Mind-blowing makeup products under P500 + 5 unique day-to-night makeup looks Beauty

5 unique looks created by yours truly using makeup products P500 and under. Follow my adventures on IG (@valerieg86) for more beauty goodness! 5 unique looks created by yours truly using makeup products P500 and under.
Follow my adventures on IG (@valerieg86) for more beauty goodness!

As a person who was very much intimidated by makeup not so long ago, it can be quite overwhelming and a bit nerve wracking to walk up to a high end beauty counter to peruse the goods and ask the very knowledgeable staff questions about makeup without looking like a complete moron. I get the struggle. Believe me. Been there, most likely done that.

Having my shyness and insecurities (then) overrule my quest for makeup knowledge (blame it on youth!), I decided to start small and learn the ropes about makeup through the very approachable brands found at the department/drug store. Budget wise, this was also the best way for me to dip my toes into the magical beauty waters without breaking bank and having buyer’s remorse (cause there’s seriously nothing worse in the world than the feeling of regret! #FEELS).

So for those that are curious (or have always been curious) and are looking for a spirit guide to help you navigate the wondrous world of makeup, this blog post is for all of you. It was hard work — curating all these P500 and under products for you guys, and creating the looks that would help showcase just how special some of these products are — but I enjoyed every single moment working on this post, and I hope this serves well as your guide, as you discover the beauty of affordable and top quality department/drug store makeup!





A good foundation altogether is hard to find, but finding a good foundation under P500? To say that it’s not the easiest of tasks would be a major understatement.

My hunt for the elusive P500< foundation has led me to one standout product that has really made me a believer in drugstore goods. I’m talking about Maybelline’s Dream Satin Foundation, which by the way, at P499 for 30ml is such a STEAL (I actually got mine on sale for P250). This foundation is housed in a sturdy glass bottle, and comes with its own pump (million brownie points!).

I also have to give major props to Maybelline for coming out with a foundation that has a dewy luminous finish, thanks to its air whipped liquid formula . Most drugstore foundations offer Matte finishes, so to see an affordable, performing, dewy luminous foundation is such a treat! Plus, this sits so comfortably in the skin, you’ll barely even notice it’s there. Even if you build it up to a full coverage, the foundation is so light, it will feel like second skin no matter how many layers you put in! In terms of how long wearing it is, I find that as long as you set it properly with powder, this will remain on your face for quite a while! All in all, this is such a solid foundation that its price will become an afterthought after giving it a go!




There’s definitely a lot to be said for drugstore concealers. I’ve narrowed it down to 2 concealers, or else we’ll be here all day.

1) L.A. Girl Pro Conceal HD Concealer, P319

For P319, you will get a really hardworking concealer that’s guaranteed to get the job done. Whether it’s to conceal blemishes, neutralize redness, or even brighten up your undereye area, this concealer has got you covered, and it will not budge on you even after a long day. Honestly, it really doesn’t come as a surprise that this concealer became such a cult favorite amongst so many beauty gurus!

2) CATRICE’s Liquid Camouflage High Coverage Concealer, P349

One word that comes to mind as I talk about my next favorite drugstore concealer is WATERPROOF.

It’s seriously just all kinds of UH-MAZING for those of you always out and about and at the mercy of the elements. Wanna gracefully come out of the pool without looking like the life has been washed right out of you? Wanna be outdoorsy and go hiking but still wanna look cute for your hubby when you reach the summit together? Wanna make sure that your makeup doesn’t come undone even when you’re stressed out AF? Well, fear not little lady, Catrice’s Liquid Camo Concealer is your saving grace.

Word of advice though, this concealer is thicker in consistency than others, so best to apply it in small quantities using your fingers, and then buff it in with a beauty blender/sponge.

**OTHER NOTEWORTHY BARGAINS: L’Oreal True Match Concealer, P400



Although there’s no actual, physical store you can buy this product from (if there is, let me know!), this powder has been the reason for my good makeup days. Depending on which store you purchase this from (prices vary significantly), it’s undeniable that Innisfree’s No Sebum Mineral Powder is Korea’s gift to us makeup lovers with less than perfect skin. It will beautifully minimize your pores, mattify your skin, control the “shine” (a.k.a grease) and sebum on your face and it even cools your face as it’s formulated with originated mint! I even bake my undereye area with this using my beauty blender and I always, ALWAYS, without fail, get compliments on my skin whenever I use this powder.

Do keep in mind that supplies tend to run out fast so if you see this available anywhere, HOARD IT. That’s just another testament to how good it really is. Currently, beautymnl.com sells it for P500, Zalora for P672, while ph.althea.kr sells it for P260 (shocker, I know).

**OTHER NOTEWORTHY BARGAINS: Catrice All Matt Plus Powder, P379



I probably sound like a broken record talking about this, but HANDS DOWN, the best blushers at the drugstore belong to SLEEK Makeup. The single blushers come up to around P450. HOWEVER, I would advise that you get the Blush Trio instead (which is the one I currently have and what you see in my photos). It’s sure to cost you more at around P850+, but this is definitely what I would consider a smart investment seeing as you get 3 amazing blushes for only P850+. They’re INCREDIBLY pigmented, plus you get a lot of product in the case, and the color lasts forevsies. I mean, this product just has the word WINNER written all over it.

