[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] 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] 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!