REVIEW: M·A·C Viva Glam × Sia Lipstick

Hello everyone!

Makeup collections come and go in a matter of weeks, but one M·A·C collection in particular generally stays all year round. The Viva Glam line, which turns over annually with a new range of product(s), has gotten Sia as its spokesperson for the year and I am beyond thrilled – and it’s not just because she has made explaining how my last name is pronounced so much easier.

M·A·C Viva Glam Sia

M·A·C Viva Glam Sia

Having written chart-toppers for Shakira (Try Everything from the movie Zootopia), Rihanna (Diamonds) and Flo Rida (the catchy chorus for Wild Ones), among many others, the Australian singer-songwriter needs no introduction. Since lending her cathartic voice to David Guetta’s Titanium (in which she showcased her songwriting chops), Sia’s popularity has not only skyrocketed, but also disrupted her plans to solely be an all-pop songwriter for hire. Her prominence prompted her to come out of retirement from being a recording artiste to release her sixth and seventh studio albums (yes, she had already made a name for herself as a successful singer prior to this) made up mostly of rejected tracks she had written for other artistes. Proving that one man’s meat is indeed another man’s poison, her comeback spawned a couple of number-one singles including Chandelier, Cheap Thrills and The Greatest which remained as earworms in my head for a long time.

But her success did not come without setbacks. During her early years, Sia struggled with drug and alcohol addiction, was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and had even contemplated suicide while dealing with fame (which intensified when the press found out about her bisexuality). Sobering up eventually, she realised the damaging effects of fame and retreated from public view. Hence, despite being a critically-acclaimed musician now, Sia does not feel comfortable being in the limelight and would obscure her face with giant wigs, use a proxy performer and refuse to promote her material (yet was able to sell millions of copies worldwide!) to avoid a celebrity lifestyle and maintain some privacy, that is, with the exception of her partnership with PETA to help end the animal homelessness crisis.

Sia behind the wig

Sia behind the wig (source)

As an extension of her philanthropy, Sia collaborated with M·A·C on their Viva Glam campaign which finances educational programmes aimed at preventing HIV/AIDS and helping people with the disease. The product – a red lipstick – is a compatible match with the notoriously camera-shy singer who is often seen rocking her signature red pout (which I learnt today is Ruby Woo) under her bob wig.

M·A·C Viva Glam Sia (US$18.50 / S$36)

M·A·C Viva Glam Sia (US$18.50 / S$36)

M·A·C Viva Glam Sia

M·A·C Viva Glam Sia

M·A·C Viva Glam Sia

M·A·C Viva Glam Sia

M·A·C Viva Glam Sia

M·A·C Viva Glam Sia

M·A·C Viva Glam Sia

M·A·C Viva Glam Sia

M·A·C Viva Glam Sia

M·A·C Viva Glam Sia

M·A·C Viva Glam Sia

M·A·C Viva Glam Sia

Consistent with the preceding Viva Glam lipsticks, Sia’s version features her signature emblazoned on the polished black surface of the tube. Described as a bright yellow-red with a matte finish, the lipstick delivers a vivid medium red (supposedly to mimic Ruby Woo, but more hydrating) with a soft sheen and nanoscopic gold flecks only noticeable up close when applied. With just a single swipe, it deposits a full-on lightweight layer of opaque coverage for a bold and sophisticated look without bleeding into the lip lines. It tends to skip and drag a bit across the lips owing to its slightly drying texture (typical of matte lipsticks), but it does not strip moisture off the lips over time. This lipstick is almost transfer-proof as most of it stayed put on my lips for more than 8 hours. When it did wear off, it faded to a pretty stain.

Comparing Viva Glam Sia with other popular red M·A·C lipsticks. Viva Glam Sia isn't too different from Ruby Woo, perhaps just a little warmer and definitely more moisturising

Comparing Viva Glam Sia with other popular red M·A·C lipsticks. Viva Glam Sia isn’t too different from Ruby Woo, perhaps just a little warmer and definitely more moisturising

Ruby Woo has always been one of my favourite red lipsticks but its annoying drying tendencies put me off, so knowing that Viva Glam Sia can be a substitute for it certainly earns it a few extra points. I’ve got to admit, though, that red may not be the most interesting lip colour in this day and age where every beauty brand in the market is constantly trying to differentiate itself with never-seen-before lipstick shades, but it is likely the only colour most people would associate Sia with.

What do you think of the Viva Glam lip colour this year? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below or take a quick poll!

Thanks for reading!

M·A·C Viva Glam × Sia is now available on MACCosmetics.com and in all local M.A.C outlets. Discounts are not applicable to all Viva Glam products as 100% of the proceeds of the sale are donated to the M·A·C AIDS Fund.

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Individualised Acne Treatments at The Clifford Clinic: Hydrafacial + Q-switch Laser + Topical & Oral Therapy

Hello everyone!

LONG READ WITH SOME REVOLTING IMAGES AHEAD BUT THE INFORMATION YOU’LL SEE IS VERY BENEFICIAL FOR ACNE SUFFERERS, I PROMISE

Pardon me for sounding like a broken record, but for the sake of new readers who have only seen spotless (pun intended) pictures of me in my makeup reviews, I need to make a revelation: they were most likely photoshopped to save you from throwing up. “But why? Are you that ashamed of your flaws?” Of course I am, especially when struggling with acne as bad as this:

This is still far from the worst I've experienced

This is still far from the worst I’ve experienced

Having suffered from acne since I was 15 years old, I know firsthand the stigma attached to it. At my lowest point, I dreaded going outdoors because my pimply face would attract looks of disgust. A trip to the mall was never one without pushy salespeople reminding me about my skin condition in a desperate attempt to sell me acne-fighting products. With my confidence at rock bottom, I kept to myself as I was afraid the next conversation would revolve around my face, again. I was apprehensive about standing up for myself in conversations or arguments for fear that my acne would be used against me, and I lost count of the number of times I broke down in front of the mirror – all these aggravated by the fact that I’ve been called “pimple girl” or “mo peng” (Hokkien for pockmarked face) for the most part of my secondary school life.

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, acne vulgaris – or commonly known as acne – is almost like an epidemic which plagues about 85 percent of teens in each generation. Depending on your luck, the condition may persist for only a year or two, or when you eventually grow out of it. But unfortunate souls like myself have to deal with it for the decades because literally nothing worked to cure it. Some topical products did help to subside a few existing cysts, but not without allowing new ones to form. Thus for 13 years, my face was constantly riddled with angry pimples and scars which no amount of makeup was able to conceal due to their dark and bumpy nature.

M Y T H   D E B U N K E D
Contrary to popular beliefs, acne is not caused mainly by poor personal hygiene although cleanliness does play an important role in skin care, and this is coming from me, whose once porcelain-smooth complexion was blemished by agonising pustules and cysts time and time again despite being a clean freak and religiously washing my face twice or thrice each day. So don’t, for God’s sake, tell an acne sufferer that she’s in dire need of a shower. It’s not funny.

The acne eruption became so extensive and severe as I grew older (how ironic, when acne is supposed to get better with age) that I had conceded to the fact that I would have to live with breakouts for the rest of my life..

..until Dr Gerard Ee of The Clifford Clinic came to my rescue. In fact, their acne treatment wasn’t one of my initial considerations because I thought my condition was already under control by the antibiotics given by my previous clinic. But as soon as the course was completed, BAM! The pimples returned in full swing. Seeing how promising their acne treatment is, I decided to take a leap of faith and entrust my face to Dr Ee.

Surprisingly, much as this condition is mostly associated with puberty, adult acne has also been on the rise globally with “more than 50 percent of women in their 20s suffering from acne, and over 35 percent and 26 percent of women in their 30s and 40s respectively” going through the same ordeal. Although the causes for adult acne are debatable, research has shown links to hormones and genetics, not forgetting stress which is prevalent in today’s fast-paced society so you never know when you’ll be affected by this distressing problem.

To gear you up for any unforeseen bumpy ride, below are some acne treatment options I had explored at The Clifford Clinic which you may want to consider trying out in times of crisis. For the handful of you who have been suffering from since adolescence, they might just be the permanent answer to your skin woes.

HydraFacial

HydraFacial® is a medical-grade treatment and the only hydradermabrasian procedure that cleanses, detoxifies, exfoliates, extracts and hydrates all at once to achieve better acne control for all skin types and complexions. A non-ablative facial treatment that uses the patented 4-in-1 Vortex Technology™, it involves a four-step process including Vortex-Exfoliation™, Vortex-Peel™, Vortex-Extraction™ and Vortex-Fusion®, each marked by a different coloured HydroPeel® tip for attaching to the handpiece. But most incredibly, the whole procedure only takes less than 45 minutes (depending on whether you have makeup on) while offering noticeable results with no downtime, thus making it a great lunchtime beauty fix.

HydroPeel® tips

HydroPeel® tips (source)

Before beginning each treatment, my therapist would carefully remove my eye makeup with a couple of drenched cotton pads, and then gently massage cleansing foam into the rest of my face. The makeup removal process is so soothing that I would admittedly wear makeup to the treatment even when there wasn’t any need to just so that I could enjoy those additional minutes of pure luxury 😝 Most of the time, I would descend into a rejuvenating sleep at this point.

Note: all images are unaltered and were taken during the first session unless otherwise stated
Melting away the eye makeup

Melting away the eye makeup

Wiping away foundation

Wiping away foundation

Taadaah! My horrible skin!

Taadaah! My horrible skin!

Cleansing stage now

Cleansing stage now

Love the massage!

Love the massage!

But I have mixed feelings about the therapist touching my neck and collarbone hahaha damn ticklish!

But I have mixed feelings about the therapist touching my neck and collarbone hahaha damn ticklish!

