The Reluctant Stylista is a fashion and lifestyle blog written by Alex Lapa--the tomboy who suddenly discovered the joys and perks of dressing up. Original illustrations by Paolo Lazatin.
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Don’t get me started on the fact that we don’t have Sephora here. Now, I am not exactly a makeupholic, so my top 5 list may not be the common beauty blogger picks. But if you’re like me and you enjoy quality mineral make-up, organic products and eyebrow essentials, then you might be bothered for a look.
Top 1: Jane Iredale
Jane Iredale actually had quite a short stint here in the Philippines, and I believe I still saw them a few months ago in Rustan’s. But I was told this was merely to sell off their remaining stocks and boy, the prices are so jacked up. I love their mineral powder in Golden Glow and Warm Sienna, which I combined with The Face Shop’s Phytogenic Make-up Base. People would interrupt me mid-conversation to tell me I had very nice skin (someone said it even looked poreless! And another asked me how old I was), and I don’t remember that happening as often as it did when I was using these.
Please, I hope Jane Iredale sets up its own shop here in the Philippines!
Note: The mineral powder is very light, and hardly considered to be make-up, so don’t expect coverage. But I believe Jane Iredale does very well with sensitive skin, and has none of the common acne-inducing ingredients.
Top 2: Innisfree
Innisfree is a Korean brand known for touting organic products and everything in their line is naturalism-oriented. I was first introduced to this by my friend Jenny Ngai, who runs Beauty Instincts and Eyelash Diva. I loved the water-based make-up remover, the green tea mineral mist and the eco natural green tea BB cream. I especially love the latter (thanks Kira for giving me your tube!), even though it only comes in two shades. It’s very kind on skin, too–two of my friends with very sensitive skin use the BB cream and they don’t break out. At first application, I thought I didn’t match either shade, but it settled into my skin after a while. Oil control is not perfect (and I’ve never really found ‘perfect’, so I still rely on oil control film and mattifiers), but it’s way better on this aspect than all liquid foundations I’ve tried. I love that all their products smell really clean, too.
Top 3: Some Neutrogena products
Yes, I know we have Neutrogena here in the Philippines, but sadly, plenty of my favorites aren’t sold here (or at least in some cases, not anymore). I have to get my stock of the Ultra Sheer Body Mist Sunblock and T-Gel outside of the country, and I only chanced on their clarifying shampoo once in S&R.
Top 4: Urban Decay
A lot of online stores here sell Urban Decay, actually, but I’d really want to be able to swatch their palettes or just stroll casually into their boutique if I see it as I go about my weekend merriment. Wanted: Naked palettes and primer potion.
Top 5: Origins
This used to be available in Rustan’s, but I don’t know about that anymore. Even then, they didn’t have the complete line. I discovered this brand when I was still in college (via my sister) and of course I could not afford it. But now that I can, I can’t seem to find it. I’m deathly curious to try their moisturizers because two middle-aged women I know with fantastic skin swear by it.
Special mention: Bath and Body works
A lot of balikbayans hoard this as pasalubong for relatives when they come home. I wish we had it here, as I love bath and body products that smell like sweet pastries and cream. I especially loved their Warm Vanilla bath gel.
Make Up Forever used to be in this list until they reopened in Manila late last year. I used to have my cousin in Singapore buy their totally amazing Aqua Brow for me. It’s waterproof, long-lasting, won’t rub off so easily and a small tube will last you years.
Discontinued products that I miss:
Jergens Soft Shimmer
I LOVED this. Being eternally plagued with leg scars, I used this to deflect and reflect light, which helped in improving the appearance of dark spots. Jergens says they produced something similar, but I’ve yet to see that in local shelves.
Human Nature’s Royal Jelly and Aloe Vera Night Moisturizer
This was the best moisturizer I’ve ever had, and it was SO cheap and organic to boot! Unfortunately, a lot of other people were reacting to the royal jelly. I hate it when that happens to a product, especially when it has good ingredients. Natural bee products, when you’re not fatally allergic to them, are actually quite healthy for us.
Now it’s your turn. I want to hear what other people are clamoring for to be brought here to the PH, officially! I’ve heard of Rimmel, RMK etcetera, but what I really want to know are specific products. What is so absolutely amazing that you want it here? What do you pester your friends who are going out of the country to buy for you? Because if I get curious enough, it’ll make my list the next time I (or a very nice, accommodating friend) go abroad.Related posts: