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

Hello everyone!

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

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

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

Berrisom Oops! Two Two Lip Bar

Berrisom Oops! Two Two Lip Bar

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

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

Berrisom Oops! Two Two Lip Bar

Berrisom Oops! Two Two Lip Bar

Berrisom Oops! Two Two Lip Bar

Berrisom Oops! Two Two Lip Bar

Berrisom Oops! Two Two Lip Bar

Berrisom Oops! Two Two Lip Bar

Berrisom Oops! Two Two Lip Bar

Berrisom Oops! Two Two Lip Bar

Berrisom Oops! Two Two Lip Bar

Berrisom Oops! Two Two Lip Bar

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

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

#1 Milk in Coral

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

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

Berrisom Oops! Two Two Lip Bar in Milk in Coral

Berrisom Oops! Two Two Lip Bar in Milk in Coral

Berrisom Oops! Two Two Lip Bar in Milk in Coral

Berrisom Oops! Two Two Lip Bar in Milk in Coral

Berrisom Oops! Two Two Lip Bar in Milk in Coral

Berrisom Oops! Two Two Lip Bar in Milk in Coral

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

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

Berrisom Oops! Two Two Lip Bar in Milk in Coral

Berrisom Oops! Two Two Lip Bar in Milk in Coral

Berrisom Oops! Two Two Lip Bar in Milk in Coral

Berrisom Oops! Two Two Lip Bar in Milk in Coral

Berrisom Oops! Two Two Lip Bar in Milk in Coral

Berrisom Oops! Two Two Lip Bar in Milk in Coral

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

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

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

#2 Milk in Pink

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

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

Berrisom Oops! Two Two Lip Bar in Milk in Pink

Berrisom Oops! Two Two Lip Bar in Milk in Pink

Berrisom Oops! Two Two Lip Bar in Milk in Pink

Berrisom Oops! Two Two Lip Bar in Milk in Pink

Berrisom Oops! Two Two Lip Bar in Milk in Pink

Berrisom Oops! Two Two Lip Bar in Milk in Pink

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

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

Berrisom Oops! Two Two Lip Bar in Milk in Pink

Berrisom Oops! Two Two Lip Bar in Milk in Pink

Berrisom Oops! Two Two Lip Bar in Milk in Pink

Berrisom Oops! Two Two Lip Bar in Milk in Pink

Berrisom Oops! Two Two Lip Bar in Milk in Pink

Berrisom Oops! Two Two Lip Bar in Milk in Pink

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

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

Swatch comparison for Milk in Pink

Swatch comparison for Milk in Pink

#3 Milk in Red

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

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

Berrisom Oops! Two Two Lip Bar in Milk in Red

Berrisom Oops! Two Two Lip Bar in Milk in Red

Berrisom Oops! Two Two Lip Bar in Milk in Red

Berrisom Oops! Two Two Lip Bar in Milk in Red

Berrisom Oops! Two Two Lip Bar in Milk in Red

Berrisom Oops! Two Two Lip Bar in Milk in Red

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

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

Berrisom Oops! Two Two Lip Bar in Milk in Red

Berrisom Oops! Two Two Lip Bar in Milk in Red

Berrisom Oops! Two Two Lip Bar in Milk in Red

Berrisom Oops! Two Two Lip Bar in Milk in Red

Berrisom Oops! Two Two Lip Bar in Milk in Red

Berrisom Oops! Two Two Lip Bar in Milk in Red

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

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

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

Swatch comparison for Milk in Coral and Milk in Red

Swatch comparison for Milk in Coral and Milk in Red

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

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

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

Thanks for reading!

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

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

Hello everyone!

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

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

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

HERA Sensual Rouge

HERA Sensual Rouge

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

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

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

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

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

#132 Rustic Garden

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

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

HERA Sensual Rouge in #132 Rustic Garden

HERA Sensual Rouge in #132 Rustic Garden

HERA Sensual Rouge in #132 Rustic Garden

HERA Sensual Rouge in #132 Rustic Garden

HERA Sensual Rouge in #132 Rustic Garden

HERA Sensual Rouge in #132 Rustic Garden

HERA Sensual Rouge in #132 Rustic Garden

HERA Sensual Rouge in #132 Rustic Garden

HERA Sensual Rouge in #132 Rustic Garden

HERA Sensual Rouge in #132 Rustic Garden

HERA Sensual Rouge in #132 Rustic Garden

HERA Sensual Rouge in #132 Rustic Garden

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

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

#200 Morning Fever

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

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

HERA Sensual Rouge in #200 Morning Fever

HERA Sensual Rouge in #200 Morning Fever

HERA Sensual Rouge in #200 Morning Fever

HERA Sensual Rouge in #200 Morning Fever

HERA Sensual Rouge in #200 Morning Fever

HERA Sensual Rouge in #200 Morning Fever

HERA Sensual Rouge in #200 Morning Fever

HERA Sensual Rouge in #200 Morning Fever

HERA Sensual Rouge in #200 Morning Fever

HERA Sensual Rouge in #200 Morning Fever

HERA Sensual Rouge in #200 Morning Fever

HERA Sensual Rouge in #200 Morning Fever

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

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

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

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

#451 I’m Not A Mama

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks for reading!

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

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

Hey beauties!

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

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

M.A.C Fashion Pack for Summer 2016

M.A.C Fashion Pack for Summer 2016

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

M.A.C Fashion Pack collection lipsticks

M.A.C Fashion Pack collection lipsticks

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

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

#1 Aim For Gorgeous

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

M.A.C Aim for Gorgeous lipstick swatch comparison

M.A.C Aim for Gorgeous lipstick swatch comparison

#2 Stylist’s Tip

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

#3 By Special Order

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

M.A.C By Special Order lipstick swatch comparison

M.A.C By Special Order lipstick swatch comparison

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

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

Thanks for reading 😘

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

REVIEW: MAC x Chris Chang of Poesia Lipsticks – Dddevilish, Gold XIXI, Plum Princess & Cloud Gait

Hey lovelies!

