REVIEW: CEZANNE UV Clear Face Powder 01, Make Keep Base, Make Retouch Base, Nose Shadow Highlighter, Lasting Lip Color N 402, Gokuboso Eyeliner R & Glamourlush Curl Mascara

Hello everyone!

Forget expensive shipping costs (and *cough* traveller’s fees). Thanks to local drugstores like Watsons stocking up on foreign beauty essentials on the cheap, products that could only be purchased while abroad previously are becoming more accessible than ever! Joining the ranks of Florida-based Palladio and Japanese cult-favourite drugstore brand Canmake is CEZANNE, which has been sold at selected Watsons stores since the beginning of the year (yes, I know I am slow again).

Some of CEZANNE products

Some of CEZANNE products

Established in 1964, CEZANNE was created with the intention to offer high quality yet affordable cosmetics to the Japanese beauty community through a three-pronged approach – being kind to the environment, skin and on your wallet.

A trendsetter in environmental sustainability, the brand adopts a refillable system which enables customers to reuse their cases. Additionally, metal pins are not used in the manufacturing of the packaging to allow for easy disposal, and packaging is also standardised to be simple and straightforward to reduce wastage and cost.

To minimise the probability of allergic reactions, patch tests are performed for all of their products (excluding nail polish remover) so those with skin concerns can use them in confidence!

Here are some CEZANNE products I was introduced to at their launch party in June! Please pardon my brief review (or lack thereof) on the face products – due to time constraints (damn early morning classes left me with very little prep time every day so I decided to skip out on the face makeup 😅) I couldn’t put them on long enough to form a fair judgement on their longevity and wear. But I will update this space once I’ve tried them all!

1. UV Clear Face Powder 01

CEZANNE UV Clear Face Powder 01 (S$17.90)

CEZANNE UV Clear Face Powder 01 (S$17.90)

CEZANNE UV Clear Face Powder 01

CEZANNE UV Clear Face Powder 01

CEZANNE UV Clear Face Powder 01

CEZANNE UV Clear Face Powder 01

CEZANNE UV Clear Face Powder 01 - original state (right) & spread out (left)

CEZANNE UV Clear Face Powder 01 – original state (right) & spread out (left)

Available in shades 01 (Light) and 02 (Natural), the UV Clear Face Powder provides the skin a silky smooth and semi-matte finish that helps to conceal minor blemishes and even out skin tone. Formulated with SPF28/PA+++ to protect the skin from harmful ultraviolet rays, this face powder also doubles as a setting powder as it prevents makeup from melting by absorbing the excess sebum on the face. It also comes with a built-in mirror and a high-quality powder puff for targeted application.

2. Make Keep Base

CEZANNE Make Keep Base (S$15.90)

CEZANNE Make Keep Base (S$15.90)

CEZANNE Make Keep Base

CEZANNE Make Keep Base

CEZANNE Make Keep Base

CEZANNE Make Keep Base

CEZANNE Make Keep Base

CEZANNE Make Keep Base

A non-sticky primer to be used before foundation application, the Make Keep Base absorbs sebum and is formulated to be water- and sweat-resistant to reduce shine and slip, thereby helping with the longevity of the foundation. Apart from that, it also contains SPF28 PA++ for protection against the harshness of UV rays, as well as light-scattering ingredients to make pores appear less conspicuous. This supposedly fragrance-free (it actually smells like the bandung drink) primer yields a non-powdery finish, and yet is smooth to the touch but can be quite a pain to use due to its extremely runny texture.

To use, shake the bottle well and apply an appropriate amount of the Make Keep Base and spread it lightly and evenly on the entire face.

3. Make Retouch Base

CEZANNE Make Retouch Base (S$9.90)

CEZANNE Make Retouch Base (S$9.90)

CEZANNE Make Retouch Base

CEZANNE Make Retouch Base

CEZANNE Make Retouch Base

CEZANNE Make Retouch Base

CEZANNE Make Retouch Base

CEZANNE Make Retouch Base

The Make Retouch Base provides shine control and can be used over and under makeup. It comes with a brush tip attached to the cap for a more precise application so you won’t have to worry about ruining your makeup with your fingers (although you would still have to pat with fingers after application).

There was a very faint craft glue smell when I first applied it on my hand, but it dissipated after a while, leaving with no smell at . Somewhat milky in texture at first, the product dried down to a slightly powdery but not exactly transparent (there was still some translucency) finish within seconds, giving the skin a soft-focus effect and smooth appearance.

4. Gokuboso Eyeliner R 10

CEZANNE Gokuboso Eyeliner R 10 (S$15.90)

CEZANNE Gokuboso Eyeliner R 10 (S$15.90)

CEZANNE Gokuboso Eyeliner R 10

CEZANNE Gokuboso Eyeliner R 10

CEZANNE Gokuboso Eyeliner R 10

CEZANNE Gokuboso Eyeliner R 10

CEZANNE Gokuboso Eyeliner R 10

CEZANNE Gokuboso Eyeliner R 10

CEZANNE Gokuboso Eyeliner R 10

CEZANNE Gokuboso Eyeliner R 10

CEZANNE Gokuboso Eyeliner R 10 - rub test

CEZANNE Gokuboso Eyeliner R 10 – rub test

CEZANNE Gokuboso Eyeliner R 10

CEZANNE Gokuboso Eyeliner R 10

CEZANNE Gokuboso Eyeliner R 10

CEZANNE Gokuboso Eyeliner R 10

Real-life wear test - not much change after more than 12 hours!

Real-life wear test – not much change after more than 12 hours!

Small-eyed people would most likely agree with me that eyeliners are the single must-have beauty staple because these godsent stuff literally open up the eyes and add definition to the otherwise two-dimensional feature. But it can be a challenge finding one that offers fantastic opacity in one stroke and yet does not smudge in this blistering heat of Singapore without burning a hole in our pocket. Well.. ladies, the search is finally over.

Admit it, we’ve all had our fair share of disappointing eyeliners that should be sold at the watercolour pencil section instead, and we can’t complain much about it for the price we paid for (*cough* Thai brands I’m looking at you). But the Gokuboso Eyeliner proves that even drugstore eyeliners can be as solid as upscale ones. The opacity of the ink, for one, caught me by surprise because I was expecting a really light wash of black out of it. Despite the affordable price tag, application was incredibly smooth and the thickness of the product stayed consistent from start to finish. Most importantly, this ah-mazing eyeliner is highly resistant to smearing – it did not bleed or fade an inch even after more than 8 hours of wear!