Towel-drying my face before HydraFacial

Towel-drying my face before HydraFacial

(P/S: Kindly pardon my unsightly double chin. These were taken before my first Sygmalift session 🤣)

HydraFacial room

HydraFacial room

HydraFacial machine

HydraFacial machine

The treatment starts off with cleansing and exfoliation using Activ-4™ serum – a combination of Lactic Acid and Glucosamine – to resurface the skin and create a clean canvas. Acid peel is then performed using the GlySal™ solution (7.5% Glycolic Acid and 2% Salicylic Acid Peel) in tandem with Vortex-Fusion® technology to slough off dead skin cells before extraction is painlessly carried out with a vortex suction nozzle (instead of squeezing – ouch!) to draw impurities out of the pores. As a finishing touch to the now-radiant skin, Antiox-6™ – a powerful formula made up of the deeply moisturizing Hyaluronic Acid and detoxifying antioxidants such as Vitamins A, E, White Tea Extract, Horse Chestnut Extract and Rosemary Extract – is applied to replenish the skin’s natural elasticity and hydration. At the same time, it also helped detoxify and protect the skin from environmental free radicals. ˢᵒᵘʳᶜᵉ The therapist then concludes the treatment with a therapeutic massage on the face and neck area.

HydraFacial (Extraction)

HydraFacial (Extraction)

Sucking out more junk from areas with clogged pores..

Sucking out more junk from areas with clogged pores..

And my zits.. horrible, horrible zits..

And my zits.. horrible, horrible zits..

Absolutely pain-free!

Absolutely pain-free!

More massage!

More massage!

Time for mask! This step was specially incorporated into the session to suit my skin, so be sure to ask for it (additional charges apply) if you're keen!

Time for mask! This step was specially incorporated into the session to suit my skin, so be sure to ask for it (additional charges apply) if you’re keen!

One more snap before I doze off..

One more snap before I doze off..

Mask removal, and a little bit of massage

Mask removal, and a little bit of massage 😍

Post-HydraFacial!

Post-HydraFacial!

HydraFacial felt vastly different from all the facials I’ve had in the past. Every session was truly a relaxing and indulgent experience and I actually enjoyed every single part of it, even taking the opportunity to catch forty winks after a long day’s work which wouldn’t be possible with traditional facials. Unlike traditional facials that punish horrible skin with an excruciating extraction process which often leaves the face looking terribly blotchy at the end (also why I dreaded facials – my face always seemed worse than before so I often wondered why people pay to torture themselves), Hydrafacial manages to achieve similar effects (i.e. immediate reduction of redness and inflammation) without putting the person through sheer hell. In fact, Dr Ee does not advocate the use of comedone extractor or any form of squeezing for the main reason that these old-school techniques can potentially lead to scarring.

Psst.. first-time customers get to enjoy HydraFacial at an introductory rate! Find out more by calling The Clifford Clinic at 65322400 or through WhatsApp at 83186332.

According to the clinic, between 5 to 10 sessions are needed to clear up the whole face but as always, results vary from person to person. Much as I take delight in getting my face pampered, Hydrafacial alone did not come close to improving my condition which I suspected had been due to inner factors. So while it helped reduce clogged and congested pores to some extent after each session, it didn’t take long for them to revert to their original state *sigh* But instead of stopping Hydrafacial altogether, Dr Ee suggested I do it in conjunction with other treatments.

Can I interest you with pictures taken during my second HydraFacial session?

Can I interest you with pictures taken during my second HydraFacial session?

After the session. LOOK AT MY FACE.

After the session. LOOK AT MY FACE.

Right side

Right side

Left side

Left side

Topical & Oral Therapy

For optimal results, proper at-home care in between visits is imperative – that’s why Dr Ee prescribed a series of topical products to me to ensure that oil production was regulated even when I wasn’t in the clinic, and hopefully treat my acne too. The first set of products ranged from face cleanser to moisturiser and acne cream. But prior experience and more than a decade of trying my luck with topical products told me that they weren’t going to miraculously pull the plug on acne, so I requested for oral antibiotics to kinda like nip things in the bud.

First set of topical products from The Clifford Clinic

First set of topical products from The Clifford Clinic

Hence, apart from the clinic’s self-formulated Balancing Facial WashBalancing Facial Cream (a really light moisturiser which restores the levels of missing free fatty acids, namely linoleic and linolenic acid, without the excessive oiliness), and Stieva-A Cream (a tretinoin cream which stops acne growth by keeping skin pores clear and making skin less oily), I was also given a month’s dosage of green capsules called Doxycycline which supposedly target and kill the acne-causing bacteria in the pores while minimising any inflammation of the skin. True enough, my face started clearing up tremendously within a few days of taking the medication (although my skin did become flaky around the chin area), giving me the confidence of going makeup-free at work. I had found my cure – or so I thought.

On Doxycycline

On Doxycycline

Sadly, the effects were short-lived. Soon after completing the course, my pimples returned with a vengeance, causing daily makeup application to be ever more challenging and time-consuming on the bumpy surface. Doxycycline was then replaced with Ermycin, another antibiotics that prevents excessive oiliness of the skin. This was supplemented with Epiduo Gel, an antibiotic-free topical acne treatment with a fixed dose combination of 0.1% adapalene and 2.5% benzoyl peroxide and a proven track record of being highly effective on acne. But likewise, the condition was suppressed only right until the very last pill. And to make matters worse, my face reacted unusually sensitively (allergy reaction?) to the benzoyl peroxide in the cream despite the low concentration and swelled like a puffer fish. Worried that it would affect my day-to-day activities (it was my busiest week of the month), I paid an emergency visit to Dr Ee the following operating day and was given a soothing cream and some medication to calm the swelling (which thankfully went down in a week).

Epiduo day 2, one day before it officially turned me into a puffer fish

Epiduo day 2, one day before it officially turned me into a puffer fish

My face was starting to itch quite badly

My face was starting to itch quite badly

AND BOOM. My face turned crusty, warm and itchier. Furthermore, I couldn't take leave from work because I had an important presentation on that day! 😭

AND BOOM. My face turned crusty, warm and itchier. Furthermore, I couldn’t take leave from work because I had an important presentation on that day! 😭

With almost every option exhausted, Dr Ee persuaded me to try Oratane, a controversial oral medication for severe acne conditions known as isotretinoin which I had been resisting because of the scores of side effects it brings about such as extreme dryness of the skin and birth defects if a woman takes it during pregnancy, coupled with the fear that my acne would flare up even more after the course (this is a misconception, by the way). Oratane is an incredibly potent medication which works by cutting down the amount of oily substances (sebum) made by glands in the skin, and if this turned out to be ineffective as well, Dr Ee would have to resort to the AGNES treatment, which involves a downtime (not advisable for my job which long sick leaves are frowned upon) and high pain tolerance.

Determined to put an end to my nightmare, I relented and started with a low dose of Oratane. In the first week, the unforeseen happened and my acne actually got worse. At that point in time, I felt kinda angry with Dr Ee for his “ill-advised” recommendation and was this close to quitting. But not wanting to leave a useless drug lying around, I decided to press on and complete the course.

One after another, the cystic pimples on my face shrunk and faded away as the days went by, leaving a baby-smooth complexion that was more glowing and flawless than before. Amazingly, I could even wear foundation for the whole day in humid Singapore and not spot a single trace of greasiness on my face! And for the first time in 13 years, people complimented my skin! But I didn’t want to keep my hopes too high only to be knocked down again by another massive breakout after the last pill so I waited..

After 10 hours, my makeup still looked the same as when it was first applied. Sorry for the lips.. couldn't control myself from picking them

After 10 hours, my makeup still looked the same as when it was first applied. Sorry for the lips.. couldn’t control myself from picking them 😭

And waited..

I am in love with my new skin

I am in love with my new skin

AND STILL NO NEW ZITS AFTER TWO WEEKS (and counting, even with a diet of fried food and late nights 😂)? Goddammit, this thing actually works! 

Excuse my French, but Oratane is the shit and I am kicking myself for not taking it earlier – it could’ve saved me from all the agony and self-loathing. My skin has never been better even though understandably, I have been getting itchy rashes all over my body. On top of that, my lips have also been chapping like crazy (arm yourselves with tons of lip balm!) and I have to refrain from using matte lipsticks. But sheesh, what’s chapped lips compared to a decade of acne-ridden skin? Lipsticks can wait 😂

However, due to its possible complications, Oratane is only available on prescription only and you’d have to sign a consent form before it is dispensed to you. For more information about Oratane and the risks involved, here is one useful link.

Q-switch Laser

So, I have finally found a solution to my acne. Now what? The truth is, only half the battle is won. Those pesky pimples left behind a strewn of irate scars to remind me that they were never going to be exterminated.

My acne marks

My acne marks 😡

Thirteen years ago, they would have gotten their way. But not anymore. To eliminate acne and its remnants once and for all, Dr Ee recommended Q-switch laser, a no-downtime method for pigment removal (e.g. hyperpigmentation, freckles, melasma) which involves emitting short pulses of high-energy laser light towards the affected area to break down the pigment molecules into smaller fragments. The laser energy is cleared away naturally by the body’s lymphatic system upon being absorbed by the skin, making it safe with no side effects. Moreover, because this treatment only requires 10 to 15 minutes, it is typically done during lunchtime and after which, patients can expect to resume their normal activities.

SCARS BE GONE!

SCARS BE GONE!

Q-switch laser

Q-switch laser

Post-laser. Eyes turned red from the sudden change in lighting haha

Post-laser. Eyes turned red from the sudden change in lighting haha

A single session is capable of lightening or removing 70 to 100% of acne scars. In my case, probably 75% of my scars were visibly lighter than before while the more stubborn ones took about three sessions to be completely gotten rid of.  In addition, this treatment is also an excellent preventive measure against acne as it eradicates the sebaceous glands and removes the bacteria that causes pimples and acne. For pre-existing acne, it helps reduce inflammation and minimise pores so the skin is less prone to leaving marks.

But all these benefits are not without some stinging sensation as the procedure is being executed especially during the first few sessions which made my eyes tear behind the protective goggles 😂 Even so, the sting was still tolerable for me and it sorta diminished in intensity with more sessions. After the treatment, your nose will also constantly pick up slight burning smell (to be exact, the smell of fried facial hair) until you wash your face.

Still, these are small change compared to the many more years I would have suffered from acne if I hadn’t gone to The Clifford Clinic.

