[REVIEW] Etude House Matte Chic Lip Lacquer

These were quite heavily promoted last year, so I gave myself an excuse to try them out when Etude House released a Xmas bauble with 3 mini lip lacquers (because Xmas collectibles are worth our money, right?)


Product Description

 Long-lasting lip locker keeps the lips matte and less smudged or smeared as rich color pigment is fixed fast upon application.

Official Retail Price in Singapore: SGD 19.90


Ingredient List

I’m having problems finding this, let me know if you see it around!


Matte Chic Lip Lacquer Swatch
RD303 IRENE RED
BR402 THANK YOU BERRY BROWN
PK005 ICING CREAM PINK

Packaging: I quite like the fact that the bottle is transparent, as it is very easy to see the exact colour of the lipstick. Let’s say you are in a rush and don’t have time to swatch your lippie, you can still choose a colour that you want accurately. I find this very useful, because a lot of lipstick packaging don’t tell you much, or even if they do, they tend to be misleading.

Colour: RD303 is the exact shade of red that Irene of Red Velvet (Etude House’s ambassadors) wears in their marketing material. While I do agree that it looks fantastic on her, I generally steer clear of bright reds like this because I’m not used to wearing such loud colours.

BR402 is a lovely MLBB shade that works well for most people, although I would say it probably works a little better for people with cooler undertones. I find that this is pretty similar to Urban Decay’s Vice Liquid Lipstick in the shade Naked.

PK005 is a special shade that can only be found in the Tiny Twinkle Xmas Ornament, so you won’t be able to find the full-sized version of it in stores (I think!). The colour looks super pretty when you swatch it like that, but for some reason it turns out a little darker on my lips. Maybe it’s just me.

Colour payoff & intensity: It’s very pigmented, but as you can see from the PK005 swatch, the application can get a little uneven sometimes. I find it a bit thick as well, but I think it’s a pretty common texture that you get from matte liquid lipsticks.

Staying power: I’ve seen some truly fantastic reviews about this lippie’s staying power, so I was pretty curious to see if it would work as well for me.

I was rather pleasantly surprised by the fact that this lasted me not only through a few bouts of water-drinking, but also all the way from lunch to the end of the day. It did feel a little dry as the day progressed, but nothing too uncomfortable.


Final Verdict

I’ve yet to try the other colours, but I have to admit that I am pretty impressed by the formulation of this liquid lipstick. It lasts for really long, and yet I didn’t suffer from the horrors of dry, uneven patches on my lips.

Could this be a dupe for UD’s famous Vice Liquid Lipsticks? I think it definitely comes close – the only aspect it lacks in is the number of shades available!


Rating

Colour payoff: ✮✮✮✮
Ease of use: ✮✮✮✮
Staying power: ✮✮✮✮✮
Value for money: ✮✮✮✮

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[REVIEW] Suisai Beauty Clear Powder

I hate to admit this, but when I first heard about the hype over this cleanser, I was really puzzled. I’ve never been particularly excited about my cleansers, and I also couldn’t really understand why people were so crazy over this.

That’s also probably because I don’t expect much from my cleanser – all it has to do is wash my face well without causing me to break out, and I think I’m pretty much satisfied already.


Product Description

suisai Beauty Clear Powder face wash is catching the eye of the worldwide audience with an enzyme-activated formula that whisks away impurities and unclogs pores as it protects the skin’s natural moisture. A popular choice for tourists who desire the Japanese secret to even, finely textured skin.

Official Retail Price in Singapore: SGD 27 (pack of 32) or SGD 14 (pack of 15)


Ingredient ListR

See the full list here, together with information on safety and irritants.


Packaging: This is probably one of the most convenient packaging I’ve ever seen for cleansers (samples not included). I was so tempted to buy lots of them to bring on all my travels because I just have to pack a few, and throw them away once I finish washing my face! It’s seriously so convenient to use as well, I don’t have to worry about squeezing out too much product or anything because there is already a fixed amount of product in each capsule.

Texture: As the main ingredient is talc, it’s not surprising that this comes in a powder form. All you need to do is add some water and rub, and you will get lots of foam. I really like that it lathers ‘normally’, because I feel very insecure when my cleansers don’t produce enough foam (weird but true).

Effectiveness: The first time I tried, I did kind of get why this is so popular. Don’t belittle the small amount of powder in this capsule, because it’s super effective in making sure there’s no grime, dirt, or excess sebum left on your face. My face probably has never felt so smooth and clean before – it’s miraculous!