CEZANNE Gokuboso Eyeliner R 10 - swatch comparison

CEZANNE Gokuboso Eyeliner R 10 – swatch comparison

5. Glamourlush Curl Mascara

CEZANNE Glamourlush Curl Mascara (S$15.90)

CEZANNE Glamourlush Curl Mascara (S$15.90)

CEZANNE Glamourlush Curl Mascara

CEZANNE Glamourlush Curl Mascara

CEZANNE Glamourlush Curl Mascara

CEZANNE Glamourlush Curl Mascara

CEZANNE Glamourlush Curl Mascara

CEZANNE Glamourlush Curl Mascara

CEZANNE Glamourlush Curl Mascara

CEZANNE Glamourlush Curl Mascara

CEZANNE Glamourlush Curl Mascara

CEZANNE Glamourlush Curl Mascara

CEZANNE Glamourlush Curl Mascara

CEZANNE Glamourlush Curl Mascara

CEZANNE Glamourlush Curl Mascara

CEZANNE Glamourlush Curl Mascara

CEZANNE Glamourlush Curl Mascara - AFTER application

CEZANNE Glamourlush Curl Mascara – AFTER application

CEZANNE Glamourlush Curl Mascara - BEFORE and AFTER

CEZANNE Glamourlush Curl Mascara – BEFORE and AFTER

Available in black, the Glamourlush Curl Mascara is one of the four mascaras by CEZANNE specifically to add long-lasting curl and volume to lashes using a classic tubular wand that helps separate and lift each individual lash from the root, so every single strand is amplified to make the eyes the focus of attention. Clump-free and smudge-proof, this mascara is resistant to water (thus a great mascara to cry in) and rubbing (although I do not recommend you do this), and can be layered up for a more dramatic effect. Granted, the packaging does feel a little cheap, but the quality of the product is definitely up to the mark because my lashes did look fuller and a lot more balanced and uniformed after just two passes!

6. Nose Shadow Highlighter

CEZANNE Nose Shadow Highlighter (S$15.90)

CEZANNE Nose Shadow Highlighter (S$15.90)

CEZANNE Nose Shadow Highlighter

CEZANNE Nose Shadow Highlighter

CEZANNE Nose Shadow Highlighter

CEZANNE Nose Shadow Highlighter

CEZANNE Nose Shadow Highlighter

CEZANNE Nose Shadow Highlighter

CEZANNE Nose Shadow Highlighter

CEZANNE Nose Shadow Highlighter

CEZANNE Nose Shadow Highlighter

CEZANNE Nose Shadow Highlighter

CEZANNE Nose Shadow Highlighter

CEZANNE Nose Shadow Highlighter

CEZANNE Nose Shadow Highlighter

CEZANNE Nose Shadow Highlighter

CEZANNE Nose Shadow Highlighter

CEZANNE Nose Shadow Highlighter

CEZANNE Nose Shadow Highlighter

CEZANNE Nose Shadow Highlighter

CEZANNE Nose Shadow Highlighter

CEZANNE Nose Shadow Highlighter

CEZANNE Nose Shadow Highlighter

CEZANNE Nose Shadow Highlighter

CEZANNE Nose Shadow Highlighter - BEFORE (left) and AFTER (right)

CEZANNE Nose Shadow Highlighter – BEFORE (left) and AFTER (right)

No matter how affluent we are, we have this innate desire for things that offer a bigger bang for our buck. That’s why we’re often drawn to palettes rather than singles despite knowing that less than half the selection would be utilised eventually, and suddenly it doesn’t seem like we’ve saved much after all. Do your wallet a favour and opt for this no-frills contour kit that features just two sculpting shades you’re bound to use – one of a fine-grained white pearl for highlighting purposes and another of a beige-brown that blends softly with any typical fair Asian skin (sorry, dark-skinned ladies 😞) for a more natural finish.

The darker shade, which I foresee myself hitting pan really soon since it takes up only a-third of the compact, adds dimension to the face (more specifically, the bridge of the nose, under the eyebrows and cheekbones) by emulating shadows. The pigmentation, however, isn’t as buildable as I’d like it to be so I felt there wasn’t a noticeable difference to my face even after three swipes.

Complementing it is the lighter shimmery shade, which is strangely given a lot more emphasis in this kit, as it helps to add glow (that turned out rather beautifully) to areas where light would naturally hit, such as the top of cheekbones, center of forehead, nose bridge, center of chin and top of cupid’s bow. The compact also conveniently includes a small dual-ended applicator (brush to apply the bronzer and sponge-tip to diffuse the highlight) to allow touch-ups on the go.

7. Lasting Lip Color N 402

CEZANNE Lasting Lip Color N 402 (S$12.90)

CEZANNE Lasting Lip Color N 402 (S$12.90)

CEZANNE Lasting Lip Color N 402

CEZANNE Lasting Lip Color N 402

CEZANNE Lasting Lip Color N 402

CEZANNE Lasting Lip Color N 402

CEZANNE Lasting Lip Color N 402

CEZANNE Lasting Lip Color N 402

CEZANNE Lasting Lip Color N 402

CEZANNE Lasting Lip Color N 402

CEZANNE Lasting Lip Color N 402

CEZANNE Lasting Lip Color N 402

CEZANNE Lasting Lip Color N 402

CEZANNE Lasting Lip Color N 402

CEZANNE might have brought in a whole range of products, but at the end of the day nothing truly excites me more than a wide array of lipsticks, especially when they are packaged in such pretty Victorian-styled tubes! #suckerforprettypackaging

With more than 10 conventional shades to choose from, there is certainly one for each skin tone. I was gifted 402, a cool-toned medium red (surprisingly not as dark as it seems on the bullet) with a shot of luminous shine that applied like butter on the lips. The glossy finish was sheer at first but buildable to a semi-opaque coverage with 2-3 more passes without settling into the lines. The moisture of my lips was retained and throughout the wear I did not feel a hint of dryness or urge to lick my lips.

But much as I love how feminine this colour makes me look, this lipstick unfortunately does not live up to my expectations in the longevity department because it transfers and budges way too easily (a typical trade-off for moisture, so no surprise there).

CEZANNE Lasting Lip Color N 402 - opacity comparison

CEZANNE Lasting Lip Color N 402 – opacity comparison

Based on what I’ve tried and tested so far, CEZANNE’s strength appears to lie in their eye products but seasoned users may disagree (their face products perform pretty well too according to most reviews I read online), so I suggest you head down to your nearest Watsons outlet and try their products out for yourselves!

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

Thanks for reading!

CEZANNE is now available on watsons.com.sg and in all local Watsons outlets.
Products were supplied by CEZANNE for my consideration but all opinions and expressed are my own.

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REVIEW: Erborian Pink Perfect Crème, BB Crème & CC Crème

Hello everyone!

My badly chapped lips have been protesting against my reluctance to drink adequate amounts of water every day so this week’s beauty review shall be pertaining to the face instead. How timely, because I have been meaning to talk about the Erborian products I had received to try out. Plus, my used-to-be trusty Benefit Big Easy BB Cream – which I had bought THREE tubes of (mind you!) from the U.S. site in anticipation of its complete demise – has started to fail me by oxidising on my skin (and this has never happened to me before so how is that possible? Someone enlighten me!) 😭 My desperation for a good replacement was real!

