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

Hello everyone!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Goomba motif on the inside of the box!

Goomba motif on the inside of the box!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

☆ Eye Shadows ☆

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

APPLICATION & SUGGESTED LOOK

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

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

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

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

Define the eyes while still using the shader brush

Define the eyes while still using the shader brush

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

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

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

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

From plain to glamourous!

From plain to glamourous!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

APPLICATION & SUGGESTED LOOK

Apply base colour all over the lid with the shader brush

Apply base colour all over the lid with the shader brush

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

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

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

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

Cut them crease with the darkest shade on the palette!

Cut them crease with the darkest shade on the palette!

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

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

Line the lower lash line with the styling shade

Line the lower lash line with the styling shade

Followed by the defining shade on the outer corner

Followed by the defining shade on the outer corner

Don't forget to blend out the edges!

Don’t forget to blend out the edges!

From girl-next-door to femme fatale 🤗

From girl-next-door to femme fatale 🤗

When glam meets edgy

When glam meets edgy

☆ Glow Ons ☆

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

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

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

Darling Princess (3-4 swipes)

Darling Princess (3-4 swipes)

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

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

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

Adventure Princess (1 swipe)

Adventure Princess (1 swipe)

Adventure Princess (3-4 swipes)

Adventure Princess (3-4 swipes)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

Hello everyone!

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

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

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

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

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

#1 Pro Filtr Soft Matte Longwear Foundation (200)

Fenty Beauty Pro Filtr Soft Matte Longwear Foundation in 200

Fenty Beauty Pro Filtr Soft Matte Longwear Foundation in 200

Fenty Beauty Pro Filtr Soft Matte Longwear Foundation in 200

Fenty Beauty Pro Filtr Soft Matte Longwear Foundation in 200

Fenty Beauty Pro Filtr Soft Matte Longwear Foundation in 200

Fenty Beauty Pro Filtr Soft Matte Longwear Foundation in 200

Fenty Beauty Pro Filtr Soft Matte Longwear Foundation in 200

Fenty Beauty Pro Filtr Soft Matte Longwear Foundation in 200

Fenty Beauty Pro Filtr Soft Matte Longwear Foundation in 200

Fenty Beauty Pro Filtr Soft Matte Longwear Foundation in 200

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

…did I just find my PERFECT foundation match?!

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

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

#2 Pro Filtr Soft Matte Longwear Foundation (260)

Fenty Beauty Pro Filtr Soft Matte Longwear Foundation in 260

Fenty Beauty Pro Filtr Soft Matte Longwear Foundation in 260

Fenty Beauty Pro Filtr Soft Matte Longwear Foundation in 260

Fenty Beauty Pro Filtr Soft Matte Longwear Foundation in 260

Fenty Beauty Pro Filtr Soft Matte Longwear Foundation in 260

Fenty Beauty Pro Filtr Soft Matte Longwear Foundation in 260

Fenty Beauty Pro Filtr Soft Matte Longwear Foundation in 260

Fenty Beauty Pro Filtr Soft Matte Longwear Foundation in 260

Fenty Beauty Pro Filtr Soft Matte Longwear Foundation in 260

Fenty Beauty Pro Filtr Soft Matte Longwear Foundation in 260

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

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

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

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT

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

Patchy appearance of 260

Patchy appearance of 260

Comparing swatches of 200 and 260

Comparing swatches of 200 and 260

Bare-faced versus 200 and 260 on the face

Bare-faced versus 200 and 260 on the face

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Match Stix Trio in Medium

Match Stix Trio in Medium

Match Stix Trio in Medium

Match Stix Trio in Medium

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

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

Match Stix Matte Skinstick in Bamboo (fully twisted up)

Match Stix Matte Skinstick in Bamboo (fully twisted up)

Match Stix Matte Skinstick in Bamboo

Match Stix Matte Skinstick in Bamboo

Match Stix Matte Skinstick in Bamboo

Match Stix Matte Skinstick in Bamboo

Match Stix Matte Skinstick in Bamboo

Match Stix Matte Skinstick in Bamboo

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

Match Stix Matte Skinstick in Mocha (fully twisted up)

Match Stix Matte Skinstick in Mocha (fully twisted up)