However, I don’t mean to say that it completely strips your face so that it’s squeaky clean and feels really tight (that’s terrible btw, if your cleansers do that). That being said, it is not recommended that you use this cleanser on the daily, and definitely not in the morning AND night. Why? Because it actually exfoliates your skin as well, and you know exfoliators aren’t to be used everyday, so best to use this maybe 2 or 3 times a week.


Final Verdict

I’ll be frank: this is one pricey cleanser, and do we really need pricey cleansers? Well.

I do like this product, but I’m also the kind who can settle for cleansers that cost less and just do its job of making sure my face is as clean as it can get.

This cleanser is also probably not suitable if you have very dry or acne-prone skin, because some of the ingredients are potential irritants (see link in Ingredient List), and it may dry your skin out even more.

I’m also a little disappointed that this isn’t a cleanser that I can use everyday, morning and night. I think it’s a bit wasted, considering that it comes in such a convenient packaging.

Must-buy? Nah. Can-buy? Sure.


Rating

Ease of use: ✮✮✮✮✮
Effectiveness: ✮✮✮
Value for money: ✮✮

[REVIEW] Innisfree Smart Drawing (Blusher)

I read somewhere that liquid/cream blushes were better for people with bumpy skin, at least compared to powder blushes. Liquid and cream brushes are also better for creating the ‘chok chok’ glass skin that I’ve been trying to get for ages. Sadly, most of my blushes are the powder type (I only have one from Etude House that’s liquid), so I really wanted to get more of them.

Innisfree also released this cream blush last year, I think slightly later than Etude House, so I didn’t get around to buying it immediately. As I was about to run out of my Etude House liquid blush (the tube is really small + I always squeeze out too much by accident), I thought that maybe it was finally time to give this one from Innisfree a shot, so here it is!


Product Description

Cream blusher aimed to express lively cheeks with moist color development.

Official Retail Price in Singapore: SGD 12.50

Ingredient List

See the full list here, together with information on safety and irritants.

I do find it rather interesting that they have included so many natural extracts (such as camellia, citrus etc), although I’m not sure if they actually do have any skincare benefits.

Another ingredient to look out for is parfum (fragrance) – a potential irritant for people with sensitive skin!


Packaging: This is definitely much easier to control and use than the Etude House one. It highly resembles its lip balm packaging, and is very easy to squeeze an appropriate amount of cream blush out.

The brush is a very good addition – I didn’t like how the Etude House blush required me to use my own fingers to dab on the colour, because its staying power was good that it stained my fingers. In this product, the product comes off directly on the brush and you can simply apply the blush on your cheeks without dirtying your hands.

As convenient as it may be, I do have some gripes with the brush. Although it makes for easy blending afterwards, it’s very hard to actually see how much product you have squeezed out until you realize it’s too late (LOL).

Colour: I bought shade 02 , which is darker and a bit less pink than Etude House’s PK001 but I think still a very nice colour to use if you are on the tan side and have warmer undertones.

Colour payoff & intensity: This product shows up really well on skin, so even if you don’t use too much product, you can definitely see the colour clearly.

I do think that it can get a little too intense though, so best to use as little product as possible, or you will have to spend time brushing away the excess colour.

Staying power: Liquid and cream blushes definitely have much better staying power than that of powders (which tend to disperse, if that’s the correct word to use) after a long period of time. I would say this Innisfree blush is pretty good if you are looking for a long-lasting one.


Final Verdict

Everything about this product is really good – except the brush problem. It’s not so serious that it puts me off from using it, but I just don’t like knowing that I always waste so much blush because I can’t see exactly how much I am squeezing out.

Maybe it’s just me? Idk. Let me know if you face the same problem with similarly packaged blushes!


Rating

Colour payoff: ✮✮✮✮
Ease of use: ✮✮✮
Staying power: ✮✮✮✮✮
Value for money: ✮✮✮✮

[REVIEW] Cezanne Gokuboso Eyeliner R 10

I’ve never been quite a fan of liquid eyeliners, not until I tried CLIO’s brush liner. It has certainly sparked hope that someone like me, complete with oily skin and the tendency to sweat buckets, can also use liquid eyeliners without the fear of smudging.

This Cezanne eyeliner was part of the prize package that I won sometimes back from a magazine, but I only got around to testing it recently.


Product Description

Ultra-thin brush pen type: 
Features a resilient tip to smoothly draw thin lines, thick lines, and winged eye corners. You can draw delicate lines by following along the lash lines.


