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

Hello everyone!

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

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

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

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

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

#1 Pro Filtr Soft Matte Longwear Foundation (200)

Fenty Beauty Pro Filtr Soft Matte Longwear Foundation in 200

Fenty Beauty Pro Filtr Soft Matte Longwear Foundation in 200

Fenty Beauty Pro Filtr Soft Matte Longwear Foundation in 200

Fenty Beauty Pro Filtr Soft Matte Longwear Foundation in 200

Fenty Beauty Pro Filtr Soft Matte Longwear Foundation in 200

Fenty Beauty Pro Filtr Soft Matte Longwear Foundation in 200

Fenty Beauty Pro Filtr Soft Matte Longwear Foundation in 200

Fenty Beauty Pro Filtr Soft Matte Longwear Foundation in 200

Fenty Beauty Pro Filtr Soft Matte Longwear Foundation in 200

Fenty Beauty Pro Filtr Soft Matte Longwear Foundation in 200

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

…did I just find my PERFECT foundation match?!

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

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

#2 Pro Filtr Soft Matte Longwear Foundation (260)

Fenty Beauty Pro Filtr Soft Matte Longwear Foundation in 260

Fenty Beauty Pro Filtr Soft Matte Longwear Foundation in 260

Fenty Beauty Pro Filtr Soft Matte Longwear Foundation in 260

Fenty Beauty Pro Filtr Soft Matte Longwear Foundation in 260

Fenty Beauty Pro Filtr Soft Matte Longwear Foundation in 260

Fenty Beauty Pro Filtr Soft Matte Longwear Foundation in 260

Fenty Beauty Pro Filtr Soft Matte Longwear Foundation in 260

Fenty Beauty Pro Filtr Soft Matte Longwear Foundation in 260

Fenty Beauty Pro Filtr Soft Matte Longwear Foundation in 260

Fenty Beauty Pro Filtr Soft Matte Longwear Foundation in 260

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

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

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

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT

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

Patchy appearance of 260

Patchy appearance of 260

Comparing swatches of 200 and 260

Comparing swatches of 200 and 260

Bare-faced versus 200 and 260 on the face

Bare-faced versus 200 and 260 on the face

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Match Stix Trio in Medium

Match Stix Trio in Medium

Match Stix Trio in Medium

Match Stix Trio in Medium

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

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

Match Stix Matte Skinstick in Bamboo (fully twisted up)

Match Stix Matte Skinstick in Bamboo (fully twisted up)

Match Stix Matte Skinstick in Bamboo

Match Stix Matte Skinstick in Bamboo

Match Stix Matte Skinstick in Bamboo

Match Stix Matte Skinstick in Bamboo

Match Stix Matte Skinstick in Bamboo

Match Stix Matte Skinstick in Bamboo

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

Match Stix Matte Skinstick in Mocha (fully twisted up)

Match Stix Matte Skinstick in Mocha (fully twisted up)

Match Stix Matte Skinstick in Mocha

Match Stix Matte Skinstick in Mocha

Match Stix Matte Skinstick in Mocha

Match Stix Matte Skinstick in Mocha

Match Stix Matte Skinstick in Mocha

Match Stix Matte Skinstick in Mocha

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

Mocha vs Hoola

Mocha vs Hoola

Match Stix Shimmer Skinstick in Trippin (fully twisted up)

Match Stix Shimmer Skinstick in Trippin (fully twisted up)

Match Stix Shimmer Skinstick in Trippin

Match Stix Shimmer Skinstick in Trippin

Match Stix Shimmer Skinstick in Trippin

Match Stix Shimmer Skinstick in Trippin

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

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

Match Stix Shimmer Skinstick in Trippin

Match Stix Shimmer Skinstick in Trippin

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

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

Trippin vs Watt's Up! Cream Highlighter by Benefit

Trippin vs Watt’s Up! Cream Highlighter by Benefit

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

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

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

#4 Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter
(Trophy Wife)

Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter in Trophy Wife

Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter in Trophy Wife

Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter in Trophy Wife

Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter in Trophy Wife

Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter in Trophy Wife

Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter in Trophy Wife

Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter in Trophy Wife

Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter in Trophy Wife

Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter in Trophy Wife

Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter in Trophy Wife

Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter in Trophy Wife

Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter in Trophy Wife

Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter in Trophy Wife

Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter in Trophy Wife

Before and after blending out Trophy Wife

Before and after blending out Trophy Wife

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks for reading!

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

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

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REVIEW: M·A·C × Rossy de Palma Veluxe Pearlfusion Shadow, Lipsticks in Rossy & Phenomenal Woman

Hello everyone!

Before the Snow Ball collection took center stage with it stunning marketing visuals, there was another contender that had attracted a great deal of attention for its equally innovative packaging design.

M·A·C × Rossy De Palma for Fall 2017

M·A·C × Rossy De Palma for Fall 2017

Born Rosa Elena García Echave in Spain, Rossy de Palma is a former fashion model, an actress and a charity spokesperson for the Ghanian Charity OrphanAid Africa which among other causes, advocates for the closure of illegal orphanages. Often dubbed a walking Picasso painting, de Palma doesn’t fit the stereotypical definition of a high-profile actress – she doesn’t have doe eyes, sharp nose nor a perfectly proportioned mouth. But it’s this extraordinary (like, literally!) look of hers that had earned her the right to walk the runways for Mugler, Gaultier, and Givenchy and become the face of luxury ad campaigns. What a role model she is!

In this day and age of nip and tuck where most people won’t even bat an eyelid to modify their appearance with cosmetic surgery (and end up looking like they were all stamped out of the same cookie cutter), her unique aesthetic comes across as striking yet authentic at the same time, like a breath of fresh air. In fact, don’t you think she looks like a Picasso-esque version of Lady Gaga?

The display (FYI the one with the nose image is the contour kit - kinda like that one too)

The display (FYI the one with the nose image is the contour kit – kinda like that one too)

My haul!

My haul!

And what better way to embrace your (im)perfections than partnering with M·A·C on a collection centered around them? This collection takes inspiration from Cubism – an early-20th-century art movement created by Picasso – with gold as the primary colour and Rossy’s artistic signature plastered on all the products. For a more Cubist approach, a lenticular image of her (zoomed in, no less) unconventional facial attributes are featured on the packaging of a selected range as seen in the promotional picture above. It may not be the intention, but I like how Rossy de Palma and M·A·C are delivering a subtle screw you to bigots who have criticised her looks with this collaboration.

