We are proud to present the first-ever BeautyMNL Awards: a five-part event that celebrates this fabulous year in beauty. After comprehensive discussion—and a whole lot of road-testing—the girls at the BeautyMNL office have listed the Best Products of 2016.
In the fifth and final installment of The BeautyMNL Awards, we’re bringin’ it home to the Philippines. If you told us a decade ago that we could fill our kikay kits with Filipino cosmetics and line our dressers with Filipino skincare, we would have called you a dreamer. That’s why the blossoming of our local beauty industry is something to be impressed and obsessed with. What a time to be alive!

The coolest thing about Pinoy-made products is that they’re customized for life in the PH. Can’t find a foundation to match your unique complexion? Go local. Humidity too strong for celebrated frizz-fighters? Go local. Feeling raw from the unknown contents of international skin creams? Go local (and natural). Drumroll, please: here are the Best Local Beauty Products of 2016, according to our all-Filipino team. Represent!

Pink Sugar Sugar Tints, P349 each
“I’ll be honest: liquid lipstick can be so scary. You can’t exactly control it like a regular bullet, so you never know how it’ll look after a couple hours of wear. But if it there’s any liquid lipstick I trust, it’s this one by Pink Sugar. It has intense staying power and comes in a range of gorgeous colors. Nowadays, I don’t only use it on my lips—I’ve finally tried it as a cheek tint, and I’m OBSESSED.” – Dani C.

Zenutrients Solid VCO All-Natural, All-Around Balm, P218
“I consider this my portable first aid kit! I use it for headaches, coughs, colds, and even when I’m a little down (the smell creates such good vibes!). It’s the product I’ve been most proud to share with my family and friends.” – Chai I.

Skin Genie Apple Cider Vinegar Soap, P150
“I love this soap so much! I bought it to treat a three-day-old pimple. And wow, that pimple got drastically smaller after my first use. I didn’t feel like the rest of my skin dried out; the apple cider vinegar in the soap just did what it was supposed to. It fought all the bacteria in the pimple and killed it! I definitely think it’s a great soap to use on wounds that need more germ-fighting action.” – Frankie C.

VMV Id Monolaurin Gel, P830
“This is my favorite local product because it’s so useful! I stock up on it regularly because I use it multiple ways: as a mattifier, as a toner and as an acne spot treatment. It really zeroes in on acne-causing bacteria! And it just works on those problems spots—it won’t irritate or dry out the surrounding skin, unlike many other products I’ve tried before.” – Carli D.

PILI Elemie Essential Oil, on sale at P302 (limited time only)
“I have the Sweet Dreams Blend of this essential oil. It has helped me drift off to dreamland countless times. I lightly massage the oil over my temples right before I go to bed. I love how it lasts so long—you get so much product for the price tag! I started using the oil at the very beginning of 2016 and there’s still so much left in the tube.” – Angie G.

Beauty Bakery Clarifying Witch Hazel Facial Mist, P265
“Can you actually get addicted to misting? Because that’s exactly what happened to me when I got a bottle of this stuff. Initially, I was drawn to the formula because I have oily skin, and I knew that the witch hazel/tea tree blend would protect me from pimples (BTW, it works!). Now, I just use it whenever I need a pick-me-up, whether or not I’m breaking out. The mist is so refreshing on the skin. It absorbs quickly, leaving behind a dewy (but not oily) look. And it smells like a spa! I just love it so much.” – Steph C.

Human Nature Cool Burst Spray Sanitizer, P60
“Any time I bust out this hand sanitizer, people sniff the air and ask me where it’s from. It just smells so good. It imparts a cooling sensation on the skin and doesn’t leave my hands dry (unlike alcohol sprays). I can’t go anywhere without this stuff.” – Kim V.

Kala Milk Lotion, P135
“This lotion makes my skin feel soft and silky, just like a baby’s. In spite of its thick consistency, it doesn’t feel heavy or sticky at all. Also, the packaging is really cute and classy—it looks much more expensive than just P135!” – Denisse L.

