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Preview Girls' Choice Awards 2018: Best in Skincare and Hair

Real reviews from real Preview girls.

by Nikki Santiago-Rivera and Nicole Arcano | Oct 30, 2018

On its second year, the Preview Girls' Choice Awards makes its digital debut on Preview.ph with 50 women reviewing this year's best in beauty.

In 2016, we gave our long-standing tradition of Preview Beauty Awards a major makeover. Rather than sounding off on our beauty picks ourselves, we passed on the mic to real Preview girls and had them share their thoughts on the products we know and love. Hence, the Preview Girls' Choice Awards was born. Now, for its digital debut on Preview.ph, we nominated a fresh pool of women for another round of product raving and critiquing. Keep scrolling for this year's Preview girl-approved skincare and hair products for 2018!

SKINCARE

Best Cleansing Balm: Banila Co Clean It Zero Purifying, P1150, Glorietta

"I’ve used the Clean It Zero Purity variant before, so this isn’t really new to me except for the revamped packaging! This is more like re-experiencing a long lost love. I love how the balm easily melts into your skin. When used, it easily removes any foundation and eyeshadow without residue. Although removing traces of Heroine Make's mascara and Kat Von D's Tattoo Liner required extra work, other than that, it’s good enough for a first cleanse (if you do double cleansing like I do). Overall, it's a good product and something I’d recommend to anyone trying to get into skincare or trying a double cleansing routine out." - Margarette Pajanel


Best Cleansing Water: Simple Micellar Cleansing Water, P299, Watsons


"Before this, I was using a micellar water from a different brand that leaves my skin feeling soapy and slimy, but this product doesn't do that. It's as mild as actual water and it feels lighter on my skin. After using it for a week, I already saw the effects that it promised—it left my skin hydrated and feeling clean after each use! I love how it really removes the remaining dirt and makeup on my face after cleansing, despite being gentle and unscented. It might've helped me control breakouts during my period, too, since it doesn’t leave my skin oily at night. I will definitely recommend this to my friends and family who have combination skin like I do." - Sharmaine Paden

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Best Cleansing Tool: Foreo Mini Luna 2, P7538, Sephora.ph


"Although I have fair skin, it wasn't so obvious because my skin was so dry and dull. I also had a lot of white and blackheads. Because of this, I was reluctant to use the Foreo, thinking it would make my face even drier. But when I started using it twice a day, I instantly noticed a change in my skin—it became smoother as soon as I finished cleansing. After a week, my skin was glowing and I didn't have flaky skin anymore. My skincare routine is very minimal due to my busy schedule, so I like how the Foreo Luna Mini 2 helps me retain that while improving my skin. Without having to do extra skincare steps, I'm able to achieve a glowy, soft, and smooth skin." - Katrina Rivera


Best Exfoliator: Pixi Glow Peel Pads, P1490, Glamourbox


"When I first tried it, I immediately felt it sting, but I left it on for about two minutes before washing it off with cool water. I was afraid that it would irritate my skin but I was pleasantly surprised that it did not and my skin felt really clean afterwards. I used it at night about twice a week after cleansing, and on nights that I would use it, I would hold off on my toner and go straight to applying on my serum and moisturizer. After using the product for two weeks, I noticed that my old pimple marks lightened up. I'm not quite sure about the fine lines just yet, but I will surely continue using this product throughout the following weeks and see how it goes." - Annika Sta. Maria


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Best Toner: Peter Thomas Roth 8% Glycolic Solutions Toner, P2350, SM Megamall


"I wanted to see what this toner would do to the uneven skin tone on my sun-damaged forehead and how it would brighten and smooth out my skin. On my normal to dry sensitive skin type, I used this toner morning and night after my micellar water. The first few times I used this, there was a slight tingling sensation, but that was about it. I was sold when I noticed my skin feeling so hydrated and smooth after, unlike previous toners I've tried. Now, my skin tone definitely looks more even, noticeably on my forehead, and my skin just overall looks more alive and radiant. This product will most definitely stay on my top shelf." - Bianca Bernardo


Best Clay Mask: Origins Original Skin Retexturizing Mask with Rose Clay, P1550, SM Makati


"I have oily skin, and my pores get clogged very easily. When I leave this mask on for 10 minutes then wash it off, my pores visibly looked smaller and my skin is left looking bright, clear, clean, and refreshed. The cool thing about this is it isn’t really that drying, so I can get away with applying only a light moisturizer afterwards. The day after, my skin absorbed all the products I applied to it very well. Overall, I have yet to find a product from Origins that I didn't like. This mask is amazing, and I'm also a sucker for anything with rose in it." - Micah del Rosario


