REVIEW: MAC x Philip Treacy Lipsticks – Cardinal, No Faux Pas & Hollywood Cerise

Hey ladies!

London’s leading couture hat designer Philip Treacy recently collaborated with MAC for a yet another Spring collection. If you don’t know who he is, well, basically this is the guy behind the creation of the craziest hats in existence. If you’re into English weddings (*cough* Wills and Kate), chances are you would have seen some of his works parading the red carpet. Some of the celebrities who have donned his hats are Kate Middleton herself, Victoria Beckham, Dita Von Teese, Alexander McQueen and Lady Gaga (remember her infamous lobster and telephone hats? Yes, those were designed by him). Judging from the creative direction of his works, it’s easy to tell that the collaboration is going to be somewhat bold, extraordinary and inspirational.

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This collection consists of 3 Fluidline (in Blue Peep, Royal Wink & Blacktrack), 2 Pro Longwear Paint Pot (in Chrome Angel & Genuine Treasure), False Lashes Extreme Black, 3 lipsticks, 2 Highlight Powder (in Blush Pink & Nude Pink) and a 127 Split Fibre Face Brush

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Overview

Unfortunately, the lipsticks were anything short of bold, extraordinary and inspirational and definitely do not reflect the creativity of the designer. I wasn’t particularly excited about the colours because they look really dupeable. Even without comparing them with my existing MAC lipsticks, I could already make out the closest MAC dupe for each shade. And by closest, I mean like 99% identical. I had my bets placed on Catharina (from the Ultimate Lipstick collection) for No Faux Pas and Flat Out Fabulous for Hollywood Cerise. I couldn’t determine the exact dupe for Cardinal because it’s such a common shade of red. I’m sure it has been used numerous times, just complete with different finish.

With preceding launches like Bao Bao Wan and Julia Petit (which products were sold out in a flash), this surely comes as a huge disappointment especially to hardcore M.A.C fanatics like myself who pretty much own most of the lipstick shades.

And even though there isn’t distinct (four) seasons in Singapore, I know very well how Spring feels like, and it definitely aren’t just reds and pinks. This collection is clearly lacking some yellows and greens.

Perhaps that’s why none of the lipsticks are sold out yet.

My only consolation, though, was the price. Each lipstick retailed for US$16 online despite it being a collaborated piece. But of course, they come in regular packaging too.

 

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Official swatch

 

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My swatch

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Let’s take a closer look at each shade and you’ll know what I mean… starting with Cardinal.

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Cardinal is a yellow burgundy red with Satin finish. (US$16)

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Bad. Hair. Day.

I like that it’s very emollient (typical of Satin finish) and easy to apply. I had no problem lining my lips with the pointed tip of lipstick because it glided on really well. It has great coverage (can’t really see my unsightly lines!) with a luminous sheen and is intensely pigmented.

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Swatch comparison! P/S: Will be reviewing Maria Moretti in my next post 🙂

Now do you see where I’m coming from?!? These are just some examples. I could have compared it with the more reds in my stash but I reckon this is enough to justify my disappointment. I love the lipstick (the application, finish. etc.) and all, but the colour is just too repetitive, don’t you think? 😦

Moving on to No Faux Pas!

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No Faux Pas is a yellow hot pink with Matte finish. (US$16)

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This shade was released last October as part of MAC’s Heirloom Mix collection. In other words, it’s a repromote. Pfft, where’s the creativity in this collaboration? Sometimes I wish MAC would focus on creating novel shades instead of churning out new collections with repeated products. But sigh, as a diehard MAC fan, it’s hard to resist buying something from new launches 😦

Anyway, this is the only Matte shade in this collection and as compared to other Mattes that were released recently, this feels relatively drier. My Mattes from Bao Bao Wan and Julia Petit collections, for example, were slightly creamier and more hydrating, almost akin to Satin finish. Hence, it’s likely that no improvements were made to the formula of No Faux Pas because it feels a lot like my older Mattes.

And finally, Hollywood Cerise!

