REVIEW: Aperire 아페리레 Skincare – Vitality Shine WATER-FULL Vitamin Cream & GOOD NIGHT Vitamin Whitening Mask; Super Origin MIRACLE DAY Root Essence & BOUNCING Root Cream

Hello everyone!

It may have been more than a decade since K-beauty came on our radar but the trend is still going strong with a roll-out of a variety of innovative skincare products that tap into consumers’ growing demand for all-things natural and/or organic lately by industry leaders and startups, like Aperire.

A subsidiary of SOOA Natural founded in 2013 that specialises in cosmetics research and development, Aperire 아페리레 (pronounced ah-peh-RI-reh, Latin for “uncover” or “open”) is a South Korean beauty brand comprising a range of skincare products for whitening (Vitality Shine) and elasticity (Super Origin) apart from makeup. Despite their brief history, Aperire has already built up quite a standing in the indie Korean beauty scene and generated a fair bit of coverage in the media. Following their recent expansion into Singapore, I was honoured to receive first dibs on the brand’s Vitality Shine and Super Origin series – all of which (with the exception of an ampoule) would be explored in this post.

Aperire products

Aperire products

Housed in deluxe see-through brown containers made of solid glass, the packaging feels nothing short of quality even before submerging my fingers into the product. To protect them from breakage, they are sold in sturdy boxes with clear English description at the front. However, what really impressed me was the level of comprehensiveness in explaining the functions (e.g. anti-aging, whitening) of the products on the packaging, as well as the appropriate time of the day to use them, which is extremely helpful to those who are new to the whole Korean beauty world.

What for / When / Who

What for / When / Who

Even so, you probably need tried-and-tested reviews of the products to decide if they are for you. Fret not – that’s what this post is for! And as an added bonus, there’s also a quick video of me demonstrating their uses at the end of this post, so be sure to check it out! ☺

*All prices stated do not include delivery charges and have been rounded up to the nearest dollar. Prices online may differ from physical store.

VITALITY SHINE (Whitening)

An untiring advocate of natural ingredients, Aperire believes that multivitamins are the best way to provide vitality and energy to the skin which is an essential step in improving skin radiance and combating aging. Therefore, they have included real multivitamins (such as A, B, C, E, H and K) in their Vitality Shine series to enhance the whitening and moisturising effects while boosting the vitality and elasticity of the skin. The skin also becomes brighter and lighter with extracts of lemon, grapefruit, rose hip, Kakadu plum (all of which are rich in Vitamin C) and white willow bark (which has exfoliating properties).

Aperire Vitality Shine series

Aperire Vitality Shine series

Most importantly, as the key highlight of this series of 3 products (Water-Ful Vitamin Cream, Good Night Vitamin Whitening Mask and Vitamin C-30 Real Ampoule – not covered here), it contains extracts of seaberry fruit (or sea buckthorn) which is a rich source of vitamins C, E and P as well as malic and citric acids to help keep skin smooth and healthy.

WATER-FULL Vitamin Cream

Aperire Vitality Shine Water-Full Vitamin Cream (50ml / 1.7 fl.oz / S$34)

Aperire Vitality Shine Water-Full Vitamin Cream (50ml / 1.7 fl.oz / S$34)

Aperire Vitality Shine Water-Full Vitamin Cream

Aperire Vitality Shine Water-Full Vitamin Cream

Aperire Vitality Shine Water-Full Vitamin Cream (core ingredients - that's all that's stated 🤔)

Aperire Vitality Shine Water-Full Vitamin Cream (core ingredients – that’s all that’s stated 🤔)

Aperire Vitality Shine Water-Ful Vitamin Cream (full ingredient list extracted from Qoo10 - very poorly constructed in my opinion, so let me help you pick out the important ones below)

Aperire Vitality Shine Water-Ful Vitamin Cream (full ingredient list extracted from Qoo10 – very poorly constructed in my opinion, so let me help you pick out the important ones below)

Infused with notes of citrus, this lightweight vitamin cream instantly brings vitality to tired and dehydrated skin by supplying an abundance of moisture without the oily residue with seaberry fruit extract (that also accounts for 75% of the ingredients) along with the aid of Glycacid Eco (a biotechnologic derivate from vegetable matters, labelled Hydrolyzed Glycosaminoglycans in the ingredients) which helps to improve intradermic penetration and water retention. This in turn ensures that the skin is kept moist for a longer period of time, thus lessening the necessity for frequent reapplication.

Ideal for sensitive skin, it also contains extracts of centella asiatica (for its skin rejuvenation properties), ganoderma lucidum (or lingzhi mushroom, which helps reduce skin inflammation, puffiness, wrinkles and free radical damage, while promoting cell regeneration) and acerola (for its wrinkle-fighting properties) on top of those mentioned above.

Aperire Vitality Shine Water-Full Vitamin Cream (application)

Aperire Vitality Shine Water-Full Vitamin Cream (application)

Aperire Vitality Shine Water-Full Vitamin Cream (application)

Aperire Vitality Shine Water-Full Vitamin Cream (application)

Suitable for use in the day and at night, the cream can be layered on top of the ampoule (not reviewed) in the same series to seal in all its goodness and maximise its absorption.

GOOD NIGHT Vitamin Whitening Mask

Aperire Vitality Shine Good Night Vitamin Whitening Mask (90ml / 3.0 fl.oz / S$60)

Aperire Vitality Shine Good Night Vitamin Whitening Mask (90ml / 3.0 fl.oz / S$60)

Aperire Vitality Shine Good Night Vitamin Whitening Mask

Aperire Vitality Shine Good Night Vitamin Whitening Mask

Aperire Vitality Shine Good Night Vitamin Whitening Mask (core ingredients)

Aperire Vitality Shine Good Night Vitamin Whitening Mask (core ingredients)

Aperire Vitality Shine Good Night Vitamin Whitening Mask (full ingredient list extracted from Qoo10. Click to enlarge)

An all-in-one whitening and lifting gloss formula, the sleeping mask functions as an essence and night cream to help the skin receive its necessary nutrients as the mind falls into deep slumber, making certain that you wake up to glistening, well-rested skin in the morning. It has a slight zingy ginger scent which my boyfriend argued was more of a mix of lavender and vanilla.

Infused with seaberry fruit extract (70%) and 9 types of multivitamins (10% “Multi-Vita9” includes Vitamin A, Vitamin B3, Vitamin B5, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, Vitamin F [linolenic acid], Vitamin K3, Vitamin E, Vitamin H [biotin]), the cream is composed of minuscule double-layer vitamin C capsules which dissolves into the skin when the product is being worked around. The primary coating helps the vitamin absorb and moisturise deeply while the secondary acts as a sealant to ensure the freshness of the vitamin within the capsule.

And that’s not all – slathering the mask on your face essentially also means reaping the benefits of ingredients – in addition to those listed above – such as adenosine (a soothing and skin-restoring agent), extracts of acerola and macadamia seed (a hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic type of carrier oil known for its moisturising, regenerating and softening properties), argan tree kernel (which has a rich blend of essential fatty acids, antioxidants and vitamin E) and avocado (for its hydrating and softening properties) oils.

Aperire Vitality Shine Good Night Vitamin Whitening Mask (actual product)

Aperire Vitality Shine Good Night Vitamin Whitening Mask (actual product)

Vitamin C capsules in Aperire Vitality Shine Good Night Vitamin Whitening Mask

Vitamin C capsules in Aperire Vitality Shine Good Night Vitamin Whitening Mask

Aperire Vitality Shine Good Night Vitamin Whitening Mask (application - notice how small the capsules have become!)

Aperire Vitality Shine Good Night Vitamin Whitening Mask (application – notice how small the capsules have become!)

After using the Root Essence (discussed below), apply Good Night Vitamin Whitening Mask to the forehead, cheek and chin and massage gently into the face and to allow better penetration of the capsules.

Unlike sheet masks which eat into 15 to 20 minutes of your bedtime (because it has to be removed by the stipulated time), the whitening mask requires just 10 seconds to apply and can be left on the face overnight. Since it penetrates into the skin well enough and does not have much of a sticky texture, it won’t transfer to your pillowcase when you sleep too!

Skin repair during sleep:
Super Origin Miracle Day Root Essence → Vitality Shine Water-full Vitamin Cream

SUPER ORIGIN (Elasticity)

Taking cue from the idea of getting to the root of problems with roots, the Super Origin series boasts the use of Root Complex (or Rootcureplex™, a term proudly coined by Aperire) – a combination of nutrients from five kinds of root extracts namely lotus root (to improve skin elasticity and brighten skin tone), yam root (which contains a large amount of phytomucin and amino acids to strengthen weakened skin barrier to retain moisture and promote skin elasticity), dandelion root (to suppress the production of melanin for a whiter skin and for invigorating purposes), saururus chinensis root (for a smoother and firmer skin) and taro root (a rich botanical mucin component that brightens, and strengthens skin elasticity) to combat aging and restore the skin’s elasticity from within.

Aperire Super Origin series

Aperire Super Origin series

Roots are said to provide more concentrated nutrients than ingredients derived from the fruits of plants simply because they, being buried in the depths of the Earth, have better potential to attract and retain minerals that are unattainable by parts of the plant above the soil. And there’s no better way to experience the immense benefits of roots than to use the two (only!) products in this series – the Miracle Day Root Essence and Bouncing Root Cream!

MIRACLE DAY Root Essence

Aperire Super Origin Miracle Day Root Essence (130ml / 4.4 fl.oz / S$46)

Aperire Super Origin Miracle Day Root Essence (130ml / 4.4 fl.oz / S$46)

Aperire Super Origin Miracle Day Root Essence (leak-preventing stopper)

Aperire Super Origin Miracle Day Root Essence (leak-preventing stopper)

Aperire Super Origin Miracle Day Root Essence (core ingredients)

Aperire Super Origin Miracle Day Root Essence (core ingredients)

Aperire Super Origin Miracle Day Root Essence (full ingredients extracted from Qoo10 – please click to view image on a separate window)

The most sought-after product from Aperire, the root essence effectively helps treat sagging and dull skin by restoring its natural elasticity, evenness and youthful appearance with Root Complex (which makes up a whopping 81% of the ingredients). Furthermore, it has sugar and fruit acids to enhance the moisturising effect of the product, giving the skin a smoother complexion.

Scentless, clear and lightweight like water, most of it absorb into the skin as soon as it is applied without leaving a sticky finish, thanks to the lactobacillus (to improve skin barrier) and fermented soybean extract (for its antioxidative and whitening activities) in the ingredients that are obtained from a rigorous fermentation process, giving rise to their diminutive texture and ability to penetrate deep into the layers of the skin.

Aperire Super Origin Miracle Day Root Essence (application)

Aperire Super Origin Miracle Day Root Essence (application)

Aperire Super Origin Miracle Day Root Essence (application)

Aperire Super Origin Miracle Day Root Essence (application)

Upon cleansing the face in the day or at night, soak a cotton pad with the root essence before wiping the skin with it. Towards the end of this step, press the pad lightly against the skin for it to absorb the remaining essence. Then, follow with the rest of your products in your beauty regimen.

BOUNCING Root Cream

Aperire Super Origin Bouncing Root Cream (50ml / 1.7 fl.oz / S$39)

Aperire Super Origin Bouncing Root Cream (50ml / 1.7 fl.oz / S$39)

Aperire Super Origin Bouncing Root Cream

Aperire Super Origin Bouncing Root Cream

Aperire Super Origin Bouncing Root Cream (core ingredients)

Aperire Super Origin Bouncing Root Cream (core ingredients)

Aperire Super Origin Bouncing Root Cream (full ingredients extracted from Qoo10 - please click to view image on a separate window)

Aperire Super Origin Bouncing Root Cream (full ingredients extracted from Qoo10 – please click to view image on a separate window)

A triple-function root cream that whitens and boosts skin elasticity and moisture, it permeates the skin with 58% Root Complex to enhance the skin’s overall vitality while making up for any deficiency of ceramide. Enriched with strong moisturising power, the cream forms a protective barrier that plumps the skin and protect the skin from dryness for a long time, giving it a healthy, glass-like appearance. Imbued with a faint earthy smell, it has a slightly heavy consistency but does not leave an oily finish upon application.

Aperire Super Origin Bouncing Root Cream (application)

Aperire Super Origin Bouncing Root Cream (application)

Aperire Super Origin Bouncing Root Cream (application)

Aperire Super Origin Bouncing Root Cream (application)

The root cream is recommended for use after applying the root essence. Taking an appropriate amount of the product, massage it to the face and areas that feel dry to maximise its absorption rate.

Combined daily skincare routine:
Super Origin Miracle Day Root Essence → Vitality Shine Vitamin C-30 Real Ampoule → Vitality Shine Water-full Vitamin Cream → Super Origin Bouncing Root Cream → Vitality Shine Good Night Vitamin Whitening Mask

The products, although generally served me okay, had apparent packaging flaws. I, for one, do not like how overly condensed the ingredient list is crafted on the box (only showing the core ingredients) and the lack of effort in translating the information printed on other parts of the box and container to English. As a result, I had to keep Googling for them and make my own assumptions (which, if I had to state them here, would have been backed by scientific studies).

Moreover, despite the fact that most of the Aperire products are lightweight in texture, they may get uncomfortably heavy when they are piled atop one another on the skin. Hence, a suggestion would be to allow time for each product to settle completely into the skin for five minutes before layering it with the next.

