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

Hello everyone!

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

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

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

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

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

#1 Pro Filtr Soft Matte Longwear Foundation (200)

Fenty Beauty Pro Filtr Soft Matte Longwear Foundation in 200

Fenty Beauty Pro Filtr Soft Matte Longwear Foundation in 200

Fenty Beauty Pro Filtr Soft Matte Longwear Foundation in 200

Fenty Beauty Pro Filtr Soft Matte Longwear Foundation in 200

Fenty Beauty Pro Filtr Soft Matte Longwear Foundation in 200

Fenty Beauty Pro Filtr Soft Matte Longwear Foundation in 200

Fenty Beauty Pro Filtr Soft Matte Longwear Foundation in 200

Fenty Beauty Pro Filtr Soft Matte Longwear Foundation in 200

Fenty Beauty Pro Filtr Soft Matte Longwear Foundation in 200

Fenty Beauty Pro Filtr Soft Matte Longwear Foundation in 200

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

…did I just find my PERFECT foundation match?!

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

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

#2 Pro Filtr Soft Matte Longwear Foundation (260)

Fenty Beauty Pro Filtr Soft Matte Longwear Foundation in 260

Fenty Beauty Pro Filtr Soft Matte Longwear Foundation in 260

Fenty Beauty Pro Filtr Soft Matte Longwear Foundation in 260

Fenty Beauty Pro Filtr Soft Matte Longwear Foundation in 260

Fenty Beauty Pro Filtr Soft Matte Longwear Foundation in 260

Fenty Beauty Pro Filtr Soft Matte Longwear Foundation in 260

Fenty Beauty Pro Filtr Soft Matte Longwear Foundation in 260

Fenty Beauty Pro Filtr Soft Matte Longwear Foundation in 260

Fenty Beauty Pro Filtr Soft Matte Longwear Foundation in 260

Fenty Beauty Pro Filtr Soft Matte Longwear Foundation in 260

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

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

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

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT

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

Patchy appearance of 260

Patchy appearance of 260

Comparing swatches of 200 and 260

Comparing swatches of 200 and 260

Bare-faced versus 200 and 260 on the face

Bare-faced versus 200 and 260 on the face

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Match Stix Trio in Medium

Match Stix Trio in Medium

Match Stix Trio in Medium

Match Stix Trio in Medium

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

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

Match Stix Matte Skinstick in Bamboo (fully twisted up)

Match Stix Matte Skinstick in Bamboo (fully twisted up)

Match Stix Matte Skinstick in Bamboo

Match Stix Matte Skinstick in Bamboo

Match Stix Matte Skinstick in Bamboo

Match Stix Matte Skinstick in Bamboo

Match Stix Matte Skinstick in Bamboo

Match Stix Matte Skinstick in Bamboo

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

Match Stix Matte Skinstick in Mocha (fully twisted up)

Match Stix Matte Skinstick in Mocha (fully twisted up)

Match Stix Matte Skinstick in Mocha

Match Stix Matte Skinstick in Mocha

Match Stix Matte Skinstick in Mocha

Match Stix Matte Skinstick in Mocha

Match Stix Matte Skinstick in Mocha

Match Stix Matte Skinstick in Mocha

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

Mocha vs Hoola

Mocha vs Hoola

Match Stix Shimmer Skinstick in Trippin (fully twisted up)

Match Stix Shimmer Skinstick in Trippin (fully twisted up)

Match Stix Shimmer Skinstick in Trippin

Match Stix Shimmer Skinstick in Trippin

Match Stix Shimmer Skinstick in Trippin

Match Stix Shimmer Skinstick in Trippin

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

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

Match Stix Shimmer Skinstick in Trippin

Match Stix Shimmer Skinstick in Trippin

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

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

Trippin vs Watt's Up! Cream Highlighter by Benefit

Trippin vs Watt’s Up! Cream Highlighter by Benefit

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

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

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

#4 Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter
(Trophy Wife)

Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter in Trophy Wife

Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter in Trophy Wife

Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter in Trophy Wife

Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter in Trophy Wife

Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter in Trophy Wife

Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter in Trophy Wife

Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter in Trophy Wife

Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter in Trophy Wife

Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter in Trophy Wife

Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter in Trophy Wife

Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter in Trophy Wife

Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter in Trophy Wife

Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter in Trophy Wife

Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter in Trophy Wife

Before and after blending out Trophy Wife

Before and after blending out Trophy Wife

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks for reading!