Deep coloring: 
Creates an impressive look that brings out your eyes, even with delicate lines.


Waterproof: 
Features a durable finish that is resistant to water, sweat, and tears.


Film type: 
Despite its waterproof properties, it can be easily taken off with warm water, providing a simple removal experience.

Official Retail Price in Singapore: SGD 15.90


Ingredient List

WATER, BUTYLENE GLYCOL, BLACK 2 (CI 77266), AMMONIUM ACRYLATES COPOLYMER, ACRYLATES COPOLYMER, PHENOXYETHANOL, BEHENETH-30, AMINOMETHYL PROPANOL, METHYLPARABEN, ETHYLPARABEN, POLYGLYCERYL-3 DISILOXANE DIMETHICONE, PYRUS MALUS (APPLE) FRUIT EXTRACT, SIMETHICONE, SODIUM HYALURONATE, SORBITAN LAURATE, SORBITAN PALMITATE, HYDROGENATED PALM GLYCERIDES, SORBITAN TRIOLEATE, TOCOPHEROL, SUCROSE PALMITATE, RUBUS IDAEUS (RASPBERRY) FRUIT EXTRACT

I don’t know about you, but I’m very curious about the fruit extracts (apple and raspberry). What are they supposed to do for your eyelid skin??

A quick search online throws up suggestions that apple extract can give you healthier-looking and younger skin, while raspberry extract prevents skin damage from UV rays.

I think this is the first time that I’ve seen an eyeliner actually contain fruit extracts to take care of your skin, and I’m not sure if the Japanese are way more advanced in this area than other countries. Nonetheless, still impressed!


Packaging: I quite appreciate that the eyeliner tube is rather thick and short, because it is easier to get a firm grip and better control where your brush is going.

Colour payoff & intensity: I’m not a fan of black eyeliner, and I’m even less a fan of uneven application of black eyeliner.

I don’t know how people manage to get an even and smooth application with this – I’m guessing it may be because their eyelids aren’t as oily as mine. I had difficulty even getting a proper line that was evenly coloured, and got so frustrated that I ended up using my CLIO eyeliner to fill in the gaps.

Staying power: This claims to hold up against water, sweat, and tears. But oil? Major no-no. I’m not even sure about the ‘sweat’ claim, to be honest.

For those of us who tend to sweat and whose skin produces a lot of oil, even on the eyelids, there’s always a threat of having your eyeliner run to your lower lids – yes, even those pencil liners can’t promise to hold up well.

I knew Cezanne’s eyeliner was clearly not for us with oily skin when I saw black smudges on my lower eyelids after just a few hours, and that the line on my upper eyelid was almost gone.

Actually, I can’t even be sure if the line that remained was from my Cezanne or CLIO eyeliner, but I’m certain that the smudges are certainly not from CLIO, which has never failed to hold up even in the worst of weathers.


Final Verdict

Maybe if you have normal/dry skin, this eyeliner from Cezanne would probably work for you.

However, this is certainly getting a no from me, and I recommend that you check out other brands as well if you have oily lids just like me.


Rating

Colour payoff: ✮
Ease of use: ✮✮
Staying power: ✮
Value for money: ✮

[REVIEW] Neogen Green Tea Real Fresh Foam Cleanser

I heard a lot of great stuff about Neogen’s skincare products, and finally managed to buy it in Korea’s Olive Young last year. If you have seen a lot of beauty blogs, you would have seen this brand name floating around quite often. Many people seem to love Neogen because the products are so effective – kind of like COSRX, and I absolutely love COSRX, so I decided that this I definitely have to try this out for myself as well.


Product Description

This unique foam cleanser is a must try for oily, combination, or acne-prone skin.
The star ingredient in this cleanser is fermented green tea extract, which brightens, calms, and hydrates skin. The gentle foam effectively removes impurities such as sweat and dirt from the skin without stripping your skin’s natural oils.
Lightweight and hydrating, this is the perfect water-based cleanser to use in your double-cleansing routine. 
The pH of this product is 8.

Official Retail Price in Singapore: SGD 16.90 (Lazada)


Ingredient ListR

See the full list here, together with information on safety and irritants.


Packaging: I’m so used to the unconventional tube packaging (like this kind you get from Althea) that I was a bit surprised by this. Firstly, it’s pretty bulky, and I had to admit that I didn’t have the easiest time bringing this back from Korea because it’s not the most travel-friendly thing you can get.

