REVIEW: APRILSKIN Perfect Magic Dual Eyeshadow in Pure & Chic

Hello everyone!

With only one week to go before we exit the Circuit Breaker, professionals including myself, who have to commute to our workplaces come 2 June, would have started mentally preparing for the unprecedented changes in our weekday morning routines. For beautyholics like me, the mandatory wearing of face mask will mean ditching the lipstick and placing more emphasis on the eyes – but there’s a problem. Nearly two months of going bare faced has likely rendered my eyeshadow application skills slightly rusty, and as vain as it sounds, I certainly do not want to risk being late to work just to redo my makeup!

Scouring the virtual beauty aisle on Shopee (really the ultimate lockdown boredom saviour πŸ™ŒπŸ» *cues heavenly choir sound effect*) during one of its flash sales had thankfully pointed me to a possible solution – the Perfect Magic Dual Eyeshadow by APRILSKIN. This compact eyeshadow palette is marketed as a timesaver as it enables the user to blend three (shimmery) shades at once.

APRILSKIN Perfect Magic Dual Eyeshadow in Pure & Chic (box, front)

APRILSKIN Perfect Magic Dual Eyeshadow in Pure & Chic (box, front)

APRILSKIN Perfect Magic Dual Eyeshadow in Pure & Chic (box, back)

APRILSKIN Perfect Magic Dual Eyeshadow in Pure & Chic (box, back)

APRILSKIN Perfect Magic Dual Eyeshadow in Pure & Chic (box, side)

APRILSKIN Perfect Magic Dual Eyeshadow in Pure & Chic (box, side)

Such concept of having multiple colours in one pan isn’t new since Benefit Cosmetics,Β Laneige (albeit theirs is in the form of bullets) and many other Korean beauty brands were already ahead of the game. But as far as I can remember, no other reputable beauty brand has come close to offering two 3-in-1 colour combinations for under S$30 ($27 on Guardian and $24.30 on Shopee, or S$18.70 in my case). In fact, at 6 grams of product per palette (case in point: They’re Real! Duo Eyeshadow Blender contains 3.5 grams of product while Two Tone Shadow Bar only has 2 grams, and both cost a lot more!), this already is a clear winner in the price department.

APRILSKIN Perfect Magic Dual Eyeshadow in Pure & Chic (box and case)

APRILSKIN Perfect Magic Dual Eyeshadow in Pure & Chic (box and case)

APRILSKIN Perfect Magic Dual Eyeshadow in Pure & Chic (box and case, back)

APRILSKIN Perfect Magic Dual Eyeshadow in Pure & Chic (box and case, back)

Stowed in a tight-fitting box, the rectangular packaging resembles an enlarged version of a mint candy tin box. It is about the size of my palm, small and slim enough to slide into my purse and carry on the go. The inside cover of the lid is reflective (even with its protective film stuck on) so it acts as a mirror.

APRILSKIN Perfect Magic Dual Eyeshadow in Pure & Chic (product with plastic film)

APRILSKIN Perfect Magic Dual Eyeshadow in Pure & Chic (product with plastic film)

APRILSKIN Perfect Magic Dual Eyeshadow in Pure & Chic (product with plastic film)

APRILSKIN Perfect Magic Dual Eyeshadow in Pure & Chic (product with plastic film)

Applicator

Applicator

APRILSKIN Perfect Magic Dual Eyeshadow in Pure & Chic (product without plastic film)

APRILSKIN Perfect Magic Dual Eyeshadow in Pure & Chic (product without plastic film)

Size of applicator

Size of applicator

Boink boink!

Boink boink!

The eyeshadow pans, each measuring roughly 4 cm by 2 cm, are aligned vertically and enclosed in a plastic film to prevent them from staining the box. Right next to them lies the sponge-tip applicator which is highly encouraged to be used (much to my reluctance) for the product to bring about the desired results. The tip of the applicator is dome-shaped which doesn’t extend over the full width of the pan so unless you place it strategically, you won’t be able to pick up all three shades simultaneously.

The topmost colour combination is named “Pure” and it consists of everyday neutral shades including a champagne (for highlights), a beige with red undertones and a medium brown. The payoff was mostly sheer when swatched with the applicator. The lightest shade almost couldn’t be seen, and I had to press down and drag the applicator across my skin for some degree of pigmentation to be visible. However, applying with my finger gave more payoff (which is somewhat expected of shimmery shades) and the gradient also appeared more vivid and seamless.

Actual distribution of "Pure" in the pan (genuinely curious: what is the rationale for giving the lightest shade the biggest area?)

Actual distribution of “Pure” in the pan (genuinely curious: what is the rationale for giving the lightest shade the biggest area?)