Best Sheet Mask: Mediheal Tea Tree Care Solution Mask, P99, Watsons


"I noticed that the packaging wasn't cute like other Korean face masks. It looked more serious. It didn't have a strong scent, which I liked because when I put on other face masks, the scent can be overpowering. I used it every three days and I really loved how cool it felt on my face. My skin felt tight and smooth right after using it." - Koko Ko

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Best Hydrating Mask: Sisley Black Rose Cream Mask, P6900, Rustan's


"I'm used to derma products that either don't have scent or don't smell great so it was such a treat to use a product that had a decadent scent. This mask fits in quite well with my skincare routine, as I can use it just two to three times a week. It doesn't take too much commitment. It was easy to use considering it's not like a typical mask that needs to be peeled off or washed off. My skin felt tighter after every use, which made me feel youthful as the product claimed. I would definitely use this as a quick way to refresh my skin after a long tiring day." - May May Tan


Best Brightening Serum: Klairs Freshly Juiced Vitamin Drop, P1200, Beauty Bar


"I was always conscious about my oily skin. It makes me prone to blemishes and dark spots, which is why I'm always cautious about using products that make me more susceptible to skin damage. That said, since the Klairs serum is not oil-based, I gladly incorporated it to my daily skincare regimen. I apply a light coat prior to applying sunscreen in the morning and apply it again before going to bed. In two weeks, it definitely gave me the results I was expecting. I noticed that my skin looks more even and has a subtle glow. I would definitely recommend it to anyone. I’m hooked!" - Kai Ochosa


Best Repair Serum: Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate, P2895, Greenbelt 5


"At night, I usually use some form of oil, so the Midnight Recovery Concentrate wasn’t hard to include in my routine. I’ve always looked at this as a luxury and not an everyday type of skincare product. I usually give myself a mini facial massage when I use it, so it helps calm me down and get me ready for sleep. Every time I do this, I wake up to hydrated skin. It doesn’t feel oily or dry.  Since I have combination skin, there are days when I do need extra hydration and I feel like this helps my skin recover. I love that it doesn’t break me out and that the lavender scent just adds a level of relaxation to my nightly regimen." - Macy Alcaraz

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Best Natural Face Oil: V&M Naturals Pure Fully Refined Emu Oil, P1370, V&M Naturals


"I usually prefer creams over oils but this one felt light and was easy to spread; in the morning, I feel an immediate difference: My skin feels softer. If you like using oil products, this is most likely one of the better ones—from its texture, amount of product needed for visible results (I use three to four drops), to how it feels on the skin. If you aren’t used to oil, this is a good product to start with because it feels light without that sticky feeling. When you wake up in the morning, it feels like you satisfied your skin's for thirst for moisture." - Mich Del Rosario


Best Eye Cream for Puffiness: The Body Shop Drops of Youth Bouncy Eye Mask, P1395, Lazada


"I love that the minute I put on the cream, I felt instant relief. My eyes felt refreshed. I'm not sure how my eyes looked right after that first use, but I appreciate the soothing effect it has on my tired eyes. It was easy enough for an eye-mask-newbie like me to use. I started using it daily, every morning for about a week. I looked forward to pampering my eyes in the morning. Pretty soon, I was using it at night, too. Most beauty products don't give instant results, and this was no exception. The only instant result I had with this was feeling refreshed after I slap it on in the morning or in the evening. That said, some fine lines on my eyes seem to have diminished and my eyes were less puffy even after a night of binge-watching on Netflix, but I think I still need to use it continuously to really see remarkable results, particularly with my dark circles." - Stephanie de Castro

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Best Age-Defying Eye Cream: Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Eye Supercharged Complex Synchronized Recovery, P4280, SM Megamall


"I was THIS close to buying this eye cream two months ago in Sephora. It promises to repair, brighten dark circles, hydrate, and prevent signs of aging. While the last claim isn't really something I can check now, it definitely keeps my eye area moisturized. I'm holding out for the other two promises as it's supposed to take effect after a few more weeks!" - Linette Antonio


Best Face Moisturizer: Shiseido Essential Energy Moisture Gel Cream, P2950, SM Megamall