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Hollywood Cerise is a magenta berry with Satin finish. (US$16)

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My favourite from this collection, it is such a gorgeous colour with a beautiful sheen and great coverage. It’s probably the only shade from this collection that is arguably different from what I already have (because this seems darker now that I look at the pictures). And since it’s Satin, it’s not drying over time too. If you’re ever going to get anything from this collection, I’d definitely recommend this shade. 🙂

So… am I going to lose my bet? You decide.

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Ok maybe Flat Out Fabulous is 90% similar. I read that Girl About Town (something I don’t have *gasps* because I’m not really into bright purples) is a close dupe so maybe that’s why. But yes, Catharina = No Faux Pas. Period.

And yes, that’s about it! I may be harsh in this post but you know I still love you, MAC. Just try to stop with the repeats, pretty please? 😦

What say you, ladies? Do you agree with my review? Let me know in the comments below 🙂

Thanks for reading!

MAC x Philip Treacy is now available on MACCosmetics.com and at local MAC outlets.

REVIEW: Clinique Pop Lip Colour + Primer

MEDIA INVITE

Hello everyone!

I believe Clinique needs no introduction. Having thrived in the beauty business for the past few decades, it has become a trusted brand to generations for its high-quality and reliable products. In a bid to fight off competition from a string of younger cosmetics startups, more innovative and attractively-packaged products were launched to appeal to the younger consumers. Lately, it has been creating a lot of buzz with the release of their Cheek Pop Blush last Spring in four colours. The vibrant yet natural-looking cheek colours have proven to be a crowd favourite across the globe, spurring the high-end cosmetic brand to churn out six new shades this Spring.

I’ve personally tried swatching the colours at Sephora, and loved how soft they appeared. The colours are drop-dead gorgeous! But I’m more of a lips person (I don’t mind owning tons of blush but I’d prefer having a truckload collection of lipsticks). How awesome would it be if Clinique decides to turn these colours into lipsticks?

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POPS LITERALLY! GIMME!!!!

Well, if you shared the same thoughts, you’d be delighted to know that Clinique is indeed launching Cheek Pop equivalent in the form of lipsticks! YAY. Called Pop Lip Colour + Primer, this 2-in-1 lipstick + primer collection comes with 13 delicious shades. Some of them are really named after the blush colours. 😀

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Clinique Pop Lip Colour + Primer is a rich colour lipstick and smoothing primer in one to provide an intense colour payoff.
Available in 13 fun, flirty and feminine shades in nudes, tawnies, pinks and violets, you can now achieve intense velvet all-day colour in just one application.

“Since Clinique Pop lipsticks are so highly pigmented, it’s best worn as the boldest part of your beauty look. It can also be blotted down to a stain for a more subtle but still signature statement look,” Jenna Menard, Clinique Global Colour Artist.

They will be launching in Singapore on 9 April 2015 and retailing at S$33 each.

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I was invited to the preview to try them out! Here’s my first impression 🙂

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(courtesy of Clinique)

Gone are the days of dry and uneven lips and feather-prone lipsticks. With this new lipstick lineup, ladies can now enjoy primed lips and the look of full coverage lipstick with just one application. Unlike Clinique’s existing lip products, this contains formula with a smoothing complex to prime the lips, create a smooth surface feel that allows colour to lay down more uniformly and look richer. This complex contains elements (including Shea and Murumuru Butters) that actually smooths lips over time.

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13 beautiful chosen shades after surveying all the markets around the world for their best selling lipstick shade. So every shade here is guaranteed a following. But really, this line-up is so irresistible, you’d be spoilt for choice!

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FUN FACT: The colours on the metal piece depict the exact shade of the lipstick. This was achieved after several trials. As a designer/photo editor, I can tell you that it’s not an easy feat at all!

I like how practical the packaging is. The metallic part of the casing is reflective so it can also be used as a mirror. That’s a very essential feature for me because I rely a lot on my phone’s front facing camera when touching up my makeup outdoors.

