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

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

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


Product Description

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

Official Retail Price in Singapore: SGD35.90


Ingredient List

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Final Verdict

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

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


Rating

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

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

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

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


Product Description

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

Official Retail Price in Singapore: SGD 48


Ingredient List

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Final Verdict

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

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

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


Rating

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

[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: ✮✮✮

[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: ✮✮✮✮✮

[WISHLIST] March 2019

Almost everyday, a brand releases a product or collaboration that is sure to tempt you into buying, even if you already have a ton of unused products on your vanity table. That’s how I feel every time I scroll Instagram, so I wanted to share some products that’s been on my wishlist for some time!


Canmake Cream Cheek

I feel like it’s no secret by now that I’m quite obsessed with blushes (oops). It’s probably one of my favourite collectibles, right after lipsticks.

Firstly, I really can’t resist this cute packaging from Canmake. It looks like a gorgeous jewel, and I have a serious penchant for all these pretty and feminine shades.

I’m also at this stage where I’m trying to move on from powder blushes (slowly but surely) and buy more liquid & cream ones. Considering that this cream one is said to be very popular in Japan, how could I leave this out of my wishlist, right?


Glossier Cloud Paint

I’ve been eyeing Glossier for the longest possible time, but I never got around to buying any of their products. For starters, it’s not easily available in Singapore, and the price point is even less accessible :/ I also feel that their products, which focus more on ‘good skin’ and letting your natural beauty shine, are really just meant for people who already have good skin (I don’t).

However, I think this blush from Glossier is actually one that would work well especially if you have bumpy, acne-plagued skin. I’ve seen some swatches of these and I’m quite impressed. This blush gives you a flush that comes close to the dewy and barely-there look that K-beauty brands have been championing since forever.


Canmake Marshmallow Powder

If there’s one thing in my makeup routine that barely changes, it’s my setting powder. I alternate between Innisfree and Althea, but I think maybe it’s time for me to try something new soon.

I feel that the Korean glass skin is a little out of reach for me, but the Japanese mochi skin is probably not as difficult to attain, and this is one product that looks like it will give you seriously bouncy & smooth skin!


Heimish Bulgarian Rose Hydrogel Eye Patch 

My eyebags and dark eye circles are so bad these days, I feel like they may be stuck there forever, even if I manage to get 8 hours of sleep someday. I haven’t been paying much attention to eye care as well and felt quite guilty about it, so I got quite interested when I saw these online.

Plus, the patches are made of pink, glittery hydrogel – so pretty! Now who could say not to pretty skincare products, right?


Etude House Quick & Easy Blur Tint

I have a love-hate relationship with Etude House’s lip products, but thankfully my opinion of them has been getting better these days.

I saw these on Instagram for some time and I thought this was an interesting lippie that EH was pushing. This definitely looks like something Innisfree is already selling (Vivid Cotton Ink). Peripera has, well, obviously already been there with their Airy Velvet Tints, and even 3CE is famous for their velvet lip tints as well, so this is not a new innovation or anything.

Even so, I’m curious to see how different these blur tints from Etude House will be. One thing I really like about EH’s tints is that they are truly made to last, with a staying power that even Peripera finds it hard to beat.