In the last entry, I mentioned a brand that I had no access to in the US: BYS Cosmetics. The brand hails from Australia and is mainly available to Southeast Asia, Australia (obviously), parts of Europe and the Middle East, Southern Africa, and in Colombia and (soon) Chile in South America. At this time, there does not seem to be any plan(s) to expand to North and Central America.
BYS’s packaging aesthetic is a mix of black, hood makeup brands and W7. Here is their link if you’re interested in taking a look. As I’ve mentioned in the previous entry, this style of packaging made me a little sus about trying them out.
But tucked among the permanent makeup staples that were on display at the Watsons Store in SM Urdaneta was a brightly packaged set of eyeliners, eyeshadows, and lip and cheek stains. My interest was piqued – why did they look different compared to the rest of the products on the shelf?
My curiosity was short lived, as it didn’t take long for a Watsons saleslady to quickly rush over and try to sell me a boxed set of what I was looking at, with her main pitch being that I would save ₱1,000 ($18.70). I wasn’t sold. It wasn’t like I couldn’t afford to get the boxed set – I only had to say the word and it would have been bought.
There were two problems: the first one was the box’s size. It was quite bulky and I wasn’t about to spend a lot of money on a box that was (most likely) going to be squished and busted during the long flight back to the US. Secondly, the saleswoman was so determined to make a sale with me that she didn’t seem to realize just how pushy she was.
The reason for the fancier packaging? It was a collab between BYS and a local celebrity, Nadine Lustre. At the time, I assumed that she was just a local beauty influencer who got a chance to collab with a brand (which is usually the norm in the US), so I paid little attention to the name and focused on the eyeshadow palettes. One of them was a warm toned palette with a wine-red shade while the other one was more cool toned. The packaging was gold compared to the standard black that BYS uses in their permanent line, but it is still plastic and feels cheap.
The palette, Calypso, has all-shimmer shades, which is kinda surprising – was it meant to be a shimmer topper or as a standalone, no-matte style palette? For someone who uses both shimmer and matte in my eye looks, that aspect of the palette would have made me second guess buying it, considering how much it costs as well: ₱799.00 ($14.94). That’s super expensive for a palette that only has 5 shades, has cheap plastic packaging, and a small eyeshadow brush.
But I was so bent on bringing home a not-available-in-the-US brand that I was set on the eyeshadow. That would have been the end, had the Watsons saleslady not tried to pitch the boxed set again and tried to recommend other products when I made it clear I was not interested in buying the box. She wasn’t going to leave me alone until I bought more than the eyeshadow palette, so to humor her (and get her a commission), I gave in and bought the Lip / Cheek tint and a face powder from their permanent line.
For all the awkwardness I had to go through just for one eyeshadow palette, I decided to playfully rib the saleslady by saying that if the powder didn’t match my skin tone, I was going to find her specifically and make her do a refund for me. I almost choked at the total price of the 3 items that I got (mainly because I had to pay for it myself, otherwise my uncle would have), but knowing that BYS wasn’t available in the US made the price a bit more palatable to swallow.
I also made a promise to myself to never shop at that particular Watsons ever again.
And that’s how my makeup adventure in the Philippines ended.