Match Stix Matte Skinstick in Mocha

Match Stix Matte Skinstick in Mocha

Match Stix Matte Skinstick in Mocha

Match Stix Matte Skinstick in Mocha

Match Stix Matte Skinstick in Mocha

Match Stix Matte Skinstick in Mocha

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

Mocha vs Hoola

Mocha vs Hoola

Match Stix Shimmer Skinstick in Trippin (fully twisted up)

Match Stix Shimmer Skinstick in Trippin (fully twisted up)

Match Stix Shimmer Skinstick in Trippin

Match Stix Shimmer Skinstick in Trippin

Match Stix Shimmer Skinstick in Trippin

Match Stix Shimmer Skinstick in Trippin

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

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

Match Stix Shimmer Skinstick in Trippin

Match Stix Shimmer Skinstick in Trippin

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

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

Trippin vs Watt's Up! Cream Highlighter by Benefit

Trippin vs Watt’s Up! Cream Highlighter by Benefit

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

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

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

#4 Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter
(Trophy Wife)

Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter in Trophy Wife

Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter in Trophy Wife

Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter in Trophy Wife

Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter in Trophy Wife

Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter in Trophy Wife

Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter in Trophy Wife

Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter in Trophy Wife

Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter in Trophy Wife

Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter in Trophy Wife

Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter in Trophy Wife

Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter in Trophy Wife

Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter in Trophy Wife

Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter in Trophy Wife

Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter in Trophy Wife

Before and after blending out Trophy Wife

Before and after blending out Trophy Wife

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks for reading!

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

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REVIEW: M·A·C Snow Ball – Face Bag (Extra Dimension Skinfinish in Whisper of Gilt), Lipsticks in Elle Belle & Holiday Crush

Hello everyone!

You know Christmas is just around the corner when mentions of M·A·C Holiday collection hit the internet. This year, our beloved beauty brand introduces Snow Ball – a massive collection wrapped entirely in gold snowflake-emblazoned packaging that would make you want to empty your bank account.

M·A·C Snow Ball for Holiday 2017

M·A·C Snow Ball for Holiday 2017

One of the many displays for M·A·C Snow Ball

One of the many displays for M·A·C Snow Ball

M·A·C Snow Ball Mini Lipstick Kit / M·A·C Classics (US$69.50 / S$150) featuring 12 shades: Party Commencing (Matte), Little Darling (Matte), Please Me (Matte), Mangrove (Matte), Ruby Woo (Matte), Rebel (Satin), Flat Out Fabulous (Matte), Good Kisser (Matte), Diva (Matte), Velvet Teddy (Matte), Whirl (Matte) & Stone (Matte)

M·A·C Snow Ball Mini Lipstick Kit / M·A·C Classics (US$69.50 / S$150) featuring 12 shades: Party Commencing (Matte), Little Darling (Matte), Please Me (Matte), Mangrove (Matte), Ruby Woo (Matte), Rebel (Satin), Flat Out Fabulous (Matte), Good Kisser (Matte), Diva (Matte), Velvet Teddy (Matte), Whirl (Matte) & Stone (Matte)

The Snow Ball Mini Lipstick Kit was an especially great bargain. If I hadn’t already owned 90% of the shades in there, I would have bought it in a heartbeat when it was pre-released to the M·A·C Obsessed members on the U.S. site.

M·A·C Snow Ball Extra Dimension Eye Shadow - all swatches (US$20 / S$37 each)

M·A·C Snow Ball Extra Dimension Eye Shadow – all swatches (US$20 / S$37 each)

M·A·C Snow Ball Extra Dimension Skinfinish in Face Bag - all swatches (US$49.50 / S$90 each)

M·A·C Snow Ball Extra Dimension Skinfinish in Face Bag – all swatches (US$49.50 / S$90 each)

M·A·C Snow Ball lipsticks - all swatches (US$17.50 / S$33 each)

M·A·C Snow Ball lipsticks – all swatches (US$17.50 / S$33 each)

Some other products from this collection not show above are the Face Powder (US$34 / S$46), Lash (US$17 / S$25) and Snowflake Adornment (US$16.50 / S$23). Unfortunately, the Prep + Prime Fix+ Kit (US$20) is not available in Singapore and you won’t be able to purchase it from the U.S. site too because of restrictions on shipping liquids. Ah, bummer! 😫