“Hate my fractured nose and my asymmetrical eyelids, you say? Here’s every part of me you dislike on your makeup. HA, take that!”

All jokes aside, I don’t usually venture out into buying anything else apart from lipsticks from any M·A·C collection. But the packaging is just too brilliant to resist 😆

#1 Veluxe Pearlfusion Shadow

M·A·C × Rossy De Palma Veluxe Pearlfinish Shadow (US$32 / S$72)

M·A·C × Rossy De Palma Veluxe Pearlfinish Shadow (US$32 / S$72)

M·A·C × Rossy De Palma Veluxe Pearlfinish Shadow - the lenticular effect!

M·A·C × Rossy De Palma Veluxe Pearlfinish Shadow – the lenticular effect!

Other details

Other details

M·A·C × Rossy De Palma Veluxe Pearlfinish Shadow - the shades

M·A·C × Rossy De Palma Veluxe Pearlfinish Shadow – the shades

SWATCHES & REVIEW

Close-up of the 6 shades, all in pans of different sizes

Close-up of the 6 shades, all in pans of different sizes

M·A·C × Rossy De Palma Veluxe Pearlfinish Shadow swatches

M·A·C × Rossy De Palma Veluxe Pearlfinish Shadow swatches

Pinky is described a bright pink with Veluxe Pearl finish. It is a warm-toned medium pink glistened with very fine fuchsia shimmers and is filled in the smallest pan of the palette (the same with Money) which can be a little hard for a fluffy brush to reach without touching the shade next to it.

Semi-opaque in coverage, this shade works great as a base colour. Probably due to its soft and smooth texture, it causes quite a bit of kick-up in the pan (chunks of product would come off) when picked up with a brush. Despite its flaky consistency (which is rather noticeable on the lid), it blends well on the lid without having much fallout and leaves an evenly silky finish. Also, it doesn’t have the tendency to stain like most pink eye shadows and can be easily removed.

Swatch comparison for Pinky

Swatch comparison for Pinky

Smokes is described as a soft lilac with Veluxe Pearl finish. It is a cool-toned purple with fine blue shimmers (albeit more subtle than the others). Powdery in texture, this shade applies unevenly on the lid with both dry and dampened brushes and has sheer colour payoff with very limited buildability. When blended out, it loses its intensity to the extent of almost fading to nothing. I had to use small patting and dabbing motions for the colour to show reasonably but it still creases and fades away the moment my lids show signs of oiliness. Therefore, I won’t recommend this to be used on its own as a single shade.

Swatch comparison for Smokes

Swatch comparison for Smokes

Charcoal is described as a black with multi-colour pearl. It has a Veluxe Pearl finish mostly made of white, sparsely-scattered, in-your-face sparkles with an overall chunkier texture and powdery consistency. When hit with a brush, it leaves a negligible amount of kickback in the pan. But when applied on the lid, some product came dusting off into my eyes. Although it has fairly good pigmentation with semi-sheer (but buildable) coverage on the lid, it does not blend very well, unfortunately.

Considering that this shade would most likely be the least used of all since it is less versatile and more difficult to work with, it is pure bewilderment that it is allotted the largest pan size on this palette. Makes me wonder what the thought process behind the apportion of the pan sizes to the shades is like 🤔

Deep which is described as a dark blackened navy with Veluxe Pearl finish. This captivating shimmery cool-toned deep blue is as close as it gets to a metallic blue because of the densely packed sparkles. Deep goes on semi-opaque when first applied but can be built on to achieve full coverage. It is fairly blendable with a cream-like texture, therefore making it a joy to work with. It is definitely one of the better performers in this palette with a payoff on par with or a tad better than Pinky which wore well on me.

Swatch comparison for Charcoal and Deep

Swatch comparison for Charcoal and Deep

In the bottommost pan on the palette is Money, a soft green with Veluxe Pearl finish as described by M·A·C. This turquoise with fine green shimmers has a flaky texture like Pinky which tends to ball up in the pan. When applied, it gives a sheer to semi-opaque coverage (don’t be deceived by the swatch – the pigment is nothing of the sort on my lid) that would take a few coats to build the colour intensity up. A point to note, though, is that Money is rather loosely pressed as compared to the rest of the shades. Hence, although digging the brush into the pan may be necessary to get a decent payoff on the lid, it is not advisable lest you break it apart.

Nevertheless, this shade is a disappointment. Not only is it flighty on my naturally oily lid, it creases even over primer. I also had some trouble blending and diffusing this shade because it budges with the slightest contact. Even if I managed to get it work on my lid, it is only fleetingly as it started to look splotchy after two hours of wear.

Swatch comparison for Money

Swatch comparison for Money

APPLICATION & SUGGESTED LOOK

The products I will be using

The products I will be using

Using Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion to prime the lids

Using Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion to prime the lids

Pinky as base colour

Pinky as base colour

Money to make the eyes pop

Money to make the eyes pop

Smokes as a transition colour

Smokes as a transition colour

Deep to add depth (no pun intended)

Deep to add depth (no pun intended)

Smokes again to define (you can clearly see the colour rubbing off here)

Smokes again to define (you can clearly see the colour rubbing off here)

Mirroring the colours on the lower lid

Mirroring the colours on the lower lid

Charcoal for even more depth

Charcoal for even more depth (actually, I just wanted to wear all the shades on my lids)

Mirroring, again..

Mirroring, again..

And again..

And again..

How the shades in the pan translate onto my lids

How the shades in the pan translate onto my lids

The final look!

The final look!

#2 Lipstick – Rossy

M·A·C × Rossy De Palma Lipstick packaging

M·A·C × Rossy De Palma Lipstick packaging

M·A·C × Rossy De Palma Lipstick in Rossy (US$17.50 / S$33)

M·A·C × Rossy De Palma Lipstick in Rossy (US$17.50 / S$33)

M·A·C × Rossy De Palma Lipstick in Rossy

M·A·C × Rossy De Palma Lipstick in Rossy

M·A·C × Rossy De Palma Lipstick in Rossy

M·A·C × Rossy De Palma Lipstick in Rossy

M·A·C × Rossy De Palma Lipstick in Rossy

M·A·C × Rossy De Palma Lipstick in Rossy

M·A·C × Rossy De Palma Lipstick in Rossy

M·A·C × Rossy De Palma Lipstick in Rossy

M·A·C × Rossy De Palma Lipstick in Rossy

M·A·C × Rossy De Palma Lipstick in Rossy

Rossy is described as a dirty mauve purple with Matte finish. Creamy in texture, this warm-toned purple glides on like butter and imparts a hint of lustre to keep the lips looking (and feeling) moisturised. The texture is slightly oily for a matte which makes it susceptible to transfer and shorter wear time. On top of that, I notice that this shade also tends to settle into my lip lines. It applies evenly and has pretty good pigmentation but requires several swipes to be reasonably opaque.