Thank you, Erborian Singapore! You're a lifesaver 😩

Thank you, Erborian Singapore! You’re a lifesaver 😩

Founded by scientist Hojung Lee and beauty expert Katalin Berenyi in 2007 and then acquired by L’Occitane International in 2012, Erborian – which name derived from “Herbs of the Orient” (how creative!) – is a premium skincare brand that combines Korean skincare expertise and French luxury to take you one step closer to achieving “baby skin”. Their unique formula contains natural ingredients and cutting edge technologies from Seoul, as well as fragrances from France.

I was sent the 15 ml version of the Pink Perfect Crème, BB Crème and CC Crème which are about three-quarter of my palm and hence small enough to fit into a typical travel toiletry bag. This trial size is also created with first-time users like myself in mind, so you can sample them before committing to the full 45 ml size that is available on their website. Very thoughtful of them 😌

Pink Perfect Crème

Erborian Pink Perfect Crème (15ml / S$24)

Erborian Pink Perfect Crème (15ml / S$24)

Erborian Pink Perfect Crème (click to view in full)

Erborian Pink Perfect Crème (click to view in full)

All of the Erborian tubes come with this pointed opening

All of the Erborian tubes come with this pointed opening

Erborian Pink Perfect Crème - straight from the tube

Erborian Pink Perfect Crème – straight from the tube

Erborian Pink Perfect Crème - blended out

Erborian Pink Perfect Crème – blended out

Erborian Pink Perfect Crème - on the face

Erborian Pink Perfect Crème – on the face

Erborian Pink Perfect Crème - on the face, blended out

Erborian Pink Perfect Crème – on the face, blended out

Enriched with Diospyros Kaki Leaves (the dry leaves of persimmon) for its anti-inflammatory and anti-wrinkle properties, this lightweight pinkish cream (don’t worry, the pink dissipates when it is spread out) hydrates and refines the skin texture, forming a dewy second skin-like finish that blurs out pores and minimise the appearance of other imperfections once it melts into the surface. At the same time, the skin is rejuvenated with the Vitamin E and fatty acids from the Pumpkin Seed Oil in the creme to help skin fight the first signs of aging.

The cream has a muted Ginseng scent and may feel somewhat thick and greasy at first (in fact, that shouldn’t be the case if you just apply one dot of the cream to the main areas – a little goes a long way!) but it loses viscosity after a few swirls on the face, leaving only the right amount of shine to impart a radiant complexion and to prime the face for a smooth makeup application.

Erborian Pink Perfect Crème swatch comparison

Erborian Pink Perfect Crème swatch comparison

BB Crème

Erborian BB Crème (15ml / S$26)

Erborian BB Crème (15ml / S$26)

Erborian BB Crème (click to view in full)

Erborian BB Crème (click to view in full)

Erborian BB Crème - straight from the tube

Erborian BB Crème – straight from the tube

Erborian BB Crème - blended out

Erborian BB Crème – blended out

Erborian BB Crème - on the face

Erborian BB Crème – on the face

Erborian BB Crème - how much I usually apply

Erborian BB Crème – how much I usually apply

Erborian BB Crème - on the face, blended out

Erborian BB Crème – on the face, blended out

Available in two shades – Clair and Nude for fair and medium skin tones respectively (but somehow Sephora online only stocks Clair) – the number one bestselling BB (Blemish Balm) cream in Europe is a lightweight, multi-purpose foundation infused with SPF 20 (which quite honestly, isn’t something to write home about as it falls below the minimum SPF of 30 as recommended by the American Academy of Dermatology for protection against skin cancer and sunburn, so don’t depend on it to save your skin from the sun!) and Ginseng Root to improve skin elasticity and reduce wrinkles. On top of that, Ginseng Root also has antioxidants to boost skin immunity to fight against harsh environmental factors that contribute to skin aging.

Upon squeezing out the content from the tube, my nose caught the distinctive earthy smell of Ginseng which, fortunately, is still pretty pleasant. When worn on its own, it gives a moisturising and velvety (almost learning towards matte) finish that provides ample coverage without caking on, and conceals what the Pink Perfect Crème could not to a certain extent. But if applied on top of the Pink Perfect Crème, it leaves the skin glowing with luminosity that lasts for hours (to be precise, more than 8 hours on me). Usually, I would need to set my foundation with translucent powder to reduce the tackiness but with this BB cream, this step is no longer necessary. The consistency of the cream is slightly on the runny side which delivers an even coat when blended in with fingers (I’ve not applied it with a brush or beauty blender because the tube is so adorably tiny, I don’t want to risk wasting any of it 😂), and eight small dots are plenty for the whole face! Most importantly, this does not oxidise over time! 👏🏻

But much as I adore the BB Crème, I found the shade Clair to be a little too light for my skin tone, so much so that I have to always finish with some bronzer to avoid looking washed out. Hence, the claim that the two shades are complementary to all skin tones seems a bit far-fetched…

Erborian BB Crème swatch comparison

Erborian BB Crème swatch comparison

CC Crème

Erborian CC Crème (15ml / S$29)

Erborian CC Crème (15ml / S$29)

Erborian CC Crème (click to view in full)

Erborian CC Crème (click to view in full)

Erborian CC Crème - straight from the tube

Erborian CC Crème – straight from the tube

Erborian CC Crème - blended out (see how it changes colour?)

Erborian CC Crème – blended out (see how it changes colour?)

Erborian CC Crème - fully blended out

Erborian CC Crème – fully blended out

Erborian CC Crème - on the face

Erborian CC Crème – on the face

Erborian CC Crème - on the face, blended out

Erborian CC Crème – on the face, blended out

Side-by-side comparison, with and without Erborian products

Formulated with SPF 25 and Centella Asiatica for its powerful multifunctional properties (including anti-ageing, skin-rejuvenation and wound-healing), the CC (Colour Correcting) Crème has encapsulated pigments that instantly brighten the skin with Vitamin B3 to strengthen the skin barrier and Adenosine to improve skin elasticity. It has semi-sheer coverage (depending on the amount used) which helps conceal fine lines reasonably well while providing a healthy-looking complexion.

Similarly, the CC Crème has a slight Ginseng smell with a hint of floral notes. Also available in two shades Clair and Dorè for fair and medium (or universal on Sephora) skin tones respectively, it has been receiving rave reviews from the critics, as well as flying off Sephora’s virtual shelves in the U.S. Despite the limited shade selection, Erborian claims that they are enough to provide an even complexion for a diverse range of skin tones through its colour-matching capability. And as far as I’m concerned, this hews pretty close to the truth.

