Budget Beauty: New drops from SanSan Cosmetics, all at P170 and under

Is it just me or is digging for affordable makeup gems the official sport of the Project Vanity staff? We've featured quite a good bit of Budget Beauty stories here, and sharing drugstore finds is also a hot topic in the Project Vanity Facebook Community over on Facebook! So we decided to look into one of the brands that Pinay beauty bargain lovers often gush about: SanSan Cosmetics.

My last haul for a P1,000 look proved to be a trove of neat finds, so it’s only fitting to check out other products from this budget-friendly local brand. Here’s a review of six things I got to try this time around!

2-in-1 Foundation Stick SPF 15 (P170)

To be honest, I usually run the opposite direction when it comes to stick foundation. I have dry skin, and I am often met with dry patches when it comes to those mattifying solid formulas. But to my surprise, this foundation stick still has a creaminess to it, despite the dragging application. It did not emphasize my dry spots, and I was able to get buildable light to medium matte coverage to deal with mild discoloration (it did not completely cover blemishes).

While I still prefer to use my fingers for blending, the included brush on the opposite end actually makes it easy to buff the foundie into those awkward nooks and crannies. Longevity is at 4 hours before I see a shiny T-zone, some fading on my forehead, and complete fading on the tip of my nose.

2-in-1 Foundation Stick SPF 15

2-in-1 Foundation Stick SPF 15

Two caveats to look out for, though. One, there is a strong waxy, crayon-like smell to this piece of makeup, I kid you not. Two, this affordable stick foundation is only available in one shade, a light peach! Morena ladies should definitely get their hands on a tester before deciding to take a plunge. Also, the ‘2-in-1’ part probably pertains to the white filling in the middle of the stick that I suspect might be primer (based on the texture) but I found no indication on the packaging to say for sure.

Age Defense Under Eye Concealer

Age Defense Under Eye Concealer

Age Defense Under Eye Concealer (P152)

Another single-shade base product, the concealer is a creamy formula that offers sheer coverage and a matte finish. It is easy to spread with just the fingers and disappears on the skin quickly, leaving a mild brightening effect in its wake. Because of the light coverage level, the sheer beige shade can easily work for most skin tones and perhaps even function as a highlighting concealer for the medium-skinned. It also has a honeysuckle scent, similar to what I noticed from the Age Defense Serum Foundation.

When used sparingly and set with powder, it stays on for a good 6 hours without much creasing. I tried to use it on blemishes but it scarcely hides dark spots and pimple scars. As the name implies, it's best used for brightening the under eye area.

Shimmery Lipstick in  Crystal Coral

Shimmery Lipstick in Crystal Coral

Shimmery Lipstick in Crystal Coral (P111)

Most shimmery lippies are big on moisture and shine. This is no exception with its creamy application, but I did notice a gritty texture that seems to come from the chunky shimmer bits suspended in the formula. Comfortable, hydrated wear lasts for around two hours before my lips start to feel dry.

Crystal Coral, a milky pastel peach couple with silver shimmer, produces a frosted-looking lipstick finish that tends to make my NC-15 skin look a little washed out. TBH, I wish the shimmer could be more finely milled, so that they could do away with the slightly sandy feel. 

Glossy Lipstick in Berry Fizz (P101)

A bit of a head-turner, the Glossy Lipstick offers a burst of vibrant, pigmented color with a satin finish that comes to life in 1-2 swipes. It isn’t glossy in a wet-look lip gloss sense, but the finish does reflect a lot of light. The application glides with just a little bit of drag.

Glossy Lipstick in  Berry Fizz

Glossy Lipstick in Berry Fizz

Berry Fizz is a vampy, plummy berry that makes me think of a warmer version of MAC Rebel. It even has similar finish and intensity, as well! The hydration on my lips lasts about two hours, standard fare for glossy lipsticks.

High Definition Lipstick in  Nude Brown

High Definition Lipstick in Nude Brown

High Definition Lipstick in Nude Brown (P162)

Do I expect drama from makeup labeled ‘HD’? Yes, I do! This particular one features a somewhat waxy texture and somewhat globby application. It takes me 2 to 3 passes to get the color to spread out evenly and still can't achieve full opacity. The result is a satiny lip that reflects just a little bit of light.

The shade Nude Brown is actually a medium reddish pink with just the right amount of drama to take it from office to date night. The color is vibrant but not distractingly so. Note that there is a strawberry milk candy scent to this one that might turn some people off. 

Matte Lip Crayon in Fiery Red (P170)

Not gonna lie, this lip crayon made me go, “Whoa, there!” from the first time I tried it. This lippie is a super pigmented true matte that’s easy to use for lining and filling the lips with color. I did notice that the formula is the dry kind of matte as opposed to the creamy kind, but it feels like a small price to pay for the way it looks like a premium lipstick when worn.

Matte Lip Crayon in  Fiery Red

Matte Lip Crayon in Fiery Red

While the formula is not transfer-proof, the color does not tend to move around and stays the same intensity for about 4 hours. After eating, retouching is a must. Fiery Red is a vibrant orange-based bright red that looks modern and Taylor Swift-inspired.

Eyebrow Mascara in  Dark Brown

Eyebrow Mascara in Dark Brown

Eyebrow Mascara in Dark Brown (P138)

Instead of just using the browcara to groom stray brow hairs and color the strands evenly, I unintentionally found that the formula works in filling in the brows as well! The short bristles on the wand caused the accidental filling in, but it worked to my advantage by offering a one-step solution.

Do note that the formula does tend to dry stiff when too much is used, so apply sparingly. Dark brown is an ashy mocha that works best with brown hair. Longevity for me is all-day, and the formula is not easy to rub off without the help of makeup remover.

From left: 2-in1 Foundation, Under Eye Concealer, Shimmery Lipstick, HD Lipstick, Matte Lip Crayon, Glossy Lipstick

From left: 2-in1 Foundation, Under Eye Concealer, Shimmery Lipstick, HD Lipstick, Matte Lip Crayon, Glossy Lipstick

Verdict: It seems as though San San is sticking to safe bets with their lack of shade variety for base makeup offerings. I do have to say that I was impressed by the quality and compatibility of both the foundation (non-drying) and concealer (minimal creasing), especially considering that I don’t usually use stick foundation or liquid concealer because they don’t work well on me. As for the lippies, matte fanatics are sure to love how striking and luxurious the Matte Lip Crayon looks, especially the statement-making Fiery Red.


Have you ever tried SanSan Cosmetics before? Which of their products impressed you, and why?