Apart from the to-die-for packaging, prices also seem to be a lot lower as compared to the previous years. Either M·A·C had decided to listen to the feedback of their customers or they had felt the pressure to keep their prices affordable from the growing competition in the market. Whatever it is, it is a win-win for both sides – customers wouldn’t feel much of a pinch shopping the collection and M·A·C gets to clear their stocks fast. And by fast, I mean wiping out almost everything in the collection within the first hour (both online and in Singapore stores)! 😲

Fortunately, I scored what I wanted on my list (many thanks to M·A·C Singapore 😘) and here’s my review:

#1 Face Bag (Gold)

M·A·C Snow Ball Face Bag (Gold, US$49.50 / S$90)

M·A·C Snow Ball Face Bag (Gold, US$49.50 / S$90)

M·A·C Snow Ball Face Bag (Gold)

M·A·C Snow Ball Face Bag (Gold)

Everything inside

Everything inside

Inside the bag

Inside the bag

Products in the Face Bag - Extra Dimension Skinfinish in Whisper of Gilt and 140 Synthetic Full Fan Brush

Products in the Face Bag – Extra Dimension Skinfinish in Whisper of Gilt and 140 Synthetic Full Fan Brush

M·A·C 140 Synthetic Full Fan Brush

M·A·C 140 Synthetic Full Fan Brush

The Snow Ball collection features two Face Bags in gold and peach with an US$85 value. Both bags, cheaply covered with scratchy sequins (gawd, I swear this is the laziest way to glitz up something) with a faux-fur pom pom hanging from the zipper, contain a different shade of snowflake-embossed Extra Dimension Skinfinish in rose gold packaging as well as an exclusive rose gold-handled 140 Synthetic Full Fan Brush worth US$42.

The peach version comes with Show Gold – which is already in the permanent line of Extra Dimension Skinfinish – while the shade in the gold one is limited edition so obviously, the demand was going to lean towards the latter. The brush, according to M·A·C, is “made from a blend of synthetic fibres in different diameter sizes to optimally pick up and apply powders”. The bristles are fluffy and smooth to the touch wonder but I why it is even included in the bag if it is more suited to applying loose powder which the highlighter isn’t?

M·A·C Extra Dimension Skinfinish in Whisper of Gilt

M·A·C Extra Dimension Skinfinish in Whisper of Gilt

M·A·C Extra Dimension Skinfinish in Whisper of Gilt

M·A·C Extra Dimension Skinfinish in Whisper of Gilt

M·A·C Extra Dimension Skinfinish in Whisper of Gilt

M·A·C Extra Dimension Skinfinish in Whisper of Gilt

M·A·C Extra Dimension Skinfinish in Whisper of Gilt

M·A·C Extra Dimension Skinfinish in Whisper of Gilt

left: 3 swipes applied with my index finger / right: 3 swipes applied with slightly damp Sigma F35 Tapered Highlighter Brush

left: 3 swipes applied with my index finger / right: 3 swipes applied with slightly damp Sigma F35 Tapered Highlighter Brush

One of the most anticipated products in this collection, the Whisper of Gilt was first released in 2012 as a limited edition Extra Dimension Skinfinish and subsequently repromoted last year as part of the Sweet Copper Face Compact for the Nutcracker Holiday collection. The current holiday edition of the bestselling highlighter has a net weight of 7.5 g (0.26 oz) as opposed to the 9 g (0.31 oz) when it was launched in its original packaging. Each full-size Extra Dimension Skinfinish is sold for US$34 / S$55.

— APPLICATION (with M·A·C 140 Synthetic Full Fan Brush) —

M·A·C Extra Dimension Skinfinish in Whisper of Gilt - with the M·A·C 140 Synthetic Full Fan Brush

M·A·C Extra Dimension Skinfinish in Whisper of Gilt – with the M·A·C 140 Synthetic Full Fan Brush

M·A·C Extra Dimension Skinfinish in Whisper of Gilt - with the M·A·C 140 Synthetic Full Fan Brush

M·A·C Extra Dimension Skinfinish in Whisper of Gilt – with the M·A·C 140 Synthetic Full Fan Brush

