Beauty for Keeps: Makeup and Skincare I’m Holding Onto in 2020

These 7 products are staying in my makeup bag and on my vanity table!

The “new” in New Year is slowly wearing off as we usher in the Year of the Rat and start to count the last few days of January. At this point, the highs of celebrating the holidays and welcoming the new decade is about to be replaced by the steady hum of our usual routines once again.

While 2019 was all about KonMari-ing our spaces and lives, I really can’t say I’ve gone full Kondo just yet—much to the stress of my husband who likes to constantly tease me of my “kalat.” It’s a tough process and I’d be lying if I said I’ve been making as much progress as I’ve hoped to. 

Obviously, one of the areas I struggled in the most was streamlining my makeup and skincare. (There are clothes, too, but that’s another article.) Despite my conscious efforts to let go of things that no longer spark joy, I still struggle to say no to shiny, new things. I still accumulated a considerable amount of new lipsticks, blushes, and tints—and I find myself still window-shopping for more every time there’s some ridiculous 11.11 or 12.12 thing going on. (Raise your hands if you weren’t marked safe during these sales!) The worst thing about it is that personal care items are exactly the items that are the hardest to organize!

When the previous decade ended, I made a small pact with myself to only keep to my three previously mentioned no-makeup-makeup bags and a small train case of special-occasions-only items—anything that doesn’t fit will either be tossed, donated, gifted, or sold.

Setting this limit greatly helped my decision-making, allowing me to not feel bad about ditching 11 lipsticks that are the exact same shade. (Hey, I know I’m not the only one!) That said, I’ve come to realize that there are just products that I love more than others, which I’m then keeping in my stash for actual use. Sure, everything’s nice to look at; but I now understand that I don’t need to own them to look at them. #CharacterDevelopment


As I continue to let go of what I no longer have space for, these are the ones that endure sparking joy in my makeup bag and on my vanity table.

1. Dermax Professional AcneX Pore Clearing Gel Cleanser, (P580), SkinStation

Photo: SkinStation/Instagram

Since committing to a monthly facial schedule last year, I’ve found it easier and easier to streamline my skincare routine to only fit what I really need. I started using only prescribed products by the clinic, and one of the things I immediately traded in was my cleanser. This particular formula is for acne-prone skin, but I also alternate it with Dermax Professional So Gentle Gel Cleanser (P420) when I’m not dealing with breakouts.

I’m keeping this because…I want to maintain the great results I’ve been getting from my facials!
 

2. Dermax Professional Hyal-C Booster Serum, P1,450, SkinStation

Photo: SkinStation/Instagram

In one of my previous articles, I recommended SkinStation’s Hyal-C Facial as one of the skincare treatments I swear by. When I started to transition my at-home routine to some of the clinic’s prescribed products, this serum was the first they recommended to me. It’s been a constant in my daily routine from then on. I love the no-rinse formula, too!

I’m keeping this because…it’s the perfect serum for lazy girls like yours truly. Plus, it’s made of really good stuff—Hyaluronic Acid and Vitamin C!
 

3. Skinfood Black Sugar Exfoliating Wash-Off Face Mask, P595, BeautyMNL

Photo: SKINFOOD/Instagram

If there’s one thing I’m taking from my K-Beauty stash to 2020, it’s definitely this one. I’m quite huge on exfoliating and moisturizing, so a good exfoliating mask is right up my alley. I use this twice or thrice a week, but most especially when my skin feels dry—so I can slough off the dead skin. I’ve tried many other exfoliating washes and masks, but this one is still #1!

I’m keeping this because…it does a great job of bringing healthy skin on the surface without being too harsh like other exfoliators.
 

5.  IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ Cream, P2,560, Sephora PH

Photo: IT Cosmetics/Instagram

Ahhh, one of my biggest makeup/skincare discoveries of the ’10s. I remember how a wonderful Sephora consultant in one of their Sydney locations recommended this to me when I was frantically swatching full coverage foundations the whole 30 minutes I was in the store. (This was pre-Sephora PH.) I bought it, and I’ve never looked back since. 

I’m keeping this because…of its genius formula; basically, buildable full coverage, color-correcting, and anti-aging with SPF 50. I’ve never been without it since I discovered it!
 

6. Maybelline Fit Me Concealer, P249, Watsons

Photo: Maybelline/Instagram

I’ve been loyal to this concealer for a few years now and nothing has come close to my love for this one—and that’s saying a lot because I’ve tried so many other brands and formulas, from drugstore to high end. Whatever base I use, their shade in Deep just blends so well with my cool morena complexion.

I’m keeping this because…nothing fits me quite as well as Fit Me. I know, that’s really cheesy. It’s true, though. Hah!
 

7. Benefit Cosmetics Ka-BROW Cream-Gel Color, P1,500, Benefit

Photo: Benefit Cosmetics Philippines/Instagram

It was a choice between this or Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade, but I’ve decided to stick with this one for 2020. While both have amazing formulas, I love how the Ka-BROW already comes with its own brush ingeniously included in its packaging. I love how smooth it applies, too!

I’m keeping this because…whatever lessens my makeup bag’s contents, I’m down for.

I’m barely done de-stashing, but these have made the list so far. I’ve promised myself that I’m going to stick to the limit—and I shall! What products are you bringing to your 2020 routine? Share them with me on Instagram, tag me at @elainecarag!

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