What’s your favourite K-beauty brand?

The K-beauty world is amazingly diverse with so many different brands, so I wanted to do a fun poll on which one is the most popular among my readers.

Do take part and cast a vote for your favourite brand! 🙂

[REVIEW] Innisfree Skinny Cover Fit Foundation

This is the first foundation that I’ve ever reviewed, and for good reason. I’ve been using BB creams since a few years ago, and never got around to using foundation because I really needed the full coverage and SPF that BB creams provide. It was only after I went for a facial this year and was told that I should lay off BB creams (which had a tendency to clog my pores), I had no choice but to look for alternatives.

I wanted to try a foundation from a K-beauty brand that wasn’t way out of my budget, and I happened to swatch this when I was casually window-shopping in Innisfree. I loved how the foundation felt on my skin throughout the day, so I made a mental note to go back and buy it, and now it is part of my makeup routine.


Product Description

– Skinny cover for flawless yet natural-looking skin look
The skinny cover fitting formula thinly yet densely fits on the skin for a natural-looking, flawless look

– Powerful fixing effect for easy makeup
The sebum control powder and setting powder forms a powerful fixing film on the skin to prevent makeup from cracking due to sweat and sebum.

– Skin look fresh and light all day long
The smart formula maintains a refreshing makeup look without clumping or smearing due to excess oil and moisture.

Official Retail Price in Singapore: SGD 29

Image credits


Ingredient List

I wasn’t able to find the list online and had already thrown away the box by the time I started writing this, so I won’t be able to talk about this in detail 😦


Frankly, I was quite disappointed when I saw that a) there were so few shades available and b) such a low SPF. Most BB creams (and even my Lancôme foundation) offer SPF50, and SPF15 is the lowest I’ve ever seen. Also, the 4 shades available are seriously VERY limited. I’m lucky that 21 is a match for me, but 13 as your next lightest shade? And 23 as your darkest? Really now Innisfree? K-beauty brands definitely still have a long way to go in terms of diversity.

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Packaging: The first time I saw it, I was immediately reminded of shu uemura’s petal foundation.

Image result for shu uemura petal foundation

Nonetheless, I am a huge fan of the packaging. It looks very classy and modern, and is surprisingly convenient to carry around when you’re travelling. The pump works great as well, dispensing just the right amount every time you squeeze it.

Colour: I bought N21, because my sensitive, acne-prone skin is actually quite red most of the time, so I didn’t really want to use C21 and make my skin look even redder. Like I mentioned earlier, I’m lucky that N21 is a really good match for me so I don’t have to mix with another foundation to get the correct colour. It looks very natural, almost like it’s my own skin, which I guess is why the foundation is called ‘Skinny Cover Fit’. It’s a very even colour as well, very consistent throughout, so I’m happy with that.

Staying power: I honestly did not have super high hopes for the staying power, because I was under the impression that foundations would oxidize a lot faster than BB creams. I’m happy to admit that I’m wrong. This foundation, best applied with a sponge, can actually help your skin look and stay fresh throughout the day. Its coverage is really good for a foundation, so I usually just apply one to two layers, spritz some setting spray, and I’ll let nature run its course for the next 12+ hours. I find myself not needing to touch-up my makeup as often as I used to, which is fantastic!

However, I don’t really share the same sentiments about its oil/sebum control. My T-zone still turns into an oil well after a few hours, but I do see a difference in that my makeup doesn’t look like it’s caking or smudging because of the oil.


Final Verdict

If you are new to foundations in the K-beauty world, I’d definitely recommend this. It really does feel like a second layer of skin – thin, breathable, and comfortable. I like how easy application is, be it with a sponge or a brush, so you don’t have to struggle every morning trying to even out the foundation on your face.

I’m not convinced by the oil/sebum-controlling properties it claims to have, but I am a fan of its long-lasting, natural coverage. If you are looking for an alternative to BB creams but still need the high coverage, this is the foundation you need.

$29 is a good investment to make for a good base makeup, but do again take note that it may not carry a desired shade, and will not help with oil and sebum control. The low SPF also means that you should probably pile up on the sunscreen as well – no excuse not to!