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Names of all 13 shades. I actually love how they incorporate the word ‘pop’ in the name. It sounds so fun and youthful. And yummy. Wouldn’t it be nice if lipsticks are edible hahahahaha ambitious much.

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The lipsticks are formulated to keep colour vibrantly true all day! They also have staying power that enable them to last once applied, and never really wear off.

The 13 shades are categorised into Nudes, Tawnies, Pinks and Violets. Let’s have a closer look at each of them:

Nudes

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01 Nude Pop, 03 Cola Pop, 04 Beige Pop

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These are designed to cater to different skin tones. Therefore there’s a dark shade in it 🙂 I guess for Asians, we are more suited for Beige Pop.

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One swipe

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Cola Pop on lips. My pick from this category!

I wore this colour to work today and it actually stayed on for a good 4 hours (until I had my lunch). The texture felt really soft and emollient, and it didn’t weigh down my lips. Despite it being lightweight, never once it bled and I didn’t have to line my lips nor powder it down with tissue to keep it in place. Most importantly, my lips were NEVER flaky the whole time! I can’t stand the feeling of roughness on my skin and my itchy fingers would tend to reach for the dry flakes on my lips when I use some other lipsticks, leaving huge patches of raw skin underneath. This didn’t happen today.

Tawnies

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05 Melon Pop, 06 Poppy Pop, 08 Cherry Pop

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One swipe. Gosh, look how pigmented they are?

This group of lipsticks generally have yellow undertones. My favourite here is Cherry Pop which is the reddest shade in this lineup. Got one for myself 🙂

Pinks

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09 Sweet Pop, 10 Punch Pop, 11 Wow Pop

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One swipe

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With Punch PopSomehow it looks more fuchsia than hot pink.

I reckon this category would sell like hot cakes when the sale of this collection goes live because pinks are usually the more popular shades. The pinks are very pretty but sadly, I don’t think I can pull them off.

Violets

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13 Love Pop, 14 Plum Pop, 15 Berry Pop, 16 Grape Pop

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My pick from this category is Berry Pop! Hahaha no surprises here. And oh, here’s me with Vanessa from Clinique 🙂

Easily my favourite category in this release, it has the perfect nudes as well as shades for the more adventurous. Vanessa put on the darkest shade upon my persuasion (like many Asian girls, she was rather apprehensive about wearing dark lip colours because of ridiculous stereotypes which I’ve absolutely outgrown) and was pleasantly surprised at how good it looks on her. So I really, really encourage you ladies to ignore naysayers and try a dark shade! You won’t know if you carry it off until you try it 🙂

That’s all for this preview!

Note: If you’re wondering why there are missing shade numbers, that’s because this collection originally comes with 16 shades (all were launched in U.S.). I guess these 13 colours are what Clinique deemed most suitable for Asian skin tones 🙂

Thanks for reading! ❤

Clinique Pop Lip Colour + Primer will be launching on 9 April 2015 at all local Clinique counters. Each lipstick will retail at S$33.

Free Flow of Wagyu Beef @ Tenkaichi

Hello everyone!

This year marks Singapore’s Golden Jubilee (or SG50 for short) and many discounts tied to it have been sprouting up everywhere as early as last year, much to the delight of penny-punching people like myself. I have enjoyed discounts at participating shops especially eateries which were unknown to me previously (or I didn’t patronise because of the price). News of such discounts are usually spread by word of mouth (such as Facebook), just like how I got to know about Tenkaichi‘s fabulous promotion. In conjunction with SG50, Tenkaichi is rolling out their best deal ever:

Premium BBQ Buffet with Free Flow of Wagyu Beef at only S$50+ on weekdays and $55+ on weekends!

*jaw drops*

Boyfriend and I are huuuuge lovers of Wagyu beef. But we don’t eat it often because it’s considered as a luxury food which can cost at least S$50 per a hundred grams. Heck, even fresh Wagyu beef sold at our local grocery stores aren’t cheap! So S$50+ (there isn’t GST but there is a 10% service charge) for free flow of Wagyu beef is definitely a steal! Fortunately, we learned about the promotion early and made dinner reservations at the restaurant 3 weeks in advance because all slots were snapped up very quickly!