Kinda looks like little beads of sweat above my cheekbone

Kinda looks like little beads of sweat above my cheekbone

— APPLICATION (with Sigma F41 Fan Brush) —

M·A·C Extra Dimension Skinfinish in Whisper of Gilt - with my Sigma F41 Fan Brush

M·A·C Extra Dimension Skinfinish in Whisper of Gilt – with my Sigma F41 Fan Brush

M·A·C Extra Dimension Skinfinish in Whisper of Gilt - with my Sigma F41 Fan Brush

M·A·C Extra Dimension Skinfinish in Whisper of Gilt – with my Sigma F41 Fan Brush

M·A·C Extra Dimension Skinfinish in Whisper of Gilt - with my Sigma F41 Fan Brush (much better!)

M·A·C Extra Dimension Skinfinish in Whisper of Gilt – with my Sigma F41 Fan Brush (much better!)

Finished look

Finished look

Whisper of Gilt is described as a pale gold shimmer with very finely milled luminous particles to give a sparkling finish. It is a champagne-toned highlighter that is neither too white nor gold, making it absolutely flattering on light to medium skin tones. Smooth to the touch, it has a soft consistency which makes it possible to blend and diffuse on the skin easily while adding just the right amount of glow. However, it does emphasise the natural texture of my skin to some extent (as I didn’t realise I had a little pimple above my cheekbone until I layered it with this highlighter 😐).

When applied with the M·A·C powder brush provided in the Face Bag, the highlighter appeared hardly visible on my skin. But with my Sigma F41 Fan Brush, it rendered a sheer to semi-opaque coverage (depending on how heavy-handed I was) and a moderate glow with two to three coats. Having said that, it is certainly capable of building to greater opacity when applied with finger or a denser (damp) brush if a more blinding radiance is preferred.

Whisper of Gilt as compared to highlighters from other brands (in terms of colour similarity, finish, etc.)

Whisper of Gilt as compared to highlighters from other brands (in terms of colour similarity, finish, etc.)

If you had missed out on the opportunity to snag a Face Bag at your local M·A·C store, or cannot bear to part with your money on a redundant bag and brush, Champagne Pop and Bigger and Better (from ColourPop’s Gimme More! Palette) are some more affordable dupes that you may want to consider.

M·A·C Snow Ball lipsticks packaging

M·A·C Snow Ball lipsticks packaging

M·A·C Snow Ball lipsticks packaging

M·A·C Snow Ball lipsticks packaging

Encased in gold tubes with smooth, glossy frost effect on the outside and kept in see-through plastic boxes with gold geometric snowflake patterns, the lipsticks are packaged similarly to the highlighter to conjure up that Christmas vibe. They’re so pretty and shiny, you can literally use them as your Christmas tree ornaments 😍

#2 Lipstick – Elle Belle

M·A·C Snow Ball lipstick in Elle Bell (US$17.50 / S$33)

M·A·C Snow Ball lipstick in Elle Bell (US$17.50 / S$33)

M·A·C Snow Ball lipstick in Elle Bell

M·A·C Snow Ball lipstick in Elle Belle

M·A·C Snow Ball lipstick in Elle Belle

M·A·C Snow Ball lipstick in Elle Belle

M·A·C Snow Ball lipstick in Elle Bell

M·A·C Snow Ball lipstick in Elle Bell

M·A·C Snow Ball lipstick in Elle Bell

M·A·C Snow Ball lipstick in Elle Bell

M·A·C Snow Ball lipstick in Elle Belle

Elle Belle is described as a deep red with a Amplified finish. This luscious cool-toned berry red goes on smoothly with no drag and gives an opaque colour payoff in just one swipe. It has a glossy sheen and buttery texture to it but those somehow translate to an oily consistency which causes the lipstick to budge very quickly. Although hydrating and relatively comfortable to wear, it settles into the lines and emphasises dry patches, resulting in blobs of uneven colour on the lips if not properly exfoliated prior to application. When this shade fades to a plum stain after a few hours of wear, vertical streaks of the lipstick can be clearly seen along the lines on the lower lip. Yikes! 😣

Swatch comparison for Elle Belle

Swatch comparison for Elle Belle

#3 Lipstick – Holiday Crush

M·A·C Snow Ball lipstick in Holiday Crush (US$17.50 / S$33)