Rating

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

mustbuy

[REVIEW] Peripera Ink the Airy Velvet

This review is waaay overdue – I bought my first Peripera Ink the Airy Velvet last year in Korea and liked it so much that I bought two more from the same series. You might have heard about how good this product is and its value for money. It sounds exaggerated, and I was initially quite doubtful about the hype, but now I have seen the light (HAHA), and I hope that my review does justice to this amazing product.


Product Description

  • This lip tint glides on smoothly, offering vivid color and a soft, velvety texture to your lips.
  • The enriched formula keeps your lips moist and glossy without feeling sticky.

Official Retail Price in Singapore: SGD 6.90 (Shopee)

Image credits


Ingredient List

Dimethicone, Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Cyclohexasiloxane, Polyglyceryl-2 Triisostearate, 1,2-Hexanediol, Cyclotetrasiloxane, Phenoxyethanol, Fragrance, Tocopheryl Acetate, Green Tea Seed Oil, Cotton Seed Oil, Mango Seed Oil, Lithol Rubine BCA, Cetyl PEG/PPG-10/1 Dimethicone, Tetrachlorotetrabromofluorescein, Titanium Dioxide, Ferric Oxide, Phloxine B, Hydrated Ferric Oxide, Sunset Yellow FCF, Tartrazine, Black Oxide of Iron

These are the ‘main ingredients’ found in each product regardless of the colours. For the longest time, I suspected that the formula for Peripera’s Ink the Airy Velvet (Or Airy Ink Velvet, whichever floats your boat) was exactly the same as moonshot’s Cream Paint Lightfit. A quick check of moonshot’s ingredients shows similarities, though I think that Peripera’s one contains more seed oils, while moonshot’s has more…wax? Which would explain the slight difference in texture between the two.


I intentionally picked 3 shades for different ‘moods’ and occasions – a bright coral, a brick red, and a MLBB shade.

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Packaging: I find the packaging really adorable. It reminds me of a dropper, although it doesn’t really function that way (real pity about this!). It’s actually a pretty small tube, which would explain its really low price point, but I personally really like this because it’s easy to bring around for touchups or for travel, and I don’t have to fret about not being able to finish them before they expire.

Colour: I bought three shades – #2, #7, and #10. My personal favourite is #7, because these days I gravitate towards brick red shades that are great for daily use, yet very empowering (if you know what I mean). #2 is a tad too bright for me if I apply a full colour, but looks very good when used as a gradient lip. #10 is a bit of a pity because I thought it would look great, but it’s more cool-toned than I thought, and cool tones generally don’t work well with my skin. Oh well 😦

Colour payoff & intensity: This is arguably one of the most pigmented lip creams/tints I’ve gotten from a K-beauty brand. I love the pigment, love the colour intensity, love the payoff. There’s nothing I can find fault with this because it’s truly so good. I feel like I’m getting my money’s worth when one smooth swipe is all I need to complete my lip look. It does make it a bit harder to do a gradient lip look with this, but I really appreciate the full, even colour application that Ink the Airy Velvet provides.

Staying power: Peripera is famous for its lip tints, so you can expect that all their lip products have some degree of staying power. This is one of the most lasting lip products I have used, and I am seriously impressed by how long it lasts. I could apply this for a normal work day, have lunch and eat snacks over 9 hours, and still have at least 80% of the colour left on my lips with no patchiness, no stickiness, and no dryness by the end of the day. How is this possible?? What sorcery has Peripera been working with these products?? Why aren’t the other companies producing magical products like these as well??


Final Verdict

Some people have called this their holy grail, and I assure you that they are NOT exaggerating about how fantastic this is. In fact, it is also one of my holly grail lip products because it is just so good.

Firstly, the price point is already enticing enough. Less than $10 for a vivid, long-lasting lip cream – now who wouldn’t want that? It also doesn’t help that they have an impressive range of colours for any preference and any mood, so you have an excuse to buy more than one without breaking the bank.