The cream, which emerges to be entirely white when it comes out of the tube (and, to be honest, it did freak me out a bit the first time I tried this), magically transforms into a shade that matches my skin tone (albeit not perfectly as it appears a bit darker) when I blended it out with my fingers. Naturally, my initial reaction to this was, “What kind of sorcery is this?!” but after combing through Google results, I found out that this could have been possible by reacting with the pH level of my skin, so the discrepancy in the colour of the CC cream could have been resulted from it adapting to the pH of my fingers 🧐 Hmmm.. perhaps using a silicone makeup sponge (as opposed to the traditional beauty blender which will soak up most of the product) would yield a much closer match to my skin tone? I will update this space if I ever get the chance to try this!

Best used on its own or before BB cream (or concealer) to even out the skin tone or neutralise redness, this CC cream has a luminous finish and feels comfortably lightweight, making it an ideal choice for a natural look. Although the shade is not stated anywhere on the packaging, I am quite sure what I’ve gotten is in shade Clair which, according to Erborian UK, is more suited for pink or beige skin tones. The other shade, Dorè, would probably complement those with slightly golden skin (i.e. orange undertones).

As this is my first-ever CC cream, I do not have any basis for comparison. If you’ve tried CC creams from other brands, feel free to share your experiences with me in the comments below 😊

No filter, no Photoshopping - this was how my face looked after applying Erborian Pink Perfect Creme, BB Creme and CC Creme!

No filter, no Photoshopping – this was how my face looked after applying Erborian Pink Perfect Creme, BB Creme and CC Creme!

With mostly positive experience gained from using these Erborian products, I guess it’s safe to say that they have met, if not surpassed, my expectations. They are my go-to on days when I want a more natural look, or when I feel absolutely lazy to work with my brushes since these blend as perfectly with the fingers! However, I must emphasise that these generally do not provide full coverage and hence would not do wonders on textured or severely blemished skin.

Now, I’m hoping to maximise the usage because this bride-to-be has invested most of her money in her future home and thus cannot afford to buy a $50/$60+ makeup right now 😂 But if the day ever comes when I have to repurchase these products (especially the BB cream), I would be sure to set aside some funds for them!

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

Thanks for reading!

Erborian is now available on Erborian.com.sg and on Sephora.sg.
Products were supplied by Erborian Singapore for my consideration but all opinions expressed are my own.

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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.

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

REVIEW: Urban Decay Naked Skin Glow Cushion Compact Foundation

Hello everyone!

In case you haven’t heard, Urban Decay recently expanded their Naked Skin line and dropped a cushion compact in Singapore. I know what you’re thinking. Urban Decay may be (very) late to the cushion compact trend but hey, at least they are making an effort to meet the needs of their Asian consumers!

According to their website, the Naked Skin Glow Cushion Compact Foundations come in 6 shades of their revolutionary formula which provides weightless, buildable coverage with a luminous finish. It keeps the skin hydrated for up to 18 hours and protects with SPF 50+ and PA+++.

At present, this product is only available in Singapore (Whoop! We have been noticed once again! 🙌) and is sold in two parts – case and refill.

Product display at Sephora

Product display at Sephora

All 6 shades swatched (using fingers). The shades 2.5, 3.25 and 3.5 of Naked Skin Glow Cushion correspond with those of Weightless Ultra Definition Liquid Makeup

All 6 shades swatched (using fingers). The shades 2.5, 3.25 and 3.5 of Naked Skin Glow Cushion correspond with those of Weightless Ultra Definition Liquid Makeup

Case (S$19) and refill (S$40) sold separately. For first-timers, you need to get both to complete the set

Case (S$19) and refill (S$40) sold separately. For first-timers, you need to get both to complete the set

Description of each item at the back of the box

Description of each item at the back of the box

Each refill has a shelf life of 12 months but if used religiously everyday, it will definitely run out way before its expiration date.

I. Case

Urban Decay Naked Skin Glow Cushion Compact Case (S$19)

Urban Decay Naked Skin Glow Cushion Compact Case (S$19)

Urban Decay Naked Skin Glow Cushion Compact Case

Urban Decay Naked Skin Glow Cushion Compact Case

The case comes with a mirror and has a hollow at the base for the refill to be slotted into

The case comes with a mirror and has a hollow at the base for the refill to be slotted into

The case has a lid with a holographic lavender appearance and a built-in mirror for touch-ups on the go. The lid opens with a push of the button located along the curved surface of the case.

II. Refill

Urban Decay Naked Skin Glow Cushion Compact Refill (S$40)

Urban Decay Naked Skin Glow Cushion Compact Refill (S$40)

Shade number printed on the box

Shade number printed on the box

Clear instructions how to refill the product

Clear instructions how to refill the product

The refill is stored in sealed plastic packaging to keep it sanitary.

The refill is stored in sealed plastic packaging to keep it sanitary.

The refill

The refill

Sold separately from the case, each refill includes an applicator puff which is entirely in royal purple to align with the corporate colour scheme of Urban Decay. The ribbon is made of thick and sturdy material which gives the impression that it won’t be easily disengaged from the puff.

For the uninitiated, most cushion compact puffs on the Korean beauty market are anti-bacterial and anti-microbial which lower the risk of transferring bacteria from the face to the compact. These Urban Decay applicator puffs, however, are not antibacterial so it is recommended to be washed at least once a week like your beauty blender.

Urban Decay Naked Skin Glow Cushion Compact Refill

Urban Decay Naked Skin Glow Cushion Compact Refill

Within the receptacle lies the foundation-soaked sponge overlaid with a foam-like mesh which, upon further scrutiny, resembles multiple layers of cheesecloth piled onto one another. It has a comparable surface area to that of my Laneige BB cushion, perhaps slightly bigger. As opposed to using just hole sponges (which is very common in Korean cushion compacts), the added netting allows for better measure of control. The downside of it, however, is that it restricts you from flipping the cushion to extend the usage. Do also note that there isn’t any protective seal affixed to the netting (another common feature in Korean cushion compacts) but that should be least of your concerns since the refills all come packed in plastic pouches.

If you’re always on the hunt for better deals on Carousell or eBay, here’s a tip: you will be able to tell at a glance if the Urban Decay Naked Skin Glow Cushion Compact has been used before since the clear mesh instantly gets stained with the product once pressure is applied upon it. Determining “newness” would be near-impossible for cushion compacts that utilise only hole sponge as they are usually of the same colour as the product 😉

Urban Decay Naked Skin Glow Cushion Compact Refill

Urban Decay Naked Skin Glow Cushion Compact Refill

Urban Decay Naked Skin Glow Cushion Compact Refill

Urban Decay Naked Skin Glow Cushion Compact Refill

Ingredients-wise, the Naked Skin Glow Cushion Compact Foundation contains skin-nourishing ingredients such as rose centifolia flower extract, which has toning and firming properties, as well as Gentian root extract for its skin-soothing and antioxidant benefits. There is also peppermint extract to help condition the skin.

