REVIEW: Berrisom Oops! Two Two Lip Bar – Milk in Coral, Milk in Pink & Milk in Red

Hello everyone!

Amidst all the outlandish beauty fads (like exaggerated arched brows, plumped up lips and strobing) that swept the internet in recent years, South Korea amazingly remained uninfluenced by Western pop culture and even managed to cement their own reputation as the beauty hub of Asia, gaining a loyal fan base from all over the world. Their immense popularity is nothing surprising nor unusual, and I have a good reason for that.

When it comes to Korean beauty trends, the spotlight has consistently always been on soft and bright hues for the purpose of achieving the girl-next-door look. This differs greatly from those of Western make-up products which focus on heavy pigments, contouring and volumising to give an edgier and more defined appearance. To many, Korean beauty products are (quite literally) like a breath of fresh air because not only are they usually lightweight and hydrating in nature, the choice of shades are pretty much an exact match to your skin tone so they accentuate your natural skin texture rather than burying it under layers of make-up. In addition, the Koreans have proven to be ingenious trendsetters for reinventing the same old beauty products into modern must-haves for everyone.

And some classic example of that are cushion foundations (which I will talk about very soon) and – you know it – multi-tonal lipsticks, what I’d call a beauty breakthrough in this ombré lip-obsessed society which even international Western beauty brands like Benefit, Maybelline and Givenchy can’t resist tapping into. Who would have thought we’d get excited about everyday shades all over again?

Berrisom Oops! Two Two Lip Bar

Berrisom Oops! Two Two Lip Bar

If you have caught on the frenzy of multi-tonal lipsticks like me, here’s another brand, on top of two I had previously featured, to add to your radar: Berrisom (베리썸).

Established in South Korea, Berrisom positions themselves as a high-tech cosmetic brand using AO5 antioxidant formula extracted from three types of berries (elderberry, blackberry and cranberry) and two types of blossom (evening primrose and camellia), and hence their name. They are best known for their peel-off lip stain (Chu My Lip Tint Pack) which made rounds on the internet two years ago. Taking cue from the gradient lip trend fuelled by competing K-beauty brands, Berrisom went on to launch Oops! Two Two Lip Bar in 2016, a series of two-toned lipstick with white as the primary base colour. Previously only available on Qoo10 for international purchase (..that long wait time before your orders arrive), K-beauty enthusiasts in Singapore must be thrilled to know that it’s now sold in our local Guardian outlets!

Berrisom Oops! Two Two Lip Bar

Berrisom Oops! Two Two Lip Bar

Berrisom Oops! Two Two Lip Bar

Berrisom Oops! Two Two Lip Bar

Berrisom Oops! Two Two Lip Bar

Berrisom Oops! Two Two Lip Bar

Berrisom Oops! Two Two Lip Bar

Berrisom Oops! Two Two Lip Bar

Berrisom Oops! Two Two Lip Bar

Berrisom Oops! Two Two Lip Bar

The Oops! Two Two Lip Bar series comes in just three universal colours – Milk in Coral, Milk in Pink and Milk in Red – and they are each packed in a long paper rectangular box à la Kylie Lip Kit but perhaps half its size. When opened, the inside of the box reveals a diagonal slat to minimise the movement of the product so it doesn’t produce those annoying plopping sound in transit.

Presented in an all-black slender plastic tube with a protective seal on the cap, the packaging may not look as luxurious as say, Laneige but I’m not the least worried about the actual quality since you know, Korean beauty products generally have such high standards, they seldom disappoint. They are scentless and work like any other lipsticks – screw up the bottom of the tube (it’s retractable), apply, purse your lips to distribute the colours, blot further if needed and you’re ready to go!

#1 Milk in Coral

Berrisom Oops! Two Two Lip Bar in Milk in Coral (S$16.90 / 15,000 KRW)

Berrisom Oops! Two Two Lip Bar in Milk in Coral (S$16.90 / 15,000 KRW)

Berrisom Oops! Two Two Lip Bar in Milk in Coral

Berrisom Oops! Two Two Lip Bar in Milk in Coral

Berrisom Oops! Two Two Lip Bar in Milk in Coral

Berrisom Oops! Two Two Lip Bar in Milk in Coral

Berrisom Oops! Two Two Lip Bar in Milk in Coral

Berrisom Oops! Two Two Lip Bar in Milk in Coral

Berrisom Oops! Two Two Lip Bar in Milk in Coral - before and after lip pursing

Berrisom Oops! Two Two Lip Bar in Milk in Coral – before and after lip pursing

Berrisom Oops! Two Two Lip Bar in Milk in Coral

Berrisom Oops! Two Two Lip Bar in Milk in Coral

Berrisom Oops! Two Two Lip Bar in Milk in Coral

Berrisom Oops! Two Two Lip Bar in Milk in Coral

Berrisom Oops! Two Two Lip Bar in Milk in Coral

Berrisom Oops! Two Two Lip Bar in Milk in Coral

As classical as red lipsticks are, they may not be everyone’s cup of tea. It requires a great deal of courage to walk around with red lipstick because its vibrancy screams for attention and not many Asians are ready for that kind of public scrutiny yet. So, the next best lip colour option to enchant and look coquettish at the same time without drawing unwanted eyeballs is to go a few tones lighter. Then, what you’d get is an alluring coral. There has been a sudden surge in demand for coral lipsticks in recent years and it could highly be attributed to the popularity of Korean TV soaps. That’s totally understandable. I mean, who could resist those kissable and luscious orange-tinged lips of Korean celebrities like Jun Ji-hyun on My Love from the Star?

Hence, when there’s only enough budget to make three shades in the pilot stage of introducing a new lipstick line, a coral better be one of them. And perhaps, that’s how Milk in Coral came about. This shade is a muted warm-toned red with a white that goes on almost invisible to the naked eye. It applies smooth and creamy, leaving a satin finish with a soft sheen to it. The first swipe delivers mostly opaque (it may be too dark by Korean beauty standards but I personally like its opacity) and a very pigmented coverage which significantly contrasted the red against the white and allows for a more noticeable gradation.

When applying lipstick, I like to extend the application slightly beyond the lip line to create an illusion of plumper lips but these Berrisom lipsticks rendered it more difficult to achieve that effect (in one full attempt) due to the shorter width of the bullet. It would take some practice before I can maneuver the bullet perfectly (especially on the cupid’s bow) without disrupting the gradient. That aside, the colours blend seamlessly well without settling into my lip lines after I purse my lips. Further, it is hydrating and emollient, though a little tacky. To achieve a just-bitten (a.k.a the Korean style) look, try wearing the colours in reverse.

#2 Milk in Pink

Berrisom Oops! Two Two Lip Bar in Milk in Pink (S$16.90 / 15,000 KRW)

Berrisom Oops! Two Two Lip Bar in Milk in Pink (S$16.90 / 15,000 KRW)

Berrisom Oops! Two Two Lip Bar in Milk in Pink

Berrisom Oops! Two Two Lip Bar in Milk in Pink

Berrisom Oops! Two Two Lip Bar in Milk in Pink

Berrisom Oops! Two Two Lip Bar in Milk in Pink

Berrisom Oops! Two Two Lip Bar in Milk in Pink

Berrisom Oops! Two Two Lip Bar in Milk in Pink

Berrisom Oops! Two Two Lip Bar in Milk in Pink - before and after lip pursing

Berrisom Oops! Two Two Lip Bar in Milk in Pink – before and after lip pursing

Berrisom Oops! Two Two Lip Bar in Milk in Pink

Berrisom Oops! Two Two Lip Bar in Milk in Pink

Berrisom Oops! Two Two Lip Bar in Milk in Pink

Berrisom Oops! Two Two Lip Bar in Milk in Pink

Berrisom Oops! Two Two Lip Bar in Milk in Pink

Berrisom Oops! Two Two Lip Bar in Milk in Pink

Spring has sprung and what better way to usher in the season of renewal with some pink lips? While I wouldn’t really associate such bright statement shade with the Korean pop culture (as I often see Korean artiste opting for much more muted lip colours outside of quirky K-pop videos), pink lipsticks are known to be more versatile than reds. Besides, nothing exudes fun and flirty vibes on top of femininity like pink lips, so they are essentially a fab addition to any girl’s beauty arsenal.

If you don’t already have a pink lipstick, fret not as Berrisom has got you covered with an affordable one they named Milk in Pink – a cool-toned bubblegum pink that applies like butter with some tug, and as thick and evenly as some of my favourite M.A.C lipsticks. It has a satin finish and lends an opaque colour payoff. Upon blending with the white, the main colour visibly fades into a baby pink towards the inner part of my lips. However, it tends to run into the creases as you can see on my bottom lip but it’s not obvious from afar.