M·A·C Snow Ball lipstick in Holiday Crush (US$17.50 / S$33)

M·A·C Snow Ball lipstick in Holiday Crush

M·A·C Snow Ball lipstick in Holiday Crush

M·A·C Snow Ball lipstick in Holiday Crush

M·A·C Snow Ball lipstick in Holiday Crush

M·A·C Snow Ball lipstick in Holiday Crush

M·A·C Snow Ball lipstick in Holiday Crush

M·A·C Snow Ball lipstick in Holiday Crush

M·A·C Snow Ball lipstick in Holiday Crush

M·A·C Snow Ball lipstick in Holiday Crush

M·A·C Snow Ball lipstick in Holiday Crush

Holiday Crush is described as a muted pink with sparkle and a Frost finish. This cool-toned muted copper glides on smoothly without tug and lends an evenly-distributed metallic shine across the lips to give a reflective-foiled look. It is lightweight and lightly emollient but feels slightly tacky on the lips. This shade catches light beautifully at every angle and takes about two coats to be fully (or reasonably) opaque. However, the finish seems to intensify the appearance of the lip lines and can make me kinda self-conscious if worn out in public so I’ll probably use it as a lip topper instead. But I cannot lie. This shade is a stunner!

Swatch comparison for Holiday Crush

Swatch comparison for Holiday Crush

Despite the price drop, I’m so glad M·A·C did not compromise on the quality and actually rolled out products that the customers really want. It seems like M·A·C is finally back in the game!

What do you think about this collection? Did you manage to get anything? Share your thoughts with me in the comments below or simply take a quick poll!

Thanks for reading!

Have a dazzling holiday!

Have a dazzling holiday!

M·A·C Snow Ball is now available on MACCosmetics.com and at all local M.A.C outlets. However, most items (e.g. lipsticks) are already sold out at all stores but you can still try your luck at Carousell or eBay 🙂

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REVIEW: ColourPop × My Little Pony – Pressed Powder Highlighter in Starflower & Trickles, Ultra Matte Lip in Lemon Drop & Pin Wheel

Hello everyone!

Continuing from where the previous ColourPop × My Little Pony collection review ended last week, here’s the second post where I will talk about some of the face and lip products from the same haul.

Let's begin with the highlighters!

Let’s begin with the highlighters!

Housed in a purple compact with an integrated mirror and a magnetic closure, the highlighters in the ColourPop × My Little Pony collection are about the size of an adult palm with a net weight of 6.5 g (0.23 oz) each. Made in the U.S. with stars embossed on the surface, the highlighters are available in two shades – Starflower and Trickles – and I’ve got them both here in this review.

Like the eye shadow palette, the motifs on the compact don’t quite appeal to me and I find the workmanship for this collection to be rather shoddy and lazy. In particular, Starflower arrived with slight dip in the bottom bit of the product as if it was not properly filled and pressed in the pan. Loose product was scattered all around the pan when I opened the case and it even dirtied the mirror. That said, I must consider myself lucky enough for not receiving a totally shattered ColourPop highlighter considering how fragile they are according to the reviews on their website!

The names of the highlighters are also printed in black on see-through stickers that are pasted on the most inconspicuous part of their respective boxes (not the compact). Hence, unless you manually write them on the compact, you’d need to keep referring back to the boxes for their names (and you cannot lose them).

Now, onto the critique of the products themselves. 

#1 Pressed Powder Highlighter in Starflower

ColourPop × My Little Pony Pressed Powder Highlighter in Starflower (US$8)

ColourPop × My Little Pony Pressed Powder Highlighter in Starflower (US$8)

ColourPop × My Little Pony Pressed Powder Highlighter in Starflower

ColourPop × My Little Pony Pressed Powder Highlighter in Starflower

ColourPop × My Little Pony Pressed Powder Highlighter in Starflower

ColourPop × My Little Pony Pressed Powder Highlighter in Starflower

ColourPop × My Little Pony Pressed Powder Highlighter in Starflower

ColourPop × My Little Pony Pressed Powder Highlighter in Starflower

ColourPop × My Little Pony Pressed Powder Highlighter in Starflower

ColourPop × My Little Pony Pressed Powder Highlighter in Starflower

ColourPop × My Little Pony Pressed Powder Highlighter in Starflower

ColourPop × My Little Pony Pressed Powder Highlighter in Starflower

ColourPop × My Little Pony Pressed Powder Highlighter in Starflower

ColourPop × My Little Pony Pressed Powder Highlighter in Starflower

ColourPop × My Little Pony Pressed Powder Highlighter in Starflower (two swipes)