I highly recommend shade #7 (My Brown Coral) for those who love a good brick red (one of the most popular K-beauty trends to come). You’ll definitely love how sophisticated and elegant you can look with just a small tube of lip paint.


Rating

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

[SAMPLE] Belif The True Cream – Water Bomb

As lazy as I can sometimes get with my skincare routine, one product I always use is moisturizer. It’s a common misconception that only people with dry skin need to moisturize – even if your skin is oily, you still need moisturizer!

My favourite moisturizer brands of all time has got to be Belif. If you’ve never heard of Belif, here’s their brand introduction taken from their website:

Meet the most truthful cosmetic brand that is formulated with superior ingredients and efficacy in the safest and most honest way possible.

Inspired by 19th-century apothecary techniques, belif offers a unique range of products that follow Korea’s intricate skin care regimen. Each effective formula uses the purest of ingredients powered by modern skin science and traditional herb processing methods.

belif delivers remarkable value to the skin by applying rich tradition and in-depth knowledge of natural ingredients. True quality. True benefit.

I think it’s quite cute how they are very upfront with labelling themselves as ‘the most truthful cosmetic brand’, and definitely a testament of commitment to delivering on their claims and promises.

I was given a sample/travel size of this water bomb after I purchased some items from TFS (yes, they’re under the same parent company).


Product description

An ultra-lightweight, oil-free gel-cream that instantly cools and refreshes skin while providing intensive hydration. 

Official Retail Price in Singapore: ~SGD60 (Qoo10)


Ingredient list

  • Lady’s Mantle: Antioxidant-rich herb with pore-minimizing benefits; helps remove free radicals from skin and aids skin turnaround.
  • Malachite: Neutralizes free radical activity.
  • Plantin: Creates moisture seal on skin.
  • Oat Husk: Attracts moisture.Water, Dipropylene Glycol, Glycerin, Methl Trimethicone, Alcohol Denat, Dimethicone, Cyclopentasiloxane, 1,2-Hexanediol, Malakite Extract, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Pentaerythrityl Tetraethylhexanoate, PEG/PPG/Polybutylene Glycol-8/5/3 Glycerin, Alchemilla Vulgaris Leaf Extract*, Equisetum Arvense Leaf Extract*, Stellaria Media (Chickweed) Extract*, Urtica Dioica (Nettle) Leaf Extract*, Plantago Lanceolata Leaf Extract*, Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Extract**, Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract**, Nepeta Cataria Extract**, Rubus Idaeus (Raspberry) Leaf Extract**, Baptisia Tinctoria Root Extract**, Dimethiconol, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Sodium Acrylate/Acryloyldimethyltaurate/Dimethylacrylamide Crosspolymer, Isohexadecane, Polysorbate 60, Ceramide 3, Cholesterol, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Phenl Trimethicone, Pentaerythrityl Tetraisostearate, Panthenol, Squalane, Triethylhexanoin, Macadamia Ternifolia Seed Oil, PEG-150, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, C14-22 Alcohols, Arachidyl Glucoside, Hydrogenated Lecithin, PEG-100 Stearate, Stearic Acid, Glyceryl Stearate, Carbomer, Tromethamine, Trisodium EDTA, Fragrance+, Citronellol, Limonene, Citral, Geraniol, Linalool. *Napiers aqua formula. **Napiers original formula. +Fragrances of natural origin.

According to Sephora, this product is dermatologist tested and free of mineral oils, petrolatum, synthetic preservatives, dyes, fragrances, and animal origin ingredients. Does it live up to its promise of using ‘the purest of ingredients’? Definitely!


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Packaging: The sample/travel size packaging is different from the full-sized version, but is generally still very simple and easy to use. I really like how it directly states its functions and effects on the skin – easy to read, and straight to the point. It’s also easy to squeeze out an appropriate amount of product.

Texture: If you have oily/combination skin, you will love this. It feels so thin and lightweight that you would be forgiven for thinking this was water repackaged into a tube. It’s easily absorbed by the skin, doesn’t feel the slightest bit thick, oily or uncomfortable.