Skin now // 8 months after first consultation with Dr Ee and 4 months after starting on Oratane. Can't be more thankful to the clinic!

Skin now // 8 months after first consultation with Dr Ee and 4 months after starting on Oratane. Can’t be more thankful to the clinic!

What are some of your experiences with acne and how did you deal with it? Also, let me know in the comments below if this review has helped you!

Thanks for reading!

The Clifford Clinic · 24 Raffles Place #01-03 Clifford Centre Singapore 048621 (Exit A from Raffles Place MRT) · Tel: 6532 2400 / 8318 6332 (WhatsApp) · For more information about the acne treatments offered by The Clifford Clinic, do visit Their website or Like them on Facebook and Instagram.
Treatments were complimentary in exchange for this review but all opinions expressed are my own.

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REVIEW: shu uemura × Yazbukey Lipsticks – Yaz Red (RD1), Coral Dance (NUDY1), Rose Flows (PK2) & Magenta Spell (RD2) + Magic Metallic Lip Liner in Gold WOW

Hello everyone!

Just as we thought the matte lip trend was losing steam, shu uemura offers a timely reminder why colour-rich matte lipsticks are still on-trend in many ways with an expansion (albeit temporary) of its Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte line this spring. This time, it has even roped in the expertise of a familiar name to pimp up the packaging of these new (and not-so-new) additions to make them a little more special.

Yazbukey for shu uemura, Spring 2018

Yazbukey for shu uemura, Spring 2018

Following the tremendous reception to its first collaboration with Yazbukey in 2015, shu uemura has teamed up with the Paris-based accessory and jewelry designer yet again for this first ever lip-focused makeup range – the Mattitude collection – in which a total of 16 lipstick shades comprising 9 new limited editions and 7 existing bestsellers (shades may vary in the U.S.; full list in poll below) would each be accessorised with one of the 4 variations of her iconic “c’est ahh lips” specially designed for this partnership on the packaging.

The display

The display

Sea of lipsticks~

Sea of lipsticks~

Featuring across the 4 colour ranges expressing the 4 different attitudes (Sexy Red, Lovely Nude, Quirky Pink and Edgy Berry) in this collection, the lip motifs are a nod towards Yazbukey’s quirky and kooky sense of style which combines pop references with modern culture and contemporary art. The silicon lip rings*, which can be fitted into the coloured lipstick tube for an added aesthetic appeal (or simply worn on the finger to show the world how much of a lipstick addict you are), instantly transform shu uemura’s signature lipsticks into the most edgy chic statement pieces imaginable.

*Receive one limited edition Yazbukey × shu uemura silicon lip ring with purchase of any 2 pieces of Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte lipsticks at TANGS.com. While stocks last.

To celebrate the release of the Mattitude collection, shu uemura hosted a launch party at Horse’s Mouth Bar for select members of the media. While there, I was able to get a complete swatch of everything, as well as to take home four lipsticks (one from each range) to do a detailed review on. Take a look:

Sexy Reds

Sexy Reds

Swatched: Carmen Bound, Tangerine Bloom (accidentally swatched this twice), Ruby Heart. Not in picture: Yaz Red (scroll down to the review for swatches)

Swatched: Carmen Bound, Tangerine Bloom (accidentally swatched this twice), Ruby Heart. Not in picture: Yaz Red (scroll down to the review for swatches)

Lovely Nudes

Lovely Nudes

Swatched: Coral Dance, Brown is Brown, Choco Crush, Sandy Quartz

Swatched: Coral Dance, Brown is Brown, Choco Crush, Sandy Quartz

Quirky Pinks

Quirky Pinks

Swatched: Rose Flows, Truly Ruby, Cyclamen Sound, Eclair Pink

Swatched: Rose Flows, Truly Ruby, Cyclamen Sound, Eclair Pink

Edgy Berries

Edgy Berries

Swatched: Magenta Spell, Currant Mood, Powder Blue, Grape Jam

Swatched: Magenta Spell, Currant Mood, Powder Blue, Grape Jam

A lil pouch to go along with the lippies!

A lil pouch to go along with the lippies!

Look at zee lip rings!

Look at zee lip rings!

How the lippies look with the lip rings on!

How the lippies look with the lip rings on!

Limited Edition packaging

Limited Edition packaging

Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte

Yaz Red (RD1)

shu uemura × Yazbukey Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte in Yaz Red (S$38 / US$31)

shu uemura × Yazbukey Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte in Yaz Red (S$38 / US$31)

shu uemura × Yazbukey Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte in Yaz Red

shu uemura × Yazbukey Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte in Yaz Red

shu uemura × Yazbukey Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte in Yaz Red

shu uemura × Yazbukey Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte in Yaz Red

shu uemura × Yazbukey Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte in Yaz Red

shu uemura × Yazbukey Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte in Yaz Red

shu uemura × Yazbukey Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte in Yaz Red

shu uemura × Yazbukey Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte in Yaz Red

shu uemura × Yazbukey Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte in Yaz Red

shu uemura × Yazbukey Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte in Yaz Red

From the Sexy Red range, there is Yaz Red, a mid-tone raspberry red (leaning more towards pink) with a flat matte finish. A repromote from the first collaboration with Yazbukey, Yaz Red is both festive and chic, depending on how pigmented you want it to be. When applied with pressure, it seemed slightly bolder and darker at first but gradually lost its intensity and became brighter, though not to the extent of it being neon. This lightweight lipstick adorned the lips with a powdery texture for a feeling of velvety softness while delivering an even, medium to full coverage as it glided on. It did not settle into my lip lines, though, until several hours later.

In terms of its longevity, the colour on the outer edges stayed on through a McSpicy dinner but wore off at the centre of my lips as I had expected. The lipstick didn’t feel drying throughout my 10-hour wear time but it somehow wasn’t the easiest to remove at the end of the day unless I exfoliated my lips.

Yaz Red swatch comparison

Yaz Red swatch comparison

Coral Dance (NUDY1)

shu uemura × Yazbukey Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte in Coral Dance (S$38 / US$31)

shu uemura × Yazbukey Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte in Coral Dance (S$38 / US$31)

shu uemura × Yazbukey Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte in Coral Dance

shu uemura × Yazbukey Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte in Coral Dance

shu uemura × Yazbukey Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte in Coral Dance

shu uemura × Yazbukey Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte in Coral Dance

shu uemura × Yazbukey Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte in Coral Dance

shu uemura × Yazbukey Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte in Coral Dance

shu uemura × Yazbukey Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte in Coral Dance

shu uemura × Yazbukey Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte in Coral Dance

shu uemura × Yazbukey Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte in Coral Dance

shu uemura × Yazbukey Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte in Coral Dance

Coral Dance from the Lovely Nude range appears to be a warm, medium beige with subtle red undertones on the tube, but translates to a bright pink-toned salmon on my lips which I don’t quite fancy. Similarly, it has a flat matte finish which forbids it from having any hint of shimmers. Even so, it does not at all leave a tacky feeling on the lips nor does it zap out moisture from them. The consistency was still so smooth and velvety that it glided on my lips without tugging or pulling. This lipstick provides a nearly opaque payoff in one swipe which was buildable to a full coverage, along with a texture that allows for an even application that stays put for more than 8 hours.

Coral Dance swatch comparison

Coral Dance swatch comparison

Rose Flows (PK2) 

shu uemura × Yazbukey Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte in Rose Flows (S$38 / US$31)

shu uemura × Yazbukey Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte in Rose Flows (S$38 / US$31)

shu uemura × Yazbukey Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte in Rose Flows

shu uemura × Yazbukey Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte in Rose Flows

shu uemura × Yazbukey Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte in Rose Flows

shu uemura × Yazbukey Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte in Rose Flows

shu uemura × Yazbukey Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte in Rose Flows

shu uemura × Yazbukey Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte in Rose Flows

shu uemura × Yazbukey Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte in Rose Flows

shu uemura × Yazbukey Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte in Rose Flows

shu uemura × Yazbukey Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte in Rose Flows

shu uemura × Yazbukey Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte in Rose Flows

Rose Flows, a deep warm pink with a flat matte finish that isn’t too over-the-top for work environment that isn’t too accepting of unconventional makeup looks, nor is it too dark that it would make thin lips appear smaller.

Intensely pigmented with an evenly soft consistency that sits so ever comfortably on the lips alongside a texture that impeccably conceals any imperfections (as it attempted to fill the lines instead of caking around them), it is not difficult to understand how this shade surfaced as my top pick for an effortless early morning pick-me-up. It doesn’t take a lot out of me to get a prominent colour on my lips as all it requires is one firm swipe. This shade wore well on me when I test-drove it for about 6 hours before fading evenly to a muted rosy stain and is neither drying nor hydrating.

Magenta Spell (RD2)

shu uemura × Yazbukey Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte in Magenta Spell (S$38 / US$31)

shu uemura × Yazbukey Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte in Magenta Spell (S$38 / US$31)

shu uemura × Yazbukey Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte in Magenta Spell

shu uemura × Yazbukey Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte in Magenta Spell

shu uemura × Yazbukey Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte in Magenta Spell

shu uemura × Yazbukey Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte in Magenta Spell

shu uemura × Yazbukey Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte in Magenta Spell

shu uemura × Yazbukey Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte in Magenta Spell

shu uemura × Yazbukey Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte in Magenta Spell

shu uemura × Yazbukey Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte in Magenta Spell

shu uemura × Yazbukey Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte in Magenta Spell

shu uemura × Yazbukey Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte in Magenta Spell

Representing the final colour range Edgy Berry is Magenta Spell which takes the form of a promising flat-matte warm burgundy (leaning more towards brick red) but lets down with its uneven and smidgen streaky finish on the initial coat, partly because it also tends to skip during application. Then, as I tried building up the opacity of the lipstick, it became noticeably patchier whereby areas that had received more product becoming a lot darker than those that didn’t. Although, to be honest, the payoff wasn’t the worst I had seen (I’ve also had my fair share of disappointing M·A·C purchases), I found it to be rather unacceptable given the high standards on which shu uemura prides itself.