If you’re interested to watch the products in action, check out the video below! Please pardon my pimply face – that’s the result of snacking on too much Chinese New Year goodies 😣

What are your thoughts about Aperire products? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below or simply take quick poll! 😊

Thanks for reading!

Aperire is now available on Qoo10 and I’M STARTICE. For more information, please visit Aperire website or like them on Facebook.
This post is brought to you by Aperire.

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REVIEW: OMEDI Skincare – Secret White (Phyto Serum, Intensive Emulsion, Oasis Aqua Crème, Moist Capture Eye Crème) & Soonsoo Cleansing Balm

Hello everyone!

In this day and age where beauty companies are sprouting up left and right, there can never be enough skincare products to experiment with. Recognising that not everyone has the financial wherewithal and time to do a dummy run with new arrivals in the market, I have decided to take the liberty of slathering what have been sent to me on my acne-prone face to enable you to make more informed purchase decisions. So, allow me to shine the spotlight on another underrated South Korean brand, OMEDI, which had kindly provided me with five of their post-cleanse products.

Hailing from Seoul, OMEDI (subsidiary of Natural-Korea which has over 15 years of experience in cosmetics research and development) is best known for their pragmatic approach to skincare. Their philosophy – grounded in the belief that treatments should be customised to meet the needs of individual skin requirements – is reflected in the skincare systems they have developed to address the fundamental causes of skin concerns. In fact, OMEDI even has a self-assessment survey (in Korean only, unfortunately) in place on their website to help customers determine their skin type and needs before proceeding with any purchase.

Just a fraction of OMEDI products..

Just a fraction of OMEDI products..

Additionally, OMEDI respects the physiological balance of the skin. Hence, products the brand offers tend to be more inclined towards decelerating the aging process rather than reversing its effects. With an aim to fortify and sustain the skin’s natural protective barriers against damaging environmental factors, the products in their systems – a complementary combination of cleansers, moisturisers, protectants and other treatments – work in synergy with one another to deliver visible results. Clinically tested and specially formulated without preservatives, mineral oil and synthetic additives, OMEDI strives to be the ultimate resource for achieving healthy and resilient skin.

For the first time in the history of fionaseah.com, this written review has a video accompaniment. Scroll down to the end to watch the products in action! 😁
 *All prices stated do not include delivery charges.

SECRET WHITE

In a bid to fulfill most Asian’s desire for fairer skin (which regrettably is still somewhat closely associated to beauty and superiority in today’s context), OMEDI has introduced their Secret White series that purportedly promotes skin lightening and minimises fine lines and wrinkles. There are quite a number of products under the same umbrella (as can be seen on their website) but the focus for this review will solely be on the four I received.

OMEDI Secret White series

OMEDI Secret White series

Skin suitability scale - I may be wrong but based on what was communicated to me, if the blue bar is filled within the range of 0-4, then it is for oily/normal/elastic/pure (not sure what this means) skin, and vice versa. So in this instance, if the blue bar is within the 3-7 range like the topmost one, then this product is catered to normal skin.

Skin suitability scale – I may be wrong but based on what was communicated to me, if the blue bar is filled within the range of 0-4, then it is for oily/normal/elastic/pure (not sure what this means) skin, and vice versa. So in this instance, if the blue bar is within the 3-7 range like the topmost one, then this product is catered to normal skin.

Interestingly, an indication of suitability for use of the product (based on skin type) is specified on every packaging while certain ones like Intensive Emulsion and Phyto Serum are further segregated into four types – Extra Control (blue-coded – for oily skin), Sebum Balance (green-coded – for combination skin), Basic Moist (pink-coded – for normal skin) and Hyper Hydro (orange-coded – for dry skin)- to cater to different skin needs. OMEDI had mistakenly given me those in the Basic Moist subcategory which, for the record, may be a little too mild for my combination skin. As a result of this mix-up, I kinda lowered my expectations for the products to be fair. But let’s see…

Phyto Serum 

OMEDI Secret White Phyto Serum (35ml / 1.18 fl.oz)

OMEDI Secret White Phyto Serum (35ml / 1.18 fl.oz)

OMEDI Secret White Phyto Serum

OMEDI Secret White Phyto Serum

OMEDI Secret White Phyto Serum (ingredients)

OMEDI Secret White Phyto Serum (ingredients)

Formulated with botanical extracts (Calendula Officinalis, Camellia Sinensis leaf, Ginkgo Biloba leaf, etc.) and bio-humectants, Phyto Serum has a lightweight consistency which enables it to penetrate deep within the skin to improve moisture retention. Soft to the touch and slightly pellucid in appearance, it enhances the skin’s texture and alleviates dryness. Enlivened by subtle floral notes, it settles into the skin rather quickly without leaving a tacky or greasy finish, thereby forming a barely-there shield that I am comfortable to sleep in. Therefore, this has become my go-to serum whenever I am in the mood to pamper my skin.

OMEDI Secret White Phyto Serum (application)

OMEDI Secret White Phyto Serum (application)

OMEDI Secret White Phyto Serum (application)

OMEDI Secret White Phyto Serum (application)

For maximum results, apply a suitable amount of the serum after cleansing and toning to the whole face or blemished spots and neck twice daily. Then, follow with moisturiser with SPF in the day and a nourishing one before hitting the sack.

Intensive Emulsion

OMEDI Secret White Intensive Emulsion (120ml / 4.05 fl. oz)

OMEDI Secret White Intensive Emulsion (120ml / 4.05 fl. oz)

Every OMEDI product comes with a safety seal like this

Every OMEDI product comes with a safety seal like this

OMEDI Secret White Intensive Emulsion

OMEDI Secret White Intensive Emulsion

OMEDI Secret White Intensive Emulsion (ingredients)

OMEDI Secret White Intensive Emulsion (ingredients)

In general, emulsions are a more watered-down version of moisturisers that soften the skin and, depending on the brand, may be used to create a moisture barrier to lock in the products that were applied prior to that.

An inessential step that can be omitted from the daily skincare regimen if budget and time do not allow, the Intensive Emulsion contains emollients derived from botanical sources (such as Rosa Centifolia Flower Water, Calendula Officinalis extract, wheat germ extract, black bean extract, Allantoin and seaweed extract) and other organic bio-minerals to replenish moisture to the skin while promoting a soft and supple complexion. Lightweight in texture with a moderately greasy finish that dissipates over time, the product has the same scent as the serum and does not leave a white cast on the skin.

OMEDI Secret White Intensive Emulsion (application)

OMEDI Secret White Intensive Emulsion (application)

OMEDI Secret White Intensive Emulsion (application)

OMEDI Secret White Intensive Emulsion (application)

According to the instructions stated on the packaging, a pearl-sized amount (i.e. one pump) is sufficient for the entire face and neck and should be applied to freshly-cleansed skin in the day and at night. However, I chose to use the emulsion after the serum because the texture of the former felt discernibly thicker.

Oasis Aqua Crème 

OMEDI Secret White Oasis Aqua Crème (200ml / 6.76 fl.oz)

OMEDI Secret White Oasis Aqua Crème (200ml / 6.76 fl.oz)

OMEDI Secret White Oasis Aqua Crème

OMEDI Secret White Oasis Aqua Crème

OMEDI Secret White Oasis Aqua Crème (ingredients)

OMEDI Secret White Oasis Aqua Crème (ingredients)

Critically acclaimed for its soothing and revitalising benefits, this oil-free aqueous cream contains rich nutrients of Soybean Lecithin (which is high in vitamin E content), pure Aloe Vera gel and botanical oils to stimulate the appearance of collagen in the skin and prevent the damaging effects of free radicals, making it ideal as a daily moisturiser for chapped and sensitive skin.

OMEDI Secret White Oasis Aqua Crème (actual product)

OMEDI Secret White Oasis Aqua Crème (actual product)

OMEDI Secret White Oasis Aqua Crème (application)

OMEDI Secret White Oasis Aqua Crème (application)

OMEDI Secret White Oasis Aqua Crème (application)

Apply an adequate amount to the face using the spatula provided and spread it out into a thin layer with the tips of your finger during the day and at night The cool, lightweight citrus-scented gel melts immediately into the skin upon contact to provide a burst of freshness and hydration to replenish water loss, leaving the surface refreshed and rejuvenated with little to no oily residue. As a matter of fact, it literally feels like congealed water on my skin! It comes in a fairly large tub that will keep you hydrated all winter, or in the case of Singapore, for months of sweltering heat.

Moist Capture Eye Crème

OMEDI Secret White Moist Capture Eye Creme (30ml / 1.01 fl.oz)

OMEDI Secret White Moist Capture Eye Creme (30ml / 1.01 fl.oz)

Protective seal

Protective seal

OMEDI Secret White Moist Capture Eye Creme

OMEDI Secret White Moist Capture Eye Creme

OMEDI Secret White Moist Capture Eye Creme (ingredients)

OMEDI Secret White Moist Capture Eye Creme (ingredients)

Easy to apply and convenient to carry around, the eye cream can be dispensed from the squeeze tube directly to the under-eye region through a pointed tip to minimise cross-contamination while also allowing for better control of the amount of product that comes out. It is laced with a floral scent similar to those of the emulsion and serum and has a thicker and more gluey consistency.

Suitable for sensitive skin, it contains physiologically-active ingredients such as botanical extracts and vitamins to enable deeper penetration to nourish the stressed and vulnerable area surrounding the eyes. At the same time, Sodium Hyaluronate and the biomaterials present in the ingredients secure moisture and create fullness, knocking a few years off the face to give a more youthful appearance.

OMEDI Secret White Moist Capture Eye Creme (application)

OMEDI Secret White Moist Capture Eye Creme (application)

OMEDI Secret White Moist Capture Eye Creme (application)

OMEDI Secret White Moist Capture Eye Creme (application)

As the final step to your nighttime routine, use your ring finger (which has muscles weak enough to give the optimal amount of pressure without tugging on the most delicate area of the face) to dab a pea-sized amount underneath each eye or onto the neck to smooth away fine lines. For maximum experience, store the eye cream in the refrigerator as cold temperatures will typically aid in reducing puffiness of tired eyes and relax your senses.

Daily skincare routine:
Soonsoo Cleansing Balm (optional) → Phyto Serum → Intensive Emulsion → Oasis Aqua Crème → Moist Capture Eye Crème

SOONSOO

The Soonsoo (순수, meaning “clean” or “pure’ in Korean) series offers cleansing products, such as peeling cream and cleansing oil, essential for setting the stage for the subsequent steps in the skincare regimen. However, this review would only discuss on the efficacy of the cleansing balm.

Cleansing Balm 

OMEDI Soonsoo Cleansing Balm (200ml / 6.76 fl.oz)

OMEDI Soonsoo Cleansing Balm (200ml / 6.76 fl.oz)

OMEDI Soonsoo Cleansing Balm

OMEDI Soonsoo Cleansing Balm

OMEDI Soonsoo Cleansing Balm (ingredients)

OMEDI Soonsoo Cleansing Balm (ingredients)

A texture-transforming balm, this luxurious botanical cleansing balm provides a thorough cleansing experience that removes all traces of makeup – even the most stubborn of mascara – in just one application. The moment it is applied onto the skin, it metamorphoses from a solid to a molten liquid, releasing the oils contained inside the previously rigid structure of the balm to dissolve and melt away any impurities.

With antioxidants (such as Camellia Sinensis leaf extract) and moisturising ingredients (such as Shea butter) infused in this silky smooth formula, the balm is leaves the skin with a radiant finish upon rinsing with water. Gentle in nature, it is also ideal for faces that have undergone skin resurfacing procedures including microdermabrasion and light chemical peels.

OMEDI Soonsoo Cleansing Balm (actual product on the spatula provided)

OMEDI Soonsoo Cleansing Balm (actual product on the spatula provided)

OMEDI Soonsoo Cleansing Balm (application - before)

OMEDI Soonsoo Cleansing Balm (application – before)

OMEDI Soonsoo Cleansing Balm (application - smearing the balm on my makeup)

OMEDI Soonsoo Cleansing Balm (application – smearing the balm on my makeup)

OMEDI Soonsoo Cleansing Balm (application - after)

OMEDI Soonsoo Cleansing Balm (application – after)

 

OMEDI Soonsoo Cleansing Balm (full application process)

OMEDI Soonsoo Cleansing Balm (full application process)

To use, take a suitable amount on dry palms using the spatula provided and massage over makeup in circular motions until most of it has been dissolved. Then, emulsify the balm with wet hands and rinse off with lukewarm water. That’s it – no complicated steps involved and neither would you need pick up additional amounts of the balm to completely take off all the makeup! Who knew makeup removal could be so simple?

To demonstrate the effectiveness of the balm, I briefly tested it on my most smudge-resistant waterproof makeup (i.e. Benefit They’re Real! Push-Up Liner) and – voilà! – not a single trace of product left on my hand! But how does the balm perform on a fully made-up face? Check out the video below to find out!

The overall experience of using OMEDI was mind-blowing despite the fact that the some of the products weren’t supposedly catered to my skin type. My only gripe is that the packaging (and website, perhaps) could have included instructions in English as well for the benefit of their international customers. That said, this product trial has certainly made me a fan of OMEDI, and I urge everyone to give this brand a shot. But until OMEDI finds a way to be more user-friendly to people who can’t comprehend Korean, you may need to rely heavily upon Google Translate to retrieve the information you need.

What are your views about OMEDI products? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below or simply take a quick poll!

Thanks for reading!

OMEDI is now available at I’M STARTICE (BIG BOX). For more information, please visit their website or follow them on Facebook and Instagram.
This post is brought to you by OMEDI.

