Let’s not sugarcoat it: This isn’t a review. It’s a rant. When you think about a luxury product (or something you perceive as a luxury item), there’s a combination of mystique and reverence you reserve for it. There are high expectations. I had that same regard for Pat McGrath.
A major catalyst for changing up my skincare routine was a bad reaction I got from a cleanser. Without naming any names, it was a supposedly moisturizing facial wash that ended up severely drying out my skin. The resulting pimples from my messed up moisture barrier was enough to get me on the low-foam/no-foam train, stat. On recommendation, I got myself some Fresh Soy Face Cleanser (PHP 886 for 50ml from Sephora.ph).
Quick Specs: made in USA
Ingredients: Aqua (Water), Coco-Glucoside, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, PEG-7 Glyceryl Cocoate, Xanthan Gum, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Borago Officinalis Seed Oil, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Rosa Damascena Extract, Rosa Damascena Flower Water, Centaurea Cyanus Flower Extract, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Sterols, Panax Ginseng Root Extract, Rosa Damascena Flower Oil, Malva Sylvestris (Mallow) Flower Extract, Tocopherol, Ascorbyl Palmitate, PEG-120 Methyl Glucose Dioleate, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Caprylyl Glycol, Polysorbate 20, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Silica, Benzoic Acid, Disodium EDTA, Citric Acid, Behenyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Stearate, Lecithin, Pentylene Glycol, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Caramel, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate, Phenoxyethanol
I have stuck with liquid liner pens almost exclusively since discovering them. For my semi monolids, the thinnest line that gets as close to my lash line saves a whole lot of eyelid space for my eyeshadow du jour to shine through. And while my go-to is usually a Japanese brand (for their ultra-fine tips created for monolids), Fenty Beauty Flyliner Longwear Liquid Eyeliner in Cuz I’m Black (PHP 1,150).
Quick Specs: 0.55 ml / 0.019 oz; made in Korea
Ingredients: AQUA/WATER/EAU, BUTYLENE GLYCOL, STYRENE/ACRYLATES COPOLYMER, ACRYLATES COPOLYMER, STYRENE/ACRYLATES/AMMONIUM METHACRYLATE COPOLYMER, BEHENETH-30, PENTYLENE GLYCOL, ALCOHOL, CAPRYLYL GLYCOL, 1,2-HEXANEDIOL, ETHYLHEXYLGLYCERIN, SODIUM LAURETH-12 SULFATE, DISODIUM EDTA, C11-15 PARETH-7, TETRASODIUM EDTA, PHENOXYETHANOL, SODIUM DEHYDROACETATE, POTASSIUM SORBATE, BLACK 2 (CI 77266) (NANO).
With the current state of my skin—dry with a moisture barrier that’s easily compromised—I have a tendency to reach for the richer face creams in my collection. When I’m feeling heavy duty, I immediately go for my trusty tin of German Nivea Creme. But the rest of the time, Huxley Secret of Sahara Cream; Anti-Gravity (PHP 1,650 at Freyja) is doing the work.
Quick Specs: 50 ml / 1.69 fl oz ; made in Korea
Call me Colourpop crazy. I had a casual relationship with this brand when I first started using their Lippie Stix back in 2015. But when I discovered the magic of their eyeshadows last year, I was well and truly hooked. Eye makeup is their jam, so Colourpop BFF Mascara in Blue Ya Mind (USD 8 / PHP 420) sets the bar high for drugstore mascara.
Quick Specs: 7 g / 0.24 oz ; made in USA
Ingredients: Water, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Wax, Stearic Acid, Palmitic Acid, Cyclopentasiloxane, Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax, Butylene Glycol, VP/VA Copolymer, Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla) Wax, C32-36 Isoalkyl Stearate , Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Acacia Senegal Gum, Phenoxyethanol, Stearyl Behenate, Polyvinyl Alcohol, Triethanolamine, Octyldodecanol, Panthenol, Aminomethyl Propanol, Cetearyl Alcohol, Polyglyceryl-3 Stearate, Myristic Acid, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Chlorphenesin, Simethicone, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Nylon-6, Polysorbate 60, Methyl Alcohol, Methyl Acetate, Black 2 (CI 77266), Ultramarines (CI 77007).