[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: ✮✮

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[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: ✮✮✮✮

[WARNING & REVIEW] Do not subscribe to No Make No Life!!!

After looking at a lot of my followed bloggers’ posts about subscription boxes, I had been itching to try them out myself as well. Unfortunately, I think a lot of them only ship within the US, or at least don’t ship to Singapore. So you imagine how excited I was when I saw an IG ad for a subscription box service called No Make No Life, that was based in Japan and could actually ship to SG.

My happiness was, unfortunately, very short-lived. Let me run through the series of unfortunate events:


STRIKE 1

I was a bit hesitant about forking so much money for a few months, so I opted for the 1 month subscription plan, which was USD35. It seemed quite decent to me at that point of time, seeing that they include a fair bit of really good Japanese and Korean beauty products:

From the NMNL website

My February box came as it should, and I was quite excited to open it up. Here are the contents:

I was like, eh, okay? Half of the box was occupied by the cotton balls, which didn’t really look that expensive. Here’s the price breakdown of the 8 products inside the Feb 2019 box (taken from NMNL’s linked website):

Skin Milk Bomb Face Mask: USD 2.97

Fascy Moisture Bomb Hand Cream: USD 6.52

Sparkling Eye Gloss in Honey Gold: USD 7.03

Tony Moly Eyebrow Pencil: USD 5.59

Colorful Cotton Balls (100 pcs): USD 8.68

Crayon Touch Me Lip Gloss in Shiny Orange: USD 2.69

Flower Puff in Pink: USD 6.14

Savon de Chocolate Soap: USD 4.24

Does this add up to USD35? Apparently it actually adds up to USD39.62, but I’ve found some lower prices for certain items on this list. I’m also a little doubtful about the cotton balls costing almost USD 9, because I found much cheaper alternatives on Google.

But this is not even the worst part!


STRIKE 2

I wanted to start using the items in my box, so on the same day, I took out the mask to use.

Now, I first noticed that the smell of the mask was a tad strange. I know that chocolate milk is one of the ingredients inside (correct me if I’m wrong), but it shouldn’t smell so… strange. And when I took out the mask, I was horrified to see that there was something that looked like MOULD on it!!

So I went to check the expiry date. I’m not sure what the format is, but according to No Make No Life, it is supposed to be YY/MM/DD, so it expires in 2020. My first instinct, however, was that it was supposed to be DD/MM/YY, meaning that it may have expired in 2013.

I don’t really know tbh. If you do, please enlighten me!

So the next thing I did was to, of course, contact No Make No Life about this. I wanted to find out if the mask really did expire, and if so, to check thoroughly if other customers are affected by the same batch of masks.

I first messaged them on 28 January 2019, via Facebook DM, as well as email. They didn’t reply me by the next day, so I proceeded to comment on one of their FB posts. They finally replied my comment, and also got around to replying my DM on the 31st. However, they also asked me details about my delivery and parcel:

“When did the box arrive and how long after arrival did you open the box? Was the box left unattended to in front of your house upon arrival or were you there to receive it directly from your local courier?”

On one hand, I understand they may have concerns about whether the delivery and stuff affected the product, but on the other hand, why would a mask (that is properly sealed, and has apparently not expired) have mould growing on it?? I’m really puzzled because I myself have shipped masks back from Korea to Singapore, and I’ve never faced this mould problem with any of my masks.

So anyway, I shot them an email on 1 Feb with the photos (of the box) and other stuff as they had requested via FB DM. However, I never heard back from them after that about this issue, not even an email saying that they are checking into this, or at least clarifying what that mould thing is. All I got were their emails about their upcoming box and blah blah, which made me quite frustrated because they seemed to have no problems sending promotional emails, yet could not even spare a minute to reply my email and let me know what was being done about the issue I raised.


STRIKE 3

The last straw came when I got an email on 7 Feb, saying that my March box is being shipped to me. Now remember, I only selected and paid for a one month subscription, so why was I receiving this email?! I surely did not want to get another box, considering that the issue from my previous box was not settled AND I did not want to pay for something that I didn’t order! I immediately emailed them back to ask, and till now (17 Feb), I still have NOT received any reply from them.

?????

I also found out that I’m not the only one facing problems with No Make No Life from their FB page:

I’m honestly very disappointed with this subscription service. I really expected something better from a Tokyo-based (and I’m assuming Japanese) company in terms of customer service & product quality.

I hope no one has to go through the same bad experiences as I did, as well as others who are still struggling to get a reply from NMNL about their missing boxes. Please don’t buy any of their subscription plans, not until they have clarified and settled all these issues.

I’ll update again if NMNL even replies me, and make any necessary edits if I have made any errors. Do share also if you have had a bad experience with No Make No Life!!

[REVIEW] Cezanne Mix Color Cheek

I don’t know about you, but I seriously love Japanese blushes. For starters, the packaging is always so beautiful, and the colours well-suited for Asian skin tones. I won this as part of a contest (as mentioned here) so I got to try this out!


Product Description

With the double gradation effect of colors and pearls, you can create a glossy, beautiful look that blends perfectly with your skin.

