Our standards are high because of these 10 life-changing beauty products

Work at Project Vanity means trying out a lot of different products. Sure, it can be a lot of fun and it’s always exciting to try something new, but it’s not without consequences. Sometimes the products don’t work for us and result in an angry pimple, and sometimes they’re just meh and don’t make a difference to our routine or improve our skin condition. But there are also times when we get major eureka moments and our lives are forever changed (for the better!) by a product that performed above and beyond our expectations. It's that moment when we go, "OH! So that's how it's supposed to work!"

The awesome thing about these beauty game-changers is that they can be found both in drugstores as well as high-end stores, so you’re sure to find a great product suited to your budget. We list the top 10 products that pretty much set the bar for performance. Even though we’re always experimenting with other brands and products, we just keep coming back to these ones!

Kojie-San Skin Lightening Soap (P72.50 for a pack of 3 at groceries and drugstores)

Even if you’re not keen on trying for a fairer skin tone, this soap bar blew our minds when it evened out our complexion and lightened dark spots, including scruffy knees and elbows! It’s made of kojic acid, which prevents melanin pigment production. The acid component also acts as a skin exfoliant and decreases inflammation. Plus, the price is so affordable that you can easily hoard this to keep a stockpile in your bathroom! Full review here

AprilSkin Magic Soap (P990 at AboutFace PH)

It may be hard to understand why we get so excited over (yet another) bar of soap but all the rave reviews online are completely legit. This Korean cult favorite can remove makeup, blackheads, and even millia! It does the most amazing job of making skin completely clean and clear, but you can definitely feel its potency as it can make your eyes sting if applied too near the area. Full review here

Cure Aquagel (P1500 at Beauty Bar)

For a gentler exfoliating experience, there is none better than this Japanese skincare must-have. We’ll never get tired of recommending this gommage exfoliator because it works so well and gives brighter, healthier-looking skin in just one use. This stuff is so good that a bottle gets sold every 12 seconds! Full review here

Batiste Dry Shampoo (P750 at Calyxta, much cheaper in Bonjour or Boots - around P300-ish - if you travel)

Dry shampoo was something we could live without until we finally tried this formula. It gives soft, fresh, and clean-feeling hair without needing to shower. Unlike other dry shampoos, this doesn’t leave a white residue on dark hair. It’s just soft, fresh, bouncy, and amazingly grease-free tresses even if it’s second-day hair! Great for prolonging that blow dry, or simply avoiding over-washing your mane.

Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler (P1,400 at Shu Uemura)

If you have stubborn, droopy lashes that make mascara impossible or useless, this tool will tame them to a perfect curl! It works so well that the curl even lasts (for as much as four hours!) without the use of mascara. The shape fits well around the eye, too, so you don’t have to worry about accidentally pinching yourself or pulling out lashes. The price may be steep but investing in an excellent eyelash curler is actually worth it in the long run. Full review here

K-Palette Lasting 2-Way Eyebrow Liquid (P895 at Beauty Bar)

Achieve your #kilaygoals with the help of another long-time PV favorite! It’s the best product to use for creating natural-looking arches, and the dual tips of pen and powder are just so handy for giving your brows a lush appearance without needing several other products. The formula is also long-lasting, so no worries about losing your brows from water, sweat, or sebum. Full review here

Pantene 3-Minute Miracle Conditioner (P59 at groceries and drugstores)

We initially found it difficult to believe the TV ad but one wash later, we became instant converts! Most of the PV staff swear by this conditioner. It conditions the hair without weighing it down or making it feel greasy, plus it’s so easy to wash off. You can also choose from three variants to suit your hair’s particular concerns: Total Damage Care, Hair Fall Control, and Color and Perm. Full review here

Leaders Insolution Sheet Masks (P78+ at Leaders)

Where else can you get drastically better skin in just 20 minutes and under P80? They have so many different mask varieties to suit just about every skin condition, and we PV girls just love hoarding these whenever we can. Depending on what you get, the mask can moisturize your skin, brighten your complexion, or even treat acne! Full review here

MAC Pro Longwear Concealer (P1,250 at MAC)

Don’t have perfect skin? No problem! This little tube will hide all your secrets, and last practically forever since a small amount goes a long way. It provides complete coverage without caking or creasing, and stays on until you take it off. Full review here

Shiseido Ibuki Multi Solution Gel (P1,998 at Shiseido)

Whether your skin looks dull, is having a breakout, or just needs an extra oomph, this can give you a fix in just two hours! It also minimizes the appearance of dryness and visible pores. It’s definitely worth a lot of money for just a single product but considering that it’s a multi-purpose treatment to be used only once or twice a week (half a pea size per use), it actually lasts quite a while. Full review here

Have you tried any of these amazing finds? Which ones would you like to try? What’s on your personal list of beauty life-changers?

Photography by Samantha Gonzales