Just when you thought M.A.C couldn’t get any more flamboyant than their Trolls collection, the cosmetics giant returned with yet another purchase-inducing makeup line that no true beauty hoarders could resist. Get ready to stockpile if you haven’t heard of their collaboration with Chris Chang of Poesia, whose makeup line was launched last May.

Trust me, the entire collection is like a living kaleidoscope..

M.A.C X Chris Chang

M.A.C X Chris Chang

Raised in San Francisco and currently residing in Shanghai, Chris Chang has made a name for herself as China’s most outlandish fashion designer with her colourful, bold and intricate silk screen prints on her clothing.

The former General Manager of Prada Taiwan studied fashion design at Parsons (one of the top design schools in the world) and started out designing for young girls aged 4-14 on the principle that there should be no distinction between children and adult fashion. It was only after she was swamped with requests for adult-sized versions of her designs that she ventured into women’s wear with Poesia.

Poesia proved to be a huge success as it earned a string of loyal (high-profile) customers and was even showcased at the Shanghai Fashion Week. Since scoring this prestigious collaboration with M.A.C, I’m sure it has garnered a new cadre of colour-loving fans (one being myself) who had previously not heard of Chris Chang. For those who are interested to find more about her work, perhaps Googling her Chinese name (张文轩) would generate more results.

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipsticks

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipsticks

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipsticks

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipsticks

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipsticks

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipsticks

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipsticks

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipsticks

Like each piece of clothing from the Poesia fashion line, this collection emanates a fresh burst of colours inspired by one of the oldest performance arts from China, Kunqu, that adorns lavishly exaggerated makeup and costumes characterised by a “very specific, avant-garde look”.

Using silk screen print, the packaging features a collage of icons, symbols, and illustrations that Chang has used in her past collections. According to reports, it was no mean feat trying to glue over shapes smoothly as no makeup brands had ever done a packaging design as intricate as this. Clearly, the creative team’s effort paid off because everyone fell head over heels for the gorgeous packaging 😍😍😍 Never mind if you missed out on the Giambattista Valli collection, or the overpriced Guo Pei lipsticks. This collection is heaps better in aesthetic value, yet very reasonably priced (in USD). It is essentially a collector’s must-have. Buy it now or regret it later!

#1 Dddevilish

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipstick in Dddevilish (US$20 / S$37)

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipstick in Dddevilish (US$20 / S$37)

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipstick in Dddevilish

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipstick in Dddevilish

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipstick in Dddevilish

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipstick in Dddevilish

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipstick in Dddevilish

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipstick in Dddevilish

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipstick in Dddevilish

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipstick in Dddevilish

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipstick in Dddevilish

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipstick in Dddevilish

Dddevilish is described as a pastel hot pink with Matte finish. It does not tug at lips and applies opaque even on the first swipe, but with slight inconsistency (which can be easily touched up with additional application) and somewhat chalky texture. Although marketed as matte, the formula feels moist and also reflects light so the lipstick does not appear flat on the lips. The downside of such non-drying lipstick formula, however, is its poor staying power. It doesn’t require a lot of effort to remove unlike those M.A.C mattes released before the reformulation.

M.A.C X Chris Chang Dddevilish lipstick swatch comparison

M.A.C X Chris Chang Dddevilish lipstick swatch comparison

#2 Gold XIXI

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipstick in Gold XIXI (US$20 / S$37)

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipstick in Gold XIXI (US$20 / S$37)

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipstick in Gold XIXI

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipstick in Gold XIXI

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipstick in Gold XIXI

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipstick in Gold XIXI

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipstick in Gold XIXI

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipstick in Gold XIXI

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipstick in Gold XIXI

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipstick in Gold XIXI

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipstick in Gold XIXI

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipstick in Gold XIXI

As one who isn’t at all a fan of light lipstick shades with sheer and glossy finishes, getting a pastel lemony yellow lipstick in the form of Gold XIXI, complete with my least favourite M.A.C finish to boot (i.e. Lustre), is certainly looking for trouble. But I was drawn to the fact that yellow lipsticks are hard to come by and having missed the sale of Playland (released before my love for makeup blossomed into permanence), that sense of yearning for a yellow lipstick roared back to life when I saw first pictures of Gold XIXI.

That said, I was quite prepared to be disappointed by it. After all, there seems to be no pastel lipsticks solid enough to provide a long-lasting and richly-pigmented wash of colour. They either result to a glittery mess or not show up on my lips at all. Yet, I had an inkling this was going to be different. So I took a gamble and hoped for the best.

But all expectations dashed upon the first application of the lipstick. Sheer with the yellow pigment hardly visible, Gold XIXI felt like a reminiscent of M.A.C’s past failure in creating a decent pastel lipstick. *sigh* Not wanting to pass a verdict so prematurely, I glided it over my lips the second time, and then the third, and the fourth, and gradually the pigment intensified to become the golden hue you see above. WOWZERS MAN, was anyone anticipating this? It’s surprisingly vivid for a Lustre! It may not be as opaque as I had hoped but I was truly impressed by the payoff 👏👏👏We finally have a yellow lipstick that applies like a true yellow! YIPPEH.

Of course, it’s still far from perfect. The lipstick appears very streaky on the lips, no thanks to the unevenly-dispersed pigment and the super glossy texture. It settles into my lip lines like craaaazy and budges as soon as the upper and lower lips meet. Eh, what’s the point of wearing lipstick if it’s going to make you look better without it? 🤔 Nonetheless, it lends a pretty comfy wear.

