[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: ✮✮✮✮

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[REVIEW] Etude House KitKat Play Color Eyes Mini Eyeshadow Palette

This is probably all the rage on the Internet now, and I have to admit that this is another one of my impulse purchases. I read about it on Allure, found out that Etude House was selling this in Korea, and immediately placed an order for it on Shopee.

Everything happened really quickly, and I was still kind of in disbelief that I got this so fast. I’ve never been one to hop on trends and buy new product launches because I’m really not into that kind of thing, so you can imagine how much I really wanted to try this out!


Product Description

In the original milk chocolate and a white strawberry chocolate packaging each one includes 6 shades + a KitKat pouch (about $18).

Both eye shadow palettes feature six shades in packaging reminiscent of KitKat wrappers. The milk-chocolate version includes a matte beige, a rich matte tan, a medium brown with gold shimmer, a matte chocolate brown (of course), a shimmering gold, and a shimmering red. The strawberry-white-chocolate version, inspired by one of the many flavors exclusive to Asia, includes a matte cream, a shimmery peach, a shimmery pink, two rich browns — one matte and one shimmer — and a matte golden brown.

Allure

Official Retail Price in Singapore: SGD26.80 (Shopee)


Ingredient List

I don’t think this has been published yet, will update once more details are available!


Packaging: The Kitkat packaging is seriously very worth collecting, but you know what makes this even better? The fact that it actually comes in a box that’s has a Kitkat pouch AND real Kitkat chocolate!!

Texture: You can see from the swatches that the texture is a little chalky and powdery, which is actually pretty common with some of Etude House’s Play Color palettes. That being said, you may find it a bit difficult to apply this evenly on your eyelids as well, especially with the darker shades.

Colour payoff & intensity: If it looks like there are only 6 shades in my swatch photo, the lightest shade is clearly almost invisible :’) I had a pretty hard time trying to get a decent colour payoff for the lighter shades (the first 2), but found that the last 4 are actually pretty okay.

I may be slightly prejudiced, but I always had the idea that Etude House’s eyeshadow palettes are really not the best in terms of colour payoff, so this one did surprise me (pleasantly) by quite a bit.

Colour: While I can’t find the shade names online, they are briefly described as ‘a matte beige, a rich matte tan, a medium brown with gold shimmer, a matte chocolate brown (of course), a shimmering gold, and a shimmering red’.

Matte beige would be suitable for a base colour, and the rest I would use more for accents. I quite like the shimmering gold shade – you can use it to layer your eyelids, or use it to tighten your waterline. But of course, my favourite shades still have to be the brown, because brown shades are really very easy to work with for all occasions.

On the other hand, I find the red a little intimidating to work with (it’s really very red), but if you are a fan of bright & bold colours, you definitely have to check this one out!

Staying power: Nothing amazing, but nothing to be criticized also. Its staying power is pretty average. My tip is to use an eyeshadow primer if you really want this to last for a whole day, because you’ll most likely have a faded, muted eyeshadow look by the end of a long day.


Final Verdict

Did I buy this for the novelty? Yes.

Do I love the palette? Yes.

Do I regret buying this? ABSOLUTELY NOT!

(For those of you who are curious, yes, this palette does smell like chocolate.)


Rating

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

[REVIEW] Cezanne Airy Touch Eyeshadow

I actually won this in a giveaway together with a few other Cezanne products – the best luck I’ve had with such contests in a super long time! I had been wanting to try their products for some time since the brand entered Singapore, so it was a neat stroke of luck.


Product Description

Color and pearl gradation: With the gradation effect of colors that blend well with your skin and pearls, your eyes appear larger, and depth is created.(Amount of pearls: The amount decreases from 1 to 3, and 4 is a matte.)Layer four colors to give your eyes a gentle, deep appearance.

High-quality tip with natural hair brush: The brush features natural hair that creates an unparalleled finish, and the puff is a thin-tipped type that makes it easy to spread the eye shadow to your eyes’ edges. It’s easy for anyone to create a soft gradation.