But to be fair, the unsatisfactory texture is too minor a flaw to render this lipstick an F grade considering that there are worse offenders in the market than it is. Discounting the fact that application could have been better, Magenta Spell does have its good points, too. For a start, it has the same non-sticky powdery smooth texture and is as long-lasting as the other shades. Somehow, it also feels comparatively more hydrating on the lips.

Magenta Spell swatch comparison

Magenta Spell swatch comparison

Magic Metallic Lip Liner

From S Curler to star-shaped stamp, shu uemura never fails to surprise us with interesting novelties. This year, the newest innovation from shu uemura features another line of lip products (sadly, also limited edition) that enable you to add a fun and artistic twist to your lip contour, or in this case your matte lips. Make a lip statement that will truly turn heads simply by applying metallic lines with any of the four Magic Metallic Lip Liner shades for a contrasting finish against the matte background.

Magic Metallic Lip Liners

Magic Metallic Lip Liners

Swatched: Gun Metal - BANG, Pink - YEAH, Bronze - OHH, Gold - WOW

Swatched: Gun Metal – BANG, Pink – YEAH, Bronze – OHH, Gold – WOW

Gold – WOW

shu uemura × Yazbukey Magic Metallic Lip Liner in Gold-WOW (S$38 / US$30)

shu uemura × Yazbukey Magic Metallic Lip Liner in Gold-WOW (S$38 / US$30)

shu uemura × Yazbukey Magic Metallic Lip Liner in Gold-WOW

shu uemura × Yazbukey Magic Metallic Lip Liner in Gold-WOW

shu uemura × Yazbukey Magic Metallic Lip Liner in Gold-WOW

shu uemura × Yazbukey Magic Metallic Lip Liner in Gold-WOW

shu uemura × Yazbukey Magic Metallic Lip Liner in Gold-WOW

shu uemura × Yazbukey Magic Metallic Lip Liner in Gold-WOW

shu uemura × Yazbukey Magic Metallic Lip Liner in Gold-WOW

shu uemura × Yazbukey Magic Metallic Lip Liner in Gold-WOW

shu uemura × Yazbukey Magic Metallic Lip Liner in Gold-WOW

shu uemura × Yazbukey Magic Metallic Lip Liner in Gold-WOW

shu uemura × Yazbukey Magic Metallic Lip Liner in Gold-WOW

shu uemura × Yazbukey Magic Metallic Lip Liner in Gold-WOW

shu uemura × Yazbukey Magic Metallic Lip Liner in Gold-WOW

shu uemura × Yazbukey Magic Metallic Lip Liner in Gold-WOW

Unlike most traditional metallic liquid lipsticks, these lip liners have way thicker consistency with an exceptionally fast dry-down rate, hence preventing them from bleeding or dissolving into the product beneath them. The finish of the liner becomes flat matte once it dries with no hint of tackiness. The pigment of my gold liner is incredible and filled with densely packed high-shine gold shimmers, so much so that for a split moment, I actually had the suspicion that this was the same substance used to foil lettering. But it’s obviously not because it can be removed entirely with regular water (so only apply on the outer edges of the lips if you want it to last through meals).

Instead of a doe-foot applicator, these liners are applied using the brush applicator (similar to that of nail polish) attached to the cap. It is dense and stiff enough to allow easy manoeuvering along the outline of the lips. Embellishing lips had never been so much fun 🤩

Took the liberty to zhng some more hahaha

Took the liberty to zhng some more hahaha

Watch out, M·A·C: these matte lipsticks will be giving you a run for your money! Through the Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte line, shu uemura proves that it is absolutely possible to create non-drying, true matte lipsticks without compromising on the quality. In fact, what I find most admirable about the brand is that they actually delivered what they promised. Just how many times have you encountered lipsticks that claimed to be matte but turned out to be anything but that? Ever seen or run your finger over matte countertops? These matte lipsticks by shu uemura look and feel exactly like them – they are smooth to the touch and don’t reflect light. shu uemura is the real deal.

But regardless of the brand of the lipstick, the same ol’ rule applies: exfoliate before application as these lipsticks won’t show their potential on rough, flaky surface. And if possible, apply with a brush because as you might have noticed, the lipsticks have the tendency to ball up on the lips.

shu uemura, to me, has always been the underdog in the global beauty market that hardly gets any acknowledgement for their quality and performance. Despite the cutting-edge and superior formula the brands constantly puts out, it has never (not that I know of) ranked on international beauty charts which more often than not are dominated by Western beauty giants. Perhaps, it’s about time shu uemura gets the recognition it deserves. What do you think?

Thanks for reading!

shu uemura × Yazbukey launches islandwide from 1 May 2018. It is also available online through TANGS.com and Metro.com.sg. in Singapore and shuuemura-USA.com for U.S. residents.

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HIFU Sygmalift at The Clifford Clinic: Non-Invasive Facelift for a V-Line Face

Hello everyone!

Face shape is pretty much a make-or-break factor to a new look or hairstyle. Having naturally bestowed with one that is globally adored (for which I thank my Dad), my V-shape visage – characterised by a small and slim oval face narrowing down to a sharp chin and a refined jawline like a melon seed (how the Chinese descriptive term for this face shape – 瓜子脸 – is derived) – has always been on the receiving end of compliments because it is perceived to impart a sculpted and youthful appearance while enhancing facial features. In the eyes of the Koreans and Chinese, a V-line face is also a mark of feminine beauty.

But like everyone knows, nothing is eternal. As the face undergoes the ageing process, it begins to lose structure and elasticity, and slowly becomes an inverted V with a droopy jowl area and a broader lower face. Contrary to popular beliefs, these unwelcome changes can take place as early as in our 20s – or about 25 in my case as evident from my growing double chin – and are often exacerbated by late nights and an unhealthy diet, no thanks to our poor work ethics. If this were the 20th century, the loss of volume in the face would be irrevocable and only get worse as the years go by. But luckily for us, the advancement of technology in recent years has made it possible to reverse these effects brought about by ageing and, what’s more, even alter the appearance of the face by creating a more pronounced cheekbone and chin – all administered by professionals and without the need to go under the knife!

Granted, there may be over-the-counter products that promise similar results but in terms of efficacy, safety and speed, nothing honestly comes close to Sygmalift – a non-surgical, painless process that has risen in popularity among those not ready to deal with the risks of a nip and tuck. It uses combination therapy of High Intensity Focal Ultrasound (HIFU) for facial remodelling and lifting, and Cold Laser 635 nm for bio-stimulation and enhancing skin glow. Not only does it yield long-term results without the downtime, it is also relatively quicker (about an hour) and more affordable than traditional facelift procedures that can amount to thousands of dollars.

The Clifford Clinic

The Clifford Clinic

The Clifford Clinic

The Clifford Clinic

One of the pioneer aesthetics clinics to offer this newest and most advanced HIFU technology in Singapore is The Clifford Clinic where I was invited by Dr Gerard Ee to experience this wonder first-hand to hopefully address my anti-ageing woes. As opposed to traditional HIFUs which penetrate at precise depths in the skin with very focused large beams and thereby causing a lot of discomfort and pain during treatment, HIFU Sygmalift uses fractionated beams that enable them to painlessly bypass the surface of the skin and penetrate at very precise depths to stimulate and remodel collagen without the need for painkillers or application of numbing cream.

HIFU Sygmalift machine

HIFU Sygmalift machine

Before undergoing Sygmalift. This was the state of my face in November 2017 - so horribly sad! So apart from Sygmalift, Dr Ee also recommended a series of acne treatments for me to try and these experiences will be covered in my next post!

Before undergoing Sygmalift. This was the state of my face in November 2017 – so horribly sad! So apart from Sygmalift, Dr Ee also recommended a series of acne treatments for me to try and these experiences will be covered in my next post!

Preparing to receive the therapy

Preparing to receive the therapy

Let's get started!

Let’s get started!

Suitable and safe for all ages and skin types, this treatment is perfect for facial rejuvenation as well as for saggy cheeks, crow’s feet, jowl and laugh lines reduction. Depending on your age and skin condition, it is recommended to be done once a week over a span of 3 to 6 weeks. Admittedly, my skin hasn’t quite reached a state of crisis so intensive care wasn’t necessary for me. Thus, I was only required to undergo 2 sessions of Sygmalift nearly 3 weeks apart. Results of skin tightening and lifting can be observed progressively within 40 days and are expected to last up to 12 months. In fact, there was already noticeable difference during my first session which followed after my Hydrafacial (but that’s another story and shall be told another time 😉).

From the chin

From the chin

To the jawline

To the jawline

And then to the cheekbone

And then to the cheekbone

Notice that my face is slightly lifted on the right now?

Notice that my face is slightly lifted on the right now?

Both times, my makeup would have been entirely removed by the therapist performing the Hydrafacial on me prior to the Sygmalift procedure (otherwise, I’d have to remove it myself), so there was always a sparkling clean surface to work on. Upon applying a layer of cool gel all over my face (as a conductor for the beams to penetrate better into the skin as well as to reduce friction), the therapist firmly pressed the handheld device down onto one side of my jawline (it may take awhile to get used to the pressure), slowly and smoothly sliding her way up to the cheekbone. The whole process involved repeating the same set of steps at one targeted area several times before proceeding to the next, and because it was so therapeutic, I tried very hard to fight off my drowsiness in the middle of the treatment just so that I could keep tabs on what was happening. But my perseverance level plummeted by the second session and I subsequently slept through the next 😂

Moving on to the left side!

Moving on to the left side!

From this picture, you can tell roughly how much pressure is exerted onto my face

From this picture, you can tell roughly how much pressure is exerted onto my face

Done! My face felt a little swollen after the procedure but it was just temporary

Done! My face felt a little swollen after the procedure but it was just temporary

The treatment comprises two parts – the first being the focal ultrasound which helps reduce the fat and lift the muscle while the second the laser to stimulate collagen production and tightening. The latter would require me to wear laser-protective goggles and put my ability to take pictures without a sight to the test 😂

Wiping off the cool gel in preparation for the next part of Sygmalift

Wiping off the cool gel in preparation for the next part of Sygmalift

Putting on the safety goggles...