M.A.C X Chris Chang Gold XIXI lipstick swatch comparison

M.A.C X Chris Chang Gold XIXI lipstick swatch comparison

#3 Plum Princess

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipstick in Plum Princess (US$20 / S$39)

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipstick in Plum Princess (US$20 / S$39)

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipstick in Plum Princess

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipstick in Plum Princess

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipstick in Plum Princess

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipstick in Plum Princess

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipstick in Plum Princess

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipstick in Plum Princess

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipstick in Plum Princess

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipstick in Plum Princess

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipstick in Plum Princess

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipstick in Plum Princess

My favourite shade from this collection, Plum Princess is described as a pastel plummy lavender with Matte finish. It goes on mostly opaque and evenly coats the lips in saturated, never-seen-before shade of universally flattering smokey purple (how rare!). It lends a soft but sultry vibe without bordering on looking too goth as it also brings out the eye makeup.

The dryness of the matte formula can be felt in Plum Princess as it skips and tugs a bit upon application but on the whole, it is still creamier and more hydrating than the older matte formula and even has a slight sheen to it. It felt more like a Satin. Furthermore, it does not slide into the mouth creases as much as Dddevilish. Love it!

M.A.C X Chris Chang Plum Princess lipstick swatch comparison

M.A.C X Chris Chang Plum Princess lipstick swatch comparison

#4 Cloud Gait

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipstick in Cloud Gait (US$20 / S$37)

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipstick in Cloud Gait (US$20 / S$37)

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipstick in Cloud Gait

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipstick in Cloud Gait

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipstick in Cloud Gait

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipstick in Cloud Gait

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipstick in Cloud Gait

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipstick in Cloud Gait

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipstick in Cloud Gait

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipstick in Cloud Gait

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipstick in Cloud Gait

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipstick in Cloud Gait

We have seen plenty of reds and nudes from M.A.C. Now, how about a sky blue for a change? Apart from the captivating packaging that this collection is housed in, Cloud Gait was another key factor that landed the entire makeup line on my watch list as I had seen Chris Chang wearing a blue lipstick in the promotional video and thought it looked really amazing.

Argh, stop toying with my feelings, M.A.C!

Argh, stop toying with my feelings, M.A.C!

Since this was the promotional video for her collaboration with M.A.C, it’s only natural to assume that she was wearing Cloud Gait, right? Maybe, except that more colourant was probably added to the lipstick to make it seem more vibrant and pigmented because in reality, this pastel turquoise Lustre is a patchy nightmare with incredibly poor colour payoff. If you ask me, the actual Cloud Gait is a failed attempt in integrating lipstick and gloss and it’s gross. In comparison to Gold XIXI, the latter offers better coverage and a more uniform application, though both share similar lightweight texture and longevity.

Some points to note, though – this shouldn’t be used like a normal lipstick. When drawn across the lips laterally, it settles into the fine lines and leaves a very streaky and almost-invisible finish. But the lipstick deposits more colour when the dab-and-go technique is used instead (like seriously, ain’t nobody got time fo dat). Still, no amount of dabbing is able to conceal those unsightly inconsistencies unless you mix in your own pigment (such as eye shadow).

So, the bottom line is: Cloud Gait (as it is) is trash 😒

But on the whole, I’m quite satisfied with the quality of the lipsticks!

What do you think? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

Thanks for reading 🎈

M.A.C X Chris Chang was released on MACCosmetics.com and in Singapore in May 2016. Although The collection is no longer available at M.A.C Cosmetics, it still is on Nordstrom and (probably) in resale market. Grab ’em (the mattes, obviously) before they’re gone for good!

REVIEW: MAC x Mariah Carey Lipstick in I Get So OOC & Extra Dimension Skinfinish in My Mimi

Oh hey, it’s the fourth day of the Lunar New Year! 恭喜发财 everyone!

It was just a little more than a month ago since Mariah Carey released her second holiday collection with M.A.C Cosmetics. This time, the line boasted a full range of products bursting with more bling than ever.

M.A.C X Mariah Carey for Holiday 2016

M.A.C X Mariah Carey for Holiday 2016

Thanks to the lovely folks at M.A.C Cosmetics Singapore, I had the privilege to preview the collection before it was even launched online (and in stores). I don’t know how much poorer I would have become if not for this opportunity to swatch the products I initially wanted to get..

The entire M.A.C X Mariah Carey Holiday 2016 collection in Singapore

The entire M.A.C X Mariah Carey Holiday 2016 collection in Singapore

This collection, as well as the price tags, is rather massive. I had my eyes set on one of the eye shadow palettes, the eye shader brush, the highlighter and two lipsticks but figured that they would set me back more than S$200.

Anyway, here’s close-up on the lipsticks since this is probably what you’re expecting from a lipstick-centric beauty blog 😄 :

All M.A.C X Mariah Carey Holiday 2016 lipsticks

All M.A.C X Mariah Carey Holiday 2016 lipsticks

All M.A.C X Mariah Carey Holiday 2016 lipstick swatches

All M.A.C X Mariah Carey Holiday 2016 lipstick swatches

Off-putting Cremesheens and barely-there nudes, the lipsticks in this collection are SO NOT my cup of tea 🙄 The payoff of the Cremesheens, to say the least, was unspeakably sheer and light. The only redeeming quality of the lipstick line in this collection are the Frost lipsticks, out of which one I already own – All I Want. It is a repromote from M.A.C’s first holiday-themed collection with Mariah Carey in 2015 and no changes were made to the formula. You may refer to my review of it here if you’re interested!

And finally, this was what I got after narrowing down my choices..

