Budget Beauty: Under P400 self-care picks at Watsons

Who's not guilty of indulging in a little retail therapy when they need some cheering up? I used to love stopping by the Watsons store that was on my route home from work, and picking up some random cheap item: a brow pencil, a lip balm, maybe a bottle of nail polish. Nothing wrong with that but the thrill was often short-lived. I'm a bit wiser about my spending habits these days, so while I still love browsing at Watsons, I've learned to shop for items that actually support my goals for self-care!

As an entrepreneur, it's easy for me to get swept up in the demands of running a business. I'm guilty of not eating on time, not getting enough exercise, not getting enough sleep, and even neglecting to do my skincare routine! But the truth is, being busy isn't an excuse for slacking off on what my body needs, and I don't even need to spend so much on stuff that help me to look good and feel great. So I visited my neighborhood Watsons, and found five affordable products promote a healthier me.

Sheet masks

It’s quite embarrassing to admit but yes, I have too many days of feeling too tired to apply any kind of skincare before crashing into bed. Like me, many people consider their skincare routines as a form of self-care but there are days when I just can’t! If you don’t have the energy for a 10-step skincare routine or just need an extra layer of love, sheet masks are the way to go. This was personally my gateway drug to K-Beauty, and while I sometimes go for a whole month without touching a mask, I’m always thrilled to (re)discover how good my skin feels when I do!

I used to think of sheet masking as a pretty expensive habit, but a lot has changed since. There are so many options now, like this new Watsons Radiant & Moisturizing Facial Mask (P59) that I just spotted the other day. There are four variants available, and you can get 3 for P100! The Collagen lotion mask is just a bit more expensive at P69, but it’s still sulit for me as the leftover essence was enough for another 5 applications. My current fave are the Mediheal sheet masks that recently became available at Watsons - it has one of the best fits on my face, and the essences have worked really well for my skin. The NMF Aquaring Ampoule Mask Ex (P149) is the brand’s best-seller but I also really like the Tea Tree variant (P99) for when my skin feels especially bad.

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Hair treatments

ICYMI I recently bleached and dyed my hair for the very first time ever! Sam gave me the purple-tipped hair I had always wanted to try but, as with any coloring job, my ends were completely fried afterwards. After reassuring me that yes, it was normal for my hair to feel like straw, she told me to get a tub of Tresemme Keratin Smooth (P230). I’ve been applying it religiously at least twice a week, with the recommended 5-minute period giving me the chance to have some much needed downtime. Thankfully, my hair has stopped feeling crunchy and I’m much less prone to tangles. I don’t know if I’ll color my hair again (maintenance is difficult) but I definitely will want to continue using regular hair masks.

Claire swears by the Hairfix Hair Treatment so I decided to try the Deep Repair with argan oil and aloe vera (P69). It comes out more expensive for something that’s only good for two uses but if you want to just try hair masking first and don’t want to commit to a big tub, it makes more sense to get this one. For gals who need regular deep conditioning, Watsons also has a regular buy one-take one promo. It’s just P239 for two big 650g tubs!

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Hygiene essentials

Not quite as exciting as a beauty product but it’s a practical purchase that you surely won’t regret. It’s a “safe choice” for an impulse purchase compared to a dud cosmetic, and it doesn’t add to my out-of-control makeup and skincare collection. I like stocking up on pocket tissues (P89 for a pack of 8) and wet wipes (P99 for a pack of 3) because since I always make sure to have them in my purse. And yes, I think this still ties in with the goals of self-care - having these hygiene products always on hand means you don’t have to worry about suddenly needing to use a public bathroom!

I’m a bit of a germaphobe so buying things like the Watsons buy 1-take 1 hand soaps and hand sanitizers in cute designs are enough to make me happy. They’re small items that actually go a long way in protecting me from getting sick. And speaking of physical health, it’s a good idea to get extra help from the next item on my list.

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Vitamins and supplements

Have you ever been so stressed that your hair actually started to fall out? That happened to me some years ago, and as you can imagine, it only added to my unhappiness. I went to see my doctor who replaced my birth control pills and recommended me to take vitamin E. The combination worked to reduce my hair fall and encourage the growth of new hair, much to my relief! Vitamin E is one of the more popular beauty vitamins because it helps repair cellular damage.This pack of 7 capsules goes for just P57, which is a pretty affordable way to take care of yourself from the inside. You may not need it on a daily basis but when you’re undergoing a lot of stress (and probably not eating right), supplements can help you keep your health in check. Of course, make sure to get your doctor’s A-OK first!

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Wellness aids

I’m not a naturally active person, and over the years, my lack of physical fitness has sadly begun to show. I tire easily and the size of my waistline makes me feel conscious. I tried going to yoga for a month but found more excuses not to go. So I thought, maybe getting my own equipment for home use can help to motivate me. At the very least, I’d feel guilty about not using them!

While browsing at Watsons, I was pleasantly surprised to spot yoga mats (P369 each) among its shelves. The price is much more affordable compared to what I see in malls, so though it’s a bit more of a splurge compared to the other items on this list, I still consider it a good buy. Count it as an investment in your health and fitness. Even if you don’t know how to do yoga, you can do simple stretching and endurance exercises, like planking. There are so many resources available online and, as long as you don’t do anything too advanced, you can simply follow along the exercise videos.

*The pink yoga mat is from a different brand. The Watsons brand mat is only available in a blue-green color.


With all these options available in a single store, Watsons undoubtedly lives up to its “look good, feel great” tagline. I appreciate that because it promotes a healthy kind of beauty. Self-care is a result of having self-love, which PV has always valued and supported. I hope this gives you more ideas on how to better care for yourself without needing to splurge. Do share your own self-care practices in the comments below!

This story is brought to you by Watsons.