Putting on the safety goggles…

Part 2 begins now!

Part 2 begins now!

Post-Sygmalift

Post-Sygmalift

So, did I fare well? LOL.

On that day I underwent my final session, I had my passport photo taken and was pleasantly surprised at how much sharper my chin and jawline had become as compared to how I looked previously in 2012! But considering that I have also started frequenting the gym and engaging in more intense exercises, I must say that my weight loss does play a part in reducing the chubbiness of my face as well.

November 2017 (left) and 2012

November 2017 (left) and 2012

As an added bonus, here's me throughout the years XD

As an added bonus, here’s me throughout the years XD

Although no downtime is associated with this treatment, there is still bound to be some sort of aching along the jawline from the continuous pressure of the therapist on the device. But the feeling was mild enough to be ignored without causing any inconvenience and it generally subsided by the next day, leaving no signs of bruising.

For the most part, Sygmalift is relaxing and pain-free, and I would recommend it to those in dire need for a “facelift” but have low pain threshold. It is also great for those who do not have the luxury of taking long leaves because effects are (almost) instant and does not require any time to heal.

What do you think about Sygmalift? Let me know your views or experience in the comments below!

Do stay tuned to find out how, with the help or The Clifford Clinic, I successfully got rid of my acne. Thanks for reading!

The Clifford Clinic · 24 Raffles Place #01-03 Clifford Centre Singapore 048621 (Exit A from Raffles Place MRT) · Tel: 6532 2400 / 8318 6332 (WhatsApp) · For more information about HIFU Sygmalift, do visit Their website or Like them on Facebook and Instagram.
Treatment was complimentary in exchange for this review but all opinions expressed are my own.

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REVIEW: L’Oreal × Balmain Lipsticks – Legend, Power, Rebellion, Liberation, Confidence, Confession, Fever, Balmain Instinct & Glamazone

Hello everyone!

In possibly the most bizarre (or rather, mismatched) beauty partnership in the history of celebrity makeup collaborations, drugstore brand L’Oreal Paris joined forces with high-fashion French label Balmain to create a range of 12 exclusive couture matte shades (Legend, Power, Rebellion, Freedom, Liberation, Domination, Confidence, Confession, Fever, Urban Safari, Balmain Instinct & Glamazone) designed under the creative direction of Olivier Rousteing (the man with those unbelievably high cheekbones in the promotional picture below) himself.

L’Oreal Paris × Balmain for Winter 2018

L’Oreal Paris × Balmain for Winter 2018

Drawing inspiration from the diverse ethnicity of the 12 supermodels fronting the campaign, the revamped Color Riche Moist collection is divided into three colour themes to represent the three tribes of L’Oréal Paris × Balmain Paris femininity – Glamazone (green), Couture (black), and Rock (blue). They are formulated with pure pigments and camellia oil and were made available for preorder on U.S. online retailers Ulta and Barneys New York (where I bought mine using ComGateWay’s BuyForMe service) last October, and subsequently rolled out in stores (Singapore included) in January. Judging from the almost-empty racks in Watsons within the first month of launch, I reckon this collection had a remarkable reception.

L’Oreal Paris × Balmain lipstick packaging

L’Oreal Paris × Balmain lipstick packaging

Each lipstick is housed in premium packaging inspired by precious gemstones (albeit not as lavish-looking) bearing the iconic logo of the Balmain. Prices, although significantly higher than those in the regular line, are nevertheless kept relatively affordable despite the prestige name attached to it. So if you have been dreaming to own an authentic designer piece without taking out a mortgage, this is the opportunity you have been waiting for!

Barneys New York decides to ruin the aesthetics of the packaging further by sticking on an ugly price tag..

Barneys New York decides to ruin the aesthetics of the packaging further by sticking on an ugly price tag..

And it also leaves a residue upon removal :

And it also leaves a residue upon removal :\

Since this collection has already been out for awhile, many of the shades would’ve been sold out by now in Singapore so pardon me for the delay in posting this review. This was supposed to be completed before the new year but life somehow got in the way (and someone has got to pay the bills, y’know 😕 #life). That said, many of the shades are still pretty much available on Robinsons Singapore for a steal. Otherwise, you can still snag them all on Barneys New York through ComGateWay’s BuyForMe service if you don’t have a U.S. credit card.

My ComGateWay’s BuyForMe cost breakdown (FYI)

Cost of lipsticks: US$14 × 9 = US$126
BuyForMe service charge (5%): US$6.30
PRIME Shipping (estimated as cost was for multiple parcels): US$15
Total: US$147.3

Estimated cost of each lipstick: US$16.37 (≈S$23) or less after discounts

* STILL CHEAPER THAN IN SINGAPORE 🤩 *

Being one of the first cosmetics brands I was introduced to when I transcended into the makeup realm in my teens, L’Oreal surely has an element of nostalgia associated with it. Hence, talking about it certainly feels like a major throwback. Years after making the switch from drugstore to higher-end products, things have turned full circle now that NINE L’Oreal × Balmain lipsticks (through careful consideration – I would’ve gotten all if my bank account permitted) have earned a spot in my stash!

My L’Oreal Paris × Balmain lipstick haul!

My L’Oreal Paris × Balmain lipstick haul!

Swatches at a glance

Swatches at a glance

Uncapping the lipsticks one by one, what struck me was the unmistakable smell that wafted from the bullet (which the online beauty community had warned about) – a whiff that will either wrinkle your nose or make you huff it like puppy breath. For me, it was both, or rather a gradual transition from pleasant to kinda revolting. What I initially thought was an artificial-but-still-bearable sweet floral scent morphed into a reminiscent of headache-inducing cheap perfume peppered with stench of sweat (or what many would describe as old lady perfume) after some time, and it was the same for the rest of the lipsticks in this post. Fortunately, the smell did not last long on the lips but it certainly made me more hesitant to wear them.

Rock series

Legend

L’Oreal Paris × Balmain lipstick in Legend (US$14 / S$28)

L’Oreal Paris × Balmain lipstick in Legend (US$14 / S$28)

L’Oreal Paris × Balmain lipstick in Legend

L’Oreal Paris × Balmain lipstick in Legend

L’Oreal Paris × Balmain lipstick in Legend

L’Oreal Paris × Balmain lipstick in Legend

L’Oreal Paris × Balmain lipstick in Legend

L’Oreal Paris × Balmain lipstick in Legend

L’Oreal Paris × Balmain lipstick in Legend

L’Oreal Paris × Balmain lipstick in Legend

L’Oreal Paris × Balmain lipstick in Legend

L’Oreal Paris × Balmain lipstick in Legend

Legend is described as a dark brown with a matte finish. This reddish ash brown tugs and skips slightly on the lips and lends a somewhat streaky application with a medium but buildable (to some extent) coverage. The amount of pigment deposited isn’t as intense as most mattes but it’s still passable. It provides minimal shine and does not leave a tacky surface nor settle into my lip lines. The texture, however, feels drying although it does not appear so.

Power

L’Oreal Paris × Balmain lipstick in Power (US$14 / S$28)

L’Oreal Paris × Balmain lipstick in Power (US$14 / S$28)

L’Oreal Paris × Balmain lipstick in Power

L’Oreal Paris × Balmain lipstick in Power

L’Oreal Paris × Balmain lipstick in Power

L’Oreal Paris × Balmain lipstick in Power

L’Oreal Paris × Balmain lipstick in Power

L’Oreal Paris × Balmain lipstick in Power

L’Oreal Paris × Balmain lipstick in Power

L’Oreal Paris × Balmain lipstick in Power

L’Oreal Paris × Balmain lipstick in Power

L’Oreal Paris × Balmain lipstick in Power

Power is described as a red brown with a matte finish. A cool-toned brown when swatched on my hand, the lipstick transforms into a deep rusty brownish burgundy when applied on the lips. It provides medium pigmentation and a semi-sheer coverage which builds up to a more dramatic colour in about three swipes and is neither drying nor hydrating. The consistency is slightly leans more towards satin than matte.

Every additional coat seems to intensify the grainy appearance of the product and accumulate in my lip lines. Furthermore, it also left a texture that resembled dry erase marker grime on my lips, and its streaky and patchy consistency made me look like I had scabs all over my lips even though they were as smooth as baby’s bottoms. Hence, I reckon this would exacerbate any dryness or imperfections on the lips, so exfoliate away! Nevertheless, this shade instantly adds glamour to the face and is suitable for all skin types, especially darker ones.

Rebellion

L’Oreal Paris × Balmain lipstick in Rebellion (US$14 / S$28)

L’Oreal Paris × Balmain lipstick in Rebellion (US$14 / S$28)

L’Oreal Paris × Balmain lipstick in Rebellion

L’Oreal Paris × Balmain lipstick in Rebellion

L’Oreal Paris × Balmain lipstick in Rebellion

L’Oreal Paris × Balmain lipstick in Rebellion

L’Oreal Paris × Balmain lipstick in Rebellion

L’Oreal Paris × Balmain lipstick in Rebellion

L’Oreal Paris × Balmain lipstick in Rebellion

L’Oreal Paris × Balmain lipstick in Rebellion

L’Oreal Paris × Balmain lipstick in Rebellion

L’Oreal Paris × Balmain lipstick in Rebellion

Rebellion is described as a blue with a matte finish. This deep cobalt blue has a dry consistency that causes it to tug and drag during application, thereby giving rise to a slightly uneven and patchy appearance and a weighed-down sensation to the lips. For the same reason, it is also prone to settling in my lip lines.

It has a semi-opaque pigmentation which strangely stays the same even when more layers are built upon it. Hence, what you see on the first swipe would virtually be how it is like at its fullest potential. The slightly tacky texture tends to lift and separate the colour when I press my lips together, leaving very visible gaps at areas that have been touched. So, bring along a pocket mirror and be prepared for frequent touch-ups if you want the colour to remain immaculate throughout the day!