As you can tell, my shopping list shrunk more than twofold

As you can tell, my shopping list shrunk more than twofold

Besides the need to pay royalties, product packaging conceptualisation probably accounts for another bulk of the price. The items in this collection are luxuriously decked out in silver glitter and reflective champagne gold, and topped off with the mega superstar’s coveted signature, not forgetting the iconic butterfly logo emblazoned on every lipstick bullet. Nonetheless, in spite of the cost, it was still a sold-out collection (apparently gone within the first day) that left many people begging for a restock (which ain’t happening, unfortunately)!

Did M.A.C’s sales pick up due to the star power of Mariah Carey or was there another beauty breakthrough in this collection?

#1 I Get So OOC Lipstick

M.A.C X Mariah Carey Lipstick in I Get So OOC (US$20 / S$39)

M.A.C X Mariah Carey Lipstick in I Get So OOC (US$20 / S$39)

M.A.C X Mariah Carey Lipstick in I Get So OOC

M.A.C X Mariah Carey Lipstick in I Get So OOC

M.A.C X Mariah Carey Lipstick in I Get So OOC

M.A.C X Mariah Carey Lipstick in I Get So OOC

M.A.C X Mariah Carey Lipstick in I Get So OOC

M.A.C X Mariah Carey Lipstick in I Get So OOC

M.A.C X Mariah Carey Lipstick in I Get So OOC

M.A.C X Mariah Carey Lipstick in I Get So OOC

M.A.C X Mariah Carey Lipstick in I Get So OOC

M.A.C X Mariah Carey Lipstick in I Get So OOC

M.A.C X Mariah Carey Lipstick in I Get So OOC

M.A.C X Mariah Carey Lipstick in I Get So OOC

Taking cues from Jay-Z who casually suggested that Mariah include some of her slanguage in her music, M.A.C injects some “MCizzle” into this collaboration by naming the darkest lipstick shade after one of her tracks from her eleventh studio album E=MC².

I Get So OOC (which stands for Out Of Control) is described as a shimmering brown with Frost finish but looks more like a fusion of red and brown in real life. It does not pull or tug at the lips and it leaves a wax-like finish akin to gloss, minus the tackiness. The colour payoff is sheer but buildable with a lightweight and emollient consistency. The golden shimmers are evenly spread out across the lips without settling into the lip lines. The lipstick itself, however, is not transfer-proof and can be removed easily with just a touch of a wet wipe. This shade complements all skin tones 🙂

M.A.C X Mariah Carey I Get So OOC lipstick swatch comparison

M.A.C X Mariah Carey I Get So OOC lipstick swatch comparison

M.A.C has always been my go-to brand for lipsticks, so much so that I would zoom in straight on the lipsticks and pay no attention to the other products whenever they launch a new collection. But this time around, something else managed to steal the spotlight from the lipsticks which are already very eye-catching by themselves with all the glitzy, diamanté-looking packaging.

And that’s none other than the highlighter!

#2 My Mimi Extra Dimension Skinfinish

M.A.C X Mariah Carey Extra Dimension Skinfinish in My Mimi (US$45.50 / S$60)

M.A.C X Mariah Carey Extra Dimension Skinfinish in My Mimi (US$45.50 / S$60)

M.A.C X Mariah Carey Extra Dimension Skinfinish in My Mimi (plastic protector)

M.A.C X Mariah Carey Extra Dimension Skinfinish in My Mimi (plastic protector)

M.A.C X Mariah Carey Extra Dimension Skinfinish in My Mimi

M.A.C X Mariah Carey Extra Dimension Skinfinish in My Mimi

M.A.C X Mariah Carey Extra Dimension Skinfinish in My Mimi

M.A.C X Mariah Carey Extra Dimension Skinfinish in My Mimi

Truth be told, I was debating real hard whether I should fork out for this gorgeous highlighter because not only is it expensive, it also costs more online than it does in local M.A.C store after the exchange (*gasp*). But knowing that I wouldn’t be able to make it for the launch here that weekend (the collection was available exclusively at ION outlet only), I jumped at the chance to shop the collection online once it was released to Devoted and Obsessed members.

My Mimi is a warm gold shimmer liquid-powder highlighter. Sculpted to look like Mariah Carey’s face that is instantly recognisable from her distinctive mole next to her voluptuous lips, the surface is deliberately made uneven to enable the brush to pick up just the right amount of product. You certainly do not want to look like a disco ball, do you?

The payoff is moderately pigmented – the first sweep gives a luminous effect to the skin without the gold pigment and it takes two to three applications for pigment to show up on my skin (or rather, on camera), which is great for amateur highlighter users like me who may not have applied it correctly the first time (because somehow or other I’m not able to tell where light naturally hits my face).

 

BEFORE: M.A.C X Mariah Carey Extra Dimension Skinfinish in My Mimi

BEFORE: M.A.C X Mariah Carey Extra Dimension Skinfinish in My Mimi

M.A.C X Mariah Carey Extra Dimension Skinfinish in My Mimi

M.A.C X Mariah Carey Extra Dimension Skinfinish in My Mimi

Use a fan brush if you own one for a more even and precise application. I have been searching high and low for a good fan brush but brands I patronise either do not stock them or have discontinued them (why, though?!). Recommendations, anyone?

M.A.C X Mariah Carey Extra Dimension Skinfinish in My Mimi

M.A.C X Mariah Carey Extra Dimension Skinfinish in My Mimi

M.A.C X Mariah Carey Extra Dimension Skinfinish in My Mimi

M.A.C X Mariah Carey Extra Dimension Skinfinish in My Mimi

AFTER: M.A.C X Mariah Carey Extra Dimension Skinfinish in My Mimi

AFTER: M.A.C X Mariah Carey Extra Dimension Skinfinish in My Mimi

AFTER: M.A.C X Mariah Carey Extra Dimension Skinfinish in My Mimi

AFTER: M.A.C X Mariah Carey Extra Dimension Skinfinish in My Mimi

This may be my first time using a highlighter from M.A.C but I’m actually owner to a couple of face-illuminating products – be it in liquid or powder form – from other brands prior to this purchase. One common problem with the highlighters I currently have is that they tend to accentuate my pores and put a lot more emphasis on my rough blemished skin. While I can’t say that this highlighter doesn’t do all that, it does a better job in accenting my cheekbones and the bridge of my nose without making me moon-faced. The shimmers are well-distributed even on bumpy areas and the fact that the gold pigment complements my skin tone also helps in lending my skin a natural sun-kissed complexion.