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

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

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

Hello everyone!

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

Let's begin with the highlighters!

Let’s begin with the highlighters!

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

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

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

Now, onto the critique of the products themselves. 

#1 Pressed Powder Highlighter in Starflower

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

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

ColourPop × My Little Pony Pressed Powder Highlighter in Starflower

ColourPop × My Little Pony Pressed Powder Highlighter in Starflower

ColourPop × My Little Pony Pressed Powder Highlighter in Starflower

ColourPop × My Little Pony Pressed Powder Highlighter in Starflower

ColourPop × My Little Pony Pressed Powder Highlighter in Starflower

ColourPop × My Little Pony Pressed Powder Highlighter in Starflower

ColourPop × My Little Pony Pressed Powder Highlighter in Starflower

ColourPop × My Little Pony Pressed Powder Highlighter in Starflower

ColourPop × My Little Pony Pressed Powder Highlighter in Starflower

ColourPop × My Little Pony Pressed Powder Highlighter in Starflower

ColourPop × My Little Pony Pressed Powder Highlighter in Starflower

ColourPop × My Little Pony Pressed Powder Highlighter in Starflower

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

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

ColourPop × My Little Pony Pressed Powder Highlighter in Starflower

ColourPop × My Little Pony Pressed Powder Highlighter in Starflower

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

#2 Pressed Powder Highlighter in Trickles

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

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

ColourPop × My Little Pony Pressed Powder Highlighter in Trickles

ColourPop × My Little Pony Pressed Powder Highlighter in Trickles

ColourPop × My Little Pony Pressed Powder Highlighter in Trickles

ColourPop × My Little Pony Pressed Powder Highlighter in Trickles

ColourPop × My Little Pony Pressed Powder Highlighter in Trickles

ColourPop × My Little Pony Pressed Powder Highlighter in Trickles

ColourPop × My Little Pony Pressed Powder Highlighter in Trickles

ColourPop × My Little Pony Pressed Powder Highlighter in Trickles

ColourPop × My Little Pony Pressed Powder Highlighter in Trickles

ColourPop × My Little Pony Pressed Powder Highlighter in Trickles

ColourPop × My Little Pony Pressed Powder Highlighter in Trickles

ColourPop × My Little Pony Pressed Powder Highlighter in Trickles

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

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

ColourPop × My Little Pony Pressed Powder Highlighter in Trickles

ColourPop × My Little Pony Pressed Powder Highlighter in Trickles

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

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

Compare ColourPop Starflower and Trickles with other highlighters

Compare ColourPop Starflower and Trickles with other highlighters

Moving on to the lips..

