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.

The Philippine Star - - FRONT PAGE - MARBBIE TAGABUCBA

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.

Pho­tos WAL­TER BOLLOZOS

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

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