These cult favorites are expensive AND worth the hype

Have you ever encountered a product that you would 100% for sure repurchase the moment you run out? Or have you heard practically everyone rave about a product that you know you just have to try for yourself? I know I have.

Magazines declare their Best Beauty Buys yearly and if a product keeps popping up, chances are it's a keeper. Beauty bloggers and vloggers come out with their monthly favorites as well. The latest releases which get the highest buzz are sure to make my next month’s do-I-really-need yet another lipstick/blush/foundation/(insert your makeup weakness here) list! I've given into those lemmings a few times (oops) but I've no regrets. These picks have proven to be truly rave-worthy.

Laura Mercier Translucent Setting Powder (P1, 650) 

We know the standard base drill: primer, foundation, concealer, powder. Now while a good quality powder can set your base well and even adjust your foundation to the right shade, nothing beats a great setting powder. A repeat winner at InStyle’s Best Beauty Buys, the Laura Mercier Translucent Setting Powder is so finely milled that it blends seamlessly onto your skin. Apply just the right amount and your face will stay matte without the dreaded cakey look. Perfect for events and special occasions, as well as that all-important work meeting! 

A bonus for the LM powder – it prevents my foundation from turning dark! Most foundations darken on me but when I set with the Translucent Setting Powder, the effect is greatly reduced. I have repurchased this once (the tub lasts a long time) and will surely do so again.

Laneige BB Cushion Compact (P2, 145)

When the cushion craze hit the beauty world, Laneige was one of the first brands to offer a wider range of shades which suits us Filipinas. The all-in-one Laneige BB Cushion Compact promises SPF 50, long-lasting finish, and convenient reapplication in chic packaging. Laneige also comes out with limited edition compacts such as this one from the Sparkling Party Collection with rose gold accents.

Coverage can be built up as needed and I even skip concealer when I’m on the go. With three variants available, Pore Control, Whitening, and Anti-Aging, you can be sure to find the best one for your needs.

Shu Uemura Cleansing Oil (~P4,000)

In case you still haven’t caught on to the skincare trend of Oil Cleansing, you can check out our 101 guide hereShu Uemura Cleansing Oils are the absolute HG when it comes to oil cleansing. The product dates back to 1967, hailing it the “cleansing oil pioneer.” Honestly, I was initially turned off by the cost but upon trying samples, I succumbed to the hype and am now on my third bottle! 

While I have been trying to double cleanse lately, I used up my first two bottles by using just the cleansing oil to remove my makeup at the end of the day. I didn’t breakout from this routine, and my dry skin loved the added moisture.

Zoeva Makeup Brushes (P7, 220 at

Some say that good makeup brushes need not be super expensive. To a certain extent I agree but I have yet to own one of those really high-end brushes (think Suqqu and Hakuhodo). There are however, affordable makeup brushes that have exceptional quality. One such line is from German brand, Zoeva.

Zoeva makeup brushes first hit our shores a few years back via Luxola which is now Sephora.PH. Liz made a very detailed positive review of their Luxe Complete Brush Set, and I have to say that I believe everything she said because I have the exact same brush set. I have tried a few MAC brushes and they honestly feel comparable. My personal favorites from the set include the Concealer Buffer (changed the way I applied concealer forever!) and the Luxe Face Definer (which I use for practically everything powder-wise). Even after years of use, the brushes have maintained their shape and have minimal to no shedding. Do check out their Rose Golden Sets for Pinterest-worthy makeup brushes!

Shiseido Skincare: Ultimune, Ibuki, White Lucent

Liz raves about Shiseido skincare non-stop. From her glowing review of the trusted Ibuki line to the most recent White Lucent, Shiseido has been a consistent performer in the skincare department. I personally love the Shiseido Ultimune Power Infusing Concentrate (roughly P4,000) which I layer with any serum I have on hand. I stopped using for a couple of weeks to test if it really made a difference and it did. My current pore minimizing serum absorbs better when layered with the Ultimune.

I also adore Shiseido facials (starts at roughly P2,500), which use their extensive skincare line as well as Japanese-trained facial massage techniques. You simply cannot beat the over 140 years of history and experience the brand has.

MAC Lipsticks (P1, 100)  

If you want on-trend colors, fab collabs, and a wide variety of finishes, MAC is THE go-to brand.

Their lipsticks are more than just hype; they are truly some of the most-loved and best-performing lipsticks in the world. The classic MAC bullet can be found in many MUAs' traincases and in practically every girl’s kikay kit. My favorite mattes come from this line – Candy Yum Yum, Lady Danger, and Pink Pigeon, as well as some of the best limited edition packaging from their designer and celebrity collaborations.

Luxury Lipsticks: Bobbi Brown and Estee Lauder (Over P1, 500)

Feeling the glide of Bobbi Brown’s Luxe Lip Color and Estee Lauder’s Pure Color Envy Lip Potion against your lips is an experience every girl should spring for. I have also tried Bobbi Brown’s newest release, the Nourishing Lip Color which launched alongside their newest store in SM Aura and lives up to the “nourishing” in its name. I wear it and reapply without the need for lip balm all day. For Estee Lauder, the Pure Envy Matte line is my preferred finish because MATTE. The lipstick applies easily with minimal tugging and is not as drying as other matte lipsticks I’ve tried.

High-End Base: Make Up For Ever and Chanel (Over P2,000 per bottle)

One of the most worth-it splurges you can ever do is on a foundation. The formula is usually well-developed as the more expensive ones invest on extra research and technology. The latest makeup breakthroughs and newest ingredients are also incorporated. Get full coverage using Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Foundation or go for a natural glow with Chanel CC Cream.

MAC Studio Finish SPF 35 Concealer (P1,100)

Wide range of shades? Check. Great coverage that stays put? Check. SPF? Check.

The MAC Studio Finish SPF 35 Concealer is one of those products that have been around for ages. Still, it is currently the only concealer I have in my stash! I use it for the undereye area, dark spots, and redness. This little pot of wonder hides whatever I want hidden and helps me achieve a perfect base.

Laguna on the upper left and Orgasm on the bottom right

Laguna on the upper left and Orgasm on the bottom right

NARS Orgasm and NARS Laguna

The peachy pink color of the NARS Orgasm blush is referred to as HG by many beauty lovers. Same goes for the NARS Laguna Bronzer, whether you use it as a bronzer or for a slight contour. Both apply quite nicely on a wide range of skin tones and stays on FOREVER, which resulted to their cult-fave status. Look how I hit pan on both already! 

NARS blushes and bronzers in general are highly pigmented and easy to blend. Orgasm and Laguna are perfect first purchases in case you’re new to the brand.

Do you have any of our worth the hype products? What’s your next beauty splurge?