REVIEW: M·A·C NICOPANDA Lipsticks in Galactic Mint, Pop Babe & Toung ‘n’ Chic

Hello everyone!

With almost every colour on the spectrum made into cosmetics, much of consumerism now boils down to the aesthetic appeal of the products. In this aspect, we can always trust M·A·C to come up with irresistibly enticing packaging design that has the ability to trick you into wanting makeup you might already have, such as those in the NICOPANDA collaboration.

M·A·C NICOPANDA

M·A·C NICOPANDA

My M·A·C NICOPANDA haul

My M·A·C NICOPANDA haul

M·A·C taking cute to the next level with a panda-theme packaging

M·A·C taking cute to the next level with a panda-theme packaging

Founded by Italian-Japanese fashion director Nicola Formichetti and his brother Andrea in 2015, NICOPANDA is a New York-based street brand best known for its edgy and playful approach to ready-to-wear and accessories, and it revolves around the panda cartoon that looks like Nicola whose bear-like chubby frame and long beard during his younger days had earned him the nickname “Nico Panda”. Despite the relatively short time the fashion line has been on the market, Nicola has, in fact, more than a decade of experience in being the creative force behind some of the world’s most influential brands, publications, and pop stars including Lady Gaga and Brooke Candy. Busier than a one armed paper hanger, he currently serves as fashion director of Uniqlo apart from managing his personal business venture.

Chose this picture of Nicola Formichetti because #dogsarelife

Chose this picture of Nicola Formichetti because #dogsarelife (source)

Launched in April, this M·A·C collection features an infusion of fresh spring colours in the form of matte lipsticks (Kawaii Party, Pink-Off, Toung ‘n’ Chic, Nico Kiss, Galactic Mint & Pop Babe), Lipglass (Sugar Coat, Dreamz, Panda Kiss & Glitter Parade), a Gleamer Face Powder, Full Face Kits (Stay Cute, Primapanda & Preppy Panda), lashes, an adornment and a brush bag, all of which come entirely in the most adorable panda-centric packaging (which, I have to admit, isn’t too practical storage-wise). But in spite of the fancy presentation, the prices of the lip products – surprisingly – remain largely the same (at least in the U.S.), so purchasing the three lipsticks below didn’t feel much of a pinch on the wallet.

Galactic Mint

M·A·C NICOPANDA lipstick in Galactic Mint (US$18.50)

M·A·C NICOPANDA lipstick in Galactic Mint (US$18.50)

M·A·C NICOPANDA lipstick in Galactic Mint

M·A·C NICOPANDA lipstick in Galactic Mint

M·A·C NICOPANDA lipstick in Galactic Mint

M·A·C NICOPANDA lipstick in Galactic Mint

M·A·C NICOPANDA lipstick in Galactic Mint

M·A·C NICOPANDA lipstick in Galactic Mint

M·A·C NICOPANDA lipstick in Galactic Mint

M·A·C NICOPANDA lipstick in Galactic Mint

M·A·C NICOPANDA lipstick in Galactic Mint

M·A·C NICOPANDA lipstick in Galactic Mint

Galactic Mint is described as a clean seafoam green with a matte finish. Moderately emollient with some slip, this bright cyan deposits a great deal of pigment (a rarity for a fluorescent shade) upon application but most of it ended up settling into my creases and putting a spotlight on the rough texture of my lips. A fairly thin coat gives an opaque but awfully chalky consistency (marked with gaps that are impossible to fill) which amplifies with additional layers, hence making it a challenge to get an even coverage out of this problematic shade without the aid of a primer and a lip brush. It is probably more suitable for creating a small portion of an ombré lip as opposed to being used as the main lip colour.

