Staff Picks: What is your makeup budget?

All of us at Project Vanity love skin care and makeup with a fierce passion. It’s a requirement! I personally love the fact that the team is so diverse—of different ages, professions, and preferences. So I wasn’t surprised at all that we all came up with different answers to the question, “What is your makeup budget?”

As much as we’d love to run out and buy every new beauty product that tickles our fancy, the reality is that we PV girls have bills to pay and mouths to feed. We try our best to be smart beauty buyers, and carefully consider whether we should go for splurge or save options since drugstore picks can look as great as the pricier brands. At the end of the day though, our different skin conditions and beauty goals mean that we’re more willing to spend on some products than others. Here are our picks!

Crystal: I suffer from extremely oily skin that NOTHING really sticks to, so I’m willing to pay more for truly long-wearing products.

  • Foundation: P2,500
  • Powder: P2,500
  • Blush, Highlighter, Eyeshadow: P4,500. I prefer to purchase palettes rather than buying singles
  • Eyeliner: P1,200
  • Brow products: P1,000 except for brow mascaras, which I’ll only pay up to P400 for
  • Mascara: P1,500
  • Lipstick: P1,000

Gett: I try (operative term, lol) to only buy items when I need them already rather than stocking up on extras. I do like trying out budget makeup a lot in my quest to find those hidden gems, but I willingly splurge on face bases and lipstick!

  • Foundation, Concealer, Eyebrow products: P1,000. As much as I love my Etude House pencil and my budget brow mascaras, K-Palette is love.
  • Powders, highlight, blush: Below P500
  • Eyeshadow: P3,000. I prefer palettes over singles, and I only ever use one, which is UD Naked.
  • Eyeliner, Mascara: P800. Japanese brands like K-Palette, Love Liner Liquid, and Heroine Make work best on my oily lids.
  • Lipstick: P1,000

Marielle: I have a high-low mix going, depending on which products I feel are better when they're at a premium.

  • Foundation: P3,000. I was able to do the full foundation trial experience (checking in different lighting and even taking home a small sample container to use for several days) with a luxe brand and found my perfect shade there, so it's likely I'll splurging again on Bobbi Brown foundies in the future. It looks like second skin on me, so it's something I am willing to save up for.
  • Face Powder: P200. I've been using drugstore face powders and powder foundations to set my makeup (or correct too dark or light base makeup), and they work like a charm. I even get the refills, because they're cheaper and more compact.
  • Blush: P1,500. I hardly ever rotate, so I'm always using the same one.
  • Eyeshadow: P1,000. My current faves are priced at P400, P700, and P1,200.
  • Mascara: P500. I've been using a lot of drugstore brands that rock. Nice level of definition and some even hold a curl without the use of a lash curler!
  • Lipstick: P1,000. Lipstick is my true indulgence. I don't mind spending a little more for something that feels amazing or has a distinct color.

Stacie: I don't splurge on makeup as I find drugstore or roadshop brands work well on my skin so most of these will not even go past P1,000 mark!

  • Foundation: P1,000. Although the most I have actually spent so far was around P700, I am willing to spend a little more.
  • Primer, Base: P700. I take bases really seriously but so far this is up until what I am willing to spend for what goes underneath my foundation.
  • Concealer: P500. Truth be told, I don't wear concealer often; I only apply on my dark circles so I don't run out easily!
  • Blush: P500. I swear by drugstore blushes, especially ones from Etude House or Tony Moly, because they work so well on my skin tone!
  • Eyebrow: P200. I only wear pencils for my brows or sometimes double-purpose eyeshadows for the job!
  • Eyeliner, Mascara: P500. They'll be thrown out after three months anyway.
  • Eyeshadow: P300/pan. I prefer getting singles over palettes!
  • Lip: P700. I can find crazy lots of amazing lippies under this mark so far, so no need to spend more for me.

Charlie: I don't really go over P1,000 with makeup. I'm lucky enough to find really good products that work for me and within that price bracket. As long as they perform well and don't give me any skin rashes, I'm happy.