#3 Ultra Matte Lip in Lemon Drop

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

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

ColourPop × My Little Pony Ultra Matte Lip in Lemon Drop

ColourPop × My Little Pony Ultra Matte Lip in Lemon Drop

ColourPop × My Little Pony Ultra Matte Lip in Lemon Drop

ColourPop × My Little Pony Ultra Matte Lip in Lemon Drop

ColourPop × My Little Pony Ultra Matte Lip in Lemon Drop

ColourPop × My Little Pony Ultra Matte Lip in Lemon Drop

ColourPop × My Little Pony Ultra Matte Lip in Lemon Drop

ColourPop × My Little Pony Ultra Matte Lip in Lemon Drop

ColourPop × My Little Pony Ultra Matte Lip in Lemon Drop

ColourPop × My Little Pony Ultra Matte Lip in Lemon Drop

ColourPop × My Little Pony Ultra Matte Lip in Lemon Drop

ColourPop × My Little Pony Ultra Matte Lip in Lemon Drop

ColourPop × My Little Pony Ultra Matte Lip in Lemon Drop

ColourPop × My Little Pony Ultra Matte Lip in Lemon Drop

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

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

ColourPop Lemon Drop swatch comparison

ColourPop Lemon Drop swatch comparison

#4 Ultra Matte Lip in Pin Wheel

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

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

ColourPop × My Little Pony Ultra Matte Lip in Pin Wheel

ColourPop × My Little Pony Ultra Matte Lip in Pin Wheel

ColourPop × My Little Pony Ultra Matte Lip in Pin Wheel

ColourPop × My Little Pony Ultra Matte Lip in Pin Wheel

ColourPop × My Little Pony Ultra Matte Lip in Pin Wheel

ColourPop × My Little Pony Ultra Matte Lip in Pin Wheel

ColourPop × My Little Pony Ultra Matte Lip in Pin Wheel

ColourPop × My Little Pony Ultra Matte Lip in Pin Wheel

ColourPop × My Little Pony Ultra Matte Lip in Pin Wheel

ColourPop × My Little Pony Ultra Matte Lip in Pin Wheel

ColourPop × My Little Pony Ultra Matte Lip in Pin Wheel

ColourPop × My Little Pony Ultra Matte Lip in Pin Wheel

ColourPop × My Little Pony Ultra Matte Lip in Pin Wheel

ColourPop × My Little Pony Ultra Matte Lip in Pin Wheel

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

ColourPop Pin Wheel swatch comparison

ColourPop Pin Wheel swatch comparison

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

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

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

Thanks for reading!

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

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

REVIEW: ColourPop × My Little Pony Pressed Powder Shadow Palette

Hello everyone!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SWATCHES & REVIEW

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Swatch comparison for the warms against Lorac Mega PRO 3 Palette

Swatch comparison for the warms against Lorac Mega PRO 3 Palette

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

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

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

Swatch comparison for the cools against Lorac Mega PRO 3 Palette

Swatch comparison for the cools against Lorac Mega PRO 3 Palette

APPLICATION & LOOKS

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

Apply Butterscotch as the base colour

Apply Butterscotch as the base colour

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

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

Butterscotch

Butterscotch

Starshine and Blossom for a pop of colour

Starshine and Blossom for a pop of colour

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

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

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

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

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

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

Peek-a-boo!

Peek-a-boo!

Final look (without eyeliner)

Final look (without eyeliner)

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks for reading!

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

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REVIEW: Sigma Beauty Creme de Couture Pressed Color Palette

Hello everyone!

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

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

Sigma Beauty Creme de Couture Pressed Color Palette (box)

Sigma Beauty Creme de Couture Pressed Color Palette (box)

Sigma Beauty Creme de Couture Pressed Color Palette (back)

Sigma Beauty Creme de Couture Pressed Color Palette (back)

Sigma Beauty Creme de Couture Pressed Color Palette

Sigma Beauty Creme de Couture Pressed Color Palette

Sigma Beauty Creme de Couture Pressed Color Palette

Sigma Beauty Creme de Couture Pressed Color Palette

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

PINKS

The pinks of Sigma Creme de Couture Pressed Shadow Palette

The pinks of Sigma Creme de Couture Pressed Shadow Palette

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

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

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

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

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

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

WARMS

The warms of Sigma Creme de Couture Pressed Shadow Palette

The warms of Sigma Creme de Couture Pressed Shadow Palette

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

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

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

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

Kickbacks occurring mostly in Apricot Flower and Passion Fruit

Kickbacks occurring mostly in Apricot Flower and Passion Fruit

PURPLES

The purples of Sigma Creme de Couture Pressed Shadow Palette

The purples of Sigma Creme de Couture Pressed Shadow Palette

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

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

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

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

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

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

BLUES

The blues of Sigma Creme de Couture Pressed Shadow Palette

The blues of Sigma Creme de Couture Pressed Shadow Palette

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

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

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

GREENS

The greens of Sigma Creme de Couture Pressed Shadow Palette

The greens of Sigma Creme de Couture Pressed Shadow Palette

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

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

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

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

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

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

LOOK 1: PADDLE POP

Look #1

Look #1

Look #1

Look #1

*cues Paddle Pop theme song*

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

LOOK 2: KATONG LAKSA

Look #2

Look #2

Look #2

Look #2

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

LOOK 3: PURPLE AGAR-AGAR

Look #3

Look #3

Look #3

Look #3

Look #3

Look #3

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks for reading!

