REVIEW: M·A·C Viva Glam × Sia Lipstick

Hello everyone!

Makeup collections come and go in a matter of weeks, but one M·A·C collection in particular generally stays all year round. The Viva Glam line, which turns over annually with a new range of product(s), has gotten Sia as its spokesperson for the year and I am beyond thrilled – and it’s not just because she has made explaining how my last name is pronounced so much easier.

M·A·C Viva Glam Sia

M·A·C Viva Glam Sia

Having written chart-toppers for Shakira (Try Everything from the movie Zootopia), Rihanna (Diamonds) and Flo Rida (the catchy chorus for Wild Ones), among many others, the Australian singer-songwriter needs no introduction. Since lending her cathartic voice to David Guetta’s Titanium (in which she showcased her songwriting chops), Sia’s popularity has not only skyrocketed, but also disrupted her plans to solely be an all-pop songwriter for hire. Her prominence prompted her to come out of retirement from being a recording artiste to release her sixth and seventh studio albums (yes, she had already made a name for herself as a successful singer prior to this) made up mostly of rejected tracks she had written for other artistes. Proving that one man’s meat is indeed another man’s poison, her comeback spawned a couple of number-one singles including Chandelier, Cheap Thrills and The Greatest which remained as earworms in my head for a long time.

But her success did not come without setbacks. During her early years, Sia struggled with drug and alcohol addiction, was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and had even contemplated suicide while dealing with fame (which intensified when the press found out about her bisexuality). Sobering up eventually, she realised the damaging effects of fame and retreated from public view. Hence, despite being a critically-acclaimed musician now, Sia does not feel comfortable being in the limelight and would obscure her face with giant wigs, use a proxy performer and refuse to promote her material (yet was able to sell millions of copies worldwide!) to avoid a celebrity lifestyle and maintain some privacy, that is, with the exception of her partnership with PETA to help end the animal homelessness crisis.

Sia behind the wig

Sia behind the wig (source)

As an extension of her philanthropy, Sia collaborated with M·A·C on their Viva Glam campaign which finances educational programmes aimed at preventing HIV/AIDS and helping people with the disease. The product – a red lipstick – is a compatible match with the notoriously camera-shy singer who is often seen rocking her signature red pout (which I learnt today is Ruby Woo) under her bob wig.

M·A·C Viva Glam Sia (US$18.50 / S$36)

M·A·C Viva Glam Sia (US$18.50 / S$36)

M·A·C Viva Glam Sia

M·A·C Viva Glam Sia

M·A·C Viva Glam Sia

M·A·C Viva Glam Sia

M·A·C Viva Glam Sia

M·A·C Viva Glam Sia

M·A·C Viva Glam Sia

M·A·C Viva Glam Sia

M·A·C Viva Glam Sia

M·A·C Viva Glam Sia

M·A·C Viva Glam Sia

M·A·C Viva Glam Sia

Consistent with the preceding Viva Glam lipsticks, Sia’s version features her signature emblazoned on the polished black surface of the tube. Described as a bright yellow-red with a matte finish, the lipstick delivers a vivid medium red (supposedly to mimic Ruby Woo, but more hydrating) with a soft sheen and nanoscopic gold flecks only noticeable up close when applied. With just a single swipe, it deposits a full-on lightweight layer of opaque coverage for a bold and sophisticated look without bleeding into the lip lines. It tends to skip and drag a bit across the lips owing to its slightly drying texture (typical of matte lipsticks), but it does not strip moisture off the lips over time. This lipstick is almost transfer-proof as most of it stayed put on my lips for more than 8 hours. When it did wear off, it faded to a pretty stain.

Comparing Viva Glam Sia with other popular red M·A·C lipsticks. Viva Glam Sia isn't too different from Ruby Woo, perhaps just a little warmer and definitely more moisturising

Comparing Viva Glam Sia with other popular red M·A·C lipsticks. Viva Glam Sia isn’t too different from Ruby Woo, perhaps just a little warmer and definitely more moisturising

Ruby Woo has always been one of my favourite red lipsticks but its annoying drying tendencies put me off, so knowing that Viva Glam Sia can be a substitute for it certainly earns it a few extra points. I’ve got to admit, though, that red may not be the most interesting lip colour in this day and age where every beauty brand in the market is constantly trying to differentiate itself with never-seen-before lipstick shades, but it is likely the only colour most people would associate Sia with.

What do you think of the Viva Glam lip colour this year? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below or take a quick poll!

Thanks for reading!

M·A·C Viva Glam × Sia is now available on MACCosmetics.com and in all local M.A.C outlets. Discounts are not applicable to all Viva Glam products as 100% of the proceeds of the sale are donated to the M·A·C AIDS Fund.

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REVIEW: Sand & Sky Australian Pink Clay Porefining Face Mask + Flash Perfection Exfoliating Treatment

Hello skincare fanatics!

Unless you have gone on a social media diet, you would definitely have been at the mercy of Facebook and Instagram’s algorithm and seen numerous videos of people prancing around with a pink (or blue) jar or letting out an orgasmic sigh as they slid some pink mousse-like paste down their cheeks. Well, if you didn’t manage to sit through the advertisements to find out what the rage was all about, wonder no more as this review will take you through the exact same products that had sent so many people into a state of euphoria.

*squeals* I'M SO EXCITED!

*squeals* I’M SO EXCITED!

Ohh hey there!

Ohh hey there!

It's the Sand&Sky Flash Perfection Exfoliating Treatment and Porefining Face Mask!

It’s the Sand&Sky Flash Perfection Exfoliating Treatment and Porefining Face Mask!

Founded by Australian twin sisters and supermoms Emily and Sarah Hamilton – who were also the creators of beauty box subscription company, Bellabox – in April 2017, Sand&Sky was born out of the realisation that there was a gap in the market for luxurious yet affordable and effective face masks, as well as their desire to showcase the efficacy of the botanical ingredients (ethically) obtained from their motherland in skincare.

So, gathering their market intelligence on consumer behaviour and experience in collating beauty products for Bellabox members, the Hamilton sisters formulated a millennial pink (😱) clay mask that contains 50% Kaolin clay (Kaolin tops the ingredient list as shown here and it is a considerable amount as compared to the 10-15% in many clay products) sourced from remote pockets of Southern and Western Australia to remove toxins and impurities from the skin, and organic liquorice to diminish the appearance of skin discolouration. Apart from organic aloe and pomegranate to tighten pores, soothe, and stimulate collagen production, this much-revered formula also includes a combination of kakadu plum and mangosteen to create a defence shield that would leave skin clear and glowing.

Porefining Face Mask

Mini brush

Mini brush

Enclosed in the box together with the pink jar (note that it’s no longer blue) of clay mask is a handy flat brush (high quality with soft bristles 😍) which I feel is a really thoughtful gesture on Sand&Sky’s part to maintain the sterility of the product during application. On top of that, it also helps ensure even coverage fast and prevents wastage while keeping our hands clean.

Everything inside the box

Everything inside the box

Protective seal

Protective seal

Protective cover

Protective cover

The product

The product

Cool when first applied, the mask – which had a subtle musty and earthy smell – became warmer as it settled on my towel-dried skin. There was some tingling sensation (but no discomfort or itchiness whatsoever) and gradually, areas where pores were most visible turned red slightly beneath the mask. Perhaps because the fan was blowing in my direction, it kinda expedited the drying time so the mask took less than 5 minutes to solidify completely.

[BEFORE] Cleansed face

[BEFORE] Cleansed face

Gonna pick up some product with the cute brush!

Gonna pick up some product with the cute brush!

How the product looks like when applied! P/S: I filmed the application process on the left side of my face - check out my Instagram for the video!

How the product looks like when applied! P/S: I filmed the application process on the left side of my face – scroll all the way to the end for the video!

When it's still moist, and before I transformed into a Chinese Opera performer

When it’s still moist, and before I transformed into a Chinese Opera performer

TAKE NOTE 📌
Clay masks are known to dry out when exposed to humidity or a drastic change in temperature. Therefore, refrain from storing the clay mask in the bathroom as this will cause it to dry faster. Instead, keep it at room temperature and away from direct sunlight. Should your clay mask harden prematurely in the jar, add a few drops of serum or water (about half of the amount of clay left in the jar) to rehydrate it.
Almost there..

Almost there..

100% dried up!

100% dried up!

Ahhhh so smooth

Ahhhh so smooth

Still, it was left on for the suggested 10 minutes before I removed it with a damp cloth in an upward motion. Just to sidetrack a bit, I cringe every time I see reviewers drag their skin down with their cloth as if having a droopy and saggy face is a worthy trade-off for a brighter complexion. As far as possible, we want our skin to be both firm and youthful, so never do that! Alternatively, if you have no cloth available at your disposal (and don’t worry, it doesn’t stain), you can easily wash it off – again, in upward motion – with warm water, which was what I eventually did when I realised that the wiped-off product on my cloth kept transferring back onto my face (the product liquifies instantly when comes in contact with water), repeatedly forming white casts with every wipe 😑

Try'na remove the mask with a damp cloth..

Try’na remove the mask with a damp cloth..

But it keeps coming back >_>

But it keeps coming back >_>

So I washed it off!

So I washed it off!