Uses airy powder that is resistant to dulling: This eye shadow features special processing that makes your skin resistant to dulling, so you can apply it in the morning and have a clear eye area until evening

Official Retail Price in Singapore: SGD 17.90


Ingredient List

None that I can find on the Internet – sorry folks! As usual, let me know if you are able to dig one out from the depths of the web.


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Packaging: As typical of Japanese makeup products, this eyeshadow palette looks so elegant even though it’s only a drugstore brand. I love how small this is and can fit easily into my bag, my pouch, probably even my jeans pocket.

Texture: The eyeshadows feel powdery, but not chalky at all. The powder is also not too loose, which is great because you won’t be expecting too much fallout from this eyeshadow.

Colour payoff & intensity: You know how I always complain about Korean brands’ eyeshadows being too faint for me to see anything? It seems like Japanese brands are not much better. In fact. this colour intensity is one of the lightest that I have seen. It hardly shows up on my skin (for reference, I’m a 21), sans the darkest shade (bottom right) that I assume is to be used as an eyeliner. One aspect I do appreciate, however, is the shimmery quality of the eyeshadow. It’s not too much that it looks gaudy, just sufficient to help your eyes shine.

Colour: Besides the lack of colour payoff, another thing that I did not particularly like were the colours. I was given 04 Cassis brown, which consists of purplish shades that would be much better suited to people who have cool undertones. I have warm undertones, so most of the time blue and purple shades look terrible on me, like I’ve been punched in the eye. I think 01 and 02 would be a much better fit if you have warm undertones just like me.

Staying power: Pretty average. I do have to point out though, I once tried using the darkest shade as eyeliner and ended up having it smudged on my lower eyelid. I think this eyeshadow may not work well if you have oilier eyelids, so take note to try and mattify them (with oil blotting paper or loose powder).


Final Verdict

To be honest, I was quite disappointed that this product did not turn out to be as good as I had imagined – I don’t think the actual product quality is super amazing or anything. It also does not help that I got a shade that I would try to avoid as much as I can. I don’t think I will recommend this if you are looking to switch things up and get a Japanese beauty brand’s eyeshadow palette.


Rating

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

[REVIEW] Colourpop NO LIMIT Pressed Powder Shadow Palette

So I got (slightly) addicted to Colourpop after using their lip products, then I was egged on to try their eyeshadow palettes which, according to friend A, was also another product absolutely worth trying ‘because she heard so’. Well, I didn’t really need that much convincing tbh. I scoured the website for eyeshadows that I thought would be good for an everyday look, and then I saw THIS palette.


Product Description

Get some money in this pumped up mauve palette.

Highly pigmented shadow that applies evenly and feels ultra-velvety and silky. This long wearing formula contains a unique combination of softer powders which adheres easily to the eyes, gives a soft focus effect, and blends smoothly and evenly.

Official Retail Price in Singapore: USD 12


Ingredient List

SYNTHETIC FLUORPHLOGOPITE, TALC, BORON NITRIDE, LAUROYL LYSINE, MAGNESIUM STEARATE, DIMETHICONE, ZINC STEARATE, CAPRYLIC/CAPRIC TRIGLYCERIDE, SILICA, PHENOXYETHANOL, CAPRYLYL GLYCOL, DIMETHICONOL, ETHYLHEXYLGLYCERIN, HEXYLENE GLYCOL, IRON OXIDES (CI 77492), MICA (CI 77019), RED 40 LAKE (CI 16035), TITANIUM DIOXIDE (CI 77891).

I don’t recall having seen Synthetic Fluorphlogopite in my previous reviews, so I did a check and understood even less than I had started with:

Synthetic mineral based on fluorine, aluminum and silicate; also known as synthetic fluorine mica; used as a bulking agent.

Bulking agent? Huh? Another foreign term, so I consulted Google again:

Non‐nutritive substances (commonly non‐starch polysaccharides) added to foods to increase the bulk and hence sense of satiety, especially in foods designed for weight reduction.

Nope, nope, nope. Someone really needs to make ingredient lists easier to understand so that ordinary consumers like us can be more informed about whatever we want to buy without having to google every single ingredient.