Swatch comparison for Galactic Mint

Swatch comparison for Galactic Mint

Pop Babe 

M·A·C NICOPANDA lipstick in Pop Babe (US$18.50)

M·A·C NICOPANDA lipstick in Pop Babe (US$18.50)

M·A·C NICOPANDA lipstick in Pop Babe

M·A·C NICOPANDA lipstick in Pop Babe

M·A·C NICOPANDA lipstick in Pop Babe

M·A·C NICOPANDA lipstick in Pop Babe

M·A·C NICOPANDA lipstick in Pop Babe

M·A·C NICOPANDA lipstick in Pop Babe

M·A·C NICOPANDA lipstick in Pop Babe

M·A·C NICOPANDA lipstick in Pop Babe

M·A·C NICOPANDA lipstick in Pop Babe

M·A·C NICOPANDA lipstick in Pop Babe

Pop Babe described as a bright clean pink with a matte finish. The only sold-out lipstick shade from this collection online, this non-drying cool-toned fuchsia applies easily while providing an intense and opaque colour payoff with a subtle shine in a single swipe. The texture is lightweight enough to comfortably and evenly conceal all the creasing and cracking going on. As someone who isn’t too big on vibrant colours, I think Pop Babe is a gorgeous and versatile colour that suits most skin tones. Whether you are going for a rebellious bombshell or a quintessential girl-next-door image, this lipstick can also somehow be paired with various looks.

Swatch comparison for Pop Babe

Swatch comparison for Pop Babe

Toung ‘n’ Chic

M·A·C NICOPANDA lipstick in Toung 'n' Chic (US$18.50)

M·A·C NICOPANDA lipstick in Toung ‘n’ Chic (US$18.50)

M·A·C NICOPANDA lipstick in Toung 'n' Chic

M·A·C NICOPANDA lipstick in Toung ‘n’ Chic

M·A·C NICOPANDA lipstick in Toung 'n' Chic

M·A·C NICOPANDA lipstick in Toung ‘n’ Chic

M·A·C NICOPANDA lipstick in Toung 'n' Chic

M·A·C NICOPANDA lipstick in Toung ‘n’ Chic

M·A·C NICOPANDA lipstick in Toung 'n' Chic

M·A·C NICOPANDA lipstick in Toung ‘n’ Chic

M·A·C NICOPANDA lipstick in Toung 'n' Chic

M·A·C NICOPANDA lipstick in Toung ‘n’ Chic

Toung ‘n’ Chic may be described as a deep plum with a matte finish, but this medium wine is nowhere near as drying. Gliding effortlessly on the lips without tugging or pulling, it imparts a lightly glossy sheen that could pass the lipstick off as a Satin one. Although fully opaque in one swipe, the product tends to build up on drier and uneven parts of the lips, resulting in an inconsistent texture and unsightly dark patches like those in the pictures above. It also sinks into the lip lines within the first hour of wear, further intensifying the parched condition of the lips. Hence, exfoliating the lips before applying this lipstick is a must to achieve optimal payoff from it.

Swatch comparison for Toung 'n' Chic

Swatch comparison for Toung ‘n’ Chic

Usually when a reputable brands go the extra mile to market their products in gimmicky packaging, they usually fall short in terms of quality to make up for the cost of attracting eyeballs. But I have to admit that this collection generally ticks all the right boxes. If not for space (and money) constraints, I would have gotten more shades!

What are your thoughts about this collection? Did you manage to get anything? Let me know in the comments below or take a quick poll!

Thanks for reading!

M·A·C NICOPANDA is now available on MACCosmetics.com and in all local M.A.C outlets. Enjoy up to 50% off when you purchase 3 or more items from this collection at any singapore outlet.

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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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REVIEW: M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi Eye Shadow X4 in 70’s Sunset, Powerpoint Eye Pencil in Indian Ink/Mossy Green & Lipsticks in Apricot Gold & Nude Fudge

Hello everyone!

These days, with influential figures like Rihanna paving the way for inclusivity in the beauty world, and an extensive spectrum of hues being held up as the standard to meet for every international beauty brand deliberating over new product launches, dark-skinned people seem to have it easier when it comes to makeup selection. But instead of pushing out tens of similar products to please everyone (especially people of colour) which makes little sense logistically, M·A·C decides to partner with American-Indian Padma Lakshmi on a collection that is mainly dedicated to brown skin. And quite frankly, I’ve never encountered any makeup specifically developed for brown skin that does not look great on other skin tones.

Padma Lakshmi for M·A·C 2018

Padma Lakshmi for M·A·C 2018

Padma Lakshmi is an author, TV personality and a former fashion model. But as glamorous as her credentials may seem, her life has been far from smooth-sailing. Growing up in Los Angeles in her teens, she had to cope with racial taunts and persecutions which heightened her insecurities of being a minority. Living with endometriosis also meant that she would experience chronic pelvic pain (among many other issues) during her menstruation, causing her to be bedridden every month for a week and as a result, miss out on important occasions throughout the years.