Most importantly, the product is made in Japan, where quality is never compromised.

Technically speaking, the case may not seem like an absolute necessity if you’re one of those who constantly look for ways to cut back on makeup spending. But for hygiene’s sake, it is always advisable to house the product in an airtight case to reduce the chances of turning it into a breeding ground for microbes. Further, it also prevents your formula from drying out and helps to keep your applicator puff in place.

After all, unless you damage the case (which is quite unlikely given the quality of it), it should be a one-off purchase so you won’t need to replace the entire thing when your product runs out, even if you have gotten a shade tanner or fairer.

III. Application

Urban Decay Naked Skin Glow Cushion Compact Foundation

Urban Decay Naked Skin Glow Cushion Compact Foundation

Urban Decay Naked Skin Glow Cushion Compact Foundation

Urban Decay Naked Skin Glow Cushion Compact Foundation

To use the cushion compact, slip your index, middle and ring fingers under the ribbon of the applicator puff (not demonstrated in the picture above) before gently pressing one small part of it down into the cushion to pick up the foundation. Swipe the puff across the skin to spread the product and dab to blend. For hard-to-reach areas like inner eye corners and around the nose, fold the puff in half (or simply use the corners) and carefully dab the foundation on. Thereafter, apply concealer and loose powder (for a more matte finish).

Notice how the excess gets sucked back in?

Notice how the excess gets sucked back in?

Be warned, though, that the netting will sink in over time so do refrain from applying too much unnecessary pressure to it

Be warned, though, that the netting will sink in over time so do refrain from applying too much unnecessary pressure to it

Using the puff would lend a more airbrush-like coverage as compared to using fingers

Using the puff would lend a more airbrush-like coverage as compared to using fingers

As always, testers are available at Sephora (and Urban Decay) for consumers to match the right tone before purchasing. I contemplated between shades 2.75 and 3.25 – neither of which was a perfect match to my skin tone (I swatched all of the shades onto my jawline and realised that 3.5 was too dark even though it looked like it disappeared into my wrist in the swatch earlier) – but finally decided on the lighter one considering that the finished look would turn out darker after all the contouring.

First swipe (without blending)

First swipe (without blending)

Side-by-side comparison: with and without foundation

Side-by-side comparison: with and without foundation

Before and after application on the same area

Before and after application on the same area

ABSOLUTELY NO FILTER: Before and after application on the face without any eye makeup (lol my face looks like it has gained some pounds after)

ABSOLUTELY NO FILTER: Before and after application on the face without any eye makeup (lol my face looks like it has gained some pounds after)

Hydrating and lightweight, the Urban Decay Naked Skin Glow Cushion Compact Foundation has an airier and a less creamy texture than the typical liquid foundation (and less watery than the Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Ultra Definition Liquid Makeup) which prevents it from creasing on the delicate skin around the eyes. Comparable to tinted moisturisers, it is buildable to a certain point from a sheer to medium coverage to give a very natural application and a dewy veil. It took an average of two swipes at each area to achieve the “after” fresh and supple look above.

While it does not conceal major blemishes entirely, it is able to neutralise and cover most of the redness and large pores on my skin for a more even and – dare I say – flawless finish. Unlike many Korean cushion foundations I’ve tried (in particular by Etude House and Laneige), this doesn’t leave a cakey or tacky (especially tacky) texture and I could actually skip the setting powder altogether (but I did not due to my oily skin type). On top of that, it is fragrance-free (no harsh chemical smell emitting from the product either) which makes it suitable for sensitive skin.

NO FILTER AGAIN: Finished look - applied concealer, blush, bronzer, lipstick and some eye makeup. I don't look as pale as before, eh?

NO FILTER AGAIN: Finished look – applied concealer, blush, bronzer, lipstick and some eye makeup. I don’t look as pale as before, eh?

Of course, this review wouldn’t be complete without a longevity test. Can it withstand the humid weather in Singapore?

After 6 hours of wear. Yup, same ol' glasses problem..

After 6 hours of wear. Yup, same ol’ glasses problem..

After 6 hours of wear (close-up)

After 6 hours of wear (close-up)

Six hours later, I didn’t really notice much of a change in the appearance apart from the fact that my skin looked undoubtedly oilier (which can temporarily be rid of with the Palladio Rice Paper I carry along with me wherever I go but for the purpose of this review, I did not blot my skin throughout the day ☺). Upon closer look, however, the foundation did seem to have disintegrated a bit and some of my pores looked clogged and this would have been amplified if I had not stayed indoors (air-conditioned) most of the time (it was too hot and humid out there). That said, no foundation has remained spotless on my skin for more than an hour so far 😢 #oilyskinwoes

All in all, the application and quality certainly did not disappoint. Moreover, it is convenient and travel-friendly as you don’t have to make space in your luggage for your foundation, moisturiser and whatnot. This does most, if not all, of the job!

But.. is it a worthy buy? Here’s the thing, cushion compacts use up extremely quickly and this will be no exception. No doubt, this a great product. But paying S$59 for something that can probably last for only 4 months, tops, is a bit of a stretch. The same amount of money can fetch you a fairly decent bottle of liquid foundation that can take up to a year to empty, or two cushion compacts from a Korean beauty brand. With the abundant supply of cushion compacts in the Korean beauty market (practically every Korean brand carries their own cushion compact line), you are bound to find something similar to this (and likely with more benefits) at a more economical price.

Having said that, since this is an Urban Decay product we’re talking about, setting a low price-point for it would be out of the question. Perhaps, they can do more to set themselves apart from the Korean brands and offer what they don’t, which is to cater to deeper skin tones and expand their shade range, to make this line seem more worthy of the price tag. Contrary to public perceptions, a sizeable portion of the population in Singapore is dark-skinned so I can’t fathom why this wasn’t done at the get-go 🤔

What are your thoughts about this new product? Let me know your views in the comments below or take a quick poll!

Thanks for reading!

Urban Decay Naked Skin Glow Cushion Compact Foundation is now available at all local Urban Decay and Sephora outlets. It is a Singapore-exclusive product (for now) but may be slated for release in the U.S. in 2018.

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

REVIEW: Bellápierre Cosmetics Get Started Kit – Mineral Foundation in Ivory, Mineral Blush in Desert Rose, Mineral Bronzer in Starshine, Lipstick in P.I.N.K & Shimmer Powder in Harmony

Hello everyone!

Powder foundation may be my first foray into makeup but truth be told, I haven’t been using one in donkey’s years since taking a liking to liquid foundation. However, thanks to a slew of mineral makeup launching in the market, my makeup routine could be changing altogether. Mineral makeup is known to be a lot kinder to the skin because of its non-comedogenic nature. Knowing that many of you are also suffering from troubled skin like me, I thought it’d be great to shine the spotlight on a mineral makeup brand I was recently introduced to.. and that’s Bellápierre Cosmetics!

