[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: ✮✮✮✮

Advertisements

[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] Innisfree My Hair Recipe Moisturizing Conditioner

I quite enjoyed using Innisfree’s Camellia range of hair products, but I wanted to try something new after I emptied my last tube of conditioner. This looked pretty promising, so it went straight into my shopping basket!


Product Description

1. Natural protein from Jeju soybean complex 
The natural protein provides radiance and elasticity to the hair. 

2. Rich and soft texture 
Its thick and soft texture allows it to be applied smoothly and evenly over the hair. Each strand of hair will be deeply moisturised for more lustrous locks. 

3. Deep hydration and nourishment 
Jeju camellia flower and leaf oil nourish the hair, and Jeju green tea hydrates hair together with hyaluronic acid and xylitol.

Image credits

Official Retail Price in Singapore: SGD 15


Ingredient List

Water, Cetearyl Alcohol, Sorbitol, Dipropylene Glycol, Dimethicone, Behentrimonium Chloride, Cyclopentasiloxane, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Glycine, Soja (Soybean) Protein, Citrus Unshiu Peel Extract, Orchid Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Camellia Japonica Leaf Extract, Camellia Japonica Seed Oil, Bacillus/Soybean Ferment Extract, Opuntia Coccinellifera Fruit Extract, Macadamia Ternifolia Seed Oil, Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Glycolipids, Glycogen, Glutamic Acid, Disodium Edta, Lysine Hcl, Lactic Acid, Mannitol, Butylene Glycol, Serine, Sucrose, Citrulline, Amodimethicone, Alanine, Arginine, Ethylhexylglycerin, Isopropyl Alcohol, Threonine, Trideceth-10, Propanediol, Pca, Hydroxypropyl Cyclodextrin, Histidine Hcl, 1,2-Hexanediol, Phenoxyethanol, Fragrance

I was quite happy to see Camellia extracts on the list, because I loved having them in my haircare products.

Don’t panic at the sight of Cetearyl Alcohol though: although we usually scorn products that have ‘alcohol’ ingredients, Ceterayl Alcohol is actually used to soften and detangle your hair!


Packaging: While there’s nothing truly ‘wow’ about this packaging, I have to say that this is one of the better ones I have seen. You’ll see a lot of colourful, fancy shampoo packaging nowadays in supermarkets and drugstores, but sometimes simple is just better, you know?

Texture: The consistency is pretty much like hair conditioner. It feels quite oily, but as Innisfree says, you have to let your hair absorb the oil (which is beneficial for your hair), so I guess I can’t complain much about it.

Effectiveness:  I actually finished this tube in less than 1 month (this is shared by 2 people), and I have to say that my hair gets tangled way less than it used to with my previous brands. I feel that certain ‘famous’ haircare brands (Pantene, Sunsilk, Dove???) don’t really work as well – maybe my hair will feel super good immediately after the wash, but the next day it’s all disastrous and frizzy again.

However, Innisfree’s one doesn’t feel so ineffective. My hair definitely looks much better, even in humid weather. I’m a little sad that I haven’t bought a new tube of this to use yet since I finished this some time back, because now I’m seeing stuff like split ends (!!!) and suffering from dry, frizzled hair again. Ick.


Final Verdict

Could this actually be the secret to Koreans’ beautiful locks?

I’m probably exaggerating (the Koreans probably do a fair bit of blowouts at hair salons), but of course I think this conditioner shows the prowess of Korean haircare products.

Most people may not think of Innisfree as their first choice of retailer when it comes to buying haircare, but my personal experience is that once you try it, you’ll probably keep going back to repurchase more of their haircare line.


Rating

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

[REVIEW] Memebox I’m Meme Tic Toc Lipstick Satin

I bought this partly because Hwang Minhyun was the brand’s ambassador for their Cashmere finish, and partly because I couldn’t resist these cute heart-shaped applicators!

I saw this all over my Instagram, all over my newsfeed, and I decided that I would finally put an end to this lippie-lusting once and for all by buying it.


Product Description

A heart shape lipstick collection comes with 10 colours, ranging from nude beige, cherry red to burgundy.


Intense pigmentation creates vivid, long-lasting colour payoff with a satin finish.

Official Retail Price in Singapore: SGD 19.90

Image credits


Ingredient List

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


Packaging: It looks quite similar to the Cashmere one, the only difference being the applicator and product itself. It’s famous for its heart-shaped stick – so cute, right? In fact, I find the heart shape to be quite useful during application, especially if you are trying to do an ombre lip effect.

My only gripe about this packaging is that it takes quite a fair bit of clicking for the product to come out. Only 0.1mm comes out with every click, which is supposed to help makes things less messy – imagine if the whole stick comes out at one go when you don’t use as much! The downside to this, of course, is that you struggle with getting a decent amount of product out at the beginning, which made me rather annoyed.