Swatch comparison for Rossy

Swatch comparison for Rossy

#3 Lipstick – Phenomenal Woman

M·A·C × Rossy De Palma Lipstick in Phenomenal Woman (US$17.50 / S$33)

M·A·C × Rossy De Palma Lipstick in Phenomenal Woman (US$17.50 / S$33)

M·A·C × Rossy De Palma Lipstick in Phenomenal Woman

M·A·C × Rossy De Palma Lipstick in Phenomenal Woman

M·A·C × Rossy De Palma Lipstick in Phenomenal Woman

M·A·C × Rossy De Palma Lipstick in Phenomenal Woman

M·A·C × Rossy De Palma Lipstick in Phenomenal Woman

M·A·C × Rossy De Palma Lipstick in Phenomenal Woman

M·A·C × Rossy De Palma Lipstick in Phenomenal Woman

M·A·C × Rossy De Palma Lipstick in Phenomenal Woman

M·A·C × Rossy De Palma Lipstick in Phenomenal Woman

M·A·C × Rossy De Palma Lipstick in Phenomenal Woman

Phenomenal Woman is an online-exclusive described as a dark plum with Matte finish and is the only lipstick in this collection to sell out online. This cool-toned burgundy has a richer sheen to it which is not something I would expect from a matte formula. In fact, I think it looks more satin than matte. This shade tugs and pulls lightly at the lips during application, giving a streaky and uneven payoff which is mostly caused by the product seeping into the lip lines and clinging onto the dry patches on the lips. It has a thin and tacky texture that is neither hydrating nor drying on me.

Swatch comparison for Phenomenal Woman

Swatch comparison for Phenomenal Woman

I must say that I’m pleasantly surprised that, despite the fanciful packaging and unchanged pricing, the quality in the products (maybe save that few shades in the eye shadow compact that didn’t apply very well. Shame!) did not really take a beating. Has M·A·C finally come to the realisation that in the eyes of consumers, quality is king? If that’s the case, I can’t wait to see what more M·A·C has to offer for the coming year!

What do you think about M·A·C × Rossy De Palma? Let me know your comments below or take a quick poll!

Thanks for reading!

M·A·C × Rossy de Palma is now available on MACCosmetics.com and in all local M.A.C outlets.

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

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

Hello everyone!

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

M·A·C Snow Ball for Holiday 2017

M·A·C Snow Ball for Holiday 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

#1 Face Bag (Gold)

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

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

M·A·C Snow Ball Face Bag (Gold)

M·A·C Snow Ball Face Bag (Gold)

Everything inside

Everything inside

Inside the bag

Inside the bag

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

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

M·A·C 140 Synthetic Full Fan Brush

M·A·C 140 Synthetic Full Fan Brush

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kinda looks like little beads of sweat above my cheekbone

Kinda looks like little beads of sweat above my cheekbone

— APPLICATION (with Sigma F41 Fan Brush) —

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

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

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

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

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

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

Finished look

Finished look

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

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

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

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

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

M·A·C Snow Ball lipsticks packaging

M·A·C Snow Ball lipsticks packaging

M·A·C Snow Ball lipsticks packaging

M·A·C Snow Ball lipsticks packaging

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

#2 Lipstick – Elle Belle

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

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

M·A·C Snow Ball lipstick in Elle Bell

M·A·C Snow Ball lipstick in Elle Belle

M·A·C Snow Ball lipstick in Elle Belle

M·A·C Snow Ball lipstick in Elle Belle

M·A·C Snow Ball lipstick in Elle Bell

M·A·C Snow Ball lipstick in Elle Bell

M·A·C Snow Ball lipstick in Elle Bell

M·A·C Snow Ball lipstick in Elle Bell

M·A·C Snow Ball lipstick in Elle Belle

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

Swatch comparison for Elle Belle

Swatch comparison for Elle Belle

#3 Lipstick – Holiday Crush

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

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

M·A·C Snow Ball lipstick in Holiday Crush

M·A·C Snow Ball lipstick in Holiday Crush

M·A·C Snow Ball lipstick in Holiday Crush

M·A·C Snow Ball lipstick in Holiday Crush

M·A·C Snow Ball lipstick in Holiday Crush

M·A·C Snow Ball lipstick in Holiday Crush

M·A·C Snow Ball lipstick in Holiday Crush

M·A·C Snow Ball lipstick in Holiday Crush

M·A·C Snow Ball lipstick in Holiday Crush

M·A·C Snow Ball lipstick in Holiday Crush

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

Swatch comparison for Holiday Crush

Swatch comparison for Holiday Crush

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

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

Thanks for reading!

Have a dazzling holiday!

Have a dazzling holiday!

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

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

Hello everyone!

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

Let's begin with the highlighters!

Let’s begin with the highlighters!

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

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

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

Now, onto the critique of the products themselves. 