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Packaging: It’s thin enough to fit into most makeup pouches, but the best part of this palette’s packaging is definitely its magnetic clasp. It ensures that your palette stays closed and I assume, in turn, helps to reduce the chances of your eyeshadow powder smashing to pieces if it ever falls on the floor (touchwood). I do think, however, that one minor flaw is that how easily the mirror can get dirtied with nothing to keep the shadows and mirror separate.

Texture: The eyeshadows feel powdery, and thankfully not too chalky despite the talc ingredient. This makes the eyeshadows very easy to apply and blend evenly on my eyelids.

Colour payoff & intensity: After having experienced Etude House eyeshadows’ almost non-existent colour payoff, I was absolutely not expecting to see the vibrant colours that this palette is capable of. I used to struggle and had to apply multiple layers of eyeshadow onto my eyelids for a slightly stronger tinge to show up. However, with this palette, all I need to do is use my Innisfree brush to lightly pick up the colours I want, gently swipe over my lids and voila! I am in love with this strong payoff and intensity that you can’t find in a lot of K-beauty palettes.

Colour: This palette contains mostly orange and corals (according to Colourpop’s website, that is). There are 3 matte finishes and 1 duochrome finish, the combination of which I have found to be very versatile. The warm colours flatter my warm undertones, and should easily fit most people’s skin tones. In addition, this is one eyeshadow palette that can easily take you from day to night just by adding Come And Get It – a gold, shimmery update to a more muted look. Although I do like all four colours, I find that the Going Steady shade is a little too blueish and dark for me, so it’s my least favourite one in the whole palette. On the other hand, my favourite shade, Labyrinth, is a gorgeous rose pink that I feel would also make a good blush colour.

Staying power: Nothing amazing, but nothing to be criticized also. Its staying power is pretty average – it generally lasts for about one day, but don’t expect it to stay fully intact at the end of the day. I also feel that the darker colours have longer staying power than the lighter shades, so be careful about piling too much at one go.


Final Verdict

If you are new to eyeshadows, or just love a versatile look great for warm undertones, this is it. This is my go-to palette because nothing else I’ve used so far has come close to its performance and price point, and I strongly encourage this necessary purchase. Many reviews on Colourpop’s website have also sung praises about this palette, so you know this ain’t a biased recommendation from me.


Rating

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

mustbuy

[TIPS] K-beauty products for makeup beginners

When I first started using makeup (which was actually in December 2016), I was absolutely confused. I bought my first makeup products in Korea, and I completely had no idea what I was looking for. BB cream? Eyeliner? Eyebrow pencil? Lipstick? Those were probably the only 4 I knew, and even so I didn’t know which brands and which products were good. I struggled through my first few products because the application wasn’t always great, and some products just didn’t do well on my skin.

In this post, I’ve recommended products which I personally feel are a) worth every cent, b) easy for beginners to use, and c) basic products that most people would use, so I’ve excluded stuff like highlighter, contour etc. Do read on! 🙂


Primer: banila co. Prime Primer Hydrating (SGD 25)

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I didn’t use primer early in my makeup journey, and if you’re on a really tight budget, I honestly think you can skip this step. While the brand is not available in Singapore (officially), you can either get it on Althea, other E-commerce platforms like Shopee, or even in Malaysia. This primer is really good for ensuring your skin stays moisturized and that your makeup stays in place – great for most skin types.


Foundation: Innisfree Skinny Fit Foundation (SGD 29)

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They weren’t joking about the skinny cover fit in this product, which is why I love using this. I think this foundation has really good coverage, stays on for long without much oxidizing, and feels very light on the skin. There are a few downsides of course, such as lack of shades available and low SPF, but generally still good for its price.


Setting powder: Innisfree No-Sebum Mineral Powder (SGD 10)

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Never thought before that you need setting powder to lock in your makeup and keep oil under control? You’ll know what you’re missing out on once you get around to trying this. This is a holy grail product of most K-beauty bloggers. Perfect dupe for more expensive setting powders in Sephora, smells great, and is cheap!! One small tub can last you for months on end, so imagine how much value you’re getting out of your $$$$. This is actually much cheaper on sites like Althea, and of course in Korea (bought 3 for around SGD 10, just imagine). This powder sets your makeup for you to go from dawn to dusk, and prevents your skin from becoming an oil well.


