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

Hello everyone!

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

Some of CEZANNE products

Some of CEZANNE products

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

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

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

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

1. UV Clear Face Powder 01

CEZANNE UV Clear Face Powder 01 (S$17.90)

CEZANNE UV Clear Face Powder 01 (S$17.90)

CEZANNE UV Clear Face Powder 01

CEZANNE UV Clear Face Powder 01

CEZANNE UV Clear Face Powder 01

CEZANNE UV Clear Face Powder 01

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

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

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

2. Make Keep Base

CEZANNE Make Keep Base (S$15.90)

CEZANNE Make Keep Base (S$15.90)

CEZANNE Make Keep Base

CEZANNE Make Keep Base

CEZANNE Make Keep Base

CEZANNE Make Keep Base

CEZANNE Make Keep Base

CEZANNE Make Keep Base

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

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

3. Make Retouch Base

CEZANNE Make Retouch Base (S$9.90)

CEZANNE Make Retouch Base (S$9.90)

CEZANNE Make Retouch Base

CEZANNE Make Retouch Base

CEZANNE Make Retouch Base

CEZANNE Make Retouch Base

CEZANNE Make Retouch Base

CEZANNE Make Retouch Base

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

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

4.聽Gokuboso Eyeliner R 10

CEZANNE Gokuboso Eyeliner R 10 (S$15.90)

CEZANNE Gokuboso Eyeliner R 10 (S$15.90)

CEZANNE Gokuboso Eyeliner R 10

CEZANNE Gokuboso Eyeliner R 10

CEZANNE Gokuboso Eyeliner R 10

CEZANNE Gokuboso Eyeliner R 10

CEZANNE Gokuboso Eyeliner R 10

CEZANNE Gokuboso Eyeliner R 10

CEZANNE Gokuboso Eyeliner R 10

CEZANNE Gokuboso Eyeliner R 10

CEZANNE Gokuboso Eyeliner R 10 - rub test

CEZANNE Gokuboso Eyeliner R 10 – rub test

CEZANNE Gokuboso Eyeliner R 10

CEZANNE Gokuboso Eyeliner R 10

CEZANNE Gokuboso Eyeliner R 10

CEZANNE Gokuboso Eyeliner R 10

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

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

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

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

CEZANNE Gokuboso Eyeliner R 10 - swatch comparison

CEZANNE Gokuboso Eyeliner R 10 – swatch comparison

5. Glamourlush Curl Mascara

CEZANNE Glamourlush Curl Mascara (S$15.90)

CEZANNE Glamourlush Curl Mascara (S$15.90)

CEZANNE Glamourlush Curl Mascara

CEZANNE Glamourlush Curl Mascara

CEZANNE Glamourlush Curl Mascara

CEZANNE Glamourlush Curl Mascara

CEZANNE Glamourlush Curl Mascara

CEZANNE Glamourlush Curl Mascara

CEZANNE Glamourlush Curl Mascara

CEZANNE Glamourlush Curl Mascara

CEZANNE Glamourlush Curl Mascara

CEZANNE Glamourlush Curl Mascara

CEZANNE Glamourlush Curl Mascara

CEZANNE Glamourlush Curl Mascara

CEZANNE Glamourlush Curl Mascara

CEZANNE Glamourlush Curl Mascara

CEZANNE Glamourlush Curl Mascara - AFTER application

CEZANNE Glamourlush Curl Mascara – AFTER application

CEZANNE Glamourlush Curl Mascara - BEFORE and AFTER

CEZANNE Glamourlush Curl Mascara – BEFORE and AFTER

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

6.聽Nose Shadow Highlighter

CEZANNE Nose Shadow Highlighter (S$15.90)

CEZANNE Nose Shadow Highlighter (S$15.90)