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

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REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: M·A·C Colour Rocker Lipsticks (PART 3) – Night Mint & Into The Madness

[SCROLL DOWN TO THE END FOR GIVEAWAY]

M·A·C Colour Rocker 2017 (PART 3)

M·A·C Colour Rocker 2017 (PART 3)

In this finale of my M·A·C Colour Rocker lipstick review (which comes about seven months too late – oops!), I will be exploring two more shades (purchased at a later date) and giving my final thoughts about the collection as a whole. To refresh your memory, this collection saw the launch of 28 (mostly) limited edition bright neon-coloured Matte lipsticks in February, 12 of which were already reviewed here earlier this year.

Missed the earlier reviews?
Read part 1 here and part 2 here.

Since the Colour Rocker collection page has already been taken down, I have hyperlinked the following shades to their corresponding product pages for your convenience. You may still be able to find them at your local M·A·C stores.

#13 Night Mint

M·A·C Colour Rocker lipstick in Night Mint (US$17 / S$33)

M·A·C Colour Rocker lipstick in Night Mint (US$17 / S$33)

M·A·C Colour Rocker lipstick in Night Mint

M·A·C Colour Rocker lipstick in Night Mint

M·A·C Colour Rocker lipstick in Night Mint

M·A·C Colour Rocker lipstick in Night Mint

M·A·C Colour Rocker lipstick in Night Mint

M·A·C Colour Rocker lipstick in Night Mint

M·A·C Colour Rocker lipstick in Night Mint

M·A·C Colour Rocker lipstick in Night Mint

M·A·C Colour Rocker lipstick in Night Mint

M·A·C Colour Rocker lipstick in Night Mint

Night Mint is described as a light army green with a Matte finish. This would have been an accurate description if it had referred to the bullet as the lipstick did not quite translate to the depicted colour when applied on my lips. Instead, it appears more of a muted cool grey with a barely noticeable hint of green undertone, which is such a shame because the intended shade is something I’ve not seen from M·A·C before and certainly not what I can find in my stash. Now, this is just another grey… 😴 Oh M·A·C.. why did you have to skimp on the green pigment for this?

The colour discrepancy aside, I must say that this lipstick glides on relatively smooth and has a nice slip to it. It gives the kind of texture you wouldn’t expect from a Matte lipstick. It wears comfortably with very minimal shine and is buildable to a darker hue of grey. Creamy in consistency, it has a mostly opaque payoff and does not look patchy like most unusual shades do. However, the product tends to settle into the lip lines and its emollient quality causes it to wear off more easily and fade to a chalky mess.

There were speculations that Night Mint could also be a bullet lipstick dupe for Dirty Money (by Jeffree Star Cosmetics), so here’s a quick swatch comparison with the latter to set the record straight..

Nope... not even close

Nope… not even close

More swatch comparisons towards the end of this review.

#14 Into The Madness

M·A·C Colour Rocker lipstick in Into The Madness (US$17 / S$33)

M·A·C Colour Rocker lipstick in Into The Madness (US$17 / S$33)

M·A·C Colour Rocker lipstick in Into The Madness (US$17 / S$33)

M·A·C Colour Rocker lipstick in Into The Madness (US$17 / S$33)

M·A·C Colour Rocker lipstick in Into The Madness (US$17 / S$33)

M·A·C Colour Rocker lipstick in Into The Madness (US$17 / S$33)

M·A·C Colour Rocker lipstick in Into The Madness (US$17 / S$33)

