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

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!

Favorites, Lately: Base Make-up from the Drugstore

(On the photo: Flormar Mat Touch Foundation in M301)

For April’s Favorites, Lately, I’ve been enjoying a variety of make-up bases from the drugstore for every mood…and skin issue. I’ve been a firm believer in a good full-coverage foundation for the longest time until I discovered some make-up game-changers: the cushion foundation, tinted moisturizer, and BB cream. I find it silly how in the past, I wouldn’t invest in a good base but in time, you realize how everything else is secondary. A great base will allow all the other products you put on your face appear intact and stay on longer.

Cushion Foundation

L’Oréal True Match Lumi Cushion in W5.5 (Watsons, P900)

I never thought I’d find another drugstore cushion compact I’d love as much as Maybelline’s Super BB Cushion until I discovered L’Oréal True Match Lumi Cushion. I purchased it during their month-long sale for P675! It is *pricey* for a drugstore product but, well, it is L’Oréal. The recent (Philippine) release appears in 6 shades, which I find to favor morenas. This achieves the glowy look a cushion foundation promises while also covering blemishes so well. I personally love the supaaaah fresh finish it gives but I got the wrong color because my skin’s been getting brighter because of the Dear, Klairs Freshly Juiced Vitamin Serum (separate review soon) I’m using to fade my acne scars. It also wears great throughout the day; it stays on pretty long.

I wouldn’t recommend this for people with oily skin. I suggest a matte foundation – hopefully the Infallible Pro-Matte lives up to its claims. I usually forego setting my face with loose powder for cushion foundations for the intense Koreana, dewy look I’ve been loving but this leaves my face a mess, especially this summer. Still, I think this may be the best cushion I’ve tried – considering I’ve only tried a few.

Tinted Foundation

City Color Glowing Complexion Tinted Moisturizer in Beige (Watsons, P229)

Now, this was love at first swipe. The City Color Glowing Complexion Tinted Moisturizer leaves my skin extra glowy but it barely gives any coverage. This is for people with great skin or for that quick trip to the supermarket or gym – masabi lang na you have something on your face. This is also a good, hydrating primer or strobing cream!


Flormar Mat Touch Foundation in M301  (Watsons, P749)

I cannot even begin to explain how life-changing Flormar’s Mat Touch Foundation is. My Twitter (and IRL beauty) friends know how much my skin’s been at its worst state for a month now – thus the lack of make-up selfies, ha-ha. It’s slowly healing so I’ve been going out with a bare face but for days when I do want to put make-up on, I use this foundation. It’s so intense, it actually feels like a luxury product.

Flormar had a summer sale so I only purchased this for P399…acca-believe-it! This makes my skin look Photoshopped, I’m not even kidding. I also find that it applies best with a make-up brush instead of a beauty blender/sponge. If you’re on a budget and are looking for a full-coverage foundation, you’ve been informed.

BB Cream

Maybelline Super BB Cream Fresh Matte in So Natural (Watsons, P399)

I feel so bad for my college self – light years ago – since I’ve only understood the appeal of BB Cream now. This would have made a pretty good everyday product back then! The Maybelline Super BB Cream Fresh Matte may be the best one I’ve tried…yet. I love this because it covers my pores and blemishes, plus it dries matte! It’s no-fuss and super friendly for students and working gals alike. The downside is the very limited color selection the Super BB collection offers – Light and So Natural – but you can always blend it with a separate lighter or deeper liquid foundation or cream concealer. Basta, trust me,  just get it.

Have you tried anything from the list? What have you been loving lately? Let me know in the comments below! ✨