beauty and wellness

Ganda mo, girl! Gift ideas for your maarte, kikay friends this Christmas

Steph Arnaldo

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Ganda mo, girl! Gift ideas for your maarte, kikay friends this Christmas
There's something for all your besties here – loungewear, K-beauty makeup, skincare, silk scarves, and more!

MANILA, Philippines – Your friends and loved ones deserve only the best, and that includes the gift of beauty, self-love, self-care, and wellness this Christmas! What better way is there to make your kikay friends the happiest than with these maarte-friendly gift ideas that scream #DasurvMoYan?

Look your best

What about a new set of comfy, classy loungewear? Local brand Doze Days offers the breathable and lightweight Flow Set that’s almost as soft as silk and made with 300-count 100% bamboo lyocell and TENCEL Lyocell. The hypoallergenic, eco-friendly PJs are hand-made by Manila seamstresses and come in a relaxed and comfortable fit, with an elastic waistband and full side slits for extra comfort. It’s available in XS to L sizes, and comes in cute Midori (green), Sakura (pink), and Kohi (beige) colors.

For beautiful silk scarves, check out Filipina-owned fashion brand Jim Weaver and its loud, proud, and colorful prints that celebrate Philippine culture, heritage, and girl power! These 100% natural silk scarves and pocket squares for men and women feature original and unique prints by local designers, and make for eye-catching statement pieces to any OOTD. You can wear these soft, cool-to-the-touch scarves around your neck, over your head, or even as a bandana top. Jim Weaver also has reversible and reusable face masks featuring the tamaraw, tarsier, puto, and even minatamis.

To match those pretty prints, get an equally pretty planner to go with it! Pulp and Pigment’s 2023 Seasonal Collections feature the intricate works of two renowned Filipina artists – Raxenne Maniquiz and Alessandra Lanot – for its beautiful Flora and Fauna of the Philippines and At Your Own Pace collections. The desk calendars, desk pad planners, gift wrappers, and notebook dated planners in ring binder and softbound formats come in gorgeous floral designs, in cute pastel colors, and in classy Luntian, Pine, Raspberry, and Dagtum themes that’ll make you appreciate nature’s finest even more.

For essential goods made with high-quality real leather, local brand Costal & Co. offers everyday men and women accessories that are both classy and functional. Your on-the-go, stylish pals may appreciate a cord holder, vintage-style slim card wallet, men’s card wallet, and coin pouch; and we bet your traveling buddies would love a sleek passport holder and luggage tag, too! They also have wallets, handbags, and purses.

Local fashion retailer Better Basics also collaborated with Costal & Co. for a beautiful yet affordable new home decor line called Better Home. They have 100% custom and manufactured curtains and all-linen dining ware in muted, minimalist colors like sage green, grey, and pink! Better Home’s oversized coasters, linen napkins, throw pillowcases, and double-layer placemats will add definitely add style and ambiance points to your dining space. BTW: Both collections are exclusive at its new branch in Eastwood Mall, Quezon City.

Feel your best

Skincare is always a great idea! Local self-care brand Breathebeauty is all about simple but powerful everyday products for smooth and moisturized skin, yet remaining lightweight and easily absorbed by the skin. The Revive Serum is rich in centella asiatica, which calms inflammation, helps heal acne scars, stimulates new cell growth, builds collagen, and helps firm up skin. The Clarify Serum is a healing power trio – rich in niacinamide, glyolic acid, and hyaluronic acid – which helps restore hydration, prevents pimples, soothes irritation, and improves skin texture. They’re easy to add to your nightly skincare routine!

In a random but adorable collab, Olay has a limited edition Friends line (yes, the TV show), featuring the brand’s hit anti-aging products, which are all lightweight, fast-acting, and luxurious in feel. For plumper and more radiant skin, the Olay White Radiance Light Perfecting Essence helps to brighten dark spots, while the Olay Regenerist Micro-sculpting Cream is for any extreme moisturizing and hydration needs. If your friend prefers the anti-aging route, you can opt for the Retinol 24 Night Moisturizer and Night Serum for maximum rejuvenation. The skincare power duo comes in the cutest Friends-themed, red and white packaging and pouch!

