Five unexpected stores that sell great beauty finds
They say curiosity killed the cat. In my case, though, curiosity led me to pots of beauty gold. I’m a “drugstore” girl through and through, so my beauty runs are always directed at the aisles of well-known and loved affordable brands. Lately, though, I’ve stepped away from my usual locations and have tried going Korean. My runs have been satisfactory, as one would expect. But I found that there are wonders to be discovered in places where you don't really expect to get your beauty shopping done.
Bench is still a go-to for many Filipinos for sartorial needs, but the brand has been branching out widely into beauty. They have carried cosmetics before: I was a teen when they first released their Pretty When Pinched Lip and Cheek Tint (P180), which was a more affordable version of the coveted The Body Shop tints.
They've since added so many new products to their roster that you can create an entire look using items from the brand. Their Paint Box BB Two-Way Cake (P250) has a lot of rave reviews online, but their Cream Blush (available in Strawberry and Cherry Blossom for P169 each), Golden Kiss Bronzer (P139) and Frosted Pearl Highlighter (P139) caught my attention. They glide on easily and are well-pigmented! You can check out their complete makeup line in their online store.
While fashion brand ForMe has yet to release a complete beauty line, their current selection of fragrances, nail polish and lip products are too cute to ignore! The packaging is fun and girly, and they are incredibly inexpensive. If you’re looking for a fresh new scent, try out one of their colognes or eau de toilettes (P148 to P398). I love the smell of green tea, so I gravitated toward Happiness In A Bottle Green, Green Tea All Over Mist. You can also keeps your lips soft and smooth with a super duo like their Lips Like Sugar lip scrub (P98) and ForMe lip balms (P98).
So, yes, H&M has a beauty line but they haven't arrived in the PH yet (sniff). In the meantime, you can already shop for some nice beauty tools! They have individual brushes (P149-599), a travel brush kit (P999), egg-shaped sponges, powder puffs (P99-149), and makeup bags (P349-599). They also have press-on nails for when you’re feeling adventurous but don’t want to commit. I'm all over how pretty these brushes are though, and got even more excited to try them when I found out that they're rated 4.2 on Makeup Alley!
You may already know this, but it’s still worth mentioning. Daiso is the bomb! It’s not just the mecca of cute, cheap stuff, it’s also a haven for beauty lovers. Here's a secret: the PV team hoards their brow pencils! They have different kinds available (and we unfortunately don't know what the brand names are) but Katsy uses the sword-cut one to achieve smokey brows, while Liz discovered the retractable fine tip one from her haul. So the next time you need a cheap dose of Japanese beauty, swing by their beauty section.
I usually go to 7-11 for quick snacks but it never occurred to me to check out their beauty section until recently. They have Ever Bilena products, which makes it easier for me to stock up on their eyebrow pencil. They also carry iWhite, a Korean brand that so many PV readers keep talking about in the comments! I've yet to try something from them and was amazed to see that their products ranged from sunblock to sheet masks. If you've been curious to try the iWhite BB.Holic BB cream that Liz raved about but can’t find it at Watsons, snag it while you’re on a coffee or siopao run.
See, it actually pays to be nosy, especially when it’s about beauty. Have you visited a store and gotten surprised that they have beauty stuff there, too? Share your discoveries in the comments!