"Pure" - swatched with finger (2-3 swipes)

“Pure” – swatched with finger (2-3 swipes)

How you should position your applicator on the pan to pick up all three shades at once

How you should position your applicator on the pan to pick up all three shades at once

Distribution of product on the applicator

Distribution of product on the applicator

"Pure" - swatched with the applicator

“Pure” – swatched with the applicator

How "Pure" looks on my primed lid (pardon my bare face as I didn't see the point in dolling up if I ain't going anywhere fancy)

How “Pure” looks on my primed lid (pardon my bare face as I was too lazy to put on makeup didn’t see the point in dolling up if I ain’t going anywhere fancy)

The colour combination “Chic” below would be more suited for a glammed-up look (but still appropriate for everyday wear) as it has a peachy beige (for highlights), a reddish plum and a deeper brown. As a whole, this is slightly more pigmented than Pure (still sheer in my book) and is also best applied with finger. However, the darkest shade did not seem to deliver much payoff – I had to run the applicator over my lids a few times before a faint brown emerged.

Actual distribution of "Chic" in the pan

Actual distribution of “Chic” in the pan

"Chic" - swatched with finger (2-3 swipes)

“Chic” – swatched with finger (2-3 swipes)

Distribution of product on the applicator

Distribution of product on the applicator

"Chic" - swatched with the applicator

“Chic” – swatched with the applicator

How "Chic" looks on my primed lid

How “Chic” looks on my primed lid

I wore both shades concurrently for 8 hours (I took the chance to wear them out to run some errands and was pretty sure I attracted bemused stares), and I must say both contributed a fair bit of fallout – some of which were shimmers – on my face. Surprisingly, despite having oily lids, the eyeshadows did not smear or wedge into my creases over time (Laneige’s Two Tone Shadow Bar is the biggest culprit when it comes to this – what terrible product 😀) and actually stayed on throughout the duration of my wear test!

"Pure" and "Chic" - side-by-side comparison

“Pure” and “Chic” – side-by-side comparison

Swatch comparison (in terms of payoff) with Japanese (shu uemura) and American (ColourPop) eyeshadows

Swatch comparison (in terms of payoff) with Japanese (shu uemura) and American (ColourPop) eyeshadows

The downside of this product is its generally sheer wash of colour (typical of Asian makeup products and it is nice if you want a more natural-looking finish to brighten up your peepers) but to be fair, it still gave way better payoff than many Korean eyeshadows I have tried. Getting the placement of the eyeshadow on the lids right with the applicator would require some trial and error, so you’re better off using your fingers or a wide dense eyeshadow brush if time is of the essence. Furthermore, it would also be a pain to wash the applicator without further spreading the shimmers all over the surface of the tip.

However, I must say that the impressive longevity came as a pleasant surprise! This makeup concept, although questionable at first, has also won me over as I like how it would be able to streamline my makeup routine and allow me to get to the door quicker once in-office work is resumed 😊

What are your thoughts on this makeup concept? Let me know what you think in the comments below or take a quick poll!

Thanks for reading!

APRILSKIN Perfect Magic Dual Eyeshadow is now available on Shopee and GUARDIAN SINGAPORE.

Follow me on Instagram and Facebook for bite-sized beauty updates!

[CONFECTIONERY] Golden Moments Signature Galaxy Mao Shan Wang Durian Cake

Hello everyone!

Somehow, being cooped up in the house for a prolonged period has led me to develop major cravings for foods that are not easily accessible in Singapore or at this time of the year, such as raw freshwater fish (long banned; it was great while it lasted 😒) and durian, and I really had it worse with the latter. Since the durian season has yet to reach its peak, it is almost impossible to find my preferred variants (i.e. sweet flesh only) and reasonably priced ones in the market. Therefore, I had to resort to less-than-legitimate alternatives, such as durian puffs and cakes.

My first durian food purchase during Circuit Breaker [click here for shop]

My first durian food purchase during Circuit Breaker [click here for shop]

Bought this for my mother's birthday! [click here for shop]

Bought this for my mother’s birthday! [click here for shop]

With bakeries cashing in on the nation’s growing obsession with the king of fruits, there is certainly no lack of durian cakes in the confectionery scene. But the supply took a hit when stricter Circuit Breaker measures forbade brick-and-mortar confectioneries from operating. As a result, I had to turn to online retailers like Golden Moments, a homeground startup known for their handcrafted premium durian delicacies (you might have heard of their bamboo charcoal snowskin durian mooncakes), and it just so happened that they were also having a one-for-one promotion on their Signature Galaxy Mao Shan Wang Durian Cakes on top of a discount to commemorate their four-year anniversary of inception! Mind you, their prices are usually on the steep side (U.P. S$158.80 per cake, like hooooooly) so when the rare opportunity arises to get two for the price of one, you betcha I ain’t gonna let it slip away. The only issue was finding another person to share the cost with me (which I did eventually) because consuming two cakes would be stretching it (and my tummy πŸ˜‚).

