HELLO KITTY GETS A LIPSTICK:
The 23-piece Happy Skin x Sanrio collection is a first for a Filipino brand, and will surely be collector’s items.
Virgie Ramos, the woman who has brought happiness to generations of Filipinos by bringing Sanrio characters to the Philippines, presents Hello Kitty at the Happy Skin x Sanrio collaboration launch at SM Aura. With her are Happy Skin co-founders Rissa Trillo (in red) and Jacqe Gutierrez (left), with Ivan Wong and Yandy Wa, Sanrio licensing manager and officer, respectively.
Who’s your favorite Sanrio character? Doesn’t the flashback just make you smile? “I love Little Twin Stars because I have a fraternal twin brother, Robby, and I feel like they’re like us,” Happy Skin co-founder Rissa Trillo shares, dressed for the occasion in a sleek Rhett Eala look with a top hinting at Hello Kitty’s oversized red bow at the Happy Skin Sanrio Characters launch last Wednesday. “I grew up with all things Sanrio because my godmother (president and CEO of Sanrio’s exclusive local distributor Gift Gate) Virgie Ramos would give me pencils starting from when I was three years old. When Hello Kitty celebrated her 20th anniversary in the Philippines, I was awarded one of the best dressed!”
Happy Skin co-founder Jacqe Gutierrez adored Hello Kitty along with her green, bug-eyed friend. “Honestly, my favorite character is Kero-Keroppi. I even told them to make a Kero-Keroppi collection but then everyone was like, ‘No, hindi siya girly!’” she says with a laugh. “My sister was an avid Hello Kitty collector and we were roommates. Our entire wall has around a hundred Hello Kitty memorabilia. I grew up with Hello Kitty blankets.”
Now we’re all grown up, Happy Skin brings Hello Kitty, My Melody, and Little Twin Stars back into our daily lives as Sanrio’s first local cosmetics partner in the Philippines.
“I love this cute collaboration! It’s not only for young girls but also for us who grew up with them,” says Tweetie de Leon-Gonzales, who has the same favorite as Rissa. “I’m dating myself, but when I was growing up, that was the time Little Twin Stars, my favorite, came out. Almost everybody in class had a Sanrio pencil case complete with Sanrio school supplies. It’s not like I always got my way with my parents, so I had to save up for them little by little. I’d go to Greenhills, where the first Gift Gate was. Sometimes I’d buy; sometimes I’d ogle. I had their stuffed toys.”
“Sanrio, that’s my age. Favorite ko noon si Kero-Keroppi, Bad Badtz Maru, and Hello Kitty,” Carla Abellana gushes. “I was in grade school in OB Montessori in Greenhills and they had a store in Virra Mall — now called V Mall — within walking distance. After classes, my friends and I walked to the store. We would save our allowance money to buy trinkets. I loved my stationery, notepad, pen — anything I could use for school.”
LJ Reyes didn’t bat an eyelash when asked which Sanrio character she loved most: “Hello Kitty all the way! I have a big Hello Kitty collection. I’ve loved her for as long as I can remember. I have a guitar, I used to have two Hello Kitty cellphones, clothes, everything talaga.”
“There’s a resurgence of nostalgia. So many Filipinas grew up having Hello Kitty, My Melody, and Little Twin Stars as part of their everyday lives,” Rissa comments. After all, the Philippines is the first country to carry Sanrio outside Japan. “Tita Virgie has made generations of Filipinos happy by bringing in Sanrio here.”
“This collection is really for girls our age. We grew up with Sanrio. The younger generation grew up with Frozen,” affirms Jacqe.
Will Happy Skin’s Sanrio tie-up outdo their Disney collaboration’s success last November? Other international brands have been courting them. In a casual social media survey for their next collab, Sanrio came out on top — and it couldn’t be a better match. With Virgie’s help, last March, the two met with Yuki Tsuji, wife of the late Hunihiko Tsuji, who had the vision to take Sanrio outside Japan, at the Sanrio Licensing presentation.