Instead of wallowing in self pity, Padma concentrates on leveraging her shortcomings for the betterment of life. In the hope that no other sufferers would slip under the radar like she had been, she co-founded The Endometriosis Foundation of America, a non-profit organisation which focuses on bringing awareness of the disease to the general public and helping to find a cure for it. Her choosing not to cover up the seven-inch scar on her arm inflicted by a car accident is another testament of her bravery to break the mould in the entertainment industry which is often unforgiving towards any forms of imperfection. Now, turning her struggles as an brown-skinned girl into a makeup collaboration with M·A·C, she has created a 17-piece collection that caters to darker skin tones, yet complements fair complexions at the same time and effectively hitting two birds with one stone.

MY HAUL!

MY HAUL!

Breathtaking lipstick packaging

Breathtaking lipstick packaging

Released in March, the gold-emblazoned collection with Mehndi-inspired design includes 6 Lipsticks (Sunset Rose / Nude Fudge / Mittai Pink / Sumac / Apricot Gold / Blue Blood), Cremesheen Glass in Nefertiti, 2 Powder Blush Duos (Moon & Shine / Melon Pink), 2 eye shadow quads (70’s Sunset / Desert Dusk), 3 Powerpoint Eye Pencils (Iced Heather & Kerala Sun / Indian Ink & Mossy Green / Bordeauxline & Molé Brown) and 3 brushes (#168 / #275 / #213) – out of which 4 across different product categories will be reviewed in this post.

Eye Shadow X4: 70’s Sunset

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi Eye Shadow X4 in 70's Sunset (US$33)

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi Eye Shadow X4 in 70’s Sunset (US$33)

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi Eye Shadow X4 in 70's Sunset

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi Eye Shadow X4 in 70’s Sunset

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi Eye Shadow X4 in 70's Sunset

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi Eye Shadow X4 in 70’s Sunset

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi Eye Shadow X4 in 70's Sunset

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi Eye Shadow X4 in 70’s Sunset

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi Eye Shadow X4 in 70's Sunset

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi Eye Shadow X4 in 70’s Sunset

70's Sunset swatches using damp brush and dry finger

70’s Sunset swatches using damp brush and dry finger

Picking the right eye shadow colours can be a tricky business for most Asians since our non-existent eyelid creases and limited lid space do not allow for much leeway in creativity. The wrong choice of eye shadow can easily ruin our overall look, and too much makeup can also overwhelm our teeny-weeny eyes. But what other options do we have apart from boring ol’ neutrals? The answer – if I may jump the gun – lies in this specially curated palette of four unusual yet harmonious shades in a luxurious gilded case (with a push-to-open latch) which by far has the best colour combination that M·A·C has ever produced in the history of my makeup-obsessed life.

The following palettes were selected for comparison purposes due to their similarities to 70’s Sunset: Too Faced Clover Eyeshadow Palette · M·A·C × Rossy de Palma Veluxe Pearlfusion Shadow · Urban Decay × Jean-Michel Basquiat Tenant Eyeshadow Palette

Sand & Clay is described as a midtone cool beige with a matte finish. Although rather low-contrast against my skin, this no-frills warm-toned apricot is pigmented with a delightfully smooth and even consistency, adhering well to the lids with no fallout when applied. Semi-opaque on the first pass, it is buildable to full opacity with the next layer and can simply be diffused around the edges. It can act as a base for heavy colours to build on and bring out the eyes. When used wet, the colour becomes darker with a tinge of glossiness. But once blended out, it loses its intensity and becomes as vibrant as its original dry state. Either way, this shade didn’t crease on my lids.

Sand & Clay swatch comparisons

Sand & Clay swatch comparisons

Cardamom is described as a cool light green with white frost and Veluxe Pearl finish. Infused with silver microshimmers, this shimmery pale cool-toned green has a smooth texture with very minimal fallout even though it has seemingly sparse particles. Sheer upon application, it is not quite visible on my lid unless hit by direct light. This shade works best as a topper or when applied at the inner corners of eyes to add a pop of sparkle or downplay tired-looking eyes. Adding it on the lower lash line can also help camouflage dark circles when light reflects off the eye shadow.