Leiania Butter Lip Therapy, on sale at P600 (limited time only)
“I always forget to exfoliate my lips, so they can be really flaky. This lip balm always saves the day. It really keeps my lips moisturized! I usually put it on before applying lipstick, and it makes even the most drying mattes feel creamy. I apply this at night as well, so when I wake up my lips are smooth and pink.” – Joanna T.

Skin Genie Pit Perfect Underarm Whitening Cream, P200
“I loved the scent of Pit Perfect the moment I opened it the tub. It’s addicting! But more importantly, this cream works. It has smoothened out both the color and texture of my underarms. I even tried using it on my dark elbows—to complete success!” – Erika A.

Beach Born Sea Salt Spray, P180
“I have really straight, bagsak hair, and this spray helps a lot in giving it volume. I also like to use this whenever I curl my hair—it somehow makes the curls last longer! Super value for money.” – Nicky M.

Pink Sugar Dual Finish Face Powder and It’s Awesome BB Cream, P499 each
“I use these two Pink Sugar products in tandem. The powder gives me great coverage for the day and has never made me break out. It’s best used with the BB Cream, which helps me achieve a smoother look all over my face. I like using the BB Cream as an eyelid primer, too!” – Jennifer P.

VMV Hydra Balance Smart Moisturizer, P860
“This is my HG moisturizer for my combination skin. The formula is gentle, creamy, fragrance-free, and easily absorbed. It sets with a smooth finish and doesn’t leave any oily residue. I can actually feel my skin plumping up immediately after use. A little goes a long way!” – Erika G.

Be Organic Argan Oil Foaming Face Wash, on sale at P198 (limited time only)
“Talk about a great alternative to pricy argan oil products! This facial wash is a luxurious yet totally inexpensive elixir. Such a find!” – Sheena A.

“This formula makes my face feel soft and smooth. I never have to worry about dryness or pimples anymore.” – Chai I.

PILI Lip and Cheek Tints, on sale at P806 (limited time only)
“I adore this product and have it with me in my bag at all times. It’s perfect for an instant touch-up when you’re rushing between meetings. It works equally well as a lipstick and cream blush (just use the tiniest amount on the cheeks).” – Ina G.

Human Nature Sunflower Beauty Oil, P175
“This is an all-around product for me. I use it to moisturize dry spots on my face or body. I also use it to lighten the dark circles under my eyes. It does such a good job!” – Bea P.

Happy Island Candles, P199-P499 each
“It’s really difficult to choose my favorite Happy Island Candle—I love them all, especially the ones that come in small tins! They’re like perfumes in candle form. If I were forced to, I’d say the best scents are Cucumber & Melon and Piña Colada.” – Patty G.

Beauty Bakery All-Purpose Chocolate Oil Mist, P499
“This spray has saved me countless times from ‘unfreshness.’ I really like how it makes both me and my desk smell like a chocolate factory. So dependable for after-lunch use!” – Cecille M.

Skin Genie Lip and Cheek Stain Alive!, P80 each
“Since getting my hands on five shades of this stain, I have not used any other product as blush. It is so easy to apply and blend! Also, it looks natural on my skin, smells like candy, and comes at an unbelievable price. (You should see how it looks on the lips, too!” – Athena A.

Beach Born Bam Balm, P168
“This all-natural formula exfoliates my lips very well while keeping them moisturized. It’s not too waxy unlike other lip balms I’ve tried before, which is a nice touch.” – Mara J.

Halo + Halo Feelings Pouch, P200
“This pouch is the perfect size for all my face masks. I love how it keeps things organized. I’ve bought many Halo + Halo’s pouches in different designs and sizes, but this is my favorite one. The design is so appropriate for what I put in it, because choosing my mask of the day always depends on my feelings (wink, wink).” – Rimina P.