ColourPop × My Little Pony Pressed Powder Highlighter in Starflower (two swipes)

ColourPop × My Little Pony Pressed Powder Highlighter in Starflower

ColourPop × My Little Pony Pressed Powder Highlighter in Starflower

Starflower is described as a peachy gold with a finish being more metallic than glittery. Finely milled, this highlight is mostly sheer with very limited buildability. Also, perhaps because it is rather similar to my natural skin colour, it isn’t very prominent on my skin. This would be ideal if you are going for a soft glow or prefer something that isn’t too blinding. But personally, I was a little underwhelmed by it 😫 The first swipe rendered little to no reflective quality and it appears a bit chunky on my cheekbones as it tends to emphasise the pores and texture of my skin. This probably will work better on darker skin tones.

#2 Pressed Powder Highlighter in Trickles

ColourPop × My Little Pony Pressed Powder Highlighter in Trickles (US$8)

ColourPop × My Little Pony Pressed Powder Highlighter in Trickles (US$8)

ColourPop × My Little Pony Pressed Powder Highlighter in Trickles

ColourPop × My Little Pony Pressed Powder Highlighter in Trickles

ColourPop × My Little Pony Pressed Powder Highlighter in Trickles

ColourPop × My Little Pony Pressed Powder Highlighter in Trickles

ColourPop × My Little Pony Pressed Powder Highlighter in Trickles

ColourPop × My Little Pony Pressed Powder Highlighter in Trickles

ColourPop × My Little Pony Pressed Powder Highlighter in Trickles

ColourPop × My Little Pony Pressed Powder Highlighter in Trickles

ColourPop × My Little Pony Pressed Powder Highlighter in Trickles

ColourPop × My Little Pony Pressed Powder Highlighter in Trickles

ColourPop × My Little Pony Pressed Powder Highlighter in Trickles

ColourPop × My Little Pony Pressed Powder Highlighter in Trickles

ColourPop × My Little Pony Pressed Powder Highlighter in Trickles (one swipe)

ColourPop × My Little Pony Pressed Powder Highlighter in Trickles (one swipe)

ColourPop × My Little Pony Pressed Powder Highlighter in Trickles

ColourPop × My Little Pony Pressed Powder Highlighter in Trickles

Trickles is described as a lavender with pink opal duochrome flip. This was added to my cart on a whim to meet the minimum threshold for free international shipping but I ended up enjoying it more than Starflower. Trickles has a soft and metallic finish and is fairly blendable on the skin. It does not share the same formula as the Super Shock Highlighter so expect neither a blinding glow nor an intense pigmentation from it. However, if you prefer a more subtle dewy look, this is the shade you should pick up.

Trickles appears more luminous than Starflower and adds a subtle bounce of light to the cheekbones. For me, I do not have to build up much to see the holographic shift (and besides, my room isn’t the most well-lit of places so to be able to even see colour payoff from any highlighter is already a massive plus). Without having to scrape the top layer, I just need to sweep the brush over my cheekbones twice for the highlighter to pop. I recommend this stunner over Starflower any day!

Compare ColourPop Starflower and Trickles with other highlighters

Compare ColourPop Starflower and Trickles with other highlighters

Moving on to the lips..

#3 Ultra Matte Lip in Lemon Drop

ColourPop × My Little Pony Ultra Matte Lip in Lemon Drop (US$6)

ColourPop × My Little Pony Ultra Matte Lip in Lemon Drop (US$6)