M·A·C Colour Rocker lipstick in Into The Madness (US$17 / S$33)

M·A·C Colour Rocker lipstick in Into The Madness (US$17 / S$33)

M·A·C Colour Rocker lipstick in Into The Madness (US$17 / S$33)

M·A·C Colour Rocker lipstick in Into The Madness (US$17 / S$33)

M·A·C Colour Rocker lipstick in Into The Madness (US$17 / S$33)

Into The Madness is described as a bright lime green with Matte finish. Even though this may not be the first green lipstick ever created by M·A·C, it is undoubtedly one of their only greens that really applies matte and true to the bullet colour without all that glittery nonsense and almost non-existent pigment (like Fashion Flower in 2011).

That said, the formula is still not perfect. Although it applies creamy with minimal tugging and skipping, the product settles into the lip lines and does not distribute evenly across the lips, leaving a visibly chalky texture which kinda enhances all the imperfections and makes it hard to draw crisp and smooth outlines around the lips. It is lightweight but slightly drying and impossible to build on without making it streakier. However, considering that the formulation for green pigments is typically a challenge to get right, this is already a milestone, I feel.

On top of that, this Grinch-like fluorescent green also reminds me of Jeffree Star Cosmetics’ Venus Flytrap by Jeffree Star, albeit not as pigmented and vibrant (judging based on swatches I found online as I don’t personally own that shade). So, if liquid lipstick isn’t your cup of tea, this could be an alternative in bullet form for you.

M·A·C Colour Rocker lipsticks in Night Mint and Into The Madness - swatch comparison

M·A·C Colour Rocker lipsticks in Night Mint and Into The Madness – swatch comparison

And… this marks the end of the final instalment in my M·A·C Colour Rocker collection review! This is definitely one of my favourite collections of the year because, apart from the fact that every shade is in Matte finish, this literally offers a spectrum of futuristic colours including some never seen before in my 5-year love affair with M·A·C (even though most of them would have been more apt for creating ombré lips or other sorts of lip art). In general, with the exception of the yellow and neon green, the quality of the lipsticks (especially the neutrals) in this collection have surpassed my expectations. I hope they remain permanent!

Now, it’s time for a..

M·A·C LIPSTICK GIVEAWAY 

Have you been leaning towards safe lipstick colours because you never found the courage to splurge on unconventional shades for fear that they may not suit you? Here’s your chance to score one (your first bold lipstick shade, perhaps) from the Colour Rocker collection without having to pay a single cent for it!

 

WIN a brand new Matte Royal worth US$17.50 / S$33 (no box) by simply  following me on Instagram! Once you’ve hit the ‘Follow’ button, comment on this Instagram update with the (valid) IG handle of TWO (2) friends to be qualified for the draw!

Matte Royal is a deep blue with a Matte finish and was first introduced as part of the Matte Lips collection in 2015. For full review and swatches, click here!

Contest ends 29 October 2017, 23 59 h (GMT +8). This contest is open internationally and the winner will be selected randomly and notified through Instagram within 5 days after the contest period ends. The prize will be mailed out to the winner at the lowest postage cost possible. For transparency purposes, the winner will also be announced on this post.

OTHER Terms and Conditions
◘ To qualify, participants have to be following @amelieseah on Instagram and tag two (2) friends on the stated Instagram post.
◘ Prizes are non-transferable. Winners may not request substitution or other consideration from the originally awarded prize.
◘ FIONASEAH.COM reserves the right to disqualify any winner if the contest rules have been violated in any way.
◘ FIONASEAH.COM reserves the right to revoke the prize if the winner does not meet any or all eligibility requirements (this includes not responding to the winning notification within the stipulated time), even though an announcement may have been made on Instagram or on this post indicating that person was the winner.
◘ These rules are subject to change without prior notice.

Good luck!

What are your thoughts about the Colour Rocker collection? Let me know in the comments below!

Thanks for reading!

M.A.C Colour Rocker is now separately available on MACCosmetics.com and in all local M.A.C outlets.

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