Couture series

Liberation

L’Oreal Paris × Balmain lipstick in Liberation (US$14 / S$28)

L’Oreal Paris × Balmain lipstick in Liberation (US$14 / S$28)

L’Oreal Paris × Balmain lipstick in Liberation

L’Oreal Paris × Balmain lipstick in Liberation

L’Oreal Paris × Balmain lipstick in Liberation

L’Oreal Paris × Balmain lipstick in Liberation

L’Oreal Paris × Balmain lipstick in Liberation

L’Oreal Paris × Balmain lipstick in Liberation

L’Oreal Paris × Balmain lipstick in Liberation

L’Oreal Paris × Balmain lipstick in Liberation

L’Oreal Paris × Balmain lipstick in Liberation

L’Oreal Paris × Balmain lipstick in Liberation

Liberation is described as a dark purple with a matte finish. This beautiful deep cool-toned purple has a consistency similar to that of Rebellion but better to some degree, mainly because it applies more evenly and its patchiness, being only noticeable at a close distance if there aren’t any flaws on the lips for it to throw spotlight on, are more forgiving and can mostly be mended with additional coats of colour. This shade is buildable to full opacity in just three swipes and does not budge as easily as Rebellion. That said, I still couldn’t shake off that drying sensation when I wore it.

Swatch comparison against Rebellion & Liberation

Swatch comparison against Rebellion & Liberation

Confidence

L’Oreal Paris × Balmain lipstick in Confidence (US$14 / S$28)

L’Oreal Paris × Balmain lipstick in Confidence (US$14 / S$28)

L’Oreal Paris × Balmain lipstick in Confidence

L’Oreal Paris × Balmain lipstick in Confidence

L’Oreal Paris × Balmain lipstick in Confidence (virtually invisible)

L’Oreal Paris × Balmain lipstick in Confidence (virtually invisible)

L’Oreal Paris × Balmain lipstick in Confidence

L’Oreal Paris × Balmain lipstick in Confidence

L’Oreal Paris × Balmain lipstick in Confidence

L’Oreal Paris × Balmain lipstick in Confidence

L’Oreal Paris × Balmain lipstick in Confidence

L’Oreal Paris × Balmain lipstick in Confidence

Confidence is described as a metallic rose gold with a matte finish. Probably the most disappointing purchase from this collection, this gold shimmer-infused light-medium peach is hardly pigmented anywhere on my skin. Running the bullet across my lips, I felt as if my lips were undergoing another process of exfoliation. The bullet was dry and uncomfortably grainy, and it coarsely deposited a colour (or lack thereof) that disappeared into the void, leaving just unevenly dispersed glitter – most of which decided to settle into the cracks on my lips and only reveal themselves when the right amount of light hits them (an effect that can also be achieved by any lip gloss – easily and more affordably). People with darker skin tones would have better luck at this shade. But still… I wouldn’t recommend this at all.

To be fair, L’Oreal had advised that this be used as a lip topper but I can foresee it rubbing off the lipstick (unless, of course, it’s a matte liquid lipstick) it is supposed to enhance. So, really, I do not understand the point of this shade.

To add insult to injury, the scent of this particular lipstick is exceptionally unpleasant and pungent, so much so that I actually feel paranoid wearing this for fear that I may inadvertently ingest the harmful chemicals behind this nauseating smell. Regardless, steer clear of this trash!

Confession

L’Oreal Paris × Balmain lipstick in Confession (US$14 / S$28)

L’Oreal Paris × Balmain lipstick in Confession (US$14 / S$28)

L’Oreal Paris × Balmain lipstick in Confession

L’Oreal Paris × Balmain lipstick in Confession

L’Oreal Paris × Balmain lipstick in Confession

L’Oreal Paris × Balmain lipstick in Confession

L’Oreal Paris × Balmain lipstick in Confession

L’Oreal Paris × Balmain lipstick in Confession

L’Oreal Paris × Balmain lipstick in Confession

L’Oreal Paris × Balmain lipstick in Confession

L’Oreal Paris × Balmain lipstick in Confession

L’Oreal Paris × Balmain lipstick in Confession

Confession is described as a peach with a matte finish. One of my favourites from this haul, this warm-toned coral glides moderately smoothly on the lips with minimal tugging and yielded an evenly pigmented and opaque payoff in one stroke without emphasising every single line and crack in the lips.

While the lipstick feels creamy and a notch more moisturising at first, it does eventually wear down to a completely matte texture over a couple of minutes and this causes it to feel somewhat drying and prone to flaking. But I am happy to turn a blind eye to these minor flaws on account of its other merits. This shade stayed on well for nearly four hours before fading to a lighter orange stain.

Glamazone series

Fever

L’Oreal Paris × Balmain lipstick in Fever (US$14 / S$28)

L’Oreal Paris × Balmain lipstick in Fever (US$14 / S$28)

L’Oreal Paris × Balmain lipstick in Fever

L’Oreal Paris × Balmain lipstick in Fever

L’Oreal Paris × Balmain lipstick in Fever

L’Oreal Paris × Balmain lipstick in Fever

L’Oreal Paris × Balmain lipstick in Fever

L’Oreal Paris × Balmain lipstick in Fever

L’Oreal Paris × Balmain lipstick in Fever

L’Oreal Paris × Balmain lipstick in Fever

L’Oreal Paris × Balmain lipstick in Fever

L’Oreal Paris × Balmain lipstick in Fever

Fever is described as a red orange with a matte finish. The most sought-after shade in this collection, this one-of-a-kind muted brown-toned burnt orange sold out unexpectedly in a flash during the pre-order period and again when it was restocked for a brief moment, though it is not difficult to fathom why.

As daunting as it seems, Fever is actually incredibly wearable and complementary on all skin tones, especially olive complexions. Apart from the richly pigmented colour it provides, it applies evenly across the lips and is buildable to a full coverage in a matter of three coats, tops. The pictures above don’t do it justice (and I dare not adjust the colours much because they may appear differently on screens with varying colour resolution), but this hue of orange is really unlike what I’ve owned or seen before. It also has relatively good staying power as I was able to sustain that orange pout for about three hours before it came in contact with grease. The consistency, however, feels slightly heavy and there would be some inevitable tugging and dryness, but this can be alleviated with a little lip balm beneath it.

Swatch comparison against Fever & Confession

Swatch comparison against Fever & Confession

Balmain Instinct

L’Oreal Paris × Balmain lipstick in Balmain Instinct (US$14 / S$28)

L’Oreal Paris × Balmain lipstick in Balmain Instinct (US$14 / S$28)

L’Oreal Paris × Balmain lipstick in Balmain Instinct

L’Oreal Paris × Balmain lipstick in Balmain Instinct

L’Oreal Paris × Balmain lipstick in Balmain Instinct

L’Oreal Paris × Balmain lipstick in Balmain Instinct

L’Oreal Paris × Balmain lipstick in Balmain Instinct

L’Oreal Paris × Balmain lipstick in Balmain Instinct

L’Oreal Paris × Balmain lipstick in Balmain Instinct

L’Oreal Paris × Balmain lipstick in Balmain Instinct

L’Oreal Paris × Balmain lipstick in Balmain Instinct

L’Oreal Paris × Balmain lipstick in Balmain Instinct

Balmain Instinct is described as a green with matte finish. Loaded with fine gold glitter flecks, this olive green is the unusual lipstick colour I never knew I would dig. The green is subtle enough to rock solo or blended with another conventional colour of your choice to spice up the look a bit while the shimmers prevent you from resembling the walking dead.

But these still do not discount the fact that it has a streaky consistency which causes it to accentuate my lip lines. On top of that, this shade fails to deliver in the pigment and texture departments – it takes at least eight coats for the colour to build up substantially (and rubbing off some existing product in the process) and even so still appears sheer and patchy. Judging from how terribly it applies, I reckon it also won’t hold weight in the longevity arena – I can totally imagine it dissipating into the lip lines as the hours go by.

Swatch comparison against Balmain Instinct & Confidence

Swatch comparison against Balmain Instinct & Confidence

Glamazone

L’Oreal Paris × Balmain lipstick in Glamazone (US$14 / S$28)

L’Oreal Paris × Balmain lipstick in Glamazone (US$14 / S$28)

L’Oreal Paris × Balmain lipstick in Glamazone

L’Oreal Paris × Balmain lipstick in Glamazone

L’Oreal Paris × Balmain lipstick in Glamazone

L’Oreal Paris × Balmain lipstick in Glamazone

L’Oreal Paris × Balmain lipstick in Glamazone

L’Oreal Paris × Balmain lipstick in Glamazone

L’Oreal Paris × Balmain lipstick in Glamazone

L’Oreal Paris × Balmain lipstick in Glamazone

L’Oreal Paris × Balmain lipstick in Glamazone

L’Oreal Paris × Balmain lipstick in Glamazone

Glamazone is described as a brown with matte finish. At a glance, this grey-toned brown may seem similar to Legend but this certainly looks duller and patchier in appearance. In addition to that, this shade has a slight glistening sheen and a sheerer coverage which can barely build up. But on the plus side, its lightly creamy and emollient texture enables it to glide across my lips without tugging and settling into my lip lines. It is also noticeably more hydrating and comfortable to wear. Considering that the lipsticks in this collection generally have the tendency to dry my lips out, this is actually a feat!

Swatch comparison against Legend, Glamazone, Power & Balmain Instinct

Swatch comparison against Legend, Glamazone, Power & Balmain Instinct

All in all, this collection is a hit-or-miss, but mostly a hit if we disregard their awful smell. But on a serious note, I find the consistency and pigment yielded by many of the lipsticks pretty much comparable to those from mid-range beauty brands. The payoff of Fever, Liberation and Confession far exceeded my expectations of a drugstore brand, to be honest. And you know how drugstore lipsticks always advertise their lipsticks to be matte but in actual fact are more lustrous than my engagement ring? I am so glad none of these L’Oreal lipsticks turned out that way!

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

Thanks for reading!

L’Oreal × Balmain is now available on Barneys.com (U.S. only) and Robinsons.com.sg and in all local Watsons, Guardian and SASA outlets, as well as major departmental stores.

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REVIEW: M·A·C × Jade Jagger Lipstick in Sunset Pearl & Mineralized Eye Shadow X4 in Golden Shine

Hello everyone!