ColourPop × My Little Pony Ultra Matte Lip in Lemon Drop

ColourPop × My Little Pony Ultra Matte Lip in Lemon Drop

ColourPop × My Little Pony Ultra Matte Lip in Lemon Drop

ColourPop × My Little Pony Ultra Matte Lip in Lemon Drop

ColourPop × My Little Pony Ultra Matte Lip in Lemon Drop

ColourPop × My Little Pony Ultra Matte Lip in Lemon Drop

ColourPop × My Little Pony Ultra Matte Lip in Lemon Drop

ColourPop × My Little Pony Ultra Matte Lip in Lemon Drop

ColourPop × My Little Pony Ultra Matte Lip in Lemon Drop

ColourPop × My Little Pony Ultra Matte Lip in Lemon Drop

ColourPop × My Little Pony Ultra Matte Lip in Lemon Drop

ColourPop × My Little Pony Ultra Matte Lip in Lemon Drop

ColourPop × My Little Pony Ultra Matte Lip in Lemon Drop

ColourPop × My Little Pony Ultra Matte Lip in Lemon Drop

Apart from the additional whimsical detail on the tube (which I quite like), the packaging of the lip products in this collaboration did not deviate much from those in the permanent line. There are a total of six lip products in this My Little Pony collection with three being the Ultra Glossy Lips (Ponyland, Dream Castle & Flutter Valley) – which were a hard pass for me since I’m not a fan of glossy finish – and the rest Ultra Matte Lips (Lemon Drop, Pin Wheel & Moondancer). I have always been a strong advocate of dark lips but this time, I wanted something I don’t already have hundreds of dupes of in my stash 🤨

Lemon Drop is described as a bright cool-toned lavender. This shade darkens as it sets and eventually becomes less pastel and somewhat of a royal purple with a flat-matte and shine-free finish. Bold yet universally flattering (especially on darker skin tones), this shade has a creamy and thick consistency and is absolutely transfer-proof. Lemon Drop saturates the lips with uniform opaque colour that locks into place in just one swipe. It dries down almost instantly and does not settle into the creases of the lips. Although it can feel slightly drying, it doesn’t crack on the lips. However, it has the tendency to flake off after a few hours of wear. When removed, it leaves a pinkish tint on the lips which I honestly don’t mind at all 😆

ColourPop Lemon Drop swatch comparison

ColourPop Lemon Drop swatch comparison

#4 Ultra Matte Lip in Pin Wheel

ColourPop × My Little Pony Ultra Matte Lip in Pin Wheel (US$6)

ColourPop × My Little Pony Ultra Matte Lip in Pin Wheel (US$6)

ColourPop × My Little Pony Ultra Matte Lip in Pin Wheel

ColourPop × My Little Pony Ultra Matte Lip in Pin Wheel

ColourPop × My Little Pony Ultra Matte Lip in Pin Wheel

ColourPop × My Little Pony Ultra Matte Lip in Pin Wheel

ColourPop × My Little Pony Ultra Matte Lip in Pin Wheel

ColourPop × My Little Pony Ultra Matte Lip in Pin Wheel

ColourPop × My Little Pony Ultra Matte Lip in Pin Wheel

ColourPop × My Little Pony Ultra Matte Lip in Pin Wheel

ColourPop × My Little Pony Ultra Matte Lip in Pin Wheel

ColourPop × My Little Pony Ultra Matte Lip in Pin Wheel

ColourPop × My Little Pony Ultra Matte Lip in Pin Wheel

ColourPop × My Little Pony Ultra Matte Lip in Pin Wheel

ColourPop × My Little Pony Ultra Matte Lip in Pin Wheel

ColourPop × My Little Pony Ultra Matte Lip in Pin Wheel

Pin Wheel is described as a vibrant cool-toned fuchsia. It is an alluring cool-toned hot pink that is guaranteed to grab eyeballs and earn you compliments. Extremely pigmented, this shade provides an intense and opaque colour in one application. It has a more watery consistency than Lemon Drop so it takes a while to completely dry down. Velvety in texture, it is neither drying or hydrating and wears comfortably lightweight. It settles to a flat matte without constricting the lips and the colour remains true to what you see in the tube. On top of it being totally transfer-proof and long-lasting. it also does not emphasise lip wrinkles. Honestly, there is really nothing much to gripe about this lovely lipstick!

ColourPop Pin Wheel swatch comparison

ColourPop Pin Wheel swatch comparison

Once again, ColourPop proves that you don’t have to burn a huge hole in your pockets for quality makeup and licensed products can still be affordable (*cough*Storybook Cosmetics*cough*). If you’re still contemplating if you should get any of the items featured above, seriously? JUST DO IT.