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

REVIEW: IYOU Mask – Face Masks, Jelly Face Masks, Steam Hair Cap, Neck & Collarbone Sheet, Hand Gloves & Foot Socks

Hello everyone!

Sheet masks may have long been a staple in Asian skin care, but they have only recently gained traction in the Western world. Prior to the surge in popularity of sheet masks, traditional wash-off masks was the go-to treatment for brightening and softening complexion but not only is the application and removal process more time-consuming (and a waste of water), they also tend to strip away oil and moisture from the skin which often results in the tight feeling after use.

IYOU Mask

IYOU Mask

Sheet masks, on the other hand, are a convenient game changer in giving the skin that extra boost of moisture (primarily so, with added benefits). Formulated with almost the same active ingredients as serums, the single-use sheet acts as a physical barrier that prevents the essence from evaporating, thus enabling it to absorb into the skin more effectively while also ensuring its equal distribution over the target area. Since my first foray into the world of facials nearly a decade ago, sheet masks have evolved past the humble cotton material for the face to include more luxurious ones with better skin adherence for other parts of the body as aptly manifested in IYOU‘s product line-up.

Founded in 2016, IYOU is a budding South Korean beauty brand committed to providing high-quality sheet masks for head-to-toe pampering at an affordable price. Despite being an emerging business, IYOU has already made their presence felt on a global scale by partaking in beauty expos around the world and stocking up on Amazon, Etsy, Qoo10 and at Little Tokyo Market Place (a Japanese-Korean supermarket in Los Angeles), thereby building a cult following for their diverse selection (10!) of sheet masks which I’m about to take you through in this review*!

*Do note that due to time constraints, I was only able to try out certain products as depicted in my pictures. Also, Prices reflected do not include delivery costs.

FACE MASK

The mother of all sheet masks, face masks are the easiest way to get anyone started in the quest for perfect skin. With two kinds of texture – original and jelly – in their face mask series to choose from, IYOU has just about everything you need to achieve your desired glow but a more pocket-friendly option would be the apple or avocado face masks in their normal range.

To ensure that the skin receives the full benefits of ingredients infused in the face mask, it should only be applied on freshly cleansed and properly toned complexion once weekly to once daily, depending on the state of the skin. The occlusive nature of sheet masks may aggravate existing inflammatory skin conditions but those blessed with golden genes would notice significant improvement (such as increased hydration and radiance) in their skin with more frequent usage. If you are, like me, a lazy busy person with acne-prone skin, a twice-weekly ritual of face masking would be adequate to your needs.

Apple

IYOU Apple Face Mask (10 × 25ml / 0.85 fl.oz)

IYOU Apple Face Mask (10 × 25ml / 0.85 fl.oz / S$15.90)

IYOU Apple Face Mask

IYOU Apple Face Mask

IYOU Apple Face Mask ingredients

IYOU Apple Face Mask ingredients

A nutrient-rich treatment for restoring moisture to the face, the Apple face mask is mainly composed of vitamin C (from apple fruit extract) for its skin whitening and antioxidant properties that prevent the damaging effects of free radicals while boosting skin elasticity and regeneration. Other ingredients in the mask include Aloe Barbadensis Leaf (Aloe Vera) and Centella Asiatica Extract for their anti-inflammation abilities, Rosa Canina Fruit Extract for a skin-nourishing experience, and Melissa Officinalis Leaf (Lemon Balm), likewise, for its antioxidant function.

Made of TENCEL®, a natural cellulosic fibre derived from wood that is 100% biodegradable, this eco-friendly mask offers transparency on the skin (as seen in the pictures), has a finer and more supple texture than cotton (but with the strength of polyester) and promotes better moisture absorption thanks to its unique nano-fibril structure. Soft and smooth to the touch, its high heat capacity and slow cooling rate provide for thermoregulatory stability as it helps to smooth out the temperature fluctuations in our skin, preventing any chances of sensitisation.

IYOU Apple Face Mask (application)

IYOU Apple Face Mask (application)

IYOU Apple Face Mask (after)

IYOU Apple Face Mask (after)

To use (and this applies to all the masks mentioned in this post), open the packet and slather the excess essence in the packet (not soaked into the mask) onto the face, neck and everywhere else before applying the mask to make the most of it.

However, care must be taken when unfolding the masks as all of them do not come with a plastic backing. Once that is done, match the cutouts of the mask to the eyes, nose and mouth and gently massage it into the face’s contours to ensure maximum absorption. Remove the mask after 10 to 20 minutes (ideally) and gently pat the essence into skin with fingers until thoroughly absorbed.

Avocado

IYOU Avocado Face Mask (10 × 22ml / 0.74 fl.oz)

IYOU Avocado Face Mask (10 × 22ml / 0.74 fl.oz / S$15.90)

IYOU Avocado Face Mask

IYOU Avocado Face Mask

IYOU Avocado Face Mask ingredients

IYOU Avocado Face Mask ingredients

Made of cotton, the Avocado face mask delivers essential nutrients to supply moisture (from Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Fruit Extract) and reduce both radiation-induced cellular damage and skin inflammation (with the help of Centella Asiatica Extract) without harming the environment. Apart from being highly absorbent, this hypo-allergenic fibre also has great stretching power to ensure that every inch of the face is accounted for.

In order to promote overall skin health, Oenothera Biennis Flower (Evening Primrose) and Ginkgo Biloba Leaf extracts are also added for their anti-aging and antioxidant virtues. But in my opinion, the benefits of these Avocado masks aren’t much different from those of Apple and considering that the material used here is of a less superior quality, I recommend spending your limited budget on the Apple masks instead. #moneysaved

JELLY FACE MASK

A new concept by IYOU to allow deeper penetration of ingredients, the masks in this premium range contain jelly-like essence with a weaker fluidity and stronger viscosity that acts as a moisture barrier.

With the exception of Black Pearl, all of the masks are made of Cupro, a cellulosic non-woven fibre derived from cotton linter developed by Asahi Kasei Bemliese (a Japanese textile manufacturer), for its high absorbency and retention of liquid. Soft and silky in texture, the lint-free biodegradable fabric also provides for excellent adhesion as it conforms closely to the curves of the face like a second skin. Above all else, it becomes transparent once liquid is absorbed, providing an unobtrusive appearance when the face mask is worn 😮 Now, who says you have to always look like Jason Voorhees when rocking a sheet mask?!

Gold

IYOU Gold Jelly Face Mask (10 × 33ml / 1.11 fl.oz)

IYOU Gold Jelly Face Mask (10 × 33ml / 1.11 fl.oz / S$20.90)

IYOU Gold Jelly Face Mask

IYOU Gold Jelly Face Mask

IYOU Gold Jelly Face Mask ingredients

IYOU Gold Jelly Face Mask ingredients

Apart from its high commodity value, gold is also known for its benefits in skin care as demonstrated by Cleopatra who was said to use a gold mask every night to enhance her complexion and maintain her youthfulness. “So what?” your broke ass may ask. Well, if you ever wanted to feel like a million dollars without breaking the bank, the time has finally come!

IYOU Gold Jelly Face Mask (application)

IYOU Gold Jelly Face Mask (application)

GOLD FLAKES!

GOLD FLAKES!

Adding a touch of luxury to the beauty ritual, the 20 ppm of gold particles in the Gold jelly face mask helps, in some extent, reduce the appearance of fine lines and blemishes while slowing down collagen depletion. But the primary advantages are, of course, only possible with the aid of other ingredients such as Bambusa Vulgaris leaf (or simply bamboo, which protects the skin against bacteria and fungus) and Chamomilla Flower Extract (or Chamomile, which soothes dry skin and promotes healing of skin irritation) that are present in the mask. And did I mention that a box of 10 Gold jelly masks only costs S$20.90?

Red Ginseng

IYOU Red Ginseng Jelly Face Mask (10 × 33ml / 1.11 fl.oz)

IYOU Red Ginseng Jelly Face Mask (10 × 33ml / 1.11 fl.oz / S$20.90)

IYOU Red Ginseng Jelly Face Mask

IYOU Red Ginseng Jelly Face Mask

IYOU Red Ginseng Jelly Face Mask ingredients

IYOU Red Ginseng Jelly Face Mask ingredients

Ginseng is pretty much synonymous with the Asian culture as it is the most widely sold tonic made into a variety of health foods and drinks to improve physical fitness and overall wellness. Growing up, I was brainwashed by my mother into thinking ginseng was the one-size-fits-all solution to any sorts of health issues (because every illness must stem from having too much “heat” in the body). Come to think of it, she is not entirely wrong since it is slowly making its way into cosmeceuticals too 😂

IYOU Red Ginseng Jelly Face Mask (application) - look how transparent TENCEL is!

IYOU Red Ginseng Jelly Face Mask (application) – look how transparent TENCEL is!

The Korean equivalent of the ginseng I had in my childhood is the red ginseng which, according to Google, is typically steamed after drying. As the main ingredient in the face mask (on top of Chamomilla Flower and Centella Asiatica extracts), its purpose is to revitalise and increase the immunity of the skin while preventing aging and increasing the production of collagen. The mild bitterness and earthy sweetness unique to ginseng roots are translated into a more pleasant scent for the Red Ginseng mask. That said, it could still be a turn-off to the untrained nose at the onset. But once you’ve grown accustomed to the smell, you won’t want to go back!

Propolis

IYOU Propolis Jelly Face Mask (10 × 33ml / 1.11 fl.oz)

IYOU Propolis Jelly Face Mask (10 × 33ml / 1.11 fl.oz / S$20.90)

IYOU Propolis Jelly Face Mask

IYOU Propolis Jelly Face Mask

IYOU Propolis Jelly Face Mask ingredients

IYOU Propolis Jelly Face Mask ingredients

A red or brown resinous substance collected by honeybees from tree buds, bee propolis (or bee glue) is commonly used for its healing, antiseptic and restorative capabilities, making it an ideal ingredient for sensitive and redness-prone skin. When combined with other anti-inflammatory and antioxidant agents such as Elderflower and Eucalyptus extracts, the composite boosts the skin’s natural immunity and protects it from environmental stressors and harmful bacteria, all of which is basically what the Propolis jelly mask is all about!

Black Pearl 

IYOU Black Pearl Jelly Face Mask (10 × 35ml / 1.18 fl.oz)

IYOU Black Pearl Jelly Face Mask (10 × 35ml / 1.18 fl.oz / S$20.90)

IYOU Black Pearl Jelly Face Mask

IYOU Black Pearl Jelly Face Mask

IYOU Black Pearl Jelly Face Mask ingredients

IYOU Black Pearl Jelly Face Mask ingredients

Enriched with the active ingredient of the highly coveted black pearls such as amino acids, the Black Pearl face mask seeks to improve dull skin caused by stress and prolonged exposure to the sun by promoting a brighter and cleaner complexion. In addition, it also contains conchiolin protein which has been scientifically proven to reduce the skin’s pigmentation. The face is kept slightly acidic (at about 5.5 on the pH scale) with each application to ensure the skin’s barrier – which helps to repel pathogens (i.e. microorganisms that can cause diseases) – is not compromised.

IYOU Black Pearl Jelly Face Mask

IYOU Black Pearl Jelly Face Mask

IYOU Black Pearl Jelly Face Mask essence

IYOU Black Pearl Jelly Face Mask essence

IYOU Black Pearl Jelly Face Mask (application)

IYOU Black Pearl Jelly Face Mask (application)

IYOU Black Pearl Jelly Face Mask (application)

IYOU Black Pearl Jelly Face Mask (application)

IYOU Black Pearl Jelly Face Mask (application)

IYOU Black Pearl Jelly Face Mask (application)

IYOU Black Pearl Jelly Face Mask (after)

IYOU Black Pearl Jelly Face Mask (after)

Black rayon sheet is used in this instance to coordinate with the colour of black pearls. A fairly adhesive fibre resistant to tearing, black rayon holds moisture better than cotton and is very comfortable and soft on the skin. It is also worth noting that, unlike the rest of the sheet masks, Black Pearl amazingly does not leave much of a tacky sensation after removal. The essence seemed to settle into my skin completely with continuous patting.

Simple day-to-day skincare routine:
Cleanser → Toner → Sheet mask → Moisturise
10-step Korean skincare routine:
Oil cleanser → Water-based cleanser → Exfoliator → Toner → Essence → Serum/Ampoule → Sheet mask → Eye cream → Moisturiser → Sunscreen

STEAM HAIR CAP 

IYOU Steam Hair Cap (5 × 30ml / 1.01 fl.oz)

IYOU Steam Hair Cap (5 × 30ml / 1.01 fl.oz / S$29.80)

IYOU Steam Hair Cap

IYOU Steam Hair Cap

IYOU Steam Hair Cap ingredients

IYOU Steam Hair Cap ingredients

C’mon, it’s about time you show your hair some love. After all, true beauty extends beyond the face! Likely the first of its kind, this disposable steam hair cap enables you to bring your salon experience home, minus the tedious setting up process and the hefty electricity bills that follow, of course! Mainly composed of PRODEW® 500, an amino acid blend developed to moisturise, strengthen the structure, protect the colour and repair any surface damage of the hair, the steam hair cap is ideal for those who frequently dye their hair with synthetic colours. More importantly, it smells heavenly!