That said, only when it is wet that it can be used to its full potential. In its moist state, it transforms to a slightly metallic finish, and shimmers become visibly more densely packed which makes it more pronounce on the lid. Despite it being more rigid when wet, I was still able to blend it out with ease.

Cardamom swatch comparisons

Cardamom swatch comparisons

Mumtaz is described as a copper with gold sparkle and Veluxe Pearl finish but a swatch reveals it to be more of a cool berry than the rose-pink in the pan. A colour that defines the socket of the eye, it packs a lot of pigment while providing a smooth and even consistency. The intensity lightens a great deal when blended out even though it is still buildable to your desired level of impact. The texture certainly feels grittier when it is dry so some fallout and kickback are expected. To get around this issue, the eye shadow can be applied wet but the tradeoff would be that it would form harsh edges that are almost impossible to diffuse.

Mumtaz swatch comparisons

Mumtaz swatch comparisons

All’s Rosy is described as a midtone plum with gold pearl and a matte finish. This eggplant purple has microshimmers of a somewhat lighter colour and is cooler than Mumtaz in undertones. Although offers pigmented payoff, the texture can be a tad chalky. It is prone to leave fallout due to its loose consistency but on the plus side, it makes it easier to blend out the edges and add a little more depth to the eyes. That said, this shade is best applied wet as it intensifies the colour and it would also be more manageable when the shimmers become more densely packed. But doing so would take you awhile to soften out the harsh edges.

All's Rosy swatch comparisons

All’s Rosy swatch comparisons

APPLICATION & SUGGESTED LOOK

Primed my lids with Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion

Primed my lids with Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion

Starting with Sand & Clay

Starting with Sand & Clay

Sand & Clay as the base colour

Sand & Clay as the base colour

Followed by Mumtaz

Followed by Mumtaz

Mumtaz to define my eyes (and to create a subtle ombre!)

Mumtaz to define my eyes (and to create a subtle ombre!)

All's Rosy is next

All’s Rosy is next

All's Rosy for an added depth, and to complete the ombre

All’s Rosy for an added depth, and to complete the ombre

Cardamom as the finishing shade

Cardamom as the finishing shade

Wetting the brush so that the shade would be more prominent on my lids

Wetting the brush so that the shade would be more prominent on my lids

Cardamom on the inner corners to add a pop of sparkle to the eyes

Cardamom on the inner corners to add a pop of sparkle to the eyes

Complete the look with some colours (can be in the same sequence as those on the lid) on the lower lash line

Complete the look with some colours (can be in the same sequence as those on the lid) on the lower lash line

Voila! A look that's not too subtle and not too heavy!

Voila! A look that’s not too subtle and not too heavy!

Optional: line the eyes for maximum impact (I'm using the Rollerwheel Liquid Liner which I had reviewed some time ago)

Optional: line the eyes for maximum impact (I’m using the Rollerwheel Liquid Liner which I had reviewed some time ago)

Finished!

Finished!

Powerpoint Eye Pencil:
Indian Ink/Mossy Green

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi Powerpoint Eye Pencil (US$18.50)

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi Powerpoint Eye Pencil (US$18.50)

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi Powerpoint Eye Pencil

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi Powerpoint Eye Pencil

M·A·C is known to boast a plethora of eyeliners just like it does for lipsticks. Powerpoint Eye Pencil is one of its many ranges which promises waterproof, long-wearing in metallic, shimmery or matte finish. From experience, this range of liners does not give the most pigmented of colour but it does stay on the lid for as long as I want it to, and it does take a bit more effort to remove it. Although I’m not really a fan of the application, it was just too hard to pass up on the offer of having two shades for the price of one (to be exact, they’re 50 cents more than those in regular packaging but whatever). Furthermore, that green is GORGEOUS.

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi Powerpoint Eye Pencil in Indian Ink

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi Powerpoint Eye Pencil in Indian Ink

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi Powerpoint Eye Pencil in Indian Ink

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi Powerpoint Eye Pencil in Indian Ink

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi Powerpoint Eye Pencil in Indian Ink

Indian Ink is described as a pure black which is a complete lie (seriously, who does all these inaccurate descriptions on the website?) because anybody with a normal vision would be able to see that it is a cool-toned navy blue. The first stroke of this matte liner gives a sheer coverage but it is buildable to semi-opaque coverage with three passes. The texture glided moderately smoothly across the lid without tugging the skin and deposited enough colour for it to be prominent enough atop the eye shadow. As expected, it didn’t budge or smudge on my lower lid throughout the nine hours I had it on despite the oily surface.

