For the past 3 years or so, Singapore has been seriously improving it’s game in the budget beauty world. We used to just have 5 or 6 major brands in our pharmacies and they were never very pocket friendly but now there is a much better variety available.

In no particular order, here are my some of my favourite affordable brands that are worth their price tag and a whole lot more.

1. CATRICE

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CATRICE is a well-rounded brand from Europe and seems very popular in Germany and Switzerland. CATRICE is sold in selected Guardian Phamacies and prices range from $4 to $13. For cheaper brands, I usually expect poor formulations and packaging but CATRICE has pleasantly surprised me.The packaging is minimalistic, sleek and easily up there with L’óreal and Revlon but at a fraction of the price. I’ve been slowly purchasing bit and pieces from CATRICE and so far, all the formulations have been good or have made it to my favourites. I haven’t regretted any purchases so far which is a huge feat for me.

The only issue I can think of is that CATRICE does not provide applicators for most of it’s products. While it’s not a problem for me personally, those without makeup brushes or sponges may find this a little annoying and fussy.

 

2. essence

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essence is the older sister of CATRICE, both are owned by the same European company. essence seems to have a large following in the USA and Australia. essence is the most affordable of my Top 5 with prices ranging from $2.50 to $7.90.

Just in case you’re like me and a little wary of things that seem too good to be true, the majority of essence and CATRICE products are made in Europe. You don’t need to worry about dodgy manufacturing practices as the EU is much more strict about such things. The EU also does not allow animal testing so essence and CATRICE are safe.

essence does have a few hit and miss products, but for the price tag, I’m willing to be forgiving. The packing is a little on the cheaper side but the products that are good are really good. I only have two items from essence but that’s mostly because the display rack is almost always sold out when I manage to find it. The two I do have are good though. Most of their base products like foundation and concealers are too dark for me so I haven’t been able to test them. I’ve heard good things about their lipsticks and lipliners but I haven’t been able to track them down. Yet.

essence is sold in selected Watsons Pharmacies.

 

3. Wet ‘n’ Wild

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Wet ‘n’ Wild is a USA brand and is most popular for being crazy affordable and good. If you’re an avid youtube beauty guru fan, you’ve no doubt heard about it. I think Wet ‘n’ Wild was readily available in Singapore decades ago before it was discontinued. Well I remember my mother using it in the 90s anyway. Now SaSa has begun stocking it in their stores.

The prices are still pretty affordable, priced below the $20 range but you do run the problem of popular items being out of stock. Their eyeshadows are buttery and pigmented but you can get a few dud shades in some of the palettes. Unfortunately, SaSa doesn’t seem to stock the 8-pan eyeshadow palettes which are hugely popular. Maybe it’s just the SaSa stores I’ve visited. Either way, I’m looking forward to getting their blushes and lipsticks as I’ve heard great things about them. And maybe a few more eyeshadow palettes, cos they’re so nice!

 

4. Collection

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Collection, previously known as Collection 2000, is a UK brand and while it’s not as cheap as some of the others, their star products are just awesome. Collection is available in Watsons Pharmacies and prices range from $8.90 to $21.90.

Collection is best known for their Lasting Perfection concealer which pretty much every British youtube beauty guru loves. Collection has the best glitter liners I have found, so much so that I bought almost every single colour they had (I have another 3 somewhere). Collection also has a versatile blush quad that’s great for travelling and some of their lip products are pretty decent too.

 

5. NYX
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NYX has got to be one of my favourite brands ever. If the full range of products was more accessible, I’d have a tonne more of NYX products. But alas, I only have some lippies and blushes. Woe is me. Seriouly. I wish I could buy the whole online NYX store because Singapore, unlike USA, doesn’t carry the full NYX range.  What little of the NYX range Singapore does have is stocked in Sephora and Watsons. The prices of NYX at Sephora range from $8 to $20 but Watsons prices their products differently (on the higher side, in some cases).

With NYX, there’s little you can go wrong with. The Butter lipsticks and glosses are my current favourites, being smooth and , well, buttery! But the other lip products are fabulous as well. The blushes are also gorgeous and come in a great range of colours. I wish they brought in more of the NYX range because they do some great dupes of products from highend brands.

 

So that’s a round up of my Top 5 favourite affordable brands. There are, of course, other affordable brands such as Silky Girl, L.A. Girl and the crazy cheap makeup you can get at Daiso but they didn’t quite make it for me, personally.

And since I had enough CATRICE products to do a full face of makeup, here’s a bonus picture! Yeah, that CATRICE mascara? AWESOME. I even used the matte brown eyeshadow to contour my face and fill in my brows!

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So next time you’re in a pharmacy (or Sephora) give these brands a glance or two. You never know what gems you may find!