"I've had gel moisturizers before and they didn't feel as if they worked that well on my very dry skin, but I was excited to road test this one. The texture is light and bouncy, which felt really nice on the skin. I also like the fact that it had a very subtle fragrance. The first time I tried it, I put WAY to much—so I scaled down after that. The product was easily absorbed into my skin and it made it feel light and cool. My skin felt smoother after a week. My dry patches are still there, but it did soften the skin around it a bit." - Creole David


Best Face Sunscreen: Shiseido Clear Stick UV Protector WetForce SPF 50+, P1900, SM Megamall


"This was a godsend. I have combination skin (oily and dry patches in certain areas), so it's hard for me to look for a product that won't leave my face too greasy and too dry at the same time. I love that the WetForce Clear Stick came as a stick and not in liquid or cream. It had a fresh, citrusy scent, which I adored as I really can't stand the smell of normal sunblock on a daily basis. The product glided on like a dream. It also leaves no white cast—just a slight sheen. For the price, you're definitely getting your money’s worth as you don't have to worry about using up too much product. My only concern about it is that it tends to get a little oily under makeup, but this could be easily resolved by applying matte powder. If you’re like me who enjoy the everyday, effortless barely-there look, this is a must-add to your arsenal." - Sam Beltran

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Best Overnight Acne Treatment: AcneCare Acne Drying Lotion, P299, Watsons


"This product was very easy to use. You just dip a cotton swab in the bottle and brush the soaked swab over your trouble spots. I definitely appreciated using just one product for dealing with my acne. It gets absorbed quite well by my skin, so I don't have to worry about getting gunk on my sleeping clothes and sheets. Since I started using this regularly, I noticed that my T-zone has been more mattified. On breakouts, the results were quite fast. The few pimples I had were smaller than usual and disappeared in a day or two. I wouldn't have picked this off the shelf, but I am impressed. It has made my skin care regimen more efficient and it works!" - Meianne Tejada


Best Daytime Acne Treatment: COSRX Clear Fit Master Patch, P200, Beauty Bar


"My skin is generally oily with bad acne on my chin. I've tried switching toothpaste brands and sanitizing my phone all the time, but nothing has worked. I use these patches after I cleanse and tone and before I slather on my BB cream. It's super easy to use. I forget about it the whole day—it's barely there. I like it that it prevents me from picking on my pimples and at the same time, it's working its wonders on my breakouts! The patches have been more than effective in covering them, treating them, and making sure there are no marks left behind. It takes a day or two to completely reduce the swelling with no traces in sight! It's trippy to see all the oil and gunk lifted from my skin to the patch, too! Will definitely recommend it." - Patty Moncera

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Best Body Wash: Mario Badescu AHA Botanical Soap, P650, Rustan's


"I first noticed that the product was botanical, making it different from other body washes I've used. It felt light on the skin and smelled heavily of citrus. I only needed little amount for every use. It made me feel so refreshed after a shower, and I would feel that way throughout the day, too. I would recommend this product for those who love citrus scents and to all body skin types—it's quite the universal body wash. I give this a thumbs up!" - Hazel Hipolito


Best Multi-Purpose Oil: Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse (Dry Oil), P2350, Rustan's


At first, I was hesitant to use this because this would be my first time to deviate from my usual skincare routine, but after using it every day I noticed three things: My skin felt softer, my face brightened especially under the eyes and nose area, and the scent was very pleasant. There's a billowy smell to it, like a floral scent that is not cloying. I applied this on both my face and body, and the dry oil was quickly absorbed by my parched skin. Spreading this with soothing motions on my face was like giving myself a facial massage—very relaxing! It’s really radiance made easy! I highly recommend this for busy bees like me." - Yana Magsanoc-Lubo


HAIR

Best Shampoo: Dove Nourishing Oil Care Shampoo, P115, Department Stores


"I got my hair permed late last year and I've been growing it out since. Before using this shampoo, I always felt that my hair was frizzy when it's dry, so I always kept it in a ponytail or a bun. I also have really thick hair, which made it harder for me to manage. First, this shampoo smells really good, which is great because I am very particular with the way I want my hair to smell! Using it every other day really helped make my hair feel silkier and softer even when I don't use conditioner. It helped tame my hair, to the point where I would now leave it untied. I used to feel uneasy whenever my hair wasn't tied into a bun or a ponytail, because I didn't like how my hair looked. With this product, I'm more confident with leaving my hair down all day long." - Jam Binay

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Best Conditioner: Creamsilk Triple Keratin Rescue Ultimate Straight, P259, Department Stores