For best results..
♥ Oily skin to combination skin, use 2 to 3 times a week;
♥ Dry or sensitive skin, use up to 2 times per week

My verdict? The Porefining Face Mask delivered what it promised – a tightened, rejuvenated and shine-free complexion without harmful chemicals and the unnecessarily excessive use of preservatives, which ultimately make it suitable for sensitive skin like mine (even so, doing a patch test on your inner elbow is advisable), and safe to use in pregnancy. The results were even more prominent on my 60-year-old mother (unfortunately, no pictorial evidence as I had experimented on her out of boredom and didn’t expect it to work so well) who was absolutely amazed to see her fine lines smoothed out, wrinkles softened and an overall improvement in her complexion after use. Her skin felt silky to the touch too so for the first few minutes she couldn’t keep her hands off her face!

R E F R E S H E D

R E F R E S H E D

Smoother complexion

Smoother complexion

Pores tightened

Pores tightened

I must, however, add that this is not a cure for acne (but can be used alongside your regular skincare products). In fact, in the process of detoxification and purging, little poppable bumps – like in my case – may surface on congested areas a few days later. But they never grew beyond their initial minuscule size and they disappeared entirely once gratifyingly popped 😂

Flash Perfection Exfoliating Treatment

Exfoliating scrub

Exfoliating scrub

Since the tremendous success of the face mask, Sand&Sky has followed up with a second product that would complement the erratic schedule of career-oriented women: an exfoliating scrub that doubles as a flash mask which can be applied in-shower. It is also more nourishing than the original mask, making it an ideal option for those with extremely dry skin.

Likewise, the Flash Perfection Exfoliating Treatment also contains Australian Pink Clay to draw toxins, pollution and impurities from deep within the skin. But because it has more water content, it appears translucent to reveal the physical exfoliating particles when spread out on the skin. Apart from that, it has, among many other ingredients, low amount (less than 10%) of AHAs from Australian finger lime to promote cell turnover, collagen production and the absorption of moisture into the skin, bamboo stem extract to restore elasticity and suppleness to the skin, as well as rosehip seed oil for face rejuvenation and its anti-aging benefits. For the complete list of ingredients, click here.

The back of the tube

The back of the tube

Protective seal

Protective seal

The product

The product

To use, gently massage the exfoliating scrub into cleansed, moist skin (avoid eye area) in circular motion for about 30 seconds to allow the granules to remove dead skin cells. Then, leave it on for 5 minutes before rinsing it off with warm water. And there you have it – radiant, sensationally soft and smooth skin in just half the time needed earlier! Plus, it also allows for better and more effective absorption of any serums and moisturisers that come after.

Scrub-a-bab-ba-bab for 30 seconds

Scrub-a-bab-ba-bab for 30 seconds

As the product loses its moisture, it also loses its opacity

As the product loses its moisture, it also loses its opacity

Only the physical particles are visible now!

Only the physical particles are visible now!

Rinse away after 5 minutes!

Rinse away after 5 minutes!

However, it wasn’t until I looked in the mirror the next morning that I saw the full extent of the effect. My face seemed like it was given a new lease of life as it appeared to be more refreshed and clear, and the newly smooth canvas made it really easy to apply my foundation. Moreover, the experience provided by the scrub was quite different from that of the clay mask. Besides the coarse texture and the fact that I had to get my hands “dirty”, the warm and tingling sensation felt when using the mask was noticeably absent this time.

Smoother complexion

Smoother complexion

Pores exfoliated

Pores exfoliated

Smooooooth

Smooooooth

For best results..
♥ Oily skin to combination skin, use 1 to 3 times a week;
♥ Dry or sensitive skin, use up to 3 times per week

With the key ingredient Australian Pink Clay present in the clay mask and exfoliating scrub, one may ask if it is necessary to purchase both. In all honesty, it depends on the intent for using the products. I would say the primary function of the clay mask is to purify and tighten enlarged pores and reverse dull skin while the scrub is mainly to exfoliate and eliminate those nasties responsible for clogged pores. Personally, I would pick the scrub over the mask out of convenience, and also because I don’t like to be rushed into finishing the clay mask before it dries out. But both products work best together so ideally, you should get the Perfect Skin Bundle (save 15%!). Bear in mind, though, that they should not be used on the same day because too much good stuff may irritate the already-delicate skin 😝

Furthermore, getting the honourable nod from PETA also meant that Sand&Sky does not test on animals, nor does it contain any animal components or by-product. Thus, if you’re a firm believer that no animals should suffer for our vanity, this reason should propel you to support this brand!

What do you think about this brand? Have you tried any of them? If not, do you intend to? Let me know what you think in the comments below or simply take a quick poll!

Thanks for reading and stay gorgeous! 😘

Sand & Sky is now available on their website (with free delivery on all orders), ZALORA and Beauty Bay.
Products were supplied by Sand & Sky in exchange for this review but all opinions expressed are my own.

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Small Face Care at Yakson, the House of Golki Therapy Masters

Hello everyone!

The ‘kiasu‘ mentality ingrained in the Asian culture has led us to believe that bigger is always better. But when it comes to the size of our face, we tend to favour smaller visages which, unless blessed with this desirable face shape by birth, is only be attainable with plastic surgery, right? Well, newsflash – thanks to a breakthrough discovery by Yakson House, reducing the size of your face can now simply be achieved with a massage!

Yakson Singapore

Yakson Singapore

The first of its kind in Singapore, Yakson (literally meaning “mother’s hand”) is a Korean aesthetics brand that provides a unique range of natural and non-invasive aesthetic treatments with zero downtime. Established in 1979 with over 120 outlets worldwide currently, Yakson is also the coiner of the now-ubiquitous K-buzzword Golki therapy.

Golki therapy…?

Golki therapy, or bone therapy, is a method of remodelling the face and body through unique bone massage techniques to realign the bone structure (which shifts with age, bad posture and misuse) to its original, symmetrical shape. It is based on the guidelines set forth by Julius Wolff (i.e. Wolff’s law), an orthopaedic surgeon in Germany in the 19th century, who theorised that repetitive dynamic (rather than static) loads on the bone trigger remodelling (to adapt to the stress). Moreover, the facial massage promotes blood and oxygen flow, which in the long term increases collagen production and therefore lending a youthful glow.

S P E C I A O F F E R
New customers enjoy 1-for-1 a la carte session with free consultation at all three outlets in Singapore!

This technique, however, may not be the most ideal for those looking to achieve immediate and drastic results because a minimum of 20 consecutive once-weekly sessions of the treatment is recommended for it to reach its maximum potential. That said, a slight lifting effect may still be observed in the face after a single session. As a way of measuring efficacy of the Golki therapy programmes, a plaster mask of the face is made on the first, 10th and 20th lesson of the treatment so that clients will be able to compare and see the measurable changes in their facial structure. But this service wasn’t necessary for me since my experiential treatment only lasted for one session.

Plaster mask of one of Yakson's customers (source)

Plaster mask of one of Yakson’s customers (source)

Additionally, those with low pain tolerance may also not be accustomed to the intense pressure applied to the face (at least for the first few sessions). But as the saying goes, “No pain no gain”, and if you ever decide to bite the bullet, you can rest assured that your face will be in good hands as the therapists performing the Golki therapy are native Koreans who have undergone extensive training by the founder himself at the Yakson headquarters in Seoul before they are certified to practise in Singapore.

Inside Yakson Singapore

As a testament to Yakson’s popularity, they are often fully booked across all three outlets here so fixing an appointment with them (especially on closer dates) can be a challenging process. For this reason, the House maintains a rather strict policy on punctuality in order to fulfil all scheduled appointments and ensure customer satisfaction. In case of late arrival after the 10-minute grace period (it almost happened to me because of slow traffic along the expressway 😫), the duration of the treatment would be shortened to fit into the remaining appointment time.

To prevent no-shows, a reminder SMS will also be sent one day prior to the treatment to which the customer has to reply to confirm her (sorry guys, treatments offered in Singapore are currently catered only to females only) attendance by 6pm; otherwise the appointment will automatically be cancelled. The message was condensed to 160 characters on my Conversations screen (Samsung users will understand) and had left out the do-reply instruction (which was right at the end), so I didn’t know I had to respond until a second reminder came in a few hours later 😆

With the only slot available on a weekday morning at their Harbourfront Centre outlet (the farthest from my place of residence) then, I had to drag my nocturnal self out of bed. But at the same time, I took comfort from the fact that I would likely be able to repay some of my sleep debt during the 1.5-hour treatment. Boy, how wrong I was!

Yakson (Harbourfront Centre outlet)

Yakson (Harbourfront Centre outlet)

Yakson (Harbourfront Centre outlet)

Yakson (Harbourfront Centre outlet)

Upon arrival at Yakson, I was ushered into a treatment room where I changed out of my outfit into the massage attire (which was quite frankly pointless because I had to be naked for the body massage anyway). Rather than having a designated area for storage like the other outlets, I noticed every room at the Harbourfront Centre outlet is installed with an electronic locker. Taking centre stage in the room was a thermal massage bed which had a clear plastic covering and was heated to a comfortable temperature enough to keep the chills away throughout the session.

