REVIEW: NALC Sunscreen Perfect Waterproof UV Protect SPF 50+/ PA++++

Hello everyone!

The closure of gyms nationwide has essentially brought my weekly workout routine to a standstill since the onset of the Circuit Breaker. Instead of allowing unwanted fats to accumulate in my body while waiting for the economy to fully reopen (which God knows when it will be), I have decided to take my runs outdoors just like every other affected gymgoer to remain active.

But there is one problem – the sun. One predominant factor that propelled me to get a gym membership was the fact that I could avoid being tanned (and not forgetting the adverse effects the sun causes). Now that hitting the treadmill is temporary out of the question, prolonged exposure to the sun’s rays would be inevitable for me when running at the park (no night-time runs because of my night blindness). As much as possible, I would try to minimise my time in the sun by heading out only in the late afternoon or early evening when the sun is half a fist from setting. Even so, having such a fixed schedule could prove to be a headache especially when an unexpected downpour occurs (or when the park gets too crowded), thwarting my plans entirely as a result. Therefore, if given a choice, the freedom to run at any time of the day would still be very much preferred.

credit: Luke Ow

credit: Luke Ow

The most straightforward solution to my love-hate relationship with the sun would be to use a sunscreen. However, prior experiences with sunscreens have left a bad taste in my mouth. Apart from breaking me out, those that I’ve used would also leave a noticeable white cast and an uncomfortably thick, greasy finish on my skin – and I’d be so tempted to rub it all off! Furthermore, sunscreens are traditionally not water-resistant and so won’t be able to stand up to sweat, which means I would have to constantly reapply it. Hence to save myself the hassle, it was either steer clear from the sun or simply brave the rays for me (and bear with the agony of sunburn thereafter).

NALC Sunscreen Perfect Waterproof UV Protect SPF 50+/ PA++++ (S$34.90)

NALC Sunscreen Perfect Waterproof UV Protect SPF 50+/ PA++++ (S$34.90)

But since NALC Sunscreen came into my life, my perception of sunscreens has taken a 360-degree turn. There’s actually a sunscreen that doesn’t do any of the irritating things above? As incredulous as it may sound, a big, fat YES – and that’s not all!

NALC Sunscreen ingredient list (click to view image in full size)

NALC Sunscreen ingredient list (click to view image in full size)

Sealed!

Sealed!

Small enough to carry around!

Small enough to carry around!

More images of the packaging

More images of the packaging

Pin-sized opening to prevent wastage

Pin-sized opening to prevent wastage

Made in Japan (and you know the Japanese don’t play around when it comes to sunscreen), the NALC Sunscreen has an impressive SPF of 50+/ PA++++ (the recommended SPF for sunscreens is 30) to protect the skin from prolonged exposure to UV radiation, which is the leading cause of premature ageing. Alcohol-free to suit sensitive skin, it also consists of anti-inflammatory ingredients and a generous amount of hyaluronic acid to lock moisture in the skin.

NALC Sunscreen before spreading out

NALC Sunscreen before spreading out

Spread outwards once

Spread outwards once

Fully absorbed into the skin

Fully absorbed into the skin

The NALC sunscreen appears pale yellow right off the bat (kinda reminded me of pus… yup, too much Dr Pimple Popper once again) but becomes colourless (goodbye stains!) once spread out. This attribute, coupled with the fact that it has a light, non-sticky and non-oily texture, makes it a perfect base for makeup to adhere to. It also absorbs nicely into the skin within seconds of application and doesn’t led me to feel like I had slathered lard oil all over myself.

Face before NALC sunscreen application

Face before NALC sunscreen application

NALC Sunscreen application in progress

NALC Sunscreen application in progress

After application! No white cast!

After application! No white cast!

Most amazingly, it has extreme waterproof capabilities (thanks to the latest three-phase emulsification technology that was employed in its formulation) to ensure that your sunscreen stays intact for a much longer time – even when you are sweating buckets from performing vigorous-intensity physical activities! 🙌🏻 That said, the sunscreen is easily removable with just your regular soap or facial wash, so simply take a shower after your workout to discard your shield 😁

My face after my 5km run in the blazing afternoon sun

My face after my 5km run in the blazing afternoon sun

With these game-changing features, I guess it’s safe to say that the future of sunscreen is officially here! Seriously, though, this sunscreen deserves more recognition than it has received to date!

