[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] 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] Bifesta Eye & Lip Makeup Remover

I’ve been using Bifesta’s makeup removers ever since I started using BB cream a few years back, but it was only in recent times that I got around to trying their makeup remover that is formulated and targeted at removing eye makeup.


Product Description

Skin lotion-derived Moisturizing Cleansing Water
for thorough eye makeup removal

This product contains a moisturizing ingredient usually found in skin lotion that has high affinity with oily ingredients of makeup. Thanks to its moisturizing/cleansing ingredients, which quickly “float” and envelop oil-based makeup, you can easily remove eye makeup without rubbing, keeping the eye area fresh and moisturized.


Easily and thoroughly removes even waterproof mascara
The double effects of the water-based layer, which contains skin lotion-derived cleansing ingredients, and the oil-based emollient layer, realizes quick “floating” of waterproof mascara and eyeliner, which are then enveloped and removed quickly without rubbing.
The two types of moisturizing/cleansing ingredients that are gentle on eyelashes and the eye area protect eyelashes and keep the skin moisturized.

Official Retail Price in Singapore: SGD 12.90 (145ml, Watsons


Ingredient List

Hypoallergenic Formulation, Vitamins B & E

I’m a little concerned that the official ingredient list provides so little information, despite its claim of a hypoallergenic formulation.


Packaging: This one I have is the old packaging – I think it may be a travel-sized one that we bought a while back before they changed to the new one. The formula remains the same though!

I prefer the pump packaging that Bifesta does with their other makeup removers, because having to pour this out usually involves some unnecessary spillage and wastage.

However, I do appreciate how handy it is to bring such a small bottle when you are travelling – enough for you to remove at least a week’s worth of heavy eye makeup, but not heavy or space-consuming at all!

Texture: Frankly, I was a little surprised when I first used this. It definitely looks like a liquid, but it felt so oily on my skin. I found out afterwards that it contains an “oil-based emollient layer, [which] realizes quick “floating” of waterproof mascara and eyeliner”.

I’ve never been particularly keen on cleansing oil, to be honest. I know it’s supposed to be good for you to use oil-based cleansers when you double cleanse, but I could never bring myself around to doing it. I really dislike the feeling of oil on my already-oily face – it feels like an impending breakout, no?

Oil near my eyes just felt like a even scarier thing for me. I don’t know if it’s just me, but I really did not quite like the idea of an oily makeup remover on my eyelids. And oil on my lips? Oh no!!!

Effectiveness: Despite all my gripes about the oil, I have to acknowledge this makeup remover’s strong cleansing power. All it takes is one cotton pad and a decent amount of this makeup remover, and I can thoroughly clean any eyeshadow, waterproof eyeliner, and lip tints easily.


Final Verdict

If you always do elaborate eye makeup looks, cannot live without your eyeliner, or love to use lip tints that don’t budge, it’s probably time to invest in this makeup remover from Bifesta.

The oily texture needs some getting used to, but for those who are already using cleansing oil in their double-cleansing routine, this should be nothing new for you.

I’m thinking of repurchasing a bigger bottle of this in future (I’m currently using banila co.’s Clean It Zero to wash off all the stubborn eyeliner) – let’s just hope that I will learn to accept the oil in the cleanser over time!


Rating

Ease of use: ✮✮✮✮
Effectiveness: ✮✮✮✮
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: ✮✮✮✮✮

[SWATCH] Powder blushes

Recently, I got hooked on buying blushes because I think they really help to complete your makeup look. It makes you look more radiant and in the pink (pun intended) of health.

These are 3 powder blushes that I bought not long ago, 2 from MISSHA and 1 from Muji. Apologies for the dent in my Muji one, I am a horrible klutz T___T

As you can see, the Muji one definitely pales in comparison when it comes to colour payoff. It’s not very surprising: Japanese beauty products have rather low colour payoff, and their Korean counterparts have been catching up (albeit rather slowly).

I really like the MISSHA cotton blushes – #My Candyshop is good for creating sweet and fresh looks, while #Sunny Afternoon helps in looking lively, thanks to the bright colour. The orange coral shade also comes with slight hints of shimmer, so you can apply it on your cheekbones for a nice pop.

On the other hand, I use the Muji blush when I want to create a more understated look that is natural – good for when I want to look like I have minimal makeup, but still want to look healthy even though I slept for less than 5 hours.

All three are nice blushes, so take your pick based on what you prefer!