CEZANNE Nose Shadow Highlighter

CEZANNE Nose Shadow Highlighter

CEZANNE Nose Shadow Highlighter

CEZANNE Nose Shadow Highlighter

CEZANNE Nose Shadow Highlighter

CEZANNE Nose Shadow Highlighter

CEZANNE Nose Shadow Highlighter

CEZANNE Nose Shadow Highlighter

CEZANNE Nose Shadow Highlighter

CEZANNE Nose Shadow Highlighter

CEZANNE Nose Shadow Highlighter

CEZANNE Nose Shadow Highlighter

CEZANNE Nose Shadow Highlighter

CEZANNE Nose Shadow Highlighter

CEZANNE Nose Shadow Highlighter

CEZANNE Nose Shadow Highlighter

CEZANNE Nose Shadow Highlighter

CEZANNE Nose Shadow Highlighter

CEZANNE Nose Shadow Highlighter

CEZANNE Nose Shadow Highlighter

CEZANNE Nose Shadow Highlighter

CEZANNE Nose Shadow Highlighter

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

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

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

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

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

7.聽Lasting Lip Color N 402

CEZANNE Lasting Lip Color N 402 (S$12.90)

CEZANNE Lasting Lip Color N 402 (S$12.90)

CEZANNE Lasting Lip Color N 402

CEZANNE Lasting Lip Color N 402

CEZANNE Lasting Lip Color N 402

CEZANNE Lasting Lip Color N 402

CEZANNE Lasting Lip Color N 402

CEZANNE Lasting Lip Color N 402

CEZANNE Lasting Lip Color N 402

CEZANNE Lasting Lip Color N 402

CEZANNE Lasting Lip Color N 402

CEZANNE Lasting Lip Color N 402

CEZANNE Lasting Lip Color N 402

CEZANNE Lasting Lip Color N 402

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

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

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

CEZANNE Lasting Lip Color N 402 - opacity comparison

CEZANNE Lasting Lip Color N 402 – opacity comparison

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

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

Thanks for reading!

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

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REVIEW: shu uemura Laque Supreme – BG04, RD05, PK05, CR03 & WN05

Hello everyone!

The matte lip trend has enjoyed a resurgence and much longevity over the past few years. But as the Spice Girls sang in their hit song, “Too much of something is bad enough,” and if you’re already sick of the wrinkly and shrunken lips effect, shu uemura has gotchu. The brand recently (okay, like 8 months ago..) expanded its Laque Supreme line with 11 new shades (adding to their 5 most-coveted existing shades), as well as a packaging makeover! Even before trying the product, the ombr茅 packaging had already struck a chord with me. Look how pretty it is!

shu uemura Laque Supreme

shu uemura Laque Supreme

shu uemura Laque Supreme

shu uemura Laque Supreme

Debuted in 2015, this long-lasting liquid formula delivers an intense shot of pigment and high shine of a gloss – thanks to a new special technology* embedded in it – with a fruity scent whilst keeping lips hydrated and shiny throughout the wear. Since it doesn’t dry down completely, the product is bound to transfer. But to what extent was the question.

Shades available in Singapore: RD01, RD05, WN03, WN04, WN05, CR01, CR02, CR03, PK04, PK05, PK06, PK07, BG02, BG04, BG05 & OR01.

Now boasting a total of 16 captivating shades ranging from iconic lacquer-red to better-than-bare nude that are sure to flatter Asian skin tones, these聽shades were selected by defining the colours that are most beautiful for shine and that allow the lips to become the focus of the face. That said, perhaps what didn’t really change was the ergonomic-shaped applicator affixed to the cap. Ideally-sized for our delicate Asian pouts, the applicator is absolutely perfect for drawing precise lines especially along the cupid’s bow!

*Shu red-dye complex, a mixture of red dye and red pigment is added to achieve deep color intensity

Below are five of the latest additions to the Laque Supreme line (courtesy of shu uemura Singapore) together with my honest opinion about them, as always!

BG04

shu uemura Laque Supreme in BG04 (US$31 / S$43)

shu uemura Laque Supreme in BG04 (US$31 / S$43)

shu uemura Laque Supreme in BG04

shu uemura Laque Supreme in BG04

shu uemura Laque Supreme in BG04

shu uemura Laque Supreme in BG04

shu uemura Laque Supreme in BG04

shu uemura Laque Supreme in BG04

shu uemura Laque Supreme in BG04

shu uemura Laque Supreme in BG04

shu uemura Laque Supreme in BG04

shu uemura Laque Supreme in BG04

shu uemura Laque Supreme in BG04

shu uemura Laque Supreme in BG04

shu uemura Laque Supreme in BG04

shu uemura Laque Supreme in BG04

BG04 is a medium dusty rose with brown undertones and a glossy finish. Although hydrating and causes zero feathering, it has sticky (as with the every other shades in the Laque Supreme line, but this somehow felt a lot more tackier) and thick consistency which weighed down my lips a bit. Sheer on first pass, it took about two to three layers for it to become reasonably pigmented. If you’re patient enough, it can also be built to a medium coverage by waiting for the previous layers to dry before applying the next coat.

