By HANNAH LAZATIN
Collage Art by SANDY ARANAS
It's become extremely difficult keeping up with the local beauty brands emerging one after the other, but for us, we consider this the best kind of problem. Our solution? Try them all. Through the past few years, F-Beauty, or Filipino Beauty, has experienced an advent. Innovators would look to local, everyday ingredients and harvest their raw properties to create skincare products. Finally, we saw shelves stocked with lipsticks, eyeshadows, and blushes that were not only suitable for Filipina skin, formulated to withstand our tropical weather. We saw F-beauty companies elevate their branding efforts to bring us concepts we had never even thought possible. There was once a time when beauty lovers would rave about K-Beauty and imported brands from the West, deeming them superior to our own products. But increasingly, we’ve come to embrace our own. In this section, we combed through many local finds and sussed out our F-Beauty Champions, which have surpassed expectations and—we believe—deserve a dedicated space in your beauty bags and daily routines.
Pili Ani Selfcare Night Recovery Oil
There's so much to love about this skin booster, such as the way it complements your nighttime skin regimen by doubling down on moisture, to its luxurious and calming scent that may as well lull you to sleep. If it isn't obvious, its star ingredients are its namesake Pili Oil and a dose of Elemi Oil, which are packed with Vitamin A and E, and antioxidants, respectively. Its almost green hue is indicative of its natural formulation. Apply a few drops before bed, wait for the oil to work its wonders, and wake up to refreshed skin.
Habitude Hardworking Miracle Water
The women behind Habitude could not have chosen better descriptors for this all-in-one water. This gentle and fragrant F-beauty breakthrough cleanses, tones, and hydrates the skin, utilizing natural ingredients such as Philippine rice, aloe vera, ginseng, and witch hazel. If we may add to that already long list, it also acts as an effective makeup remover. We recommend that you apply as your cleanser and just before your serum.
Pure Culture Bulgarian Rose line
We feel like we've struck skincare gold with this local find. Pure Culture's Bulgarian Rose line consists of actual 24K gold. That's not all there is to rave about, however, as the line also harnesses the anti-aging benefits of the Bulgarian Rose, along with other sustainably sourced ingredients. It not only reduces signs of aging, but also hydrates and boosts collagen production for more supple skin. Apply it in the daytime or at night using a gua sha.
Sunnies Face Fluffmate Lipstick
This critically acclaimed lipstick is unassumingly housed in a minimalist case with nothing but its brand name embossed on top. When unfurled, we instantly see its ultra-matte and powdery texture. The lightwear Fluffmatte glides on with a buttery feel to the skin. When it comes to pigmentation, what you see is what you get: a moderately tinted formulation that can easily be layered.
Issy & Co Skin Tint
We've been fans of this skin tint from day one and it easily plays a part in our casual makeup routine in times when foundation feels too heavy. While this tint is not as buildable as we'd like it to be, it applies easily, enhances one's natural complexion, and leaves a thin sheen for glossy and glowy skin. It's made with nutrient-rich ingredients that are good for the skin, aside from providing an aesthetic value.
Issy & Co Solar Balm
Another notable output from Issy & Co., the recently released Solar Balm is a weightless lip product that serves a bevy of uses. It primarily acts as a balm that leaves a fine layer of color, but it also is known for its sun-protection capabilities, as it boasts of SPF30+ properties to its name. We love wearing this hydrating lippie on its own or atop our favorite shade of lipstick for added gloss.
Happy Skin Holy Grail Eyebrow
The holy grail eyebrow line is the premier F-beauty brand's answer to recreating a laminated brow look at home, sans the long wait on the aesthetician's chair. Happy Skin developed this line, which consists of a Microtip Brow Pencil for shade, a Microblade Brow Pen for accurate lines, a Brow Gel Laminator to keep each strand of hair in place, and featured Volumizing Mascara for enlarged eyes. Using these products together means we're minutes away from long-lasting, natural-looking and feathery brows. We absolutely love that the brand has pre-packaged sets available for a lower price than when bought separately.
Happy Skin Tinted Moisturizer
A skin-toned compact egg-shaped case carries this hydrating and lightly tinted moisturizer that is as practical as it is beneficial to the skin. It harnesses the collective power of superstar ingredients in the skincare world: squalane for moisture that penetrates beneath the surface, kahai oil to promote smooth skin texture, hyaluronic acid for hydration, and niacinamide to minimize pores and even the skin tone.
BLK Sheet Wipes
Save some space in your makeup bag for these gentle wipes, which use niacinamide to decrease redness and discoloration. These hardworking wipes contain a list of plant extracts such as lily, white dandelion, and rose, harnessing their natural capabilities for your skin's benefit. The sheets themselves are made from plant fibers, making it suitable for sensitive and acne-prone skin. Use it to wipe off your makeup and to cleanse and tone your skin.
BLK Gloss Gel Tint
Perhaps one of the greatest features of this gel tint is that it's smudge-proof and therefore transfer-proof, a must useful feature for whenever we have to step out and don a face mask. It also serves multiple uses as not only a lip color but a cheek tint as well. It comes in four wearable shades and leaves your lips plump and kissable.
