storms and sorrows—and you do deserve a reward.

Here is a list of what every Kikay girl wants to find under the Christmas tree or inside her Christmas stocking (there’s still New Year’s if you didn’t make it to Christmas Day!).

  1. Rouge Louboutin– This lipstick must have made a record beeline at the top of every glamorous gal’s must-have list the very second it came out. With its sassy packaging and traffic-stopping colors, it’s just irresistible. You’d have better luck ordering online though, it was sold out in every store I visited!

    Rouge Louboutin

    If this ain’t love…

  2. Marc Jacobs Decadence– Have you ever seen a perfume bottle so gorgeous you would pounce at it without even knowing what it smells like? This baby is one of them. In a brilliant shade of green straight out of Emerald City, a gold chain and tassel, it’s pretty enough to carry around on a fierce night out. And the fragrance? Sensual, luxurious, and woody, with a scent of Italian plum. Gotta get it.


    I need you in my life!

  3. Naked 3– We all know Urban Decay’s Naked 1 and 2 became cult favorites, and it’s likely that you have either one (or both) in your makeup arsenal case already. But check out Naked 3- sweet and sophisticated, its palette is perfect for everyday (or day to night) use and brings out a flirty, feminine glow.


    Tickled pink!

  4. Nike Flyknit– This is the perfect pair to inspire you to whip your derriere into shape for a fit and healthy 2016. I’m not a sneaker person at all but even I gasped when I saw these. Lighter, faster, gorgeous and functional, it comes in a variety of colors and even has lunar (glow in the dark) ones. Totally worth the splurge!


    Stop and stare!

  5. A Luxe Robe and proper lingerie– What better way to relax towards the end of 2015 than to turn your home into a spa and slip into a comfy satin (or terry) robe, light up the scented candles, pour yourself a glass of wine, and listen to a bit of jazz? No really. Pajamas, tank tops and boxers are cute for a 14 year old. Time for an upgrade.


    Off to bed in style

  6. Coffee Maker or Juicer (whichever applies)– Ensure great mornings the whole year through by investing in either a great coffee maker for that perfect brew, or a juicer for all the detox days you intend to have—and probably need!
  7. Anything Bespoke or Monogrammed– There is nothing more ‘special’ than something made especially for you! Whether it’s a monogram pendant, stamps, stationery, towels, trays, glassware, cheese boards or other essentials, you’re off to a classy start with these. Check out the Customized Chic page on Facebook or Oliver and Maude on Instagram for the best items I’ve seen so far.
  8. Activity Tracker – Help yourself (or a dear friend) jumpstart a healthy lifestyle with a Fitbit tracker or the Nike Fuel + Band, which can count calories, monitor exercise and activity, food, weight and and sleep– thereby promoting weight loss and overall well-being. Make 2016 all about becoming a better version of yourself!


    Get movin’

  9. Anything community related– Here’s the gift that keeps on giving! Get yourself and your best girls items made locally, to uplift and support our own communities. They can be food items (check out the Echo Store for lots of great ideas), personal care (like Human Heart Nature), home cleaning essentials (Messy Bessy), clothing and fabrics (Anthill), and so on!
  10. Art– Want something that will last forever and will always make you happy and proud everytime you see it? Then go buy art. You will never outgrow or tire of it, and there is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way to choose. I am particularly proud of my lovely friend Golda King, who recently held her solo exhibit here in Cebu, and whose works are the latest buzzword in the Philippine art scene. Visit some of our galleries in the city such as Qube or 856 G for amazing finds!


    Speaking of art, why not make some yourself?

  11. Kim K’s waist shapers– If you would like an hourglass, Jessica Rabbit-meets-KimK-figure, the secret, apparently, is a latex waist shaper. Wear it over a tank top while working out, or under your regular clothes the rest of the time, and enjoy two inches or more immediately off your waist!