This shade is lovely but pity about the below-par longevity on the pout – it vanished completely (without leaving any stain) with only a light pat of tissue paper on the lips after my dinner. With hindsight, that can be a good thing because you won’t get that awful ring-around-the-mouth look. But whatever it is, don’t ever wear this shade to a buffet because reapplication will be a bitch!

RD05

shu uemura Laque Supreme in RD05 (US$31 / S$43)

shu uemura Laque Supreme in RD05 (US$31 / S$43)

shu uemura Laque Supreme in RD05

shu uemura Laque Supreme in RD05

shu uemura Laque Supreme in RD05

shu uemura Laque Supreme in RD05

shu uemura Laque Supreme in RD05

shu uemura Laque Supreme in RD05

shu uemura Laque Supreme in RD05

shu uemura Laque Supreme in RD05

shu uemura Laque Supreme in RD05

shu uemura Laque Supreme in RD05

shu uemura Laque Supreme in RD05

shu uemura Laque Supreme in RD05

shu uemura Laque Supreme in RD05

shu uemura Laque Supreme in RD05

RD05 is a vivid red with blue undertones and a glossy finish. The applicator picked up a lot of product from the tube and glided on the lips smoothly without tugging to deliver a semi-sheer colour that was buildable to medium-to-full coverage (by employing the same technique mentioned above). This shade appears a lot more pigmented and even in texture than the others, and has the ability to blur out any dried specks of skin or imperfections on the lips while enabling crisp edges. Truly long-lasting, it faded to a stain after a heavy meal.

PK05

shu uemura Laque Supreme in PK05 (US$31 / S$43)

shu uemura Laque Supreme in PK05 (US$31 / S$43)

shu uemura Laque Supreme in PK05

shu uemura Laque Supreme in PK05

shu uemura Laque Supreme in PK05

shu uemura Laque Supreme in PK05

shu uemura Laque Supreme in PK05

shu uemura Laque Supreme in PK05

shu uemura Laque Supreme in PK05

shu uemura Laque Supreme in PK05

shu uemura Laque Supreme in PK05

shu uemura Laque Supreme in PK05

shu uemura Laque Supreme in PK05

shu uemura Laque Supreme in PK05

shu uemura Laque Supreme in PK05

shu uemura Laque Supreme in PK05

PK05 is a cool fuchsia with slight berry undertones and a glossy finish. Despite its sheer payoff, it yields an even consistency and does not leave streaks of distinct pigment on the lips when more than one coat is applied back-to-back. Apart from that, it is also buildable to a medium coverage. It clung onto dry patches and hence, accentuated some of the flaws on my lips but felt moderately hydrating on me. This shade faded to a stain after a heavy meal.

CR03

shu uemura Laque Supreme in CR03 (US$31 / S$43)

shu uemura Laque Supreme in CR03 (US$31 / S$43)

shu uemura Laque Supreme in CR03

shu uemura Laque Supreme in CR03

shu uemura Laque Supreme in CR03

shu uemura Laque Supreme in CR03

shu uemura Laque Supreme in CR03

shu uemura Laque Supreme in CR03

shu uemura Laque Supreme in CR03

shu uemura Laque Supreme in CR03

shu uemura Laque Supreme in CR03

shu uemura Laque Supreme in CR03

shu uemura Laque Supreme in CR03

shu uemura Laque Supreme in CR03

shu uemura Laque Supreme in CR03

shu uemura Laque Supreme in CR03

CR03 is a medium coral with red undertones and a glossy finish. Runnier in consistency, this shade yields a sheer coverage which seems promisingly pigmented initially until it is spread out – the colour loses most its intensity and blends into the lips (but without bleeding or settling into the lines). Therefore, those with naturally pigmented lips should stay away from this shade because the colour will most likely not show on yours. Although adding more coats (atop those that have dried a bit) does help to build its opacity to a certain extent, the result ends up appearing messy and streaky.聽This shade leaves a very subtle stain on my lips after my dinner and was moderately hydrating on me.