Swatch comparison for Milk in Pink

Swatch comparison for Milk in Pink

#3 Milk in Red

Berrisom Oops! Two Two Lip Bar in Milk in Red (S$16.90 / 15,000 KRW)

Berrisom Oops! Two Two Lip Bar in Milk in Red (S$16.90 / 15,000 KRW)

Berrisom Oops! Two Two Lip Bar in Milk in Red

Berrisom Oops! Two Two Lip Bar in Milk in Red

Berrisom Oops! Two Two Lip Bar in Milk in Red

Berrisom Oops! Two Two Lip Bar in Milk in Red

Berrisom Oops! Two Two Lip Bar in Milk in Red

Berrisom Oops! Two Two Lip Bar in Milk in Red

Berrisom Oops! Two Two Lip Bar in Milk in Red - before and after lip pursing

Berrisom Oops! Two Two Lip Bar in Milk in Red – before and after lip pursing

Berrisom Oops! Two Two Lip Bar in Milk in Red

Berrisom Oops! Two Two Lip Bar in Milk in Red

Berrisom Oops! Two Two Lip Bar in Milk in Red

Berrisom Oops! Two Two Lip Bar in Milk in Red

Berrisom Oops! Two Two Lip Bar in Milk in Red

Berrisom Oops! Two Two Lip Bar in Milk in Red

Whether you are warm- or cool-toned, there is bound to be a red lipstick for everyone, so don’t shy away from reds just because you thought you looked awful in the last one you wore. Most likely you didn’t pick out the right one that complements your skin tone! Supposedly, a rather accurate way of determining your undertones would be by looking at the colour of your veins on your wrist: blue-tinted veins signify a cool skin tone, whereas greenish veins point to a warm skin tone. A mixture of both would indicate a neutral undertone. Therefore, in order to look your optimum, you should go for lipstick shades that directly corresponds to your skin tone.

So, as an Asian with cool skin tones (yes, “yellow-skinned” don’t automatically have warm undertones.. *ahem*), I should presumably look better with cool-toned reds like Milk in Red. Well, well, well.. look at me, all jazzed up and looking out of the ordinary! 😝😝😝 Jokes aside, I do feel more comfortable wearing this shade of red as compared to those with yellow undertones, so I guess there’s some truth to this lipstick compatibility theory after all!

Like the others, Milk in Red glides almost-effortlessly across the lips, delivering full-coverage colour with a satin finish in just a single stroke. Lightweight and hydrating, it perfectly defines the lip contours which inadvertently gives my lips a plumped effect. Out of the three shades mentioned, the gradation here seems most apparent (look at the bottom lip!) because of the intense pigmentation of the main colour, red (so you definitely cannot get away without pursing your lips for this one). Boy, I may not be the biggest fan of red lips but Jesus Christ I LOVE THIS. Now, I have to find a suitable occasion to wear this lovely red..

Swatch comparison for Milk in Coral and Milk in Red

Swatch comparison for Milk in Coral and Milk in Red

In conclusion, I was so damn right – these Berrisom two-toned lipsticks did not disappoint! In fact, probably because they are so untypical of the usual Korean make-up products for their strong colour payoff and close-to-matte-like finish (if you noticed, most K-beauty lipsticks are either too glossy or sheer 😒 me no likey), they surpassed my expectations. Moreover, they are more long-lasting too!

With so many Korean beauty brands to shop at, there’s likely better choices out there. But in terms of affordability, Berrisom definitely takes the cake because like, seriously, it’s only S$16.90! (Prices are a lot lower if you buy it off the net but do bear in mind that you can’t try the colour before purchasing!)

What are your thoughts on these lipsticks? Let me know your comments below!

Thanks for reading!

Berrisom Oops! Two Two Lip Bar is now available at selected local Guardian outlets at an introductory price of S$13.90 (usual price S$16.90) for a limited time only.
Products featured in this review were editorially selected. All opinions, as always, are genuine and uninfluenced.

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REVIEW: HERA Sensual Rouge Lipsticks – #132 Rustic Garden, #200 Morning Fever & #451 I’m Not A Mama

Hello everyone!

While we are on the subject of Korean beauty products, there are still a couple of other noteworthy brands that I would like to put the spotlight on, one of which is HERA. Now, most of you Hallyu enthusiasts would have already heard of this brand by now – even though it is not available in Singapore – through their ambassador Jun Ji Hyun as she had famously worn two lipsticks from HERA in her latest hit drama Legend of the Blue Sea. But I know not everyone is into the Korean Wave, so read on for a quick introduction on the brand.

Founded in 1995 by AmorePacific (the same company behind Laneige, Sulwhasoo, Innisfree, Etude House and IOPE), HERA is currently touted as one of the leading Korean beauty brands in the world for both men and women despite only having physical presence in their home country and recently, China. Even before I set foot in Seoul last year, I had heard plenty of talk about the brand. But as mentioned previously, I am not one who would buy into the hype of Korean make-up brands (especially since new ones seem to be popping up every moment – ain’t nobody got money for dat!) so my decision to slap new make-up on my face typically boils down to the visual presentation of the products themselves. It’s sad but true – first impression counts, so only brands that invest in their packaging deserve my money.

And HERA is certainly one I would splurge my money on despite their products being as expensive as some high-end brands around.

HERA Sensual Rouge

HERA Sensual Rouge

Unlike typical one-tone lipsticks, the Sensual Rouge series are said to deliver an exquisite blend of two colors and a moist finish. Available in 8 shades, they come in slim and long rectangular glossy plastic (yet rather sturdy) tubes that are perfect for on-the-go use. A sleek and clean appearance with touch of elegance and trendiness, it goes without saying that HERA had gotten me hooked to their packaging the very moment I spotted them at Lotte Department Store! Go ahead and pack along multiple shades of these Sensual Rouge lipsticks on your next trip if you feel like wearing a different lipstick shade for everyday of your vacation – these lipsticks do not take up much space in your make-up bag even when boxed up.

Furthermore, you don’t have to keep track of the shelf life of these lipsticks because the expiration dates are stated on the bottom label. But then again, the clear-cut expiration dates may not necessarily be a good thing for makeup hoarders who are unwilling to toss their past-it lipsticks *guilty*

A different take on bar codes? HERA showcases their creativity by incorporating iconic Seoul landmarks into boring ol' bar codes :) Who needs blatant, in-your-face "Product of South Korea" on the packaging when you can have artistic and subtle messages like this? :)

A different take on bar codes? HERA showcases their creativity by incorporating iconic Seoul landmarks into boring ol’ bar codes 🙂 Who needs blatant, in-your-face “Product of South Korea” on the packaging when you can have artistic and subtle messages like this? 🙂

Not only is the packaging en pointe, a lot of thought had been put into naming the shades as well. All these just make me wonder why HERA isn’t expanding as much outside South Korea as their sister brand Laneige. They are clearly ready to take over the international beauty scene! Oh, you selfish Koreans.. Only want the best for yourselves, eh? 😏

#132 Rustic Garden

HERA Sensual Rouge in #132 Rustic Garden (35,000 KRW)

HERA Sensual Rouge in #132 Rustic Garden (35,000 KRW)

HERA Sensual Rouge in #132 Rustic Garden

HERA Sensual Rouge in #132 Rustic Garden

HERA Sensual Rouge in #132 Rustic Garden

HERA Sensual Rouge in #132 Rustic Garden

HERA Sensual Rouge in #132 Rustic Garden

HERA Sensual Rouge in #132 Rustic Garden

HERA Sensual Rouge in #132 Rustic Garden

HERA Sensual Rouge in #132 Rustic Garden

HERA Sensual Rouge in #132 Rustic Garden

HERA Sensual Rouge in #132 Rustic Garden

HERA Sensual Rouge in #132 Rustic Garden

HERA Sensual Rouge in #132 Rustic Garden

To be fair to lipstick brands I am trying for the first time, I would usually pick out hues on both ends of the darkness spectrum for a more balanced review. Based on the shade number, Rustic Garden is the lightest shade in the Sensual Rouge line and it is mainly an amalgam of muted rosy-pink in the middle and a darker warm-toned pink (as opposed to the colours depicted on the box which look cooler and browner than warm to me) on each side of the bullet.

