REVIEW: CEZANNE UV Clear Face Powder 01, Make Keep Base, Make Retouch Base, Nose Shadow Highlighter, Lasting Lip Color N 402, Gokuboso Eyeliner R & Glamourlush Curl Mascara

Hello everyone!

Forget expensive shipping costs (and *cough* traveller’s fees). Thanks to local drugstores like Watsons stocking up on foreign beauty essentials on the cheap, products that could only be purchased while abroad previously are becoming more accessible than ever! Joining the ranks of Florida-based Palladio and Japanese cult-favourite drugstore brand Canmake is CEZANNE, which has been sold at selected Watsons stores since the beginning of the year (yes, I know I am slow again).

Some of CEZANNE products

Some of CEZANNE products

Established in 1964, CEZANNE was created with the intention to offer high quality yet affordable cosmetics to the Japanese beauty community through a three-pronged approach – being kind to the environment, skin and on your wallet.

A trendsetter in environmental sustainability, the brand adopts a refillable system which enables customers to reuse their cases. Additionally, metal pins are not used in the manufacturing of the packaging to allow for easy disposal, and packaging is also standardised to be simple and straightforward to reduce wastage and cost.

To minimise the probability of allergic reactions, patch tests are performed for all of their products (excluding nail polish remover) so those with skin concerns can use them in confidence!

Here are some CEZANNE products I was introduced to at their launch party in June! Please pardon my brief review (or lack thereof) on the face products – due to time constraints (damn early morning classes left me with very little prep time every day so I decided to skip out on the face makeup 😅) I couldn’t put them on long enough to form a fair judgement on their longevity and wear. But I will update this space once I’ve tried them all!

1. UV Clear Face Powder 01

CEZANNE UV Clear Face Powder 01 (S$17.90)

CEZANNE UV Clear Face Powder 01 (S$17.90)

CEZANNE UV Clear Face Powder 01

CEZANNE UV Clear Face Powder 01

CEZANNE UV Clear Face Powder 01

CEZANNE UV Clear Face Powder 01

CEZANNE UV Clear Face Powder 01 - original state (right) & spread out (left)

CEZANNE UV Clear Face Powder 01 – original state (right) & spread out (left)

Available in shades 01 (Light) and 02 (Natural), the UV Clear Face Powder provides the skin a silky smooth and semi-matte finish that helps to conceal minor blemishes and even out skin tone. Formulated with SPF28/PA+++ to protect the skin from harmful ultraviolet rays, this face powder also doubles as a setting powder as it prevents makeup from melting by absorbing the excess sebum on the face. It also comes with a built-in mirror and a high-quality powder puff for targeted application.

2. Make Keep Base

CEZANNE Make Keep Base (S$15.90)

CEZANNE Make Keep Base (S$15.90)

CEZANNE Make Keep Base

CEZANNE Make Keep Base

CEZANNE Make Keep Base

CEZANNE Make Keep Base

CEZANNE Make Keep Base

CEZANNE Make Keep Base

A non-sticky primer to be used before foundation application, the Make Keep Base absorbs sebum and is formulated to be water- and sweat-resistant to reduce shine and slip, thereby helping with the longevity of the foundation. Apart from that, it also contains SPF28 PA++ for protection against the harshness of UV rays, as well as light-scattering ingredients to make pores appear less conspicuous. This supposedly fragrance-free (it actually smells like the bandung drink) primer yields a non-powdery finish, and yet is smooth to the touch but can be quite a pain to use due to its extremely runny texture.

To use, shake the bottle well and apply an appropriate amount of the Make Keep Base and spread it lightly and evenly on the entire face.

3. Make Retouch Base

CEZANNE Make Retouch Base (S$9.90)

CEZANNE Make Retouch Base (S$9.90)

CEZANNE Make Retouch Base

CEZANNE Make Retouch Base

CEZANNE Make Retouch Base

CEZANNE Make Retouch Base

CEZANNE Make Retouch Base

CEZANNE Make Retouch Base

The Make Retouch Base provides shine control and can be used over and under makeup. It comes with a brush tip attached to the cap for a more precise application so you won’t have to worry about ruining your makeup with your fingers (although you would still have to pat with fingers after application).

There was a very faint craft glue smell when I first applied it on my hand, but it dissipated after a while, leaving with no smell at . Somewhat milky in texture at first, the product dried down to a slightly powdery but not exactly transparent (there was still some translucency) finish within seconds, giving the skin a soft-focus effect and smooth appearance.