Each year, M·A·C graces us with collaborations with adored names from popular culture, some having almost no relevance to the beauty world. Before 2017 came to a close, they surprised us with yet another unexpected partnership, although this time with one bearing a last name that would ring a bell even if not acquainted with the Rock ‘n’ Roll scene in the 60s and 70s – all thanks to Maroon 5 and Christina Aguilera.

Notably known as the daughter of Mike Jagger, the lead singer of the legendary rock band Rolling Stones (and also the subject of the song “Moves Like Jagger”), Jade Jagger spent her glamorous childhood surrounded by celebrities including late pop artist Andy Warhol who often babysat her following her parents’ divorce. But in spite of her privileged upbringing, she would then go on to make a name for herself as an esteemed jewellery designer, occasional model and a socialite.

Recognising that jewels and makeup are an essential part of a woman’s ritual when getting dressed, she brought her “gemstone proclivities and free-spirited sensibilities” (while paying tribute to her Rock ‘n’ Roll heritage) to her first collaboration with M·A·C and created a capsule makeup collection of luxurious jewel tones and deep metallics.

Launched last December, the eight-piece collection includes lipsticks (Opal Beach, Sunset Pearl and Rolling Red), eye shadow quads (Burning Nights and Golden Shine) a blush (Moon Shimmer and Perfect Bronze) and highlight (Satin Shimmer) – all of which fall under the brand’s Mineralize Rich range (which was one of Jagger’s top preferences for containing natural pigments) and complete with glitzy yet edgy gold and black packaging to complement her jewellery line.

Take a look at the collection (photographed during the launch here at M·A·C ION Orchard) below:

The display

The display

Swatches for all lipsticks in the M·A·C × Jade Jagger collection

Swatches for all lipsticks in the M·A·C × Jade Jagger collection

Swatches for bronzer and blush in the M·A·C × Jade Jagger collection

Swatches for bronzer and blush in the M·A·C × Jade Jagger collection

Swatches for Burning Lights eye shadow quad (those of Golden Shine will be shown later in the review). I was initially planning to get this but the blue really disappointed me. The colour when swatched was nowhere near the vibrant blue on the palette (it actually looks like grey?) and it had a messy, talc-like consistency. Nope.

Swatches for Burning Lights eye shadow quad (those of Golden Shine will be shown later in the review). I was initially planning to get this but the blue really disappointed me. The colour when swatched was nowhere near the vibrant blue on the palette (it actually looks like grey?) and it had a messy, talc-like consistency. Nope.

As per what is expected of the Mineralize range, this collection features packaging with a magnetic closure and, in the case of the eye shadow, a mirror (which, in my opinion, is too small and set too far into the lid to be practical for my beady, short-sighted eyes) and is significantly pricier than usual because of the nourishing ingredients and technology that go into formulating them.

But on the downside, the steeper price tag has also been a deterrent for me to purchase anything from the Mineralize line, which is why it is hardly talked about here despite me being a considerably fervent supporter of M·A·C. Hence, much as I really liked the Haute Dogs collection, I didn’t feel propelled to buy anything because I couldn’t justify paying almost double the price for what could be found in the regular line. Likewise, when I knew this collaboration was going to be sold under the Mineralize umbrella, I was already prepared to pass on it altogether.

Then came the invitation to the launch event which coincided with the first year anniversary of the opening M·A·C ION Orchard in December. In celebration of the milestone, event attendees were given M·A·C shopping vouchers (among many other freebies) and I gladly spent them on Mineralize Eye Shadow in Golden Shine and Mineralize Rich Lipstick in Sunset Pearl 😆

My picks!

My picks!

Mineralize Eye Shadow X 4: Golden Shine

M·A·C × Jade Jagger Mineralize Eye Shadow X 4 in Golden Shine (US$46 / S$)

M·A·C × Jade Jagger Mineralize Eye Shadow X 4 in Golden Shine (US$46 / S$)

M·A·C × Jade Jagger Mineralize Eye Shadow X 4 in Golden Shine

M·A·C × Jade Jagger Mineralize Eye Shadow X 4 in Golden Shine

The eye shadow quad comes with a protective film over it

The eye shadow quad comes with a protective film over it

M·A·C × Jade Jagger Mineralize Eye Shadow X 4 in Golden Shine

M·A·C × Jade Jagger Mineralize Eye Shadow X 4 in Golden Shine

M·A·C × Jade Jagger Mineralize Eye Shadow X 4 in Golden Shine

M·A·C × Jade Jagger Mineralize Eye Shadow X 4 in Golden Shine

Swatches applied with wet and dry brushes

Swatches applied with wet and dry brushes

A powder formula of refined baked minerals, Golden Shine promises ultra-lightweight coverage in four coordinated warm non-matte shades including a soft champagne gold, rose gold, bright copper and deep reddish brown. According to M·A·C, unlike traditionally pressed shadows, each of the shadows in this palm-size (easy to carry around) palette is moulded into small round terracotta tiles (like little hemispheres) measuring less than 2 cm in diameter and presented à la CHANEL (think Les 4 Ombres palette) which I am not a fan of because it looks rather old-fashioned.

Infused with Mineral-rich Yeast Extract – a Multi-Mineral Complex which purportedly nourishes while providing silky-smooth, buildable coverage, the eye shadows are carefully baked for 24 hours to allow for an exceptionally sheer and light application. M·A·C recommends that they be applied dry for low to medium coverage with a shimmery finish, or wet (with setting spray such as M·A·C Prep + Prime Fix+ instead of water for better results) for more intense coverage and colour. If you intend to use them wet, do make sure you only moisten the brush after dabbing it into the eye shadow to prevent the pan from becoming wet (which can subsequently cause mold!).

Soft champagne gold is a brightened, light-medium gold with yellow undertones and a frosted sheen. When applied dry, the glitter particles are sparse and the texture feels gritty. The payoff is sheer yet easy to blend, making it a great alternative to face highlighter (so you won’t have to make space for a highlight compact in your cosmetics bag!). The shimmers are more well-distributed when wet, and they capture light better to deliver even more radiance. The eye shadow also has greater buildable coverage when used with a dampened brush.

Swatch comparison for soft champagne gold

Swatch comparison for soft champagne gold

Rose gold is a medium reddish brown with a shimmery finish. Its shimmer particles are much more fine with a looser consistency and these factors contribute to its uneven (but buildable) consistency. Thus when applied as is, it falls out. However, the moment the eye shadow interacts with a speck of water, the particles pack densely together and the colour also appears deeper with a visibly opaque payoff. On top of that, application becomes a lot smoother and edges can now be diffused rather easily. For these reasons, I feel this shade performs better when applied with a dampened brush.

Swatch comparison for rose gold

Swatch comparison for rose gold

Bright copper (presumably, because no matter how I look at it, it does not look like copper to me) is a gaudy medium-deep gold with brown undertones and a frosted sheen that has the potential to transform into metallic with more pressure is applied to it. The payoff for this shade is almost identical when dry and wet. In both instances, it delivers a smooth and silky consistency and a highly pigmented and opaque finish with about two layers, coupled with very densely packed particles and a buildable coverage. Perhaps one distinction when applied wet is that the texture tends to stiffen slightly, causing the edges not to blend out very well.

Swatch comparison for bright copper

Swatch comparison for bright copper

Deep reddish brown is a blackened brown with pink shimmers that are thinly dispersed. That said, this shade has noticeably less shimmers that are not as obtrusive as the others. Without moistening, the first few layers give a semi-sheer, soft and blurred finish. But once it gets slightly wet, the edges become more well-defined – which, on the downside, doesn’t allow for easy blending – while greatly intensifying the colour payoff and opacity.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

APPLICATION & SUGGESTED LOOK

For a more accurate depiction of the eye shadows’ payoff in this review, they are used in their unaltered form without any wetting agent to create the suggested look below.

[BEFORE] As always, I primed my lids before applying eye shadow

[BEFORE] As always, I primed my lids before applying eye shadow

Look how small the palette is!

Look how small the palette is!

Rose gold as the base colour

Rose gold as the base colour

Blend it with soft champagne gold to create a little ombré effect towards the brows

Blend it with soft champagne gold to create a little ombré effect towards the brows

Fill the creases with bright copper

Fill the creases with bright copper

Add additional layers of bright copper to make it pop. Make sure to blend it with the rose gold above

Add additional layers of bright copper to make it pop. Make sure to blend it with the rose gold above

Apply bright copper to the waterline

Apply bright copper to the waterline

Complete the look with deep reddish brown to add some depth

Complete the look with deep reddish brown to add some depth

[AFTER] The result

[AFTER] The result

A closer look

A closer look

With eyeliner

With eyeliner

In general, the eye shadows, apply a lot less chalky than expected and they adhere to the lids fairly well even when dry. That said, they have a looser consistency than traditional ones and can generate a bit of a mess as they tend to kick up more product than necessary when I dip my brush into the pans (so I had to keep wiping away the fallout on the palette after every use). Furthermore, being mostly complementary colours, there won’t be much of a dramatic contrast between any of the two neutrals but this also makes it ideal for fail-proof everyday definition.

Aftermath...

Aftermath…

Lipstick: Sunset Pearl

M·A·C × Jade Jagger Mineralize Rich Lipstick in Sunset Pearl (US$25 / S$)

M·A·C × Jade Jagger Mineralize Rich Lipstick in Sunset Pearl (US$25 / S$)

M·A·C × Jade Jagger Mineralize Rich Lipstick in Sunset Pearl

M·A·C × Jade Jagger Mineralize Rich Lipstick in Sunset Pearl

M·A·C × Jade Jagger Mineralize Rich Lipstick in Sunset Pearl

M·A·C × Jade Jagger Mineralize Rich Lipstick in Sunset Pearl

M·A·C × Jade Jagger Mineralize Rich Lipstick in Sunset Pearl

M·A·C × Jade Jagger Mineralize Rich Lipstick in Sunset Pearl

M·A·C × Jade Jagger Mineralize Rich Lipstick in Sunset Pearl

M·A·C × Jade Jagger Mineralize Rich Lipstick in Sunset Pearl

M·A·C × Jade Jagger Mineralize Rich Lipstick in Sunset Pearl

M·A·C × Jade Jagger Mineralize Rich Lipstick in Sunset Pearl

Sunset Pearl is described as a midtone rosey brown in Mineralized finish. A limited edition shade, it is specially formulated to be lightweight with nourishing properties to condition the lips with maximum moisture. This reddish beige glides comfortably on the lips like butter to coat every contour and fine line with semi-sheer coverage. But because it isn’t entirely opaque, it does not provide enough pigment to conceal rough patches substantially and adding additional layers will only amplify their texture even more (as the rough patches will seem a lot darker than other areas). Therefore, it will be advisable to exfoliate the lips before application.