AFTER: M.A.C X Mariah Carey Lipstick in I Get So OOC & Extra Dimension Skinfinish in My Mimi

AFTER: M.A.C X Mariah Carey Lipstick in I Get So OOC & Extra Dimension Skinfinish in My Mimi

Having said the above, I don’t think this collection deserves the amount of hype it got. I believe M.A.C has rolled out similar shades for all the products and honestly, the lipstick finishes are nothing to write home about. Now, answering my own question posed in the beginning of this review, the popularity of this collection is definitely driven by the fact that it is fronted by a highly successfully and critically-acclaimed international superstar. Fantastic choice of celebrity to partner with, M.A.C!

Do you agree with me? Let me know in the comments below!

Thanks for reading! ❤

M.A.C x Mariah Carey for Holiday 2016 is now available on MACCosmetics.com. Most of the products are already sold out but some are pretty much still available on the Canadian site as well as macy’s. Happy hunting!

REVIEW: Jeffree Star Velour Liquid Lipsticks – Virginity, Queen Bee, Nude Beach, Watermelon Soda & 714

Hello everyone!

Jeffree Star is no stranger to controversy, having been very vocal about his opinions on his social media accounts. Perhaps his forthrightness – on top of his talent in makeup artistry and music – was what propelled him to superstar status on the internet. Despite his popularity, he holds no reservations in publicly ridiculing other high-profile celebrities such as Kylie Jenner, whom he lashed out for the poor quality of her lip gloss applicator when they first came out so very naturally, he was regarded as the voice for the beauty community whose passion for make-up has so often been taken advantage of by big beauty brands.

But things can get even uglier when the tables are turned. Not long after the whole Kylie Cosmetics hooha, Jeffree Star found himself embroiled in a yet another feud, but this time with former BFF Kat Von D, just a few days shy of the release of his summer collection last July. With his credibility undoubtedly affected by Kat Von D’s claims of plagiarism claims against him, his Velour Liquid Lipstick sales took a hit despite all the hype around them on Instagram in the weeks leading up to the launch, thereby prompting Jeffree Star to remove the limit on the number of lipsticks each customer can purchase. Beautylish (an authorised Jeffree Star vendor) had to also slash the price of the bundle in half Labour Day to get them to move.

Jeffree Star Velour Liquid Lipstick Summer Collection 2016

Jeffree Star Velour Liquid Lipstick Summer Collection 2016

But were people shunning the summer collection solely because of the scandal? Or were there other underlying reasons such as poor quality control that led to such drastic sales decline? Seeing that not a single shade was sold out one week into the launch, I bought the bundle to test the lipsticks out for myself.

And yes, I paid full price with shipping for this. If only I had sat on buying the bundle a little longer… *sigh*

Jeffree Star Velour Liquid Lipstick Summer Collection 2016

Jeffree Star Velour Liquid Lipstick Summer Collection 2016

Aptly wrapped in eye-catching yellow packaging and infused with a refreshing watermelon scent to remind you of the popular summer punch, the theme of this collection is unmistakable. It stands out from the multitude of summer-themed collections in the market (go Google “makeup summer collection” and you will know what I mean) simply because the five shades picked out exclusively for this line are finally not of the same ol’ pink and coral hues… *yawn*

Here, I see a bold yellow as striking as the sun, a vibrant beige as inviting as sandy beaches and a violet like the colour of perennials that bloom even more brilliantly in summer. These shades are oh-so-relevant to the season!

#1 Virginity

Jeffree Star Velour Liquid Lipstick in Virginity

Jeffree Star Velour Liquid Lipstick in Virginity

Jeffree Star Velour Liquid Lipstick in Virginity

Jeffree Star Velour Liquid Lipstick in Virginity

Jeffree Star Velour Liquid Lipstick in Virginity

Jeffree Star Velour Liquid Lipstick in Virginity

Jeffree Star Velour Liquid Lipstick in Virginity

Jeffree Star Velour Liquid Lipstick in Virginity

Jeffree Star Velour Liquid Lipstick in Virginity

Jeffree Star Velour Liquid Lipstick in Virginity

Jeffree Star Velour Liquid Lipstick in Virginity

Jeffree Star Velour Liquid Lipstick in Virginity

Jeffree Star Velour Liquid Lipstick in Virginity

Jeffree Star Velour Liquid Lipstick in Virginity

Virginity is described as a soft lilac but dries down completely to a pale purple with slight grey undertone matte. It runs smoothly on the lips and it is sufficiently pigmented to give an opaque finish in a single swipe. The texture feels powdery and drying so it cracks instantly upon movement of the lips. The cracks are more visible on dry lips so lip exfoliation is a must.

Don’t fancy getting roasted under the hot sun but yearn to be tan? Well, this shade is able to help to a certain extent as it makes the skin appear tanner.

Jeffree Star Virginity swatch comparison

Jeffree Star Virginity swatch comparison

While some of the colours in this collection may not be suitable for everyday wear alone, they can be mixed with other lipsticks to create customised colours. As liberal as I am, I am certainly not ready to parade the town in unusually bright lipstick colours just yet, and I am one of the lazy sort who can’t be bothered to tailor-make my make-up. So what do I do with my unconventional lipstick shades? I use them to create lip art!