The promotion on Golden Moments website! (Sorry guys, offer ended!)

The promotion on Golden Moments website! (Sorry guys, offer ended!)

The cakes arrived four days after placing my order (to be fair, Golden Moments did forewarn about delays due to a surge in demand on their website) packed in white plastic bag, two hours shy of the start of the delivery slot I had opted for (i.e. 2pm – 6pm). Kudos for being early – too early, in fact – but I can’t say I wasn’t disappointed that it came without being in an insulated bag to maintain its temperature. Imagine frantically getting out of bed (because Sundays are for sleeping in) to receive my order, only to panic the next moment as there wasn’t sufficient space in the freezer for two cakes (this procrastinator had planned to make room when she woke up, but her bad; she should have done that the night before πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™€οΈ). Besides, what if no one was at home to answer the door in Golden Moments’ attempt to be (overly) efficient?

Dear (courier?) companies, if your customer has chosen a delivery slot, please stick to it πŸ˜’ Otherwise, give the customer a call before making that trip if you’re very early to ensure that he/she is available to receive the order! /rantover

According to the website, each cake weighs 1 kg and measures 8″ (or 18 cm), and comprises layers of cheese mousse, 100% premium Mao Shan Wang durian, coconut sponge and coconut crunch – a complex and bizarre favour combination, if you ask me, but I was genuinely curious how putting together two pungent ingredients – durian and coconut – would work out to be.

Packaging

Packaging

A gradual pull of the cake board out of the box revealed the ritzy cake blanketed in black mirror glaze coating, which marble effect is said to be different on every cake. Although marketed as having a galaxy design, there was a lack of blue and purple hues to justify its name – it was just.. black gelatin sheet with faint white marbling patterns (I would actually relate better if the design was described as smokey instead), decorated with gold sprinkles and a dash of gold leaf to add exquisiteness to the whole appearance.

(Pardon the frosty surface as this picture was taken immediately after it was taken out of the freezer) Golden Moment Galaxy Mao Shan Wang Durian Cake

(Pardon the frosty surface as this picture was taken immediately after it was taken out of the freezer) Golden Moment Galaxy Mao Shan Wang Durian Cake

The depth of the cake (picture taken without flash)

The depth of the cake (picture taken without flash)

Once removed from the freezer, it is best to leave the cake to defrost for a while or it’d be a pain to move the blade of the knife into it (rookie mistake 😟 see images below). After managing to dissect the cake, I took a peek at the cross-section and was slightly underwhelmed by how it looked. It was clearly a far cry from how it is depicted on the website (although as an advertising grad, I should have known better and adjusted my expectations). But I could definitely see the layers of the promised ingredients – cheese mousse, durian and coconut crumbs.

Took me many slicing attempts to lift this slab up

Took me many slicing attempts to lift this slab up

A closer view of the cross-section (picture taken with flash to make cake appear less frosty)

A closer view of the cross-section (picture taken with flash to make cake appear less frosty)

Despite the rather unimpressive presentation, I’ve got to admit – the aroma of durian was strong in this one. It wasn’t the smell of durian puree; but of a true MSW durian (but the smell got less distinct with each passing day). Just one bite into the cake and I was instantly hooked. It had an unrivalled texture of a cake. There was the lightness and fluffiness from the mousse, softness and waxiness from the durian flesh and gelatin sheet, and crunchiness of the coconut flakes and crumbs. My taste buds were confused, but in a happy way. The distinct flavour of each ingredient stood out with each bite, and all of them indeed fused seamlessly together. To say this cake was delicious would be an understatement; I would gladly swim in this this phenomenal cake and have it for all meals πŸ˜›

The cake can be stored in the freezer for up to one week, but it is best consumed within three days (though mine couldn’t last that long). Also, if you’re thinking of cutting the cake in slices before serving, just note that the gelatin sheet would fuse together upon refrigeration (or that was what happened to my friend at least).

Without a doubt, the taste managed to more than compensate for its shortfall in appearance. The cake was so good, every bite lulled me into a sense of euphoria – a feeling that no other cake had come close to giving me (I’m not even a cake person to begin with!). So this begs the question: would I repurchase? CERTAINLY, but only at the promotional price. S$158.80 for an 8″ cake is really pushin’ it, bruh 😭

What are your thoughts about Golden Moments and their products? If you’ve tried the cake above, does my review resonate with your experience? Let me know your views in the comments below!