Official Retail Price in Singapore: SGD 17.90

Image credits


Ingredient List

MICA, TRIETHYLHEXAHOIN, DIISOSTEARYL MALATE, DIMETHICONE, ZINC STEARATE, PHENOXYETHANOL, METHYLPARABEN, TOCOPHEROL, SODIUM HYALURONATE, BUTYLENE GLYCOL, WATER(AQUA), PRUNUS YEDOENSIS LEAF EXTRACT , ROSMARINUS OFFICINALIS (ROSEMARY) LEAF EXTRACT (ROSMARINUS OFFICINALIS EXTRACT) , (+/-) , TALC, TITANIUM DIOXIDE, TIN OXIDE, IRON OXIDES, RED 30, RED 7 , YELLOW 5

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)

Methylparaben: used as a preservative in women’s cosmetics, may increase risk of breast cancer (source)

Rosemary leaf extract: protects skin cells from damage often caused by the sun and free radicals (source)


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Packaging: Looks like its eyeshadow’s packaging, but I ain’t complaining. It looks very elegant and beautiful, even though it is just a drugstore brand. I guess the Japanese just do their packaging really well!

Colour: Personally, I like this colour combination the best out of all the palettes. There is a good mix of pink and coral colours, which is very good for people with slightly fairer skin and warm undertones. It looks very natural as well, especially with the pearlescent glow that comes with every shade.

Colour payoff & intensity: Just like its eyeshadow equivalent, the colour intensity in this blush is close to zero. It hardly shows up on my skin unless I dust a few more layers, although I do have to point out that the pearl powder already shimmers very nicely with just one or two layers. It’s just the colour that doesn’t show up well, unless you are super fair. That being said, it’s not entirely a bad thing, because you get the appearance of naturally rosy cheeks more easily, if that’s what you are going for.

Staying power: I wouldn’t say the staying power is super good. Actually it’s very hard to tell also, because I can’t see much of the blush on my cheeks to begin with. You might have to touch up after a few hours if you want a more vibrant colour.


Final Verdict

Just like their Korean counterparts, I feel that Japanese blushes and eyeshadows often lack the colour intensity that their Western counterparts offer. The pro, of course, is that you can hardly go wrong with a more natural looking shade, but also limits the kind of looks you can achieve. This is especially so if you tend to have darker skin, because Japanese beauty products are even more limiting than the Korean ones when it comes to diversity.

If you have fairer skin (I’m a 21, and I already find that this doesn’t show up well), then this is definitely something you would want to grab. If not, I think this is still nice to use for the glow that it gives you, like a more natural-looking highlighter that doesn’t look excessive. At SGD17.90, I think it’s not too expensive, but of course there are other brands that offer cheaper alternatives that could work better for your skin tone.


Rating

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

[REVIEW] Muji Cheek Colour (Matte Type)

This was one of the items that I bought during my first time buying beauty items from Muji. I had seen some reviews of this blush online before, so I was interested in trying it out for myself.


Product Description

No official description available for this, sorry folks!

Official Retail Price in Singapore: SGD 9.60

Image credits


Ingredient List

Also unavailable, sorry!


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Packaging: I like that it looks simple and minimalistic – absolutely befitting of Muji’s aesthetic and branding. It makes for a good blush to pack into your makeup pouch and luggage as well because it’s light and compact, so this is one blush I would definitely consider packing with me on my travels.

Colour: I’m really liking this shade because it’s not an obnoxious kind of pink – kind of like a natural flush, but just slightly darker? I usually try to opt for lighter colours because I don’t like blush appearing too intense on my face, so this one from Muji works just fine for me. If you are looking for a lighter colour, I would definitely recommend that you try Peach, because Rose is the darkest shade of the lot. You can also get this in the ‘crystal’ version, which is basically a shimmery version of the exact same shade.

Colour payoff & intensity: Typical of Japanese cosmetic products, I wouldn’t say this payoff is strong. It is, however, pretty good, and possibly even better than some of its Korean counterparts. It takes me about 2 swipes each time to get the colour to show up as a natural flush on my skin, which isn’t too bad.

Staying power: I did realize that the colour on my cheeks didn’t really last quite as long as I had expected, and this was despite the fact that I always remembered to prime my skin and set all my makeup in loose powder. By mid-day, after I came back from lunch, I realized that the cheek colour had started to fade, and if I really want it to still look fresh for the rest of the day, it would probably require touching up in the afternoon. That was something I didn’t particularly like, because most blushes I’ve tried so far actually boast pretty good staying power.


Final Verdict

I think for SGD 9.60, the quality is not bad. It’s in fact a pretty good deal, considering that you can get a good blush for less than SGD10, and especially when you consider that it’s a product from Muji. In fact, I was initially very excited about having found this at a good price because I heard that this blush is so popular that it’s often sold out, and people actually have to wait to buy the blush after it’s been restocked.

It’s not an absolute must-buy for me because it’s not something that I would be raving about, but it does have its own legion of fans. Why? Because it’s pretty, pretty reliable, and pretty affordable blush, duh!


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: ✮✮