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi Powerpoint Eye Pencil in Mossy Green

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi Powerpoint Eye Pencil in Mossy Green

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi Powerpoint Eye Pencil in Mossy Green

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi Powerpoint Eye Pencil in Mossy Green

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi Powerpoint Eye Pencil in Mossy Green

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi Powerpoint Eye Pencil in Mossy Green

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi Powerpoint Eye Pencil in Indian Ink & Mossy Green

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi Powerpoint Eye Pencil in Indian Ink & Mossy Green

Mossy Green, on the other hand, is described as a deep green with a slightly metallic finish. This stunning cool-toned army green has tiny gold flecks which are aren’t conspicuous unless viewed up-close. It glides smoothly and has a lightly creamy texture. Smudge-resistant, it provides semi-opaque pigmentation in one stroke and is buildable to a full coverage. But much as I love this shade, it unfortunately doesn’t translate well on the lid especially on eye shadow because it kinda appears greyish? Nevertheless, this shade wore well on me for over nine hours.

NOTE: I just remembered that I do have blue and green eyeliners somewhere in my stash so check back soon for some comparison swatches of this eye pencil!

Lipstick: Apricot Gold

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi lipstick in Apricot Gold (US$18.50)

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi lipstick in Apricot Gold (US$18.50)

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi lipstick in Apricot Gold

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi lipstick in Apricot Gold

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi lipstick in Apricot Gold

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi lipstick in Apricot Gold

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi lipstick in Apricot Gold

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi lipstick in Apricot Gold

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi lipstick in Apricot Gold

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi lipstick in Apricot Gold

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi lipstick in Apricot Gold

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi lipstick in Apricot Gold

Apricot Gold is described as a midtone peach nude with Amplified finish. This terracotta orange glides on the lips to instantly brighten the face and give a glistening texture that feels both lightweight and comfortably moisturising. I can see it working beautifully on dark complexions as well, which could jolly well be true judging from its sold-out status online. But it accentuates lip lines and doesn’t really apply evenly especially on the wrinklier areas such as the inner corners of the lips. Still, it’s a lovely everyday colour which was able to withstand a light meal. It wore well on me for about five hours before fading to a stain.

Swatch comparison against Apricot Gold

Swatch comparison against Apricot Gold

Lipstick: Nude Fudge

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi lipstick in Nude Fudge (US$18.50)

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi lipstick in Nude Fudge (US$18.50)

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi lipstick in Nude Fudge

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi lipstick in Nude Fudge

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi lipstick in Nude Fudge

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi lipstick in Nude Fudge

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi lipstick in Nude Fudge

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi lipstick in Nude Fudge

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi lipstick in Nude Fudge

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi lipstick in Nude Fudge

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi lipstick in Nude Fudge

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi lipstick in Nude Fudge

Nude Fudge is another universally flattering shade described as a midtone neutral with a matte finish. This medium cool-toned rosebrown tugs slightly during application but offers an even and opaque coverage. It has a smooth and creamy texture that isn’t too drying despite it being a matte, which is a plus for my flaky lips. On top of that, it is also able to conceal imperfections pretty well. Similarly, this shade wore well on me for about five hours before some product noticeably settled into the cracks. But it didn’t make my lips look awfully parched so I’m willing to close my eyes to that. With such commendable application, it beats me why it hasn’t been wiped off the shelves yet.
Swatch comparison against Nude Fudge

Swatch comparison against Nude Fudge

The overall great quality and uniqueness (I’m lovin’ all the greens – such novelty!) of the products in this collection, as well as the element of surprise in them makes this collaboration one of the best that M·A·C has done so far. I like how certain shades appeared to be impractical for daily use but turned out to be subtle enough for those who shy away from bold colours and yet made a world of difference to the look. Definitely my best makeup purchase of 2018. I’m kinda bummed out that it isn’t given much airtime to garner enough hype before the next collection (*cough* Patrick Starrr *cough) was rolled out.