[REVIEW] ZOEVA The Basic Moment Blush Palette

I love multi-palettes that help you to do so much more than makeup for one feature, so it’s little wonder that I wanted to try out this palette from ZOEVA.


Product Description

In honor of the most precious moments, the ZOEVA brings an ethereal collection of gorgeous, vitamin E-enriched shades to enhance your favourite features.

A darker contouring shade flawlessly shapes the face while the champagne highlighter illuminates the complexion with a veil of shimmering gold. To finish the look, the universally flattering peach-toned blush imbues cheeks with a subtle flush of colour.

Official Retail Price in Singapore: SGD 26

Image credits

Ingredient List

Unfinished, Yet To Come: Talc, Aluminum Starch Octenylsuccinate, Magnesium Stearate, Mica (Ci 77019), Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Dimethicone, Dimethiconol, Phenoxyethanol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Dehydroacetic Acid, Cera Alba/Beeswax/Cire D’abeille, Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot) Kernel Oil, [+/- Ci 77891 (Titanium Dioxide), Ci 77499 (Iron Oxides), Ci 77491 (Iron Oxides), Ci 77492 (Iron Oxides), Ci 15850 (Red 7 Lake), Ci 19140 (Yellow 5 Lake)]. //

Liquid Clock: Mica (Ci 77019), Talc, Aluminum Starch Octenylsuccinate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Magnesium Stearate, Dimethicone, Dimethiconol, Phenoxyethanol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Cera Alba/Beeswax/Cire D’abeille, Dehydroacetic Acid, Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot) Kernel Oil, Ci 77891 (Titanium Dioxide), Ci 77491 (Iron Oxides), Ci 77492 (Iron Oxides), Ci 77499 (Iron Oxides).

Some key points:

Mica: creates a natural shimmery finish, since it can be milled to a fine powder. Because it is naturally produced it is a particularly well-loved ingredient among organic and natural beauty brands, and is safe to use on almost all skin types with little to no side effects (source)

Dehydroacetic Acid: A fungicide and bactericide predominantly used as a preservative in cosmetics. It works by killing off and preventing the growth of microorganisms that contribute to a product’s decay (source)

Apricot kernel oil: Apricot seed oil contains high fatty acids, Vitamin E and A which can be used to moisturise and nourish dry and mature skin (source)


Packaging: This is considered pretty compact for a palette, and I like that it’s thin enough to fit easily into my luggage. It is, however, a little too big to put inside my makeup pouch.

Colour: I love the shades included here for each product use (blush, highlighter, and contour), because they are so universal.

Peach-pink works perfectly for most people to create a healthy flush, and it’s also my go-to colour for blushes. The bright, vibrant gold in the highlighter is also great – I always steer clear of silver highlighters because of my warm undertones, which those cool-toned ones don’t look very good on.

The brown for the contour is also just right. I’ve had some trouble with other contours because the brown wasn’t exactly a shade that worked for me, but this is perfect.

Colour payoff & intensity: I was a little surprised by how light these were when applied to my skin, especially since this was a Western brand. It’s a given that Korean brands offer the least colour payoff and so I never expect intense colours from their products, but this one really did take me back by surprise.

It’s not entirely a bad thing: I like subtlety in my makeup, and a tinge of peach or sparkle is enough to give me the glow I want.

However, I don’t really like the contour much because it’s quite patchy. It’s sufficiently good enough for contouring your nose and brow bones, but I don’t really see much of an effect when I attempt to contour my jaw.

Staying power: I haven’t found any need to touch up on my blush, highlighter, or contour even after a long day, so I think it’s safe to say that these work great even for the days where you are out for more than 12 hours.


Final Verdict

I bring this around on my travels because I love the convenience that I can get from one palette. Granted, there’s not much variety in terms of shades, but I’ll swap variety for convenience any day if I’m struggling to stay below my baggage weight limits.

The one thing that I don’t really like from this palette is the contour. It’s clearly not the best contour product you can get, which is a little disappointing, especially since the blush and highlighter are good.

I do think that this palette is really worth the price tag. It’s cheaper than most other palettes you can get out there, and works just as well (sans the contour).

I highly recommend this to those who are just starting out in makeup and want a basic palette to hone your skills in applying blush, highlighter, and contour. For those who are more experienced and want something more challenging and exciting to work with, this may not be your cup of tea.


Rating

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

[REVIEW] Thayers Peach Witch Hazel Astringent With Aloe Vera

Thayers Witch Hazel was one of those products that EVERYONE on the Internet seemed to be singing praises of, and I was really dying to try this out once my toner was running out.