IYOU Steam Hair Cap

IYOU Steam Hair Cap

IYOU Steam Hair Cap (actual product)

IYOU Steam Hair Cap (actual product)

IYOU Steam Hair Cap essence

IYOU Steam Hair Cap essence

To use, remove some water from the hair after shampooing and cover the scalp with the hair cap while ensuring that all stray hair is tucked beneath it – which will take practice to get right especially if you have long, thick locks. Adjust and tighten the cap with the plastic flap attached to it to minimise its movement and prevent the essence from evaporating. Massage the head gently with both hands (or risk having it slide off) to increase the absorption of the nourishing ingredients into the scalp. Then, remove the cap after 15 to 20 minutes, rinse off leftover essence with lukewarm water and embrace your now soft and supple hair. Oh, and also be prepared for a slimy floor 🤦‍♀️

IYOU Steam Hair Cap (application)

IYOU Steam Hair Cap (application)

If all else fails, simply scoop the essence from the cap and massage it directly into the hair (which defeats the purpose of the cap, I know) for the stipulated duration before washing it off. You may skip on conditioner since the hair cap functions the same way. Once-daily usage is recommended for a shinier and healthier appearance of your tresses but if budget or time doesn’t allow it, once-weekly should do too.

Hair care:
Shampoo → Steam Hair Cap (15-20 min)

NECK & COLLARBONE SHEET

IYOU Neck & Collarbone Sheet (5 × 35ml / 1.18 fl.oz)

IYOU Neck & Collarbone Sheet (5 × 35ml / 1.18 fl.oz / S$14.90)

IYOU Neck & Collarbone Sheet

IYOU Neck & Collarbone Sheet

IYOU Neck & Collarbone Sheet ingredients

IYOU Neck & Collarbone Sheet ingredients

As we get caught up in work, there is bound to be at least one part of our body that we are guilty of neglecting in our daily beauty routine. For me, it has always been my neck – which happens to be one of the areas that reveal a person’s age first – somewhat because of my aversion to the icky sensation products would leave behind, and as ludicrous as it sounds, my neck and collarbone are also some of my many ticklish zones. So can you imagine my agony of having to suppress my laughter whenever my masseuse or facial therapist brushed their hands against that delicate area?!? 😖 But with IYOU’s sheet mask for the neck and collarbone, I feel that I’m finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel!

Made of cotton, the mask is loaded with ingredients known for their antioxidant properties that protect against the effects of aging and promote elasticity and tightening to ensure a younger and firmer skin around the neck and collarbone. These include Aronia Melanocarpa (Black Chokeberry) Fruit Extract for eliminating or improving the appearance of skin discolouration, and Ubiquinone (Coenzyme Q10), an enzyme produced naturally in the body responsible for cell growth and maintenance in the body, to neutralise free radicals.

IYOU Neck & Collarbone Sheet (application)

IYOU Neck & Collarbone Sheet (application)

Multi-tasking!

Multi-tasking!

As always, the neck and collarbone area has to be washed and dried thoroughly before using the mask to ensure optimal absorption of the essence. Leave the mask on for 10 to 20 minutes (the narrower portion to be wrapped around the neck) while occasionally applying light pressure to it. Just a word of caution, though – use the mask lying down because it may get a little messy. After taking it off, gently massage any remaining product into the skin until thoroughly absorbed.

HAND GLOVES 

IYOU Hand Gloves (5 × 20ml / 0.68 fl.oz)

IYOU Hand Gloves (5 × 20ml / 0.68 fl.oz / S$26.90)

IYOU Hand Gloves

IYOU Hand Gloves

IYOU Hand Gloves ingredients

IYOU Hand Gloves ingredients

Being afflicted with some sort of Dermatillomania (an excoriation disorder that causes obsessive picking of skin) on top of mild eczema meant that my fingers would periodically be marred with involuntary nicks and scabs (which get worse in times of boredom) developed from dry peeling skin. But because my hands are always on the move, creams have never been considered as an option for me to alleviate the problem. However, this could all change with IYOU’s hand gloves!

IYOU Hand Gloves (1 pair of gloves per packet)

IYOU Hand Gloves (1 pair of gloves per packet)

Tear along the perforated lines to separate the gloves (the essence is sealed inside the gloves)

Tear along the perforated lines to separate the gloves (the essence is sealed inside the gloves)

Suitable for sensitive skin prone to atopy, inflammation and irritation, the plastic gloves are formulated with Camellia Sinensis (green tea) leaf and Portulaca Oleracea extracts (among many other ingredients) to provide a calming and moisturising effect while stimulating metabolism and cell regeneration. That said, the gloves should not be used on open sores, wounds and weeping eczema or dermatitis.

IYOU Hand Gloves (application)

IYOU Hand Gloves (application)

IYOU Hand Gloves - tighten it with the plastic flap (or "sticker", as IYOU calls it)

IYOU Hand Gloves – tighten it with the plastic flap (or “sticker”, as IYOU calls it)

You're still able to use your phone!

You’re still able to use your phone!

Like the steam hair cap, the inside of the gloves are filled with the essence whereas the exterior is typically clean (if not, just wipe any product off with a towel), making it possible to work with both hands as the treatment is underway. Rinse and dry the hands thoroughly before putting the gloves on (keeping them in place with the plastic flap) and remove them after 10 to 15 minutes. Then, gently rub both bare hands to evenly distribute the excess essence.

FOOT SOCKS

IYOU Foot Socks (5 pairs × 20ml / 0.68 fl.oz / S$28.90)

IYOU Foot Socks (5 pairs × 20ml / 0.68 fl.oz / S$28.90)

IYOU Foot Socks

IYOU Foot Socks

IYOU Foot Socks ingredients

IYOU Foot Socks ingredients

Heel fissures are a common foot problem, and this is even more so for jobs like mine that involve standing for prolonged periods of time. Although admittedly, I find joy in picking at the dead skin every so often, the cracks can hurt when they get too deep, not forgetting they are also awful to look at and rough to the touch (which has always been the triggering factor for my disgusting habit). But as busy professionals, a routine as simple as applying moisturiser to our feet before heading to bed can be weary and bothersome after a tiring day. Furthermore, with our feet being a hotspot for germs and bacteria, we tend to avoid touching them unnecessarily. So, how now brown cow? Well, having already had masks catered for most vital parts of the body, there’s obviously one for the feet for the same purpose as well!

Tear along the perforated lines to separate the socks

Tear along the perforated lines to separate the socks

The size of 1 side of the socks (1 pair of socks per packet)

The size of 1 side of the socks (1 pair of socks per packet)

The foot socks soothe and restore moisture to dry and cracked skin with Hamamelis Virginiana (American witch hazel) as well as Camellia Sinensis (green tea) leaf, Aloe Barbadensis leaf and Potulaca Oleracea extracts, resulting in softer and healthier-looking feet. Similarly, the ingredients used in this instance are perfectly safe for irritated or inflamed skin. However, you are not advised to use them should you notice any signs of bleeding or infection.

IYOU Foot Socks (application)

IYOU Foot Socks (application)

IYOU Foot Socks (application) - tighten the socks with the plastic flap!

IYOU Foot Socks (application) – tighten the socks with the plastic flap!

After washing the feet and sopping up the dampness. wear the socks and adjust them to fit you properly with the aid of the plastic flap. Upon removing them 10 to 15 minutes later, massage or rub the feet against each other to allow better absorption of the essence. Convenient for use even at the office, the foot socks can be worn as you rush out reports at your desk – just be sure to bring along a pair of sandals to walk around in while waiting for the feet to fully absorb the essence.

Tip

Put on the foot socks BEFORE wearing the gloves!

With the market already saturated with face masks of every kind imaginable, the alternative offerings by IYOU are, simply put, a breath of fresh air and a solution to lazy days (though some will require a few uses to master the technique of keeping them in place). If you’re not ready to commit to a full box just yet, you may want to consider getting the trial pack (S$22.90) which contains each of the 10 masks featured in this post on Qoo10!

What are your thoughts about IYOU masks? Are they something you see yourself using on a regular basis? Let me know in the comments below or take a quick poll 🙂

Thanks for reading!

IYOU Masks are now available on Qoo10. FOr more information, visit IYOU website or follow them on Facebook and Instagram.
This post is brought to you by IYOU.

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REVIEW: KISpeel Skincare – Clarifying Start Toner, Hydra Micro-Raphides & Nutritive Micro-Raphides [Serum & Cream], Marine Vital [Essence & Ampoule], Cica Repair Cream & Micro-Raphides Spot Cream

Hello everyone!

As Chinese New Year draws near, it is kinda imperative that we (especially the ladies) stay on top of our skincare game and ensure our skin leading up to the grand reunion looks healthy and radiant because as much as possible, we certainly do not wish to invite embarrassing questions about our skin from (untactful) relatives whom we’ve not met in a year. If your current skincare regimen hasn’t been of much help, it isn’t too late to start a new one – with KISpeel, that is!

KISpeel, a combination of the acronym for ‘Keep Ideal Skin’ and ‘Peel’ (as in facial peels, a form of exfoliation), is a Korean skincare company that specialises in post-cleanse skin maintenance. Their strong belief in providing long-term solutions to skin woes has led them to steer clear from silicones (e.g. Dimethicone, Methicone, etc.), artificial colourants and synthetic fragrances when formulating their products.

But that is not to say that they are free of preservatives. Although preservatives are  essential in preventing mold, bacteria, and microbial growth in skincare products, some do way more harm than good to our health. Therefore, KISpeel has always been upfront about only including preservatives made with 1, 2-hexanediol – a solvent rated ‘1’ (low hazard) by Environmental Working Group (EWG) and ‘safe’ by Cosmetic Ingredient Review (which I feel is a more reliable database as it offers a more in-depth assessment of ingredients) – in their products.

All KISpeel products

All KISpeel products

As a relatively young brand, KISpeel presently only carries 9 products (but yay to our wallets 😁) which they have kindly sent to me for review purposes. If you’re interested to find out more, read on!

*Prices stated do not include delivery charges

POST-CLEANSER

CLARIFYING START TONER

KISpeel Clarifying Start Toner // 150ml / 5.1 fl.oz (S$24.90)

KISpeel Clarifying Start Toner // 150ml / 5.1 fl.oz (S$24.90)

KISpeel Clarifying Start Toner

KISpeel Clarifying Start Toner

Ingredients in KISpeel Clarifying Start Toner

Ingredients in KISpeel Clarifying Start Toner

KISpeel Clarifying Start Toner application

KISpeel Clarifying Start Toner application

KISpeel Clarifying Start Toner application

KISpeel Clarifying Start Toner application

Our skin becomes more alkaline in response to being stripped of its acidic mantle after every cleanse and this makes it more susceptible to damage and inflammation. Toners fill the void by restoring the skin’s pH balance and providing a base layer of hydration so that it would be more amenable to the subsequent products layered on it. But with the Clarifying Start Toner, you get more than you bargain for because it comes with other benefits as well!

Suitable for sensitive skin types, this clear, non-sticky unscented toner effectively exfoliates, soothes and moisturises the skin with Centella Asiatica Water, Witch Hazel Extract, AHA (citric acid) and PHA (lactobionic acid). Moreover, it also contains Propolis and Vitis Vinifera (grape) Culture extracts for their anti-oxidation and anti-ageing properties. Since the product is dispensed from a pump bottle, you can easily gauge the amount you’ve collected on the cotton pad (2 to 3 pumps would be sufficient) and prevent unnecessary wastage. The toner, however, tends to separate if  left sitting for a while. When that happens, simply shake the solution to thoroughly mix it before use.

THE HYDRA SERIES

KISpeel Hydra Series

KISpeel Hydra Series

Specially curated for oily and dehydrated¹ skin (yes, it is possible to have both!), the Hydra series is mainly composed of ingredients such as Niacinamide, Hyaluronic Acid, Witch Hazel and Propolis extracts (which are also known for their soothing and pore-tightening properties), Shea butter (which aids in cell regeneration) and Macadamia Ternifolia seed oil to remove excess oil from skin and improve moisture retention. Fragrance-free and colour-free, the products are also suitable for sensitive skin.

¹Dehydration is a skin condition caused by a lack of water while dry skin is a skin type and caused by a lack of oil production.

It is common for oily skin to peel and feel dehydrated because of the harsh ingredients often found in skincare products that control oil.

On top of that, the Hydra serum and cream – or as a matter of fact, the majority of KISpeel products – also contain Micro-Raphides. Measuring approximately half the size of a pore, these needle-shaped crystals, which are originally found in specialised plant cells (most commonly in leaves), have undergone purification to remove their toxicity so that they can safely and comfortably penetrate into the skin to stimulate blood circulation and boost cell turnover² while delivering the active ingredients. Therefore, it may produce a prickly sensation (somewhat like little jolts of static electricity) as the product is being applied onto the skin, thereby causing a momentary itch (for me at least, but it went away very quickly).

²Cell turnover is the process where the skin produces new skin cells, which travel from the lowest layer of the epidermis to the top layer, and then shed off the skin (exfoliation) to prevent dead cells from building up on the skin’s surface.

Be sure not to rub your eyes without first washing your hands after using products with Micro-Raphides as the stinging effect will transfer to whatever you come in contact with.