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

Thanks for reading!

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi is now available on MACCosmetics.com and AT ion & vIVOCITY tangs OUTLETS.

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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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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: shu uemura × Super Mario Bros. – Rouge Unlimited in RD187 & PK 375, Invincible Superstar Premium Curler & Dual Stamp-Me Liner

Hello everyone!

A few days ago, I posted my review on the Peach’s Eye & Cheek palette and as promised, this second part will see me blabbering on about the rest of the items I’ve gotten from this collection. Read on to find out how two shades of the lipsticks, the eyeliner and eyelash curler from the Super Mario Bros. collaboration fare in my book!

shu uemura × Super Mario Bros (PART II)

shu uemura × Super Mario Bros (PART II)

click here to read my review on the shu uemura × Super Mario Bros PEACH’S EYE & CHEEK PALETTE

#1 Dual Stamp-Me Liner

shu uemura × Super Mario Bros Dual Stamp-Me Liner (US$34 / S$45)

shu uemura × Super Mario Bros Dual Stamp-Me Liner (US$34 / S$45)

Clear indication on the body of the pen for easy location of the stamp end

Clear indication on the body of the pen for easy location of the stamp end

Super Star motif on the inside of the box

Super Star motif on the inside of the box

It's not stated on the website, but I suppose "Hidden Star" is the name of the shade

It’s not stated on the website, but I suppose “Hidden Star” is the name of the shade

The felt tip on the liquid eyeliner end

The felt tip on the liquid eyeliner end

See the eyeliner in action

See the eyeliner in action

Thick-winged eyeliner

Thick-winged eyeliner

Classic eyeliner flick

Classic eyeliner flick

Available only in one shade (a jet black with pinpricks of multicoloured glitter), the dual-ended eyeliner offers a stamp on one side and a felt-tip liquid eyeliner on the other for regular use. For clarity, I’ll talk about the latter first.

Unlike most eyeliners, this wasn’t love at first application. For a start, it skipped and dragged slightly on my lid, and while it is great that the felt-tip has a firm texture for a more controlled application, it felt somewhat scratchy. The ink somehow does not flow consistently and bleeds quite terribly on every first use so I have to test the eyeliner on the back of my hand before applying it to the lids every time. Although those problems would have been curtailed on subsequent uses (within the same application), some pressure still has to be exerted upon the applicator – which I try to avoid because it pricks – for a more pigmented finish.

The eyeliner didn’t budge an inch on my upper lid after eight hours of wear but it smudged on my lower lid (partly because I was watching a comedy and I tear up easily when I laugh 😂) and that was even with a layer of eye shadow beneath it to supposedly prevent it from running. I tried to smudge it further with my finger to balance out the unintentional smokey eyes but it stubbornly stays put!

But looking past these flaws, its coverage is remarkably opaque for a liquid eyeliner. Apart from that, it is waterproof, dries down moderately fast with excellent staying power. Once you’ve gotten the hang of it, you would be a whiz with creating an intense cat eye and other graphic looks!

The pattern on the stamp end

The pattern on the stamp end

Super Star stamp on the temple

Super Star stamp on the temple

Super Star stamp on the cheekbone

Super Star stamp on the cheekbone

If your attempts to draw perfect stars on your face have always ended in failure, listen up! You can now achieve them in just one simple step with the Super Star stamp!

Truth be told, the stamp feature initially felt like a gimmicky tactic to market the eyeliner so I was half-expecting a blotchy mess from it. But, boy oh boy, was I blown away by the precision and pigmentation it delivers in a single punch! Not only did it hold up to my longwear tests (by rubbing and showering with it), it had very minimal bleeding on my sandpaper-rough face too which contributed to crispness of the stars’ corners. The stamp is fairly easy to use and does not require much pressure to get a clean and even impression (plus pressing the stamp down too hard would also cause the rim to leave an imprint). The ink stays all day without distorting the shape and, on top of that, removes effortlessly with my Sephora cleansing wipe.

Granted, the idea of makeup stamps may not have been pioneered by shu uemura (see Milk) but I’ve not seen any with a hollow middle like this one which gives users the liberty to fill the stars with whatever colour they want for a more rockstar appeal à la Kat Von D 😝 That said, if only there were more designs and colours to choose from! A sparkle or snowflake imprint would have been so apt for the festive season, don’t you agree?