All in all, the NALC sunscreen stood true to its claims and has certainly served me very well (i.e. has done a great job in preventing unwanted tanning as evident from my skin colour). Now that I am no longer held hostage by the sun, nothing can stop me from going for my runs during off-peak hours when the rays are at their strongest! WOOO! 😜😜😜

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

Thanks for reading!

NALC Sunscreen Perfect Waterproof UV Protect is now available on SHOPEE. For more information on NALC, follow them on FACEBOOK or visit their official WEBSITE.
PRODUCTs WERE SUPPLIED BY NALC FOR MY EDITORIAL CONSIDERATION. ALL OPINIONS EXPRESSED ARE MY OWN.

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REVIEW: Sephora × Stabilo Felt Liner in Chocolate Break and Summer Holiday

Hello everyone!

Sephora Singapore just held their bi-annual Beauty Pass Sale and in a bid to retain my Black status (as you could probably tell from the drop in my beauty reviews, I hadn’t really been shopping for makeup), I made some obligatory purchases which included a pair of peculiar-looking eyeliners born from the collaboration between Sephora and Stabilo! Yes, you read me right – Stabilo, as in the stationery brand of highlighter fame (they had their chance to release face highlighters but they blew it!).

Sephora x Stabilo Felt Liners 2020

Sephora x Stabilo Felt Liners 2020

This partnership might come as a surprise to some but considering that even Crayola has ventured into cosmetics, it goes to show that the lines between the beauty and non-beauty industries are blurring. It also makes perfect sense for Stabilo to ink the agreement because as girls transition to women (or boys to men), the need for stationery supplies diminishes thanks to electronic devices. One possible way to win this demographic back would be to appeal to their needs and I’m sure everyone needs makeup at some point in their lives 😂 Sprinkle a dash of nostalgia and we have a winner!

The eyeliner comes in 4 shades (Ink Splash, Back to School, Chocolate Break and Summer Holiday) and retails at S$15 each, or S$12 during the sale. Since I already have a staple black liner, my money went to the brown and blue (and I regret not getting the grey one now). Like the tip of your typical highlighter, the applicator is bevelled to allow for an alternation between thick and thin lines with an uninterrupted colour intensity and evenness from the start to the end of the application. The packaging is modelled after the original design of chunky Stabilo highlighers but maybe only two-third of the size (super cute!), making it convenient to bring around!

Sephora x Stabilo Felt Liners in Chocolate Break and Summer Holiday (sealed, front)

Sephora x Stabilo Felt Liners in Chocolate Break and Summer Holiday (sealed, front)

Sephora x Stabilo Felt Liners in Chocolate Break and Summer Holiday (seal, back)

Sephora x Stabilo Felt Liners in Chocolate Break and Summer Holiday (sealed, back)

Rub test

Rub test

Call me bias but I don’t always have a good impression of merchandise sold under house brands so I had my reservations about these claims being translated into reality. (But eyeliners in the form of highlighters? Who can resist?!)

Pardon my unkempt brows

Chocolate Break

Sephora x Stabilo Felt Liner in Chocolate Break (S$15)

Sephora x Stabilo Felt Liner in Chocolate Break (S$15)

Sephora x Stabilo Felt Liner in Chocolate Break

Sephora x Stabilo Felt Liner in Chocolate Break

Sephora x Stabilo Felt Liner in Chocolate Break on primed lids

Sephora x Stabilo Felt Liner in Chocolate Break on primed lids

It was a challenge manoeuvring the tip.. This was the best I could do.

It was a challenge manoeuvring the tip.. This was the best I could do.

Ahh...the gaps

Ahh.. the gaps

Don’t laugh, but the name reminds me of how Ms Yeah created her makeup with cocoa powder in one of her many ingenious videos.

But unlike the sheer payoff of the makeup that she had concocted, Chocolate Break is highly opaque and pigmented. It has a darker undertone as compared to the colour reflected on the packaging, so it appears almost like black which makes it ideal for those who do not wish to deviate too much from wearing the standard beauty look.