Effectiveness: Clinical tests have proven that this moisturizer provides a +70% increase in skin’s hydration levels. While I don’t have any special equipment to test this claim, I can testify that it isn’t as far-fetched as it sounds.

Upon application, your skin immediately feels cooled, as though you have applied cold water on your face. It’s nothing to do with the environment temperature, but rather the formula and ingredients in the moisturizer. There is also an instant burst of hydration once it is absorbed by the skin – that’s why it’s aptly named ‘water bomb’.

Thanks to this moisturizer, I found my skin feeling less taut and dry even after sitting in air-conditioned rooms for long hours. It also doesn’t get too oily by mid-day, nor does it clog my pores. I’ve had absolutely no breakout problems while using this product, which is great for people with sensitive and acne-prone skin just like mine. If anything, my skin was at its best when I used this both in the day and at night.


Final Verdict

If it wasn’t for the price, I would have bought tons of this and stockpiled them at home for me to use forever and ever.

I’m honestly very hesitant about spending so much money on just one moisturizer. SGD60 is really no small sum. I know it’s ironic, given that I have less qualms about buying so many lipsticks, but somehow it just doesn’t feel as convincing to spend a bomb (lol) on a moisturizer.

I’m still contemplating whether to buy this after I’ve finished my other moisturizers, but if you are willing to invest in a good moisturizing product that definitely shows results for all skin types, this is the one you have to buy. I love this product to bits, and I can honestly justify the price when I take into account factors such as the natural ingredients and great formula.

Maybe I’ll buy this when I finish my L’Oréal Hydrafresh…


Rating

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

mustbuy

[REVIEW] CLIO Mad Matte Tint

I’ve been eyeing 3CE’s Velvet Lip Tint for a long time since I saw it online, but never got around to buying it. I’ve seen other Korean brands with similar product offerings, such as Etude House with their new Matte Chic Lip Lacquers.

I popped by a Sasa store in KL and saw that CLIO also had something similar – the Mad Matte Tint. The shades were a huge draw, and after swatching, I couldn’t help but add this lip product to my shopping basket.


Product Description

Matte lip tint that delivers vivid color pay-off as it looks and glides on with a thin and even layer

Official Retail Price in Singapore: SGD 15.78 (Qoo10)

Image credits


Ingredient List

I wasn’t able to find the list online and had already thrown away the box by the time I started writing this, so I won’t be able to talk about this in detail 😦


CLIO specifically listed a few shades as MLBB, and #08 Chai Tea Latte was the first to catch my eye. I personally feel that it looks more like a brick brown than ‘chai tea latte’, but it’s absolutely flattering for many skin tones. However, it actually smells and tastes just like the tea latte I sometimes have for breakfast, which is quite a nice surprise.

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Packaging: As mentioned earlier, it bears much resemblance to the ones offered by other Korean brands. I like it a lot though – it looks chic, and is easy to bring around in a makeup pouch.

Colour: I absolutely love this colour!! I’m always on the lookout for MLBB lipstick shades that don’t make me look too washed out, and are also great for daily wear. This has to be one of my top favourites because it’s so flattering and easy to pull off. It’s not too bright a pink or red that may cause your makeup look to become overwhelming, so you can use this when you’re going for class or work without looking like you overdid it.

Colour payoff & intensity: The colour payoff is great – one swipe and you’re good to go. In fact, I found it a bit tough to to do a gradient lip with this tint (as seen in the marketing creative) because the colour is so rich and intense that it immediately covers your entire lips. That’s not entirely a bad thing (I mean, who’s gonna complain about great colour payoff, right), but this is worth taking note of if you are planning to achieve gradient lips with this product.

Staying power: For a tint, I feel that this product’s staying power is not as good as I would have liked it to be. Drinking is fine, but you would not expect to see a lot of colour left on the lips after a meal. I also don’t think this tint is totally transfer-proof, so you’d have to expect to touch up after eating. However, it should be able to last you for a few good hours.


