My picks for the best makeup under 599 pesos

“My personal favorites: Max Factor lipstick, Maybelline Mascara, Fanny Serrano Lip Palette, Maybelline Stormy Sky Eyestudio, Elf lip pencil and Prestige Eyeliner. All under P599!”

COLUMN: The Vanity Files

PEOPLE close to me know I can be such a cheapskate. Well, I think ‘resourceful’ would be a kinder, more fitting description. I do have an eagle’s eye when it comes to SALE signs, I do haggle for discounts even though I’m not in a ‘tiangge’, but I believe I’m most known for always finding ways to earn extra money.

Example number one: I hold garage sales, and then what I do is, I use the money from those garage sales to buy something new for myself. That’s my rule when buying: to spend, I must earn something first. Or another example: when I get a free phone from renewing my postpaid line, I usually just sell the phone instead of opting to keep the newer phone model! I don’t mind using the same, beat up old phone. Example three: I learned makeup and earned my plane tickets by doing ‘rakets’.

I’ve never been known to be brand conscious. When people ask me where I bought my bag or my outfit for example, I proudly declare that these babies are from Divisoria and cost only P300. When something is over P500, you can bet I will think ten times before I buy it. Probably, you will see me going around canvassing for a cheaper version, and I won’t care if it takes hours.

I know I’m not the only person out there looking to save a few bucks. Times are hard and we just want to be practical, right? We still want to look beautiful and presentable but at the same time, no one wants to break their piggy banks for makeup that will expire in a few months anyway.

So I’ve come up with a list of makeup products that will be worth your pesos and are readily available. What’s even more fantastic is that everything in my list costs under P599!

Foundation and Concealer: My salon uses Fanny Serrano makeup products. I got to see the foundation and concealer’s true staying power when Fanny Serrano himself did a demo during the Cosmetologie 2009 seminar. To prove that his cake foundation (P395) is waterproof, he sprayed water on the model’s face and patted it with a tissue. Voila, no makeup was removed. I was totally impressed. By the way, FS is by Fashion 21, an even more affordable version that’s been in the local scene for many years now. FS and Fashion 21 products are available in Watsons or SM Department stores. The Fanny Serrano stick concealer (P350) was even included in the Cosmo Beauty Awards Winner in 2008.

Eyeshadow: Maybelline Eyeshadow Quads or Fanny Serrano Eyeshadow Quads (P350). I used the Maybelline Stormy Sky(P499) on my cousin Jannise for a photoshoot I recently did with photographer Dustein Sibug. The four colors are very blendable and pigmented. You can use just one or combine two or more colors. Another plus if you buy an eyeshadow palette is that you don’t need to think which colors to use together as all four colors complement each other.

Eyeliner and Brow Liner: Faceshop’s automatic brow liners (P225) and brow powder duo (P335) are must trys. As for the pencil eyeliner, I have recently found an alternative to my P950 waterproof Makeup Forever Aqua Eyes liner: the Prestige eyeliner. It goes on just as smooth for easier application. I must say that although it costs around P350, that’s still savings of around P600 as compared to other imported brands.

Eyelash Curler: Fanny Serrano Eyelash Curler (P175). FS just came up with their own ‘magic’ lash curler and is touted to be at par with Shu Uemura’s cult product. They even have a mini lash curler (P125), just like Shu. The striking difference: It costs about ¼ of the Shu version which is around P1000.

Mascara: Maybelline is my top choice for inexpensive mascara. Maybelline carries volumizing, curling and lengthening mascaras for as low as P359. When buying mascara, it’s best not to get the expensive ones because it expires easily—around three to six months. (You’ll know if it’s expired if (1) it smells funny, or (2) it clumps even more than usual and you can actually see the clumps on the wand)

Blush: A cheap blush which I’ve personally tried is San San Cosmetics Cheek Blusher (Available at hbc stores). A super steal at only P69! Another one that’s about the same price and are pretty good are Careline blushers (P80). You can also try Bodyshop’s popular Lip and Cheek Tint. Although it’s not as affordable as San San, it’s a two-in-one product so you actually save on the cost of buying a lipstick.

Lipstick: Fanny Serrano lip palette, or for individual lipsticks: Maybelline Lipsticks (starts at P299 up) and Max Factor (around P579 for long wearing lipsticks) have a wide, temptingly luscious collection of lipsticks.

Lipliner and Lipgloss: Elf (eyeslipsface) cosmetics. This is my most recent discovery and I absolutely love it. The lipliner glides on the lips smoothly for a more precise application. Best of all, it costs only P129 and even comes with its own sharpener! You can also try the newest innovation from Fanny Serrano cosmetics is the True Light (P299) lipgloss/ lipstick. The lip wand comes with a small flashlight so you can do your lips even while in dark areas like the cinema!

And lastly, though it’s technically not a makeup product and it’s not under the P599 category, this one is a makeup essential and I guarantee you these are the best affordable brushes around:

Makeup Brushes: The Suesh 5 pc. Makeup Brush Set P1,000. These brushes are the basic ones you will be needing and they are very soft and sturdy. They come in handy for those retouches since it’s small enough to tote in your purse. Guaranteed to make makeup application easier and faster. Think of these brushes as your investment.

Believe me, it’s worth it. Take note: A single makeup brush from MAC costs about the same (and even more) as the whole 5pc set!
These products are proof that your makeup arsenal doesn’t have to be expensive to produce amazing and easily achievable looks. The inexpensive ones work just as well, too. Just think, with the extra moolah you save, you can now buy that sexy swimsuit you’ve been eyeing and even get yourself a Brazilian wax just in time for summer!

ROSELLE PARAS, a former news reporter and segment producer, is owner of one of the top salons in Cagayan de Oro. She studied makeup at the Center for Aesthetic Studies and at Makeup Forever’s Maquillage Professionel. Her Makeup Portfolio can be seen at her multiply account:


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