Bellápierre Cosmetics is an American brand specialising in producing luxury mineral makeup, makeup accessories and skincare products that are suitable for all skin types, even sensitive ones. Not only are their products cruelty-free (as is evident from the Leaping Bunny certification on their packaging), they are also non-clogging (as with any other mineral makeup) which I find to be extremely crucial for the hot and humid weather we have in Singapore. Although not as mainstream as say, bareMinerals, their products have been lauded by online critics (here and here) for their great coverage and lightweight texture. But being the sceptic I am, these reviews don’t carry much weight. I have to see to believe!

Bellápierre Get Started Kit

Bellápierre Get Started Kit

One of their bestsellers is the Get Started Kit, put together with beginners in mind. Customisable to different skin tones (in fair, medium, dark or deep). it contains two shades of 5-in-1 foundation, one blush and bronzer and three key brushes for flawless application of the products. This kit basically has all the essential products needed to get you started with the Bellápierre range.

Contrary to the description written on their official website, there isn’t any step-by-step instructional DVD in my kit but I was fortunate to have Aviram, Bellápierre Singapore resident makeup artiste, to guide me on how to use the products through his video demonstrations. The videos aren’t specifically addressed to me nor do they contain any highly confidential matter, so I believe he won’t mind sharing them if requested!

Bellápierre Get Started Kit

Bellápierre Get Started Kit (US$170 / S$230)

Bellápierre Get Started Kit

Bellápierre Get Started Kit

Bellápierre Get Started Kit - powder makeup

Bellápierre Get Started Kit – powder makeup

Opening the sturdy paper box revealed the products neatly arranged and tightly secured in a plastic cast to prevent damage in transit. Product labels at the bottom of the pots are also cleverly displayed face up so that you don’t have to remove them one by one to find out what they are. However, I personally find the paper box outmoded (I can’t quite put my finger on it.. maybe it’s the black colour and tacky font) and underwhelming to the extent that I’d actually transfer the products to a more presentable-looking box if I were to gift this kit to someone else. For the price of US$170, surely the packaging could be designed to look more luxurious or contemporary?

Perhaps.. just perhaps, throwing in a cosmetic pouch for easy storage would help to make up for the lack of visual appeal (since the box does take up quite a bit of space).

Bellápierre Get Started Kit - brushes

Bellápierre Get Started Kit – brushes (Angled Blush Brush – S$40, Powder Brush – S$40, Concealer Brush – S$25)

Nevertheless, these shortcomings are negligible in comparison with the impressive spread of makeup tools and products this starter kit offers. In fact, I was quite amazed to find three quality face brushes (and bristles – with the exception of that of the concealer brush – well-protected with plastic brush guard, no less) for different purposes in there.

Let’s now take a closer look at every product in the kit, followed by two additional items which Bellápierre had included for my consideration. A short tutorial will also be incorporated in the review for the benefit of those without the instructional DVD.

Prices reflected in the captions are individual prices of the products. 

1. Mineral Foundation in Ivory

Bellápierre Mineral Foundation in Ivory

Bellápierre Mineral Foundation in Ivory (US$65 / S$95, also available in small size at S$60)

Mineral makeup, as you might already know, tend to be much more expensive than traditional ones. Unfortunately, Bellápierre is no exception and seems to be priced on the higher end of the scale than other popular brands around. But judging from the unwavering support Bellápierre has received from customers around the world, there must be something really unique about their products. My bet is on their Mineral Foundation which, apart from being a foundation, also functions as a concealer, SPF, finishing powder and setting powder. Don’t we all love versatility?!

On top of that, this 5-in-1 crowd favourite contains just four ingredients which Bellápierre (and, to be fair, many other mineral makeup brands as well) claimed to be natural. They are Mica for creating a healthy and effervescent glow, Zinc Oxides for their anti-inflammatory qualities, Iron Oxides for their rich pigment and resistance to moisture (hence allowing the foundation to be long-lasting), and Titanium Dioxide to protect the skin from UVA and UVB radiation.

I’m no Chemistry expert, so I did some research on the properties of these so-called skin-loving minerals to learn more about what I was going to apply on my acne-prone skin. While mineral makeup is frequently touted as a ‘natural alternative‘ to conventional cosmetics by marketers, some studies have raised concerns about these nano particles having unlimited access to our tissues and organs and may harm our cells in the long run. But then again, these are just speculations and there are no reports of such incidents thus far.

Bellápierre Mineral Foundation in Ivory

Bellápierre Mineral Foundation in Ivory

Another major reason why I’ve always preferred pressed powder to loose powder is the potential mess the latter can leave behind (and it doesn’t help that I’m allergic to dust too), hence I had always tried to avoid mineral makeup. True enough, the moment I peeled the protection seal off the sifter jar, I could instantly spot tiny powder particles scattering in the air under the sun rays that were shining through my windows. That was when I realised I had to dab my brush into all the face makeup in a plastic bag or risk turning my room into a horror movie setting.

I have to reiterate that this is a common problem with all loose powder makeup and not an isolated case by any means, so I don’t blame Bellápierre at all. If you have better ways of applying mineral makeup without creating much of a mess, please share your tips and tricks in the comments below!

Bellápierre Mineral Foundation - using Powder Brush no. 23

Bellápierre Mineral Foundation – using Powder Brush no. 23

The Mineral Foundation comes in 10 shades with Ultra being the lightest and Double Cocoa the darkest. Like what Aviram usually does for his customers who are unsure of the shade which best matches them, he personally picked out Ivory, the second lightest shade, for my typical fair Asian skin tone.

In order to get some of the mineral powder on the sifter jar, I put the lid back on the pot, turned it upside down and tapped on it a few times. The tiny amount of powder that managed to pass through the sifter should be enough to correct minor flaws on the face. Sad to say, it barely concealed hyperpigmentation as I had to apply a thin layer of concealer beneath the foundation to hide most of them. Other than that, it does a fairly decent job in providing a beautifully even and natural finish on other areas that are not plagued by dark spots. *sobs* Why am I not blessed with good skin? 😦

Bellápierre Mineral Foundation - using Concealer Brush no. 16

Bellápierre Mineral Foundation – using Concealer Brush no. 16

Switching to the concealer brush, I applied a layer of the foundation on my undereye to conceal my dark circles and it managed to lighten the inner corners and creases to some extent. Although the dark circles were still visible, I looked less like a zombie and more like a person who merely lost three hours of sleep that night.

