A model uses Laneige cosmetics. Courtesy of Laneige

MANILA, Philippines - Moisturizer, foundation, BB cream, serum, night cream, lipstick are just some of the beauty essentials for women.

But do you really need to spend hundreds, even thousands of pesos, on all these skin care and make-up products?

ANC On The Money's resident financial adviser Salve Duplito talked to former magazine editor Dedet Panabi on what you should prioritize when buying skin care and make-up products.

Before heading to the mall, Panabi suggested creating a list of priorities to guide you in your purchases.

Panabi also gave some tips on when to splurge and when to scrimp on beauty products.

1. Spend money on good serum and night cream, but skip the day cream.

"Your skin heals when you sleep, so that's when you put the big guns... Serums have the highest concentration of the active ingredient... As for the day cream, I would rather you spend it on sunblock. Sun damage accounts for 80-90 percent of premature aging. It will moisturize your skin anyway. You can't have over-moisturized skin in the morning because your make-up will slide off," Panabi said.

2. Look for a no-frills face cleanser.

Panabi said when you're looking for a cleanser, don't get swayed by claims of anti-aging, but simply choose the one that can take the dirt off your face.

3. If you use make-up often, buy a good make-up remover.

"If you don't have a good make-up remover, the make-up stays on your skin, it blocks the pores, you get pimples and you spend thousands naman on derma. So for me, just spend on make-up remover, you save on the derma," Panabi said.

4. For make-up, spend on foundation and concealer.

"You can have breakouts if you don't get a good formula. Second, you can tell immediately if someone's foundation is bad. The color will not match your skin tone, and it will sit like a mask. Amazing foundation will look like your skin," she said.

5. Go cheap on lipstick, blush and eyeliner.

Panabi noted most women won't just have 1 lipstick, but will have 5 or 10. "Why spend P5,000 on a lipstick you will probably only use 20 times a year," she asked.

6. Buy good make-up brushes.

7. Buy cheap mascara and throw it away after three months.

8. Skip the expensive lipstick. Instead buy cheap lip liners and mix with lip gloss.

"Lip liner is very cheap. Buy all the colors, apply it on your lips and you can mix that with different lipstick to get a full range of color. If you have a red lip liner and brown lipstick, you get a brick colored lipstick. It's a great way of extending what you have," Panabi said.

Tip when buying foundation

Panabi shared a valuable tip when buying foundation. She said you shouldn't let the sales person apply it on you in the store, since the lighting is usually not suitable for assessing foundation color.

Instead, ask the sales person to give you a sample of the foundation, which can be placed in small container like a pill box. You can apply it at home, where you will have more time to figure out whether it is good for your skin or if you will get pimples from it.

Duplito also noted this would also remove the pressure to buy the product immediately, and allows you to think twice before buying an expensive product.

Cost of kikay

Duplito said she asked some of her girlfriends to assess their "kikay corner" and put all the items they don't use in one basket. The average cost of all these unused moisturizers and lipsticks was P15,000.

While looking good is important, Duplito said there are ways to do this without spending too much.

Panabi noted that spending on beauty is spending on one's self-esteem.

"You need to feel good about yourself. You're investing in yourself... But like all spending, that's a very good approach becomes bad when you shop because you feel depressed. So you will buy everything in sight. It comes from a negative place, and that's when it becomes bad," she said.

Also, she warned against buying something just because a friend or a celebrity endorsed it.

"Then it becomes more of other people saying it's cool. It's not about you anymore, and it's about impressing them," Panabi added.

"More than the creams and moisturizers, the one thing that a woman can wear to be really beautiful is confidence and belief in her own value, and that's something you don't have to buy," Duplito said.