Dermtropics Raw Coconut Shampoo & Conditioner
The country's abundance in coconuts means business for the makers of Dermtropics, who were inspired by the humble buko and developed a shampoo and conditioner using it. Coconut oil and coconut milk work in tandem with aloe vera to create this gentle shampoo and conditioner. Don't expect much lather from this formula, but do expect to be stripped away of dandruff and damaged hair. Meanwhile, the conditioner is enriched with argan oil to contribute to the hair's overall softness and shine.
Sacred Being Pure Thoughts Sanitizing Interior Mist
A new entry to the F-Beauty scene, Sacred Being was painstakingly developed by creative force Vince Uy. The fragrances were derived from natural essential oils, which lend each product a fresh and vibrant scent. The brand's home spray in Pure Thoughts is especially unforgettable for us: a blend of cedarwood, sandalwood, and ginger will leave your space smelling clean and luxurious. We also love its sleek monochrome design, which can easily be displayed around the home.
For Keeps Hand & Body Wash
This multi-use cleanser borrows the scent of the oils it carries. It was formulated with safe and natural ingredients that leave the skin hydrated. It comes in three variants: Arise, Unwind, and Cleanse, which each feature a varying star ingredient with a mix of olive oil and coconut oil. We love it as a gift for a loved one this holiday season or as something we'd hoard for ourselves.
LEV Forelsket Candle
There's fierce competition in the local candle market, but LEV is one of those no-fail standouts. What immediately caught our eyes were its holographic ceramic jars. Once lit, a sweet wave of rose and plum overwhelm the olfactory senses, followed by spicy patchouli and pink peppercorn, before circling back to sweet again with a whiff of vanilla. Its immaculate scent aside, we also love that the candle burns evenly and leaves no residue.
Soak Artisan Soaps Bath Bomb
A leisurely long bath is not complete without soaking in warm water with, well, Soak. These low-cost, handmade bath bombs are made special with ingredients such as coconut oil and come in a variety of scents and shades to suit your mood. Simply pop it into the water and watch it work its magic. Another must-try is its donut-shaped bath bombs which come in dessert-inspired scents.
Spotlight Cosmetics Eyeshadow palette
A worthy entry for Philippine-produced makeup, Spotlight's eyeshadow palette is not one to miss out on. Don't let its straightforward packaging and brand look fool you, the palette contains carefully selected shades that complement Filipino skin tones. Each pigmented powder is both blendable and buildable. We tried its 8-in-1 palette in Blockbuster Nudes, which features colors that can easily create natural looks to sultry nighttime eyes.
Sekaya Energy Mix tea
What you consume is adversely related to your bodily health and overall beauty, which is why we encourage all-natural and organic pick-me-ups such as Sekaya's botanical teas. In particular, the Energy Mix variant is a sure mood booster and thus a worthy companion on busy days due to ingredients such as young hyson tea leaves, gingko leaves, and schisandra berry, which work together to fight brain fog and mental fatigue, all while giving you your much-needed caffeine fix.
The Unbranded set
The Unbranded’s skincare products take us back to the basics, from the fuss-free packaging to its uncomplicated concoctions. Very much like the brand, this set gives it to you straight: three easy steps to achieve healthy skin. It comes with a Cleansing Wash, Overnight Cream, and Day Shield. While it claims to simplify your routine, there was nothing simple about producing these products, which are dermatologist-approved, alcohol-free, paraben-free, fragrance-free, and sulfate-free—so your skin only takes in the good stuff.
LifeFood Collagen Jelly
For those who are not fans of skincare applications, there's a way to chew your skin problems away. It's goodness you can eat—these delicious portions of jelly contribute to overall healthy skin, promote the production of collagen, provide protection from the sun's harmful UV rays, and help illuminate the complexion. This skin-saving snack might just be the key to hydrated skin, as well. It comes in a fun flavor that utilizes uncommon ingredients such as pomegranate extract, lychee seed, and grape skin.
Issy & CoCrème Cheek Bronzer
No matter what time of the year it is, we love sporting a sun-kissed glow. Issy & Co. has made that really easy for us, too, thanks to their Crème Cheek Bronzers. The shimmery creams easily blend into the skin and can be built up to your desired intensity. With four shades, you'll be able to find at least one bronzer that suits your skin best. Pro-Tip: For a bronzey glow, apply it on areas where the sun naturally hits your face.
Sunnies Face Lip Treat Lip Balm
Whenever our lips feel dry and chapped, we use the Sunnies Face Lip Treat Lip Balms. It's formulated with shea butter and collagen to help soften, plump up, and moisturize the lips. And not only does it come sheer, it also has 6 natural shades that will give your lips a healthy wash of color.
Pili Ani Volcanic Mask
If you have oily or acne-prone skin, you need to add this mask to your weekly skincare routine. It's formulayed with ash harvested from Mt. Mayon, which is combined with kaolin clay to draw out toxins and exfoliate dead skin cells. It's also formulated with Pili Ani's signature ingredients: pili and elemi oils. These oils hydrate and balance your skin, giving you a noticeable glow as soon as you rinse off the mask.