The oily formula enables it to glide smoothly on the lips but some product can be seen settling into my lip lines.  Barely noticeable on the first application because it is so close to my natural lip colour, I have to run this lipstick over my lips several times before I can finally see some contrast. It is emollient, hydrating and feels lightweight and the glossy sheen gives the soft colours an extra pop!

#200 Morning Fever

HERA Sensual Rouge in #200 Morning Fever (35,000 KRW)

HERA Sensual Rouge in #200 Morning Fever (35,000 KRW)

HERA Sensual Rouge in #200 Morning Fever

HERA Sensual Rouge in #200 Morning Fever

HERA Sensual Rouge in #200 Morning Fever

HERA Sensual Rouge in #200 Morning Fever

HERA Sensual Rouge in #200 Morning Fever

HERA Sensual Rouge in #200 Morning Fever

HERA Sensual Rouge in #200 Morning Fever

HERA Sensual Rouge in #200 Morning Fever

HERA Sensual Rouge in #200 Morning Fever

HERA Sensual Rouge in #200 Morning Fever

HERA Sensual Rouge in #200 Morning Fever

HERA Sensual Rouge in #200 Morning Fever

In view of my impending entrance into the workforce then, I had been keeping a lookout for multi-tone lipsticks with shades that are unusual yet not over the top and are suitable for everyday wear. Ticking all the right boxes is Morning Fever – one with muted red as its primary colour and pale orange as the accent colour.

It goes on buttery and sheer on first application but builds to a semi-opaque finish. It has more slip than Rustic Garden and feels lightweight and supple on the lips, but leaves an oily film which lends that natural sheen. I would prefer the orange to be slightly more prominent because currently, the blend is so seamless than unless you see it under proper lighting the contrast is hardly visible at all. Nonetheless, it is a very flattering shade which gives the lips a healthy glow.

HERA #132 Rustic Garden and #200 Morning Fever swatch comparison with other similar multi-tone shades

HERA #132 Rustic Garden and #200 Morning Fever swatch comparison with other similar multi-tone shades

#451 I’m Not A Mama

HERA Sensual Rouge in #451 I'm Not A Mama (35,000 KRW)

HERA Sensual Rouge in #451 I’m Not A Mama (35,000 KRW)

HERA Sensual Rouge in #451 I'm Not A Mama

HERA Sensual Rouge in #451 I’m Not A Mama

HERA Sensual Rouge in #451 I'm Not A Mama

HERA Sensual Rouge in #451 I’m Not A Mama

HERA Sensual Rouge in #451 I'm Not A Mama

HERA Sensual Rouge in #451 I’m Not A Mama

HERA Sensual Rouge in #451 I'm Not A Mama

HERA Sensual Rouge in #451 I’m Not A Mama

HERA Sensual Rouge in #451 I'm Not A Mama

HERA Sensual Rouge in #451 I’m Not A Mama

HERA Sensual Rouge in #451 I'm Not A Mama

HERA Sensual Rouge in #451 I’m Not A Mama

Last but not least is I’m Not A Mama, the darkest and perhaps most pigmented of the octet and also one that is more in line with what I would normally wear. But lo and behold, probably because I’m more of a seasoned dark lipstick fiend, I find myself having more negative things to talk about for this shade.

Featuring a reassuring blend of cool copper and a deepened claret (in between brown and purple – a combination I knew would complement each other perfectly) on the bullet, this lipstick disappointingly applies as a muted burnt orange altogether on my lips and thereby blurring the contrast of the colours (which defeats the purpose of the multi-tone function since any regular lipsticks can do the job). In fact, if you were to look very closely, the deeper hue appears a lot lighter than the primary colour when applied on the lips 🤔 Although the most opaque among the three reviewed here, it is still mostly sheer by normal standards and has to be layered to decent opacity – a characteristic quite typical of Korean makeup products as the Koreans tend to place more emphasis on achieving a more youthful, natural and dewy look.

Application-wise, it is equally greasy and has more slip than the other two but feels tackier. On top of that, it has a runny and weightless texture that glides on easily, leaving the lips feeling moisturised and refreshed. All in all, it is a pleasant shade and I would have rated it better if not for the barely visible colour contrast. Pity!

HERA #451 I'm Not A Mama swatch comparison with regular lipsticks

HERA #451 I’m Not A Mama swatch comparison with regular lipsticks

On the whole, I would say that the Sensual Rouge line is alright in quality but nothing to write home about. For sure, much still needs to be done to the accuracy of the information on the packaging because I find the shades depicted on it very deceiving and absolutely inaccurate as you can see. Do swatch (if possible) before buying or you will be in for a surprise.

So should you get these? Depending on your preference, you may enjoy them if you don’t mind opting for a softer look. But if you are all for a more defined and mature make-up look, this (or K-beauty in general) is certainly not for you.

What are your thoughts on these multi-tone lipsticks? Are they effective in creating ombré lip looks or are they just plain marketing gimmicks? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below! 🙂

Thanks for reading!

While HERA Sensual Rouge is only available in South Korea and china (not at duty-free counters), you might able to find other products by the same brand on Qoo10 and Lazada.

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REVIEW: VDL Tint Bar Triple Shot EX Awakening Lipsticks – #102 Triple Berry & #104 Triple Swag

Hello everyone!

I’m in the mood for Korean makeup today, so let’s take a short breather from western beauty products, shall we?

As a K-beauty rookie, there is honestly no better place to buy Korean cosmetics than from their country of origin itself. Even though the prices between the products in South Korea and Singapore may only differ by a few Sing dollars (so I don’t feel much of a pinch if I end up not liking the product), the latter does not necessarily get to enjoy the latest offerings at the same time as the South Koreans do. Some took months (e.g. The Face Shop X Disney) to appear on our shelves, whereas a handful (e.g. Tony Mony X Pokémon) never made it. On top of that, there are also brands (e.g. HERA) that are not available here in Singapore. Hence, I made it a point to visit the shopping districts during my first trip to Seoul last July and while at the Myeongdong branch of Lotte Department Store, I chanced upon the VDL booth which had their displays and products all tied to a summer theme they named Awakening.

VDL Awakening collection for Summer 2016

VDL Awakening collection for Summer 2016

For the uninitiated, VDL (Violet Dream Luminous – whatever that means..) is an international cosmetic brand founded by South Korean corporate giant LG – or more precisely The Color Lab, a carve-out of their household and health care unit – in 2012. Since landing on Singapore’s shores in 2013 with their first outlet at Suntec City, it has grown to 5 islandwide, including 2 at heartland malls. But despite the relatively widespread availability here, it was only during this work trip (shout-out to BLS Korea for the wonderful opportunity 👄 More on this another day) that thrust me out of my comfort zone to give this brand a try.

You see, Korean beauty products have been taking the world by storm, so much so that countless Korean cosmetic brands (with dubious-sounding and grammatically incorrect English names, no less) have emerged out of nowhere the past few years, seemingly riding on the coattails of the Hallyu phenomenon. No doubt, that got me a little sceptical about the quality of the products (and also a small part of me had refused to jump on the bandwagon). There were, of course, prominent brands which have been in existence long enough to be considered reliable in my book. But as a newcomer in the market, VDL was certainly far from that. Still, I don’t shut myself out from new or unknown brands so long as they don’t cost an arm and leg and are safe to use (especially on sensitive skin like mine).

VDL Tint Bar Triple Shot EX (Awakening) Lipsticks

VDL Tint Bar Triple Shot EX (Awakening) Lipsticks

In case you haven’t noticed, single-colour lipsticks are so yesterday.

Multiple-tone lipsticks has been all the rage recently, thanks to the obsession with ombré lips. The craze is understandable – after all, it reduced what was traditionally a three-step technique to a single swipe and the effect is a gorgeous just-bitten look! Clearly, it is such a big hit with the Koreans (and in fact, the rest of the world) that virtually every Korean beauty brand has its own permanent line of two or three-tone lipsticks. VDL, for one, has its own range of three-tone lipsticks known as Tint Bar Triple Shot.

Available in 6 juicy colours (#102 Triple Berry / #103 Triple Fuchsia / #104 Triple Swag / #503 Triple Cherry / #504 Triple Scarlet / #602 Triple Orange) from this Awakening collection, these three-tone lipsticks are a tint, lip-balm and base in one which promise a “perfect gradation and more vivid colouring with a single touch”. Each of them features a main, sub and base colour and smells like candy/bubblegum.

1. Main Colour
Enriched with Royal Jelly extract, this colour layer brightly stains lips as it moisturizes, preventing drying and chapping.

2. Sub Colour
This lightly tinted balm conditions and seamlessly blends colour into your lips for a natural, gradient effect.

