When I was an art student in university, my knowledge on anything related to beauty was very limited. I had few resources, and whatever money I earned from my freelance work, I’d spend it on clothing as a (clueless but utterly devoted) fashion magazine intern. I’d rely on the generosity of my mother – a moisturizer only type of gal – and Titas who brought home branded palettes as pasalubongs, which, of course, I didn’t know how to use. Man, if anybody just told me I could’ve gotten make-up this cheap (and so good!), I would’ve started beauty blogging earlier.
As much as I thoroughly enjoy the likes of Daiso and Japan Home Centre for cheap thrills (I probably don’t need but still purchase), I haven’t gone to the Dollar Store in years. There aren’t much branches around the metro, and I had doubts on product safety and authenticity. I mean, how can make-up cost so inexpensive? Then, upon further research on YouTube – the endless black hole of everything beauty and babies – I learned that there are actually good products in store. It costs the way it does because of the tacky packaging (which isn’t particularly appealing but I’ll live) and the amount the brands spend on advertising. They also get the products directly from the manufacturer. I also asked around, and they restock products every month so rest assured, these aren’t old or expired. You best believe I was on the hunt for some gems, and I wasn’t disappointed!
L.A. Colors Mineral Pressed Powder in Toffee (P149)
Aside from every Filipina tween’s Johnson & Johnson’s Pure Essentials Pressed Powder history, the L.A. Colors Mineral Pressed Powder was the first I owned. It’s cheap, and it does the job of mattifying the face. However, I recommend the Nichido Loose Powder (P150) since it does a better job but almost costs the same. It’s just really obnoxiously fragrant.
For this particular color, I use Toffee as a bronzer – as with any matte powder a couple shades darker than my skin. This gives my face a beautiful, sun-kissed look. It’s heavily pigmented so I just need very little product. There are also more colors from the range available, which you can’t find elsewhere.
L.A. Girl Pro Conceal in Fawn (P169)
I got my very first Pro Conceal in Pure Beige at the beginning of the year – because everyone talked about it. This is definitely cheaper at the Dollar Store (P169) than in Watsons (P299). I also appreciate how they carry a wider range of colors since they only have 1-2 shades in the mall. I’m not in love with it as a concealer since it doesn’t conceal my acne on bad days but I do enjoy it to highlight darkness on my soul, I mean, my face. I do find that Fawn is especially good as a cream contour. Just use a beauty blender, and you’re good to go!
L.A. Girl Luxury Crème Lipsticks in Kiss & Tell, Tell Me Lies, Fling, Rendezvous, and Endless Kisses (P99)
For my favorite discovery from the bunch, the Crème Lipsticks are unbelievably good. They’re reminiscent of the Wet n Wild MegaLast Lip Color (P299), which are a bit more stiff, waxy, and drying on the lips. These are definitely lightweight but creamier. For P99 each, these are a bargain! Pigmentation is great especially for the darker shades; it can even leave a stain. Lighter shades like Tell Me Lies and Fling can look sheer but it still covers my lips, which are naturally dark. Nonetheless, a con is that the product may move around, the more product you apply.
These are gorgeous everyday colors. The range carries tons of shades from nudes, pinks, reds, oranges to plums. I appreciate how there are actual testers in the store! The wear time is around 2-5 hours (with meals and drinks included). It also smells super sweet. I make sure to carry it with me throughout the day for touch-ups.
Beauty Treats Perfect Powder Blush in Pink Flush (P99)
I’m a big fan of pink blushes so I knew I had to get the blush quad from Beauty Treats (not L.A. Girl nor L.A. Colors but affiliated with the company). I find this incredibly pigmented. The two lightest shades on the left seem to be the most wearable of the four. They’re all matte which I adore since some shimmery shades highlight my blemishes.
If you’re on a budget or just on the look out for some really great, inexpensive gems, the Dollar Store is definitely the place to be!
The Dollar Store can be found in Sta. Lucia East Grand Mall, Shoppesville Greenhills, Market! Market!, and Alabang Town Center.