ILOILO CITY - ICYMI: Sephora is finally in the Philippines, and it has been for over a year now. The popular beauty chain from France is not only in Manila, you can shop on Sephora online through Sephora.ph and get your beauty products delivered straight to your doorstep anywhere in the Philippines.
My beauty blogger and beauty addict friends have been talking about it, but it wasn’t until I stayed in Iloilo for a month and realized that I was running low on skincare products I packed for the trip that it hit me how amazing this is for beauty girls around the country.
Sephora is one of my favorite stores to visit whenever I’m abroad, and I know a lot of Filipinas who travel do the same—especially when we have friends who ask us to pick up their Sephora staples for them. We all have our favorite Sephora products, especially prestige and luxury brands we don’t have yet in the Philippines, like Japanese brand SK-II. So I can imagine everyone’s joy when the brand finally hit our shores, even if they have yet to open a physical store.
Shopping on Sephora.ph
I’m personally glad Sephora started with their online store and that they deliver nationwide because this way, I can get the products I love with a few clicks on my laptop wherever I am in the Philippines. I find this extra convenient because when I need a beauty product that’s not available here in Iloilo, all I have to do is go online and get it from Sephora, and it’s brought to me in Iloilo within a few days to a week. This is particularly useful to me when I forget to pack a beauty product or run out of it while I’m here in Iloilo and I won’t be able to fly back to Manila for weeks.
I’m also so happy for my friends here in Iloilo—including my wedding makeup artist—who have been complaining about how there are so many beauty brands they want to try that are not yet available here. Now they can get it from Sephora.ph—no need to fly to Manila or abroad!
Sadly, like in a lot of places in the Philippines, our favorite beauty brands are still not available on beauty counters, so Sephora.ph really is heaven-sent. And I’m so glad it made something like the hard-to-find SK-II more accessible to Filipinas nationwide. No need to hoard them abroad (the products are too pricey to hoard anyway) or pabili from friends and family who travel.
My first time to try shopping on Sephora.ph was when I was given shopping credits to try SK-II products available on the website. I looked through the available products that fit my budget and skincare needs, and noticed that some of the ones I wanted were out of stock. I finally decided on SK-II Cellumination Day Surge UV (more on this later) then proceeded to check out.
Since my single SK-II product selection is more than P1,300, I was entitled to free shipping, yay! This is great for future purchases—I just make sure to order everything I need in one go so I meet the minimum amount for free shipping.
Each order also comes with three free samples—you can choose from their available freebies. I picked a baby pink Sephora Rouge Shine Lipstick and Sephora Rouge Matte Lipstick in M11 Rebel Chic (each of which came in super cute 1g mini tubes that are perfect retouch essentials in my tiny handbag), and a sachet of Sephora Cleansing Cream in Rose (which I have now kept in my travel toiletries kit).
My Sephora.ph samples
Aramex is Sephora.ph’s courier partner, and the delivery came from Singapore. I placed my order on August 2, and by August 8, my package was already in Iloilo. There was just a slight issue with the delivery, since my Iloilo address is not exactly easy to find (our house is in the middle of a farm an hour away from Iloilo City), so I requested to course my delivery through LBC instead. Since LBC couldn’t deliver it directly to my address in Iloilo, they asked me to pick up my package from their warehouse outside Iloilo City instead. After several days of negotiating with LBC to bring it to a branch in Iloilo City, I just located their warehouse and was able to pick up my package safely, with all products intact. (Note that this shouldn’t be a problem if your home is conveniently located within a populated city, town, or barangay; there wouldn’t be any need to ask Sephora to deliver it to LBC.)
My Sephora.ph loot
Trying out SK-II Cellumination Day Surge UV
And now, for that precious cargo.
My best friend (who’s a doctor and skincare enthusiast) has been making me try SK-II for some time now. She swears by it—it’s supposedly one of the best anti-aging brands out there—and believes it’s the solution to all our aging skin woes. I’m also particularly intrigued because I heard that sake brewing and fermentation factored into the discovery of the brand’s signature ingredient, Pitera, known to improve skin’s glow and texture.
I know that one of SK-II’s bestsellers is its Treatment Essence, but essences are currently not part of my barebones skincare routine. I opted for the SK-II Cellumination Day Surge UV (P5,421 for a 50g bottle) because my dull skin was badly in need of some glow (no thanks to wedding preps stress, sun exposure, pollution, and too much wine). I also tend to break out a lot whenever I’m in Iloilo, so my face has an uneven complexion and dark spots where the pimples have dried.
My skincare routine is made up of just the basics, and facial sunscreen is one of them. When I was browsing products on Sephora.ph, I saw the description for SK-II Cellumination Day Surge UV: “This brightening daytime moisturizer with SPF30 PA+++ UV protection is specially formulated with Aura Bright Cocktail D with Pitera that effectively shields skin from harmful UV rays and prevents damage from sun exposure. It brightens dull skin and reduces the appearance of spots, while it moisturizes and protects. Skin becomes luminous with a translucent glow.”
It seemed this product ticked off all the boxes in addressing my skin concerns!
I’ve only been using the product for a few days, but I can say I’ve made the right choice. I enjoy its delicate texture and how it’s easily absorbed into skin. The last thing I need in this humidity is a sticky sunscreen, so I’m glad this UV moisturizer has such a light and airy finish, while offering me extra protection from both UVB and UVA rays. Use only two to three small pumps (pea-sized) so you can spread the product evenly.
I like that the product has a clean, refreshing, and mild scent that you barely even notice. My skin reacts to heavily-scented products, so I’m glad this one doesn’t have a harsh fragrance. I also like that it sits well under my makeup.
I think it’s because of this product that I no longer look so sallow. My skin has started to recover its glow, and I like that it’s getting smoother now than before I started using the product. I’m really making the most of my precious cylinder of SK-II Cellumination Day Surge UV, which I’m hoping will get me through the next four months before my big day—and will help me get that coveted blushing bride glow!
Photos by Trixie Reyna