Eyebrow pencil: Etude House Drawing Eye Brow (SGD 5.90)

No product photo as of yet, sorry!!

This eyebrow pencil from Etude House is another product frequently touted for its great quality and low price. This was the first eyebrow pencil I used, and I stuck to this for more than one year before I tried the Shu Uemura Hard Formula. I love it because it is seriously very cheap, can last for very long, and is super easy to use. If you thought drawing eyebrows is going to take you at least 30 minutes, this product will certainly change your mind.


Eyeshadow + Blush: Innisfree My Palette (SGD 8/colour)

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My colours look like I’m confused (I was, kinda – when I bought this, I was sneezing my head off at the store like no one’s business) but actually I found this very useful for doing a whole face of makeup haha. The browns, in particular, are very useful for doing both eyeshadow and contour. I like the pigmentation and how easy it is to blend, which is especially useful for beginners who can’t deal with chalky, tough eyeshadow (actually no one can).

This is slightly pricier at $8 per cube/colour, but I think that a nice brown is a good investment because it works as both eyeshadow and contour.


Eyeliner: TFS Inkgel Pencil Eyeliner (SGD 15.90)

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Some people don’t do eyeliner, but some people live by it. If you’re a beginner, please don’t jump straight into liquid/gel liners. Even I still struggle with them and stick to pencils 90% of the time 😦 This one from TFS is one of my favourites because it really glides on your eyelids easily, and is smudge-proof & waterproof. No one will be able to tell that you’re just starting out in makeup if you get your eyeliner on point, and this product definitely can do that for you.


Lipstick: Peripera Ink the Airy Velvet (SGD 6.90)

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The truth is that there are many great lip products out there, but one that is particularly noteworthy is this product from Peripera, famed for its lip tints. Gradient lip? Full lip look? Last you from one meal to the next? This one’s got you covered for just SGD 6.90.


Total spending: SGD 100.70

This amount looks terrifying (yes, makeup is unfortunately really expensive), but I’ll further streamline this for you by cutting out the eyeshadow+ blush, and primer:

Total spending: SGD 67.70

It’s definitely still a big sum, but this is money that you can consider a good investment because you will use it well – trust me, these products won’t be left untouched on the shelf just after one use,  unless you bought a shade you don’t like.

Are there any products here that you also used when you first started doing makeup, or that you agree are great for beginners? Let me know in the comments!

[REVIEW] Etude House Bling Bling Eye Stick

If you’ve ever struggled with getting your eyeshadow to look good, or just too lazy to blend properly in the early morning, products like this eye stick should definitely be in your makeup pouch. I’ve always appreciated the convenience that comes with stick products (like MISSHA’s blush), so I had this on my wishlist for some time.


Product Description

Smooth and creamy eye shadow stick that provides vibrant eye color with easy application.

Official Retail Price in Singapore: SGD 8.90

Image credits


Ingredient List

C12-15 Alkyl Ethylhexanoate, Mica (Ci 77019), Titanium Dioxide (Ci 77891), Myristyl Lactate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Ceresin, Synthetic Fluorphlogopite, Ozokerite, Lauroyl Lysine, Polyglyceryl-2 Triisostearate, Iron Oxides (Ci 77491), Polyethylene, Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla) Wax, Vp/Hexadecene Copolymer, Microcrystalline Wax, Stearalkonium Hectorite, Tocopherol, Carmine (Ci 75470), Caprylyl Glycol, Propylene Carbonate, Phenoxyethanol, Tin Oxide, Hexylene Glycol

Each eyeshadow shade has a different ingredient list, because the colours are created using different pigments and chemicals. Top ingredient, C12-15 Alkyl Ethylhexanoate, is “determined safe for use in cosmetics, subject to concentration or use limitations”. Second most common ingredient, Mica (Ci 77019), is actually a natural shimmer pigment that’s deemed safe for cosmetic use.