**OTHER NOTEWORTHY BARGAINS: Jordana Blush Powder, P249



For the life of me, I simply cannot understand why not more people are talking about this! Essence’s Soo Glow Cream to Powder Highlighter is just one of the most beautiful highlighters you’ll find at the drugstore.

At P349, this highlighter comes in 2 shades — “Look On The Bright Side”, which is their more Yellow/Gold+Silver=Gilver tone highlighter; and “Bright Up Your Life”, which is their pink tone highlighter. You can apply this under or over your powder and it won’t bunch up on you. You can even apply this anywhere you want to highlight, whether it’s the inner corners of your eyes, the tops of your cheekbones, your cupid’s bow, your chin, the center of your lip, or even your décolletage — the world is your oyster with this highlighter. If highlighting is more your thing than contouring, you should most certainly have this highlighter in your makeup arsenal.




Sadly, I was not able to find a bronzer under P500 that truly impressed me. Don’t get me wrong, there are some good drugstore bronzers out there, but they either come at a slightly higher price, or they’re unavailable in the PH market and require a bit more effort to track down. Some of the bronzers that I’ve tested that were under P500 didn’t live up to my expectation for a variety of reasons. Some just made me look like an oompa loompa (even with the lightest of hands), some were driving me crazy with their patchiness, while some just didn’t distribute enough color to make an impact. For now, an under P500 bronzer substitute I’ve been using for my 5 looks above is Face Shop’s multi-usage single matte blush in BRO2 which at P295, is somewhat forgivable to use.

Personally, if bronzing is your thing, I would recommend going the route of Instagram resellers (check out @chedelyncosmetics) and hunting down either Rimmel’s Natural Matte Bronzer, Wet n’ Wild’s Megaglo Contouring Palette, or Physicians Formula’s Bronze Booster or Shimmer Strips — all of which are P500 and below. 



If a straight up, legit setting spray is what you’re looking for, look no further than L’Oreal’s Infallible Pro Setting Spray (P500, 100ml). I’ve raved about this setting spray a gazillion times like a crazy person and truth be told, I’m pretty much all raved out. Just buy this, don’t ask too many questions, and you can thank me later.

You can read my review of this setting spray HERE.





As I was walking around SM Megamall’s Department Store hunting down great eyeshadows that I may have overlooked, the Features and Shades (F&S) counter, which I think (correct me if I’m wrong), looks to have been revamped, caught my eye.

I approached the counter slowly, wary of overly eager sales ladies (they really throw you off your mission sometimes!), and as it was too early in the morning that day, I was able to swatch their eyeshadows to my heart’s content without anyone bothering me.

Much to my delight, their eyeshadows were honest to goodness, just DOWNRIGHT AMAZING.

First of all, their color selection is fantastic — and the pigmentation on these shadows are just absolutely jaw dropping! I’ve created so many looks with these shadows, and every single time, I’ve had numerous people asking me to do the same makeup look on them! They wear beautifully throughout the day as well, and even the application went as smoothly as can be with little to no fallout (as long as you tap out the excess on your brush).

I fell in love with these eyeshadows quickly, so much so, that I was able to custom build a quad palette immediately! These eyeshadows literally kept me awake throughout the night, as there were so many makeup looks racing through my mind, that I had to go back immediately the following day and buy the other shades that I regrettably put down to control my spending. Not long after though, I was on my way to building my 2nd quad palette, and I went home happy and content. If you can, grab their metallic shadows, as they truly are SPECIAL. I was also lucky enough to grab a couple of cool and warm tone matte shades (they run out of stocks quickly) that would be perfect as crease and transition shades for so many of my eyeshadows!

Price wise, a single shadow costs P225 and there’s about 4g in there so there’s obviously quite a lot of product to go through which is always a plus! If you buy more shades, and you end up having 4 shadows with you, for P150, you can buy the quad casing so you don’t have to carry around the individual shades with you everywhere you go! If I were you, I’d go to my nearest SM Department Store and grab these babies ASAP cause these are just a must for every makeup lover!


– Catrice Luxury Eyeshadow Limited Edition Feathered Fall, P399

– Maybelline Color Tattoo, P299



Anyone who’s ever read any of my blog posts knows that I am in an ongoing, deeply committed relationship with Essence eyeliners.

Essence Gel eyeliners simply represent everything that’s good in the world. No, I’m not being overly dramatic about this. I genuinely feel that way every single time I use this (which is everyday), and I thank the makeup Gods for creating such a wonderfully affordable (price ranges from P99 to P179) and top performing product. My eye looks, since being introduced to Essence eyeliners, have changed and improved dramatically. There’s just something special, and almost religious, about the way these apply and wear. I could be choosing to use a different eyeliner, just for the sake of testing and giving other brands a try, and I would still come back to Essence eyeliners. My whole makeup look, just doesn’t feel complete without it. That’s how committed I am to Essence eyeliners.