Hydra Micro-Raphides Serum

KISpeel Hydra Micro-Raphides Serum // 50ml / 1.7 fl.oz (S$22.90)

KISpeel Hydra Micro-Raphides Serum // 50ml / 1.7 fl.oz (S$22.90)

KISpeel Hydra Micro-Raphides Serum

KISpeel Hydra Micro-Raphides Serum

Ingredients in KISpeel Hydra Micro-Raphides Serum

Ingredients in KISpeel Hydra Micro-Raphides Serum

KISpeel Hydra Micro-Raphides Serum application

KISpeel Hydra Micro-Raphides Serum application

KISpeel Hydra Micro-Raphides Serum application

KISpeel Hydra Micro-Raphides Serum application

KISpeel Hydra Micro-Raphides Serum application

KISpeel Hydra Micro-Raphides Serum application

Hydra Micro-Raphides Serum is a water-based milk-type serum that features more concentrated ingredients to control sebum production and seal moisture into the skin. Sleek and simple, it comes in an opaque pump bottle and, if your budget allows, can be used day and night. Weightless and fast-absorbing, it also has a non-greasy finish and does not leave a sticky residue once it settles into the skin. The serum has an emollient but thicker consistency than regular moisturising cream and can be used as an alternative or in addition to creams or lotions to enhance your skincare regimen.

Using your fingertips, take a few pumps of the serum and evenly apply it to the whole face before patting it in. However, because the serum tends to penetrate too rapidly, it may cause slight irritation to sensitive skin. In such cases, it would be advisable to wait for a few minutes for the face to dry completely from cleansing or toning before proceeding with this step.

Hydra Micro-Raphides Cream

KISpeel Hydra Micro-Raphides Cream // 50ml / 1.7 fl.oz (S$22.90)

KISpeel Hydra Micro-Raphides Cream // 50ml / 1.7 fl.oz (S$22.90)

KISpeel Hydra Micro-Raphides Cream

KISpeel Hydra Micro-Raphides Cream

Ingredients in KISpeel Hydra Micro-Raphides Cream

Ingredients in KISpeel Hydra Micro-Raphides Cream

KISpeel Hydra Micro-Raphides Cream application

KISpeel Hydra Micro-Raphides Cream application

KISpeel Hydra Micro-Raphides Cream application

KISpeel Hydra Micro-Raphides Cream application

The cream, on a other hand, is made up of larger molecules and hence works more on the surface. Used at the final step of your skincare regimen, it provides superficial hydration and increases the treatment potential of the serum by locking in its potent actives with a heavier and thicker formula on top.

Taking an appropriate amount of the cream from the tub, apply over the face with some pressure to allow for better infiltration efficiency.

Casual skincare routine for oily and dehydrated skin: Clarifying Start Toner → Hydra Micro-Raphides Serum → Cica Repair Cream → Micro-Raphides Spot Cream (optional)

For combination skin type, use both Hydra and Nutritive series

For excessive oiliness and dehydration or to be used during spring & summer: Clarifying Start Toner → Hydra Micro-Raphides Serum → Hydra Micro-Raphides Cream → Micro-Raphides Spot Cream (optional)
Clear skin boot camp: Clarifying Start Toner → Marine Vital Essence → Marine Vital Ampoule → Hydra Micro-Raphides Cream → Micro-Raphides Spot Cream (optional)

THE NUTRITIVE SERIES

KISpeel Nutritive Series

KISpeel Nutritive Series

In contrast, the Nutritive series nourishes and moisturises dry and dehydrated skin with Panax Ginseng Root Extract (which regenerates skin cells and detoxifies the skin), Shea butter (to provide a heavy-duty dose of emollient benefits), Phellinus Linteus and Bertholletia Excelsa Seed Oil (for their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties) to fight winter gloom. Similarly, Micro-Raphides form part of its key ingredients for exfoliation purposes and therefore give the same tingling effect as the Hydra series.

Nutritive Micro-Raphides Serum

KISpeel Nutritive Micro-Raphides Serum // 50ml / 1.7 fl.oz (S$26.90)

KISpeel Nutritive Micro-Raphides Serum // 50ml / 1.7 fl.oz (S$26.90)

KISpeel Nutritive Micro-Raphides Serum

KISpeel Nutritive Micro-Raphides Serum

Ingredients in KISpeel Nutritive Micro-Raphides Serum

Ingredients in KISpeel Nutritive Micro-Raphides Serum

KISpeel Nutritive Micro-Raphides Serum application

KISpeel Nutritive Micro-Raphides Serum application

KISpeel Nutritive Micro-Raphides Serum application

KISpeel Nutritive Micro-Raphides Serum application

The Nutritive serum is likewise a milk-type serum that combines a cascade of skin-replenishing ingredients to firm up the skin by restoring its natural elasticity. It has a creamier and more opaque consistency than the Hydra serum and takes a longer time for most of its greasiness to subside. When it does, it leaves a protective film on the surface of the skin for a dewy finish.

Nutritive Micro-Raphides Cream

KISpeel Nutritive Micro-Raphides Cream // 50ml / 1.7 fl.oz (S$26.90)

KISpeel Nutritive Micro-Raphides Cream // 50ml / 1.7 fl.oz (S$26.90)

KISpeel Nutritive Micro-Raphides Cream

KISpeel Nutritive Micro-Raphides Cream

Ingredients in KISpeel Nutritive Micro-Raphides Cream

Ingredients in KISpeel Nutritive Micro-Raphides Cream

KISpeel Nutritive Micro-Raphides Cream application

KISpeel Nutritive Micro-Raphides Cream application

KISpeel Nutritive Micro-Raphides Cream application

KISpeel Nutritive Micro-Raphides Cream application

KISpeel Nutritive Micro-Raphides Cream application

KISpeel Nutritive Micro-Raphides Cream application

The texture of the Nutritive cream is richer and thicker than that of the Hydra Cream which gives it a higher tendency to a leave a white cast on the skin. If that happens, lightly pat your palms against your face a couple of times until the product is assimilated. Another point to note about the Nutritive cream is that it has a faint yet discernible mildly pleasant chemical smell which your nose would be trained to ignore after awhile. To apply both the serum and cream, follow the steps indicated for the Hydra series.

Casual skincare routine for dry skin type: Clarifying Start Toner → Nutritive Micro-Raphides Serum → Cica Repair Cream → Micro-Raphides Spot Cream (optional)

For combination skin type, use both Hydra and Nutritive series

For excessive dryness or to be used during autumn and winter: Clarifying Start Toner → Nutritive Micro-Raphides Serum → Nutritive Micro-Raphides Cream → Micro-Raphides Spot Cream (optional)
Clear skin boot camp: Clarifying Start Toner → Marine Vital Essence → Marine Vital Ampoule → Nutritive Micro-Raphides Cream → Micro-Raphides Spot Cream (optional)

THE MARINE VITAL SERIES

KISpeel Marine Vital Series

KISpeel Marine Vital Series

Particularly in the case of modern women, the fight against the signs of ageing starts from an early age and therefore, it is no wonder that essences, ampoules and serums have exploded in popularity in recent years. But instead of having to pile on tons of skincare products to achieve a youthful complexion (like, have you heard of the 10-step Korean skincare regimen?!), KISpeel has narrowed down to just two to rev up the results and keep you from going broke.

Hydrolyzed Collagen, Caviar and Plankton extracts, and Thala Complex are the key ingredients in this anti-wrinkle and brightening series due to their ability to plump and tighten the skin while improving its elasticity and moisture content. The Thala Complex – a combination of clear seawater, Hydrolyzed Algin and Marine Polysaccharides (Exopolysaccharides) obtained from the coast of Brittany, France – represents a good resources of nutrients that helps promote skin regeneration and health. However, unlike the KISpeel products featured earlier, the Marine Vital series does not contain Micro-Raphides.

Marine Vital Essence

KISpeel Marine Vital Essence // 150ml / 5.1 fl.oz (S$26.90)

KISpeel Marine Vital Essence // 150ml / 5.1 fl.oz (S$26.90)

KISpeel Marine Vital Essence

KISpeel Marine Vital Essence

KISpeel Marine Vital Essence

KISpeel Marine Vital Essence

Ingredients in KISpeel Marine Vital Essence

Ingredients in KISpeel Marine Vital Essence

KISpeel Marine Vital Essence application

KISpeel Marine Vital Essence application

Stored in a pump container for easy dispensing, one pump is all it takes to give your skin its needed vitality boost. The Marine Vital Essence works similarly to a serum as it targets specifically wrinkles, fine lines, and uneven skin tones but it is less concentrated and has no viscosity. Gentler on the skin, it is intended for use before ampoule or serum due to its lightweight nature and more watery consistency. Formulated without fragrance, it instantly adds another layer of hydration while fortifying the natural resilience of the skin without leaving a greasy sensation or causing irritation. Simply apply an appropriate amount of the essence evenly to the skin and lightly tap on it to help it absorb better.

Marine Vital Ampoule

KISpeel Marine Vital Ampoule // 50ml / 1.7 fl.oz (S$29.90)

KISpeel Marine Vital Ampoule // 50ml / 1.7 fl.oz (S$29.90)

Ingredients in KISpeel Marine Vital Ampoule

Ingredients in KISpeel Marine Vital Ampoule

KISpeel Marine Vital Ampoule application

KISpeel Marine Vital Ampoule application

KISpeel Marine Vital Ampoule application

KISpeel Marine Vital Ampoule application

Toner, serum, essence… As if there isn’t already a maze of beauty terminology to brood over, there’s now ampoule?! Understandably, those who are new to the whole Korean skincare approach may not be familiar with these cosmetic jargon but ampoules are merely supercharged versions of serums with higher concentrations of active ingredients which can help avert a specific skin crisis in relatively less time.

The Marine Vital Ampoule in this instance helps reduce facial lines and revitalise the look of lacklustre skin. However, since it renders a stronger effect than serum, it should be used only when necessary because the potency factor may heighten skin sensitivity. It is ideal, say, on occasions when the skin requires intensive treatment (perhaps a few days before your wedding) and yet, time does not seem to be on your side. Due to its thicker and more luscious texture (but won’t leave a sticky film on the skin), this unscented ampoule is more suitable for night use and should be applied after essence.

For an extra boost: Clarifying Start Toner → Marine Vital Essence → Marine Vital Ampoule → Cica Repair Cream

COMPLEMENTS

Apart from developing a range of products to cater to different skin types, KISpeel is also dedicated in providing solutions for other cosmetic concerns such as redness, hyperpigmentation and zits, as evident by the addition of the Cica Repair Cream and Micro-Raphides Spot Cream. These products can be used in conjunction with those mentioned earlier as part of your daily skincare routine.

Cica Repair Cream

KISpeel Cica Repair Cream // 50ml / 1.7 fl.oz (S$19.90)

KISpeel Cica Repair Cream // 50ml / 1.7 fl.oz (S$19.90)

KISpeel Cica Repair Cream

KISpeel Cica Repair Cream

Ingredients in KISpeel Cica Repair Cream

Ingredients in KISpeel Cica Repair Cream

KISpeel Cica Repair Cream application

KISpeel Cica Repair Cream application

KISpeel Cica Repair Cream application

KISpeel Cica Repair Cream application

KISpeel Cica Repair Cream application

KISpeel Cica Repair Cream application

KISpeel Cica Repair Cream application

KISpeel Cica Repair Cream application

KISpeel Cica Repair Cream application

KISpeel Cica Repair Cream application

Slick and soft in texture, this moisturising cream boasts a therapeutic blend of Centella Asiatica leaf water and Centella Asiatica Extract, along with other soothing ingredients known for their healing and anti-inflammatory properties, to calm irritated and sensitive skin without leaving an icky feeling. It contains Allantoin and Aloe Vera leaf juice to stimulate the growth of healthy tissue and aid the skin repair process while keeping the skin hydrated. Multi-functional, it can also be applied on any other parts of the body (e.g. neck, that require a little tender loving care. To use, evenly massage a suitable amount of product into the skin and gently pat until absorbed.

Micro-Raphides Spot Cream

KISpeel Micro-Raphides Spot Cream // 10ml / 0.3 fl.oz (S$21.90)

KISpeel Micro-Raphides Spot Cream // 10ml / 0.3 fl.oz (S$21.90)

KISpeel Micro-Raphides Spot Cream

KISpeel Micro-Raphides Spot Cream

KISpeel Micro-Raphides Spot Cream applicator

KISpeel Micro-Raphides Spot Cream applicator

Ingredients in KISpeel Micro-Raphides Spot Cream applicator (click to enlarge)

Ingredients in KISpeel Micro-Raphides Spot Cream applicator (click to enlarge)

KISpeel Micro-Raphides Spot Cream application

KISpeel Micro-Raphides Spot Cream application

KISpeel Micro-Raphides Spot Cream application

KISpeel Micro-Raphides Spot Cream application

Formulated with almost the same set of ingredients as the Cico Repair Cream, the Micro-Raphides Spot Cream offers targeted treatment for hyperpigmentation and pimples by soothing inflamed skin and diminishing their appearance with Centella Asiatica and Aloe Vera extracts. That said, this would only be effective with surface blemishes and not so much with more severe skin conditions such as cystic acne.

What sets this spot cream apart from the repair cream is the added Micro-Raphides which helps revitalise the skin and exfoliate dead skin cells. Likewise, the thin crystalline needles may cause a tingling sensation as it penetrates deep into the skin. But fret not, the (bearable) sting typically does not last beyond a few seconds and it will be gone before you know it.

To minimise contamination and preserve the purity of the product, the spot cream is dispensed through a convex applicator (when pressed down) which can be directly applied to the affected areas in circular motions twice to thrice a day. Unless you choose to apply the cream with your fingers, be sure to disinfect the applicator with soap or anti-bacterial wipes and then dry it after every use to keep it sterile.

Finished face!

Finished face!