What makes this quite unique, however, is that the product is pumped out, which I absolutely LOVE because I find that it’s a lot easier + less messy. What’s also interesting is that you can actually see the green tea leaves fermenting at the bottom of the cleanser itself – so you know that you are really getting the real deal here!

Texture: It looks like just liquid inside, which is already quite different from most other gel cleansers you get on the market. However, when you pump it out, it comes out as foam bubbles instead. I definitely enjoy cleansing with as much foam as possible – I don’t know about you, but I tend to feel a bit strange if there’s no foam in my cleanser.

Effectiveness: This green tea cleanser is said to thoroughly cleanse your face without irritating it, hence making it suitable for all skin types. I can’t say for sure if it really does a very good job out of cleansing – how do you know for sure, right? I can see, however, that my makeup residue is usually washed off quite well, and my skin doesn’t look too dried out from the cleansing.

I do also notice that my acne problem is better managed after I started using this cleanser, so there’s definitely less dirt clogging my pores!

Some beauty reviewers have warned that this cleanser can potentially dry your skin out. While I personally don’t feel that it has happened to me, I have no problems using this in the morning when my skin tends to be more dry, so I think it may not pose too big an issue, unless you really have super dry skin (like, say, in winter).


Final Verdict

I can see why so many people love this cleanser. It certainly looks like it does a good job of washing your face, but more importantly, I actually enjoy the process of cleansing when I am using this. It feels very relaxing and, dare I say, luxurious, to have this substantial green tea foam cleaning your face.

Another thing that really sets it apart from most other cleansers is the ingredient that ferments at the bottom of the bottle. As the years passed, I’ve grown more wary of what I am putting and using on my face, so I am pretty comforted when I can see exactly what goes into my skincare products.

I haven’t gotten around to trying the other ingredient variations of this cleanser (cranberry, cereal etc.), but I’ll certainly let you guys know how they fare compared to this green tea variant!


Rating

Ease of use: ✮✮✮✮✮
Effectiveness: ✮✮✮✮
Value for money: ✮✮✮✮

[REVIEW] Etude House Play Color Eyes #Caffeine Holic (Coffee to Go)

I saw this on Etude House’s official IG page last year, and because I’m such a huge fan of brown/nude shades, I immediately noted it down on my shopping list and made it a point to buy it in Korea.

I’ve been meaning to write this for some time now, but always forgot about it.. until today!


Product Description

Inspired by the art of coffee, this is a 10 color eye shadow that comes in various texture for different expression of the eyes for different occasions.

Official Retail Price in Singapore: SGD35.90


Ingredient List

Can’t seem to find this online, but I think it should be rather similar to the other Etude House eyeshadow palettes.


Packaging: Sorry if the packaging looks a little dirty – I took these photos after using the palette for about 2 months!

If you’ve been to Korea, you’d know that coffee is REALLY big there, so it’s little wonder that an eyeshadow palette inspired by coffee would appear someday. There’s nothing very unique about the packaging (at least, nothing much different from the other Play Color Eyes palettes released previously, except a change in graphics).

I do have to say though, those individual pans look like they aren’t tightly secured in the palette, and I’m very sure I did not drop this palette before. Maybe it’s time for Etude House to look into this, please?

Texture: The shades in this palette glide on SO smoothly, I almost thought I had bought the wrong brand. I used to struggle a fair bit with Etude House’s eyeshadows because sometimes it applies too clumpy, but this palette applies like a dream.

I think there’s still some more work to be done with the matte shades, but I definitely think the glitter/shimmery shades in this eyeshadow palette are pretty smooth.

Colour payoff & intensity: I’m not going to lie – I was, and still am, blown away by how great the colour payoff is.

I would like to think that Etude House improves its formulations with every new palette released, and that’s why I keep buying from them even though I’m not super impressed by the previous ones. I’m truly convinced that EH has done something right with this, because I’m actually not complaining about any shade here being near invisible??

Colour: Browns are so good for beginners, and basically anyone who is bad (or good) with eyeshadow. I would say that the 2 shades Black with Extra Shot and Extra Caffeine are extra hard to work with, but everything else is very easy to blend and use on a daily basis.

I’m also quite impressed that this palette has a good mix of warm and cool tones. Although brown eyeshadow palettes are usually thought of as ‘warm’, this one manages to incorporate a few shades that are catered to those with cool undertones as well. This is great news if you have cool undertones, or lean more towards neutral (and hence can use both warm and cool shades).