  12. A Kindle, or lots of books– Make a list of all the books you would like to read in 2016, and make sure they’re not just the romance or chick-lit kind. Balance out biographies with management/leadership books and some interesting fiction, plus perhaps a bit of self help, and you’re set. Some suggestions: ‘Start With Why’ by Simon Sinek, ‘Strengthsfinder 2.0’ by Tom Rath, and ‘The Good Girl’ by Mary Kubica.
  13. Apple x Hermes watch– Okay, we are talking about Apple, one of the best, most tech advanced companies in the world. And Hermes, the supreme deity of leather goods. They have created a watch together, which not only tells time, but pays for bills, keeps you in touch, monitors activity, plays music, greets friends on their birthdays, and performs many more wonders. This is one of those things that remind you that you’re totally living in the Future. I wish I could rush back and tell my 10 year old self about it!

    apple-and-hermes-unveil-luxurious-takes-on-the-apple-watch-01-570x905-378x600 (1)

    Talk about form and function!

  14. The Chloe Drew bag– I do not have enough superlatives to describe this year’s ultimate It bag. It can go from day to night, is fancy enough to catch attention yet classic enough to remain relevant for years and years to come. Very, very gorgeous. It’s just that it costs and arm and a leg, but yes, this baby is super worth it.


    This makes me want to cry!

  15. A Dog– If all you want for Christmas is pure, unconditional love—get yourself a dog. It’s the best way to practice giving love yourself, as well as responsibility. I’m all about Boo the adorable Pomeranian, but my mother had other ideas and came home with an Ewok. Nevertheless I love the little monster to bits, and waking up to his little barks and waggy tail is the best part of my day.


    Meet my very own Ewok! 🙂


Merry Christmas and a fun, fabulous 2016 to all of you Kikays out there! Cheers!

Let it Snoe!

I’ll let you guys in on a secret. In all my years of road testing and experimenting on all sorts of beauty products and cosmetics, one important realization I made is that the price or origin of an item has no direct correlation on its quality or performance. I’ve found that sometimes, drugstore brands do a better job than very luxurious, high-end items, and more importantly, that local products can also very well out perform its imported, more established (and more expensive!) counterparts.

Forgive me for getting all choked up, but I just watched the movie Heneral Luna and part of its effect on me is the desire to give justice to our own products, our own entrepreneurs, our own businesses, which provide jobs and livelihood to our fellow Filipinos. *By the way please find a way to watch this movie if you haven’t already.

Enter Snoe, a local cosmetic brand that has been my favorite for years now. My relationship with this brand started when I was walking by its stall at a mall in Manila and caught sight of the packaging of some of their items. They had a cheeky, retro feel to them, with clever puns too and I thought to myself, ‘this must be a new foreign brand’. I ended up hoarding lots of stuff, from the Hair Heroes shampoo, the Beauty Sleep soap, the detox whitening clay mask to name a few…and imagine my surprise when their perky salesperson told me that it was all local! I was so happy and proud that such a brand exists that we can call our own (and a little jealous that I hadn’t thought of it myself, hahaha). So anyway, I was really impressed with their products so I have remained a loyal customer since. Here are some of my must haves:

