My Skin But Better: The Best Drugstore Bases for Good Skin Days

in at October 1, 2017

Good skin is in!

For the past 3 months, I’ve stopped using foundation and let me tell you, it’s the best decision I’ve made for my skin! I’ve ceased getting pimples and small bumps on my face. Surely, I can’t attribute this solely to my foundation-free routine since foundation can even serve as a protective barrier (against UV rays) – unless you use an inappropriate formula for your skin type – but it’s doing wonders for me! Still, if you use it excessively, it can dry skin and clog pores, which in turn cause irritated skin and acne.

Of course, devoting the extra time, energy, and *cough* resources to a daily skin care routine is still a must! It may not grant results overnight but having the discipline to follow through daily is a fruitful pursuit. In time, you’ll find yourself shying away from full-coverage formulas and using these tried and tested options from the drugstore. It will look like your skin…but better!

BB Cream

L.A. Girl Pro BB Cream HD in Neutral (Watsons/SM Beauty Section, P399)

Shade: 4

Claims: All-in one skin beautifier that primes, moisturizes, and enhances skin tone

Over-all Experience: A Beauty or Blemish Balm is lighter than a foundation but thicker than a tinted moisturizer. It provides skin care benefits while also concealing imperfections. A mainstay on my top shelf is the über affordable L.A. Girl Pro BB Cream HD, which I’ve seen a number of beauty vloggers review in passing. It dries soft matte – a suitable lightweight finish for both dry and oily skin. It minimizes the appearance of pores and covers skin great but still applies sheer enough for skin to peek through. It’s buildable and even performs like a medium coverage foundation for those with acne scars and/or pigmentation – me!

The color Neutral is perfect for my skin given that lately, I’ve had such trouble shade matching since I’ve gotten visibly lighter because of my skin care routine. Truth be told, I don’t find myself reaching for anything else but this – even on days when I need my make-up to stay put all day. This is the best I’ve tried from the drugstore, and I’m certain I’ll keep repurchasing it!

Bioré UV Aqua Rich Watery BB Cream 3D Effect (BeautyMNL/Watsons, P450)

Shade Range: 1

Claims: A sun-protected beauty balm with a 3D brightening effect

Over-all Experience: You’ve probably heard of everybody’s holy grail drugstore sunscreen from Japan: the Bioré UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence. The lightweight, non-greasy formula leaves your skin moisturized without the unbearable white cast.

Now, if you have the (very unhealthy) habit of foregoing sunscreen – the fastest way to age your skin – the Bioré UV Aqua Rich Watery BB Cream is for you! It applies like a light moisturizer – infused with moisture-locking hyaluronic acid – and illuminates skin, making it look youthful. It diminishes the appearance of pores and dries to a comfortable matte-but-not-flat finish. It makes my skin look flawless! It wears great throughout the day and doesn’t leave the face cakey (on the nose, chin, etc.); I experience otherwise with various BB Creams.

A big downside is the almost non-existent shade range. It does adjust to your skin color but personally, it appears unnaturally light on my morena skin – nothing a good contour powder can’t remedy. If you’re darker than me, I’d say stay away from this product. Again, any base infused with sun protection is not a substitute for sunscreen, I still prefer putting on a sunscreen before and you should, too!

Tinted Moisturizer


City Color Glowing Complexion Tinted Moisturizer in Beige (SM Beauty Section, P229)

Shade Range: 2

Claims: Paraben-free, hydrating tinted moisturizer infused with Vitamin E

Over-all Experience: A more “foreign” concept is the tinted moisturizer – just the right mix of skin care and make-up. It barely gives any coverage, just a slight tint – evening out skin tone – and when layered multiple times can lightly conceal blemishes. It also contains humectants, which is best for hydrating skin. This is best for lazy days when you don’t want a bare face but barely have time to do your make-up. Slap this on before hitting the gym, on a quick grocery run, or even on the daily!

The City Color Glowing Complexion Tinted Moisturizer is my biggest secret from the drugstore! Now, this product isn’t for everyone. It’s designed for dry skin (hands up!). This makes me exceptionally dewy, bordering on “greasy” – depending on the environment I’m in. You can also use this as a base before your foundation/BB Cream if you want that extra healthy-looking radiance. I’m still on the look out for other affordable tinted moisturizers, which is a bit scarce in the market. If you have recommendations, let me know in the comments below!


Pink Sugar Our Lil’ Secret Concealer in Medium (Beauty MNL/SM Beauty Section, P349)

Shade Range: 4

Claims: A creamy concealer that covers blemishes and other imperfections with ease

Over-all Experience: A concealer for daily wear? Now, hear me out! With the onslaught of the “skin first, make-up second” movement, I’ve been seeing more beauty professionals use less and less – yes, even just concealer!

A holy grail in the local beauty scene is the full-coverage Pink Sugar’s Our Lil’ Secret Concealer, available in 4 Filipina friendly make-up shades. It’s best for spot concealing blemishes for a more natural, seamless coverage. Infused with Aloe Vera – the multi-purpose miracle ingredient – it’s extra good for skin! It’s budge-free and long-wearing that I don’t even have to set this with powder!

Elisa Aquino

Elisa Aquino is a portrait photographer, life(style) writer, passion blogger, and beauty rookie from Manila, Philippines. This platform exists to document her daily musings and to showcase the life-changing power of grace to transform women from ashes to beauty.