WN05

shu uemura Laque Supreme in WN05 (US$31 / S$43)

shu uemura Laque Supreme in WN05 (US$31 / S$43)

shu uemura Laque Supreme in WN05

shu uemura Laque Supreme in WN05

shu uemura Laque Supreme in WN05

shu uemura Laque Supreme in WN05

shu uemura Laque Supreme in WN05

shu uemura Laque Supreme in WN05

shu uemura Laque Supreme in WN05

shu uemura Laque Supreme in WN05

shu uemura Laque Supreme in WN05

shu uemura Laque Supreme in WN05

shu uemura Laque Supreme in WN05

shu uemura Laque Supreme in WN05

shu uemura Laque Supreme in WN05

shu uemura Laque Supreme in WN05

WN05 is a warm burgundy with a glossy finish and is by far, the most disappointing one from this range probably because I had such high hopes for it! The texture is almost like CR03 but worse – clings onto dry areas and delivers a very patchy and uneven application which intensifies once it dries because some parts would appear visibly darker than the rest. The first two passes yield a sheer, just-bitten effect, but is once again buildable to a medium coverage if you don’t layer on too quickly.

Among the five shades here, WN05 leaves the most noticeable stain (and therefore is the most long-lasting), so much so that it took me a couple of washes (or rather, scrubs) for it to be removed entirely.

Longevity test - all shades except CR03 and BG04 withstood the wrath of my Simple makeup wipe

Longevity test – all shades except CR03 and BG04 withstood the wrath of my Simple makeup wipe

[Under natural lighting] I don't own many glosses, so I'll do a finish comparison instead with other brands

[Under natural lighting] I don’t own many glosses, so I’ll do a finish comparison instead with other brands

In general, the Laque Supreme line is definitely a few notches above regular glosses due to the moisturising effects, more intense pigmentation (mainly the lighter shades) and higher longevity it (mostly the darker shades) offers. Even though the texture is still too tacky for my liking, it adheres well to the lips so when hair gets stuck in it, it doesn’t drag any product over my face. And I believe that is a major bonus for anyone – like me – who shuns lip glosses.聽I think so long as nothing comes in contact with the lips, these are still pretty much low maintenance.

What are your thoughts about the Laque Supreme line? If you have been avoiding lip glosses, would you be keen to give this a shot? Let me know what you think in the comments below or take a quick poll!

Thanks for reading!

shu uemura Laque Supreme is now available on shuuemura.com.sg, shuuemura-USA.com and in all local shu uemura outlets.
Products were supplied by shu uemura Singapore聽for my consideration but all opinions expressed are my own.

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

REVIEW: Fenty Beauty Mattemoiselle Plush Matte Lipsticks – Spanked, Freckle Fiesta & Saw-C

Hello everyone!

Since flying the flag for shade diversity through its 40-strong foundation range, Fenty Beauty has been touted as the game-changer in the beauty industry, bringing public excitement and anticipation for its next releases to a white heat. But as someone who isn’t too huge on palettes full of sparkly eye shadows, and liquid lipsticks (many of mine dried up within one year of purchase), my attention was naturally diverted to the line of bullet lipsticks which dropped in December last year.