Virginity as the main colour for my Ditto lip art (other shades include Kylie Cosmetics' Kourt K, Jeffree Star's Drug Lord and Nude Beach)

Virginity as the main colour for my Ditto lip art (other shades include Kylie Cosmetics’ Kourt K, Jeffree Star’s Drug Lord and Nude Beach for the mouth)

The whole lip art experience proved to be a lot more fun than I thought.

I spent close to 30 minutes on this one. And to think that I said I was lazy. Hmm.

Virginity is still available on JeffreeStarCosmetics.com for US$7.99.

#2 Queen Bee

Jeffree Star Velour Liquid Lipstick in Queen Bee

Jeffree Star Velour Liquid Lipstick in Queen Bee

Jeffree Star Velour Liquid Lipstick in Queen Bee

Jeffree Star Velour Liquid Lipstick in Queen Bee

Jeffree Star Velour Liquid Lipstick in Queen Bee

Jeffree Star Velour Liquid Lipstick in Queen Bee

Jeffree Star Velour Liquid Lipstick in Queen Bee

Jeffree Star Velour Liquid Lipstick in Queen Bee

Jeffree Star Velour Liquid Lipstick in Queen Bee

Jeffree Star Velour Liquid Lipstick in Queen Bee

Jeffree Star Velour Liquid Lipstick in Queen Bee

Jeffree Star Velour Liquid Lipstick in Queen Bee

Jeffree Star Velour Liquid Lipstick in Queen Bee

Jeffree Star Velour Liquid Lipstick in Queen Bee

Jeffree Star Velour Liquid Lipstick in Queen Bee

Jeffree Star Velour Liquid Lipstick in Queen Bee

Queen Bee is the first yellow liquid lipstick in the market, as claimed by Jeffree Star. It is a vibrant canary yellow upon application but becomes one tone lighter when it dries down. This shade was my main deciding factor in getting the summer bundle (as buying just one product would not justify paying for the shipping fee) because, as common as this colour seems for apparels and household products, yellow lipsticks with this degree of pigmentation and vibrancy is virtually unheard of. Furthermore, I didn’t have a yellow liquid lipstick in my stash so this would be a perfect addition to my spectrum of liquid lipstick colours.

Packed a powerful punch in the colour department, Queen Bee is exactly what you see in pictures, except that it appears streakier and less consistent in coverage than expected. The fresher coats of lipstick can easily be told apart from the older ones because they don’t blend well together, resulting in those unsightly horizontal strokes as seen in the above lip swatches. Therefore, the first application has to be absolutely even for the payoff to be uniform. The finish isn’t entirely opaque as some parts of my natural lip colour can still be seen peeking through the lipstick. It feels a little drying and leaves a tacky finish when dried down.

I immediately thought of doing a Pikachu lip art the moment I saw swatches of Queen Bee before it was even launched

I immediately thought of doing a Pikachu lip art the moment I saw swatches of Queen Bee before it was even launched

Besides creating lip art, Queen Bee can also be used with pink and red liquid lipsticks to create a sunset lip ombré, something like Laneige’s Juicy Pop but more vivid and in liquid lipstick form.

Despite all the flaws mentioned, I think Queen Bee deserves a permanent spot in Jeffree Star’s lipstick lineup just because yellow liquid lipsticks are a rare find.

#3 Nude Beach

Jeffree Star Velour Liquid Lipstick in Nude Beach

Jeffree Star Velour Liquid Lipstick in Nude Beach

Jeffree Star Velour Liquid Lipstick in Nude Beach

Jeffree Star Velour Liquid Lipstick in Nude Beach

Jeffree Star Velour Liquid Lipstick in Nude Beach

Jeffree Star Velour Liquid Lipstick in Nude Beach

Jeffree Star Velour Liquid Lipstick in Nude Beach

Jeffree Star Velour Liquid Lipstick in Nude Beach

Jeffree Star Velour Liquid Lipstick in Nude Beach

Jeffree Star Velour Liquid Lipstick in Nude Beach

Jeffree Star Velour Liquid Lipstick in Nude Beach

Jeffree Star Velour Liquid Lipstick in Nude Beach

Jeffree Star Velour Liquid Lipstick in Nude Beach

Jeffree Star Velour Liquid Lipstick in Nude Beach

Jeffree Star Velour Liquid Lipstick in Nude Beach

Jeffree Star Velour Liquid Lipstick in Nude Beach

Nude Beach is Jeffree Star’s rendition of macaroni and cheese nude, a pale peach matte. This is the only shade which I notice dries down to the exact colour as the product in the tube. But like most light-coloured liquid lipsticks, one swipe of Nude Beach is not opaque enough to mask the natural colour of the lips. It does not apply evenly and the texture is too runny to be able to stay in place when I try to add more coats of the lipstick. Furthermore, I’m not impressed with the streaky texture and tacky finish (even after leaving it to dry). Instead of hugging the lips like a second skin, the lipstick feels like a burdensome layer of paint which I very much look forward to remove every time.

Echoing what Jeffree Star said in his introductory video, however, this is one of the few light shades which works for every skin tone due to its gorgeous warm undertone that prevents it from washing the palest skin out while making lips on dark skin tone “pop” in a flattering way. I personally feel it complements Asian skin tone the most. Really too bad for the poor quality.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Jeffree Star Nude Beach swatch comparison

Nude Beach is still available on JeffreeStarCosmetics.com for US$7.99.