Thanks for reading!

Golden Moments Β· GOLDENMOMENTS.SG Β· For more information, please visit Golden Moments FACEBOOK PAGE, INSTAGRAM or WEBSITE.

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Be sure to watch out for my Stories because that’s where I post my tasty encounters
😁

REVIEW: APRILSKIN Real Calendula Peel Off Pack & Real Carrot Serum

Hello everyone!

With most shutters down and the government urging us to stay home, my shopping orientation has changed drastically over the past few weeks. Online shopping apps are creeping up on my most frequently used list on my mobile phone, so instead of saving money, my bank account is actually taking a greater hit than usual from the Circuit Breaker πŸ₯΄ Shopee has got to be the biggest culprit of all because of their flash sales that happen every four hours and to be perfectly honest, most products sold there really are priced at a steal.

Take, for example, the APRILSKIN skincare products of which advertisements have been bombarding my social media feed lately (even though said products were launched in 2018?). What could have essentially cost me almost $50 if I had gone the traditional route (i.e. buying from Guardian) was only slightly more than half that amount during the flash sale I so happened to be camping for.

My APRILSKIN haul!

My APRILSKIN haul!

Established in 2014, APRILSKIN is a South Korean beauty brand that prides themselves on using naturally-derived ingredients in their products to prevent skin irritation. Apart from skincare products, APRILSKIN also boasts a complete range of makeup tools and cosmetics from which many devotees might have first learnt about the brand (not gonna lie – their cushion foundation looked incredible).

Based on the availability, or lack thereof, of their products on their international website, it’s safe to say that APRILSKIN is sought-after not only in Singapore and their home country, but also in other parts of the world as well. Hence, I’m very excited to see what the hype is all about! Are their products really that effective, or is APRILSKIN just a master of social media marketing? Let’s find out πŸ˜‰

Here's my bare face before using both APRILSKIN products - right profile

Here’s my bare face before using both APRILSKIN products – right profile

Left profile

Left profile

In case it wasn’t explicit earlier, all products reviewed on this post were paid for with my own money and Shopee had not approached me to do a collaboration.

Real Calendula Peel Off Pack (S$23)

APRILSKIN Real Calendula Peel-Off Pack

APRILSKIN Real Calendula Peel-Off Pack

APRILSKIN Real Calendula Peel-Off Pack

APRILSKIN Real Calendula Peel-Off Pack

APRILSKIN Real Calendula Peel-Off Pack

APRILSKIN Real Calendula Peel-Off Pack

This product in particular piqued my interest because of how gentle it seemed in exfoliating the outermost layer of the skin, unlike those that cling to the skin and make ripping them off a nightmare. There’s also something oddly satisfying about peeling stuff off the skin while being able to see dead skin cells getting removed in the process (nothing quite unusual for someone who enjoys morbid videos of pimple popping, earwax extraction and ingrown hair removal 😜) so I wanted to experience it for myself!

Calen.. what? If you have been out of the skincare loop like me, calendula, or pot marigold, is traditionally used in Ayurvedic and traditional Chinese medicine. It has antiseptic properties which helps in treating wounds and preventing acne, and promotes skin tightening among many other benefits. ‘Pretty much explains how calendula lent itself to be the star ingredient in this peel-off mask!

What the gel looks like

What the gel looks like

The product had a scent to it that smelled somewhat like yuzu to me (it might well be the smell of calendula but I’m not familiar with this plant) although some users have also commented that it reeked of artificial fragrance. It contains visible particles which, according to APRILSKIN, are parts of the calendulas (petals, pistil, stamen, calyx, etc.) and are distributed evenly throughout the clear, gel-like sticky substance.

My Sand & Sky brush finally came in handy!

My Sand & Sky brush finally came in handy!

Application is ideally done with the brand’s Real Jelly Brush for a more even coating but since it was not included in the bundle, I used the brush that came with my Sand & Sky mask just because I am a cheapskate (it worked perfectly well, though!). Having tried several different ways of application, I found dispensing the product onto the bristles before spreading it all over the face, section by section in an upward motion, worked better. The brand also recommends applying a thin layer (twice a week), but I piled it up a little more to prevent it from ripping apart during removal. At the rate I’m going, one tube would probably last me for about two months.

After mask application

After mask application

After mask application

After mask application

When mask had dried down. I didn't want to smile and risk having wrinkles, y'know!

When mask had dried down. I didn’t want to smile and risk having wrinkles, y’know!