More than their standard black/brown gel eyeliners, I encourage all of you to give their more colorful liners a try. I swear to you, you will not go back to plain black/brown after this. Right now, I’m currently obsessed with their long lasting eye pencil in “Berry Merry” and “I Have a Green”. These 2 eyeliners, especially when you line your bottom lash line, works with so many different eyeshadow colors, it’s almost ridiculous! If you’re someone who’s looking to seriously step up their make up game, definitely give these eyeliners a go!

**OTHER NOTEWORTHY BARGAINS: L’Oreal Super Liner Gel Intenza, P400



You knew this was coming, right? Whenever anyone thinks great drugstore mascara, almost everyone I know will say Maybelline (prices range from P150-P400). It’s just the way it goes in the makeup world. Maybelline has monopolized the mascara segment for so long that it’s pretty hard to get a one up on them. They’ve pretty much perfected their mascara game over the years, and it’s just futile at this point to argue what the best mascara is from the drugstore. You know it, I know it, everyone knows it — Maybelline is THE mascara to buy from the drugstore.

**OTHER NOTEWORTHY BARGAINS: L’Oreal False Lash Superstar, P500



A lot of people consider their eyebrows sacred. It’s something that everyone carefully takes time to apply. I wouldn’t be surprised if someone told me that out of their whole makeup routine, it’s their eyebrows that they take the longest to do. I get it. I’m the same way.

Out of respect for the brows, I simply cannot name just 1 brow product. It literally takes a village to get those things on fleek, and it would be a crime to limit brow products to just 1. So in honor of ze brows, I give you:

1) L’Oreal Brow Artist Chisel Straight, P400

If you happen to be one of the lucky ones with full, thick, glorious eyebrows, then this product will up your brow game like no other. It’s relatively easy to use with a light hand, and with it’s kinda genius applicator, you won’t need to take out any other brushes to help with the application. However, If you’re someone who’s not that experienced with these kinds of applicators, then 1 cotton tip should be enough to whip those bad boys into shape! No biggie.

2) The Face Shop Design My Eyebrow Pencil, P225

The eyebrow pencil from Face Shop is an answered prayer for those ladies with less than glorious eyebrows. Let’s face it, not everyone is willing to shell out the P1k+ needed for an Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz or Pomade. Other people just have their priorities and more important things to spend on. That’s totally understandable. For only P225, it kind of makes sense why Face Shop’s eyebrow pencil has become such a hit with the bargain shoppers.

More than the price, this eyebrow pencil has a triangular shape that helps you line, carve out and fill in those brows like a boss. It glides on smoothly as well, which is more than what I can say for Etude’s eyebrow pencil, which is just too stiff to work with. There’s also a spoolie brush at the other end of the pencil, so you can spread the product out evenly and feather out those brows without too much hassle or fanfare.

3) Catrice Eyebrow Filler Perfecting & Shaping Gel, P349

After carefully filling in your brows with Face Shop’s eyebrow pencil, a perfect eyebrow gel to keep everything in place is Catrice’s Brow Gel. This naturally tinted brow gel doesn’t just keep the brow hairs in place, it also helps fill in the small gaps in case you missed any spots! The gel clings to the hairs on your brows, making it look even fuller after you’ve filled it out using a pencil, and you can rest well knowing that your brows won’t be disturbed throughout your work day.





Etude House has surprisingly become one of my faves when it comes to lipliners. Their retractable auto lipliners are around P98, and their retractable Play lipliners are around P348. The Play collection offers a wider color selection and from my observation, more long lasting than the auto lipliners (but both are long lasting nonetheless). However, I do have to say that my favorite Nude shade is from the Auto collection and I’ve used this almost every single time to line my lips regardless of the lippie shade I’m using. It perfectly contains any lippie that I’m using and so far, I haven’t seen any lippie bleed out when I’m using an Etude lip liner. Moreover, Etude lip liners contribute greatly to the wear of whatever lippie I’m wearing and even improves the color quality of my lipsticks — making them more vibrant than it already is.




I’ve definitely saved the hardest category for last — as there really are a lot of great lippies to choose from, from the department/drug store. It’s literally a matter of preference at this point, so I’ve decided to just list down a few of my favorites that have treated me so well over the years.

If by any chance you don’t see your favorite lippie on the list, feel free to leave a comment below and share with other readers what your favorite lippie is from the drugstore, its price and why you love it!

–  Sleek Matte Me Lip Cream, P450

–  Maybelline Velvet Matte, P349

–  Maybelline Creamy Matte, P299

–  L.A. Girl  Matte Flat Velvet, P349

–  Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick, P350

–  L’Oreal L’extraordinaire Soft Matte, P400

Profile photo of Valerie Guiua

Makeup and skincare investigator. I probably spend way too much time trolling beauty counters, playing makeup with friends, and doling out skincare advice -- warranted or not. I have 10-12 step (depending on the day) skincare routine, and YES, I enjoy every single luscious minute of it.Follow my adventures on Instagram (@valerieg86)!!!

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