Available in 14 universally-flattering shades, the Mattemoiselle Plush Matte Lipsticks come in an ultra slim reflective hexagonal tube with a long-wearing, petal-soft matte finish that promises weightless and intense pigmented colour on the lips. According to Glamour, the lipsticks were designed to enable a more controlled application – the bullet can be used upright on the top lip and upside down to fill the bottom lip (although I don’t find this feature particularly groundbreaking – isn’t this how lipsticks are normally applied? Or was I the only one doing that all along?聽馃槀). As interesting as they sound, because this brand had disappointed me the first time around聽(and also S$28 for just 0.06 oz / 1.7 g of product is a lot of money), I wasn’t inclined to pay full price for them. So it was only when Sephora held their annual sale in May that I got my hands on a few of the shades – only three, to be exact, but I do feel kinda tempted now to add more of them to my collection聽馃憖

Spanked

Fenty Beauty Mattemoiselle Plush Matte Lipstick in Spanked (US$18 / S$28)

Fenty Beauty Mattemoiselle Plush Matte Lipstick in Spanked (US$18 / S$28)

Fenty Beauty Mattemoiselle Plush Matte Lipstick in Spanked

Fenty Beauty Mattemoiselle Plush Matte Lipstick in Spanked

Fenty Beauty Mattemoiselle Plush Matte Lipstick in Spanked

Fenty Beauty Mattemoiselle Plush Matte Lipstick in Spanked

Fenty Beauty Mattemoiselle Plush Matte Lipstick in Spanked

Fenty Beauty Mattemoiselle Plush Matte Lipstick in Spanked

Fenty Beauty Mattemoiselle Plush Matte Lipstick in Spanked

Fenty Beauty Mattemoiselle Plush Matte Lipstick in Spanked

Fenty Beauty Mattemoiselle Plush Matte Lipstick in Spanked

Fenty Beauty Mattemoiselle Plush Matte Lipstick in Spanked

Spanked is described as a dusty rose with a matte finish. Initially, I was rather sceptical as to how this yellow-toned mauve-pink would apply on my lips because it seemed a little dry in the tube. But there was nothing of that sort when I ran the bullet over my lips for the first time – the coverage was incredibly full and opaque with a hint of hydrating sheen so the texture didn’t look entirely flat. The lipstick deposited a uniform and (comfortable) thick coat of intense colour without weighing the lips down or emphasising the lines, thus rendering a second layer unnecessary. If the payoff is found to be too dark, it can be toned down by blotting it off with a tissue or by pursing the lips without removing too much product or causing any patchiness! This shade lasted for most of the six hours on me when I wore it out.

Swatch and finish comparison for Spanked

Swatch and finish comparison for Spanked

Freckle Fiesta

Fenty Beauty Mattemoiselle Plush Matte Lipstick in Freckle Fiesta (US$18 / S$28)

Fenty Beauty Mattemoiselle Plush Matte Lipstick in Freckle Fiesta (US$18 / S$28)

Fenty Beauty Mattemoiselle Plush Matte Lipstick in Freckle Fiesta

Fenty Beauty Mattemoiselle Plush Matte Lipstick in Freckle Fiesta

Fenty Beauty Mattemoiselle Plush Matte Lipstick in Freckle Fiesta

Fenty Beauty Mattemoiselle Plush Matte Lipstick in Freckle Fiesta

Fenty Beauty Mattemoiselle Plush Matte Lipstick in Freckle Fiesta

Fenty Beauty Mattemoiselle Plush Matte Lipstick in Freckle Fiesta

Fenty Beauty Mattemoiselle Plush Matte Lipstick in Freckle Fiesta

Fenty Beauty Mattemoiselle Plush Matte Lipstick in Freckle Fiesta

Fenty Beauty Mattemoiselle Plush Matte Lipstick in Freckle Fiesta

Fenty Beauty Mattemoiselle Plush Matte Lipstick in Freckle Fiesta

Freckle Fiesta is described as a spiced terracotta with a matte finish. This yellow-toned burnt orange is one of the more popular shades that flew off the shelves on launch day. Like Spanked, Freckle Fiesta glides across the lips without skipping or tugging to deliver an even and pigmented coverage opaque enough to conceal whatever flaws there are on the lips on the first swipe without settling into the lines. It also lasted a decent chunk of the day. That is, even after a pretty heavy meal!