All in all, apart from the tingling sensation given rise by the Micro-Raphides which I’m still trying to get accustomed to, I like that the ingredients are gentle enough on my sensitive skin. Furthermore, I really appreciate the no-nonsense approach KISpeel has to skincare as they do not allude to the need of having a myriad of products, but just the essentials! In terms of price, KISpeel is pretty much on par with or lower than most mid-tier Korean beauty brands which, of course, have a much wider distribution since KISpeel is only available online and at I’M STARTICE.

What are your thoughts about KISpeel? Would you be willing to give this brand a shot? Let me know your views in the comments below 🙂

Thanks for reading!

KISpeel is available on Qoo10 Singapore and I’M STARTICE. For more information, visit KISpeel website or follow them on Facebook and Instagram.
This post is brought to you by KISpeel.

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REVIEW: shu uemura × Super Mario Bros. – Rouge Unlimited in RD187 & PK 375, Invincible Superstar Premium Curler & Dual Stamp-Me Liner

Hello everyone!

A few days ago, I posted my review on the Peach’s Eye & Cheek palette and as promised, this second part will see me blabbering on about the rest of the items I’ve gotten from this collection. Read on to find out how two shades of the lipsticks, the eyeliner and eyelash curler from the Super Mario Bros. collaboration fare in my book!

shu uemura × Super Mario Bros (PART II)

shu uemura × Super Mario Bros (PART II)

click here to read my review on the shu uemura × Super Mario Bros PEACH’S EYE & CHEEK PALETTE

#1 Dual Stamp-Me Liner

shu uemura × Super Mario Bros Dual Stamp-Me Liner (US$34 / S$45)

shu uemura × Super Mario Bros Dual Stamp-Me Liner (US$34 / S$45)

Clear indication on the body of the pen for easy location of the stamp end

Clear indication on the body of the pen for easy location of the stamp end

Super Star motif on the inside of the box

Super Star motif on the inside of the box

It's not stated on the website, but I suppose "Hidden Star" is the name of the shade

It’s not stated on the website, but I suppose “Hidden Star” is the name of the shade

The felt tip on the liquid eyeliner end

The felt tip on the liquid eyeliner end

See the eyeliner in action

See the eyeliner in action

Thick-winged eyeliner

Thick-winged eyeliner

Classic eyeliner flick

Classic eyeliner flick

Available only in one shade (a jet black with pinpricks of multicoloured glitter), the dual-ended eyeliner offers a stamp on one side and a felt-tip liquid eyeliner on the other for regular use. For clarity, I’ll talk about the latter first.

Unlike most eyeliners, this wasn’t love at first application. For a start, it skipped and dragged slightly on my lid, and while it is great that the felt-tip has a firm texture for a more controlled application, it felt somewhat scratchy. The ink somehow does not flow consistently and bleeds quite terribly on every first use so I have to test the eyeliner on the back of my hand before applying it to the lids every time. Although those problems would have been curtailed on subsequent uses (within the same application), some pressure still has to be exerted upon the applicator – which I try to avoid because it pricks – for a more pigmented finish.

The eyeliner didn’t budge an inch on my upper lid after eight hours of wear but it smudged on my lower lid (partly because I was watching a comedy and I tear up easily when I laugh 😂) and that was even with a layer of eye shadow beneath it to supposedly prevent it from running. I tried to smudge it further with my finger to balance out the unintentional smokey eyes but it stubbornly stays put!

But looking past these flaws, its coverage is remarkably opaque for a liquid eyeliner. Apart from that, it is waterproof, dries down moderately fast with excellent staying power. Once you’ve gotten the hang of it, you would be a whiz with creating an intense cat eye and other graphic looks!

The pattern on the stamp end

The pattern on the stamp end

Super Star stamp on the temple

Super Star stamp on the temple

Super Star stamp on the cheekbone

Super Star stamp on the cheekbone

If your attempts to draw perfect stars on your face have always ended in failure, listen up! You can now achieve them in just one simple step with the Super Star stamp!

Truth be told, the stamp feature initially felt like a gimmicky tactic to market the eyeliner so I was half-expecting a blotchy mess from it. But, boy oh boy, was I blown away by the precision and pigmentation it delivers in a single punch! Not only did it hold up to my longwear tests (by rubbing and showering with it), it had very minimal bleeding on my sandpaper-rough face too which contributed to crispness of the stars’ corners. The stamp is fairly easy to use and does not require much pressure to get a clean and even impression (plus pressing the stamp down too hard would also cause the rim to leave an imprint). The ink stays all day without distorting the shape and, on top of that, removes effortlessly with my Sephora cleansing wipe.

Granted, the idea of makeup stamps may not have been pioneered by shu uemura (see Milk) but I’ve not seen any with a hollow middle like this one which gives users the liberty to fill the stars with whatever colour they want for a more rockstar appeal à la Kat Von D 😝 That said, if only there were more designs and colours to choose from! A sparkle or snowflake imprint would have been so apt for the festive season, don’t you agree?

Stamp and eyeliner (two strokes to show continuity of ink flow) swatches. The first pass of the eyeliner is directly below the star. Notice how it bleeds more than the one next to it?

Stamp and eyeliner (two strokes to show continuity of ink flow) swatches. The first pass of the eyeliner is directly below the star. Notice how it bleeds more than the one next to it?

Compare finish and pigmentation with eyeliners of other brands (pardon the redness of my wrist caused by rubbing my lipstick swatches off too vigorously)

Compare finish and pigmentation with eyeliners of other brands (pardon the redness of my wrist caused by rubbing my lipstick swatches off too vigorously 😝)

The line-up of lipsticks in this collection includes five popular shades from the Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte series (PK 375, PK 376, RD 187, BG 954 & OR 570) and two limited edition Sheer Shine shades (Stage Cleared & Saved Peach) in translucent dark fuchsia plastic casing housed in light pink box graced by an enlarged pixel art of Princess Peach. The packaging in this collection is to die for but the inner video game nerd in me is totally geeking out over the various 8-bit Super Mario graphics plastered all over the (all-pink 😍) lipsticks in particular. Oh, would ya just look at that?

shu uemura × Super Mario Bros Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte (S$38)

shu uemura × Super Mario Bros Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte (S$38)

Super Mario motif on the inside of the box

Super Mario motif on the inside of the box

The lipstick packaging

The lipstick packaging

Furthermore, the lipsticks come largely in my favourite finish 😁 In my first shu uemura Rouge Unlimited review, I had declared my desire to try their Supreme Mattes and this collection just about provides the opportunity to do so! To cut a long story short, I loved the finish so much that I actually hit the store to purchase another shade despite having sent me one as a PR sample already.

Swatches of 4 out of 5 Supreme Mattes (BG954 not pictured) from this collection

Swatches of 4 out of 5 Supreme Mattes (BG954 not pictured) from this collection

#2 Rouge Unlimited in RD 187

shu uemura × Super Mario Bros Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte in RD 187

shu uemura × Super Mario Bros Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte in RD 187

shu uemura × Super Mario Bros Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte in RD 187

shu uemura × Super Mario Bros Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte in RD 187

shu uemura × Super Mario Bros Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte in RD 187

shu uemura × Super Mario Bros Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte in RD 187

shu uemura × Super Mario Bros Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte in RD 187

shu uemura × Super Mario Bros Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte in RD 187

shu uemura × Super Mario Bros Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte in RD 187

shu uemura × Super Mario Bros Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte in RD 187

shu uemura × Super Mario Bros Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte in RD 187

shu uemura × Super Mario Bros Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte in RD 187

RD 187 is a vivid red with blue undertones and has a “superb matte effect” which shu uemura attributes to their careful selection of matte powders. This lipstick applies with some slip and has the ability to smooth out fine lines without stripping away the moisture so exfoliating prior to application wouldn’t be absolutely necessary. The colour goes on evenly without tug and infuses the lips with fullness and sensuality in spite of the minimal shine.

Lightweight with a comfortable texture, it has a medium coverage but is buildable to a full opacity. It stays put throughout the day where unctuous and heavy food and drinks are not involved and fades evenly when they are without the tell-tale ring of colour around the lip line. Also, it is neither drying nor hydrating.

Swatch comparison for RD 187 with reds from other brands

Swatch comparison for RD 187 with reds from other brands

#3 Rouge Unlimited in PK 375

shu uemura × Super Mario Bros Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte in PK 375

shu uemura × Super Mario Bros Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte in PK 375

shu uemura × Super Mario Bros Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte in PK 375

shu uemura × Super Mario Bros Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte in PK 375

(single swatch)

shu uemura × Super Mario Bros Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte in PK 375

shu uemura × Super Mario Bros Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte in PK 375

shu uemura × Super Mario Bros Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte in PK 375

shu uemura × Super Mario Bros Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte in PK 375

shu uemura × Super Mario Bros Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte in PK 375

shu uemura × Super Mario Bros Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte in PK 375

PK 375 is a muted plum with pink undertones. Non-glossy, it envelops the lips in a soft matte colour which applies with some tug. This shade gives a medium coverage but is, once again, buildable to a full without weighing down the lips. It has a reasonable wear time (about the same duration as RD 187) and most of it managed to last through the Buttermilk Crispy Chicken Burger I had for dinner the other day, albeit with some of it settling visibly into my lip natural crevices.

As compared to RD 187, this actually has a much drier consistency with a slightly powdery texture which could explain its tendency to emphasise any signs of dryness and imperfection. Nevertheless, this self-purchased lipstick still wears rather comfortably (the texture isn’t bothersome) and is overall neither drying nor hydrating.

Swatch comparison for PK 375 with rosy pinks from other brands

Swatch comparison for PK 375 with rosy pinks from other brands

#4 Invisible Superstar Premium Curler

shu uemura × Super Mario Bros Invincible Superstar Premium Curler (S$30)

shu uemura × Super Mario Bros Invincible Superstar Premium Curler (S$30)

shu uemura × Super Mario Bros Invincible Superstar Premium Curler

shu uemura × Super Mario Bros Invincible Superstar Premium Curler

shu uemura × Super Mario Bros Invincible Superstar Premium Curler

shu uemura × Super Mario Bros Invincible Superstar Premium Curler

shu uemura × Super Mario Bros Invincible Superstar Premium Curler

shu uemura × Super Mario Bros Invincible Superstar Premium Curler

shu uemura × Super Mario Bros Invincible Superstar Premium Curler

shu uemura × Super Mario Bros Invincible Superstar Premium Curler

Super Star motif on the inside of the box

Super Star motif on the inside of the box

Putting the Invincible Superstar Premium Curler to the test

Putting the Invincible Superstar Premium Curler to the test

The curler managed to capture most, if not all, of my upper lashes

The curler managed to capture most, if not all, of my upper lashes

Before and after using the Invincible Superstar Premium Curler + mascara (side view)

Before and after using the Invincible Superstar Premium Curler + mascara (side view)

Before and after using the Invincible Superstar Premium Curler + mascara (front view)

Before and after using the Invincible Superstar Premium Curler + mascara (front view)

Touted as the Holy Grail of eyelash curlers, the critically acclaimed shu uemura eyelash curler takes on a special appearance for this collection as it gets an all-gold treatment with a polished Super Star charm on a detachable gold beaded chain. For the uninformed, the “uniquely curved” eyepiece is designed to be universally fitting on most eye shapes while the shape of the silicone pad gives an elongated sweeping curl. In addition, the durable hinge at the center of the curler “regulates the amount of pressure applied to the lashes which ensures safety”. Unlike the eyelash curler in shu uemura’s regular line, this does not include a replacement pad (and neither does the brand sell them separately) so despite being priced the same, the limited edition is essentially marginally more expensive without it. But hey, what’s a few dollars more for a rare packaging like this?

Having already owned a shu uemura eyelash curler from the Karl Lagerfeld collaboration years ago, I have a set of expectations in mind and this works just as well as the one before – or even better. It grabs every strand of my lashes (including the hard-to-reach ones on the inner and outer corners of my eye) without pinching despite having problematic hooded eyes. Suitable for beginners, it doesn’t require much effort to give the lashes a natural curl which held up for more than an hour bare (but could be shorter with mascara on). For this, I could actually feel the impact of the curler on my lashes even without squeezing it much. The sharp edges of it left a small impression on both corners of my lid but they fortunately went away after some time. However, I still find the eyelash curler slightly too big for my eye although that’s certainly not enough a reason to stop me from using this amazing tool.

Generally, the products in this collection – especially the lipsticks – perform up to par even though prices are steeper than usual. It’s a worthy expense if you like Super Mario Bros or cute, limited-edition packaging. Just don’t get the eye and cheek palette.

Without a doubt, shu uemura stole the show with this totally rad throwback collection and judging from the overwhelming response it gets everywhere (most of it are sold out in the U.S. as well as at Tangs and Sephora online), I guess the public agrees too!

Wearing every shu uemura × Super Mario Bros product I have! Which side do you prefer?

Wearing every shu uemura × Super Mario Bros product I have! Which side do you prefer?

What are you favourite products from the shu uemura × Super Mario Bros. collection? Did you get anything? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below or simply take a poll!

 

Thanks for reading!

shu uemura × Super Mario Bros is now available on the Sephora Singapore (online), at TANGS and shu uemura boutiques islandwide.

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REVIEW: shu uemura × Super Mario Bros. – Peach’s Eye & Cheek Palette

Hello everyone!

Before the internet became a household fixture, the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) was a huge phenomenon which provided hours of enjoyment for children cooped up in the house all day (like myself). Through the NES, users were introduced to a whole new world of video games. The “Jump Man” in Donkey Kong in particular received so much attention that it was eventually made into its own game called Super Mario Bros. Today, the character is undeniably one of the things that is synonymous with the ’90s.