#1 Pressed Powder Highlighter in Starflower

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

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

ColourPop × My Little Pony Pressed Powder Highlighter in Starflower

ColourPop × My Little Pony Pressed Powder Highlighter in Starflower

ColourPop × My Little Pony Pressed Powder Highlighter in Starflower

ColourPop × My Little Pony Pressed Powder Highlighter in Starflower

ColourPop × My Little Pony Pressed Powder Highlighter in Starflower

ColourPop × My Little Pony Pressed Powder Highlighter in Starflower

ColourPop × My Little Pony Pressed Powder Highlighter in Starflower

ColourPop × My Little Pony Pressed Powder Highlighter in Starflower

ColourPop × My Little Pony Pressed Powder Highlighter in Starflower

ColourPop × My Little Pony Pressed Powder Highlighter in Starflower

ColourPop × My Little Pony Pressed Powder Highlighter in Starflower

ColourPop × My Little Pony Pressed Powder Highlighter in Starflower

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

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

ColourPop × My Little Pony Pressed Powder Highlighter in Starflower

ColourPop × My Little Pony Pressed Powder Highlighter in Starflower

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

#2 Pressed Powder Highlighter in Trickles

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

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

ColourPop × My Little Pony Pressed Powder Highlighter in Trickles

ColourPop × My Little Pony Pressed Powder Highlighter in Trickles

ColourPop × My Little Pony Pressed Powder Highlighter in Trickles

ColourPop × My Little Pony Pressed Powder Highlighter in Trickles

ColourPop × My Little Pony Pressed Powder Highlighter in Trickles

ColourPop × My Little Pony Pressed Powder Highlighter in Trickles

ColourPop × My Little Pony Pressed Powder Highlighter in Trickles

ColourPop × My Little Pony Pressed Powder Highlighter in Trickles

ColourPop × My Little Pony Pressed Powder Highlighter in Trickles

ColourPop × My Little Pony Pressed Powder Highlighter in Trickles

ColourPop × My Little Pony Pressed Powder Highlighter in Trickles

ColourPop × My Little Pony Pressed Powder Highlighter in Trickles

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

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

ColourPop × My Little Pony Pressed Powder Highlighter in Trickles

ColourPop × My Little Pony Pressed Powder Highlighter in Trickles

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

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

Compare ColourPop Starflower and Trickles with other highlighters

Compare ColourPop Starflower and Trickles with other highlighters

Moving on to the lips..

#3 Ultra Matte Lip in Lemon Drop

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

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

ColourPop × My Little Pony Ultra Matte Lip in Lemon Drop

ColourPop × My Little Pony Ultra Matte Lip in Lemon Drop

ColourPop × My Little Pony Ultra Matte Lip in Lemon Drop

ColourPop × My Little Pony Ultra Matte Lip in Lemon Drop

ColourPop × My Little Pony Ultra Matte Lip in Lemon Drop

ColourPop × My Little Pony Ultra Matte Lip in Lemon Drop

ColourPop × My Little Pony Ultra Matte Lip in Lemon Drop

ColourPop × My Little Pony Ultra Matte Lip in Lemon Drop

ColourPop × My Little Pony Ultra Matte Lip in Lemon Drop

ColourPop × My Little Pony Ultra Matte Lip in Lemon Drop

ColourPop × My Little Pony Ultra Matte Lip in Lemon Drop

ColourPop × My Little Pony Ultra Matte Lip in Lemon Drop

ColourPop × My Little Pony Ultra Matte Lip in Lemon Drop

ColourPop × My Little Pony Ultra Matte Lip in Lemon Drop

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

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

ColourPop Lemon Drop swatch comparison

ColourPop Lemon Drop swatch comparison

#4 Ultra Matte Lip in Pin Wheel

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

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

ColourPop × My Little Pony Ultra Matte Lip in Pin Wheel

ColourPop × My Little Pony Ultra Matte Lip in Pin Wheel

ColourPop × My Little Pony Ultra Matte Lip in Pin Wheel

ColourPop × My Little Pony Ultra Matte Lip in Pin Wheel

ColourPop × My Little Pony Ultra Matte Lip in Pin Wheel

ColourPop × My Little Pony Ultra Matte Lip in Pin Wheel

ColourPop × My Little Pony Ultra Matte Lip in Pin Wheel

ColourPop × My Little Pony Ultra Matte Lip in Pin Wheel

ColourPop × My Little Pony Ultra Matte Lip in Pin Wheel

ColourPop × My Little Pony Ultra Matte Lip in Pin Wheel

ColourPop × My Little Pony Ultra Matte Lip in Pin Wheel

ColourPop × My Little Pony Ultra Matte Lip in Pin Wheel

ColourPop × My Little Pony Ultra Matte Lip in Pin Wheel

ColourPop × My Little Pony Ultra Matte Lip in Pin Wheel

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

ColourPop Pin Wheel swatch comparison

ColourPop Pin Wheel swatch comparison

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

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

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

Thanks for reading!

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

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

REVIEW: ColourPop × My Little Pony Pressed Powder Shadow Palette

Hello everyone!

So far, this whole decade feels like a throwback to the ’80s and ’90s with the reboot and revival of many of our childhood favourites such as The Smurfs, Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast and Trolls, just to name a few. In case you didn’t know, My Little Pony has, too, made a comeback in recent years and is now even shown on the silver screen! But this year being 2017, working in the showbiz isn’t enough – you have to penetrate into the beauty industry as well to stay relevant because hey, not everyone (especially the millennials whose big part of their childhood revolves around these shows) watches TV these days, right? 😏

Perhaps that’s why Hasbro has been granting their licensing rights for My Little Pony to a handful of makeup companies like PUR Cosmetics, Thailand-based Mille Beauté and most recently, ColourPop which released a 14-piece limited edition My Little Pony collection last month.

An overview of my ColourPop × My Little Pony haul - do watch this space for my review on the highlighters and liquid lipsticks!

An overview of my ColourPop × My Little Pony haul – do watch this space for my review on the highlighters and liquid lipsticks!

As you can see, there’s quite a bit to talk about for this collection, so I will split my review into two parts for easy digestion. The first shall be on the eye shadow palette.

Inspired by the colourful personalities and magical cutie marks of the retro ponies, the My Little Pony Pressed Powder Shadow Palette features a range of nostalgia-evoking shades from “shimmery glitters and wearable mattes, to bright pops of colour and surprising iridescents”.

ColourPop × My Little Pony Pressed Powder Shadow Palette (US$16)

ColourPop × My Little Pony Pressed Powder Shadow Palette (US$16)

The back of the ColourPop × My Little Pony Pressed Powder Shadow Palette

The back of the ColourPop × My Little Pony Pressed Powder Shadow Palette

The My Little Pony palette measures just 10 cm × 13 cm, essentially making it easy to carry around due to its slim and compact size. It is placed into a box adorned with purple-hued pony motifs and “My Little Pony” embossed in purple-foil lettering in the middle, followed by the My Little Pony rainbow and ColourPop logos at the bottom.

