An online shopper's guide to buying the best products from the best sites at the best prices
Just a few years ago, in the face of their beauty product going empty or a hot, must-try skincare item with a cultish following setting off a blip in their radar, the typical beauty junkie would resort to three courses of action:
- Ask for a relative abroad to bring it home on their next trip back,
- Check a brick-and-mortar shop or the nearest department store in the hopes they find what they’re looking for, or
- Head on over to what would become one of the first online beauty authorities Filipinos recognize: Beauty MNL.
Don’t get me wrong, I still love a good Beauty MNL spree (have you seen their sales?). But the recent years have seen the profusion of beauty e-commerce websites––many of which the typical Filipino beauty enthusiast remains clueless about. These beauty-centric shopping sites deserve our love and affection and skincare budgets not only because they make life easier, but because these days, they're quite literally our only options. But with so many websites to choose from, still some questions remain:
Which website do I buy which brands from?
Which website should I be poring over first when I look for a certain product?
Where are my favorite brands cheapest?
I mean, if you're going to quarantine shop, might as well do it efficiently, right? So many questions, to which you’ll find answers just a few scrolls ahead. For the first installment of this beauty column, five crowd favorite brands are in the spotlight: Glossier, The Ordinary, Pyunkang Yul, Dear, Klairs and Pixi by Petra, with the three most popular products from each brand highlighted as comparative basis. I’ve just combed over more websites and products than I can count (and naturally checked out my cart somewhere along the way), so hey, here’s hoping this helps you discover which websites to add to your bookmarks!
GLOSSIER Cloud Paint
GLOSSIER Boy Brow
Images via Glossier
When it comes to the better Glossier source, it’s a solid tie between Calyxta and Today’s Skin price-wise. While both serve up similar price points, some items are cheaper by around P50 on Calyxta (Haloscope, Solution) while others are just a little more affordable on Today’s Skin (Cloud Paint, Boy Brow). In terms of inventory, though, hats off to The Makeup Store MNL (who stock all four shades of Boy Brow, btw) and Today's Skin.
THE ORDINARY Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%
|THE ORDINARY AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution
THE ORDINARY 100% Organic Cold-Pressed Rose Hip Seed Oil
Images via The Ordinary
Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%
AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution
100% Organic Cold-Pressed Rose Hip Seed Oil
With an impressive roster of The Ordinary products and price differences of up to P100 compared to the other websites, Today's Skin is the obvious winner for this round! The lockdown has caused a wipeout of The Ordinary products on most sites, but Today's Skin announces restocks every now and then via their Instagram page.
PYUNKANG YUL Essence Toner (200ml)
PYUNKANG YUL Moisture Cream
PYUNKANG YUL Moisture Ampoule
Images via Pyunkang Yul
Essence Toner (200 ml)
Pyunkang Yul's Moisture Cream, which has notable street cred for being extremely moisturizing yet gentle enough for all skin types, costs P1600 on Go Bloom & Glow, P1450 on KbeautyCafe and P1400 on The Skincare Curator.
Come on, take a look at those prices. The Skincare Curator is the source for Pyunkang Yul's blue-bottled skincare, hands down. Meanwhile, despite having the most highest price points out of the three platforms, Go Bloom & Glow has the widest selection of products from the beauty brand.
DEAR, KLAIRS Supple Preparation Facial Toner
DEAR, KLAIRS Freshly Juiced Vitamin Drop
DEAR, KLAIRS Midnight Blue Calming Cream
Images via Dear, Klairs
Supple Preparation Facial Toner
Freshly Juiced Vitamin Drop
Midnight Blue Calming Cream
While all three websites offer impressive set deals and sell those handy samples for first-timers looking to test products for the first time, we're going with Shop Pibu as our go-to source for Dear, Klairs.
Glamourbox, Today's Skin and Zalora
PIXI Glow Tonic
PIXI Rose Tonic
PIXI Glow Mud Mask
Images via Pixi
Glow Tonic (250 ml)
Rose Tonic (250 ml)
Glow Mud Mask
If we're taking price tags, dubbing a single winner is a little ambiguous. While the the tonics, which are easily the most popular Pixi product across the board, are most affordable over at Today's Skin, other products like the essences and mists are way cheaper over on Glamourbox and Zalora. Not to mention, Today's Skin doesn't have any of Pixi's makeup (save for their primer). We're calling this one a three-way tie––the winner depends on which product it is you're looking for!
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Any brands you'd like a comparative guide for? Sound off; we'll make it happen.
Art Alexandra Lara