A potential ingredient for concern is Tin Oxide, but they’re generally deemed to be safe in small doses. As it is the second-last ingredient listed, you can rest assured that the amount used is quite small.


I’m a huge fan of Etude House’s eyeshadow palettes because of the colours, but not so much for the colour intensity. I like how wearable the shades are for everyday looks, and I honestly had a very hard time trying to decide which one to buy. I eventually settled for #12 Sunset Star, an orange-brown colour.

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Packaging: It’s quite small and convenient to bring around – in fact, I feel that this is much more compact than eyeshadow palettes. It also looks like a crayon, which is great for giving the impression that applying this is gonna be as easy as using crayons to draw.

Texture: The texture is different from those of the usual Etude House palettes, which tend to be more powdery. This product is creamier in texture, and definitely much easier to apply evenly on the eyelids. I do get the feeling that it can get rather oily though, so you might not want to use this together with oil-based eyeliners.

Colour payoff & intensity: I’ve often commented on Etude House’s eyeshadows don’t give a great colour payoff, unlike what they look like in the palette, so this honestly came as a nice surprise. You can see from the swatch that the colour is actually pretty intense just with one swipe, which I really like. there’s a bit of glitter – not too over-the-top for a natural look in the day, but still glamorous enough for a party at night. You also don’t have to further blend the colour with your finger or a brush because the colour is already quite well-blended out upon application (how convenient!).

Colour: You may not be entirely comfortable with using orange eyeshadows, because too much of the colour can make your eyes look like they’ve been infected. However, I would say that this shade works well for most skin tones, especially if you have warm undertones. The other colours should also work well – after all, brown is possibly the most versatile eyeshadow shade ever!

Staying power: I’ve tried to apply this eyeshadow without any eye primer on my eyelids, and with eye primer on another occasion. I find that the colour does seem to fade a little towards the end of the day without primer, but it’s not totally gone. My eyelids tend to be quite oily, so you might want to take that into consideration as well.


Final Verdict

Etude House wasn’t exaggerating when they promised easy application with this product. As much as I love applying eyeshadow, it’s sometimes not the most convenient step in a makeup routine because you have to really take time to choose a nice colour and blend properly, if not you’ll look like you randomly smacked some colour on your eyelids.

At SGD8.90, it’s not very cheap since it’s just one colour, but it’s a worthwhile investment especially if you pick a shade that fits you very well and is versatile enough for you to incorporate into any looks.


Rating

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

[REVIEW] Etude House Play Color Eyes #Cherry Blossom

Having previously bought Etude House’s eyeshadow palette, I was convinced to buy its new launch this year as well. I have yellow/red undertones, therefore warm colours like pink and mauve would be a nice fit for me.


Product description

The 10-color eye shadow palette colors your eyes with pink color resembling cherry blossoms dancing in spring

Official Retail Price in Singapore: SGD 24.85 (from Lazada)

Photo Credits


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The pink colours look gorgeous, and I personally really like the glitter shades more than the matte ones.

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If you do a quick Google search of this palette, you see really good swatches. I have no idea how those bloggers did it because I sure had a hard time with this. As I mentioned previously, the one gripe I have with Etude House’s eyeshadows is its poor colour payoff. It took me a few swipes to get each colour swatch, and the lighter colours look almost nonexistent on my skin.

Nonetheless, I really like the colours in this palette. My go-to colours for a natural look are The End of Spring, Cherry Blossom Rain, and Sweet Jujube Tea. The muted colours help in softening your eye look, especially if your eyeliner game is strong.

When I want to go for a stronger look with more emphasis on the eyes, I’d go for Cherry Blossom Festival and Pink Bakery. Popped Cherry Blossom Popcorn, the white glitter shade, is also a good substitute for white eyeliner, and I sometimes use it to draw my waterline.


Final Verdict

For its price, I’d say this palette is definitely a steal.

However, as with most of Etude House’s eyeshadows, I still lament about the poor colour payoff and its durability. The colours are so gorgeous – it’s such a waste that they’re not coming off as strong and nicely as they should.


Rating

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