Treatment room

Treatment room

Sandals

Sandals

Massage attire

Massage attire

Treatment: Small Face Care

Aimed at streamlining the face for a more proportionate profile, the Small Face Care treatment promises better-defined features that will complement any hairstyle. The effects are long-term and permanent with the proper lifestyle changes and if weight is maintained (an additional course of treatment may be necessary with sudden weight changes of more than 4 kg).

Back massage

Back massage

The treatment began with a quick question from the masseuse: “Do you want [to concentrate on the] front or back?” to which I hastily answered, “back” because it had a larger surface area to work on because I wanted to ease the strain from the long hours of sitting in front of the computer. With her expert hands, she massaged my upper back, arms and scalp to relieve any tension before getting me to flip over to remove my makeup.

Eye makeup removal

Eye makeup removal

Eye makeup removal

Eye makeup removal

Foundation removal and cleansing

Foundation removal and cleansing

Cleansing

Cleansing

Towel-drying

Towel-drying

Towel-drying

Towel-drying

End of part 1!

End of part 1!

Once that was done, another lady speaking Korean-accented English – presumably the Golki therapist – took over her place and administered the next round of massage on my rib area and shoulders, working towards the collarbone (i.e. the most sensitive part of my body – was on the brink of laughter so I had to tell her to move on 😫) and both sides of my neck before proceeding to the highlight of this treatment – Golki therapy for a slimmer face.

Therapist takes over - upper frontal body massage

Therapist takes over – upper frontal body massage

I had to turn my head in this manner on both sides

I had to turn my head in this manner on both sides

Working her magic on the temples

Working her magic on the temples

Squeeze those Pikachu cheeks!

Squeeze those Pikachu cheeks!

Upward prodding

Upward prodding

Double chin, be gone!

Double chin, be gone!

My very flexible cheeks, haha

My very flexible cheeks, haha

Skilfully and carefully, the therapist vigorously kneaded into my bare skin, going back and forth five to seven times (and you know it wasn’t exactly enjoyable when I was conscious enough to count in my head, hoping to arrive at the magic number at which she would get on to the next area 😂) predominantly along my jawline and cheeks, eliciting a sense of soreness and prompting me to clench my teeth. But amidst all the upward kneading, squeezing and prodding, I could actually feel my facial structure shifting like the Earth’s tectonic plates and paving the way for a more chiseled-looking appearance (without the need for a contour kit!).

Pre-mask. My (more) prominent jawline!

Pre-mask. My (more) prominent jawline!

The other side

The other side

Following that, a soothing sand-coloured mask (made from natural and herbal ingredients) was applied on my face and left on for a couple of minutes to cool the skin. The whole treatment then ended with a few more finishing kneads (shorter and less painful this time), and cheeks still flushed from the exertion of the massage. Despite the discomfort (and the subsequent aching sensation in my cheekbones) the treatment had brought on, it was surprising to note the tightening effect it had on my skin, and how refreshed and supple my face felt after just one session.

Mask time! The mask looks like baby food

Mask time! The mask looks like baby food 😋

Letting the mask set (without flash)

Letting the mask set (without flash)

LOL looks like my foundation colour

LOL looks like my foundation colour

Finishing touches

Finishing touches

The end! How I wish there's Golki therapy for the eyes as well to make my teeny weeny Asian eyes appear bigger and brighter

The end! How I wish there’s Golki therapy for the eyes as well to make my teeny weeny Asian eyes appear bigger and brighter 😁

But a word of caution: even though the products used in the treatments are suitable for acne-prone and sensitive skin, as a former acne sufferer, I must warn that the constant rubbing from Golki treatment would be too harsh on moderately to severely blemished skin and may aggravate the condition. Alternatively, you may want to consider trying the skin treatments offered by Yakson.

Smaller face… or your money back!

To further boost your confidence about the treatment, money-back guarantee is also offered to customers (between 20 and 60 years old) who do not see any improvement in their facial structure. On top of that, Yakson is particularly transparent about their prices; they are fixed with no hidden costs and are made publicly available on their website (though prices reflected are before GST) to obliterate any ambiguity, thus giving customers a piece of mind knowing that there aren’t so-called preferential rates and they won’t be subjected to hard-sell tactics.

Tea is served

Tea is served

Yakson cares! Let them know how you felt about the treatment.

Yakson cares! Let them know how you felt about the treatment.

What are your thoughts about this all-new non-surgical way to achieve a slimmer face? Will you be keen to try it? Let me know what you think in the comment below!

Thanks for reading!

Yakson Singapore is located at Harbourfront Centre (1 Maritime Square Harbourfront Centre #02-17 Singapore 099253), The Star Vista (1 Vista Exchange Green #B1-24 Singapore 138617) and Wheelock Place (501 Orchard Road Wheelock Place #05-12A Singapore 238880). For more information, visit their website or like them on Facebook.
Treatment was complimentary in exchange for this review but all opinions expressed are my own.

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Individualised Acne Treatments at The Clifford Clinic: Hydrafacial + Q-switch Laser + Topical & Oral Therapy

Hello everyone!

LONG READ WITH SOME REVOLTING IMAGES AHEAD BUT THE INFORMATION YOU’LL SEE IS VERY BENEFICIAL FOR ACNE SUFFERERS, I PROMISE

Pardon me for sounding like a broken record, but for the sake of new readers who have only seen spotless (pun intended) pictures of me in my makeup reviews, I need to make a revelation: they were most likely photoshopped to save you from throwing up. “But why? Are you that ashamed of your flaws?” Of course I am, especially when struggling with acne as bad as this:

This is still far from the worst I've experienced

This is still far from the worst I’ve experienced

Having suffered from acne since I was 15 years old, I know firsthand the stigma attached to it. At my lowest point, I dreaded going outdoors because my pimply face would attract looks of disgust. A trip to the mall was never one without pushy salespeople reminding me about my skin condition in a desperate attempt to sell me acne-fighting products. With my confidence at rock bottom, I kept to myself as I was afraid the next conversation would revolve around my face, again. I was apprehensive about standing up for myself in conversations or arguments for fear that my acne would be used against me, and I lost count of the number of times I broke down in front of the mirror – all these aggravated by the fact that I’ve been called “pimple girl” or “mo peng” (Hokkien for pockmarked face) for the most part of my secondary school life.

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, acne vulgaris – or commonly known as acne – is almost like an epidemic which plagues about 85 percent of teens in each generation. Depending on your luck, the condition may persist for only a year or two, or when you eventually grow out of it. But unfortunate souls like myself have to deal with it for the decades because literally nothing worked to cure it. Some topical products did help to subside a few existing cysts, but not without allowing new ones to form. Thus for 13 years, my face was constantly riddled with angry pimples and scars which no amount of makeup was able to conceal due to their dark and bumpy nature.

M Y T H   D E B U N K E D
Contrary to popular beliefs, acne is not caused mainly by poor personal hygiene although cleanliness does play an important role in skin care, and this is coming from me, whose once porcelain-smooth complexion was blemished by agonising pustules and cysts time and time again despite being a clean freak and religiously washing my face twice or thrice each day. So don’t, for God’s sake, tell an acne sufferer that she’s in dire need of a shower. It’s not funny.

The acne eruption became so extensive and severe as I grew older (how ironic, when acne is supposed to get better with age) that I had conceded to the fact that I would have to live with breakouts for the rest of my life..

..until Dr Gerard Ee of The Clifford Clinic came to my rescue. In fact, their acne treatment wasn’t one of my initial considerations because I thought my condition was already under control by the antibiotics given by my previous clinic. But as soon as the course was completed, BAM! The pimples returned in full swing. Seeing how promising their acne treatment is, I decided to take a leap of faith and entrust my face to Dr Ee.

Surprisingly, much as this condition is mostly associated with puberty, adult acne has also been on the rise globally with “more than 50 percent of women in their 20s suffering from acne, and over 35 percent and 26 percent of women in their 30s and 40s respectively” going through the same ordeal. Although the causes for adult acne are debatable, research has shown links to hormones and genetics, not forgetting stress which is prevalent in today’s fast-paced society so you never know when you’ll be affected by this distressing problem.

To gear you up for any unforeseen bumpy ride, below are some acne treatment options I had explored at The Clifford Clinic which you may want to consider trying out in times of crisis. For the handful of you who have been suffering from since adolescence, they might just be the permanent answer to your skin woes.

HydraFacial

HydraFacial® is a medical-grade treatment and the only hydradermabrasian procedure that cleanses, detoxifies, exfoliates, extracts and hydrates all at once to achieve better acne control for all skin types and complexions. A non-ablative facial treatment that uses the patented 4-in-1 Vortex Technology™, it involves a four-step process including Vortex-Exfoliation™, Vortex-Peel™, Vortex-Extraction™ and Vortex-Fusion®, each marked by a different coloured HydroPeel® tip for attaching to the handpiece. But most incredibly, the whole procedure only takes less than 45 minutes (depending on whether you have makeup on) while offering noticeable results with no downtime, thus making it a great lunchtime beauty fix.

HydroPeel® tips

HydroPeel® tips (source)

Before beginning each treatment, my therapist would carefully remove my eye makeup with a couple of drenched cotton pads, and then gently massage cleansing foam into the rest of my face. The makeup removal process is so soothing that I would admittedly wear makeup to the treatment even when there wasn’t any need to just so that I could enjoy those additional minutes of pure luxury 😝 Most of the time, I would descend into a rejuvenating sleep at this point.