There was no bleeding, and attempts to rub this matte dark brown swatch off my hand were largely unsuccessful. Even after 8 hours, the colour still remained reasonably vivid despite wetting my hands on a few occasions! This little wear test took me by surprise, so I decided to wear the eyeliner on my upper lash lines and run 5km around my estate to confirm its longevity the next day. Surely, my oily lids coupled with my acidic sweat would be able to melt the makeup away?

Post-run

Post-run

Fading away..

Fading away..

Left-side going strong!

Left-side going strong!

And you guessed it – the eyeliner budged quite a bit. But even though it barely survived the run, I was glad it didn’t transfer onto my lower lash line and give me panda eyes (throughout my run, I was so paranoid that my eyeliner would smudge and I’d attract a lot of unwanted attention from other park users!).

Summer Holiday

Sephora x Stabilo Felt Liner in Summer Holiday (S$15)

Sephora x Stabilo Felt Liner in Summer Holiday (S$15)

Sephora x Stabilo Felt Liner in Summer Holiday

Sephora x Stabilo Felt Liner in Summer Holiday

Sephora x Stabilo Felt Liner in Summer Holiday on primed lids (and some of it somehow transferred onto my lashes)

Sephora x Stabilo Felt Liner in Summer Holiday on primed lids (and some of it somehow transferred onto my lashes)

A trip to a faraway destination might not be an option right now because of the coronavirus (I could have been in Bangkok 😭) but that does not mean you can’t feel like you’re on holiday at home (or while heading to the supermarket, whatever)! Transport the sea to your lash lines with this calming blue hue and you’re all set for a Zoom summer party (be sure to use a poolside virtual background while you’re at it)!

When tested on my hand sans primer, Summer Holiday revealed a pigmented coat of matte dark periwinkle colour (which is true to the colour of the packaging). It was mostly smudge-proof (but not as resistant as Chocolate Break to rubbing) and had a consistent product payoff. Again, the sceptic in me wanted to see if it could held up on where they were supposed to be, so I painted on the eyeliner and went for a run on another day.

Post-run

Post-run

Almost gone..

Almost gone..

Not too bad, but it smeared more than Chocolate Break

Not too bad, but it smeared more than Chocolate Break

Either my body had produced more sweat than usual on that day or this shade couldn’t really withstand humidity because it smudged more easily than Chocolate Break. There was hardly any product left on my lids after most of it migrated into the creases, or simply melted away with my sweat.

Opacity comparison with other brands of eyeliners I own

Opacity comparison with other brands of eyeliners I own

Based on my experience, both eyeliners yielded great results until they got exposed to moisture, so I wouldn’t want to wear it to watch tearjerker films, y’know, just in case. I also wouldn’t consider myself to be a fan of the bevelled tip as it really takes some getting used to. Even as a seasoned eyeliner user myself, angling the tip correctly to draw straight thin lines (especially those feline flicks) posed as a challenge to me 😩

It’s a pity that only a limited amount of colours was released because I could see how popular this would be if there were more to choose from! Perhaps if this is a success, Sephora might consider working with Stabilo again to come up with more interesting shades – this time, hopefully with a touch of fluorescence just like the highlighters 😁

Unfortunately, I don’t think this range is released in the U.S., so if you’re living in the States, you might want to get someone to ship it to you from Asia or Europe (wherever Sephora has stores in).

What do you think of this collaboration? Let me know your views in the comments below or take a quick poll!

Sephora × Stabilo Felt Liners are now available at Sephora Singapore.

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REVIEW: APRILSKIN Perfect Magic Dual Eyeshadow in Pure & Chic

Hello everyone!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Applicator

Applicator

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

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

Size of applicator

Size of applicator

Boink boink!

Boink boink!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Distribution of product on the applicator

Distribution of product on the applicator

"Pure" - swatched with the applicator

“Pure” – swatched with the applicator

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

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

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

Actual distribution of "Chic" in the pan

Actual distribution of “Chic” in the pan

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

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

Distribution of product on the applicator

Distribution of product on the applicator

"Chic" - swatched with the applicator

“Chic” – swatched with the applicator

How "Chic" looks on my primed lid

How “Chic” looks on my primed lid

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks for reading!

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

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