  1. Hair Heroes Shampoo in Drunken Master– Since I have slightly problematic hair that becomes weighed down and lifeless by midday, this really did the trick for me. It has beer hops (I’m guessing that’s why the pun Drunken was put in), barley, apple cider vinegar and egg white. Zero sulfates. And the effect of all these is to purify and clarify your hair from product buildup, mineral deposits, residue and excess oil so that it becomes healthier, shinier, and enables other products to be absorbed better. I use it at least once a week or a little more frequently when my hair looks dull and lifeless. For those who have oily scalps or lackluster strands–highly recommended indeed.  3-Hair-Heroes-Drunken-Master-Creme-Wash-with-Beer-Hops-+-Apple-Cider-Vinegar-+-Barley-+-Egg-Whites-400x400
  1. Hair Heroes Intense 5-in-1 Conditioner– Personally, I find anything with Moroccan argan oil in it is worth its weight in gold. This one is a fantastic product that brings back the shine, fixes damage and split ends, and does a multi-purpose job as a cleansing or rinse-out conditioner, a deep moisturizing hair mask, a leave-on detangler and even a shaving cream. It is especially beneficial for those with colored, permed, rebonded, or chemically treated hair, and can also lessen hair fall. What more can you ask for in a conditioner?   1-Hair-Heroes-Intense-Argan-5-in-1-Cleansing-Conditioner-400x400
  1. Snoe White Soaps– Oh we’ve got lots of choices here. There’s a soap with intense glutathione. There’s one with citronella. Another that exfoliates with oats. One with licorice. And yet another with Kojic acid. It’s pretty much a whitening cocktail meant to lighten bothersome dark areas in your skin. Let me clarify, I do not necessarily advocate whitening as a means to ‘beautify’. Real beauty is loving the skin you were born with. However, if you have areas you need to ‘work’ on, like underarms, elbows, knees, groin, etc—any of these whitening soaps would work like a charm.  snoe white
  1. Eau La La Magical liquid cream– This one is a cream that turns into liquid so it’s quickly absorbed by the skin. It can brighten, revitalize, and fade out discolorations or spots because it’s got chia seeds and prune extract– a strong anti oxidant that protects against free radicals. Plus, being a moisturizer, it makes your skin more supple and less fatigued. Try it and after about a week of consistent use, you really will say ‘ooh la la!’  eau-lala-without-bg-309x400
  1. OMG Energy Facial Scrub– If you’re one of those people that drag their feet in the morning, wishing you could snooze just a few minutes longer (like me), this facial scrub is just what you need to perk up! It has micro-circulating action that increases cell energy levels and enhances your radiance and glow, even after a long night out. Ingredients include mangosteen, minerals and baker’s yeast. So whenever you need a zing, this facial scrub is definitely the thing.  omg
  1. Here Comes the Sun Block– It ain’t summer anymore but we still need to use sunblock every day, because yes the harmful UV rays can still penetrate our skin through the clouds (umm..duh) and cause wrinkles, dark spots and discolorations. This lotion is a strong SPF 45 and contains turnip (as in singkamas). It moisturizes, protects against sun and UV damage, and works as an anti-oxidant. I usually hate sunblock lotion because it’s so heavy and oily, so I was quite happy to discover that this lotion uses a non-grease, paraben free formula. I like the size that fits nicely into my handbag, and they have it in a 100ml size too. Remember that commencement speech that vent viral in the 90s… forget everything, just trust me on the sunblock.  2-Here-Comes-The-Sunblock-Instant-White-SPF45-with-Bengkoang-300ml-400x400
  1. SABStance High intensity Blush– Ok, everybody needs a little ‘tickled pink’ moment, but you can create the look yourself with this powder blush. Complete with Amazonian clay, Pomegranate, Acerola cherry and Acai berry extract, and created by the internationally trained makeup artist, beauty blogger and you tube makeup adviser Sabs Hernandez, you’ll love the natural ‘blooming’ look it gives you. My shade is X2 Patience, what’s yours?



  1. Rouge deluxe lipstick– Not only does this lipstick give you rich color and a buttery crème finish, it also works as a complete lip care product because it contains argan oil, sunflower, macadamia, grape seed, avocado and rosehip.   So while making you look pretty, it also nourishes, revitalizes and softens your lips to be extra…ehrm…kissable!  rouge
  1. Super Fresh Dry Shampoo- On those days where your hair just feels extra limp, or a bit greasy from the humid weather, this dry shampoo with sage and peppermint can breathe life back into your crowning glory.   You can throw all your ponytail holders and bad hair day disguises away because from now on, every day is going to be a best hair day!  dry shampoo
  1. Make Out Cleansing Oil– After a big night out with heavy makeup, smoky eyes, the works… the last thing you want to do when you get home is wash off your makeup. Plus since a lot of that stuff is waterproof, you’ll need to scrub extra hard to get the gunk off your face! Very bad for the skin. This cleansing oil is a total blessing because it literally just melts the makeup while you lightly rub it on your face, then you can wipe it all off and go to bed. The next day you’ll wake up with clean, soft skin (and clean pillows too).  makeout

That wraps up my Snoe top 10! Check out their whole product list at www.snoebeauty.com and rush over to the Snoe store at the 2nd Floor, New Wing, Ayala Center Cebu and at Metro Gaisano. You can tweet me your favorites too @miazamora116. Here’s to beauty, and to fabulous Filipino ingenuity.