Note: all images are unaltered and were taken during the first session unless otherwise stated
Melting away the eye makeup

Melting away the eye makeup

Wiping away foundation

Wiping away foundation

Taadaah! My horrible skin!

Taadaah! My horrible skin!

Cleansing stage now

Cleansing stage now

Love the massage!

Love the massage!

But I have mixed feelings about the therapist touching my neck and collarbone hahaha damn ticklish!

But I have mixed feelings about the therapist touching my neck and collarbone hahaha damn ticklish!

Towel-drying my face before HydraFacial

Towel-drying my face before HydraFacial

(P/S: Kindly pardon my unsightly double chin. These were taken before my first Sygmalift session 🤣)

HydraFacial room

HydraFacial room

HydraFacial machine

HydraFacial machine

The treatment starts off with cleansing and exfoliation using Activ-4™ serum – a combination of Lactic Acid and Glucosamine – to resurface the skin and create a clean canvas. Acid peel is then performed using the GlySal™ solution (7.5% Glycolic Acid and 2% Salicylic Acid Peel) in tandem with Vortex-Fusion® technology to slough off dead skin cells before extraction is painlessly carried out with a vortex suction nozzle (instead of squeezing – ouch!) to draw impurities out of the pores. As a finishing touch to the now-radiant skin, Antiox-6™ – a powerful formula made up of the deeply moisturizing Hyaluronic Acid and detoxifying antioxidants such as Vitamins A, E, White Tea Extract, Horse Chestnut Extract and Rosemary Extract – is applied to replenish the skin’s natural elasticity and hydration. At the same time, it also helped detoxify and protect the skin from environmental free radicals. ˢᵒᵘʳᶜᵉ The therapist then concludes the treatment with a therapeutic massage on the face and neck area.

HydraFacial (Extraction)

HydraFacial (Extraction)

Sucking out more junk from areas with clogged pores..

Sucking out more junk from areas with clogged pores..

And my zits.. horrible, horrible zits..

And my zits.. horrible, horrible zits..

Absolutely pain-free!

Absolutely pain-free!

More massage!

More massage!

Time for mask! This step was specially incorporated into the session to suit my skin, so be sure to ask for it (additional charges apply) if you're keen!

Time for mask! This step was specially incorporated into the session to suit my skin, so be sure to ask for it (additional charges apply) if you’re keen!

One more snap before I doze off..

One more snap before I doze off..

Mask removal, and a little bit of massage

Mask removal, and a little bit of massage 😍

Post-HydraFacial!

Post-HydraFacial!

HydraFacial felt vastly different from all the facials I’ve had in the past. Every session was truly a relaxing and indulgent experience and I actually enjoyed every single part of it, even taking the opportunity to catch forty winks after a long day’s work which wouldn’t be possible with traditional facials. Unlike traditional facials that punish horrible skin with an excruciating extraction process which often leaves the face looking terribly blotchy at the end (also why I dreaded facials – my face always seemed worse than before so I often wondered why people pay to torture themselves), Hydrafacial manages to achieve similar effects (i.e. immediate reduction of redness and inflammation) without putting the person through sheer hell. In fact, Dr Ee does not advocate the use of comedone extractor or any form of squeezing for the main reason that these old-school techniques can potentially lead to scarring.

Psst.. first-time customers get to enjoy HydraFacial at an introductory rate! Find out more by calling The Clifford Clinic at 65322400 or through WhatsApp at 83186332.

According to the clinic, between 5 to 10 sessions are needed to clear up the whole face but as always, results vary from person to person. Much as I take delight in getting my face pampered, Hydrafacial alone did not come close to improving my condition which I suspected had been due to inner factors. So while it helped reduce clogged and congested pores to some extent after each session, it didn’t take long for them to revert to their original state *sigh* But instead of stopping Hydrafacial altogether, Dr Ee suggested I do it in conjunction with other treatments.

Can I interest you with pictures taken during my second HydraFacial session?

Can I interest you with pictures taken during my second HydraFacial session?

After the session. LOOK AT MY FACE.

After the session. LOOK AT MY FACE.

Right side

Right side

Left side

Left side

Topical & Oral Therapy

For optimal results, proper at-home care in between visits is imperative – that’s why Dr Ee prescribed a series of topical products to me to ensure that oil production was regulated even when I wasn’t in the clinic, and hopefully treat my acne too. The first set of products ranged from face cleanser to moisturiser and acne cream. But prior experience and more than a decade of trying my luck with topical products told me that they weren’t going to miraculously pull the plug on acne, so I requested for oral antibiotics to kinda like nip things in the bud.

First set of topical products from The Clifford Clinic

First set of topical products from The Clifford Clinic

Hence, apart from the clinic’s self-formulated Balancing Facial WashBalancing Facial Cream (a really light moisturiser which restores the levels of missing free fatty acids, namely linoleic and linolenic acid, without the excessive oiliness), and Stieva-A Cream (a tretinoin cream which stops acne growth by keeping skin pores clear and making skin less oily), I was also given a month’s dosage of green capsules called Doxycycline which supposedly target and kill the acne-causing bacteria in the pores while minimising any inflammation of the skin. True enough, my face started clearing up tremendously within a few days of taking the medication (although my skin did become flaky around the chin area), giving me the confidence of going makeup-free at work. I had found my cure – or so I thought.

On Doxycycline

On Doxycycline

Sadly, the effects were short-lived. Soon after completing the course, my pimples returned with a vengeance, causing daily makeup application to be ever more challenging and time-consuming on the bumpy surface. Doxycycline was then replaced with Ermycin, another antibiotics that prevents excessive oiliness of the skin. This was supplemented with Epiduo Gel, an antibiotic-free topical acne treatment with a fixed dose combination of 0.1% adapalene and 2.5% benzoyl peroxide and a proven track record of being highly effective on acne. But likewise, the condition was suppressed only right until the very last pill. And to make matters worse, my face reacted unusually sensitively (allergy reaction?) to the benzoyl peroxide in the cream despite the low concentration and swelled like a puffer fish. Worried that it would affect my day-to-day activities (it was my busiest week of the month), I paid an emergency visit to Dr Ee the following operating day and was given a soothing cream and some medication to calm the swelling (which thankfully went down in a week).

Epiduo day 2, one day before it officially turned me into a puffer fish

Epiduo day 2, one day before it officially turned me into a puffer fish

My face was starting to itch quite badly

My face was starting to itch quite badly

AND BOOM. My face turned crusty, warm and itchier. Furthermore, I couldn't take leave from work because I had an important presentation on that day! 😭

AND BOOM. My face turned crusty, warm and itchier. Furthermore, I couldn’t take leave from work because I had an important presentation on that day! 😭

With almost every option exhausted, Dr Ee persuaded me to try Oratane, a controversial oral medication for severe acne conditions known as isotretinoin which I had been resisting because of the scores of side effects it brings about such as extreme dryness of the skin and birth defects if a woman takes it during pregnancy, coupled with the fear that my acne would flare up even more after the course (this is a misconception, by the way). Oratane is an incredibly potent medication which works by cutting down the amount of oily substances (sebum) made by glands in the skin, and if this turned out to be ineffective as well, Dr Ee would have to resort to the AGNES treatment, which involves a downtime (not advisable for my job which long sick leaves are frowned upon) and high pain tolerance.

Determined to put an end to my nightmare, I relented and started with a low dose of Oratane. In the first week, the unforeseen happened and my acne actually got worse. At that point in time, I felt kinda angry with Dr Ee for his “ill-advised” recommendation and was this close to quitting. But not wanting to leave a useless drug lying around, I decided to press on and complete the course.

One after another, the cystic pimples on my face shrunk and faded away as the days went by, leaving a baby-smooth complexion that was more glowing and flawless than before. Amazingly, I could even wear foundation for the whole day in humid Singapore and not spot a single trace of greasiness on my face! And for the first time in 13 years, people complimented my skin! But I didn’t want to keep my hopes too high only to be knocked down again by another massive breakout after the last pill so I waited..

After 10 hours, my makeup still looked the same as when it was first applied. Sorry for the lips.. couldn't control myself from picking them

After 10 hours, my makeup still looked the same as when it was first applied. Sorry for the lips.. couldn’t control myself from picking them 😭

And waited..

I am in love with my new skin

I am in love with my new skin

AND STILL NO NEW ZITS AFTER TWO WEEKS (and counting, even with a diet of fried food and late nights 😂)? Goddammit, this thing actually works! 

Excuse my French, but Oratane is the shit and I am kicking myself for not taking it earlier – it could’ve saved me from all the agony and self-loathing. My skin has never been better even though understandably, I have been getting itchy rashes all over my body. On top of that, my lips have also been chapping like crazy (arm yourselves with tons of lip balm!) and I have to refrain from using matte lipsticks. But sheesh, what’s chapped lips compared to a decade of acne-ridden skin? Lipsticks can wait 😂

However, due to its possible complications, Oratane is only available on prescription only and you’d have to sign a consent form before it is dispensed to you. For more information about Oratane and the risks involved, here is one useful link.