#4 Watermelon Soda

Jeffree Star Velour Liquid Lipstick in Watermelon Soda

Jeffree Star Velour Liquid Lipstick in Watermelon Soda

Jeffree Star Velour Liquid Lipstick in Watermelon Soda

Jeffree Star Velour Liquid Lipstick in Watermelon Soda

Jeffree Star Velour Liquid Lipstick in Watermelon Soda

Jeffree Star Velour Liquid Lipstick in Watermelon Soda

Jeffree Star Velour Liquid Lipstick in Watermelon Soda

Jeffree Star Velour Liquid Lipstick in Watermelon Soda

Jeffree Star Velour Liquid Lipstick in Watermelon Soda

Jeffree Star Velour Liquid Lipstick in Watermelon Soda

Jeffree Star Velour Liquid Lipstick in Watermelon Soda

Jeffree Star Velour Liquid Lipstick in Watermelon Soda

Jeffree Star Velour Liquid Lipstick in Watermelon Soda

Jeffree Star Velour Liquid Lipstick in Watermelon Soda

Jeffree Star Velour Liquid Lipstick in Watermelon Soda

Jeffree Star Velour Liquid Lipstick in Watermelon Soda

Since watermelons are one of the iconic fruits of summer, it makes perfect sense to dedicate a liquid lipstick from the summer line to the red and green fruit! Fittingly named Watermelon Soda, this rich salmon-toned coral not only resembles the colour of the juicy red watermelon flesh but also smells like the taste of it (yeah, just like the other lipsticks in this collection but this just feels more appropriate, you get what I mean?).

It applies smoothly on the lips and lends a fairly pigmented finish with some negligible patchiness quite unnoticeable from a distance. It dries to a soft reddish-pink matte that does not suck every ounce of moisture from the lips. It is prone to transfers as it still feels slightly tacky after several minutes of wear.

#5 714

Jeffree Star Velour Liquid Lipstick in 714

Jeffree Star Velour Liquid Lipstick in 714

Jeffree Star Velour Liquid Lipstick in 714

Jeffree Star Velour Liquid Lipstick in 714

Jeffree Star Velour Liquid Lipstick in 714

Jeffree Star Velour Liquid Lipstick in 714

Jeffree Star Velour Liquid Lipstick in 714

Jeffree Star Velour Liquid Lipstick in 714

Jeffree Star Velour Liquid Lipstick in 714

Jeffree Star Velour Liquid Lipstick in 714

Jeffree Star Velour Liquid Lipstick in 714

Jeffree Star Velour Liquid Lipstick in 714

Jeffree Star Velour Liquid Lipstick in 714

Jeffree Star Velour Liquid Lipstick in 714

Jeffree Star Velour Liquid Lipstick in 714

Jeffree Star Velour Liquid Lipstick in 714

Named after the area code of Orange County in California where Jeffree Star was born, 714 was first launched in 2015 but was quickly discontinued after several complaints about the formula surfaced. It was said to be poorly formulated and extremely blotchy. But as the saying goes, ‘One man’s meat is another man’s poison’ – while there were critics who thought 714 was the “worst lip product” they had ever come across, there were also hardcore fans who swore by it. After 714 was taken off the shelves, resale prices for this prized lipstick rocketed and people were pleading Jeffree Star to bring it back.

Fast forward one year, this coral-toned pink made a comeback in a different packaging but the formula remains as horrendous as when it first came out. It has poor colour payoff and the runny and streaky texture means that it would be impossible to distribute the lipstick evenly on the lips. The lipstick budges and does not seem to dry down completely, making it a whole lot more difficult to build. It is tacky and very prone to transfers. The only good out of this substandard liquid lipstick formula is probably its lightweight. This lipstick is so bad, it deserves to be shelved forever.

Jeffree Star Watermelon Soda and 714 swatch comparison

Jeffree Star Watermelon Soda and 714 swatch comparison

714 is the only shade in this collection not infused with watermelon scent (as Jeffree Star explained that adding fragrance would change the colour of the lipstick).

All in all, the summer collection was a huge letdown mainly because all the lipsticks are of light shades and as many of you know, light lipstick shades often turn out to be streaky. Nonetheless, this is not what I would expect from a perfectionist who has no qualms about calling labels out over quality issues. He clearly knew about all these issues (since he had talked about them in his videos), but had still gone ahead with production. Things are always easier said than done, huh?

What say you? Chime away in the comments below!

Thanks for reading! 🙂

The limited edition Jeffree Star summer collection was available at JeffreeStarCosmetics.com and Beautylish for US$18 per lipstick and US$75 per bundle. Some shades may still be available on both websites for heavily discounted prices.

REVIEW: MAC x Charlotte Olympia Lipsticks – Starlett Scarlet, Leading Lady Red & Retro Rouge

HAPPY 2017 EVERYONE!!!

It may already be the new year, but I still have a colossal amount of long-overdue beauty reviews that I would like to share so please bear with me while I take you back in time to March 2016 when M.A.C launched a collection of runway-inspired red lipsticks alongside other lip and eye products and accessories with Charlotte Olympia.

mac-charlotte-olympia

In case you didn’t know who Charlotte Olympia is, she is a young British luxury shoe and accessories designer who  founded her own eponymous fashion brand. You would probably have seen her products if you shop often at high-end online boutiques such as Net-A-Porter and Ssense, or even her retail stores in Bangkok, Hong Kong as well as many other cities.

M.A.C X Charlotte Olympia lipstick packaging

M.A.C X Charlotte Olympia lipstick packaging

M.A.C X Charlotte Olympia lipstick packaging

M.A.C X Charlotte Olympia lipstick packaging

When first pictures of the limited-edition lipstick packaging were released via news outlets, it drew mixed reactions in the beauty community. While there were those who thought the the packaging was a breath of fresh air from M.A.C’s classic black dome-shaped cap packaging, a handful of beauty critics expressed their displeasure online over the see-through plastic exterior of the lipstick tube. Many felt that the poor choice of material made the supposedly opulent-looking lipsticks seem cheap like a drugstore product.

For me, I belong to the camp that adores the packaging. The clear, sturdy plastic exterior that deliberately reveals the gold inner tube (a far cry from those that it was being compared to – like the old Neutrogena MoistureShine lipstick packaging – which very apparently used lousier and more brittle plastic and did not conceal the glue that adheres the lipstick to the tube as cleverly as M.A.C did) exudes a sense of luxury and prestige. I like that every product in this collection is adorned with Charlotte Olympia’s signature gold spider web motif instead of just boringly stating the name on them. Perhaps because my interest in makeup came at the time when beauty brands had already stepped up their packaging game due to immense competition, I had never seen anything like that in Singapore so it definitely stood out for me.