This year, the Italian plumber – who recently turns 32 – gets his big break in the beauty world when he was invited to collaborate on a holiday makeup collection by shu uemura. Released on 1 October in the U.S., this 25-piece Super Mario Bros-themed collection offers lipsticks, palettes, cushion cases, cleansing oil and many others presented in packaging that will hit you gamer girls right in the childhood.

Having grown up with Super Mario Bros, saying that I was excited for this launch would be an understatement. I was literally counting down the days until this collection finally makes its appearance at the local shu uemura counters on 15 November!

But sounds like Christmas came early this year as shu uemura Singapore had kindly sent me a few products to blabber about here 😍 In this first instalment of my two-part review on this collection, the spotlight will be solely on the Peach’s Eye & Cheek Palette (which has sold out in the U.S., by the way 😨).

shu uemura × Super Mario Bros Peach's Eye & Cheek Palette (S$128)

shu uemura × Super Mario Bros Peach’s Eye & Cheek Palette (S$128)

Goomba motif on the inside of the box!

Goomba motif on the inside of the box!

shu uemura × Super Mario Bros Peach's Eye & Cheek Palette

shu uemura × Super Mario Bros Peach’s Eye & Cheek Palette

shu uemura × Super Mario Bros Peach's Eye & Cheek Palette

shu uemura × Super Mario Bros Peach’s Eye & Cheek Palette

shu uemura × Super Mario Bros Peach's Eye & Cheek Palette

shu uemura × Super Mario Bros Peach’s Eye & Cheek Palette

Inspired by Princess Peach (a character in the Mario franchise), the limited-edition eye and cheek palette includes a dual-ended brush, six eye shadows and two glow ons (shu uemura’s version of blush that enhances the natural glow of cheeks) embossed with some distinctive elements of the game. The shades, organised in quads of purple and brown hues, are specially curated to create two highly-achievable monochromatic looks and are exclusive to the palette.

Made with acrylic plastic with a glossy surface, the palette is pink on the outside with pixel art of some notable characters and items of Super Mario, and white on the inside. It is thin yet sturdy and doesn’t take up much storage space. Upon opening the lid, you will be greeted with a removable transparent sheet of plastic with the names (or rather purpose) of each product placed on top of the pans to guide application and perhaps, to prevent the inbuilt mirror from getting dirtied by powder residue.

From top row, left to right: IR pink, S mauve, P plum, G gold light, ME orange, ME bronze eye shadows (1.0 g x 6 / 0.03 oz) // bottom: dreamy peach, brave orange glow ons (3.5 g x 2 / 0.12 oz)

From top row, left to right: IR pink, S mauve, P plum, G gold light, ME orange, ME bronze eye shadows (1.0 g x 6 / 0.03 oz) // bottom: dreamy peach, brave orange glow ons (3.5 g x 2 / 0.12 oz)

☆ Eye Shadows ☆

shu uemura × Super Mario Bros Peach's Eye & Cheek Palette eye shadows

shu uemura × Super Mario Bros Peach’s Eye & Cheek Palette eye shadows

The base shade on the first half of the palette is described as a pink with an iridescent finish which, according to shu uemura, “offer(s) glimmering reflections of changing colors”. It is a light wash of cool pink with finely milled shimmers which have a gritty texture to it. Sheer in coverage, it acts as a lightening and smoothing agent for the shade applied atop it. It can also be used on its own for a dewy look. This feels smidgen dusty and is prone to sheer out when applied dry. Hence, you would get better results (i.e. colour intensifies and a more pronounced shine) when used with a wet brush. Otherwise, if you don’t want to leave a water stain on the eye shadow, perhaps using a dense brush would help the colour show better on the lid.

Compare Base with other similar shades from the Kat Von D Shade + Light (Plum) and Urban Decay Naked 3 palettes

Compare Base with other similar shades from the Kat Von D Shade + Light (Plum) and Urban Decay Naked 3 palettes

The styling shade is described as a mauve with a shimmery finish. It appears more of a violet to me with warm undertones and has a slight metallic sheen to it. This shade is safely one of those eye shadows that appears dull when applied, but comes alive when light hits it. It applies sheer at first but is buildable to a semi-opaque coverage. It isn’t too soft or firm in the pan which gives it a smooth and blendable texture. The edges also diffuse rather well without losing much intensity. I experienced a negligible amount of kickback in the pan when I dabbed it with my brush but there wasn’t much fallout on me.

Compare Styling with other similar shades from the Kat Von D Shade + Light (Plum) and Urban Decay Naked 3 palettes

Compare Styling with other similar shades from the Kat Von D Shade + Light (Plum) and Urban Decay Naked 3 palettes

The defining shade is described as a plum with a pearl finish which, as defined by shu uemura, lends a “silky shimmer of light for luminous radiance”. This deep violet contains chunkier purple glitter and has a drier and somewhat uneven texture so undoubtedly there would be fallout during application. Moderately dense and generally patchy in consistency, it sheers out quickly when blended but can be built to an opaque coverage if used with a dense brush. The metallic sheen becomes rather glaring as the eye shadow is piled on. Similarly, this applies noticeably better with a dampened brush. Occasionally, I would use this shade alongside the browns to give my eyes a smokier look.

Compare Define with other similar shades from the Kat Von D Shade + Light (Plum) and Urban Decay Naked 3 palettes

Compare Define with other similar shades from the Kat Von D Shade + Light (Plum) and Urban Decay Naked 3 palettes

APPLICATION & SUGGESTED LOOK

Apply the base colour all over lids with the shader side of the dual-ended brush

Apply the base colour all over lids with the shader side of the dual-ended brush

With the same end of the brush, apply the styling shade above the base

With the same end of the brush, apply the styling shade above the base

Define the eyes while still using the shader brush

Define the eyes while still using the shader brush

Apply styling colour along the lower lash line with the precision end of the brush

Apply styling colour along the lower lash line with the precision end of the brush

Using the same brush, add definition along the outer corner of the eye and do a little bit of crease-cutting on the upper lid. Blend out harsh edges with shader brush.

Using the same brush, add definition along the outer corner of the eye and do a little bit of crease-cutting on the upper lid. Blend out harsh edges with shader brush.

From plain to glamourous!

From plain to glamourous!

The base shade on the next half of the palette is described as a gold light with glittery finish which adds “abundant sparkles for glistening glamour”. It is a cool-toned pale gold with a powdery smooth texture. The glitter in this eye shadow is more sparkly in appearance. Although it also seems more scattered, it was fortunately not messy to work with. It may offer sheer coverage but as a base colour, this packs a punch of glow even on the first layer and piling on the product will only build up the shine. I find that this shade applies more smoothly and evenly with the finger tip. On top of that, it can also be used as a lid topper to enhance the sparkle of the main eye shadow colour.

Compare Base with other similar shades from TheBalm NUDE 'tude, Urban Decay Naked Heat and Juvia's Place Nubian 2 palettes

Compare Base with other similar shades from TheBalm NUDE ‘tude, Urban Decay Naked Heat and Juvia’s Place Nubian 2 palettes

The styling shade for the second look is described as an orange with a metallic finish which is supposedly “smooth like liquid with a metallic glow”. It is an orange with brown undertones and has micro-glitter distributed uniformly to give a nice, frosted sheen. This shade applies evenly and goes on semi-opaque on the first swipe when used with a finger or dense brush (dry or dampened – it doesn’t really matter). Buildable to a completely opaque coverage, it is lightweight and blends fairly well on the lid. It may feel a bit gritty in the pan but there is hardly any kickback and fallout. If I have to pick a favourite in this palette, this will be it!

Compare Styling with other similar shades from TheBalm NUDE 'tude, Urban Decay Naked Heat and Juvia's Place Nubian 2 palettes

Compare Styling with other similar shades from TheBalm NUDE ‘tude, Urban Decay Naked Heat and Juvia’s Place Nubian 2 palettes

Lastly, add some definition to the eye with a metallic bronze. This warm-toned brown has faint multicoloured micro-glitter that seems more loosely incorporated into the product. The eye shadow has a powdery smooth consistency with rich pigmentation. It is best applied with a dampened brush for maximum coverage and colour intensity. However, it would require a firmer hand to completely diffuse the edges.

Compare Styling with other similar shades from TheBalm NUDE 'tude, Urban Decay Naked Heat and Juvia's Place Nubian 2 palettes

Compare Styling with other similar shades from TheBalm NUDE ‘tude, Urban Decay Naked Heat and Juvia’s Place Nubian 2 palettes

APPLICATION & SUGGESTED LOOK

Apply base colour all over the lid with the shader brush

Apply base colour all over the lid with the shader brush

Using the same brush, pack on some colours with the styling shade

Using the same brush, pack on some colours with the styling shade

Define the eye by adding a darker shade on the outer corner

Define the eye by adding a darker shade on the outer corner

Cut them crease with the darkest shade on the palette!

Cut them crease with the darkest shade on the palette!

Be extra - apply defining shade on the inner corner to add emphasis to the center of the lid

Be extra – apply defining shade on the inner corner to add emphasis to the center of the lid

Line the lower lash line with the styling shade

Line the lower lash line with the styling shade

Followed by the defining shade on the outer corner

Followed by the defining shade on the outer corner

Don't forget to blend out the edges!

Don’t forget to blend out the edges!

From girl-next-door to femme fatale 🤗

From girl-next-door to femme fatale 🤗

When glam meets edgy

When glam meets edgy

☆ Glow Ons ☆

shu uemura × Super Mario Bros Peach's Eye & Cheek Palette blush

shu uemura × Super Mario Bros Peach’s Eye & Cheek Palette blush

Dreamy Peach is a warm pink with flecks of gold shimmers even though it appears to have more orange undertones in the pan. This Super Star and Super Mushroom-embossed blush has sheer pigmentation and can be built to a semi-sheer at most. It blends quite easily owing to its soft texture but has the tendency to sheer out on normal or drier skin (I had swatch it on my wrist a couple of times and it fades away quickly every time). It doesn’t cause any kickback in the pan nor leave any noticeable dents even after multiple uses and that is great if you, like me, don’t want to ruin the cute embossing on the glow ons 😁

Darling Princess (3-4 swipes)

Darling Princess (3-4 swipes)

Darling Princess Darling Princess (3-4 swipes, blended out)

Darling Princess Darling Princess (3-4 swipes, blended out)

Brave Orange is a pale neon orange with yellow undertones topped with accents of gold shimmers. It comes with Fire Flower and the iconic Question Mark Block embossed on it. Soft and lightly powdery in texture, this blush feels luxuriously smooth to the touch and is buildable to a semi-sheer coverage. I actually find this more pigmented than Dreamy Peach and surprisingly, does not camouflage into my Chinese skin tone nor look too yellowish on me. It can be doubled as a bronzer for lighter skin tones to give a subtle contour. However, it does have the tendency to cling onto the drier areas of the skin which could be why it applied slightly uneven on me and needed some effort to buff out the unsightly streak.

Adventure Princess (1 swipe)

Adventure Princess (1 swipe)

Adventure Princess (3-4 swipes)

Adventure Princess (3-4 swipes)

Adventure Princess for contouring (using Sigma F04 Extreme Structure Contour™ Brush)

Adventure Princess for contouring (using Sigma F04 Extreme Structure Contour™ Brush)

Adventure Princess for contouring (using Sigma F04 Extreme Structure Contour™ Brush)

Adventure Princess for contouring (using Sigma F04 Extreme Structure Contour™ Brush)

Two looks (without the lipstick, yet!) side by side. Which one do you prefer?

Two looks (without the lipstick, yet!) side by side. Which one do you prefer?

As a Japanese brand serving international markets, shu uemura has managed to strike a balance between bold and delicate with this palette to cater to people on either ends of the preference spectrum. While it delivers a relatively lighter wash of colour with a touch of glitter when used as-is, these attributes can also be easily amped up on the lid with your finger tip or a dampened brush. That said, the choice of shades (especially the glow ons) seems to gear towards lighter skin tones in general.

And in case you didn’t catch the price earlier, this would set you back a whooping S$128 so unless you are obsessed with Super Mario or don’t mind splurging a few hundred dollars on a high-end product (made with top grade ingredients and presumably state-of-the-art technology, no less), I honestly don’t think this is worth burning a hole in your pocket for in terms of the price per ounce for each product in this palette.

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

 

Totally unrelated to this palette but what are some of your favourite NES games? Apart from Super Mario Bros, I was hooked on playing Antarctic AdventureIce Climber, Circus, Duck Hunt, Bubble Bobble, Popeye and Bomberman 😆 There should be more but I can’t remember their names at the moment. Just listening to the 8-bit music of these games brings back so many childhood memories!

Anyhoo, thanks for reading and stay tuned for part two of this collection 🙂

shu uemura × Super Mario Bros is now available on the Sephora Singapore (online), at TANGS and shu uemura boutiques islandwide.
The product featured in this review was editorially selected. All opinions, as always, are genuine and uninfluenced.

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REVIEW: Fenty Beauty – Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation in 200 & 260, Match Stix Trio in Medium & Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter in Trophy Wife

Hello everyone!

Rihanna has been dominating the beauty headlines lately with the launch of her newest business venture, Fenty Beauty (backed by Kendo Holdings which also owns Marc Jacobs, Kat Von D and Bite Beauty). More notably, her line of foundations, which boasts a diverse (never-seen-before) range of shades that complements the palest to the deepest of skin tones, has kinda set the benchmark for diversity in the beauty industry. Now, this is what I call a breakthrough!

