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Fashion and Beauty

Best of beauty 2021

CULTURE VULTURE - Therese Jamora-Garceau - The Philippine Star
Best of beauty 2021
(from left) Rouge Hermès Rose Tamisé, Orange Brûlé and Rose Magenta from the limited-edition autumn-winter 2021 collection are exclusively available at Rustan’s Makati.

Beauty-wise, most of 2021 was all about skincare, though the latter half saw a return to makeup brow products and eye shadow, especially as we went out socially or back to the office on a more regular basis.

Though a whole world of products is available online, I limited my picks to brands available locally and easy to shop for phygitally.

Local brands made a strong showing this year, with new brands even joining the fray.  Here are my picks of the best:

Best oil-based face cleanser/makeup remover

Prestige: Laura Mercier Conditioning Cleansing Oil – The essential first step in a satisfying double cleanse.

Available at Rustan’s The Beauty Source

Budget: Issy & Co. Cleansing Butter – Melts into your skin while melting off makeup.

Available at issyandcompany.com and Shopee

Best foaming face cleanser

Luxury: Cle de Peau Beauté Softening Cleansing Foam – Lathers into the most refined, rich foam that leaves your face clean yet hydrated.

Available at the Cle de Peau popup in Greenbelt 5

Prestige: Pili Ani Gentle Facial Cleanser – Removes even tough makeup with pili and elemi oils.

Available at www.piliani.com.ph

Budget (Tie): Senka Perfect Whip – Japanese brand that whips up into the biggest foam, with a variant for every skin type.

Available at Watsons and ShopSM

Cetaphil Gentle Foaming Cleanser – A dermatologist favorite that removes dirt, oil and makeup without leaving a tight or dry feeling.

Available at SM Beauty

Best facial scrub

Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant – Gentle on skin while leaving it looking and feeling its best

Available at Rustan’s The Beauty Source

Best Micellar Water

Prestige: Skin by BYS Extra Gentle Micellar Water – Not only is it great at taking off makeup; the bottle pumps it directly into your cotton pad.

Available at Shopee

Budget: Bioten Skin Moisture – It’s 100% natural, sustainable and gentle enough to be used on eyes and lips.

Available at Shopee

Best toner

Luxury: Cle de Peau Beauté Hydro-Clarifying/Softening Lotion – Re-texturizes, hydrates and plumps while luminizing skin.

Prestige: Kiehl’s Calendula Herbal Extract Toner – This Hall of Famer is still the best at calming, soothing and prepping skin.

Available at the Kiehl’s store on Shopee

Budget: Y.O.U Beauty Essential Toner – Has 10x the vitamin C of most toners, along with Niacinamide to brighten skin.

Available on Shopee

Best Anti-Aging serum

Luxury: La Prairie Anti-Aging Rapid Response Booster – Dramatically reduces visible signs of aging in just two weeks.

Available at Rustan’s The Beauty Source

Prestige: Shiseido Ultimune Power Infusing Concentrate – Now with ImuGenerationRED Technology to boost skin immunity and circulation.

Available at https://shop.shiseido.com.ph

Budget: Pond’s Age Miracle Ultimate Youth Essence – Contains 10 collagen-renewing ingredients to provide 10x the anti-aging power.

Available at Watsons and Shopee

Best brightening serum/spot corrector

Luxury (Tie): Sisleya Radiance and Anti-Dark Spot Serum – Acts on the main causes of loss of radiance to regain luminous skin.

Available at Rustan’s The Beauty Source

Cle de Peau The Serum – This celeb fave gives you radiant and youthful-looking skin.

Prestige: Kiehl’s Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Corrector – Clinically proven to reduce hyperpigmentation by 49%, dark spots by 39% and post-acne marks by 27%.

Budget: Garnier Vitamin C Serum – Has 30 times the vitamin C concentration of typical vitamin-C serums.

Available at Watsons, Shopee and LazMall

La Prairie Skin Caviar Luxe Cream is available at Rustan’s The Beauty Source.

Best moisturizer

Luxury: La Prairie Skin Caviar Luxe Cream – This bestseller/award winner firms and elasticizes skin while deeply hydrating.

Prestige (Tie): Murad Intense Recovery Cream – Soothes any irritation and redness while deeply moisturizing.

