Gen Z Vanity: Makeup Must-Haves of the Next Generation of Beauty Junkies

What a time to be alive for Gen Z beauty fans! With more options at their disposal, we ask the true essentials they can't live without (at least for now!).
Reading Time: 4 minutes

Ah, Gen Zs. A generation that loves all things ’90s and Y2K, from butterfly clips to glossy lips, and has brought forth new slang must-knows (every generation does, to be fair!) from slay to glow-up to vibing. Arguably, they might just be the generation that’s dictated trends like never before, such as in beauty thanks to the power of social media that allows them to respond with feedback, instantly, giving sellers and marketers a clue on what’s hot and what’s not, at least, according to them.

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A peek into the most-preferred products of a Gen Z’s vanity.

We’re living in the golden age of Filipino beauty. Gone are the days when you’d have to wait for a balikbayan box to bring in your makeup faves — you can find all the quality products for your skincare and makeup needs from both local and international brands right here at home. 

While this is a big plus for all generations, this also means that the younger ones — especially Gen Zs — are faced with more choices than ever before. So what do they consider when making their next beauty purchase? 

“I always think of the price range — like if it’s affordable,” says 23-year-old fresh grad Nadine Jacob. “Since there are so many ads and lots of different products go viral all the time, before I give in to the hype, I look up if it’s actually effective and also the ingredients in the product.” 

Additionally, the decision to support a particular brand lies not only in the price and quality of its products, but in the values these brands bring to the table. This is true all around the world as Gen Z have begun to influence how companies move, with teens and young adults understanding how to harness the power of collective action and use it to influence changes that benefit them. If they don’t see a brand aligning with their personal values, then they don’t support it. 

“For me, the biggest thing when I support a brand is how inclusive they are when it comes to their products,” says 23-year-old beauty content creator Kai Javier on the homegrown brands she chooses to support. “As long as they make stuff that are morena-friendly and they’re inclusive for their shade range, that’s a big yes for me,” she adds.

We asked Kai, Nadine, and other young Filipinos about their beauty preferences to see how the standards for Pinoy beauty have changed over the years, as makeup trends come and go. We see this in the way Gen Xers preferred thin brows, shimmery eyeshadows, and powder, while millennials placed a heavy emphasis on long-lasting foundation, eyeliner, brow pomade, and either matte lipsticks or lip tints. Now, we’re seeing how Gen Zs prefer a more natural and holistic approach to doing their faces. The popular “clean girl” makeup look involves natural-looking skin tints, concealer, eyebrow pencils or mascara, cream blush, and a nice lipgloss. There’s also a good percentage who like to play with eye looks via playful eyeshadows and eyeliner.    

The Gen Z’s Makeup Must-Haves

We narrowed down the list to the key essentials our Gen Z respondents have mentioned: that’s skin tint or foundation, concealer, mascara and eyelash curler, a brow tint, blush, eyeliner, and a lip gloss, tint, or liner.

“I use the Maybelline Fit Me Fresh Tint Foundation for everyday makeup because it’s super lightweight. I like how it serves as both a sheer foundation and SPF that protects my face since my skin is sensitive to the sun.” —Louise Villarama, 18, college sophomore

“ I’ve been breaking out a lot easily so the Issy Active Skin Tint helps even it out.” —Nadine Jacob, 23, fresh grad

“Concealer, such as the NARS pot concealer or the GRWM Cosmetics Radiance Tin, for me is a daily necessity, especially since it’s subtle enough to not be called out but effective enough to cover up my blemishes since wearing makeup in school isn’t really allowed.” —Bea Villanueva, 17, Grade 12

“I don’t like using mascara so much so I’d rather curl my lashes. It gives me a more doll-like look and I just like the way my eyes look with curled lashes.” —Marianna Macatulad, 20, college junior

“Using the Etude House Curl Fix, my mascara stays on all day and doesn’t smudge into my eyes as much as other brands. I wear contacts so this is a very good thing.” —Mica Padilla, 23, college senior

“I’ve always been a brow person. I started doing makeup because I wanted to do my eyebrows. Right now I use the GRWM Brow Tint and the Sunnies Lifebrow Grooming Gel.” —Kai Javier, 23, beauty content creator

“Blush is also a product I use every day mainly to bring back color to my face after foundation and concealer. I like it a lot because besides using it for my cheeks, I can also use it on my eyes to create the same effect of a natural eyeshadow and on my nose and chin to create a soft and supple effect. My picks are the GRWM Cosmetics Milk Tint and the Rare Beauty Soft Pinch Liquid Blush.” —Bea Villanueva, 17, Grade 12

“I used to have a hard time perfecting my eyeliner, but after trying out the Heroine Make and Etude House, it became such a quick process. Its fine-line brush tip is simple to use and leaves a precise line, comparable to the shape of a calligraphy marker.” —Louise Villarama, 18, college sophomore

“I’ll never leave the house without 10 lip products. I think using lip gloss alone already makes me look a lot better. My faves are the Colourette Colourtint and Benefit Benetint.” —Marianna Macatulad, 20, college junior

Illustration by Dannah Valdezco

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