3. Base Colour
This lip base naturally blends the lip line with your original skin tone and evens out and nourishes discoloured, dry lips into a smooth, even base. The base prevents feathering and creates a purer, lasting colour effect.

(Source)

Before moving on with the reviews, I would like to comment a little on the packaging, which is pretty much similar to those in the regular line. VDL never came across as a budget makeup brand… until I saw the packaging of Tint Bar Triple Shot – white, brittle frosted plastic material with a chunky appearance to boot. Seriously? It feels as cheap as it looks, not forgetting it is also ugly. On top of that, I have to be really gentle with the lipstick or the body of the tube would easily detach from the reflective base when I twist up the bullet. The quality of the packaging is, to say the least, poor, and I’m sure most drugstore makeup brands make better packaging than this. To think VDL is owned by a multinational conglomerate corporation, I find this highly unacceptable..

Anyhow, after spending a couple of minutes swatching and contemplating on what to get at the booth, I picked up two of the Tint Bar Triple Shot lipsticks and was given a free mini ceramic hair straightener 😮 One perk of shopping directly in brick-and-mortar stores in South Korea is that you will mostly likely receive a truckload of freebies and samples in return for your purchase, regardless of how small it is. Love the generosity of the South Korean retailers! It’s also a perfect excuse to return 😜

#102 Triple Berry

VDL Tint Bar Triple Shot EX (Awakening) in #102 Triple Berry (18,000 KRW)

VDL Tint Bar Triple Shot EX (Awakening) in #102 Triple Berry (18,000 KRW)

VDL Tint Bar Triple Shot EX (Awakening) in #102 Triple Berry

VDL Tint Bar Triple Shot EX (Awakening) in #102 Triple Berry

VDL Tint Bar Triple Shot EX (Awakening) in #102 Triple Berry

VDL Tint Bar Triple Shot EX (Awakening) in #102 Triple Berry

VDL Tint Bar Triple Shot EX (Awakening) in #102 Triple Berry

VDL Tint Bar Triple Shot EX (Awakening) in #102 Triple Berry

VDL Tint Bar Triple Shot EX (Awakening) in #102 Triple Berry

VDL Tint Bar Triple Shot EX (Awakening) in #102 Triple Berry

VDL Tint Bar Triple Shot EX (Awakening) in #102 Triple Berry

VDL Tint Bar Triple Shot EX (Awakening) in #102 Triple Berry

VDL Tint Bar Triple Shot EX (Awakening) in #102 Triple Berry

VDL Tint Bar Triple Shot EX (Awakening) in #102 Triple Berry

VDL Tint Bar Triple Shot EX (Awakening) in #102 Triple Berry

VDL Tint Bar Triple Shot EX (Awakening) in #102 Triple Berry

There are several ways to use these triple-tone lipsticks. Depending on your preference, you may apply the base colour on the outer lip line and main colour on the inner, and glide it sideways along lips to create the standard gradient lips. Otherwise, you can also place all three sections of the lipstick vertically on the lips and glide it sideways to achieve a milky effect. I prefer the intensity of the gradient to increase as it spans outward (i.e. western style) because the colours look fuller and more pronounced on me that way. But I will update this post with additional pictures if I decide to do the Korean way. Perhaps.. tomorrow 😉 just added!

VDL Tint Bar Triple Shot EX (Awakening) in #102 Triple Berry (Korean style)

VDL Tint Bar Triple Shot EX (Awakening) in #102 Triple Berry (Korean style)

VDL Tint Bar Triple Shot EX (Awakening) in #102 Triple Berry (Korean style)

VDL Tint Bar Triple Shot EX (Awakening) in #102 Triple Berry (Korean style)

Triple Berry consists of mainly low-contrast soft pinks/corals and so you need to exert right amount of pressure (on the darker pink, for instance) to show the clear distinction between the colours. It has an oily texture which enables it to work very smoothly across the lips and keep the lips feeling moisturised. On the downside, it is not very long-lasting and since the base colour only acts as a conditioning agent, it does not contain any pigment. Although it has a pretty even colour consistency (with minimal skipping), it requires several applications for the main and sub colours to be reasonably opaque. Still, Triple Berry lends a nice twist to conventional pink lipsticks and is a gorgeous everyday lip colour to wear for any occasion.

VDL #102 Triple Berry compared with Laneige Two-Tone Lip Bar in #6 Pink Step

VDL #102 Triple Berry compared with Laneige Two-Tone Lip Bar in #6 Pink Step

#104 Triple Swag

VDL Tint Bar Triple Shot EX (Awakening) in #104 Triple Swag (18,000 KRW)

VDL Tint Bar Triple Shot EX (Awakening) in #104 Triple Swag (18,000 KRW)

VDL Tint Bar Triple Shot EX (Awakening) in #104 Triple Swag

VDL Tint Bar Triple Shot EX (Awakening) in #104 Triple Swag

VDL Tint Bar Triple Shot EX (Awakening) in #104 Triple Swag

VDL Tint Bar Triple Shot EX (Awakening) in #104 Triple Swag

VDL Tint Bar Triple Shot EX (Awakening) in #104 Triple Swag

VDL Tint Bar Triple Shot EX (Awakening) in #104 Triple Swag

VDL Tint Bar Triple Shot EX (Awakening) in #104 Triple Swag

VDL Tint Bar Triple Shot EX (Awakening) in #104 Triple Swag

VDL Tint Bar Triple Shot EX (Awakening) in #104 Triple Swag

VDL Tint Bar Triple Shot EX (Awakening) in #104 Triple Swag

VDL Tint Bar Triple Shot EX (Awakening) in #104 Triple Swag

VDL Tint Bar Triple Shot EX (Awakening) in #104 Triple Swag

VDL Tint Bar Triple Shot EX (Awakening) in #104 Triple Swag

VDL Tint Bar Triple Shot EX (Awakening) in #104 Triple Swag

I had bought Triple Swag with the expectation that it would give an ombré of the three depicted colours (because somehow I did not swatch this before buying), but only to realise later on that there is zilch colour payoff from its base colour. How disappointing ☹

Similarly, Triple Swag goes on slick and more opaque (as compared to Triple Berry) with a slight sheen to it. It has an emollient and lightweight texture but the greasiness can be a little too much to bear, which also causes the lipstick to wear off very easily. Nevertheless, if you are looking for a two-tone lipstick with a starker colour contrast, this is it. It has hot pink as the main colour and bright warm orange as the sub – almost like the colours of sunset and the combination looks absolutely unique and stunning. That said, it would require more effort to blend the harsh lines, and I think this shows up more prominently against fair skin tones.

VDL Tint Bar Triple Shot EX (Awakening) in #104 Triple Swag (Korean style)

VDL Tint Bar Triple Shot EX (Awakening) in #104 Triple Swag (Korean style)

VDL Tint Bar Triple Shot EX (Awakening) in #104 Triple Swag (Korean style)

VDL Tint Bar Triple Shot EX (Awakening) in #104 Triple Swag (Korean style)

VDL #104 Triple Swag compared with similar-looking Laneige Two-Tone Lip Bar shades

VDL #104 Triple Swag compared with similar-looking Laneige Two-Tone Lip Bar shades

Having already used these multiple-tone lipsticks, I kinda understand the hype around them now. Contrary to the strong and heavily pigmented lip colours made by western beauty brands, these lipsticks give a softer touch to our delicate Asian features while exuding a feminine and sweet vibe. However, I wouldn’t consider any of these VDL Tint Bar Triple Shot lipsticks three-tone since only two of the three colours show up on my lips. I feel a bit cheated.. 😣

What are your thoughts on them? Let me know in the comments below!

Thanks for reading!

VDL Tint Bar Triple Shot is available in local VDL outlets in limited shades for 18,000 KRW / S$24 each. the EX Awakening series has been discontinued but you may be able to find the products in reseller markets.

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REVIEW: MAC Colour Rocker Lipsticks (PART 2) – Yellow You Dare?, Mud Wrestler, Gritty Girl, Cold Hard Cash, Secret # & Digging It

Hello everyone!

M.A.C Colour Rocker 2017 (PART 2)

M.A.C Colour Rocker 2017 (PART 2)

A few days ago, I wrote about the blues and greens from the recent Colour Rocker collection by M.A.C. To facilitate the ease of reading, I have split my review of this massive haul (my biggest to date from a single M.A.C collection) into two (going three) digestible parts. This second installment picks up where I left off and will cover the warms and browns.

Overview

Overview

Read the first part of the m.a.c colour rocker collection review here.