I also just realized that the shades offered look rather similar to Urban Decay’s OG Naked palette – do you agree?

Staying power: Nothing amazing, but nothing to be criticized also. Its staying power is pretty average.


Final Verdict

If there is only 1 eyeshadow palette you have to buy from Etude House, this is it. Not even the KitKat novelty one compares to this (sorry).

I’ve never been so impressed with an Etude House palette, and I’m sure that if you have been using their palettes since the early days (think Juice Bar), you’ll agree with me as well. I am so glad that the brand listened to customers’ feedback and keep producing great palettes like these.


Rating

Colour payoff: ✮✮✮✮
Ease of use: ✮✮✮✮
Staying power: ✮✮✮
Value for money: ✮✮✮✮

[REVIEW] Urban Decay All Nighter Long Lasting Makeup Setting Spray

As with most holy grail products, I had heard waaay too many good stories and watched too many amazing videos about this product. Case in point:

So as someone who is always sweating buckets and staying out for long hours, especially when I am overseas, I thought that I should definitely invest in something that could help my makeup last longer.


Product Description

This high-tech makeup setting spray uses an ingenious formula to lower the temperature of your skin and keep makeup cool and pristine. Ideal for use in hot, humid conditions, the clever formula is suitable for all skin types. Simply spritz it across your pre-applied makeup to lock it into place. Beautiful!

Official Retail Price in Singapore: SGD 48


Ingredient List

Aqua / Water, Alcohol Denat., PVP, Dimethicone PEG-7 Phosphate, PPG-3 Benzyl Ether Myristate, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Dipropylene Glycol, Isononyl Isononanoate, Ethylhexyl Isononanoate, Caprylyl Glycol, Sodium Cocamidopropyl PG-Dimonium Chloride Phosphate, Methyl Methacrylate Crosspolymer, Glycereth-5 Lactate, Sodium Hydroxide, Phenylpropanol, Parfum / Fragrance, Propanediol, Methyl Diisopropyl Propionamide, Poloxamer 407, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice Powder, Maltodextrin, Hexyl Cinnamal, Linalool, Citronellol, Limonene, Benzyl Alcohol, Tocopherol, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, BHT.

  • Denatured alcohol: can cause dryness, irritation and breakouts
  • PVP: commonly found in your hairsprays, in contact lens solutions, thickening agent in toothpaste
  • Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice Powder: reduce flaking, restore moisture
  • Fragrance: potential irritant
  • Benzyl Alcohol: potential irritant

I bought a travel-sized version at Sephora, because I reckoned that it would be better to bring a smaller bottle when I’m travelling (which is also when I would use this most frequently.

Packaging: There’s actually another small plastic cap inside the one you see on the outside, which is kind of troublesome because you have to take out two caps just to spray – an extra step to take when you are already rushing for time (at least, I always seem to be rushing for time in the morning).

I don’t know if it’s just my bottle, but I feel that the spray bottle isn’t the best either. I don’t get a very even spray – more like a small burst or drips of liquid that plop on my face, when I was expecting a more even mist. I don’t even know how people manage to do that X and T formation.

Texture and smell: I have to admit, I’m probably so used to great-smelling K-beauty products that this really turned me off when I first used it. I don’t even know how to describe the smell – the closest I can think of is like the musk of something gone bad. Fortunately, the smell disappears after a while, so you don’t have to suffer from smelling it the whole day.

Texture-wise, it’s very viscous so its gets absorbed rather quickly, and you don’t have to suffer from having random wet patches on your face.

Effectiveness: All the unpleasantries aside, I have to say that this product really does what it’s supposed to. It has helped my makeup (foundation, brows, blush and all) to look as good as it did when I first applied it, even after a workout session. I know I shouldn’t apply a full face of makeup to the gym (oops), but I’m doing this for science ya?

I didn’t test this on my lips so I can’t tell if it helps with lipstick – you shouldn’t either!


Final Verdict

As effective as this product is, I feel a little iffy about the ingredients used. Even though I haven’t faced any major skincare issues from using this, a lot of these ingredients are seriously not good for your skin, even if they added stuff like aloe vera to try and counteract.

I’m still not sure if I will repurchase this even as I am about to finish my current bottle…

Is this your holy grail? Let me know if you are still using this, and why!


Rating

Ease of use: ✮✮✮
Effectiveness: ✮✮✮✮
Value for money: ✮✮✮