Q-switch Laser

So, I have finally found a solution to my acne. Now what? The truth is, only half the battle is won. Those pesky pimples left behind a strewn of irate scars to remind me that they were never going to be exterminated.

My acne marks

My acne marks 😡

Thirteen years ago, they would have gotten their way. But not anymore. To eliminate acne and its remnants once and for all, Dr Ee recommended Q-switch laser, a no-downtime method for pigment removal (e.g. hyperpigmentation, freckles, melasma) which involves emitting short pulses of high-energy laser light towards the affected area to break down the pigment molecules into smaller fragments. The laser energy is cleared away naturally by the body’s lymphatic system upon being absorbed by the skin, making it safe with no side effects. Moreover, because this treatment only requires 10 to 15 minutes, it is typically done during lunchtime and after which, patients can expect to resume their normal activities.

SCARS BE GONE!

SCARS BE GONE!

Q-switch laser

Q-switch laser

Post-laser. Eyes turned red from the sudden change in lighting haha

Post-laser. Eyes turned red from the sudden change in lighting haha

A single session is capable of lightening or removing 70 to 100% of acne scars. In my case, probably 75% of my scars were visibly lighter than before while the more stubborn ones took about three sessions to be completely gotten rid of.  In addition, this treatment is also an excellent preventive measure against acne as it eradicates the sebaceous glands and removes the bacteria that causes pimples and acne. For pre-existing acne, it helps reduce inflammation and minimise pores so the skin is less prone to leaving marks.

But all these benefits are not without some stinging sensation as the procedure is being executed especially during the first few sessions which made my eyes tear behind the protective goggles 😂 Even so, the sting was still tolerable for me and it sorta diminished in intensity with more sessions. After the treatment, your nose will also constantly pick up slight burning smell (to be exact, the smell of fried facial hair) until you wash your face.

Still, these are small change compared to the many more years I would have suffered from acne if I hadn’t gone to The Clifford Clinic.

Skin now // 8 months after first consultation with Dr Ee and 4 months after starting on Oratane. Can't be more thankful to the clinic!

Skin now // 8 months after first consultation with Dr Ee and 4 months after starting on Oratane. Can’t be more thankful to the clinic!

What are some of your experiences with acne and how did you deal with it? Also, let me know in the comments below if this review has helped you!

Thanks for reading!

The Clifford Clinic · 24 Raffles Place #01-03 Clifford Centre Singapore 048621 (Exit A from Raffles Place MRT) · Tel: 6532 2400 / 8318 6332 (WhatsApp) · For more information about the acne treatments offered by The Clifford Clinic, do visit Their website or Like them on Facebook and Instagram.
Treatments were complimentary in exchange for this review but all opinions expressed are my own.

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REVIEW: M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi Eye Shadow X4 in 70’s Sunset, Powerpoint Eye Pencil in Indian Ink/Mossy Green & Lipsticks in Apricot Gold & Nude Fudge

Hello everyone!

These days, with influential figures like Rihanna paving the way for inclusivity in the beauty world, and an extensive spectrum of hues being held up as the standard to meet for every international beauty brand deliberating over new product launches, dark-skinned people seem to have it easier when it comes to makeup selection. But instead of pushing out tens of similar products to please everyone (especially people of colour) which makes little sense logistically, M·A·C decides to partner with American-Indian Padma Lakshmi on a collection that is mainly dedicated to brown skin. And quite frankly, I’ve never encountered any makeup specifically developed for brown skin that does not look great on other skin tones.

Padma Lakshmi for M·A·C 2018

Padma Lakshmi for M·A·C 2018

Padma Lakshmi is an author, TV personality and a former fashion model. But as glamorous as her credentials may seem, her life has been far from smooth-sailing. Growing up in Los Angeles in her teens, she had to cope with racial taunts and persecutions which heightened her insecurities of being a minority. Living with endometriosis also meant that she would experience chronic pelvic pain (among many other issues) during her menstruation, causing her to be bedridden every month for a week and as a result, miss out on important occasions throughout the years.

Instead of wallowing in self pity, Padma concentrates on leveraging her shortcomings for the betterment of life. In the hope that no other sufferers would slip under the radar like she had been, she co-founded The Endometriosis Foundation of America, a non-profit organisation which focuses on bringing awareness of the disease to the general public and helping to find a cure for it. Her choosing not to cover up the seven-inch scar on her arm inflicted by a car accident is another testament of her bravery to break the mould in the entertainment industry which is often unforgiving towards any forms of imperfection. Now, turning her struggles as an brown-skinned girl into a makeup collaboration with M·A·C, she has created a 17-piece collection that caters to darker skin tones, yet complements fair complexions at the same time and effectively hitting two birds with one stone.

MY HAUL!

MY HAUL!

Breathtaking lipstick packaging

Breathtaking lipstick packaging

Released in March, the gold-emblazoned collection with Mehndi-inspired design includes 6 Lipsticks (Sunset Rose / Nude Fudge / Mittai Pink / Sumac / Apricot Gold / Blue Blood), Cremesheen Glass in Nefertiti, 2 Powder Blush Duos (Moon & Shine / Melon Pink), 2 eye shadow quads (70’s Sunset / Desert Dusk), 3 Powerpoint Eye Pencils (Iced Heather & Kerala Sun / Indian Ink & Mossy Green / Bordeauxline & Molé Brown) and 3 brushes (#168 / #275 / #213) – out of which 4 across different product categories will be reviewed in this post.

Eye Shadow X4: 70’s Sunset

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi Eye Shadow X4 in 70's Sunset (US$33)

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi Eye Shadow X4 in 70’s Sunset (US$33)

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi Eye Shadow X4 in 70's Sunset

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi Eye Shadow X4 in 70’s Sunset

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi Eye Shadow X4 in 70's Sunset

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi Eye Shadow X4 in 70’s Sunset

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi Eye Shadow X4 in 70's Sunset

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi Eye Shadow X4 in 70’s Sunset

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi Eye Shadow X4 in 70's Sunset

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi Eye Shadow X4 in 70’s Sunset

70's Sunset swatches using damp brush and dry finger

70’s Sunset swatches using damp brush and dry finger

Picking the right eye shadow colours can be a tricky business for most Asians since our non-existent eyelid creases and limited lid space do not allow for much leeway in creativity. The wrong choice of eye shadow can easily ruin our overall look, and too much makeup can also overwhelm our teeny-weeny eyes. But what other options do we have apart from boring ol’ neutrals? The answer – if I may jump the gun – lies in this specially curated palette of four unusual yet harmonious shades in a luxurious gilded case (with a push-to-open latch) which by far has the best colour combination that M·A·C has ever produced in the history of my makeup-obsessed life.

The following palettes were selected for comparison purposes due to their similarities to 70’s Sunset: Too Faced Clover Eyeshadow Palette · M·A·C × Rossy de Palma Veluxe Pearlfusion Shadow · Urban Decay × Jean-Michel Basquiat Tenant Eyeshadow Palette

Sand & Clay is described as a midtone cool beige with a matte finish. Although rather low-contrast against my skin, this no-frills warm-toned apricot is pigmented with a delightfully smooth and even consistency, adhering well to the lids with no fallout when applied. Semi-opaque on the first pass, it is buildable to full opacity with the next layer and can simply be diffused around the edges. It can act as a base for heavy colours to build on and bring out the eyes. When used wet, the colour becomes darker with a tinge of glossiness. But once blended out, it loses its intensity and becomes as vibrant as its original dry state. Either way, this shade didn’t crease on my lids.

Sand & Clay swatch comparisons

Sand & Clay swatch comparisons

Cardamom is described as a cool light green with white frost and Veluxe Pearl finish. Infused with silver microshimmers, this shimmery pale cool-toned green has a smooth texture with very minimal fallout even though it has seemingly sparse particles. Sheer upon application, it is not quite visible on my lid unless hit by direct light. This shade works best as a topper or when applied at the inner corners of eyes to add a pop of sparkle or downplay tired-looking eyes. Adding it on the lower lash line can also help camouflage dark circles when light reflects off the eye shadow.

That said, only when it is wet that it can be used to its full potential. In its moist state, it transforms to a slightly metallic finish, and shimmers become visibly more densely packed which makes it more pronounce on the lid. Despite it being more rigid when wet, I was still able to blend it out with ease.

Cardamom swatch comparisons

Cardamom swatch comparisons

Mumtaz is described as a copper with gold sparkle and Veluxe Pearl finish but a swatch reveals it to be more of a cool berry than the rose-pink in the pan. A colour that defines the socket of the eye, it packs a lot of pigment while providing a smooth and even consistency. The intensity lightens a great deal when blended out even though it is still buildable to your desired level of impact. The texture certainly feels grittier when it is dry so some fallout and kickback are expected. To get around this issue, the eye shadow can be applied wet but the tradeoff would be that it would form harsh edges that are almost impossible to diffuse.