The design of the palette itself looks a bit more tacky and juvenile (like it was designed with PowerPoint) with six holographic ponies arcing across (yet another) rainbow plastered on the cover. The lid has a magnetic closure and it does not come with a mirror. The eye shadows – each weighing 0.85 g (0.03 oz) – are set against a purple background with white pony motifs. The names of the shades are printed on the back of the box and palette, which posed some inconvenience for me as I was constructing my review. Maybe someone can enlighten me, but what’s so difficult about having the names printed below the shades? There is sufficient space for that, am I right?

SWATCHES & REVIEW

ColourPop × My Little Pony Pressed Powder Shadow Palette - all shades and their names, for your convenience

ColourPop × My Little Pony Pressed Powder Shadow Palette – all shades and their names, for your convenience

ColourPop × My Little Pony Pressed Powder Shadow Palette - swatches of all the shades applied with finger (2-3 swipes)

ColourPop × My Little Pony Pressed Powder Shadow Palette – swatches of all the shades applied with finger (2-3 swipes)

On first impression, the mattes appeared to be underwhelming and require more swipes than the shimmery ones for a more uniform and pigmented application. For the undiscerning eye, there also seems to be a repetition of shades. For instance, Snuzzle, Firefly and Bluebell as well as Minty and Applejack are pretty similar with the same finish and thus won’t offer much colour contrast on the lid when put together.

Let’s now get down to the individual swatches and review! Being a proud owner of a plethora of eye shadow palettes, it wouldn’t be practical for me to compare the My Little Pony palette to every single similar shade I can think of (and not forgetting that it is also more time consuming than swatching lipsticks). Hence, to be more time-efficient, I am just going to compare this with the shades from two selected palettes in my stash which, in this case, would be the ColourPop Yes, Please! palette (for the warms) and LORAC Mega PRO 3 (for the cooler hues). Comparison swatches will be done using my finger only.

ColourPop × My Little Pony Pressed Powder Shadow Palette - swatches of first 6 shades applied with both finger and my Sigma E55 Eyeshadow Shading Brush

ColourPop × My Little Pony Pressed Powder Shadow Palette – swatches of first 6 shades applied with both finger and my Sigma E55 Eyeshadow Shading Brush

Butterscotch is described as a white with subtle pink violet opalescent sheen. It is a matte pale lilac with barely noticeable fine shimmers, so much so that you would need to scrutinise the product to realise they are there. The eye shadow is pigmented and mostly opaque with a chalky but smooth texture. Blendable, it is has no fallout during application and adheres well to bare skin.

Blossom is described as a metallic peach with pink and gold duochrome finish. It is a mid-tone rosy nude with warm undertones and gold microshimmers which are distributed fairly evenly when applied. Although I did not have to go heavy-handed with it to achieve reasonable opacity, it does provide fuller coverage with added pressure to my lid. The texture of the eye shadow is also slightly dry and on the stiffer side so it can be rather challenging to diffuse the edges.

Starshine is described as a metallic golden tangerine. Totally living up to its name, it is a gorgeous warm yellow with strong metallic gold sheen. It has an insanely opaque colour payoff in a single layer although some fallout can occur during application. It goes on smooth and even with a dense consistency which requires a bit of effort to blend out the edges – but it is all worth it. When worn in the middle of the lid, it helps to make the eyes appear bigger and brighter. This shade is pretty long-wearing as it lasted five hours (the duration I spent outdoors) on my oily lids.

Swatch comparison for the warms against the ColourPop Yes, Please! Pressed Powder Eyeshadow Palette

Swatch comparison for the warms against the ColourPop Yes, Please! Pressed Powder Eyeshadow Palette

Bluebell is described as a satin golden ivory. It is a cool-toned white with pearly sheen from the microshimmers distributed equally across the product. It applies smoothly on the lid while offering sheer to medium coverage. The texture, however, becomes chalkier with every additional layer. Even though it is somewhat easy to diffuse the edges, it loses its intensity as soon as it is blended out. This shade can alternatively be used as a highlight for the brow bone too because of its muted colour payoff.

Applejack is described as a matte dusty red violet. It is a mid-tone plum with pink undertones. This shade has a smooth, almost mousse-like (hence does not cause much kickback in the pan nor fallout during application) and blendable texture but tends to sheer out when applied to bare skin. It has to be used with a soft-bristled brush or the consistency would become uneven and lightly dusty.

Skydancer is described as a metallic bright icy lavender. It is a muted violet with loose purple shimmers. That said, this shade requires a dense brush to apply it with because the texture is stiff from being packed too tightly in the pan (to the extent that the surface of the eye shadow actually smooths out after use instead of leaving a slight dip). I had to dig my brush into the pan to pick up enough product and even so, I would need to exert a lot of pressure on my lid to get a decent colour payoff. Furthermore, it loses its, dare I say, non-existent intensity when blended out. This payoff is honestly so bad, it kinda renders this shade unusable.

ColourPop × My Little Pony Pressed Powder Shadow Palette - swatches of last 6 shades applied with both finger and my Sigma E55 Eyeshadow Shading Brush

ColourPop × My Little Pony Pressed Powder Shadow Palette – swatches of last 6 shades applied with both finger and my Sigma E55 Eyeshadow Shading Brush

Minty is accurately described as a matte cool-toned fuchsia except for the fact that it has inconsiderable amount of shimmer to it (or perhaps, my eyes were playing tricks on me 🤔). The payoff is quite similar to that of Butterscotch but this applies softer with a velvety consistency. It adheres well to the skin but has to be piled on to get an opaque coverage. Furthermore, the edges are fairly easy to diffuse without affecting the intensity of the eye shadow.

Flutterbye is described as a matte true pastel peach. It is a matte coral with warm undertones and has a really soft and silky texture as well as a thicker consistency than the rest of the eye shadows in this palette. This shade gives an opaque colour payoff in a single layer and blends perfectly well on the lid while still retaining its pigmentation. It is also extremely long-wearing even without primer.

Twilight is described as a satin deep blackened violet with blue and purple fine shimmers. Undoubtedly, this is the darkest shade in this palette but it isn’t as pigmented as it seems – it takes about five layers for it to achieve a reasonably opaque coverage. Apart from the fact that it applies rather unevenly and patchy, it also does not blend very well on the lid. It has a looser texture too so some kickback in the pan and fallout may be experienced during application.

