All the drugstore gems we found at the Bhagi's Beauty Backstage event

Did you know that there are pro-quality, super affordable European makeup brands at SM Beauty? We’ve only recently started discovering them as they’ve slowly been popping up all over the local beauty scene. To allow give us the chance to try these products, Bhagi’s International treated us to the Beauty Backstage shopping party! Whitespace Makati was transformed into a mini beauty fair where beauty writers got to shop each of the eight beauty brands carried by Bhagi’s.

We’re no strangers to Essence Cosmetics here in Project Vanity. We’ve raved about their best-selling All about Matt Compact Fixing Powder (P299) and I Love Colour Intensifying Eyeshadow Base (P249), hoarded their lip liners and eyeliners, and even hosted an eyebrow workshop for the Little Eyebrow Monsters Line. I’m so excited to finally try the Pure Nude Highlighter (P379) for myself as it’s constantly sold out! I also picked up two palettes: All About Roses eyeshadow palette (P379), which features some pretty shimmers; and Vintage Rose (P499), a rose-toned palette that includes eyeshadows, a highlighter, and cream eyeliner.

Catrice Cosmetics is another favorite German brand of ours here at PV. It’s inspired by fashion trends around the world so they’re always adding new products to match the seasons! Brand manager Katrina Chu excitedly shared her favorites from the brand. The Matt 6hr Lip Artist (P499) is a crayon-type lipstick that promises six hours of no smudging, while their 7-pan eyeshadow palettes (P499) come in four different collections: Essential Nude, Modern Matt, Nude Blossom and Precious Copper.

They also have the Deluxe Glow Highlighter Palette (P499) which consists of three luminescent shades that give the skin a soft glow, while the Blush Artist Shading Palette (P499) comes in three different collections each consisting of two blushes (one matte and one shimmer) and a highlight.

I’m looking forward to trying the Re Touch Light Reflecting Concealer (P399), which looks very similar to YSL Touch Eclat. I made sure to get the Prime and Fine Mattifying Powder Waterproof (P499) for my crazy oily skin, and Pret-a-Volume Smokey Mascara Waterproof (P499) which is the most long-wearing mascara of the brand.

As you may have guessed, Deborah Milano hails from Italy. Its bestsellers include the Daily Dream DD Foundation (P799), which features anti-aging properties and is said to be best suited for dry skin. I have very oily skin though so I decided to go for the Comfort Matt Foundation (P749) instead. Liz raved about how The Absolute Lasting Liquid Lipstick (P649) survived through a buffet meal so I got two shades of this transfer-proof goodness!

Aside from makeup, Bhagi’s also brought in the Il Salone Milano hair colors from Italy. These home coloring kits are gentler on your hair because it has only 0.7% ammonia content, plus they’re free from parabens, paraffin and ethyl alcohol. The scent is quite neutral, too, so you don’t get a headache while undergoing the treatment. It comes with a pre-treatment to protect your hair before coloring, as well as a post-treatment to nourish your hair after. Currently there are six shades available locally. The most popular ones are 9.03 light golden blonde and 8.3 medium golden blonde. For just P369 per box, these are very affordable and safe hair coloring options!

I didn’t even know that we had Turkish beauty products available here until I learned about Flormar Cosmetics. Their star product is the Illuminating Primer Base (P699), which brightens and hydrates the face while prolonging the wear of makeup, making it a must-have for dry-skinned gals. For my fellow oily-since-birth girls, they recommend the Mat Touch foundation (P749) for a matte, medium coverage and Perfect Coverage Foundation (P799) for full coverage. Another bestseller are the Deluxe Cashmere Lipsticks (P399), which are infused with shea butter, cacao butter, and other antioxidants. Even the Eyebrow Pencil in 402 (P199), a dark brown shade with a brush, usually sells like hotcakes!

I decided to go for the powders because summer will be upon us pretty soon and I usually ditch my liquid bases completely. I got the Loose Powder (P399) to control oiliness while locking in moisture. I also grabbed a Compact Powder (P449) as well as a Wet & Dry Compact Powder (P499). Both were wonderfully creamy to the touch when I swatched them.

The only non-European brand in the lineup is Jordana, which is made in the USA. Jordana aims to offer every girl the chance to experience superior quality, fashion forward cosmetics at extremely affordable prices. Their star products are definitely their lip products! Their bestselling Sweet Cream Matte Liquid Lip Colors (P399) are frequently run out of stock because beauty girls love the transfer-proof formula. They have outlandish colors such as blue, gray and black but the most popular shades are Rose Macaron (a soft pink that we featured in our Naughty and Nice kit), Tiramisu (rosy brown), and Crème Bulee (nude pink).

Another bestseller is the Complete Cover 2-in-1 Concealer Foundation (P499), which offers as full a coverage as its name suggests. You can also use this as a spot concealer. I found 03 Golden Beige to be a good match for my NC20 skin. I’m also looking forward to trying the Prime No-Shine Mattifying Face Primer (P699) because my oily skin needs all the help it can get!

I love collecting perfumes so I was really excited to see that Bhagi’s also brought in some new fragrances! Those who are just looking for a mild splash of scent will enjoy the Romantic Collection perfumed body mists (P299). There are six available variants, all with fresh, floral scents. I personally adore floral scents, and chose Memories of You and Hush of Blush. Those looking for something sweeter will enjoy Good Mornings.

If you prefer a more personalized fragrance, however, then check out Joe of London Eau de Parfum, which are made with fragrance oils from France. These scents can be layered on top of each other to create your own unique fragrance! And it’s so affordable, too: it’s Buy 1-Take 1 for just P469! There are eight scents to choose from and each has its own unique character. You can take your pick among citrus, floral and woody scents, then layer them according to your liking or wear alone. Their bestseller, Sage, is a woody, earthy scent with a hint of sea salt.

Eileen de Guzman, General Manager of Bhagi’s International, personally recommends Orangy, which is scented with fresh orange blossoms. She says that she always gets compliments whenever she wears it! I decided to follow her recommendation and I do love how it smells on me. I also got Lily, a powdery floral which I feel could be unisex despite the name. My hubby likes it too, so I wouldn’t be surprised if he started using it!

Blogger Julia Arenas, Liz, vlogger Say Tioco, and Ms. Eileen de Guzman

Blogger Julia Arenas, Liz, vlogger Say Tioco, and Ms. Eileen de Guzman

So there you go! As someone who studied makeup professionally, I’m so glad that these pro-quality products are now so readily accessible at SM Beauty, and at such reasonable prices, too! Have you ever tried any of these brands? Which of these products have become faves in your kit?

Disclosure: Our mother company provided press relations services for this event.