4. Gokuboso Eyeliner R 10

CEZANNE Gokuboso Eyeliner R 10 (S$15.90)

CEZANNE Gokuboso Eyeliner R 10 (S$15.90)

CEZANNE Gokuboso Eyeliner R 10

CEZANNE Gokuboso Eyeliner R 10

CEZANNE Gokuboso Eyeliner R 10

CEZANNE Gokuboso Eyeliner R 10

CEZANNE Gokuboso Eyeliner R 10

CEZANNE Gokuboso Eyeliner R 10

CEZANNE Gokuboso Eyeliner R 10

CEZANNE Gokuboso Eyeliner R 10

CEZANNE Gokuboso Eyeliner R 10 - rub test

CEZANNE Gokuboso Eyeliner R 10 – rub test

CEZANNE Gokuboso Eyeliner R 10

CEZANNE Gokuboso Eyeliner R 10

CEZANNE Gokuboso Eyeliner R 10

CEZANNE Gokuboso Eyeliner R 10

Real-life wear test - not much change after more than 12 hours!

Real-life wear test – not much change after more than 12 hours!

Small-eyed people would most likely agree with me that eyeliners are the single must-have beauty staple because these godsent stuff literally open up the eyes and add definition to the otherwise two-dimensional feature. But it can be a challenge finding one that offers fantastic opacity in one stroke and yet does not smudge in this blistering heat of Singapore without burning a hole in our pocket. Well.. ladies, the search is finally over.

Admit it, we’ve all had our fair share of disappointing eyeliners that should be sold at the watercolour pencil section instead, and we can’t complain much about it for the price we paid for (*cough* Thai brands I’m looking at you). But the Gokuboso Eyeliner proves that even drugstore eyeliners can be as solid as upscale ones. The opacity of the ink, for one, caught me by surprise because I was expecting a really light wash of black out of it. Despite the affordable price tag, application was incredibly smooth and the thickness of the product stayed consistent from start to finish. Most importantly, this ah-mazing eyeliner is highly resistant to smearing – it did not bleed or fade an inch even after more than 8 hours of wear!

CEZANNE Gokuboso Eyeliner R 10 - swatch comparison

CEZANNE Gokuboso Eyeliner R 10 – swatch comparison

5. Glamourlush Curl Mascara

CEZANNE Glamourlush Curl Mascara (S$15.90)

CEZANNE Glamourlush Curl Mascara (S$15.90)

CEZANNE Glamourlush Curl Mascara

CEZANNE Glamourlush Curl Mascara

CEZANNE Glamourlush Curl Mascara

CEZANNE Glamourlush Curl Mascara

CEZANNE Glamourlush Curl Mascara

CEZANNE Glamourlush Curl Mascara

CEZANNE Glamourlush Curl Mascara

CEZANNE Glamourlush Curl Mascara

CEZANNE Glamourlush Curl Mascara

CEZANNE Glamourlush Curl Mascara

CEZANNE Glamourlush Curl Mascara

CEZANNE Glamourlush Curl Mascara

CEZANNE Glamourlush Curl Mascara

CEZANNE Glamourlush Curl Mascara

CEZANNE Glamourlush Curl Mascara - AFTER application

CEZANNE Glamourlush Curl Mascara – AFTER application

CEZANNE Glamourlush Curl Mascara - BEFORE and AFTER

CEZANNE Glamourlush Curl Mascara – BEFORE and AFTER

Available in black, the Glamourlush Curl Mascara is one of the four mascaras by CEZANNE specifically to add long-lasting curl and volume to lashes using a classic tubular wand that helps separate and lift each individual lash from the root, so every single strand is amplified to make the eyes the focus of attention. Clump-free and smudge-proof, this mascara is resistant to water (thus a great mascara to cry in) and rubbing (although I do not recommend you do this), and can be layered up for a more dramatic effect. Granted, the packaging does feel a little cheap, but the quality of the product is definitely up to the mark because my lashes did look fuller and a lot more balanced and uniformed after just two passes!