2. Mineral Blush in Desert Rose

Bellápierre Mineral Blush in Desert Rose

Bellápierre Mineral Blush in Desert Rose (S$60)

Bellápierre Mineral Blush in Desert Rose

Bellápierre Mineral Blush in Desert Rose (US$45)

Bellápierre Mineral Blush in Desert Rose

Bellápierre Mineral Blush in Desert Rose

Complementing the look is a peachy soft pink blush in Desert Rose retained in the pot by a twist-and-lock sifter. It is one of the four shades available in the mineral blush range. Bellápierre mineral blushes are said to be talc-free, paraben-free and suitable for all skin types and conditions.

Bellápierre Mineral Blush in Desert Rose - using Angled Blush Brush no. 36

Bellápierre Mineral Blush in Desert Rose – using Angled Blush Brush no. 36

Bellápierre Mineral Blush in Desert Rose - blending it out with Powder Blush no. 23

Bellápierre Mineral Blush in Desert Rose – blending it out with Powder Blush no. 23

Bellápierre Mineral Blush in Desert Rose - blending it out with Powder Blush no. 23

Bellápierre Mineral Blush in Desert Rose – blending it out with Powder Blush no. 23

Three words for the application of this blush: Less is More.

As it was my first time experimenting with blush in loose powder form, I didn’t know how much of it my brush had to pick up to achieve my ideal intensity so I guess I had dabbed more than necessary. Clearly unprepared for what came next, I was slightly taken aback by intense pigmentation it lent my cheeks at first but I then realised the striking pink patch could be blended out easily with the powder blush. The final result is amazing! I love the pop of colour on my cheeks and how it seems to blend seamlessly into my foundation.

3. Mineral Bronzer in Starshine

Bellápierre Mineral Bronzer in Starshine

Bellápierre Mineral Bronzer in Starshine (US$40 / S$60)

Bellápierre Mineral Bronzer in Starshine

Bellápierre Mineral Bronzer in Starshine

Protection seal

Protection seal

Bellápierre Mineral Bronzer in Starshine

Bellápierre Mineral Bronzer in Starshine

Bellápierre Mineral Bronzer in Starshine - using Angled Blush Brush no. 36

Bellápierre Mineral Bronzer in Starshine – using Angled Blush Brush no. 36

Bellápierre Mineral Bronzer in Starshine - using Concealer Brush no. 16

Bellápierre Mineral Bronzer in Starshine – using Concealer Brush no. 16

Bellápierre Mineral Bronzer in Starshine - finishing it off

Bellápierre Mineral Bronzer in Starshine – finishing it off

No doubt, the Bellápierre Get Started Kit has quite a number of promising products but if I have to name a favourite, it’s got to be this lovely bronzer. Seriously, doesn’t it remind you of Tinkerbell’s glitter?!This brown bronzer gives life and adds dimensions to my pale face with its gorgeous golden finish. Contrary to my usual practice, I didn’t have to add any highlights to my cheekbones because the bronzer alone was already enough to contour my face to near-perfection with its shimmery qualities.

Like the blush, the mineral bronzers come with four shades to cater to different skin tones or moods! 🙂

4. Mineral Lipstick in P.I.N.K

Bellápierre Lipstick in P.I.N.K

Bellápierre Lipstick in P.I.N.K (US$20 / S$40)

Bellápierre Lipstick in P.I.N.K

Bellápierre Lipstick in P.I.N.K

Bellápierre Lipstick in P.I.N.K

Bellápierre Lipstick in P.I.N.K

Bellápierre Lipstick in P.I.N.K

Bellápierre Lipstick in P.I.N.K

Bellápierre Lipstick in P.I.N.K

Bellápierre Lipstick in P.I.N.K

Bellápierre Lipstick in P.I.N.K - after applying eye and brow makeup (not from the Bellápierre brand)

Bellápierre Lipstick in P.I.N.K – after applying eye and brow makeup (not from the Bellápierre brand)

Let’s be honest here – who else had thought that the concept of mineral makeup is only limited to loose powder? Formulated with natural waxes and mineral pigments, iron oxides and antioxidants such as Vitamin C and Vitamin E, Bellápierre lipsticks are the answer to natural sun protection for your kissers while imparting a ravishing wash of colour to spice them up.

P.I.N.K coats the lips with a rich, opaque layer of retro hot pink and a touch of shine. It glides on weightlessly and leaves a creamy and moistened texture to ensure that the lips stay hydrated under the blistering heat. Furthermore, it is long-lasting and goes well with all skin tones – definitely a shade that would become a staple in anyone’s makeup rotation!

Your favourite MAC lipstick shades - now with mineral ingredients!

Your favourite MAC lipstick shades – now with mineral ingredients!

5. Shimmer Powder in Harmony

Bellápierre Shimmer Powder in Harmony

Bellápierre Shimmer Powder in Harmony (US$15 / S$30)

Bellápierre Shimmer Powder in Harmony

Bellápierre Shimmer Powder in Harmony

The shimmer powders are the most versatile and cost-effective product in the Bellápierre collection. It can be used as an eye shadow using the tip of your finger, eyeliner using a wet thin brush, or lip gloss when accompanied with Bellápierre’s clear lipstick base. With over 50 vibrant shades to choose from, it is easy to find one that matches your preference!

Bellápierre Shimmer Powder in Harmony

Bellápierre Shimmer Powder in Harmony

Bellápierre Shimmer Powder in Harmony (right lid)

Before (left lid) and after (right lid, raw)

Harmony is a rusty brown – a colour which I reckon most people would be comfortable using as an eye shadow. True to the description provided on the website, it is highly pigmented and does not budge an inch on sweaty eyelids.

A single pot can probably last at least a year since only a tiny amount of shimmer powder is needed for each application if used correctly. It is certainly a useful and value-for-money product with the only downside I can think of being slightly time-consuming (especially if time management isn’t your forte) as water has to be added to adjust the consistency and intensity to my liking. I guess to save time, you can try storing a pinch of the shimmer powder in a separate pot and add your desired amount of water so that you won’t have to repeat the same process everyday 😀

Bellápierre Cosmetics

Bellápierre Cosmetics

Final look

Final look

I have never used any mineral makeup prior to Bellápierre so I can’t do a comparison with other brands. From my personal experience with Bellápierre, however, I must say that whatever I had heard about mineral makeup being able to deliver a breathable and natural feel is all true. But until there is mineral makeup in compact form, I would probably be using less of it (maybe not the bronzer.. too pretty to resist) because I shudder at the thought of having to vacuum my room more often than usual.

If the mess doesn’t bother you at all, do give Bellápierre a shot (psst.. get the Get Started Kit as it’s well worth the money)! I’m sure you won’t be disappointed with the results. What’s more, Lazada is offering Bellápierre products at a discount of up to 27%. If you happen to pass by their outlets, do check with the sales representative for special promotions for the day as well.

Are you a regular user of Bellápierre products? Do share with me your favourites in the comments below!