"I love doing keratin hair treatments at home so I really had high hopes for this product. The thick and creamy texture of it is what I always looked for hair conditioners, and this had that. It really helped bring back the shine and moisture in my hair. It tamed and smoothed out my frizzy ends, too. I love how it managed to enhance my naturally wavy hair without feeling heavy. Plus, the scent stays for almost the entire day! Works like magic!" - Nicole Soliven


Best Hair Mask: Aveda Smooth Infusion Smooting Masque, price unavailable, Greenbelt 5


"Since my hair is dry, I don't wash it daily. Out of the three times I washed my hair this past week, I used the mask twice. I kept my purple shampoo on for longer to prevent it from changing my hair color, used the hair mask, then I applied a small amount of hair serum on my damp hair to keep it soft. With these tweaks, I found that I got the results that I wanted—smooth, soft, and healthy looking hair that I've never really experienced before without spending a few hours in the salon! I honestly think I'll find myself using this product at least once a week because I love the citrus scent, and I don't mind spending a few more minutes in the shower for extra hair care!" - Rianna Raymundo


Best Hair Serum: Kérastase Chronologiste Parfum Hair Oil, P2750, selected salons


"I'm always careful about piling on too much product in fear that my strands may look stringy. Thankfully though, this serum proved otherwise. The product comes in a sleek, dresser-pretty bottle, and with just two pumps, I had enough product for my entire head. My hair is fine and dry, possibly even a little parched from all the color-damage and daily wear and tear. So, applying the Kérasatase Fragrant Oil is a quick fix and easy addition to my hair routine. I'd recommend it as a final step in the styling process to both smooth out slight fly-aways and infuse strands with a fragrant sheen. Remember, though, to use it sparingly, so it won't weigh your hair down. Then, enjoy the benefits of its lasting fragrance until your next shampoo or blowout." - Zo Aguila

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Best Hairspray: TRESemmé Salon Finish Extra Hold Hairspray, P689, Watsons


"This product is just perfect for me! I've long been looking for a quality hair product that I can trust when I have to get up and style my hair as early as 6 a.m., hoping that I won't have flat, boring hair when the night comes. I loved how it managed to hold my curls from day to night without making my hair look 'crunchy' or brittle! I also like how it dries up in a jiffy without flaking like other hairsprays. Another thing I love about it is its fresh, mild scent that is not overpowering and won't hurt your nose. It's as if you've just stepped out from the shower! I definitely recommend this product to anyone who wants a well-styled 'do that'll look polished from day to night!" - Mimi Alcantara


Best Straightening Iron: Eva NYC Healthy Heat Ceramic Styling Iron, P2950, SM Beauty


"Being a dentist requires me to always wear a hair cap at work, so I normally put my hair up in a bun all day, which has made it wavy over time. I only usually fix my hair whenever I'm going out, like for a party or to hang out with my friends, but now it's been easier to get ready because the flat iron works really fast and makes my hair straight and shiny. Just 20 minutes and I'm out the door! Apart from the cute design, the thing I love the most about it is that it allows me to style my hair without damaging it so much because it's 100% ceramic and the temperature is adjustable. Unlike other flat irons, it also doesn't take too long to straighten my thick and frizzy hair, so even when I'm in a hurry I can afford to still look presentable. So yes, I'd definitely recommend it!" - Micah Ramos

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Best Hair Dryer: Dyson Supersonic, P21,500, Department Stores


"This was a good replacement for my former hair dryer as I took less time in drying my hair. It was rather comfortable to use, as I felt that it was not frying my hair out while drying. It was also surprisingly light. As for the sound, for the power that it has, it was not thunderous. Whenever I use it, my hair doesn't feel distressed after drying—it has good volume, looks shinier, and has less tangles. I strongly recommend it for its efficiency in drying and styling. It's a quiet yet mean machine that does its job wonderfully." - Anne Piñera


*Interviews have been edited and condensed for clarity.

Produced by Nikki Santiago-Rivera

Co-produced by Nicole Arcano

Photographed by Artu Nepomuceno

Art Directed by Mark Buenaobra

Makeup by Bianca Vela, Kaori Martinez, Johnson Estella, Karmela Jabla, Epo Sindayen, Jef Ong, Jeanne Adones, Anju Dargani, and Patricia Remoquillo of MAC Cosmetics

Hair by Francis Guintu, Gelo Cibrian, Catherine Sta. Ana, Rodel Torres, Jessie Maghuyop, Geoffrey Artajos, Bullet Reyes, Renz Guevara, and Nicole Soliven

Shoot Assistant: April Lozada

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