Swatch and finish comparison for Freckle Fiesta

Swatch and finish comparison for Freckle Fiesta

Saw-C

Fenty Beauty Mattemoiselle Plush Matte Lipstick in Saw-C (US$18 / S$28)

Fenty Beauty Mattemoiselle Plush Matte Lipstick in Saw-C (US$18 / S$28)

Fenty Beauty Mattemoiselle Plush Matte Lipstick in Saw-C

Fenty Beauty Mattemoiselle Plush Matte Lipstick in Saw-C

Fenty Beauty Mattemoiselle Plush Matte Lipstick in Saw-C

Fenty Beauty Mattemoiselle Plush Matte Lipstick in Saw-C

Fenty Beauty Mattemoiselle Plush Matte Lipstick in Saw-C

Fenty Beauty Mattemoiselle Plush Matte Lipstick in Saw-C

Fenty Beauty Mattemoiselle Plush Matte Lipstick in Saw-C

Fenty Beauty Mattemoiselle Plush Matte Lipstick in Saw-C

Fenty Beauty Mattemoiselle Plush Matte Lipstick in Saw-C

Fenty Beauty Mattemoiselle Plush Matte Lipstick in Saw-C

Saw-C is described as an exotic tangerine with a matte finish. This bright orange has a strong yellow undertones, and sadly tugged a little at my lips during application. The payoff is vibrant and pigmented, but has a slightly patchy and drying consistency which is fortunately only visible upon close inspection. It doesn’t deliver as much opacity as the other two lipsticks, but it can be built upon to achieve full coverage – although not without the extra patchiness and product settling into the cracks. But if you were to disregard its shortcomings, this shade is actually pretty fascinating and unique (I don’t have anything similar in my ever-growing lipstick stash), and I think it complements dark skin tones very well!

Swatch and finish comparison for Saw-C

Swatch and finish comparison for Saw-C

Fenty Beauty might have let me down with their foundation and Match Stix previously but these Mattemoiselle lipsticks have restored my confidence in them with their insanely pigmented payoff and superior longevity in just a single application – an extent of which I’ve not encountered with other brands, even my favourite M路A路C. I’m certainly open to welcoming more of them into my stash – but only when the prices are discounted, of course.

What do you think of the Mattemoiselle聽Plush Matte Lipsticks? Did you get anything from this range? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below or simply take a quick poll!

Thanks for reading!

Fenty beauty is now available on FentyBeauty.com and in all local Sephora outlets.

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REVIEW: ColourPop 脳 Shayla – Perception Pressed Powder Shadow Palette & Cr猫me Lux Lipsticks in OOUUUU!, Quickie & C’mon Sis

Hello everyone!

With nearly every makeup product imaginable already being sold on the market, brands are at risk of losing their footing if they don’t innovate. From packaging revamp to striking up a collaboration with high-profile figures, companies such as M路A路C have been employing numerous marketing strategies to shake the somewhat stagnant beauty industry to great success, and it sure didn’t take long for emerging brands like ColourPop to learn the tricks of the trade and follow their footsteps.

Being a (largely) e-commerce brand, the decision to book social media influencers to front their beauty campaigns is a no-brainer for ColourPop. But what makes them more relatable than any other brands (apart from their low costs) is how they have been promoting a sense of inclusivity by putting the spotlight on people of colour – Latinas (Kathleen Lights, ILuvSarahii), Asians (Jenn Im, Hello Kitty 馃槀) and now the third African-American after Ellarie and Karrueche, MakeupShayla.

For the unfamiliar, MakeUpShayla (whose real name is Shayla Mitchell) is a beauty guru with nearly 600,000 subscribers on YouTube and over 2 million followers on Instagram. As part of her larger goal to make brands more diverse, she jumped at the chance to collaborate with ColourPop to come up with makeup that would complement darker skin tones.

Her collection, which comprises聽Cr猫me Lux Lipsticks (OOUUUU! / Quickie / C’mon Sis), Luster Dust Loose Highlighter (Boomin’ / Pose), Ultra Glossy Lip (Neat Freak) and a Pressed Powder Shadow Palette (Perception), is a throwback to the emo era with paint splatters (albeit emblazoned in gold foil) all over the black packaging. You could buy the entire collection in a bundle for five bucks less, or simply get the eye shadow palette and another seven-dollar item to enjoy free domestic shipping. Since I’m not residing in the U.S., I would have to fill my shopping basket with more products to have them shipped to me at no cost. So lucky you – more of ColourPop in this review!