Colour: I like to pick colours that are labelled as best picks haha, can’t quit the habit. I picked 007 Pink Bomber, a very gorgeous MLBB shade. It reminds me of moonshot’s cream paint lightfit, which I personally really love because the shades are so flattering for Asian skin tones. Pink Bomber is a shade that you can wear on any occasion, for any mood, and I dare say it is a very universal shade that fits most skin tones and skin colours.

Pro tip: if you can’t decide on a shade, go with the one recommended by the brand!

Colour payoff & intensity: It’s very pigmented, which doesn’t come as much of a surprise because it leans towards a matte lipstick, and most mattes definitely boast of high colour payoff.

Colour application is quite even, although I think it can be a little tough because the product is a bit like a crayon, so you might get small unwanted chunks of product here and there if you are not gentle enough.

Staying power: This product’s staying power is actually quite impressive! You don’t have to touch up after a meal because you ate most of your lipstick, which is always great. I’m guessing that it’s also because it’s quite matte (I don’t know why they call it satin though, maybe the formula is a little less dry than their actual matte lip crayon?)

Although this is more drying than the Cashmere finish, I still found this comfortable enough to wear the whole day without feeling like my lips were going to dry out and become raisins. I would still advise for you to prep with a thin layer of lip balm before you apply this product, just as a precaution.


Final Verdict

Everyone knows I’m not the biggest fan of matte-like lipsticks, but I found myself liking this a lot more than I had expected.

I wanted to make this a must-buy product, but I’m still a little annoyed by the clicking thing, which I feel is worse than the Cashmere one. Another downside is that having a heart-shape applicator/stick makes me extra conscious, and I keep worrying about whether I will ruin the beautiful shape after repeated usage.

I also feel that this still lacks a little in the hydration and comfort aspect when you compare it to alternatives from the same brand, or actually from any other brand that has similar offerings, although I do acknowledge that it is rather creamy.

If you are worried that this is not worth the pretty heart shape, don’t be! I think you should definitely go ahead with it, just that you should manage your expectations about how good this product may be.


Rating

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

[REVIEW] Son & Park Cleansing Beauty Water and Skin Toner

I have a lot of trouble emptying my skincare products, but if there’s one (facial foam and makeup remover aside) that I NEVER have a problem finishing, it’s definitely my toner.

I may be rather lazy when it comes to skincare (no 10 step skincare routine for me pls), but I always diligently use toner. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, since I get the chance to try out new toners and brands!


Product Description

This multi-tasking toner and cleansing water has quickly become a cult favorite, as well as a 2015 Soko Glam Beauty Award Winner! It creates a clean base for the next steps in your skincare and makeup routine. Originally created by master artists, Son & Park, Beauty Water lives up to its name.

The Beauty Water is not just a cleanser but it mildly exfoliates with willow bark and papaya extract to help sweep away dead skin cells, revealing brighter skin tone and smoother texture. Lavender water, rose water, and orange fruit extract impart a subtle hydration so your skin can be prepped to absorb the next skin care steps, while adding in a bit of moisture. 

Beauty Water can be used in the morning to create the perfect canvas for makeup application, midday as a refresher, and night after cleansing to whisk away remaining impurities. For normal, oily, dry, and combination skin types. Beauty Water has a pH of 4.5, effectively resetting the skin’s natural pH after cleansing.

Official Retail Price in Singapore: SGD 32 (Althea)

Image credits


Ingredient List

Water, Rosa Damascena Flower Water, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Water, Butylene Glycol, Propanediol, PEG-7 Caprylic/Capric Glycerides, Pentylene Glycol, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Fruit Extract, Xylitol, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Oil, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Peel Oil, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Cedrus Atlantica Bark Oil, Pelargonium Graveolens Flower Oil, Carica Papaya (Papaya) Fruit Water, Jasminum Officinale (Jasmine) Oil, Illicium Verum (Anise) Fruit/Seed Oil, Artemisia Absinthium Extract, Rose Flower Oil, Ferula Galbaniflua (Galbanum) Resin Oil, Thuja Occidentalis Leaf Extract, Eucalyptus Globulus Leaf Extract, Lavandula Angustifolia (Laveder)Flower/Leaf/Stem Extract, Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Extract, Melissa Officinalis Leaf Extract, Mentha Piperita(Peppermint) Leaf Extract, Mentha Rotundifolia Leaf Extract, Mentha Spicata Flower/Leaf/Stem Extract, Origanum Majorana Leaf Extract, Origanum Vulgare Leaf Extract, Pelargonium Graveolens Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Thymus Vulgaris (Thyme) Leaf Extract, Glycerin, Decyl Glucoside, 1,2-Hexanediol, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, PPG-26-Buteth-26, Sodium Chloride, Ethylhexylglycerin, Sodium Citrate, Citric Acid, Octanediol, Copaifera Officinalis (Balsam Copaiba) Resin, Protease, Alcohol Denat., Alcohol, Phenoxyethanol

If you have been an avid reader of my blog (haha who am I kidding), you will know that I am very wary of ingredients such as alcohol, butylene glycol, and fragrance.