6. Nose Shadow Highlighter

CEZANNE Nose Shadow Highlighter (S$15.90)

CEZANNE Nose Shadow Highlighter (S$15.90)

CEZANNE Nose Shadow Highlighter

CEZANNE Nose Shadow Highlighter

CEZANNE Nose Shadow Highlighter

CEZANNE Nose Shadow Highlighter

CEZANNE Nose Shadow Highlighter

CEZANNE Nose Shadow Highlighter

CEZANNE Nose Shadow Highlighter

CEZANNE Nose Shadow Highlighter

CEZANNE Nose Shadow Highlighter

CEZANNE Nose Shadow Highlighter

CEZANNE Nose Shadow Highlighter

CEZANNE Nose Shadow Highlighter

CEZANNE Nose Shadow Highlighter

CEZANNE Nose Shadow Highlighter

CEZANNE Nose Shadow Highlighter

CEZANNE Nose Shadow Highlighter

CEZANNE Nose Shadow Highlighter

CEZANNE Nose Shadow Highlighter

CEZANNE Nose Shadow Highlighter

CEZANNE Nose Shadow Highlighter

CEZANNE Nose Shadow Highlighter

CEZANNE Nose Shadow Highlighter

CEZANNE Nose Shadow Highlighter - BEFORE (left) and AFTER (right)

CEZANNE Nose Shadow Highlighter – BEFORE (left) and AFTER (right)

No matter how affluent we are, we have this innate desire for things that offer a bigger bang for our buck. That’s why we’re often drawn to palettes rather than singles despite knowing that less than half the selection would be utilised eventually, and suddenly it doesn’t seem like we’ve saved much after all. Do your wallet a favour and opt for this no-frills contour kit that features just two sculpting shades you’re bound to use – one of a fine-grained white pearl for highlighting purposes and another of a beige-brown that blends softly with any typical fair Asian skin (sorry, dark-skinned ladies 😞) for a more natural finish.

The darker shade, which I foresee myself hitting pan really soon since it takes up only a-third of the compact, adds dimension to the face (more specifically, the bridge of the nose, under the eyebrows and cheekbones) by emulating shadows. The pigmentation, however, isn’t as buildable as I’d like it to be so I felt there wasn’t a noticeable difference to my face even after three swipes.

Complementing it is the lighter shimmery shade, which is strangely given a lot more emphasis in this kit, as it helps to add glow (that turned out rather beautifully) to areas where light would naturally hit, such as the top of cheekbones, center of forehead, nose bridge, center of chin and top of cupid’s bow. The compact also conveniently includes a small dual-ended applicator (brush to apply the bronzer and sponge-tip to diffuse the highlight) to allow touch-ups on the go.

7. Lasting Lip Color N 402

CEZANNE Lasting Lip Color N 402 (S$12.90)

CEZANNE Lasting Lip Color N 402 (S$12.90)

CEZANNE Lasting Lip Color N 402

CEZANNE Lasting Lip Color N 402

CEZANNE Lasting Lip Color N 402

CEZANNE Lasting Lip Color N 402

CEZANNE Lasting Lip Color N 402

CEZANNE Lasting Lip Color N 402

CEZANNE Lasting Lip Color N 402

CEZANNE Lasting Lip Color N 402

CEZANNE Lasting Lip Color N 402

CEZANNE Lasting Lip Color N 402

CEZANNE Lasting Lip Color N 402

CEZANNE Lasting Lip Color N 402

CEZANNE might have brought in a whole range of products, but at the end of the day nothing truly excites me more than a wide array of lipsticks, especially when they are packaged in such pretty Victorian-styled tubes! #suckerforprettypackaging

With more than 10 conventional shades to choose from, there is certainly one for each skin tone. I was gifted 402, a cool-toned medium red (surprisingly not as dark as it seems on the bullet) with a shot of luminous shine that applied like butter on the lips. The glossy finish was sheer at first but buildable to a semi-opaque coverage with 2-3 more passes without settling into the lines. The moisture of my lips was retained and throughout the wear I did not feel a hint of dryness or urge to lick my lips.

But much as I love how feminine this colour makes me look, this lipstick unfortunately does not live up to my expectations in the longevity department because it transfers and budges way too easily (a typical trade-off for moisture, so no surprise there).

CEZANNE Lasting Lip Color N 402 - opacity comparison

CEZANNE Lasting Lip Color N 402 – opacity comparison

Based on what I’ve tried and tested so far, CEZANNE’s strength appears to lie in their eye products but seasoned users may disagree (their face products perform pretty well too according to most reviews I read online), so I suggest you head down to your nearest Watsons outlet and try their products out for yourselves!

What are your thoughts about CEZANNE and their products? Let me know your views in the comments below or simply take a quick poll!

Thanks for reading!

CEZANNE is now available on watsons.com.sg and in all local Watsons outlets.
Products were supplied by CEZANNE for my consideration but all opinions and 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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