#1 Starlett Scarlet

M.A.C X Charlotte Olympia lipstick in Starlett Scarlet (US$18)

M.A.C X Charlotte Olympia lipstick in Starlett Scarlet (US$18)

M.A.C X Charlotte Olympia lipstick in Starlett Scarlet

M.A.C X Charlotte Olympia lipstick in Starlett Scarlet

M.A.C X Charlotte Olympia lipstick in Starlett Scarlet

M.A.C X Charlotte Olympia lipstick in Starlett Scarlet

M.A.C X Charlotte Olympia lipstick in Starlett Scarlet

M.A.C X Charlotte Olympia lipstick in Starlett Scarlet

M.A.C X Charlotte Olympia lipstick in Starlett Scarlet

M.A.C X Charlotte Olympia lipstick in Starlett Scarlet

M.A.C X Charlotte Olympia lipstick in Starlett Scarlet

M.A.C X Charlotte Olympia lipstick in Starlett Scarlet

Brighten your smile with Starlett Scarlet, a true red with Matte finish. Unlike most M.A.C mattes, it has a slippery application with an incredibly intense colour payoff at the very first swipe, topped with a natural sheen to give that luscious luminosity. The highly opaque formulation conceals lip lines fairly well and does not seep into major cracks and thus, lip exfoliation is not necessary. Moisturising, it does not leave the lip feeling parched. Although matte, it has a creamy texture which allows colour blending (if you don’t want to go full-red lip) and yet has relatively high staying power.

#2 Leading Lady Red

M.A.C X Charlotte Olympia lipstick in Leading Lady Red (US$18)

M.A.C X Charlotte Olympia lipstick in Leading Lady Red (US$18)

M.A.C X Charlotte Olympia lipstick in Leading Lady Red

M.A.C X Charlotte Olympia lipstick in Leading Lady Red

M.A.C X Charlotte Olympia lipstick in Leading Lady Red

M.A.C X Charlotte Olympia lipstick in Leading Lady Red

M.A.C X Charlotte Olympia lipstick in Leading Lady Red

M.A.C X Charlotte Olympia lipstick in Leading Lady Red

M.A.C X Charlotte Olympia lipstick in Leading Lady Red

M.A.C X Charlotte Olympia lipstick in Leading Lady Red

M.A.C X Charlotte Olympia lipstick in Leading Lady Red

M.A.C X Charlotte Olympia lipstick in Leading Lady Red

Leading Lady Red is described as a deep red with Matte finish. As compared to Starlett Scarlet, this is slightly darker with cooler blue undertones. It does not apply as buttery and would occasionally tug at the lips but the excellent pigmentation and coverage of the colour compensate for that negligible flaw. The slight sheen of the lipstick gives the impression of hydrated lips but in actual fact, it feels slightly dry and heavy which could also be the main reason for its more lasting longevity.

#3 Retro Rouge

M.A.C X Charlotte Olympia lipstick in Retro Rouge

M.A.C X Charlotte Olympia lipstick in Retro Rouge

M.A.C X Charlotte Olympia lipstick in Retro Rouge

M.A.C X Charlotte Olympia lipstick in Retro Rouge

M.A.C X Charlotte Olympia lipstick in Retro Rouge

M.A.C X Charlotte Olympia lipstick in Retro Rouge

M.A.C X Charlotte Olympia lipstick in Retro Rouge

M.A.C X Charlotte Olympia lipstick in Retro Rouge

M.A.C X Charlotte Olympia lipstick in Retro Rouge

M.A.C X Charlotte Olympia lipstick in Retro Rouge

M.A.C X Charlotte Olympia lipstick in Retro Rouge

M.A.C X Charlotte Olympia lipstick in Retro Rouge

The darkest red in this collection is Retro Rouge, a cool-toned deep brown-red with Matte finish, but it is also the most underperforming and least matte out of the trio of lipsticks, sadly. For a start, it has a little drag to it during application which feels as though my lips are being lightly rubbed against. Some of the products settle into my lip lines, causing the colour to lose its overall uniformity (as you can see from dark streaks around the center). This colour isn’t smudge-proof for sure as it fades when I purse my lips and thereby leaving a rather obvious ring of lighter red shade on the area of contact. Nevertheless, it delivers full opacity to give an alluring and satiny pout.

M.A.C X Charlotte Olympia lipstick swatch comparison 1

M.A.C X Charlotte Olympia lipstick swatch comparison 1

M.A.C X Charlotte Olympia lipstick swatch comparison 2, because these lipsticks reminded me of the Rocky Horror Picture Show collection

M.A.C X Charlotte Olympia lipstick swatch comparison 2, because these lipsticks reminded me of the Rocky Horror Picture Show collection

On the overall, I think this collection offers one of the best range of reds M.A.C has ever produced even though the colours and finish are very repetitive. They are very true to what you see on the bullet and in spite of the pretty packaging (that M.A.C surprisingly did not charge a lot more for), the quality of the product was not discounted as you can tell from the excellent colour payoff and luxurious and mostly creamy finish of every lipstick.

This line has already been discontinued but I’m certain you can readily find them in resale markets like eBay or Carousell. The last time I checked, the listed prices were lower than the sale price. If you don’t already have reds like any of these (which is highly unlikely as they are very dupable), you should go for it!

What are your thoughts on the lipsticks in this collection in terms of the product quality and packaging? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below! 🙂

Thanks for reading and have an AWESOME new year ahead! ❤

M.A.C X Charlotte Olympia was launched in March 2016 and is no longer available online.