The Shopping Challenge: My P1,000 face from Shopee
I was assigned this story a few weeks back but it became a “can I do this at the very last minute?” kind of article. Shopee, to me, was no man’s land. I’ve always felt like anyone could sell through it – including people with less than kind intentions.
My only instruction was to get a full face…. “of fakes???”, I incredulously asked our editor, Den. How is doing an entire face with P1,000 even possible, when I’m known as the girl who went to makeup academy and whose beauty routine has inflated tenfold since? But we’ve already done a P500 convenience store face and even a P1000 BeautyMNL face, whose brand selection isn’t always budget, so I definitely didn’t get the short straw here.
I was wading through the obvious fakes (don't fall for the P50 Kylie Lip Kits!) in the battlefield that is the Health & Beauty section for a solid 30 minutes before I realized there was an Official Stores filter. This drastically cut down my skepticism and let me shop in peace! Three brands came out on top: Detail Makeover, Bioaqua, and Makeup World.
Detail Makeover is apparently a very popular brand that's available in select department stores. From this shop, I purchased the Jumbo Eyeshadow Stick in JES-11 Rose Gold (P74), Matte Eyeshadow Palette in 01 Day (P132), Makebrow Mascara in Blonde (P99). I spent a total of P305 and qualified for free shipping (with a minimum spend of P250).
The palette seemed like a great deal and the color selection was nice, even though I wasn’t satisfied with the swatches. Budget shadows typically aren’t very pigmented but the same price only gets me singles in other stores and I was determined to stretch my budget far as I could. I feel that using five shadows on this look helped me look a little more ‘expensive,’ don’t you think?
I got the eyeshadow stick to serve as a creamy base and hopefully amplify the pigment – which worked great! The shadows alone made me sad but applying the crayon underneath made it much more alive and a bit easier to blend. The brow mascara was a curiosity-buy as I'd spotted a few raves for this on Facebook. I love how it’s very easy to keep on just my brow hairs but did take a little more time to fully cover the strands.
Makeup World is a locally-owned brand with cosmetics produced in Taiwan. I hadn’t heard much of it , to be sure, but their products looked interesting. I got an extra long Eyeliner Pencil in Dark Brown (P99) and Matte Lipstick in Havana (P159.) The total of P258 once again qualified my order for free shipping.
Makeup World was the priciest of the three shops I purchased from, and it also looked the most legit. I allowed myself to splurge a little on my two picks - I never thought I'd consider P258 a splurge though!
The eyeliner was really long, and seemed really dark and creamy in my initial swatch. However, it was a little more muted on the eyes, and I’m not sure if it was a quality issue or my eye crayon messing it up. The lipstick was really nice and pigmented but I preferred to wear it as a gradient lip for my look. A nice wine color like Havana is a great choice for wearing full, or as a gradient.
Bioaqua Philippines is a locally-distributed Chinese brand offering wholesale prices. It seemed suspect at first but after reading some forums, I found that it is a real brand that mimics the packaging of many hit products like Nature Republic Aloe Gel, Peripera Cushion Tint Pang, and Heroine Make Mascara, to name a few. I don’t condone this business practice, but at least these are not outright fakes. Bioaqua stamps their brand name on everything plus they have okay reviews online.
From this store I got the Snow BB Cream Air Cushion in 2 Ivory (P229), Dimensional Eyebrows in B03 Dark Brown (P88), and Lengthening Eyelashes Mascara (P98). I spent P415 on this store but missed the P250 minimum purchase promo so there was an additional fee for LBC Integrated shipping. I also received a free HengFang Balm Lipstick in 121, which I used as blush.
Bioaqua had the cheapest base products I could find! I was first eyeing the Air Cushion 1+1 CC Cream (P288) but decided to switch to the slightly cheaper Snow BB Cream Air Cushion to keep my total to P1,010 instead. Had I seen it earlier, I would have gotten the plain refill (P129) and successfully achieved the challenge for even less!
The BB Cream was the most disappointing of all my purchases, as it was so pale, offered minimal coverage, and emphasized texture on my nose. The hard, sword cut brow pencil and mascara were a steal though! The brow pencil gave just enough color and didn’t clump unevenly on my skin as softer brow pencils tend to do. I received the Lengthening mascara variant instead of the Curling I ordered but wasn’t too miffed about it. The mascara isn’t HG levels but it’s surprisingly nice at volumizing and curling, especially considering the price range! I also noted how nicely it separated my lashes, as cheap mascara (even some expensive ones) tend to reduce the number of my lash hairs to 5.
Somebody pinch me: I managed to buy 8 items for just P978! I did have to pay an additional P32 for LBC shipping (discounted because I spent more than P250 at Bioaqua) but depending on the store, there may be cheaper shipping options available. I'm pretty impressed with how many products I was able to get given my limited budget, and I discovered a few new interesting brands in the process.
I was also surprised that my 1K face turned out nicely, and am more or less satisfied with everything except for how the BB cream emphasized texture on my nose. Take note though: Everything was pretty difficult to blend and/or did not show up as much as I want them to! Budget makeup may be inexpensive, but there is a commensurate trade-off in (1) the skill required to work with them, and (2) poor user experience. That said, it’s not always bad and it does feel great to dig through finds!
Tita Tellie’s Tips to Shopee shopping
Protect yourself from fakes – While we have a few trusted online sellers, nothing beats the security of going with legitimate brands. Preferred sellers are one level of protection, but I’d go all the way and stick with official shops whenever possible.
Read reviews – Some Shopee reviews have photos. Many of the items I got had 4.5 stars and above, but I saw a much lower quality swatch on photo. People review generously while online shopping so visual evidence is always a plus.
Extend usability by buying multi-purpose products - Some examples: A pencil eyeliner can be worn solid or smudged. Lipsticks and lip tints can be worn full or in gradient, and as cheek color. An eye crayon can be used as eye shadow or eye primer. Eyeshadow can be used as color corrector (I specifically chose the Day Mattes palette from Detail Makeover, as it had orangey and nude shadows).
Matte eyeshadows are risky – It is difficult to deliver on a good matte formula, so always consider a primer/base, or just stick to shimmers.
Red or wine lipstick is a no-brainer – I hate buying pinks and nudes online because budget formulations tend to incorporate a lot of blue in their mix, which makes them look extremely dated or cheap.
Say no to shipping – Shipping fees are against my principles and beliefs. It may be easy to shop-hop on Shopee, but delivery isn’t integrated and fees are calculated per store. Most Shopee shops offer free shipping with a minimum spend so it may be best to purchase from a single store and accumulate orders before doing checkout.
Do you buy makeup from Shopee? What would you get if you just had P1,000 for a whole face? Got any tips on how to get the best deals or scoring free shipping? Share in the comments below!