#7 Yellow You Dare?

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Yellow You Dare? (US$17 / S$33)

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Yellow You Dare? (US$17 / S$33)

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Yellow You Dare?

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Yellow You Dare?

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Yellow You Dare?

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Yellow You Dare?

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Yellow You Dare?

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Yellow You Dare?

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Yellow You Dare?

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Yellow You Dare?

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Yellow You Dare?

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Yellow You Dare?

Thanks to research and development, even the most unimaginable bright hues have evolved into commonplace liquid lipstick shades with decent coverage in recent years. But it wouldn’t be possible to make bright regular lipsticks a decent ago because fluorescent matte pigments are notoriously hard to formulate. Therefore, it was completely understandable that bright lip colours by M.A.C had always been in crappy, less-than-satisfactory finishes.

This year, M.A.C pushes the boundaries of cosmetic formulation with not one, but several fluoroscent matte lipsticks including a yellow and lime green. While awaiting the latter to reach me from the States, let’s discuss about Yellow You Dare?. A first matte yellow by the beauty giant, this limited-edition warmed yellow skips on the lips a fair bit at the very first swipe but builds to a decently-opaque coat of colour with multiple applications to conceal most of the gaps (and bleeding into the lip lines in the process). Its drying and chalky consistency, however, accentuates every wrinkle on the lips and I also dislike the fact that it does not fade evenly, leaving a patchy pout at the end of the day. Nonetheless, taking into consideration the difficulties in perfecting one, I would say this is a pretty darn good effort 😄

M.A.C Yellow You Dare? swatch comparison (against Jeffree Star's Queen Bee as well)

M.A.C Yellow You Dare? swatch comparison (against Jeffree Star’s Queen Bee as well)

Before you write this collection off as one dedicated only to the adventurous and experimental, take a look at the muddy hues! With more than six tones of brown lip colours to choose from, there is no denying that M.A.C is trying to reinforce the notion that the ’90’s-esque brown lip trend is here to stay. Why wouldn’t it, anyway? Brown is such a universally flattering neutral that anyone would be able to pull it off, so long as you find the right one for your skin tone! Honestly, I can’t think of anyone who doesn’t look good with earthy lips!

To get you started on the path to brown lip perfection, here are five (new) brown lip hues from this collection, starting with the lightest:

#8 Mud Wrestler

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Mud Wrestler (US$17 / S$33)

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Mud Wrestler (US$17 / S$33)

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Mud Wrestler

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Mud Wrestler

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Mud Wrestler

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Mud Wrestler

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Mud Wrestler

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Mud Wrestler

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Mud Wrestler

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Mud Wrestler

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Mud Wrestler

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Mud Wrestler

Let’s get dirrrty with Mud Wrestler, described as a creamy neutral beige with Matte finish. Classified as a warm hue, this limited-edition pale brown has a satin-like finish and goes on mostly opaque with a good slip and glide although it takes me a couple of passes before the colour finally becomes noticeable against my medium skin tone. It leaves a tacky and streaky consistency as well as a drying, crayon-like texture. On top of that, it does virtually nothing to reduce the appearance of my lip wrinkles. The true potential of this shade would probably be realised on light skin tones 😉

M.A.C Mud Wrestler swatch comparison

M.A.C Mud Wrestler swatch comparison

#9 Gritty Girl

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Gritty Girl (US$17 / S$33)

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Gritty Girl (US$17 / S$33)

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Gritty Girl

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Gritty Girl

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Gritty Girl

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Gritty Girl

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Gritty Girl

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Gritty Girl

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Gritty Girl

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Gritty Girl

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Gritty Girl

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Gritty Girl

Not too far off from Mud Wrestler on the colour scale is Gritty Girl, described as a light cool brown with Matte finish. In reality, this limited-edition shade is muted, slightly grey-tinged and goes on smooth and somewhat sheer (as my natural lip colour can still be seen) with a small degree of buildability which gives its lightweight and hydrating texture. It offers a fairly uniform spread of colour after several swipes, topped with a balmy finish and a soft sheen. All’s good except that it fares poorly in the longevity department as it fades away entirely upon taking light snacks.

M.A.C Gritty Girl swatch comparison

M.A.C Gritty Girl swatch comparison

#10 Cold Hard Cash 

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Cold Hard Cash (US$17 / S$33)

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Cold Hard Cash (US$17 / S$33)

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Cold Hard Cash

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Cold Hard Cash

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Cold Hard Cash

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Cold Hard Cash

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Cold Hard Cash

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Cold Hard Cash

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Cold Hard Cash

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Cold Hard Cash

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Cold Hard Cash

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Cold Hard Cash

If going by the rule of thumb when it comes to selecting the right shade of lipstick that we should pick a tone one or two shade darker than your natural lip colour, then perhaps Cold Hard Cash fits the bill for me. Described as a creamy neutral brown with Matte finish, the yellow undertones in this limited-edition shade complements my warm skin tone naturally without making exaggerated effort. Besides, there is a good amount of slip to ensure a smooth application. It lends an opaque colour payoff but has a slightly gritty and tacky consistency. This shade is neither drying nor hydrating.

M.A.C Cold Hard Cash swatch comparison

M.A.C Cold Hard Cash swatch comparison – Styled in Sepia is 99% similar!

#11 Secret #

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Secret # (US$17 / S$33)

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Secret # (US$17 / S$33)

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Secret #

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Secret #

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Secret #

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Secret #

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Secret #

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Secret #

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Secret #

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Secret #

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Secret #

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Secret #

If you’re already bored of safe neutrals, perhaps Secret # might just be what you need to amp up your lip game. Another limited-edition shade from this collection, it is described as a dark greyed brown with Matte finish and is ideal for seasoned veterans of the vampy lip look as well as those who are ready to take the plunge and go for something darker (that’s the spirit!). It applies creamy and effortlessly on the lips, leaving an opaque cool ash brown with excellent colour payoff. The grey tint catches light so it doesn’t look like a regular dark brown lipstick (it kinda looks metallic, minus the strong shimmer effect) but at the same time, it also somewhat emphasises the lip lines. It feels hydrating yet mildly tacky on the lips as it is, so some blotting would definitely help in removing some sticky residue (and make it more long-lasting).

#12 Digging It

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Digging It (US$17 / S$33)

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Digging It (US$17 / S$33)

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Digging It

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Digging It

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Digging It

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Digging It

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Digging It

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Digging It

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Digging It

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Digging It

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Digging It

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Digging It

Complete your grunge look while going a notch deeper with Digging It, described as a rich warm brown with Matte finish. Not for the faint-hearted, this limited-edition deep rustic brown lends a touch of allure and mystery to your bold makeup as it fills the surface of the lips smoothly with a thick and creamy coat of lipstick. Moreover, with its insanely-pigmented and opaque consistency, topped with a subtle sheen to enhance your sultry moue, it is guaranteed to make an impression. It is as dark as it can be on the second swipe not so this shade is not very buildable. Like most of the shades in this collection, it is tacky but feels hydrating on the lips. Well, at least it doesn’t dry the heck out of my lips like most traditional M.A.C matte lipsticks do!

M.A.C Secret # and Digging It swatch comparison - Stone is lighter and warmer as compared to Secret # while Antique Velvet is slightly darker and more pigmented with more red undertones than Digging It

M.A.C Secret # and Digging It swatch comparison – Stone is lighter and warmer as compared to Secret # while Antique Velvet is slightly darker and more pigmented with more red undertones than Digging It

And there you have it, my lengthiest review on a single collection with two more shades en route to Singapore! Keep your eyes peeled on this page for the next part 😊

Thanks for reading!

M.A.C Colour Rocker is now available online and at local M.A.C outlets.

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

REVIEW: MAC Colour Rocker Lipsticks (PART 1) – Instant Icon, Jean Genie, Blue Bang!, Show And Teal, Deep With Envy & Mean Green Machine

Hello everyone!

It has become almost like an annual routine for M.A.C to launch a series of new matte lipstick shades, so this year is no exception! Launched in January in the U.S., the Colour Rocker collection saw the release of 28 lipsticks (categorised into browns, pinks/purples/greys, warms and blues/greens) in a spectrum of bright neon-esque hues and dark accents.

These lipsticks – some new, some repromotes – boast in their true-to-bullet-color payoff and come in the most avant-garde shades you can ever find in the market. What’s more, they are ALL mattes! YAY!