Buildable to a deeper, more opaque colour, this lipstick has emollient and hydrating effect, leaving the lips soft and supple. Since starting on Oratane about a month ago, my lips have been exceptionally prone to chapping and this actually manages to keep my lips from flaking further within the first three hours of wear (until I have my meal, basically). A pretty neutral that is not too light and not too heavy, this shade does a phenomenal job in bringing out the sparkle of the colours layered over the lids using the Golden Shine palette!

Swatch comparison for Sunset Pearl

Swatch comparison for Sunset Pearl

Although the collection is no longer stocked in stores, it is still available on MAC Cosmetics website in very limited quantities (as the last time I checked, the eye shadow quads have been taken down already), so hurry and snatch up your favourites before they are gone for good!

What do you think about this collection? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below or simply take a poll!

Thanks for reading!

M·A·C × Jade Jagger is now available on MACCosmetics.com and was sold in all local M.A.C outlets.

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REVIEW: M·A·C × Patrick Starrr Lipsticks – Patrick Woo, Mamastarrr & She Betta Werrrk

Hello everyone!

The 21st century has brought about several significant changes in the realm of beauty, one of which is how society’s perception of beauty has evolved over time. Because of that, cosmetics giants such as Maybelline and Covergirl are also publicly expanding the boundaries of what is conventionally associated to femininity by including male makeup-wearing models in their advertisements and campaigns. But when it comes to inclusivity, I believe no other brand does it more naturally than M·A·C who had partnered with the likes of Gabriel Zamora in the past. Obviously not new to the ‘boy beauty’ movement, M·A·C decided to join forces with Patrick Starrr to create a series of makeup collections for all ages, races and sexes.

 

Patrick Starrr for M·A·C

Patrick Starrr for M·A·C

Born in the U.S to Filipino parents, Patrick Starrr (whose real name is Patrick Simondac) was training to be a nurse at the university when he found his calling as a makeup artist through his stint at Sephora and M·A·C. Upset that he wasn’t assigned any hours at M·A·C after the holiday season in 2013, Patrick turned to YouTube as a means to maintain his artistry and as an outlet for creative freedom.

Although being one of the few boy beauty gurus at that time helped attract many eyeballs to his videos, it was after the late Talia Joy – a 13-year-old cancer patient who became a YouTube beauty guru and honorary CoverGirl – liked one of his videos that his fame exploded almost overnight, gaining him 20,000 followers in just a month. Since then, his channel has passed the 3 million subscription mark and Patrick himself has gone on to become a full-blown household name in the YouTube community with brands lining up to work with him (and was even given the opportunity to do Kim Kardashian’s makeup!). From Sephora to ABH, it was only a matter of time Patrick teamed up with the OG of collaborations (and the company that fuelled his passion in makeup artistry).

Patrick Starrr for M·A·C

Patrick Starrr for M·A·C

Patrick Starrr for M·A·C

Patrick Starrr for M·A·C

Dropped in the U.S. in December last year and in Singapore early last month, the M·A·C × Patrick Starrr collection (and this is just one part of his year-long project with the brand. Meaning to say, there’s more to come!) boasts a packaging that is nothing short of flamboyant – products are encased in reflective silver material and put in boxes embellished with glitter and metallic foil accents.

It comprises a setting powder which M·A·C members were able to pre-order on their U.S. website, three shades of lip pencil (in Brick, Edge to Edge & Mahogany) and lipglass (in Mamastarrr, Patrick Woo & She Betta Werrrk) with their corresponding lipsticks sold separately, as well as two eye shadow quads (in Glam AF & Goalgetter). But this review will only be focusing on the lipsticks in this collection.

Patrick Woo

M·A·C × Patrick Starrr in Patrick Woo (US$17.50 / S$33)

M·A·C × Patrick Starrr in Patrick Woo (US$17.50 / S$33)

M·A·C × Patrick Starrr in Patrick Woo. The label on the left camouflages into the packaging which makes it very unreadable. Why isn't it printed in black, though?

M·A·C × Patrick Starrr in Patrick Woo. The label on the left camouflages into the packaging which makes it very unreadable. Why isn’t it printed in black, though?

M·A·C × Patrick Starrr in Patrick Woo

M·A·C × Patrick Starrr in Patrick Woo

M·A·C × Patrick Starrr in Patrick Woo

M·A·C × Patrick Starrr in Patrick Woo

M·A·C × Patrick Starrr in Patrick Woo

M·A·C × Patrick Starrr in Patrick Woo

M·A·C × Patrick Starrr in Patrick Woo

M·A·C × Patrick Starrr in Patrick Woo

Patrick Woo is described as a deep yellow-red with Matte finish. Highly pigmented with an opaque coverage, this warm-toned red delivers a soft-matte appearance without accentuating any fine lines and instantly transforms the lips into a bold camera-ready pout.

In comparison to Ruby Woo, this feels a lot more moisturising although a discernible amount of tugging and dragging persists as it goes on my lips. Still, this universally-flattering lipstick allows for an even application in just one stroke and envelopes the lips in a rich and long-wearing timeless colour.

M·A·C × Patrick Starrr lipstick in Patrick Woo swatch comparison

M·A·C × Patrick Starrr lipstick in Patrick Woo swatch comparison

Mamastarrr

M·A·C × Patrick Starrr in Mamastarrr (US$17.50 / S$33)

M·A·C × Patrick Starrr in Mamastarrr (US$17.50 / S$33)

M·A·C × Patrick Starrr in Mamastarrr

M·A·C × Patrick Starrr in Mamastarrr

M·A·C × Patrick Starrr in Mamastarrr

M·A·C × Patrick Starrr in Mamastarrr

M·A·C × Patrick Starrr in Mamastarrr

M·A·C × Patrick Starrr in Mamastarrr

M·A·C × Patrick Starrr in Mamastarrr

M·A·C × Patrick Starrr in Mamastarrr

M·A·C × Patrick Starrr in Mamastarrr

M·A·C × Patrick Starrr in Mamastarrr

Exude a nouveau bohemian vibe with Mamastarrr, an incredibly wearable darkened terracotta which does not draw attention away from your elaborate eye makeup while still enhancing the overall appearance of the face. Described by M·A·C as a reddish brown with Satin finish, it goes on smooth with minimal tugging and skipping to provide full-coverage and an unobtrusive sheen in one swipe.

As gorgeous as it seems, however, it has the tendency to amplify dry patches and settle into lines, making the lips look more wrinkly than usual. That said, it does not strip moisture from the lips and cause them to chap and peel (which happens to me a lot) after several hours of wear. This colour fades to a subtle beige stain after a full meal.

M·A·C × Patrick Starrr lipstick in Mamastarrr swatch comparison

M·A·C × Patrick Starrr lipstick in Mamastarrr swatch comparison

She Betta Werrrk

M·A·C × Patrick Starrr in She Betta Werrrk (US$17.50 / S$33)

M·A·C × Patrick Starrr in She Betta Werrrk (US$17.50 / S$33)

M·A·C × Patrick Starrr in She Betta Werrrk

M·A·C × Patrick Starrr in She Betta Werrrk

M·A·C × Patrick Starrr in She Betta Werrrk

M·A·C × Patrick Starrr in She Betta Werrrk

M·A·C × Patrick Starrr in She Betta Werrrk

M·A·C × Patrick Starrr in She Betta Werrrk

M·A·C × Patrick Starrr in She Betta Werrrk

M·A·C × Patrick Starrr in She Betta Werrrk

M·A·C × Patrick Starrr in She Betta Werrrk

M·A·C × Patrick Starrr in She Betta Werrrk

She Betta Werrrk is described as a soft pink with Matte finish. A better reincarnation of The Pinkprint with only a smidgen of its shine, this cool-toned muted rose is darker and certainly far more superior in terms of longevity, coverage and consistency. It goes on the lips more evenly and is more resistant to transfer.

Having said that, the texture isn’t exactly creamy and pliable – it applies with some tugging and requires a couple of layered coats to achieve full opacity. But the more I run the lipstick over my lips, the more it seems to intensify the appearance of my lip lines. On top of that, this colour is noticeably more drying, so much so that my lips started to flake as the hour went by. This colour is best suited for porcelain complexions in my opinion because it looks kinda odd against my yellow-toned skin.

M·A·C × Patrick Starrr lipstick in She Betta Werrrk swatch comparison (oops, I compared it so much with The Pinkprint and yet I had forgotten to swatch it against it. I will add the comparison here soon!)

M·A·C × Patrick Starrr lipstick in She Betta Werrrk swatch comparison (oops, I compared it so much with The Pinkprint and yet I had forgotten to swatch it against it. I will add the comparison here soon!)

Although it was really thoughtful of Patrick Starrr to have opted for safe shades that would work for most skin tones across the board for this collection, I found the choice of colours a tad too boring and repetitive for my liking (even though they generally apply a lot better than their precedents). Hopefully, we get to see a more diverse selection in his subsequent M·A·C releases.

And seriously, what’s with his obsession with triple Rs, though? 😒

What do you think of the M·A·C × Patrick Starrr collection? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below or take a quick poll!

Thanks for reading!

M·A·C × Patrick Starrr is now available on MACCosmetics.com and exclusively in M.A.C ION Orchard and TANGS Vivocity outlets.

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