The product tightened over time and finally, with my desk fan pointing towards me on full blast, dried down completely after 20 minutes instead of 30 minutes as stated on the box. The peeling process went pretty smoothly and painlessly (although it wasn’t as clean as this) but not without having to lightly scratch or pinch along my jawline to locate the edge of the mask (‘reckon I lost a few strands of facial hair doing so).

Peel mask off starting from the bottom, going along with the direction of the face muscles (and against gravity) to prevent skin sagging

Peel mask off starting from the bottom, going along with the direction of the face muscles (and against gravity) to prevent skin sagging

More peeling shots because I like them

More peeling shots because I like them

Mainly my skin's natural texture and dead skin..

Mainly my skin’s natural texture and dead skin..

All in all, I didn’t think it was entirely effective in removing my blackheads (on my nose especially), but it certainly lifted tons of dead skin (mostly from my healing zits) from atop my cheeks. Although the drier parts of my face looked negligibly flaky thereafter (it definitely did not give me the glass skin depicted on their marketing collaterals after use), it appeared brighter overall and the redness of my acne blemishes had also been visibly reduced. Most importantly, it did not irritate my sensitive skin!

After removal of mask - side profile

After removal of mask – side profile

After removal of mask - side profile

After removal of mask – side profile

After removal of mask - full profile

After removal of mask – full profile

Real Carrot Serum (S$25.90)

APRILSKIN Real Carrot Serum

APRILSKIN Real Carrot Serum

APRILSKIN Real Carrot Serum

APRILSKIN Real Carrot Serum

APRILSKIN Real Carrot Serum

APRILSKIN Real Carrot Serum

By the way, this is how you can verify the authenticity of your APRILSKIN products! How cool is this?!

By the way, this is how you can verify the authenticity of your APRILSKIN products! How cool is this?!

This was included in the set, so it wasn’t like I had a choice. That said, it came timely because I was already on the lookout for a replacement for my nighttime serum when my current one runs out. However, much as I was happy to welcome this to my rotation, I was also curious – why is carrot chosen over the likes cucumber, aloe vera and tomato which are so commonly found in skincare products? Google revealed a plethora of benefits of carrots but the one that struck with me was its ability to overcome acne. Wow, today I learnt! Where have carrot-based skincare products been all my life, especially when I was battling a serious case of acne?

According to APRILSKIN, this daytime and nighttime serum has been clinically tested to be non-comedogenic. It harnesses ingredients derived from certified organic carrots (carrot water, carrot seed oil and carrot proteins) to combat blemishes such as acne and whiteheads (those pesky little bumps beneath the surface of the skin which I have plenty of!) and also niacinamide (a water-soluble vitamin) to brighten the skin tone and lighten hyperpigmentation. Of course, the ingredient list doesn’t stop here but I shan’t bore you with the details.

Appearance of serum

Appearance of serum

Pump 1 to 2 times and gently spread across the face from the centre outwards

Pump 1 to 2 times and gently spread across the face from the centre outwards

After applying the serum

After applying the serum

The smell of this white, lightweight, mildly viscous cream reminded me of lemon grass – it kind of evoked a sense of tranquillity in me. But not to worry if you aren’t a fan of aromatherapy because the scent is fleeting and you won’t be able to smell a thing once it’s on your face. In terms of its efficacy, perhaps because I used it after applying the peel-off mask, I noticed that the skin absorbed it a lot better than other serums. It also didn’t leave a sticky texture behind after application, which is a rarity for Korean skincare products (for me)! There wasn’t much difference to the appearance of my skin until the next morning because I woke up to shrunken bumps and glowing skin! The results were quite unexpected, I must say πŸ™Š

I woke up like that!

I woke up like that!

TL;DR: Before and after (click to view image in full size) - colour-corrected (I tried) for accuracy

TL;DR: Before and after (click to view image in full size) – colour-corrected (I tried) for accuracy

In general, even though the mask didn’t perform as well as I hoped at the first try (I expected more gunk), I enjoyed the experience of peeling it off and will most likely repurchase due to this reason (it’s a good compelling reason for me to use it as I have the tendency of not using up my face mask before they pass their shelf lives πŸ™Š #lazy). The effects of the carrot serum were what really took me by surprise so I guess this pretty much settles it for me. Hello, new serum in my skincare regime!

What are your thoughts on these products? Let me know what you think in the comments below or take a quick poll! 😊

Thanks for reading!

APRILSKIN Real Calendula Peel Off Pack & Real Carrot Serum are now available on Shopee and GUARDIAN SINGAPORE.

Follow me on Instagram and Facebook for bite-sized beauty updates!