Both are available at Rustan’s The Beauty Source.

Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream – This icon will moisturize and protect even the driest skin in the desert.

Budget (Tie):  Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel – Great for oily skin

Cetaphil Rich Night Cream – Contains hyaluronic acid and is good for sensitive skin.

All are available at Shopee and Lazada.

Best eye cream

Luxury: La Prairie Essence of Skin Caviar Eye Complex – Lifts, firms and smoothens the eye area to make you look well rested and youthful.

Prestige: Clarins Double Serum Eye – Offers all the benefits of the iconic serum.

Available at Rustan’s The Beauty Source

Budget: Varens Beauté Bio Beautifying Eye Care – Has caffeine and green tea to depuff, is vegan, 100% natural and made in France.

Available at Watsons and Lazada

Best overall hydrator

Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse Natural Beauty Oil – A blend of seven botanical oils that results in one stellar, multipurpose dry oil that moisturizes face, body and hair.

Available at Rustan’s The Beauty Source

Best tinted moisturizer

Prestige (Tie): Nars Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer SPF 30/PA+++ - Gives you beautiful medium coverage and a real glow.

Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer Oil-Free Natural Skin Perfector – This Hall of Famer just keeps getting better and better.

Both are available at Rustan’s The Beauty Source and brand boutiques.

Budget: Issy & Co. Active Skin Tint SPF 35 UVB/UVA – Oil-free, with niacinamide and more shades to suit all Pinoy skin tones.

Best liquid foundation

Luxury: Cle de Peau Beauté Radiant Fluid Foundation Natural SPF25 PA++ - Veils your complexion in a flawless finish.

Prestige: Shiseido Synchro Skin Radiant Lifting foundation SPF30 PA++++ - Its glow makes your face look lifted, plus it’s self-refreshing and has the ideal sun protection.

Budget: Y.O.U Beauty Noutriwear Velvet Liquid Foundation SPF25 PA+++ - Flawless full coverage with 24-hour Litestay technology and anti-aging immortelle essence.

Best powder foundation

Luxury: Chanel Le Teint Ultra Tenue Ultrawear Flawless Compact – Infused with amino acid-coated pigments, this perfects skin with a light-diffusing complex.

Available at Rustan’s The Beauty Source

Prestige: A three-way tie between MAC Cosmetics Mineralize Skinfinish Natural, Shiseido Synchro Skin Self-Refreshing Custom Finish and Bobbi Brown Skin Weightless powder foundation.

Budget: Bench/Beauty powder foundation – This weightless powder blurs and mattifies skin for a velvety complexion.

Available at https://shop.bench.com.ph

Best concealer

Prestige (Tie): Nars Radiant Creamy concealer – Perfect skin-like texture

Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage Brighten & Correct Duo – All you need in one handy pen

Budget: LA Girl Pro.Conceal HD High-Definition – Pro quality at a fraction of the price.

Available at Watsons

Best setting powder

Prestige: Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder – Possibly the greatest of all time

Budget: Issy & Co. Weightless Loose Powder – Developed by a makeup artist, this is talc-free and blurs pores for a seamless finish.

Best mineral makeup

Powder:  Jane Iredale

Cream:  RMS Beauty

Both brands have complete lines of cosmetics with skincare benefits.

Both available at Rustan’s; RMS is also available at Adora.

Best brow products

Prestige: Overall this has to go to Anastasia Beverly Hills: My go-tos are her Brow Wiz, Dipbrow pomade and gel.

Available at Rustan’s and Beauty Bar

Budget:  So many great options from our local brands, like Bench/Beauty’s Eyebrow Pencil, Ever Bilena Careline Wow Brow Liner, and Issy & Co.’s Brow Pencil Pro and Precision Brow Pen.

Best liquid eyeshadows

Stila’s Magnificent Metals Glitter & Glow have statement shine.

Laura Mercier’s Caviar Chrome Veils are more everyday- and work-friendly.

RMS Beauty Eye Polishes are mineral and the most natural.

All are available at Rustan’s The Beauty Source.

Chanel Les 4 Ombres No. 5 limited-edition Multi-Effect Quadra eye shadow.

Best powder eyeshadows

Luxury:  Chanel’s eyeshadow quads and palettes are the most on-trend and effortlessly chic.