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Shopfront at City Gate (Keypoint)

Keypoint is about a 3-4 minutes’ walk away from Nicoll Highway MRT station. It’s quite convenient because there is an overhead bridge leading all the way from the train station to Keypoint, so you don’t have to cross the road at all! Tenkaichi is located on your right if you use the correct entrance but it’s also not difficult to find it if you enter through a different door.

Like Keypoint, the interior design of the restaurant speaks of mediocrity and the age of the premises. As someone who values first impression, very often I equate good decor to good food (although I’m always proven wrong). The ancient-looking floor carpet in the restaurant certainly made me have second thoughts about the positive reviews I read online about Tenkaichi. It’s hard to imagine that a restaurant like this would be the home of the top award-winning Japanese BBQ Buffet Restaurant in Singapore specialising in premium quality Wagyu beef.

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Cooked food section

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Takoyaki

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Tempura and others

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Sushi

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Fruits

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Pickles

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Sauce and condiments

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Ice cream which we never got to try because we were too full by the end of our meal!

But contrary to my suspicion, it does serve premium Wagyu beef and it’s so damn good. It’s definitely not a gimmick. As boyfriend described, he could really taste the superiority of the beef and every piece melted in his mouth. I dare say that it’s also one of the best I’ve eaten so far at such an affordable price. In fact, with Tenkaichi’s lowest price guarantee, if you find another restaurant in Singapore at a lower price, they would gladly beat it by 10%! Of course, terms and conditions apply 🙂

Diners are given a 2-hour limit for the buffet to which a restaurant staff would remind about half an hour before the time is up. The time limit is more than enough for people with small stomach capacity like myself. But for people like my boyfriend who can eat a bull (literally), you’d be wishing for a time extension!

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Wagyu Beef Yukke, marinated Wagyu Beef with Egg Yolk, to be mixed and eaten raw!

The above is my FAVOURITE Wagyu beef dish of the night. The slimy texture of the beef may seem revolting to some but trust me, it’s absolutely tasty! It’s like eating sashimi, but better!

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Wagyu Karubi, Wagyu beef short rib

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Wagyu Nakaochi Karubi (Wagyu beef rib intercostal)

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Short ribs mixed

Some of the short ribs are cut in thick slices which Bf and I found hard to bite.

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Wagyu Tataki, lightly grilled Wagyu beef sashimi. To be eaten raw as well! But I’d suggest to leave that stomach space for the Wagyu Beef Yukke mentioned above!

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A plate of sashimi – Shiro Maguro (white tuna), Tako (octopus) and Shime Saba (vinegar-pickled mackerel). HEAVENLY.

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Hotate, giant scallop – really nice and soft when it’s grilled!

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Shake Sashimi, Norway salmon sashimi. They weren’t served cold but they were fresh nonetheless!

The salmon sashimi was a last-minute order because we wanted to just have Wagyu beef throughout the course of our buffet meal. But leaving out salmon sashimi at a Japanese buffet just didn’t quite do for me!

The food was served very quickly although many a time the restaurant staff got our orders wrong. But they took our rejection in stride and got our orders out within a few minutes. Amidst the surge of patrons, the staff never failed to flash an amiable smile on their face and assist in the needs of the customers. I was truly impressed!

More pictures of the meat on the grill to make you drool.

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The grill was constantly loaded with Wagyu beef because it’s free flow!

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The grill warmed up very quickly and the beef cooked relatively fast!

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About done

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Ready to eat! Yummy 🙂

Bf and I made a pact to return again even though the SG50 promotion is going to end today (5 April 2015). He has nothing but praises for the Wagyu beef and it’s not very often that he would rave so much about something. It must be really good then! 🙂

Thanks for reading!

Tenkaichi Japanese Restaurant
371 Beach Road,
City Gate (Keypoint) #01-18/19
Singapore 199597
Tel: 65 – 6293 4498
Email: tenkaichi_sg@yahoo.com.sg
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