Swatch comparison for the warms against Lorac Mega PRO 3 Palette

Swatch comparison for the warms against Lorac Mega PRO 3 Palette

Firefly is described as a metallic silvery baby blue. It is a cool-toned grey with a metallic sheen from its finely milled and evenly spread shimmers. It has blue undertones which become more apparent as more product is piled on. Soft and buttery in texture, this shade has an excellent pigmentation in a single layer and is easy to use and blend out.

Snuzzle is described as a metallic icy white with opalescent blue duochrome. An absolute beauty that changes colour when seen from different angles, it looks like a plain shimmery white eye shadow in the pan but when applied on the skin, the iridescent blue sheen becomes very noticeable. This fairly blendable shade applies smooth and silky with a mostly opaque colour payoff but has a chalky consistency.

Princess Sparkle is described as a metallic rich smokey turquoise. Although it goes on slightly sheer on the first swipe, it is buildable to a fully opaque coverage with just an additional two or three layers. This shade has very good pigmentation and adheres to the skin very well. On top of that, the formula has an incredibly smooth and silky texture even when applied with a light hand and it also does not budge when I tried to blend out the edges.

Swatch comparison for the cools against Lorac Mega PRO 3 Palette

Swatch comparison for the cools against Lorac Mega PRO 3 Palette

APPLICATION & LOOKS

I’m no beauty guru especially when it comes to eye shadows, so here’s my humble take on the looks you can achieve with the My Little Pony palette. Also, how would this US$16 eye shadow palette fare on my primed lids? Let’s find out!

Apply Butterscotch as the base colour

Apply Butterscotch as the base colour

Butterscotch (using Sigma E60 Large Shader Brush from the Mrs Bunny kit)

Butterscotch (using Sigma E60 Large Shader Brush from the Mrs Bunny kit)

Butterscotch

Butterscotch

Starshine and Blossom for a pop of colour

Starshine and Blossom for a pop of colour

Cut crease with Princess Sparkle (using Sigma E47 Shader Crease Brush), followed by Skydancer on the outer corners for a more seamless transition from the blue to the pink

Cut crease with Princess Sparkle (using Sigma E47 Shader Crease Brush), followed by Skydancer on the outer corners for a more seamless transition from the blue to the pink

More Starshine (using Sephora Multitasker Shadow Brush #63) along the lower lash because, why not?

More Starshine (using Sephora Multitasker Shadow Brush #63) along the lower lash because, why not?

Add a shimmery highlight (Butterscotch) to the inner corners of your eyes for a brighter look

Add a shimmery highlight (Butterscotch) to the inner corners of your eyes for a brighter look

Peek-a-boo!

Peek-a-boo!

Final look (without eyeliner)

Final look (without eyeliner)

The meh choice of shades aside (I actually prefer the shades on the PUR Cosmetics palette), I must say that you are getting a huge bang for your buck out of this palette. For the price of US$16, I certainly did not expect the eye shadows to be this pigmented and blendable. They are pressed rather perfectly which is probably one of the reasons for the minimal to no kickback in the pans after usage. And yet, you could still get decent colour payoff out of most of them.

Needless to say, I am impressed with the quality and won’t mind dedicating space for more eye shadow palettes by ColourPop 😁  In fact, I just placed an order for 4 of their newest palettes 😆 #sorrynotsorry

Paired with my M·A·C lipstick in Gabriel Zamora

Paired with my M·A·C lipstick in Gabriel Zamora

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

Do stay tuned for the second part of my ColourPop × My Little Pony collection review where I will talk about two of the highlighters and Ultra Matte Lips.

Thanks for reading!

The ColourPop × My Little Pony collection is now available on ColourPop.com. Get the featured Sigma eye shadow brushes at 10% off here with code “FIONASEAH” upon checkout.

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REVIEW: Sigma Beauty Creme de Couture Pressed Color Palette

Hello everyone!

The best-selling Sigma palette is back by popular demand – and this time, with an improved packaging. First launched in September 2013, the rebooted Creme de Couture Pressed Color Palette includes all original 16 vibrant macaron-inspired pigments in a “smooth, blendable formula”. Each of these Sigma-exclusive shades has a matte finish with extreme, long-lasting color payoff and can be used all-over the face (as some shades are not recommended to be used as eye shadows).

This palette debuted at US$32 but is now retailing for US$39. Considering that the cost of raw materials could have increased substantially over the past four years, the slight price hike is understandable. Nevertheless, you can shave a few bucks off the current retail price (10% discount, to be exact) if you checkout with my code “FIONASEAH“. Sigma ships all orders within the U.S. at a flat rate of US$4.95 while free shipping is offered to U.S. and international orders above US$50 and US$150 respectively.

Sigma Beauty Creme de Couture Pressed Color Palette (box)

Sigma Beauty Creme de Couture Pressed Color Palette (box)

Sigma Beauty Creme de Couture Pressed Color Palette (back)

Sigma Beauty Creme de Couture Pressed Color Palette (back)

Sigma Beauty Creme de Couture Pressed Color Palette

Sigma Beauty Creme de Couture Pressed Color Palette

Sigma Beauty Creme de Couture Pressed Color Palette

Sigma Beauty Creme de Couture Pressed Color Palette

The palette retains its squarish shape but certainly has a more upscale appearance than the packaging before due to the water marble design and glossy plastic gold lettering (neat, sans-serif typeface unlike the tacky, cursive one before) on the cover that feels velvety-matte to the touch. Furthermore, the lid now has a magnetic closure as opposed to having to remove the lid entirely previously. This palette comes with a mirror (none before) and a thin protective plastic sheet above the pans and has a shelf life of 24 months.

I am usually put off by bright eye shadows, but there’s just something about this palette that made me want to lay my hands on it. It could be the way the shades are systematically arranged. Analogous colours are placed next to one another in this palette which makes it a dreamscape for the OCD in me.

But wait, what is that blue doing at the bottom row?

But wait, what is that blue doing at the bottom row?

The names of the shades are the same as before, and you can easily tell how they are derived unlike those of most eye shadow palettes in the market which felt like they were picked using a lottery spinner.