Olay also has mini Super Serums in cute 15mL sizes for your friends who travel or are on-the-go often, but can’t skip the skincare routine. They do just the trick – the Olay Luminous Niacinamide + AHA Super Serum help to smoothen and lighten blemish marks, while the Olay Luminous Niacinamide + Vitamin C Super Serum helps to lighten dark spots for a brighter complexion.

Kiehl’s also has a limited edition holiday line, packaged in a festive, holiday-inspired makeup pouch and boxes. For your skincare newbie besties, there’s the simple Hydration Starter Kit (Ultra Facial Cream Moisturizer and Facial Foam; or the calendula, alcohol-free Cleanser & Toner Duo for your stressed out workmates! Your Mom or tita friend will appreciate Kiehl’s Anti-Aging Essentials, which includes the cult favorites Midnight Recovery Concentrate Serum and Facial Oil, best applied before going to bed for glowing, healthy skin the next morning.

If you’re into Korean-inspired, dewy makeup looks and glass skin, Korean beauty brand barenbliss is in the Philippines for Filipino skin types looking to be the next K-beauty icon! From makeup, skin care, personal care, to beauty tools, barenbliss has a limited but high-quality selection. Its base makeup collection is natural-looking and effective – the Compact Powder provides non-greasy, non-cakey, matte coverage that’s lightweight and smells good. The True Beauty Inside Cushion is like a compact CC cream/powder, providing medium-high, sweat-proof coverage, a breathable matte finish, and healthy-looking, natural skin.

barenbliss’ lip tints also deserve a shoutout – you can get them in matte, silky satin, or seamless velvet finishes in a variety of deep red, bright pink, or muted burgundy colors (among many others) for a natural pop of color on your cheeks or lips. They’re easy to blend, because they aren’t too pigmented that they become hard to work with.

You can’t go wrong with spa treatments! Treat your dearest besties to a confidence-boosting, non-invasive facial treatment from Facial Care Centre called Sublime Star, which focuses on firming and tightening the skin by stimulating collagen via bi-polar radio frequency and infrared light. If your friend wants a naturally lifted, firmed look with less pores and smoothened skin texture, this relaxing facial with no downtime is the pampering treat they deserve before or after all the holiday parties. It’s pain-free, relaxing, and delivers an instant matte, poreless, and refined look.

If he/she wants to get started on her weight loss journey, Marie France also offers non-invasive EvolveX Tite and Transform treatments, which includes electric muscle stimulation and heat on your tummy for muscle toning, skin tightening, fat reduction, collagen formation, and cellulite reduction, among many other benefits. It may sound like a lot going on, but the 50-minute session is warm, relaxing, and pain-free. Some clients already see an inch or two removed from their waist after the first session, but the number of sessions needed for desired results will vary depending on your body type.

Shiny hair, don’t care? For your friends into haircare, check out Mise-en-scene, Korea’s hair essence line of shampoos, conditioners, treatment, and serums. They look great, smell great, and are easy to use and add to your haircare routine to achieve those shiny, healthy-looking locks. You can choose your serum, depending on your needs: Original, Rose Perfume, Watery, Super Rich, or Styling.

For more haircare, Watsons’ sustainable Watsons Naturals beauty line is made from 90% natural ingredients, sustainable packaging, and is free from harsh chemicals. For moisturized, shiny hair, try the Argan organic conditioner and hair mask from Morocco, aloe vera lip balm, olive oil hair oil, calming chamomile cream bath from Spain, or the deep moisturizing coconut shampoo from Italy.

Complete your friend’s brand-new makeover look with a sparkling set of pearly whites! Hygiene brand SPARKLE is all about teeth whitening, the natural way. SPARKLE’s Fresh and Cool Mouthwash is 100% sugar and alcohol-free, paired with the Ionic Toothbrush, White Toothpaste, and SPARKLE Whitening Booster Gel that’s ultra concentrated for less plaque build-up and natural whitening in a week or so, if used religiously and all together. –

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Steph Arnaldo

If she’s not writing about food, she’s probably thinking about it. From advertising copywriter to freelance feature writer, Steph Arnaldo finally turned her part-time passion into a full-time career. She’s written about food, lifestyle, and wellness for Rappler since 2018.