Final Verdict

I don’t know about you, but I’m always happy when I find lip products offering MLBB shades that aren’t too pricey, apply smoothly with great colour payoff, and have decent staying power.

I feel like this could be a dupe for 3CE’s Velvet Lip Tint for those who may not like how drying 3CE’s products may be, or are put off by the higher price point. The shades offered are actually pretty similar 🧐

As you can tell, I’m floored by the colour – I’ve never been so happy to pick a shade that suits me so well. I would strongly recommend this shade if you’re also looking for a wearable MLBB lip colour. And in spite of my love for #08, I’m honestly hoping that I’d be able to get the other shades in future…


Rating

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

mustbuy

SKINCARE SHOWDOWN: The Japanese mochi-hada versus the Korean ulzzang glow

SKINCARE SHOWDOWN

The Japanese mochi-hada versus the Korean ulzzang glow

(guest post by Yanna Zhang)


THE CLASH

Fire with fire. Because, how else would two major competitors fight if not head to head?

Perhaps it doesn’t come as such a big shocker to us when these two similar Asian countries are highly competitive in which skin care routine will guarantee the most beautiful and ethereal results.

A whole culture based on their keen ability and skill to be ahead of whatever trend is in the beauty industry. Their K-pop idols practically embody the agelessness and radiance the vain crave. With their 10-step skin care routine being a sure formula for that much desired white glow, the Koreans have been crowned the ultimate masters of skin care.

For a nation that is big on the minimalist, the Japanese, on the contrary, do not hold themselves back in the skin care routine area. Passing their traditional secrets on getting mochi-hada white skin from generation to generation, they have long since polished and perfected their routine for plump, youthful-looking skin. Someone who is not new to the competition of the beauty industry is the Japanese country.


JAPANESE SKINCARE: HOW IT WORKS

Broken down into a basic outline, the Japanese put more emphasis on prevention rather than absorption.

  1. Starting off with emulsifying oils and balms (removes make-up residue and oil), the routine would consist of double cleansing with the following foam cleansers (removes sweat and dirt).
  2. Skin conditioners or “lotions” then hydrate and soften the skin – serums or “beauty liquids” following soon after for no other purpose, but to whiten dark spots and diminish redness.
  3. The last being the highly-important sunscreen or protection against UVA and UVB.

What’s that? Expecting more? Well, that’s it. Sensei would be so proud.

Extra tip: My mother taught me how to use the power of using rice water for better skin and hair just as the Japanese do. Not only does it leave the skin feeling smoother, but also plump and dewy.


KOREAN SKINCARE: HOW IT WORKS

Misconception aside, the 10-step routine would not necessarily require all ten products for every single day. The Korean lather-rinse-repeat program would typically consist of:

  1. Oil cleansers and foam cleansers would the ultimate first to the long road of Korean skincare.
  2. After cleansing, that’s when they do exfoliating products to remove dead skin cells. Duh.
  3. The most important of all: toner. Newsflash. The Koreans love their toner as it makes it easier for the skin to absorb the next products.
  4. Essence for hydration and serums and/or boosters for dark or red spots.
  5. Face masks are the next step. Whether clay, peel-off, or other, the face mask industry thrives on how frequent the Koreans use face masks. I have one product review on Innisfree
  6. And if you think this routine was near over, bam, eye cream. Time to get rid of those droopy, saggy, miserable-looking bags and turn them into aegyo-sal, the currently trending cute, puffy under eye bags.
  7. Face cream, the figurative hair net keeping all the products on your face, is then applied to guarantee maximum absorption.
  8. To top it off, they finish the routine off with SPF for protection against the sun. Of course, we wouldn’t want to ruin all that hard work by leaving our skin exposed for harmful ultraviolet rays, would we?

PICK YOUR POISON

With the more minerals and vitamins (one of their products is literally labeled ‘essence’), the Korean skin care routine is said to result in glowing, radiant skin while the Japanese had a more plump, youthful-looking and more on the white side complexion. While it may seem easy to mix and match, the two routines would actually have significant differences in the results.