M.A.C Colour Rocker 2017

M.A.C Colour Rocker 2017 (PART 1)

Still looking for more reasons to make the leap to the bold side? Think awkward social functions and high school reunions. What better way to break the ice and start a conversation with an unconventional lip colour? 😆

And here’s what I got…

Overhead shot of the lipsticks

Overhead shot of the lipsticks

Overview

Overview

TWELVE shades.. and soon to be thirteen (because another shade from this collection caught my eye and it’s now on its way to me 😅). Is there anyone more of a lipstick devotee than me?! This is, no doubt, my biggest M.A.C haul to date! I already tried narrowing down my choices. Still, I couldn’t help it – there were just too many shades I was lusting after!

I know it’s my usual practice to compile my review of every shade I bought from the same collection in one post, but this is just too massive and it would possibly take me days to complete it. Hence, for your convenience and mine, I will split my review into two parts. The first shall feature only the blues and greens. If you’re interested to know how the others perform, be sure to keep your eyes peeled for the next part!

#1 Instant Icon

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Instant Icon (US$17 / S$33)

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Instant Icon (US$17 / S$33)

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Instant Icon

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Instant Icon

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Instant Icon

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Instant Icon

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Instant Icon

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Instant Icon

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Instant Icon

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Instant Icon

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Instant Icon

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Instant Icon

Blue is probably the most unlikely colour for a lipstick as it is a complete opposite of our natural lip colour. But since celebrities like Beyoncé, Rihanna and Olivia Palermo had been spotted rockin’ that hue on the red carpet, it has been normalised (sort of) and made popular. Therefore, it was only a matter of time before M.A.C introduced its own line of lipsticks in different shades of blue to catch up with the bold lip trend (albeit a rather passé one by now because it has been going on since 2014?). If you’ve never considered this unusual lip colour before, it isn’t too late to try one now 😉

Starting with the lightest blue in this collection, there is Instant Icon, a bright baby blue with Matte finish. Ardent fans of M.A.C may feel a sense of déjà vu because the brand actually added an almost identical shade going by the name of Dreampot (with the same finish, no less) to the permanent range last year as part of the Bangin’ Brilliant collection which I passed on. This limited-edition pale blue provides good slip for a Matte lipstick, but has a drying and crayon-like consistency which accentuates lip wrinkles. It goes on fairly opaque at the first swipe, but builds up to your preferred intensity easily with subsequent applications. It does not have the staying power of the traditional matte as it starts to wear off when I incidentally purse my lips. It also leaves an uneven stain on the lips after fading.

#2 Jean Genie

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Jean Genie (US$17 / S$33)

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Jean Genie (US$17 / S$33)

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Jean Genie

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Jean Genie

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Jean Genie

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Jean Genie

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Jean Genie

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Jean Genie

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Jean Genie

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Jean Genie

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Jean Genie

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Jean Genie

Up next on the colour wheel is Jean Genie, a limited-edition sky blue with Matte finish and probably M.A.C’s (late) answer to Serenity, one of the two pantone colours of 2016. This denim-inspired periwinkle blue does not drag or tug at the lips much but has a rather patchy and satin-like consistency which takes away the matte texture. Highly pigmented, it gives considerable coverage on the first coat but builds to an entirely opaque colour with more passes. Lip cracks are, however, still obvious as the product tends to settle into the lines. Although it feels drying, I would say this offers a longer wear as compared to Instant Icon.

So many choices, too little money! If you can’t decide on which blue lipstick to get, I recommend Jean Genie because it is just so gorgeous 😍 But I personally think it is more compatible with light to medium skin tones..

#3 Blue Bang!

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Blue Bang! (US$17 / S$33)

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Blue Bang! (US$17 / S$33)

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Blue Bang!

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Blue Bang!

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Blue Bang!

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Blue Bang!

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Blue Bang!

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Blue Bang!

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Blue Bang!

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Blue Bang!

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Blue Bang!

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Blue Bang!

Electrify your lips with Blue Bang!, described as a limited-edition bright cerulean blue with Matte finish. A guaranteed head-turner, this striking blue provides a high colour pay-off and an opaque coverage in just a single stroke, but not without first applying with some drag. Buildable to a solid blue that conceals most lip lines, it has a thick consistency which feels a tad heavy and drying on the lips. But it does not appear as such because of the delicate sheen it imparts to the lips. This lipstick removes easily but does not fade uniformly as it will leave visible traces of the lipstick.

Swatch comparison among all the blues. Proof that I don't own any blue lippy at all.. (Trashy Cloud Gait doesn't count)

Swatch comparison among all the blues. Proof that I don’t own any blue lippy at all.. (Trashy Cloud Gait doesn’t count)

#4 Show And Teal 

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Show And Teal (US$17 / S$33)

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Show And Teal (US$17 / S$33)

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Show And Teal

SAM.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Show And Teal

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Show And Teal

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Show And Teal

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Show And Teal

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Show And Teal

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Show And Teal

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Show And Teal

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Show And Teal

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Show And Teal

Moving on to the greens… WHOOT! The most underrated lipstick hue is finally here! Believe me or not, I had waited all my life for a warm teal lipstick like Show And Teal to take form because the existing ones in the market either lean more towards aqua or turquoise, never in between. Hence, I was really psyched to lay my hands on this!

Described as a bright green blue teal with Matte finish, Show And Teal has relatively good slip but bleeds into lip lines. Not only does it pack a punch of pigment to bring forth that excellent colour payoff, it has a thick and opaque coverage that lasts for hours and a subtle sheen to boot to give that semi-matte (almost satin-like) finish. The consistency, however, isn’t as uniform as I had hoped and it does feel slightly drying on my lips. This lipstick fades to a stain after a heavy meal.

I’m baffled it is still not sold out online 🙁 Doesn’t anybody feel the same way I do about teal lipsticks? *cries at one corner*

#5 Deep With Envy

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Deep With Envy (US$17 / S$33)

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Deep With Envy (US$17 / S$33)

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Deep With Envy

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Deep With Envy

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Deep With Envy

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Deep With Envy

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Deep With Envy

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Deep With Envy

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Deep With Envy

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Deep With Envy

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Deep With Envy

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Deep With Envy

Blue lipsticks may have enjoyed a period of popularity but it could well be out of fashion soon now that their green counterparts are creeping in to claim their spot. On a side note, remember when green lipsticks first emerged, they turned out to be pink on the lips? Damn those colour-changing lipsticks… 😒 I couldn’t help but feel a pang of betrayal because I really wanted a green lipstick to complete my collection. But I need not have to yearn for it anymore as green lipsticks are going to be e-v-e-r-y-w-h-e-r-e!

It all kinda started from Dolce & Gabanna (which Rihanna bravely wore to an awards night and got everyone gasping with awe), then Melt Cosmetics came up with their own version. Slowly but surely, more beauty brands followed suit. As a matter of fact, M.A.C had a couple of green lipsticks prior to this but they were all trashy and the payoff was nowhere near green at all (e.g. Summer Shower, Blue Eve – Google them and you’ll know what I mean). I’m glad M.A.C ultimately got their sh*t together and made green lipsticks that truly apply as green this time ’round!

One of them is Deep With Envy, accurately described as a (deep) forest green. This limited-edition piece, though, is nothing like a Matte lipstick because it goes on ever-so smoothly and buttery that all it takes is a single swipe to get an opaque colour payoff. It has a thick, creamy and almost-silky consistency with an alluring sheen to take the attention away from the patchy areas. Topping it all off, it has the right amount of moisture to keep the lips from feeling parched. No wonder Deep With Envy is the first (and only one thus far) to sell out online!

#6 Mean Green Machine

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Mean Green Machine (US$17 / S$33)

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Mean Green Machine (US$17 / S$33)

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Mean Green Machine

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Mean Green Machine

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Mean Green Machine

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Mean Green Machine

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Mean Green Machine

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Mean Green Machine

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Mean Green Machine

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Mean Green Machine

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Mean Green Machine

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Mean Green Machine

Rounding off the greens division (for now) is Mean Green Machine, ambiguously described as a green (that’s it? 😒 how lazy can one get..) with Matte finish when in actual fact, the green pigment is hardly noticeable, even under strong lighting. It is so dark, I would say it is just a tone or two away from black.

Nevertheless, if the accuracy of the colour description doesn’t bother you, it is a pretty decent lipstick to have. It applies effortlessly with zero tugging to deliver a microshimmer-infused, semi-opaque but rather patchy texture. Buildable to full coverage, it does not settle into lip lines but does feel a bit tacky and drying at the end.

