Test Drive Diaries: High-End Versus Budget Beauty

Test Drive Diaries: High-End Versus Budget Beauty

The beauty face-off goes IRL



Welcome to the third installment of Style Science: High-End Versus Budget Beauty. If you’re new to the party, let us give you a recap: in a three-part experiment of sorts, the Wonder team dares to debunk preconceived notions by pitting drugstore against designer beauty. In the first installment, magazine editor and fashion blogger Alyssa Lapid and lifestyle vlogger Maxine Lara hand-picked their favorite eyebrow pencil, eyeliner, mascara, blush and liquid lipstick in a blind beauty showdown.


Building off their selects, Wonder then produced Here’s Looking At You, a beauty editorial that gave each product its hero moment. Think makeup looks that are nothing short of bold, brave and beautiful (or you know, check it out over here!).


This time, we take the foray further. Stepping beyond the camera’s viewfinder, we take our winning products to a real-life playing field: the workplace.


RELATED: Style Science: All Thrifted Everything


The Subject


Meet Abby Castelo. A social and digital content strategist, Abby admits to steering clear of any makeup on the typical office day. “As in, zero! I usually just wear makeup when I have an important meeting or presentation, [if I have to attend] an event, or if I know I have plans after work,” she shares.


But hey, not so fast. Despite keeping her face makeup-free on most days, this gal knows her stuff. Her holy grail arsenal includes a NARS concealer, Glossier brow pomade and paint blush, a Too Faced mascara, and a Becca highlighter. She confesses, “I only use makeup that has really good reviews, so I do my research before buying.” Well-versed in what makes or breaks a reliable product, she put our best beauty bets to the test. Keep reading to discover how each fared in Abby’s test drive diary.


The Products

test drive diaries BENEFIT Precisely, My Brow Pencil

BENEFIT COSMETICS Precisely, My Brow Pencil, P1,500

test drive diaries KAT VON D Tattoo Liner

KAT VON D BEAUTY Tattoo Liner Eyeliner in Trooper, P1,233

test drive diaries CARELINE Go Big Mascara

CARELINE Go Big Mascara, P185


test drive diaries EVER BILENA Advance Cheek Color in Peony

EVER BILENA ADVANCE Cheek Color in Peony, P105

Test Drive Diaries: High-End Versus Budget Beauty

KYLIE COSMETICS Matte Liquid Lipstick in Dolce K, P1,400


The Road Test


Brows: The shade is too light for my hair color and I find the pencil too thin. I had to constantly re-apply so it would go on darker.


Eyeliner: Very good! I didn’t have to reapply on top of the first coat.


Lashes: The wand was hard to use. Since I have long lashes, some of the product instantly transferred onto my eyelids and lower lash line. I had to redo my under eye concealer and eyeshadow to fix the mess.


Cheeks: The product isn’t super pigmented. I had to constantly re-apply for the color to pop on my cheeks. I don’t recommend this for morena skin.


Lips: One swipe is enough to get the look!


Two and a half hours in and nothing budged!


After lunch, nothing had changed except my lipstick. It transferred onto my coffee cup, my water bottle and tissue. Most of the product was gone after eating ramen for lunch. I had to reapply at around 2:00 PM.


Despite being transfer-prone, the lipstick behaved well after reapplication. My blush began to fade at around 5:00 PM.

test drive diaries inner-after

Brows: I love it. The product stayed put throughout the whole day, even past 9:00 PM.


Eyeliner: I love this, too. It didn’t smudge or transfer and lasted the entire day.


Lashes: The mascara stayed on past 9:00 PM. It was messy [to put on] but didn’t smudge or transfer once dry.


Cheeks: The blush had to be built up but was good for the the first few hours.


Lips: I love the color, the texture and the smell! However, there was lots of product transfer and I had to re-apply in the afternoon.


The Verdict

At the end of the test drive, we asked Abby which of the five winning picks she fell in love with, and more importantly, which ones she would be willing to repurchase. Which products emerged victorious this time?


“I liked the Benefit Precisely, My Brow Pencil and the Kat Von D Tattoo Liner because of the quality and long wearability,” Abby concludes after the test. “I would definitely consider buying them after this!”


While budget brands challenged (and trumped) a number of pricey products in our blind test, designer makeup stood its ground this time. To cap off The High-End Versus Budget Beauty Showdown, Wonder turns the question to you: Which are you weak for? Are you a drugstore makeup junkie or a believer in big budget beauty?



Art Alexandra Lara.


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