Mumtaz swatch comparisons

Mumtaz swatch comparisons

All’s Rosy is described as a midtone plum with gold pearl and a matte finish. This eggplant purple has microshimmers of a somewhat lighter colour and is cooler than Mumtaz in undertones. Although offers pigmented payoff, the texture can be a tad chalky. It is prone to leave fallout due to its loose consistency but on the plus side, it makes it easier to blend out the edges and add a little more depth to the eyes. That said, this shade is best applied wet as it intensifies the colour and it would also be more manageable when the shimmers become more densely packed. But doing so would take you awhile to soften out the harsh edges.

All's Rosy swatch comparisons

All’s Rosy swatch comparisons

APPLICATION & SUGGESTED LOOK

Primed my lids with Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion

Primed my lids with Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion

Starting with Sand & Clay

Starting with Sand & Clay

Sand & Clay as the base colour

Sand & Clay as the base colour

Followed by Mumtaz

Followed by Mumtaz

Mumtaz to define my eyes (and to create a subtle ombre!)

Mumtaz to define my eyes (and to create a subtle ombre!)

All's Rosy is next

All’s Rosy is next

All's Rosy for an added depth, and to complete the ombre

All’s Rosy for an added depth, and to complete the ombre

Cardamom as the finishing shade

Cardamom as the finishing shade

Wetting the brush so that the shade would be more prominent on my lids

Wetting the brush so that the shade would be more prominent on my lids

Cardamom on the inner corners to add a pop of sparkle to the eyes

Cardamom on the inner corners to add a pop of sparkle to the eyes

Complete the look with some colours (can be in the same sequence as those on the lid) on the lower lash line

Complete the look with some colours (can be in the same sequence as those on the lid) on the lower lash line

Voila! A look that's not too subtle and not too heavy!

Voila! A look that’s not too subtle and not too heavy!

Optional: line the eyes for maximum impact (I'm using the Rollerwheel Liquid Liner which I had reviewed some time ago)

Optional: line the eyes for maximum impact (I’m using the Rollerwheel Liquid Liner which I had reviewed some time ago)

Finished!

Finished!

Powerpoint Eye Pencil:
Indian Ink/Mossy Green

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi Powerpoint Eye Pencil (US$18.50)

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi Powerpoint Eye Pencil (US$18.50)

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi Powerpoint Eye Pencil

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi Powerpoint Eye Pencil

M·A·C is known to boast a plethora of eyeliners just like it does for lipsticks. Powerpoint Eye Pencil is one of its many ranges which promises waterproof, long-wearing in metallic, shimmery or matte finish. From experience, this range of liners does not give the most pigmented of colour but it does stay on the lid for as long as I want it to, and it does take a bit more effort to remove it. Although I’m not really a fan of the application, it was just too hard to pass up on the offer of having two shades for the price of one (to be exact, they’re 50 cents more than those in regular packaging but whatever). Furthermore, that green is GORGEOUS.

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi Powerpoint Eye Pencil in Indian Ink

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi Powerpoint Eye Pencil in Indian Ink

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi Powerpoint Eye Pencil in Indian Ink

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi Powerpoint Eye Pencil in Indian Ink

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi Powerpoint Eye Pencil in Indian Ink

Indian Ink is described as a pure black which is a complete lie (seriously, who does all these inaccurate descriptions on the website?) because anybody with a normal vision would be able to see that it is a cool-toned navy blue. The first stroke of this matte liner gives a sheer coverage but it is buildable to semi-opaque coverage with three passes. The texture glided moderately smoothly across the lid without tugging the skin and deposited enough colour for it to be prominent enough atop the eye shadow. As expected, it didn’t budge or smudge on my lower lid throughout the nine hours I had it on despite the oily surface.

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi Powerpoint Eye Pencil in Mossy Green

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi Powerpoint Eye Pencil in Mossy Green

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi Powerpoint Eye Pencil in Mossy Green

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi Powerpoint Eye Pencil in Mossy Green

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi Powerpoint Eye Pencil in Mossy Green

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi Powerpoint Eye Pencil in Mossy Green

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi Powerpoint Eye Pencil in Indian Ink & Mossy Green

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi Powerpoint Eye Pencil in Indian Ink & Mossy Green

Mossy Green, on the other hand, is described as a deep green with a slightly metallic finish. This stunning cool-toned army green has tiny gold flecks which are aren’t conspicuous unless viewed up-close. It glides smoothly and has a lightly creamy texture. Smudge-resistant, it provides semi-opaque pigmentation in one stroke and is buildable to a full coverage. But much as I love this shade, it unfortunately doesn’t translate well on the lid especially on eye shadow because it kinda appears greyish? Nevertheless, this shade wore well on me for over nine hours.

NOTE: I just remembered that I do have blue and green eyeliners somewhere in my stash so check back soon for some comparison swatches of this eye pencil!

Lipstick: Apricot Gold

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi lipstick in Apricot Gold (US$18.50)

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi lipstick in Apricot Gold (US$18.50)

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi lipstick in Apricot Gold

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi lipstick in Apricot Gold

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi lipstick in Apricot Gold

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi lipstick in Apricot Gold

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi lipstick in Apricot Gold

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi lipstick in Apricot Gold

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi lipstick in Apricot Gold

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi lipstick in Apricot Gold

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi lipstick in Apricot Gold

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi lipstick in Apricot Gold

Apricot Gold is described as a midtone peach nude with Amplified finish. This terracotta orange glides on the lips to instantly brighten the face and give a glistening texture that feels both lightweight and comfortably moisturising. I can see it working beautifully on dark complexions as well, which could jolly well be true judging from its sold-out status online. But it accentuates lip lines and doesn’t really apply evenly especially on the wrinklier areas such as the inner corners of the lips. Still, it’s a lovely everyday colour which was able to withstand a light meal. It wore well on me for about five hours before fading to a stain.

Swatch comparison against Apricot Gold

Swatch comparison against Apricot Gold

Lipstick: Nude Fudge

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi lipstick in Nude Fudge (US$18.50)

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi lipstick in Nude Fudge (US$18.50)

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi lipstick in Nude Fudge

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi lipstick in Nude Fudge

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi lipstick in Nude Fudge

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi lipstick in Nude Fudge

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi lipstick in Nude Fudge

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi lipstick in Nude Fudge

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi lipstick in Nude Fudge

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi lipstick in Nude Fudge

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi lipstick in Nude Fudge

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi lipstick in Nude Fudge

Nude Fudge is another universally flattering shade described as a midtone neutral with a matte finish. This medium cool-toned rosebrown tugs slightly during application but offers an even and opaque coverage. It has a smooth and creamy texture that isn’t too drying despite it being a matte, which is a plus for my flaky lips. On top of that, it is also able to conceal imperfections pretty well. Similarly, this shade wore well on me for about five hours before some product noticeably settled into the cracks. But it didn’t make my lips look awfully parched so I’m willing to close my eyes to that. With such commendable application, it beats me why it hasn’t been wiped off the shelves yet.
Swatch comparison against Nude Fudge

Swatch comparison against Nude Fudge

The overall great quality and uniqueness (I’m lovin’ all the greens – such novelty!) of the products in this collection, as well as the element of surprise in them makes this collaboration one of the best that M·A·C has done so far. I like how certain shades appeared to be impractical for daily use but turned out to be subtle enough for those who shy away from bold colours and yet made a world of difference to the look. Definitely my best makeup purchase of 2018. I’m kinda bummed out that it isn’t given much airtime to garner enough hype before the next collection (*cough* Patrick Starrr *cough) was rolled out.

What do you think of this collection? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below or take a quick poll!

Thanks for reading!

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi is now available on MACCosmetics.com and AT ion & vIVOCITY tangs OUTLETS.

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REVIEW: Coco & Eve Super Nourishing Coconut & Fig Hair Masque

Hello everyone!

Hello everyone!

As temperature rises across the world, beaches become crowded with sunbathers and swimmers armed with sunscreens to protect them against the sun’s harmful rays. While it may be common knowledge that too much sun is bad for the skin, less is known (or rather, not much emphasis is placed) about the adverse effects it and the seawater have on the hair. Since seawater has high salt content, it strips moisture away from the hair, resulting in a brittle and dull texture that causes tangling and split ends.

But that’s not to say that you should stay indoors and not bask in the summer sun. Fortunately for us, we have Coco & Eve to mitigate the rigours of daily life (swimming in chlorinated pools, styling, frequent use of hairdryer, etc.) so even people living in the tropics (me!) will be able to boast luscious locks all day e’er’ day!

Coco & Eve

Coco & Eve

Coco & Eve

Coco & Eve

Manufactured in the U.S., Coco & Eve was founded by a few expats living in Singapore (say what? 🇸🇬 ) who saw the need for a hair masque that not only repairs their parched and damaged hair from prolonged exposure to the sun, but also provide them with the nourishment they deserve to stay healthy. Hence, the product is created using 2 main ingredients – raw virgin coconuts and figs, both of which known for their hair strengthening qualities – to restore the hair to its pure state. They do so by preventing hair breakage and split ends while promoting a healthy scalp and preventing problems such as dandruff. Furthermore, it also contains linseed, shea butter and argan oil to improve the texture and vitality of the hair.

For complete list of ingredients, click here.