Swatch comparison among all the greens! I had absolutely no green at all! And strangely what I thought was black (Hautecore & Black Night) now look purplish to me against Mean Green Machine

Swatch comparison among all the greens! I had absolutely no green at all! And strangely what I thought was black (Hautecore & Black Night) now look purplish to me against Mean Green Machine

What are your thoughts on the blues and greens in this collection? Are they worth splurging your moolah on, or not? Let me know in the comments below! 😙

And do stay tuned for part two!

M.A.C Colour Rocker is now available online and at local M.A.C outlets.

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REVIEW: MAC x Caitlyn Jenner Lipsticks – Authentic Red, Rockit! & Understanding

Hey lovelies!

From gracing the cover of Vanity Fair (and subsequently Sports Illustrated) to becoming the first to reach one million followers in four hours on Twitter to fronting a cosmetics campaign for a rather prestigious brand to scoring her own reality TV show, Caitlyn Jenner seems to be receiving a lot more recognition than when she was still known as Bruce Jenner, an established Olympic decathlete. After all, she has defied all odds in this still largely transphobic and homophobic society (unfortunately) and transitioned into the woman she felt she had always been in the public eye at the ripe age of 66. If there is anything I can learn from her, it’s that there are no limits to achieving your dreams, no matter how old you are and what others may say. You are ultimately responsible for your own happiness.

Therefore, if you ask me, I’m actually glad that M.A.C decided to partner with Caitlyn Jenner again on a second makeup line, following the great reception of its predecessor last year.

M.A.C X Caitlyn Jenner 2017

M.A.C X Caitlyn Jenner 2017 (why this picture though)

Granted, she may not be the best role model for everyone. But she’s famous (and I’d say even more popular than Laverne Cox, as evident from their net worth) and she’s using her fame for good cause. I thought it was a wise move to engage Caitlyn again as their spokesperson as it would help raise awareness of transgender people especially in the more conservative Asian countries like Singapore where her second collection would also be launched. If M.A.C had chosen Laverne Cox as their new face, I dare say it wouldn’t have triggered a response as intense as this.

(ADV) Apart from lipsticks, what else can you get your sister on her birthday? Check out some gift ideas on ThatSweetGift! You’re welcome.

I agree, though, that it would be a lot more meaningful if some of the profits from this collection were donated to help the transgender community. But then again, there is already a lipstick sold for that purpose, which has raked in proceeds estimated at US$1.3 million for the M.A.C AIDS Fund Transgender Initiative. Besides, this collection is about Caitlyn Jenner, not the transgender community, so I don’t quite get the hoo-ha.. 🤔

M.A.C X Caitlyn Jenner 2017

M.A.C X Caitlyn Jenner 2017

This eight-piece collection features lipsticks in three gorgeous shades, three Cremesheen Glass (Kindness / Beautifully Bare / Tolerance), two Lip Pencils (Whirl / Soar), three single eyeshadows (Glowing Gold / Malibu Bronze / Worthy), one Eye Kohl (Teddy), individual lashes (#30), a Powder Blush Duo (Buddy) and a Mineralized Skinfinish Natural (Compassion), all decked out in luxurious soft-touch black (made with rubber material which will eventually turn sticky just like the NARS packaging 😐) and shiny metallic gold. Beautiful colour combination, I must say!

Interested to find out how the lipsticks fared? Read on!

#1 Authentic Red

M.A.C X Caitlyn Jenner lipstick in Authentic Red (US$17)

M.A.C X Caitlyn Jenner lipstick in Authentic Red (US$17)

M.A.C X Caitlyn Jenner lipstick in Authentic Red

M.A.C X Caitlyn Jenner lipstick in Authentic Red

M.A.C X Caitlyn Jenner lipstick in Authentic Red

M.A.C X Caitlyn Jenner lipstick in Authentic Red

M.A.C X Caitlyn Jenner lipstick in Authentic Red

M.A.C X Caitlyn Jenner lipstick in Authentic Red

M.A.C X Caitlyn Jenner lipstick in Authentic Red

M.A.C X Caitlyn Jenner lipstick in Authentic Red

M.A.C X Caitlyn Jenner lipstick in Authentic Red

M.A.C X Caitlyn Jenner lipstick in Authentic Red

Celebrating her newfound femininity, Caitlyn Jenner chose a lipstick hue that’s often seen as a statement of confidence and rebellion, and there is no other shade of lipstick that accentuates femininity like the good ol’ red does. Perhaps that was why she included Authentic Red – a deep red with Cremesheen finish – in her second M.A.C collection.

This warm red tugs slightly at the lips when applied but lends an opaque and great consistency of colour at first swipe. It leaves a glossy and tacky texture which feels thick and heavy for a Cremesheen and probably because of that, it is lasts longer on the lips than Rockit! and Understanding. It fades to a stain after a few hours. This lipstick, unfortunately, is slightly drying on me even though the subtle sheen does not make it seem so.

M.A.C Authentic Red swatch comparison

M.A.C Authentic Red swatch comparison

#2 Rockit!

M.A.C X Caitlyn Jenner lipstick in Rockit!

M.A.C X Caitlyn Jenner lipstick in Rockit! (US$17)

M.A.C X Caitlyn Jenner lipstick in Rockit!

M.A.C X Caitlyn Jenner lipstick in Rockit!

M.A.C X Caitlyn Jenner lipstick in Rockit!

M.A.C X Caitlyn Jenner lipstick in Rockit!

M.A.C X Caitlyn Jenner lipstick in Rockit!

M.A.C X Caitlyn Jenner lipstick in Rockit!

M.A.C X Caitlyn Jenner lipstick in Rockit!

M.A.C X Caitlyn Jenner lipstick in Rockit!

M.A.C X Caitlyn Jenner lipstick in Rockit!

M.A.C X Caitlyn Jenner lipstick in Rockit!

Much as red lipstick is a classic, not everyone feels comfortable sporting blood red lipsticks à la Taylor Swift that scream, “Look at me!” In that case, why not go for the barely-there appeal? Described as a midtone beige with Cremesheen finish, Rockit! provides a flush of My-Lips-But-Better rosy brown for those who are not ready for a strong red lip just yet.

Like Authentic Red, it drags and weighs down slightly on the lips. It is drying and I don’t know if it’s me but somehow there is this little tingling sensation when I wear it 🤔 The colour payoff is sheer at the beginning but builds to a seamless and decently opaque coverage after a couple (3-4) of applications (I can see the apparent difference even though this shade is very close to my natural lip colour), topped with a healthy, dewy shine that goes perfectly well with both light and heavy eye makeup. Still in awe over Alicia Key’s natural look on The X Factor? Well, envy no more! You can now spruce up the no-makeup look (but still with a teeny weeny bit of makeup, lah) with this flattering nude lipstick 😉

M.A.C Rockit! swatch comparison

M.A.C Rockit! swatch comparison

#3 Understanding

M.A.C X Caitlyn Jenner lipstick in Understanding (US$17 - online exclusive)

M.A.C X Caitlyn Jenner lipstick in Understanding (US$17 – online exclusive)

M.A.C X Caitlyn Jenner lipstick in Understanding

M.A.C X Caitlyn Jenner lipstick in Understanding

M.A.C X Caitlyn Jenner lipstick in Understanding

M.A.C X Caitlyn Jenner lipstick in Understanding

M.A.C X Caitlyn Jenner lipstick in Understanding

M.A.C X Caitlyn Jenner lipstick in Understanding

M.A.C X Caitlyn Jenner lipstick in Understanding

M.A.C X Caitlyn Jenner lipstick in Understanding

M.A.C X Caitlyn Jenner lipstick in Understanding

M.A.C X Caitlyn Jenner lipstick in Understanding

With names deriving from personality traits such as Understanding, Kindness, Compassion, Tolerance and Worthy given to the products in this collection, it’s hard not to think that Caitlyn Jenner is taking this opportune time to impart some sort of message to the transvestite community and their detractors. I thought the names are very well-thought-out and more impactful than say, launching a full-scale LGBT acceptance campaign because we ladies remember nothin’ but our makeup 😁

Of course, I’m all for supporting inclusivity but the limit to my funds (surprise, surprise, this ain’t sponsored) meant that I could only get Understanding, an online-exclusive hot red with Cremesheen finish. This lipstick glides on smooth and has a nice slip. It is sheer at first but builds to an opaque warm coral. Although it tends to accentuate the dry parts, it feels very comfortable on my lips. It enhances the pout further with a hint of sheen and moisture. Sadly, this does not stay past three hours. Very lovely colour, nonetheless!