Thanks for reading! 🙂

Bellápierre Cosmetics is available on Bellapierre.com, LAZADA.SG and at Century Square (#01-09), Jurong Point (#01-K7), One-KM (#01-K4) and Suntec City (#01-313) shopping centres. More information about their Singapore outlets can be found on their Facebook page.
DISCLAIMER: ALL PRODUCTS FEATURED ARE PRESS SAMPLES BUT OPINIONS, AS ALWAYS, ARE MY OWN.

REVIEW: Hwajin Cosmetics Homme Terrior All-In-One & Dynamic BB Cream

Move over, ladies!

Getting dolled up is no longer restricted to females, rather it has already extended to men as well with the rise of metrosexuality around the world. This cultural trend, largely intensified by the growing popularity of Korean pop culture, sees an increase in heterosexual men investing more interest in their appearance, so much so that sales of men’s grooming products in Singapore (yes, I kid you not, it’s happening right here in Singapore) have soared over the past three years! Who would have known that our men would be so into eyebrow pencils and BB cushions? Wow, just wow. Maybe that explains why I’ve been seeing so many guys with enviable complexion on the streets lately – it’s the makeup! It definitely is! *sulks away in jealousy*

With more men turning to makeup to enhance their looks, it’s no surprise that cosmetics companies are tapping into this emerging market by offering beauty lines exclusively for men. Many of you may know South Korean beauty brands like Laneige and Etude House, but have you heard of Hwajin? No? Well, then you may want to consider adding it to your radar.

Be sure to check out my reviews on other Korean beauty products here!

Be sure to check out my reviews on other Korean beauty products here!

Having been in the cosmetics industry for 34 years, Hwajin has a vast array of beauty products for both men and women and has continuously been developing functional cosmetic products made from selective ingredients. Most recently, its men’s range Homme Terrior bagged the Superior Skin Care Brand award at the 2016 Beyond Beauty Awards in Shanghai for its international performance and potential leadership of the future of Asian beauty trend.

Hwajin Homme Terrior

Hwajin Homme Terrior

Hwajin Homme Terrior

Hwajin Homme Terrior

The star products that contributed to the brand’s victory are the All-In-One and Dynamic BB Cream which BNTNews had sent me for my review. Fitted in a high-quality and luxurious black textured box with a magnetic flip cover, the overall packaging is a clear indication of the brand’s opulence and splendour. Just one glance at it and you’d know that Homme Terrior is an upmarket beauty brand. The gorgeous design of the packaging makes this set an ideal gift for your vain male friend.

Homme Terrior All-In-One

Homme Terrior All-In-One (120g)

Homme Terrior All-In-One (120g)

Look how chic the packaging is! It is made of glass and feels just like Giorgio Armani cologne bottle. I just couldn’t bring myself to use it (not on myself, but my boyfriend who had the honour of being my *cough* model) even though this product isn’t intended for me. The moment I removed the cap, a sharp, manly yet pleasant citrusy fragrance escaped from the bottle and drifted around my nose. It smelled so goddamn good, you wouldn’t even need to apply any cologne on your neck. Hence, I would highly discourage those with sensitive or acne-prone skin from using it due to the possibility that it contains synthetic fragrance (it honestly smells too heavenly to be natural) which may aggravate your skin condition. But for the rest of you who are blessed with near-flawless complexion, I’m sure you’re gonna love this product!

Kick-off your morning beauty regimen with this all-in-one facial serum that not only moisturises your skin but also firms, nourishes and balances its oiliness and moisture levels. When shaving, the layer of lipids that governs the moisture in the facial tissues can be compromised (source), thereby causing dehydration to the skin. This product offers the needed nutrients and moisture to your disheveled or rough skin after wash and shave to ensure that it stays hydrated. It also protects the skin from irritation and inflammation, which may cause premature skin aging (i.e. wrinkles).

The nutrients are plant-derived compounds from resurrection plants, herbs, apricot kernels and others plant extracts to give the skin a fresh, cool and clean feeling while the humectant ingredients come from patented extract mixture from herbs and licorice.

Other major ingredients:

• Lemon extract: the rich vitamin C and citric acid exfoliates and cleanses the skin

• Bamboo extract: the antibacterial and antioxidant effect of the bamboo sap make the skin moist and healthy

• Herb extract: the mixture of extracts from rosemary, chamomile, green tea leaf, licorice, polygonum cuspidatum, centella asiatica and scutellaria

• Iceberg water: the ultrapure water collected from Newfoundland, Canada, is used for the softest and cleanest quality.

Homme Terrior All-In-One (application)

Homme Terrior All-In-One (application)

The fluidity of this colourless serum leans more towards the runny side, hence it can be easily spread all over the face. Using both hands to massage the serum into the skin, the face appears visibly smoother and calmer after the product has been fully absorbed.

Homme Terrior Dynamic BB Cream

Homme Terrior Dynamic BB Cream (40g)

Homme Terrior Dynamic BB Cream (40g)

Homme Terrior Dynamic BB Cream

Homme Terrior Dynamic BB Cream

The information pamphlet that came with these Homme Terrior products claims that this multi-functional BB cream can improve the skin tone with its natural and healthy colour while vitalising the skin at the same time. It is also purported to take care of any skin problems with just a single application of the BB cream. Sounds very ambitious but is it really?

The BB cream contains Acetyl Hexapeptide-8, or Botox-like Peptide, which is known to have a strong firming effect. It has the minimum side-effects of Botox but keeps its function at maximum level.  The small molecule of the peptide penetrates the skin more easily and directly increases the elasticity of the muscular tissues.

Homme Terrior Dynamic BB Cream

Homme Terrior Dynamic BB Cream

For a start, the shade of the BB cream seems a tad too pale for a typical Singaporean male’s skin tone which falls somewhere in the medium range (blame it on our tropical climite). It has an opaque coverage, hence it does leave an apparent veil of colour on the skin. I was unable to tell from the sea of Korean words on the back of the tube if there were other shades available. But judging from the English information that came with these press samples, it doesn’t seem like it. For a cosmetics company to create a one-size-fits-all product like BB cream is absolutely absurd, if that is really the case. The strange chemical smell the product emits is also a put-off for the user.

Homme Terrior Dynamic BB Cream (application)

Homme Terrior Dynamic BB Cream (application)

Petty faults aside, the BB cream does it job well in concealing skin imperfections such as large pores and acne pits. I was amazed by how effectively it can fill up those holes on the skin surface to give it a smoother appearance. If only it was in the right shade, though.

So what are your views about this brand? Would you recommend these products to your male friends? Let me know in the comments below!

Thanks for reading! 🙂

the homme terrior collection has yet to be made available for sale. i will update here as soon as i get hold of its release information. in the meantime, please check out hwajin cosmetics website for more men’s beauty products.
DISCLAIMER: PRODUCTS FEATURED ARE PRESS SAMPLES BUT OPINIONS, AS ALWAYS, ARE MY OWN.