Swatches, three to four swipes for every shade (applied with Sigma E55 Eye Shading Brush and M·A·C Prep + Prime Fix+. Brush is cleaned with semi-damp makeup wipe and dried with tissue paper each time)

Swatches, three to four swipes for every shade (applied with Sigma E55 Eye Shading Brush and M·A·C Prep + Prime Fix+. Brush is cleaned with semi-damp makeup wipe and dried with tissue paper each time)

For a more structured review, the shades will be segregated into colour schemes and swatches will be done using my index finger to show the full potential of the colour intensity. Then, I will compare them to similar colours from other palettes (Urban Decay × Jean Michel Basquiat Tenant Palette, LORAC I ❤ Brunch PRO Palette, Juvia’s Place The Zulu and Masquerade Palettes) in my stash.

PINKS

The pinks of Sigma Creme de Couture Pressed Shadow Palette

The pinks of Sigma Creme de Couture Pressed Shadow Palette

Redberry Rose is described as a brilliant, true hot pink. It is a cool-toned fuchsia with a matte finish. It has an intense pigmentation in a single layer with a buildable opacity to provide a full coverage. Non-powdery, it has a soft and blendable texture which makes it easy to work with. This shade is determined to be unsafe for eye area since it has the tendency to stain (even with primer) but I had worn it for a couple of hours without any detrimental effect to my sensitive eye. That said, do use this with caution.

Apricot Flower is described as a perfectly-warm, mod peach. It is a light coral with warm undertones and a matte finish. It applies fairly well and has a semi-opaque pigmentation which ultimately becomes a hue deeper when piled on. However, I won’t recommend adding too many layers as I ended up having difficulty diffusing and blending out the edges.

Passion Fruit is described as a crisp, neutral pink. It is a medium coral-brown with cool undertones and a matte finish. It applies and blends well, giving a nearly-opaque pigmentation without having to apply much pressure to the lid. The texture was, however, slightly loose so there was considerable amount of kickback in the pan. There was also a bit of a fallout during application.

Cherry Blossom is described as a cool, bold pastel pink. It is a washed-out pink with cool undertones and a matte finish. Soft in texture, this shade applies smoothly and evenly on the lids while offering sheer coverage. It is hardly pigmented (enabling it to be removed very easily) and does not seem to build up even though it blends relatively well. This shade works best as a base colour or to tone down any heavy-handedness that may occur.

Swatch comparison for the pinks on the Sigma Creme de Couture Palette

Swatch comparison for the pinks on the Sigma Creme de Couture Palette

WARMS

The warms of Sigma Creme de Couture Pressed Shadow Palette

The warms of Sigma Creme de Couture Pressed Shadow Palette

Meyer Lemon is described as a zesty, buttery yellow. It is a washed-out pastel yellow with cool undertones and a matte finish. It has a rather soft but chalky and powdery texture, so fallout is inevitable during application. In addition, the first layer lends a patchy consistency and the colour somehow fades even more as I try to blend it out. I eventually found myself dipping my brush into the pan more often than I had expected just to achieve a reasonably even and opaque payoff.

Ginger Pumpkin is described as a muted-orange spice. It is a neon orange with warm undertones and a matte finish. Although thicker and slightly powdery in texture, this shade applies smooth and soft without creasing and blended fairly well. It has great colour payoff and is vibrantly pigmented with an opaque coverage in a single layer, which also causes it to stain (and therefore deeming it unsafe for the eye area).

Café au Lait is described as a classic, warm coffee brown. It is a medium brown with warm undertones and a creamy matte finish. It has a moderately powdery texture with a soft and smooth consistency. This shade is able to give an even and opaque colour payoff on the first application using either dry or damp brushes. The excess powder adheres to the lid during application and therefore, did not cause much fallout problems. The edges blend pretty well, too.

Swatch comparison for the warms on the Sigma Creme de Couture Palette

Kickbacks occurring mostly in Apricot Flower and Passion Fruit

Kickbacks occurring mostly in Apricot Flower and Passion Fruit

PURPLES

The purples of Sigma Creme de Couture Pressed Shadow Palette

The purples of Sigma Creme de Couture Pressed Shadow Palette

Violet Whip is described as a milky, cool lavender. It is a pale, washed-out lilac with a matte finish. Soft and smooth to the touch, it has a slightly chalky and uneven texture on the first application which can simply be straightened out with a wee bit more product layered on top. Easily blendable on the lids, this shade is also ideal for ombré eye makeup looks.

Lavender Honey is described as a pink-violet pop. It is a muted warm-toned purple with a matte finish. It has a rich, semi-opaque colour payoff which can easily be built up to full coverage. It applies moderately well with no fallout during application. Due to its overall drier texture, there would be some difficulties in blending out the edges. As with most purple or pink pigments, Lavender Honey stains and is therefore unsuitable to use as an eye shadow (even though it posed minimal to no issues to me).

Cassis is described as a striking, royal purple. It is a cool-toned purple with a matte finish and an intense colour payoff. This shade applies smooth but somewhat uneven, resulting to a slightly chalky texture that did not blend very well on the lid. And when it does to a little extent, the eye shadow loses its intensity. It is almost impossible to diffuse it without turning it into a patchy fuchsia. Likewise, this can and will stain – it took me a couple of separate washes to remove this entirely from my lid!

Elderberry is accurately described as a deep, smokey purple with a matte finish. Contrary to what is seen in the pan, this shade goes on sheer in one layer. Furthermore, despite its smooth texture, it applies noticeably unevenly and patchy. To get somewhat of a decent pigmentation and coverage, you would need to go back and forth between digging your brush into the pan (there won’t be much kickback, thankfully) and filling the lids with this not-so-blendable eye shadow.

Swatch comparison for the purples on the Sigma Creme de Couture Palette

Swatch comparison for the purples on the Sigma Creme de Couture Palette

BLUES

The blues of Sigma Creme de Couture Pressed Shadow Palette

The blues of Sigma Creme de Couture Pressed Shadow Palette

Blueberry Cream is described as a nearly-neon, pastel sky blue. It is a muted blue with warm undertones and a matte finish. Smooth in application, this shade blends fairly well on the lids and leaves no fallout behind. Although the payoff is uneven and sheer in a single layer, it is buildable to a semi-opaque and medium intensity.

Blue Chocolat is described as a pale, calming aqua. It is a pale blue with cool undertones and a matte finish. It has a smooth consistency and a mostly sheer but buildable coverage. The edges also blend moderately well on the lids with no fallout during application.