Fortunately, my chance came when I saw this going off at a huge discount in Olive Young – I found out at the cashier that it was because it was expiring in February this year, but it was okay, it was still much cheaper than if I had bought it at original price.

I also found out afterwards that I had bought the wrong type. I wanted the alcohol-free toner, but ended up buying the exact opposite: an astringent with 10% alcohol!


Product Description

Thayers Peach Witch Hazel Astringent with Aloe Vera Formula cools, refreshes and cleanses the skin. The famous tag line of the Thayers company says it all…”Not made by witches, but Magic for your skin!”

Thayers Witch Hazel with Aloe Vera Formula Astringents and Alcohol-Free Toners have been soothing, softening, healing and stimulating skin since 1847.

Made of extract from the Witch Hazel shrub (Hamamelis Virginiana) and a blend of other time-tested ingredients – THAYERS® Witch Hazel with Aloe Vera Formula Astringents and Alcohol-Free Toners are soothing, natural treatments that cleanse, tone and soothe your skin. THAYERS® are the only Witch Hazel products made of non-distilled extract from the Witch Hazel shrub maintaining the highest levels of therapeutic tannins.

These natural elixirs have been a fixture in medicine cabinets for generations. Once you use them, you’ll know why.

Official Retail Price in Singapore: SGD 17.90


Ingredient List

Purified Water, SD Alcohol 40-B (Natural Grain) 10%, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice (Certified Organic Filet Of Aloe Vera), Glycerin (Vegetable), Hamamelis Virginiana Extract (made from Certified Organic Witch Hazel), Prunus Persica (Peach) Leaf Extract, Actinidia Chinensis (Kiwi) Fruit Extract, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Flower Extract, Passiflora Incarnata (Passionfruit) Fruit Extract, Citrus Tangerina (Tangerine) Extract, Fragrance (Natural Peach), Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Seed Extract, Citric Acid, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C)

For many people, a lot of ingredients in this list ring alarming bells: Alcohol, citrus extracts, citric acid, ascorbic acid, etc.

It is said that witch hazel and aloe vera are supposed to counteract the harsh, stinging effects that these ingredients will cause – I’ll share more about this later.

I also wanted to talk a little more about the magical ingredient here: witch hazel. It’s a medicinal ingredient that’s revered by skincare enthusiasts, even for those with sensitive, acne-prone skin – it is said to do a brilliant job in cleansing, removing excess sebum, and preventing further infections (you know, those that come with acne).


Korean packaging

Packaging: I bought this in Korea, hence the Korean packaging. It looks exactly like a traditional remedy, no frills or anything, which I like. I always prefer my skincare to be as fuss-free as possible with the packaging because it gives a sense of professionalism, that I can trust my skin with the brand.

Texture: You can see that the liquid inside looks a little yellow (no, it’s not the bottle), so it pours out as a faint yellow liquid that’s as viscous as water. Very easily absorbed by the skin, albeit with a faint stinging sensation.

Effectiveness: When I first tried this, I was really scared that my face would break out and I would have bright red spots all over by the next day. I have avoided alcohol in all my skincare products as much as possible, so I really freaked out quite a fair bit when I realized that I had bought the wrong Thayers product.

Luckily, the stinging sensation was actually a lot less intense than I had expected (I always have a very bad experience with The Body Shop tea tree toner, stings like mad). It was a dull sting, but nothing painful. You can also definitely smell the peach and passionfruit extracts inside, which is quite pleasant.

I restrict my use of this to about once every alternate evening, just to be on the safe side. This dosage is quite acceptable for my sensitive skin. I find that my pores have been looking smaller, and my skin a lot less oily than usual. I have also progressed to using it as a mist that I spray when I notice that my skin is getting way too oily in the day.


Final Verdict

I know a lot of people have reservations about using astringents, especially one with 10% alcohol. It’s also a bit ironic that I quite enjoy using this even though I always warn about having alcohol in skincare products, but I genuinely find that this product, when used in moderation, can be really good for controlling excess oil and cleaning your pores thoroughly.

Of course, if you ask me whether I regret getting the astringent instead of the alcohol-free toner, I’m more inclined to tell you no. Why? Because I still prefer having a product that I can use everyday as compared to one that I can only use sparingly. HAHA! Jokes aside, I honestly think an alcohol-free product still beats anything else for me.


Rating

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