[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] 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] 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: ✮✮✮✮

[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.

[REVIEW] 3CE Velvet Lip Tint

So after my first experience with a 3CE lip product, I decided to try out their lip tints, which I reckon are very popular among beauty junkies.


Product Description

What it is:

A lip tint with a sherbet-like texture that melts into the lips and leaves a natural tinge with a matte finish.

What it does:

Velvet lip tint incorporates an oil-packed formula specially made to deliver a vivid and velvety matte texture. When this tint is applied, the lips are first encased with a layer of oil upon which pigments gently melt, resulting in a dewy sensation with a matte finish.

Official Retail Price in Singapore: SGD 23


Ingredient List

See the full list here, together with information on safety and irritants.


Packaging: It looks very similar to my other lip tints (in particular, the CLIO one), so nothing much in particular that is really mind-blowing. I do find the 3CE tube to be much thicker than the CLIO one – probably because it contains more product as well.

Colour: I bought the shade #GOING RIGHT, which appears to be a very gorgeous MLBB shade. However, the real swatch shows that this shade contains a little more tinge of orange than I had expected. I personally also feel that it leans more towards a terracotta red – it’s great for me, because as of late I’ve been collecting lipstick shades like this, but you may want to take note of this if you are very particular about getting a colour that’s identical to the marketing photo.

The colour payoff is, of course, very good for a matte lip tint. It’s definitely better than the Mood Recipe Matte Lip Color. The texture is waxy and applies evenly on the lips, which I really like as well.

Staying power: I wasn’t super impressed by the Mood Recipe Matte Lip Color’s staying power, but I feel that this holds up better than its bullet lipstick counterpart.

You still get a fair bit of tint left even after an oily meal, although it’s not quite as long-lasting as you would expect from matte lipsticks. However, I’ve come to terms that 3CE lipsticks are not the best when it comes to long-lasting lipsticks that don’t budge.


Final Verdict

As beautiful as 3CE’s Instagram photos are, I sometimes still feel that the brand is a little overhyped for its quality and price. There are certainly other brands can offer the same type of product at a lower price, and probably with better staying power as well.

That being said, I still do enjoy using this lip tint from 3CE. It’s not bad, just that I wouldn’t strongly recommend that you buy it, because I don’t think it really offers anything that’s different or better than other brands.


Rating

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

[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] THEFACESHOP x Kakao Friends Sweet Apeach Dr. Belmeur Daily Repair Panthenol Soothing Gel Cream

This was one of the products I bought last year when THEFACESHOP released its collaboration with Kakao Friends’ Apeach. I’m a hugeeee fan of Apeach, so I bought this kind of like a collectible item. Nonetheless, I’ve also been wanting to try the brand’s Dr. Belmeur line for some time, so I guess I killed two birds with one stone this time round ~


Product Description

The gel-type cream containing 2.5% panthenol creates a moisture barrier to soothe sensitive skin and help provide longer-lasting hydration.

Official Retail Price in Singapore: SGD 42

 


Ingredient List

Water, Propanediol, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Dipropylene Glycol, Panthenol, Dimethicone, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, 1,2-Hexanediol, Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Dicaprylyl Ether, Sodium Hyaluronate, Squalane, Alanyl Glutamine, Phytosphingosine, Soluble Proteoglycan, Hydrolyzed Glycosaminoglycans, Natto Gum, Betula Platyphylla Japonica Juice, Monarda Didyma Leaf Extract, Corchorus Olitorius Leaf Extract, Salvia Officinalis Leaf Extract, Anthemis Nobilis Flower Water, Malachite Extract, Carthamus Tinctorius Flower Extract, Biosaccharide Gum-1, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Amodimethicone, Carbomer, Polysorbate 60, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Pentylene Glycol, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Trisodium EDTA, Disodium EDTA, Tromethamine, Sodium Hydroxide, Ethylhexylglycerin, Phenoxyethanol, Parfum

Some ingredients to take note of:

  • Butylene Glycol: potential irritant
  • Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract: good for soothing irritated skin
  • Parfum: potential irritant
  • Betula Platyphylla Japonica Juice: good for moisturising and conditioning skin
  • Monarda Didyma Leaf Extract: to heal irritations and wounds
  • Salvia Officinalis Leaf Extract: astringent and antiseptic qualities
  • Anthemis Nobilis Flower Water: antioxidant
  • Malachite Extract: after-sun product
  • Natto Gum: moisturising

As you can see, it’s packed full of ingredients that really help to moisturise and soothe skin; ironically, it also contains ingredients that can  potentially irritate your skin as well. My advice is to test this out at a store for yourself if you have sensitive skin, just in case the irritant supersedes all the other ingredients on you.


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Packaging: How is this not cute??? Every time I open the tub, I’m like patting Apeach on the head. It is so, so, so adorable. If you are an Apeach fan and you don’t like this, please don’t call yourself a fan. Even if you are not an Apeach fan, you should still like this. It’s really one of the cutest skincare products I’ve seen in a long time.

Texture: It’s very aqueous, so it gets absorbed by my skin very easily. I didn’t think that it was actually very oily, although my device seems to tell me that it may be slightly oily. I’m guessing this may be because of the squalene present in the product (squalene is obtained from shark liver oil), although I can’t be sure.

dr.-belmeur-daily-repair-panthenol-soothing-gel-cream-1.jpg
Before

dr.-belmeur-daily-repair-panthenol-soothing-gel-cream-2.jpg
After

Hydration level went up by 2%, and oil level went up by 0.6%.

Note that I did not conduct the ‘after’ test immediately, but waited a while for the product to settle in.

Effectiveness: I love how cooling the product feels on my skin after application, and I’m guessing this has to do with all these extracts in it, especially the aloe vera one. My skin immediately feels hydrated for sure. I’m guessing that you don’t see a huge difference in my skin hydration levels above because it’s already quite well-moisturised.

I also like to use this on my face and arms when I get a little sunburnt from being out in the sun for too long, and it always heals by the very next day!


Final Verdict

Cute packaging aside, this soothing gel cream from THEFACESHOP has been a very good skincare product that I use quite regularly and interchangeably with my MISSHA snail cream.

SGD42 is definitely not cheap, especially considering its small product size (50ml), but really good skincare products hardly come cheap, unless you strike gold with some drugstore find. I probably wouldn’t call this a must-buy because you have similar, cheaper alternatives (Nature Republic Soothing & Moisture Aloe Vera is still unbeatable at SGD5 tbh), but it is definitely not a purchase that will leave you wishing it was never made.


Rating

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