  • Foundation, Concealer: P500. I like using concealers more than foundations, and my go-to products are usually from the drugstore. I love Fashion 21 Perfect Stick because it has amazing coverage and the Pro Studio palette for the many options of shades.
  • Blush, Cheek tints: P300. I don't usually spend over P300 for a blush since I'm really after how it wears. And I like tints better as they last longer, such as The Face Shop My Lips Eat Cherry Aqua Tint.
  • Eyeshadow: P500/palette. I like small eyeshadow palettes because they're easier to pack into my kit so I mostly have quads. Ever Bilena and W7 have really good ones.
  • Eyebrows: P400. I love the angled eyebrow pencils from Etude House, Face Shop, and Daiso because their brown color is spot-on. I spent a bit more on The Face Shop's Ink Graffi though because it lasts all day.
  • Lipsticks, Lip tints: P500. I like tints more than lipsticks, and they’re usually cheaper, too. I love Sleek's Matte Me minis though as they last long on the lips and the small size is handy.

Kim: I rarely pay for makeup at full price! I wait for sales, use coupon codes, take advantage of cashback deals, buy value sets, or search for cheaper options through Facebook, Instagram, or Shopee (I only ever buy brand new and 100% authentic products to be safe).

  • Foundation: P300 to P1,500. Foundation is one makeup product that drugstore brands do exceptionally well.
  • Powder: P700. I've never tried any powder outside of drugstore picks except for Laura Mercier!
  • Blush: P500/pan, P2,800/palette. I'm able to go for midrange blushes at a lower price point by going for blush palettes!
  • Eyebrow makeup: P200. Bless the Koreans for affordable yet A+ eyebrow products!
  • Mascara, Liner: P800. While the brows are the Koreans' specialty, I turn to the Japanese for mascara and liner.
  • Eyeshadow: P2,000. I love matte eye looks the most, and great matte shadows are unfortunately hard to find at the drugstore.
  • Lipstick: P2,000. Estee Lauder has made a convert out of me!

Katsy: I don't really set a budget for makeup because I have the tendency to impulse buy. But here's what I would normally spend per item:

  • Foundation: P1,000. Anything higher would require intense discussion because I rarely use foundation.
  • Tinted moisturizer, sheer base: P2,000. I think this is around the price of the Laura Mercier one that I keep going back to.
  • Concealer: P1,500. Because concealer is life.
  • Powder: P2,000 but I only spend this much when repurchasing the Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powde,r which I haven't found a dupe for yet.
  • Brows: P88 to P1,000. I can go from Daiso to Happy Skin for the sake of finding that perfect liner, no matter the cost.
  • Blush, Eyeshadow, Contour, Highlight: I don't really set a budget for these and haven't bought any in ages.
  • Lipstick: P2,500 so far on a single purchase. I don't want to see that go up to P3,500, which is what a Cle de Peau one costs.

Claire: I used to turn my nose up on pricier makeup - I was pretty sure drugstore brands performed just as well. But as I learned more about makeup and the brands behind them, I found myself stepping out of my self-imposed boundaries.

  • Foundation, Concealer: P2,500. I find that having a really good base is priceless. For me, it means a long-wearing liquid foundation that won't make me oil up and emphasize my dry patches (I have combination skin). I prefer water-based formulas and cushion compacts.
  • Powder: P800. I’m currently loving the L'Oreal Infallible Pro-Matte.
  • Blush: below P500. I've been loving the Essence Shape Your Face palette lately. It's got blendable blush, contour, and matte highlight!
  • Eyeshadow: P1,000/palette. I also use them as eyeliner with a dampened brush.
  • Eyebrow: below P500. I'm pretty happy with cheap eyebrow pens, even the ones from Daiso. My one exception is K-Palette's eyebrow marker--so good!
  • Mascara: below P500. I favor the ones from Covergirl, Maybelline and L'Oreal.
  • Lipsticks: P800. My faves are from Maybelline, Burt's Bees, FS, Happy Skin and Sleek.


How do our budgets compare to yours? Do you have a set limit when you shop for makeup? Which products do you splurge or scrimp on?