M.A.C Understanding swatch comparison

M.A.C Understanding swatch comparison

In general, the lipsticks are very wearable despite the less-than-hydrating formula. As Caitlyn Jenner settles into her new life as a woman, it is probably too early for her to make a bold statement, and since this collection revolves around all-inclusive beauty, the hues picked out have to be pretty much universal. Hence, you can see that the hues border on the safe side with nothing too funky. In just a few strokes, they bring out the feminine charm within the user and I think that’s what Caitlyn herself wanted to achieve with both collections.

What do you think? Share your thoughts with me in the comments below!

Thanks for reading! 🙂

M.A.C X Caitlyn Jenner is now available on MACCosmetics.com. This collection was also launched in Singapore at M.A.C ION Orchard.

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REVIEW: MAC Fashion Pack Lipsticks – Aim For Gorgeous, Stylist’s Tip & By Special Order

Hey beauties!

Paris Fashion Week is just around the corner and as we get excited for the coming season, let’s all take a moment to appreciate the backstage work, or more precisely, the makeup that has played a huge role in bringing out the beauty of runway pieces. When it comes to runway makeup looks, no other brand gets as much recognition as M.A.C.

M.A.C, having started off as brand exclusively for makeup artists before going down the mainstream path, is no stranger to the fashion industry. It employs hundreds of makeup artists every season to create beauty looks for fashion shows (I mean, it’s very evident from their Instagram page, isn’t it?) and is even touted as a favourite of many renowned celebrities among the plethora of luxury makeup brands in the market. For those who are wondering what beauty products were used at the fashion shows, this collection could very well be the answer!

M.A.C Fashion Pack for Summer 2016

M.A.C Fashion Pack for Summer 2016

Introducing Fashion Pack, a collection dedicated to trendsetters which fuses fashion into beauty. Inspired by high fashion catwalk models, it features bold jewel tones and fashion-forward hues you’d likely see on runway models or front-row fashion show attendees.

M.A.C Fashion Pack collection lipsticks

M.A.C Fashion Pack collection lipsticks

Fashion Pack is a relatively small collection with two choices of eye shadow palette (Runway Worthy / She’s A Model), three shades of Fluidline Pen (Privet / Indelibly Blue / Retro Black), two vibrant Studio Nail Lacquer colours and four limited-edition runway-worthy lipstick hues, out of which only three made it to my shopping cart.

But despite being dubbed the ‘collection for fashion mavens’, the first impression of the products exudes none of the sort. Sold in the oh-so boring regular M.A.C black packaging, it’s quite hard to associate the lipsticks to the glitz and glam of fashion shows and red carpet events. Such disappointment, really.

#1 Aim For Gorgeous

M.A.C Fashion Pack lipstick in Aim For Gorgeous (US$17 / S$31)

M.A.C Fashion Pack lipstick in Aim For Gorgeous (US$17 / S$31)

M.A.C Fashion Pack lipstick in Aim For Gorgeous

M.A.C Fashion Pack lipstick in Aim For Gorgeous

M.A.C Fashion Pack lipstick in Aim For Gorgeous

M.A.C Fashion Pack lipstick in Aim For Gorgeous

M.A.C Fashion Pack lipstick in Aim For Gorgeous

M.A.C Fashion Pack lipstick in Aim For Gorgeous

M.A.C Fashion Pack lipstick in Aim For Gorgeous

M.A.C Fashion Pack lipstick in Aim For Gorgeous

M.A.C Fashion Pack lipstick in Aim For Gorgeous

M.A.C Fashion Pack lipstick in Aim For Gorgeous

For some, a love for fashion starts young. Indeed, we develop our sense of style though dressing our dolls up in stunning outfits we picked out at toy shops when we were little. So perhaps it’s only right this collection recaptures a little of our childhood enthusiasm for fashion with Aim For Gorgeous, a bright fuchsia with Matte finish which seems very much inspired by the signature hot pink lipstick Barbie wears (although this isn’t the case).

But it is far from being as emollient as the pink on Barbie’s pouting lips. This tugs at the lips and emphasises dryness as the product make itself at home in the lip lines, hence making parched lips look wrinklier than ever. The matte texture leaves a drying effect too. That being said, it does last longer on my lips than the newer and more hydrating matte formula by M.A.C.

M.A.C Aim for Gorgeous lipstick swatch comparison

M.A.C Aim for Gorgeous lipstick swatch comparison

#2 Stylist’s Tip

M.A.C Fashion Pack lipstick in Stylist's Tip (US$17 / S$31)

M.A.C Fashion Pack lipstick in Stylist’s Tip (US$17 / S$31)

M.A.C Fashion Pack lipstick in Stylist's Tip

M.A.C Fashion Pack lipstick in Stylist’s Tip

M.A.C Fashion Pack lipstick in Stylist's Tip

M.A.C Fashion Pack lipstick in Stylist’s Tip

M.A.C Fashion Pack lipstick in Stylist's Tip

M.A.C Fashion Pack lipstick in Stylist’s Tip

M.A.C Fashion Pack lipstick in Stylist's Tip

M.A.C Fashion Pack lipstick in Stylist’s Tip

M.A.C Fashion Pack lipstick in Stylist's Tip

M.A.C Fashion Pack lipstick in Stylist’s Tip

If you have been avoiding bold lipstick colours all your life, it’s time to throw that sense of apprehension right out the window because purple is the new black! Did you see Taraji P. Henson rocking the hue at the American Music Awards last November? Channel your inner femme fatale just like her with Stylist’s Tip, a  deep violet in Amplified finish!

While what you see here may not be the exact shade she sported on the red carpet, it’s a less intimidating purple for first-timers due to its warm/pink undertones. This universally flattering lipstick (especially on dark skin) goes on creamy, mostly opaque and renders an OK consistency. Although hydrating (look at that sheen!), the texture feels slippery and tacky which instantly turns my lips into a hair magnet (so annoying). This also does not impress me with its lower-than-expected staying power as it wears away from eating (to be fair, it probably would leave a slight stain if I had eaten like a lady but damn I was hungry). Avoid this lipstick if you have no dining etiquette like me.

M.A.C Stylist's Tip lipstick swatch comparison

M.A.C Stylist’s Tip lipstick swatch comparison

#3 By Special Order

M.A.C Fashion Pack lipstick in By Special Order (US$17 / S$31)

M.A.C Fashion Pack lipstick in By Special Order (US$17 / S$31)

M.A.C Fashion Pack lipstick in By Special Order

M.A.C Fashion Pack lipstick in By Special Order

M.A.C Fashion Pack lipstick in By Special Order

M.A.C Fashion Pack lipstick in By Special Order

M.A.C Fashion Pack lipstick in By Special Order

M.A.C Fashion Pack lipstick in By Special Order

M.A.C Fashion Pack lipstick in By Special Order

M.A.C Fashion Pack lipstick in By Special Order

M.A.C Fashion Pack lipstick in By Special Order

M.A.C Fashion Pack lipstick in By Special Order

Regardless of fashion trends, one can always expect to see red lipstick as a beauty staple. After all, red is arguably the first ever pigment (obtained from berries, plants, clay and yes, crushed insects, plus many more) applied to the lips way back in 3,000 BC. Several centuries later, the red lip clearly hasn’t lost any steam and is still going strong. Even though M.A.C has already made countless of red lipsticks, I agree it would be a beauty sin to pass on a lipstick hue that is largely popularised by fashion icons with the likes of Cleopatra, Queen Elizabeth I and Marilyn Monroe, especially in this fashion-inspired collection.

Described as a deep reddened fuchsia with an Amplified finish, By Special Order is, in reality, a bright red with cool undertones. As it glides smoothly like butter on the lips, it lends a very hydrating texture and even has a natural sheen to it to draw the attention away from lip wrinkles. The wash of pigmented colour from the lipstick, as well as the added pop of glossiness to the lips, enhances the overall look without being over-dramatic. On casual days, I dab this lipstick with a piece of facial tissue so that it fades to a tint. It would also help to remove some of its tackiness.

M.A.C By Special Order lipstick swatch comparison

M.A.C By Special Order lipstick swatch comparison

All in all, the lipstick shades in this collection, although nothing unusual, are very wearable for any look and occasion because they are not too bold (great for the faint of heart) and yet are such head-turners. The finish is generally hydrating and ideal for dry, chapped lips. I don’t see any reason not to get them if you haven’t already owned anything similar.

How do you find these lipsticks? Let me know in the comments below!

Thanks for reading 😘

M.A.C Fashion Pack was a limited edition collection launched in June 2016. most of the products are still available on MACCosmetics.com.