Stamp and eyeliner (two strokes to show continuity of ink flow) swatches. The first pass of the eyeliner is directly below the star. Notice how it bleeds more than the one next to it?

Stamp and eyeliner (two strokes to show continuity of ink flow) swatches. The first pass of the eyeliner is directly below the star. Notice how it bleeds more than the one next to it?

Compare finish and pigmentation with eyeliners of other brands (pardon the redness of my wrist caused by rubbing my lipstick swatches off too vigorously)

Compare finish and pigmentation with eyeliners of other brands (pardon the redness of my wrist caused by rubbing my lipstick swatches off too vigorously 😝)

The line-up of lipsticks in this collection includes five popular shades from the Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte series (PK 375, PK 376, RD 187, BG 954 & OR 570) and two limited edition Sheer Shine shades (Stage Cleared & Saved Peach) in translucent dark fuchsia plastic casing housed in light pink box graced by an enlarged pixel art of Princess Peach. The packaging in this collection is to die for but the inner video game nerd in me is totally geeking out over the various 8-bit Super Mario graphics plastered all over the (all-pink 😍) lipsticks in particular. Oh, would ya just look at that?

shu uemura × Super Mario Bros Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte (S$38)

shu uemura × Super Mario Bros Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte (S$38)

Super Mario motif on the inside of the box

Super Mario motif on the inside of the box

The lipstick packaging

The lipstick packaging

Furthermore, the lipsticks come largely in my favourite finish 😁 In my first shu uemura Rouge Unlimited review, I had declared my desire to try their Supreme Mattes and this collection just about provides the opportunity to do so! To cut a long story short, I loved the finish so much that I actually hit the store to purchase another shade despite having sent me one as a PR sample already.

Swatches of 4 out of 5 Supreme Mattes (BG954 not pictured) from this collection

Swatches of 4 out of 5 Supreme Mattes (BG954 not pictured) from this collection

#2 Rouge Unlimited in RD 187

shu uemura × Super Mario Bros Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte in RD 187

shu uemura × Super Mario Bros Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte in RD 187

shu uemura × Super Mario Bros Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte in RD 187

shu uemura × Super Mario Bros Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte in RD 187

shu uemura × Super Mario Bros Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte in RD 187

shu uemura × Super Mario Bros Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte in RD 187

shu uemura × Super Mario Bros Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte in RD 187

shu uemura × Super Mario Bros Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte in RD 187

shu uemura × Super Mario Bros Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte in RD 187

shu uemura × Super Mario Bros Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte in RD 187

shu uemura × Super Mario Bros Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte in RD 187

shu uemura × Super Mario Bros Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte in RD 187

RD 187 is a vivid red with blue undertones and has a “superb matte effect” which shu uemura attributes to their careful selection of matte powders. This lipstick applies with some slip and has the ability to smooth out fine lines without stripping away the moisture so exfoliating prior to application wouldn’t be absolutely necessary. The colour goes on evenly without tug and infuses the lips with fullness and sensuality in spite of the minimal shine.

Lightweight with a comfortable texture, it has a medium coverage but is buildable to a full opacity. It stays put throughout the day where unctuous and heavy food and drinks are not involved and fades evenly when they are without the tell-tale ring of colour around the lip line. Also, it is neither drying nor hydrating.

Swatch comparison for RD 187 with reds from other brands

Swatch comparison for RD 187 with reds from other brands

#3 Rouge Unlimited in PK 375

shu uemura × Super Mario Bros Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte in PK 375

shu uemura × Super Mario Bros Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte in PK 375

shu uemura × Super Mario Bros Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte in PK 375

shu uemura × Super Mario Bros Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte in PK 375

(single swatch)

shu uemura × Super Mario Bros Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte in PK 375

shu uemura × Super Mario Bros Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte in PK 375

shu uemura × Super Mario Bros Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte in PK 375

shu uemura × Super Mario Bros Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte in PK 375

shu uemura × Super Mario Bros Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte in PK 375

shu uemura × Super Mario Bros Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte in PK 375

PK 375 is a muted plum with pink undertones. Non-glossy, it envelops the lips in a soft matte colour which applies with some tug. This shade gives a medium coverage but is, once again, buildable to a full without weighing down the lips. It has a reasonable wear time (about the same duration as RD 187) and most of it managed to last through the Buttermilk Crispy Chicken Burger I had for dinner the other day, albeit with some of it settling visibly into my lip natural crevices.