“We had to prove that we had proper GMPs for our factories, we showed them our Disney collaboration, how professional we are, and how high-quality our products are. They didn’t want to collaborate with just about any brand because it’s makeup and skincare. They don’t want people to associate Hello Kitty with bad makeup and skincare,” Jacqe reveals.
“In Sanrio, we believe in the magic of gifts. Even the smallest gifts can bring a lot of happiness and they express that you care in a very meaningful way,” explains Sanrio Asia chief operating officer Caroline Tsang. “And, just from what you can gather from their name, Happy Skin also believes in sharing happiness. The values of Sanrio and Happy Skin are one and the same, and that’s what makes this partnership perfect.”
If you have a Sanrio fanatic in your life overseas, licensing limits sale of the limitededition line to within the Philippines, so this line is a great collector’s item.
The collection has 23 products for the face, lips, and nails to highlight all three characters. This also makes it Happy Skin’s biggest collection ever.
For instance, for the 10-free express gel nail polish, a true red for Hello Kitty is in — you guessed it — Red Apples. My Melody gets a flattering near-nude peach in Peaches & Cream. Curious Kiki is a pastel light blue, while Lala Love is in baby pink.
Two shades are added to the new blush compact (launched with the bridal collection last month) in wine for My Melody and Peach for Hello Kitty, both with good color payoff and a dreamy flushed finish. The mini makeup sponge duo in Little Twin Stars — both in a size, shape, and density that’s just right for the under-eye area and inner corners of the nose —remind me of Lala and Kiki as I perfect my base. This collaboration also sees Happy Skin’s first makeup wipes with micellar water, and soothing aloe vera and chamomile. One sheet is all you need to remove a full face of makeup.
As for everyone’s favorite, the lippies, Virgie, the Forever Sanrio poster girl herself, has words of encouragement: “Hello Kitty’s lips are invisible so you have to draw her lips with Happy Skin lipstick.”
Happy Skin stores are located at Alabang Town Center; Glorietta 3, Greenbelt 5, and Power Plant Mall in Makati; SM Aura Premier in Taguig; SM Mall of Asia in Pasay;
Robinsons Place Manila; Mega Fashion Hall in Ortigas; Robinsons Magnolia, UP Town Center, Trinoma, and SM North EDSA in Quezon City; SM City Clark and SM City Pampanga; and SM City Cebu. For a full list of Happy Skin’s counters, visit www.happyskincosmetics.com/stores. Shop online at happyskincosmetics.com and zalora.com.ph. For updates, follow @happyskin_ph on Instagram and facebook.com/happyskincosmetics on Facebook. Share your photos with the hashtags #HappySkinXSanrioCharacters and #HappySkinBeauty.
Virgie Ramos, president and CEO of Sanrio's exclusive local distributor Gift Gate (center), with Sanrio icon Hello Kitty, Happy Skin founders Rissa Trillo (second from right) and Jacqe Gutierrez (left), and Sanrio's Yandy Wa, licensing o cer (second from left) and Ivan Wong, licensing manager (right).
Happy Skin gives the gift of happiness with Happy Skin x Sanrio, a collaboration that includes a wide range of products inspired by popular Sanrio characters such as Hello Kitty, Little Twin Stars and My Melody.
LJ Reyes: "I have a Hello Kitty guitar. I used to have two Hello Kitty phones. Hello Kitty all the way!"
"I love this collaboration! It's for young girls and girls who grew up with Sanrio," says Tweetie de Leon-Gonzalez (right), with Myrza Sison of Summit Media Group
Bubbles Paraiso and Mikaela Lagdameo-Martinez
Carla Abellana: "When I was in grade school, I would save my allowance to buy Hello Kitty trinkets!"
Tessa Prieto-Valdes with Virgie Ramos
TV host Ria Tanjuatco-Trillo with daughters Rocio and Raquel
Yvette Fernandez, Town & Country editor-in-chief
Pierra Calasanz-Labrador of Manila Bulletin
Ginggay Joven-dela Merced with daughter Chloe