Collection: UK Makeup Invades Manila

Heavy rain and traffic did not deter Manila's hip and trendy crowd from making their way to the Rockwell Tent to witness the unveiling of another British brand to hit the market.  

The invitation said to come in sweet, colorful or edgy attire so upon arriving at the venue, the same vibe was seen and felt by guests -- from the design of the tent entrance, to the interior of the tent which was transformed into a colorful London high street.

This latest British invasion is Collection, one of the biggest makeup brands in the United Kingdom and is set to conquer the hearts of fashionistas with its beauty must-haves: the season's fanciest and quirkiest trends in makeup. The product displays were a big hit among the guests who tried out hues to determine which will suit their style.  They have a wide array of makeup for the face, the eyes and lips that is surprisingly affordable.

Collection product display
Collection makeup for the face...
...and colour palettes for the eyes and lips
A hip and edgy makeup brand, Collection celebrates individuality and encourages everyone to flaunt their personality in a variety of makeup colors.  These attributes and more were echoed by LF Asia's  SVP for Marketing, Licensed Brands, and Distribution Mr. Mario Salvatori, and Collection Regional Brand Manager Ms. Donna Dewhurst as they welcomed the guests and introduced the Collection brand in the Philippines.

(l-r) Mr. Mario Salvatori and Ms. Donna Dewhurst
For the launch, three styles/personalities were highlighted and by the Collection brand ambassadors: 

Collection brand ambassadors
pastel clad fashion blogger Camille Co for the sweet and elegant SOFTLY NATURAL look, whose favorite is the Lasting Colour Lipstick Sweet Tart; 

Camille Co
techno aztec inspired fashion blogger Laureen Uy for the hip and colorful POPPING PASTEL look, who raved about the Bedazzled Eye Palette; 

Laureen Uy
and rocker styled model/actress Solenn Heusaff for the the sultry and edgy ROCK CHICK look, who loved the Lasting Colour Gel Eyeliner in Black.

Collection is available in fashion and beauty boutiques in Manila. Check out their website for the list of stores, product descriptions and tutorials on how to achieve the Softly Natural, Rock Chick and Popping Pastels looks. Like them on Facebook at and follow them on Twitter at to be updated with the latest Collection products and news.

Philippine Fashion Week Holiday 2013: Happy V. Andrada

Philippine Fashion Week Holiday 2013 proved to be another exciting showcase for Filipino designers.  One such designer that I always look forward to seeing a new collection is Happy V. Andrada and this season didn’t disappoint as models sashayed on the runway wearing tops, bottoms, jackets and dresses in fine woven fabrics with interesting architectural details.

PFW Holiday 2013 Happy V. Andrada Collection
Happy’s new collection highlights creations that promote eco-ethical fashion – using natural dyes in 100% organic woven fabrics indigenous to the Philippines – which enable her to help support local skilled artisans from various communities that produced the fabrics.  Happy muses, “I used environment friendly resources to create a collection that supports the Filipino artisan worker. Everything is 100% Philippine made.” In muted color palette of lilac, gray, red and black, Happy worked her magic using Abaca, Pineapple, Pineapple Silk, Pineapple Crepe, Philippine Dupioni, Jusi, Bamboo and Waterlily.  “I plan to use other colors that would fit other seasons for future collections.”

When asked what inspired her to come out with such patriotic collection, Happy shares, “I got invited to showcase my designs in Czechoslovakia, United States of America and Japan and so I decided to highlight Philippine made fabrics to say I am a proud Filipino and at the same time, these fabrics are saving the earth because they are eco-friendly materials and ethical in the sense of production, labor, etc.”

And does the collection have a name? “To be honest this Philippine Fashion Week Holiday 2013 collection doesn’t have a title, it’s just babies of my winning entry from FDCP Weaving the Future Smart Choice Award, where my collection was called Barong Reinvented. From there, my designs just evolved,” Happy volunteers. “I also played around with shapes like triangles, so I could call it Triangular Evolution, too.” 

With her wearable art ready for the market, she’ll definitely be on top of the list of fashionistas who are advocates of a healthy earth and giving back to society.

Designer Happy V. Andrada (extreme right)
with models at the PFW Holiday 2013 at SMX
About the Designer

Happy took fashion courses at Central Saint Martins in London. A dynamic young designer, she has been joining and winning shows and contests here and abroad – won as Emerging Designer at the 2012 Miami International Fashion Week International; won two major awards in the last 3rd Asian Weddings and Arts Competition in Hong Kong; won grand prize at the Swatch’s My Rabbit Story and Smart Choice Winner in the Weaving the Future competition by the Fashion Design Council of the Philippines, among others.

The creative lady behind her own fashion label is also an entrepreneur who co-owns F*ART Fashion ART with her equally talented and beautiful sister, book author Viva V. Andrada.

Want to wear her designs and be absolutely happy? Check out Happy V. Andrada’s Ready to Wear line at and you may also try out her creations at her store, F*ART Fashion ART.

As published in BusinessWorld's

Happy Thoughts for the Week

SWAP: the New Kid on the Fashion Watch Block

In my lifetime, two of the most memorable affordable fashion watches to me are Alba (early 80s) and Swatch (late 80s) and I remember gawking at them on some friends’ wrists back in school. Both brands produced funky and colorful timepieces that are fun to wear.  My parents did not get me an Alba back in grade school but they gifted me with my very first Swatch in high school.  I think this is where my love and addiction for watches started and up to today, I haven’t stopped collecting them. 

To date, I own 24 timepieces, not counting those that I handed down to my mom because in reality, I couldn’t use them all. And even though I have moved on to buying branded/pricier ones, I still got excited when I learned about the new kid on the fashion watch block called SWAP.  

My eyes lit up as I gazed at the colorful array of interchangeable watch faces and straps of SWAP at its launch last month at the Glorietta Activity Center.  The stage and showcases were dressed up with the colorful theme of the watches and guest celebrities joined in the fun.  Rainbow and neutral colored straps were all over the place, not to mention the equally colorful watch faces from its plain/classic variant to the graphic collection.

The SWAP launch event stage in Glorietta

Displays at the SWAP launch
SWAP watches currently has 30 colors of straps and 22 watches faces (9 plain and 13 graphic) you can choose from and wear depending on your mood and fashion statement for the day.  All SWAP watches have stainless steel case back, are 3atm water resistant, hypoallergenic silicone strap and come with a one year warranty on its Japanmade mechanism.

SWAP Classic and Solid watch faces
SWAP Graphic watch faces and colored silicone straps
A SWAP watch face costs P500 each while the silicone strap costs P350 but they have a Starter Kit that comes with 2 silicone straps and a watch face of your choice for only P1,000.

SWAP Starter Kit
At the launch, SWAP announced that every month, a new theme of exciting graphic watch face designs such as sports, movies, characters, superheroes, places and even fashion patterns and trends will be made available.  For the straps, a new batch of colors will be introduced quarterly.

SWAP campaign hashtag
All SWAP watches are now available in Tomato Stores and SWAP exhibits in various malls in Metro Manila.  You may also order through the Tomato Online Store at, which by the way has a Customer Service Live Chat Application that you can use to inquire or complain about their products.  I’ve tried this when I discovered at home that the watch face I got from the event has a scratch on it and their customer service representative was friendly and efficient that I was able to have the replacement the following day from one of their stores.

My SWAP purple strap plus Mirror and Instagram watch faces
Finally, if you wish to decide on which colored strap and watch face to buy before going to their store or exhibits, visit their online visualizer at Mag #SWAPkana!