To the untrained eye, these two blue shades may look identical (perhaps that’s why the pans are placed away from each other on the palette to avoid giving the impression of being repetitive) but if you look closely, Blue Chocolat not only appears to be more pigmented, but it also has a stronger white base to it than Blueberry Cream. Having said that, I still don’t reckon the contrast to be great enough to warrant the inclusion of two similar-looking blues in the palette (they do look the same from afar). As a matter of fact, I feel that it should be replaced with a darker shade of blue for the relaunch of the palette.

GREENS

The greens of Sigma Creme de Couture Pressed Shadow Palette

The greens of Sigma Creme de Couture Pressed Shadow Palette

Almond Pear is described as a captivating, sea green. It is a pale cool-toned cyan with a creamy matte finish. It has a buttery smooth texture and an excellent colour payoff with semi-opaque to full coverage. Highly blendable, it is easy to work on the lids as it doesn’t require much effort to soften any harsh edges. However, it tends to lose its vibrancy (i.e. becomes a lot more muted) as I try to blend it out.

Crème de Menthe is described as a slightly-grey, blue green. It is a muted warm-toned teal with a matte finish. It can be a little messy to use owing to its chalky and slightly powdery texture. But its great pigmentation and near-opaque consistency make up for these shortcomings. Similarly, this shade loses its intensity when blended out.

Citron Pistachio is described as a vivid, citrus green. It is a muted lime green with a velvety soft matte finish. It has a thicker texture coupled with a vibrantly pigmented payoff. The edges blend moderately well without the colour fading much and turning patchy in the process.

Swatch comparison for the blues and greens on the Sigma Creme de Couture Palette

Swatch comparison for the blues and greens on the Sigma Creme de Couture Palette

Having tried the palette myself, I am fully convinced that there are practically no limit to the amount of unique looks you can come up with with it and I have some examples to prove this. As an afterthought, I thought it would also be uber-fun to state what local food these looks might have taken inspiration from to tie in with the theme of this palette 😆 The eye shadows were applied atop a layer of Urban Decay Eye Shadow Primer Potion on my lids with the following brushes: Sigma E60 Large Shader, Sigma E25 Blending, Sigma E30 Pencil and Sephora Multitasker Shadow #63.

LOOK 1: PADDLE POP

Look #1

Look #1

Look #1

Look #1

*cues Paddle Pop theme song*

As a tribute to the ice-cream that made our childhood, I painted my lids paddle pop-coloured rainbow using at least one shade from every colour scheme (apart from the warms which I had inadvertently forgotten about): Passion Fruit, Redberry Rose, Lavender Honey, Elderberry, Blue Chocolat, Almond Pear and Citron Pistachio.

LOOK 2: KATONG LAKSA

Look #2

Look #2

Look #2

Look #2

What local delicacy comes to mind when you think of yellow and orange hues? For me, it has got to be our highly acclaimed laksa. This look recreates the unmistakable bold orange colour of the popular spicy noodle soup found in Singapore and other parts of Southeast Asia (well, it can also take after the colours of Indian curry because we preach racial harmony and embrace diversity, y’all) using mainly the warms: Meyer Lemon, Ginger Pumpkin and Cafe Au Lait. Admittedly, this look seems half-finished without the reds (since there isn’t any reds in the palette), like how a bowl of laksa isn’t complete without the chili paste.

LOOK 3: PURPLE AGAR-AGAR

Look #3

Look #3

Look #3

Look #3

Look #3

Look #3

Inspired by my favourite local jelly-like dessert (the middle one, obviously), this look was created using mainly the purples, as well as a hint of blue and green, in the palette namely: Violet Whip, Lavender Honey, Cassis, Elderberry, Blue Chocolat and Almond Pear. With hindsight, I could also use the greens to recreate the colours of honeydew-flavoured Agar-Agar on my lids 😆

All in all, this is a rather fun palette with a good range of decently pigmented pastel colours at a pretty affordable price though it isn’t practical for everyday use. The eye shadows are neither firm nor stiff in the pan so it was easy for the brush to pick up the product. My only gripe, however, was the the size of the pan – they’re a tad too small for my liking (and my shader brush).

At first glance, the pastel colours may seem intimidating in the pan, but they are actually more forgiving than dark neutrals, which more often than not lead to a smokey mess. As long as you know your colour wheel (or if all else fails, simply go with monochromatic looks like how I did above) and know a thing or two about blending, you can hardly go wrong with pastels. So if you’re game enough to experiment with unconventional shades, don’t hesitate to get this palette!

And yes, for the record, this palette was paid with my own money 😁

What are your thoughts about the Creme de Couture palette? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below or take a quick poll!

Thanks for reading!

The Sigma Beauty Creme de Couture Pressed Color Palette is now available on SigmaBeauty.com. Use code “FIONASEAH” for 10% off all Sigma Beauty orders!

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REVIEW: Urban Decay Naked Skin Glow Cushion Compact Foundation

Hello everyone!

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

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

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

Product display at Sephora

Product display at Sephora

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

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

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

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

Description of each item at the back of the box

Description of each item at the back of the box

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

I. Case

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

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

Urban Decay Naked Skin Glow Cushion Compact Case

Urban Decay Naked Skin Glow Cushion Compact Case

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

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

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

II. Refill

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

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

Shade number printed on the box

Shade number printed on the box

Clear instructions how to refill the product

Clear instructions how to refill the product

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

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

The refill

The refill

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

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

Urban Decay Naked Skin Glow Cushion Compact Refill

Urban Decay Naked Skin Glow Cushion Compact Refill

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

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

Urban Decay Naked Skin Glow Cushion Compact Refill

Urban Decay Naked Skin Glow Cushion Compact Refill

Urban Decay Naked Skin Glow Cushion Compact Refill

Urban Decay Naked Skin Glow Cushion Compact Refill

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

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

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

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

III. Application

Urban Decay Naked Skin Glow Cushion Compact Foundation

Urban Decay Naked Skin Glow Cushion Compact Foundation

Urban Decay Naked Skin Glow Cushion Compact Foundation

Urban Decay Naked Skin Glow Cushion Compact Foundation

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

Notice how the excess gets sucked back in?

Notice how the excess gets sucked back in?

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

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

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

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

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

First swipe (without blending)

First swipe (without blending)

Side-by-side comparison: with and without foundation

Side-by-side comparison: with and without foundation

Before and after application on the same area

Before and after application on the same area

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

After 6 hours of wear (close-up)

After 6 hours of wear (close-up)

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks for reading!

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

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