Furthermore, Black Friday sale is on now (til 25 November 2017 11.59 PM PST) and you can get to buy the Ultra Glossies and Mattes for less. Instead of US$6, they are going for US$4 each. ColourPop is also throwing in free global shipping for orders over US$50. So what are you waiting for? Chop-chop kali pok 😆

What do you think about the highlighters and the liquid lipsticks in this collection? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below or take a quick poll!

Thanks for reading!

The ColourPop × My Little Pony collection is now available on ColourPop.com.

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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: Tarte Pin Up Girl Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush Palette

Hey ladies! *waves*

I am finally back from my birthday staycation and am all set to blog again! And as mentioned on my previous post, I’ll be talking about a new blush palette that was launched not too long ago. Yup, it’s the latest blush palette by Tarte!

I’m a HUGE fan of Tarte’s Amazonian Clay 12-hour blush line. I own at least 4 (kinda lost count, haha) different blush from that series because I really love how the colour turn out so naturally on my cheeks. However, as much as I love collecting their powder blushes, being a student meant that I wouldn’t be able to afford all 12 (the last time I counted the number of blush under Tarte at Sephora) of them. Furthermore, one Tarte blush can burn a friggin’ huge hole in my pocket because each costs S$45!!! That’s equivalent to one Urban Decay Basics palette 😥

So imagine my excitement when I read about the launch of the new 5-in-1 blush palette by Tarte! And it only costs S$59! WHOOP.

Yeah, the pan for each blush is definitely smaller but who uses up all their makeup anyway? Hehe.

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So princess-y!

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It looks like a normal clutch ’til you open it…

Oh by the way, those two vertical stuff are actually hair pins which can be detached from the case! Yay me now haz free hair pins!! So, is that why this blush palette is called Pin Up Girl? 😀

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Press down the “Tarte” button to unveil the blush!

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Deng deng deng deng!!

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Closeup: Presenting to you FIVE limited edition shades!

There’s a layer of transparent sheet indicating the name of each blush on top of them, in case you can’t really tell. If you lose that sheet, the only way to know their names is by scrutinising the fine print behind the case.

Also, please pardon the over-exposure in some pictures because the natural lighting at 2pm was obviously too harsh for photo-taking!

Let’s now swatch them all! Sorry no “modelled” pictures for this because I had my foundation on and I didn’t want to keep reapplying it after wearing each of them 😯

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Breathless is a pinky beige.

Breathless is probably the most faint among the five because my finger had to go over the pan many times before the colour showed up. It’s a pretty matte shade, ideal for people with slightly oily complexion! But I doubt it can be seen very well on your face since it’s skin-colour.

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Embraced is a plummy rose.

This metallic shade is slightly shimmery but it’s still on the matte side. It’s definitely one of the nicer shades from this palette 🙂

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Whimsy is a light pink.

I felt Whimsy was very powdery and matte. A lot of product came out with just one swipe so be really careful not to overdo your blush if you’re opting for this shade! This works well for people with really fair skin I think because I cannot imagine my cheeks with this cool toned pink. 😦

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Bashful is a rosy peach.

This is going to be one of my go-to shades from this palette because I love blush with warm undertone, just like the existing Tarte blushes I own (Achiote and Blissful). Bashful is very pigmented and I feel that this works best on Asian skin tone 🙂

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Irreplaceable is a mauve rose.

The darkest shade in the palette, this reminded me of Natural Beauty which has the same medium-dark pink tone. I wore this for my UD Full Frontal Lipstick Stash review and I remember how dark it (with just one dab on the pan, mind you) appeared on my cheeks the first time I wore it. I could see the outline of the blush and it was still apparent no matter how hard I try to blend it out. I panicked for a moment as I was heading out after that and I couldn’t possibly step out of the house looking like an Chinese opera singer. But thankfully I managed to resolve it in the end.

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With Irreplaceable on though you can’t really see it since I had already blended it out.

Tip: To soften the blush on your cheeks (make it appear less harsh), blend it out with your foundation (or unused) brush.

Once again, this amazing limited edition palette is only S$59! And that does not include discounts like your UOB Visa rebates and relevant Sephora discounts. I only paid about S$51 after all the deductions. Hehe.

Ladies, which is your favourite shade? 😀

Stay tuned for more reviews!