Although I was equally thrilled about the launch as many of you, I did not rush into buying anything when the brand landed here. Instead, I decided to wait for the Sephora sale to kick off before getting some of their highly-raved products to try. Clearly, a similar plan was also devised by many others, as evident from the almost-bare racks to emptied samples of Fenty Beauty at most outlets during the sale which left me with no choice but to guess my shade online.

Sephora has a shade finder tool on their mobile app that determines the foundation shade (of almost every brand) that matches your skin based on the existing ones you are already using. The Fenty foundation shade that corresponded to my Benefit Big Easy and M·A·C NC25 foundation suggested by the app was 240 but since that was already sold out everywhere, I took a gamble and bought two other shades I felt were also rather close to my skin tone.

But before we go into the reviews, let's take a minute to appreciate the original, clean-cut, no-nonsense, hexagonal packaging of Fenty Beauty. The design is truly an eye-pleaser. They tessellate with one another so it is very easy to store them. And the foundation looks really prestigious with the glass bottle.

But before we go into the reviews, let’s take a minute to appreciate the original, clean-cut, no-nonsense, hexagonal packaging of Fenty Beauty. The design is truly an eye-pleaser. They tessellate with one another so it is very easy to store them. And the foundation looks really prestigious with the glass bottle.

#1 Pro Filtr Soft Matte Longwear Foundation (200)

Fenty Beauty Pro Filtr Soft Matte Longwear Foundation in 200

Fenty Beauty Pro Filtr Soft Matte Longwear Foundation in 200

Fenty Beauty Pro Filtr Soft Matte Longwear Foundation in 200

Fenty Beauty Pro Filtr Soft Matte Longwear Foundation in 200

Fenty Beauty Pro Filtr Soft Matte Longwear Foundation in 200

Fenty Beauty Pro Filtr Soft Matte Longwear Foundation in 200

Fenty Beauty Pro Filtr Soft Matte Longwear Foundation in 200

Fenty Beauty Pro Filtr Soft Matte Longwear Foundation in 200

Fenty Beauty Pro Filtr Soft Matte Longwear Foundation in 200

Fenty Beauty Pro Filtr Soft Matte Longwear Foundation in 200

...did I just find my PERFECT foundation match?!

…did I just find my PERFECT foundation match?!

Shade 200 is described as a cool in the medium range with a matte finish. It provides medium to full coverage in just two layers and has little to no trail of moisture on the surface. Lightweight, the foundation gives a smooth, natural veil effect and acts like a second skin which conceals my blemishes and redness rather nicely. However, I find that I have to work it into the skin very quickly because it dries completely like greased lightning (a perfect ally for people who are always tight for time) even on my misted face or with a damp sponge. Any tardiness in blending out the edges will result in conspicuous patches on my face. That said, it adheres well to the skin and isn’t prone to transfer so I did not have to worry much about the foundation melting off my face when I was outdoors.

But about ten minutes into wear, the foundation oxidises to a darker beige that, although isn’t too far off my natural shade, creates an overall uneven complexion (which kinda defeats the purpose of putting on foundation). Furthermore, despite the claims of this foundation being “climate-adaptive” as well as “resistant to sweat and humidity”, it failed to keep my face shine-free in the hot and humid weather of Singapore. As a matter of fact, not only did my face became oilier than ever at the end of the day, my pores also became visibly clogged and enlarged.

#2 Pro Filtr Soft Matte Longwear Foundation (260)

Fenty Beauty Pro Filtr Soft Matte Longwear Foundation in 260

Fenty Beauty Pro Filtr Soft Matte Longwear Foundation in 260

Fenty Beauty Pro Filtr Soft Matte Longwear Foundation in 260

Fenty Beauty Pro Filtr Soft Matte Longwear Foundation in 260

Fenty Beauty Pro Filtr Soft Matte Longwear Foundation in 260

Fenty Beauty Pro Filtr Soft Matte Longwear Foundation in 260

Fenty Beauty Pro Filtr Soft Matte Longwear Foundation in 260

Fenty Beauty Pro Filtr Soft Matte Longwear Foundation in 260

Fenty Beauty Pro Filtr Soft Matte Longwear Foundation in 260

Fenty Beauty Pro Filtr Soft Matte Longwear Foundation in 260

Shade 260 is described as a neutral in the medium range with a matte finish. This shade, for the most part, applies like 200 but has warmer undertones to it. It provides medium to full coverage and does a decent job in concealing my blemishes without imparting a tacky feel.

However, it dries twice as fast as 200 and, for this reason, cannot be built without leaving obvious patches on the face, therefore making this foundation extremely difficult and frustrating to work with. Fade-free and transfer-proof, the texture feels powdery smooth but slightly more drying once it settles on the skin. But about five minutes into wear, the foundation oxidises to a strange orange hue which darkens intensively over time, thereby turning me into another case of spray tan gone bad. Similarly, my pores became increasingly clogged and pronounced and my face was also visibly oilier after three hours (which can be fixed with Fenty Beauty’s blotting paper, I guess?). In spite of these issues, foundation surprisingly didn’t become cakey.

In all honesty, I would still have liked the foundation despite it turning me orange because I loved how it sits on my skin (and not forgetting 200 actually matching my skin tone perfectly). But I just can’t. My skin went into full rage mode and erupted in pus-filled pimples all over my forehead, cheeks and jawline after using it. Considering that this isn’t my first time using silicone-based foundation, it puzzles me as to why these would break me out so bad!

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT

I stumbled upon this useful list of water- and silicone- (an ingredient known for filling in pores and allow for a smoother and flawless application but may, at the same time, trigger severe breakouts) based makeup products which may be helpful to you. Kudos to the kind soul(s) who came up with or contributed to this comprehensive list!

Patchy appearance of 260

Patchy appearance of 260

Comparing swatches of 200 and 260

Comparing swatches of 200 and 260

Bare-faced versus 200 and 260 on the face

Bare-faced versus 200 and 260 on the face

Compare 200 and 260 with other foundations (in terms of texture and finish)

Compare 200 and 260 with other foundations (in terms of texture and finish)

#3 Match Stix Trio in Medium
(Bamboo, Mocha & Trippin)

Match Stix Trio in Medium (US$54 / S$79)

Match Stix Trio in Medium (US$54 / S$79)

♫ I'm in love with the shape of you. We push and pull like a magnet do ♫

I’m in love with the shape of you. We push and pull like a magnet do

Match Stix Trio in Medium

Match Stix Trio in Medium

Match Stix Trio in Medium

Match Stix Trio in Medium

The Match Stix Trio is a bundle of three full-size match stix (worth US$25 / S$37 each) specially curated for different skin tones (100 for light, 200 for medium, 300 for tan and 400 for deep) to conceal, contour and highlight. If none of the preselected shades suits your skin tone, you can customise your own Match Stix Trio exclusively at the official Fenty Beauty website (free U.S. shipping on orders of US$50 or more) and get it delivered to you via a forwarder.

Getting the trio as opposed to the individual pieces essentially gives you a saving of US$21 / S$32. That’s really value for money and a way more affordable alternative to the KKW Contour and Highlight Kit (approx US$62.95 including international shipping) if you ask me. I totally wouldn’t forgive myself if I hadn’t bought one during the Sephora sale! For obvious reasons, I picked out 200 Medium which corresponds to my matching Fenty foundation shade and in it are Bamboo, Mocha and Trippin.

Match Stix Matte Skinstick in Bamboo (fully twisted up)

Match Stix Matte Skinstick in Bamboo (fully twisted up)

Match Stix Matte Skinstick in Bamboo

Match Stix Matte Skinstick in Bamboo

Match Stix Matte Skinstick in Bamboo

Match Stix Matte Skinstick in Bamboo

Match Stix Matte Skinstick in Bamboo

Match Stix Matte Skinstick in Bamboo

Bamboo is described as a neutral with a matte finish. A cool ivory that offers medium to full coverage straight from the tube, it can be used as a concealer or a matte highlighter to subtract contours to the facial features. It has a creamy consistency which enables it to apply smoothly on the skin without skipping. Although it was largely able to blur out the appearance of pores and cancel out redness on my skin (and it stayed that way throughout the wear!), I find that it didn’t do too well as an under eye concealer because not only did it not blend very well, it also tended to accentuate the dryness and settle into the lines of that delicate area. But so long as you don’t use it directly below your eyes, it shouldn’t pose any issues.

Match Stix Matte Skinstick in Mocha (fully twisted up)

Match Stix Matte Skinstick in Mocha (fully twisted up)

Match Stix Matte Skinstick in Mocha

Match Stix Matte Skinstick in Mocha

Match Stix Matte Skinstick in Mocha

Match Stix Matte Skinstick in Mocha

Match Stix Matte Skinstick in Mocha

Match Stix Matte Skinstick in Mocha

Mocha is described as a cool with a matte finish. It looks mauve brown on the Skinstick but turns a hue cooler once it goes onto the skin and then becomes increasingly warmer once it is blended out and exposed to the oxygen in the air. I realised that it gets more orangey with every layer so unless you want to appear like you’ve got a blotchy fake tan, one swipe is enough for a softly sculpted look. This shade applies creamy without being too greasy and settles like powder. It provides medium to full coverage while smoothing out the complexion with even payoff. This is great for oily skin as it has mattifying properties and helps diffuse the appearance of pores.

Mocha vs Hoola

Mocha vs Hoola

Match Stix Shimmer Skinstick in Trippin (fully twisted up)

Match Stix Shimmer Skinstick in Trippin (fully twisted up)

Match Stix Shimmer Skinstick in Trippin

Match Stix Shimmer Skinstick in Trippin

Match Stix Shimmer Skinstick in Trippin

Match Stix Shimmer Skinstick in Trippin

Match Stix Shimmer Skinstick in Trippin (after blending out Bamboo and Mocha)

Match Stix Shimmer Skinstick in Trippin (after blending out Bamboo and Mocha)

Match Stix Shimmer Skinstick in Trippin

Match Stix Shimmer Skinstick in Trippin

Trippin is described as a gold-glazed apricot with a shimmery finish. I swatched this in-store and had a sneaking feeling that it would camouflage with my Chinese skin and, as it turned out, I was right. There is a bit of an orange tint in the product at first but once it gets blended out, it disappears entirely into oblivion.

To get a noticeable payoff, some back-and-forth pressure has to be applied to the skin and this may move the foundation if a Non-Fenty one is used, creating an unsightly gap. But even so, it does not give a faceted glow because the shimmers, although concentrated, appear very faint on the skin. It applies slightly chunky and also emphasises the natural texture of my skin. Boo, me no like! On top of that, this product made me feel uncomfortable throughout the wear, like, I kept feeling it on my face. It doesn’t feel tacky whatsoever but I just had the urge to wash it off the very moment I put it on!

Trippin vs Watt's Up! Cream Highlighter by Benefit

Trippin vs Watt’s Up! Cream Highlighter by Benefit

Step-by-step process of using the Match Stix Trio

Step-by-step process of using the Match Stix Trio

And finally, the highlighter that beauty addicts from all over the world have been singing the praises of…

#4 Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter
(Trophy Wife)

Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter in Trophy Wife

Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter in Trophy Wife

Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter in Trophy Wife

Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter in Trophy Wife

Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter in Trophy Wife

Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter in Trophy Wife

Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter in Trophy Wife

Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter in Trophy Wife

Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter in Trophy Wife

Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter in Trophy Wife

Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter in Trophy Wife

Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter in Trophy Wife

Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter in Trophy Wife

Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter in Trophy Wife

Before and after blending out Trophy Wife

Before and after blending out Trophy Wife

Trophy Wife is described as a 3D hyper-metallic gold, mostly made up of loose gold shimmers which can be quite intimidating for strobing amateurs (like me, maybe). But if you’re one who fancies something obnoxiously blinding on your face, this will definitely earn holy grail status. Highly versatile, this multipurpose highlighter can be doubled as an eye shadow or a topper. It can also be applied as-is or with a dampened brush for heightened intensity. Making a bold statement has never been simpler!

For the record, I used it as is. The finish looks uneven on the overall as the shimmers tend to clump up distinctly at some parts and dispersed on other. While it does not leave any kickback in the pan when I tried to pick up some product with my fan brush, there was noticeable glittery fallout on my cheek when I blended out the highlighter (and my wrist for at least two days after I swatched it in-store 😑). It is smooth and lightweight but kinda emphasises the natural texture of my skin. Furthermore, I don’t think it complements my skin tone? It pops on my face, but rather unnaturally I feel so I doubt it would change my opinion of it even if I had applied it with a dampened brush (but sure, I will try it out one day). I kinda like it more on deeper skin tones, though. See how beautiful it looks on this dark-skinned YouTuber here?

Swatch comparison for Trophy Wife (from my Whisper of Gilt review)

Swatch comparison for Trophy Wife (from my Whisper of Gilt review)

With all the hype surrounding Fenty Beauty, I thought I would, too, be head over heels in love with this brand. But I can’t do it, not after how using the products led to a horrible breakout (my worst since having my skin treated by a dermatologist more than a year ago, in fact) on my face. It’s sad because I really wanted to love them.

Even though I was elated to have found my perfect foundation match, I don’t think I will be using any more of the product for fear of battling another episode of breakout, much less repurchasing it. Likewise, those with severe acne conditions or easily aggravated skin should probably stay entirely away from the face products if you don’t want your self-esteem to take a serious nosedive for the next couple of weeks.

What are your thoughts about Fenty Beauty? Let me know what you think in the comments below or simply take a quick poll!

Thanks for reading!

Fenty Beauty by Rihanna is now available on FentyBeauty.com and in all local Sephora outlets.

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