Prestige:  Made by and for makeup artists, you can’t go wrong with MAC, Nars, Bobbi Brown and Laura Mercier.

Best blush

Luxury: Rose Hermès – Silky with just the right amount of pigment, these give you the loveliest flushes.

Available exclusively at Rustan’s Makati

Prestige: The makeup-artist brands mentioned above plus Benefit, for its pretty shades in cool retro packaging

Budget: Issy & Co. Crème Blush, Sunnies Face Airblush, Colourette Coloursnap and Happy Skin Color Play.

Best lip balm

Luxury: Rose Hermès Rosy Lip Enhancer – Super-nourishing with a flattering tint, and its waxy texture makes it last a long time.

Prestige: Burt’s Bees – The original, responsibly sourced beeswax formula is so beloved it’s now available as lip tints, shimmers and treatments.

Available at Beauty Bar

Budget: Nivea Moisture Essential Lip Care – Infused with jojoba oil and shea butter

Available at www.shopsm.com

Best lipstick

Luxury: Rouge Hermès – In the limited-edition autumn-winter 2021 collection check out Orange Brûlé, a darker, sexier version of the house’s iconic orange; Rose Magenta is a cool red-pink, while Rose Tamisé is purplish rosewood.

Available only at Rustan’s Makati

Prestige: Dior Addict, Rouge Dior and Diorific – There’s a fashionable shade and texture for everyone from Dior’s vast range.

Available at Dior Beauty in SM Makati and Mall of Asia

Budget: Avon True Power Stay 16 Hour Lip Colour - These liquid lipsticks are a fave because they stay on the whole day, and come in 16 shades.

Available at https://avon.ph

Best lip gloss

Luxury:  Chanel Rouge Coco and Rouge Double Intensité – High-fashion, high-shine, and ultra-luxe.

Prestige: Clarins Lip Comfort Oils – So soothing and nourishing, and now available in shimmer form

Budget:  Maybelline Lifter Gloss – Plumps lips with hyaluronic acid and a tingling sensation.

Issy & Co. Hydragloss – Like a drink of water for your pucker.

Best bronzer

Prestige: Nars Laguna powder bronzer and Multiple sticks – Laguna is the universal shade to contour and bronze most skin tones.

Budget:  Bench/Beauty Bronzer – These handy sticks make drawing on contour and blending it in supremely easy.

Best highlighter

Powder: Anastasia Beverly Hills Glow Kits – Each palette comes with four to six huge pans that you can wear solo or mix to customize your own glow.

Cream:  RMS Beauty Living Luminizer – All you need is a finger to bring the high points of your face to life.

Budget: Bench/Beauty Highlighter – These also come in stick form that give you a golden glow in seconds flat.

Best facial sunscreen

Anessa – These lightweight milk and gel sunscreens boast triple sun protection and 50% beauty ingredients to nourish and moisturize.  No wonder they’ve been Japan’s No. 1 sunscreen for almost 20 years.

Available at Watsons

Best body sunscreen

SnailWhite Body Booster SPF30 PA+++ - Lightweight and non-sticky with a cumulative brightening effect

Available at Watsons

Best hair care

Luxury: Kerastase – Genesis Scalp Serum addresses hair fall, while the Discipline line gives you salon-smooth hair at home.

Prestige:  L’Oreal Professionel and Serie Expert – Gone gray? Go silver with L’Oreal’s Silver Shampoo.  For damaged hair try Serie Expert Absolut Repair Gold Quinoa + Protein shampoo, conditioner and mask.

Both brands are available at www.lorealsalonshop.com.ph.

Natural: Aveda – For hair fall, this sustainable brand offers the Ayurvedic Invati line; those with damaged hair should try the Botanical Repair range.

Available at Aveda Greenbelt 5 and www.hairmnl.com.

Best bath products

Lush – Definitely my go-to whenever I want a heavenly-smelling treat, whether it be a bath bomb, shower gel or massage bar.

The Body Shop – The brand that started the cruelty-free beauty movement with ethically sourced natural ingredients is still going strong, releasing new collections of skincare, hair care and makeup.

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For the latest in beauty, follow the author on Instagram and Facebook @thebeautytraveler_ph.

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