Animal lovers and sceptics will be thrilled to know that the hair masque is cruelty-free and 100% vegan (in this respect, nothing carries more credibility than a seal of approval from PETA), and free of gluten, sulfates, phthalates or parabens. Get beautifully shiny locks with a conscience as the brand works with specialists and thoroughly researches their producers and ingredients – which, by the way, originate from Bali (home to the world’s largest producer of coconuts), Hawaii and the U.S. – to ensure that they are ethically and responsibly sourced without ever compromising on their quality. With ingredients so fresh and beneficial, it goes without saying that this product is also suitable for all hair types and ages (yes, children too!).

Product and brush (top view)

Product and brush (top view)

Product and brush (front view)

Product and brush (front view)

The hair masque arrived in a box brimming with tropical leaf motifs, accompanied by a complimentary tangle tamer brush with a 2-tier bristle arrangement to detangle hair and help with application of the masque. Upon unscrewing and lifting the lid of the masque tub, my nose caught the sweet aroma of coconut and then took me back to the time I had coconut ice-cream at Chatuchak Market – the hair masque seriously smells like the dessert! The tub would have been emptied in no time if the product were edible lol 😋

Smells great!

Smells great!

Product description

Product description

Following the instructions printed on the packaging, I washed my hair with my supermarket shampoo (which I just realised contains sulfate 😫 Ideally, you should use one without sulfate) and dried it with my towel before evenly applying a generous amount of product to it and brushing through with the tangle tamer. The whole application process took less than 3 minutes, but it could definitely be shorter if not for the fact I had to pictorially document it.

Let's put it to the test!

Let’s put it to the test!

Tied my hair in a bun because I was working out earlier!

Tied my hair in a bun because I was working out earlier!

So oily, so messy

So oily, so messy

Hair toned down a little after a while.. but still, slightly crazy (As you can see, I have very little hair)

Hair toned down a little after a while.. but still, slightly crazy (As you can see, I have very little hair 😭)

A little frizz here and there..

A little frizz here and there..

Close-up of my hair

Close-up of my hair

Shampooed my hair!

Shampooed my hair!

Towel-drying it..

Towel-drying it..

Let's begin!

Let’s begin!

But first, inhale the wonderful smell of coconuts..

But first, inhale the wonderful smell of coconuts..

Brush with 2-tier bristles technology (purportedly worth US$15!)

Brush with 2-tier bristles technology (purportedly worth US$15!)

Ooh, it even feels like coconut ice-cream :D

Ooh, it even feels like coconut ice-cream 😀

Applying 'em on my hair..

Applying ’em on my hair..

And then brushing them down..

And then brushing them down..

The masque acts in place of normal conditioner so after having the product on for 10 minutes, I rinsed it off with warm water and blew dry my hair while brushing it at the same time. The masque should be left on the hair for 5 to 10 minutes but the longer the better! For optimal results, you can even sleep in it (by covering it with a shower cap) and then wash it off the next day.

After the final wash

After the final wash

♥  For dry hair, use 2-3 times a week;
♥  For normal hair, use 1-2 times a week;
♥  For oily hair, use just once a week and focus the product towards the ends of the hair and avoid the scalp
Towel-drying away the excess water so the floor doesn't get wet :

Towel-drying away the excess water so the floor doesn’t get wet :\

Blow-drying to speed up the process (actually, I was just very eager to see how my hair would turn out LOL)

Blow-drying to speed up the process (actually, I was just very eager to see how my hair would turn out LOL)

SWOOSH. Not disappointed!

SWOOSH. Not disappointed!

Seriously damn smooth now!

Seriously damn smooth now!

Compare this with the one above! My hair looks more revitalised here.

Compare this with the one above! My hair looks more revitalised here.

Although the effects weren’t very noticeable on my hair (it was already rather smooth to begin with because I seldom style it nor engage in activities that put me in direct contact with the sun or harmful chemicals), it still makes a better conditioner than my existing one. Therefore, I plan to use this at least twice a week.

In addition, unlike many treatments that leave a greasy film on the hair (imagine the product transferring to the pillow and onto your face – ew!), Coco & Eve leaves nothing but naturally flowy tresses and a pleasant coconut scent to boot (I lost count the number of times I took a whiff of my hair 🤭). Running my hands through my hair, the softness it promises is also apparent. Ultimately, I think this would benefit swimmers and people with chemically treated hair.

My hair enjoys the attention from the fan

My hair enjoys the attention from the fan

What are your thoughts about Coco & Eve Hair Masque? Take a quick poll or let me know your views in the comments below 🙂

Thanks for reading!

Coco & eve is now available on their website for S$64.90. Besties kits are also available at S$99.90 each with Free shipping (delivery restrictions may applyy) on all orders.
Products were supplied by Coco & Eve in exchange for this review but all opinions expressed are my own.

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REVIEW: shu uemura × Yazbukey Lipsticks – Yaz Red (RD1), Coral Dance (NUDY1), Rose Flows (PK2) & Magenta Spell (RD2) + Magic Metallic Lip Liner in Gold WOW

Hello everyone!

Just as we thought the matte lip trend was losing steam, shu uemura offers a timely reminder why colour-rich matte lipsticks are still on-trend in many ways with an expansion (albeit temporary) of its Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte line this spring. This time, it has even roped in the expertise of a familiar name to pimp up the packaging of these new (and not-so-new) additions to make them a little more special.

Yazbukey for shu uemura, Spring 2018

Yazbukey for shu uemura, Spring 2018

Following the tremendous reception to its first collaboration with Yazbukey in 2015, shu uemura has teamed up with the Paris-based accessory and jewelry designer yet again for this first ever lip-focused makeup range – the Mattitude collection – in which a total of 16 lipstick shades comprising 9 new limited editions and 7 existing bestsellers (shades may vary in the U.S.; full list in poll below) would each be accessorised with one of the 4 variations of her iconic “c’est ahh lips” specially designed for this partnership on the packaging.

The display

The display

Sea of lipsticks~

Sea of lipsticks~

Featuring across the 4 colour ranges expressing the 4 different attitudes (Sexy Red, Lovely Nude, Quirky Pink and Edgy Berry) in this collection, the lip motifs are a nod towards Yazbukey’s quirky and kooky sense of style which combines pop references with modern culture and contemporary art. The silicon lip rings*, which can be fitted into the coloured lipstick tube for an added aesthetic appeal (or simply worn on the finger to show the world how much of a lipstick addict you are), instantly transform shu uemura’s signature lipsticks into the most edgy chic statement pieces imaginable.

*Receive one limited edition Yazbukey × shu uemura silicon lip ring with purchase of any 2 pieces of Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte lipsticks at TANGS.com. While stocks last.

To celebrate the release of the Mattitude collection, shu uemura hosted a launch party at Horse’s Mouth Bar for select members of the media. While there, I was able to get a complete swatch of everything, as well as to take home four lipsticks (one from each range) to do a detailed review on. Take a look:

Sexy Reds

Sexy Reds

Swatched: Carmen Bound, Tangerine Bloom (accidentally swatched this twice), Ruby Heart. Not in picture: Yaz Red (scroll down to the review for swatches)

Swatched: Carmen Bound, Tangerine Bloom (accidentally swatched this twice), Ruby Heart. Not in picture: Yaz Red (scroll down to the review for swatches)

Lovely Nudes

Lovely Nudes

Swatched: Coral Dance, Brown is Brown, Choco Crush, Sandy Quartz

Swatched: Coral Dance, Brown is Brown, Choco Crush, Sandy Quartz

Quirky Pinks

Quirky Pinks

Swatched: Rose Flows, Truly Ruby, Cyclamen Sound, Eclair Pink

Swatched: Rose Flows, Truly Ruby, Cyclamen Sound, Eclair Pink

Edgy Berries

Edgy Berries

Swatched: Magenta Spell, Currant Mood, Powder Blue, Grape Jam

Swatched: Magenta Spell, Currant Mood, Powder Blue, Grape Jam

A lil pouch to go along with the lippies!

A lil pouch to go along with the lippies!

Look at zee lip rings!

Look at zee lip rings!

How the lippies look with the lip rings on!

How the lippies look with the lip rings on!

Limited Edition packaging

Limited Edition packaging

Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte

Yaz Red (RD1)

shu uemura × Yazbukey Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte in Yaz Red (S$38 / US$31)

shu uemura × Yazbukey Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte in Yaz Red (S$38 / US$31)

shu uemura × Yazbukey Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte in Yaz Red

shu uemura × Yazbukey Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte in Yaz Red

shu uemura × Yazbukey Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte in Yaz Red

shu uemura × Yazbukey Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte in Yaz Red

shu uemura × Yazbukey Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte in Yaz Red

shu uemura × Yazbukey Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte in Yaz Red

shu uemura × Yazbukey Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte in Yaz Red

shu uemura × Yazbukey Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte in Yaz Red

shu uemura × Yazbukey Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte in Yaz Red

shu uemura × Yazbukey Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte in Yaz Red

From the Sexy Red range, there is Yaz Red, a mid-tone raspberry red (leaning more towards pink) with a flat matte finish. A repromote from the first collaboration with Yazbukey, Yaz Red is both festive and chic, depending on how pigmented you want it to be. When applied with pressure, it seemed slightly bolder and darker at first but gradually lost its intensity and became brighter, though not to the extent of it being neon. This lightweight lipstick adorned the lips with a powdery texture for a feeling of velvety softness while delivering an even, medium to full coverage as it glided on. It did not settle into my lip lines, though, until several hours later.

