Hello from the Project Vanity team! Thanks for dropping by.

Reader Question: Makeup for college students on a budget

Hi, Ma'am. I'm a fan of your blog and have been reading it since before. I would just like to ask some advice on make-up. What brands can you recommend, taking consideration of the budget since I'm a senior in college (still depending on allowance. Huhu.) on these following products:

1. BB Cream - matte finish
2. Lipstick - nude pink or the natural pink // super hydrating, please because I've tried a lot of lippies and after a while, my lips are cracked already
3. Concealer - to cover my eye bagsss (from lots of sleepless nights studying)
4. Blush and Bronzer in one - I find it cute to have a gold shimmer along the blush 
5. Pressed powder - mineral 
- Tricia Chua

Hi Tricia! Thanks for sending this message! It takes me back to when I was in college myself, and struggling to buy nice makeup on my allowance. I remember eating P20 palabok (a noodle dish) for lunch, which worked out very well as I am a HUGE fan of it. I can eat it everyday! :P

Anyway, I've answered your questions a few times in the past, but I'm answering it here again based on your exact preferences. I highly recommend these products! They are not mega cheap but that's because they are totally worth what you'll pay for them. None is over P800.

Here goes! 


Etude House BB Cream Cotton Fit (P795). This is a matte finish BB cream with mid to full coverage and SPF30. It's a great everyday base since it has sun protection, plus it does a great job of brightening skin! This is the most expensive thing you'll need to get, but there's a lot of product in the tube and the quality is at par with high end bases. It's a pretty good deal for the price, IMHO.

Revlon PhotoReady Concealer (P675). This is a creamy concealer with great coverage, perfect for both eye bags and blemishes. It's my fave drugstore concealer! I also love the Artdeco Camouflage Cream Concealer (around P500) but that's more appropriate for blemishes only, due to the hard texture.


Lipstick. If you're looking for hydrating everyday colors, you'll love the Shut Up & Kiss Me Lippie in The Morning After (P549). It has shea butter so your lips won't dry out! The shade is gorgeous, super pigmented, and long-wearing. It's certainly one of those shades you'll finish up. 

If you have extra dry lips though, you might wanna try out the Etude House Don't Worry I'm On Your Side lip balm (~P300). It's not a lipstick per se, but it's a very pigmented tinted lip balm that when layered gives your lips the effect of lipstick without the dryness. It has a thin texture, just like lip balm! 


Ellana Pressed Mineral Foundation (P650). When I was in college, Ellana was one of the brands I constantly purchased from. They are so affordable, but the quality is great! The Ellana loose foundation was one of the staples in my college kit. So happy they decided to released a pressed version.

This is a foundation with mid to heavy coverage and a poreless, uber smooth finish, great for setting BB cream (use only a sheer layer) or as a legit foundation on top of your concealer. It has 9 grams in the pan so it'll take a while to finish up.


Ellana Blush Duo in Kitten/ Peach Peach Passion (P450). This is one of my current favorite blushes. It makes my skin glow due to the fine gold shimmer in the formula! Use it as a light bronzer, or mix it with Kitten to create a stunning flush. It's fairly long-wearing (around 5 hour) and looks better the longer it's on. Love it!


Kitten and Peach Passion

So those are my recos, Tricia. I do wish I can recommend even more affordable stuff, but in my experience scrimping on makeup will just cause you to buy more, thereby wasting the money you already put out. It's better to get something a bit more expensive but works perfectly for the price. These are things you'll love and finish until the last swipe. That, I believe, makes them a smarter purchase even on a limited budget.

Guys, recommend products for Tricia as well! ;) I'm sure she'll love to hear your student-friendly faves!

The light inside

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