We also have to take note of the highly noticeable routine efficiency. Everyone wants to know, “is it worth our time?” Being a busybody personally, I would dislike having to diligently follow the lengthy Korean skin care routine for radiant, young skin I could get from the Japanese routine, anyway. But, the idea of attaining the much envied glowy look from the Korean skin care is a little tempting.

I mean, why not? Their Korean idols look like such visions that it would be only normal to idolize them for the intricate procedures they go through. But, you do you.


FINAL SAY

With their shorter list of products, the Japanese skincare routine is said to be the better recommended program for beginners – or those who don’t have the diligence to persevere the many steps of K-beauty like me. The typical Korean skin care routine, having more minerals and essential ingredients and product variety, more recommended for those willing to go through the hard work of it and desiring the natural glow it provides.

I think, overall, there is no definite winner as it will always be in the eye of the beholder which seems more appealing and attractive to them. While the two beauty industries have always been argued about and debated on, it only ends up highlighting how much technology and innovation they have had in the beauty and cosmetics industry of the world.

So, who’s the winner? Who deserves that Iron Throne (heh, did you get the reference)? I’d say both of them did. Along with all the other countries who have their traditional, culturally diverse beauty routines as well.

With that, concludes our skin care showdown.

[REVIEW] TFS Finger Cotton Tint

I’ve always been a huge fan of TFS’ makeup products, so it is little wonder that I got back to buying stuff from them again. I do think that TFS in SG gets a lot less attention than they deserve despite selling some products worth holy grail status, so do show the brand some love if you’re looking to try something new ~


Product Description

  • Contain moisture oil complex to create moisturizing gorgeous and vivid lips without lump.
  • Cotton applicator with diagonal tip allow soft and delicate lip makeup with creamy texture at first then a semi-matte finish.
  • Apply a moderate amount from inside to outside lips gently.

Official Retail Price in Singapore: SGD 13.23 (Qoo10)

Image credits


Ingredient List

Again, I’m not sure why I’m unable to find the ingredient list for this product anywhere on the web, just like a few others previously 😦 Ah well.


I had such a hard time trying to pick a colour – did I want to buy something more vibrant, or a wearable shade that I could pull off everyday? In such times of doubt, I went with the easier option – buy both!

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Packaging: It reminds me a lot of paint tubes, which is probably what they were going for when they designed this. I like that it’s easy to bring around and use, and is not too messy either.

Texture: Even though the shots make it look like it’s slightly glossy, it definitely dries down to a matte finish. It gets a little drying as the day progresses, but nothing too uncomfortable.

Colour payoff & intensity: The swatches in the photos were achieved with just one swipe each, which is honestly very amazing. I find the #08 Brown-presso is a lot more pigmented than #04 More Coral, which can probably be partly attributed to the fact that it’s a darker shade after all. I like to create a gradient look using these because I’m not too keen on

Colour: I’m so happy that I picked these two shades, because they are definitely complimentary to any occasion you can name. You can use #08 when you want to achieve a more mature look for an important event, and #04 for a casual day out, or even wear it to school!

Staying power: The staying power of this lipstick is pretty okay, but nothing really outstanding. I’ve had it last at least one meal and survive multiple rounds of drinking water, but what’s left is usually just small patches of colour on the lips. Do also note that it’s not transfer-proof, which is slightly disappointing 😕


Final Verdict

As usual, TFS has not disappointed with this lip product. I really like the colours available, but it would be great if they offered more MLBB/nude shades in future, as the current selection mostly comprises bright, vivid colours that not everyone may be comfortable with.

The staying power is not too bad, but again, nothing really noteworthy. It doesn’t actually promise to be long-lasting or transfer-proof, so I guess you can’t fault the brand for it. But I guess you would expect a lip tint to last longer, no?

I do think that it gets a bit too drying over time, despite being branded as a semi-matte lip product containing moisturizing oils. Maybe it’s just my lips? But the problem is not too serious, you can always prevent the problem of dried-out lips by applying lip balm before the lip tint.

This is a good product to try out if you love bright and bold colours, so do pop this in your basket the next time you visit TFS 🙂


Rating

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