Despite the presence of both butylene glycol, denatured alcohol AND alcohol, the good thing about this product is that it does not seem to contain artificial parfum (despite its strong smell, which I will talk about later), and contains my favourite witch hazel.


Packaging: I love, love, LOVE simple packaging like this. Everything about it screams professionalism, doesn’t it? No frills, simple, and straightforward – exactly how I like my skincare to be.

Texture: As with my experience using toners, this pretty much felt just like water. I’m not complaining about that though, because I love skincare stuff that gets absorbed easily by my skin.

Smell: This is probably one of the rare few times that I have to dedicate a section to fragrance for my toners, because this is one thing I simply have to point out. I was skeptical when a friend told me she didn’t like the smell of this because it was too strong, but I finally realized she was right when I tried this out myself.

I’m actually very surprised that this toner contains no artificial fragrance at all, because it smells exactly like perfume. I find it a little incredulous that the smell is from the natural fruit and flower extracts, because the smell is so overpowering. It doesn’t actually smell unpleasant, but it’s just very strong and sweet, and I’m really not used to it. Most of my previous toners (Muji and COSRX) all never had this kind of smell.

Effectiveness: This product claims to moisturise, cleanse, and exfoliate your skin. It sounds a bit like an exfoliating toner/astringent, but it’s actually something that you can use everyday, both morning and night. I’m quite surprised that it does work as it promises, and despite containing ingredients that my skin hates, I’ve actually not broken out as I feared! If anything, I do see that my skin looks brighter and more hydrated over the few weeks that I have been using this.


Final Verdict

I’m a little undecided on how much I like this: it works fine, but the smell is making me feel rather unsettled. I don’t know how much I like it, and how much it’s affecting my judgment of this product. If this toner from Son & Park didn’t have such a scent, I’m sure I would love it to bits.

Some of the ingredients here also rattle me: all that alcohol, really? What if my skin really does break out one day?

I know this toner/beauty water is well-loved among many, and is one of those holy grail products that a lot of beauty bloggers promote, but I feel so conflicted about it that I don’t think I will be repurchasing after I’m done with this bottle (and the travel sized one that came in the set).


Rating

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

[REVIEW] 3CE Velvet Lip Tint

So after my first experience with a 3CE lip product, I decided to try out their lip tints, which I reckon are very popular among beauty junkies.


Product Description

What it is:

A lip tint with a sherbet-like texture that melts into the lips and leaves a natural tinge with a matte finish.

What it does:

Velvet lip tint incorporates an oil-packed formula specially made to deliver a vivid and velvety matte texture. When this tint is applied, the lips are first encased with a layer of oil upon which pigments gently melt, resulting in a dewy sensation with a matte finish.

Official Retail Price in Singapore: SGD 23


Ingredient List

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


Packaging: It looks very similar to my other lip tints (in particular, the CLIO one), so nothing much in particular that is really mind-blowing. I do find the 3CE tube to be much thicker than the CLIO one – probably because it contains more product as well.

Colour: I bought the shade #GOING RIGHT, which appears to be a very gorgeous MLBB shade. However, the real swatch shows that this shade contains a little more tinge of orange than I had expected. I personally also feel that it leans more towards a terracotta red – it’s great for me, because as of late I’ve been collecting lipstick shades like this, but you may want to take note of this if you are very particular about getting a colour that’s identical to the marketing photo.

The colour payoff is, of course, very good for a matte lip tint. It’s definitely better than the Mood Recipe Matte Lip Color. The texture is waxy and applies evenly on the lips, which I really like as well.

Staying power: I wasn’t super impressed by the Mood Recipe Matte Lip Color’s staying power, but I feel that this holds up better than its bullet lipstick counterpart.

You still get a fair bit of tint left even after an oily meal, although it’s not quite as long-lasting as you would expect from matte lipsticks. However, I’ve come to terms that 3CE lipsticks are not the best when it comes to long-lasting lipsticks that don’t budge.


Final Verdict

As beautiful as 3CE’s Instagram photos are, I sometimes still feel that the brand is a little overhyped for its quality and price. There are certainly other brands can offer the same type of product at a lower price, and probably with better staying power as well.

That being said, I still do enjoy using this lip tint from 3CE. It’s not bad, just that I wouldn’t strongly recommend that you buy it, because I don’t think it really offers anything that’s different or better than other brands.


Rating

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