In terms of its longevity, the colour on the outer edges stayed on through a McSpicy dinner but wore off at the centre of my lips as I had expected. The lipstick didn’t feel drying throughout my 10-hour wear time but it somehow wasn’t the easiest to remove at the end of the day unless I exfoliated my lips.

Yaz Red swatch comparison

Yaz Red swatch comparison

Coral Dance (NUDY1)

shu uemura × Yazbukey Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte in Coral Dance (S$38 / US$31)

shu uemura × Yazbukey Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte in Coral Dance (S$38 / US$31)

shu uemura × Yazbukey Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte in Coral Dance

shu uemura × Yazbukey Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte in Coral Dance

shu uemura × Yazbukey Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte in Coral Dance

shu uemura × Yazbukey Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte in Coral Dance

shu uemura × Yazbukey Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte in Coral Dance

shu uemura × Yazbukey Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte in Coral Dance

shu uemura × Yazbukey Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte in Coral Dance

shu uemura × Yazbukey Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte in Coral Dance

shu uemura × Yazbukey Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte in Coral Dance

shu uemura × Yazbukey Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte in Coral Dance

Coral Dance from the Lovely Nude range appears to be a warm, medium beige with subtle red undertones on the tube, but translates to a bright pink-toned salmon on my lips which I don’t quite fancy. Similarly, it has a flat matte finish which forbids it from having any hint of shimmers. Even so, it does not at all leave a tacky feeling on the lips nor does it zap out moisture from them. The consistency was still so smooth and velvety that it glided on my lips without tugging or pulling. This lipstick provides a nearly opaque payoff in one swipe which was buildable to a full coverage, along with a texture that allows for an even application that stays put for more than 8 hours.

Coral Dance swatch comparison

Coral Dance swatch comparison

Rose Flows (PK2) 

shu uemura × Yazbukey Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte in Rose Flows (S$38 / US$31)

shu uemura × Yazbukey Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte in Rose Flows (S$38 / US$31)

shu uemura × Yazbukey Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte in Rose Flows

shu uemura × Yazbukey Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte in Rose Flows

shu uemura × Yazbukey Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte in Rose Flows

shu uemura × Yazbukey Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte in Rose Flows

shu uemura × Yazbukey Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte in Rose Flows

shu uemura × Yazbukey Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte in Rose Flows

shu uemura × Yazbukey Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte in Rose Flows

shu uemura × Yazbukey Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte in Rose Flows

shu uemura × Yazbukey Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte in Rose Flows

shu uemura × Yazbukey Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte in Rose Flows

Rose Flows, a deep warm pink with a flat matte finish that isn’t too over-the-top for work environment that isn’t too accepting of unconventional makeup looks, nor is it too dark that it would make thin lips appear smaller.

Intensely pigmented with an evenly soft consistency that sits so ever comfortably on the lips alongside a texture that impeccably conceals any imperfections (as it attempted to fill the lines instead of caking around them), it is not difficult to understand how this shade surfaced as my top pick for an effortless early morning pick-me-up. It doesn’t take a lot out of me to get a prominent colour on my lips as all it requires is one firm swipe. This shade wore well on me when I test-drove it for about 6 hours before fading evenly to a muted rosy stain and is neither drying nor hydrating.

Magenta Spell (RD2)

shu uemura × Yazbukey Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte in Magenta Spell (S$38 / US$31)

shu uemura × Yazbukey Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte in Magenta Spell (S$38 / US$31)

shu uemura × Yazbukey Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte in Magenta Spell

shu uemura × Yazbukey Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte in Magenta Spell

shu uemura × Yazbukey Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte in Magenta Spell

shu uemura × Yazbukey Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte in Magenta Spell

shu uemura × Yazbukey Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte in Magenta Spell

shu uemura × Yazbukey Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte in Magenta Spell

shu uemura × Yazbukey Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte in Magenta Spell

shu uemura × Yazbukey Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte in Magenta Spell

shu uemura × Yazbukey Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte in Magenta Spell

shu uemura × Yazbukey Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte in Magenta Spell

Representing the final colour range Edgy Berry is Magenta Spell which takes the form of a promising flat-matte warm burgundy (leaning more towards brick red) but lets down with its uneven and smidgen streaky finish on the initial coat, partly because it also tends to skip during application. Then, as I tried building up the opacity of the lipstick, it became noticeably patchier whereby areas that had received more product becoming a lot darker than those that didn’t. Although, to be honest, the payoff wasn’t the worst I had seen (I’ve also had my fair share of disappointing M·A·C purchases), I found it to be rather unacceptable given the high standards on which shu uemura prides itself.

But to be fair, the unsatisfactory texture is too minor a flaw to render this lipstick an F grade considering that there are worse offenders in the market than it is. Discounting the fact that application could have been better, Magenta Spell does have its good points, too. For a start, it has the same non-sticky powdery smooth texture and is as long-lasting as the other shades. Somehow, it also feels comparatively more hydrating on the lips.

Magenta Spell swatch comparison

Magenta Spell swatch comparison

Magic Metallic Lip Liner

From S Curler to star-shaped stamp, shu uemura never fails to surprise us with interesting novelties. This year, the newest innovation from shu uemura features another line of lip products (sadly, also limited edition) that enable you to add a fun and artistic twist to your lip contour, or in this case your matte lips. Make a lip statement that will truly turn heads simply by applying metallic lines with any of the four Magic Metallic Lip Liner shades for a contrasting finish against the matte background.

Magic Metallic Lip Liners

Magic Metallic Lip Liners

Swatched: Gun Metal - BANG, Pink - YEAH, Bronze - OHH, Gold - WOW

Swatched: Gun Metal – BANG, Pink – YEAH, Bronze – OHH, Gold – WOW

Gold – WOW

shu uemura × Yazbukey Magic Metallic Lip Liner in Gold-WOW (S$38 / US$30)

shu uemura × Yazbukey Magic Metallic Lip Liner in Gold-WOW (S$38 / US$30)

shu uemura × Yazbukey Magic Metallic Lip Liner in Gold-WOW

shu uemura × Yazbukey Magic Metallic Lip Liner in Gold-WOW

shu uemura × Yazbukey Magic Metallic Lip Liner in Gold-WOW

shu uemura × Yazbukey Magic Metallic Lip Liner in Gold-WOW

shu uemura × Yazbukey Magic Metallic Lip Liner in Gold-WOW

shu uemura × Yazbukey Magic Metallic Lip Liner in Gold-WOW

shu uemura × Yazbukey Magic Metallic Lip Liner in Gold-WOW

shu uemura × Yazbukey Magic Metallic Lip Liner in Gold-WOW

shu uemura × Yazbukey Magic Metallic Lip Liner in Gold-WOW

shu uemura × Yazbukey Magic Metallic Lip Liner in Gold-WOW

shu uemura × Yazbukey Magic Metallic Lip Liner in Gold-WOW

shu uemura × Yazbukey Magic Metallic Lip Liner in Gold-WOW

shu uemura × Yazbukey Magic Metallic Lip Liner in Gold-WOW

shu uemura × Yazbukey Magic Metallic Lip Liner in Gold-WOW

Unlike most traditional metallic liquid lipsticks, these lip liners have way thicker consistency with an exceptionally fast dry-down rate, hence preventing them from bleeding or dissolving into the product beneath them. The finish of the liner becomes flat matte once it dries with no hint of tackiness. The pigment of my gold liner is incredible and filled with densely packed high-shine gold shimmers, so much so that for a split moment, I actually had the suspicion that this was the same substance used to foil lettering. But it’s obviously not because it can be removed entirely with regular water (so only apply on the outer edges of the lips if you want it to last through meals).

Instead of a doe-foot applicator, these liners are applied using the brush applicator (similar to that of nail polish) attached to the cap. It is dense and stiff enough to allow easy manoeuvering along the outline of the lips. Embellishing lips had never been so much fun 🤩

Took the liberty to zhng some more hahaha

Took the liberty to zhng some more hahaha

Watch out, M·A·C: these matte lipsticks will be giving you a run for your money! Through the Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte line, shu uemura proves that it is absolutely possible to create non-drying, true matte lipsticks without compromising on the quality. In fact, what I find most admirable about the brand is that they actually delivered what they promised. Just how many times have you encountered lipsticks that claimed to be matte but turned out to be anything but that? Ever seen or run your finger over matte countertops? These matte lipsticks by shu uemura look and feel exactly like them – they are smooth to the touch and don’t reflect light. shu uemura is the real deal.

But regardless of the brand of the lipstick, the same ol’ rule applies: exfoliate before application as these lipsticks won’t show their potential on rough, flaky surface. And if possible, apply with a brush because as you might have noticed, the lipsticks have the tendency to ball up on the lips.

shu uemura, to me, has always been the underdog in the global beauty market that hardly gets any acknowledgement for their quality and performance. Despite the cutting-edge and superior formula the brands constantly puts out, it has never (not that I know of) ranked on international beauty charts which more often than not are dominated by Western beauty giants. Perhaps, it’s about time shu uemura gets the recognition it deserves. What do you think?

Thanks for reading!

shu uemura × Yazbukey launches islandwide from 1 May 2018. It is also available online through TANGS.com and Metro.com.sg. in Singapore and shuuemura-USA.com for U.S. residents.

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