As compared to RD 187, this actually has a much drier consistency with a slightly powdery texture which could explain its tendency to emphasise any signs of dryness and imperfection. Nevertheless, this self-purchased lipstick still wears rather comfortably (the texture isn’t bothersome) and is overall neither drying nor hydrating.

Swatch comparison for PK 375 with rosy pinks from other brands

Swatch comparison for PK 375 with rosy pinks from other brands

#4 Invisible Superstar Premium Curler

shu uemura × Super Mario Bros Invincible Superstar Premium Curler (S$30)

shu uemura × Super Mario Bros Invincible Superstar Premium Curler (S$30)

shu uemura × Super Mario Bros Invincible Superstar Premium Curler

shu uemura × Super Mario Bros Invincible Superstar Premium Curler

shu uemura × Super Mario Bros Invincible Superstar Premium Curler

shu uemura × Super Mario Bros Invincible Superstar Premium Curler

shu uemura × Super Mario Bros Invincible Superstar Premium Curler

shu uemura × Super Mario Bros Invincible Superstar Premium Curler

shu uemura × Super Mario Bros Invincible Superstar Premium Curler

shu uemura × Super Mario Bros Invincible Superstar Premium Curler

Super Star motif on the inside of the box

Super Star motif on the inside of the box

Putting the Invincible Superstar Premium Curler to the test

Putting the Invincible Superstar Premium Curler to the test

The curler managed to capture most, if not all, of my upper lashes

The curler managed to capture most, if not all, of my upper lashes

Before and after using the Invincible Superstar Premium Curler + mascara (side view)

Before and after using the Invincible Superstar Premium Curler + mascara (side view)

Before and after using the Invincible Superstar Premium Curler + mascara (front view)

Before and after using the Invincible Superstar Premium Curler + mascara (front view)

Touted as the Holy Grail of eyelash curlers, the critically acclaimed shu uemura eyelash curler takes on a special appearance for this collection as it gets an all-gold treatment with a polished Super Star charm on a detachable gold beaded chain. For the uninformed, the “uniquely curved” eyepiece is designed to be universally fitting on most eye shapes while the shape of the silicone pad gives an elongated sweeping curl. In addition, the durable hinge at the center of the curler “regulates the amount of pressure applied to the lashes which ensures safety”. Unlike the eyelash curler in shu uemura’s regular line, this does not include a replacement pad (and neither does the brand sell them separately) so despite being priced the same, the limited edition is essentially marginally more expensive without it. But hey, what’s a few dollars more for a rare packaging like this?

Having already owned a shu uemura eyelash curler from the Karl Lagerfeld collaboration years ago, I have a set of expectations in mind and this works just as well as the one before – or even better. It grabs every strand of my lashes (including the hard-to-reach ones on the inner and outer corners of my eye) without pinching despite having problematic hooded eyes. Suitable for beginners, it doesn’t require much effort to give the lashes a natural curl which held up for more than an hour bare (but could be shorter with mascara on). For this, I could actually feel the impact of the curler on my lashes even without squeezing it much. The sharp edges of it left a small impression on both corners of my lid but they fortunately went away after some time. However, I still find the eyelash curler slightly too big for my eye although that’s certainly not enough a reason to stop me from using this amazing tool.

Generally, the products in this collection – especially the lipsticks – perform up to par even though prices are steeper than usual. It’s a worthy expense if you like Super Mario Bros or cute, limited-edition packaging. Just don’t get the eye and cheek palette.

Without a doubt, shu uemura stole the show with this totally rad throwback collection and judging from the overwhelming response it gets everywhere (most of it are sold out in the U.S. as well as at Tangs and Sephora online), I guess the public agrees too!

Wearing every shu uemura × Super Mario Bros product I have! Which side do you prefer?

Wearing every shu uemura × Super Mario Bros product I have! Which side do you prefer?

What are you favourite products from the shu uemura × Super Mario Bros. collection? Did you get anything? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below or simply take a poll!

 

Thanks for reading!

shu uemura × Super Mario Bros is now available on the Sephora Singapore (online), at TANGS and shu uemura boutiques islandwide.

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