Perception Pressed Powder
Shadow Palette聽

ColourPop 脳 Shayla Perception Pressed Powder Shadow Palette (US$23)

ColourPop 脳 Shayla Perception Pressed Powder Shadow Palette (US$23)

ColourPop 脳 Shayla Perception Pressed Powder Shadow Palette

ColourPop 脳 Shayla Perception Pressed Powder Shadow Palette

ColourPop 脳 Shayla Perception Pressed Powder Shadow Palette

ColourPop 脳 Shayla Perception Pressed Powder Shadow Palette

ColourPop 脳 Shayla Perception Pressed Powder Shadow Palette (click to enlarge)

ColourPop 脳 Shayla Perception Pressed Powder Shadow Palette (click to enlarge)

With 16 bold yet versatile shades for creating day-to-night looks,聽Perception is a refreshing change from the neutral and rose gold palettes that have been sprouting up everywhere like mushrooms. At just US$23, you are essentially paying about US$1.50 per gram of eye shadow (for comparison, M路A路C charges about U$4 per gram).

Despite the low price, it still comes with a mirror (covered by a protective film)! Having a mirror in your eye shadow palette is like realising your dress has pockets – they are little bonuses that you never know when will come in handy, so that certainly contributed to the positive first impression. Besides, a lot of attention was paid to the overall aesthetics of the palette as can be seen from the gold-scripted names underneath each pan. For the record, printing the names of eye shadows isn’t a common practice of ColourPop!

The following palettes were selected for comparison purposes due to their similarities to Perception: Kat Von D 10th Anniversary聽路 Kat Von D Saint and Sinner

Unbothered聽is described as a metallic ivory with a peachy flip. This cream contains ivory gold micro-shimmer that lends a radiant (yet not too obtrusive) shine to the eyes. It has a smooth and silky application (almost like Satin finish) and is finely milled to provide deeper coverage. The texture adheres to the lid very well without appearing streaky and blended out very easily even in wet state. For comparison swatches, please scroll down to the review on Spill The Tea.

TF is described as a metallic true gold. Upon application, this eye shadow聽luxuriously envelops the lids like the finest silk (because the texture is so smooth!) with a high-shine gold shimmer-infused (somewhat muted) warm gold colour. When used dry, it goes on slightly sheer on first pass but is buildable to full opacity but the payoff becomes richer and more intense once it comes in contact with water. There was no fallout and edges were relatively easy to diffuse.聽For comparison swatches, please scroll down to the review on Strut ‘n Slay.

Titus is described as a metallic gunmetal. To be more explicit, it is a grey with purple undertones which has small yet sparse predominantly silver shimmer particles. It has semi-sheer payoff which improves slightly when used with a dampened brush. Although the texture was smooth (as with majority of the shades in this palette), it took me a bit of effort to diffuse the edges and after awhile, it became patchy on my lid. On top of that, I noticed that it started to settle into my crease about two hours into wear.

Swatch comparison for Titus

Swatch comparison for Titus

Stallion is described as a matte black with blue glitter. Like Titus, this bluish-black contains shimmer that scatters all over the skin when applied. But in terms of application, this performs much worse due to its slightly grainier texture which refuses to adhere to my lid, thereby causing some fallout issues. Although pigmented, it tends to become patchy once it is blended out (which is also a difficult task). Generally, I find this shade to be rather messy – there was never a time when the area around the pan would be spotless after use because of the kickback.聽For comparison swatches, please scroll down to the review on 14.

Spill the Tea is described as a metallic warm taupe. This warm rose gold has a finish more metallic than the ones mentioned before this because of its densely packed shimmer. It has a smooth but uneven consistency which doesn’t blend out very well. A lot of the product tend to congregate at one spot, leaving the other areas sheer. But I realised the application got better when used with a dampened brush.

Swatch comparison for Spill the Tea and Unbothered

Swatch comparison for Spill the Tea and Unbothered

Diva is described as a metallic amber. This finely milled deep copper is densely packed with shimmer of the same colour, rendering it a true metallic effect. It is a darker, warmer and certainly a more pigmented version of TF. Loosely pressed and moderately creamy in texture, a lot of product comes off the pan easily in a powdery soft form with just a small dab of the brush. As kickback is expected for this shade, it would be advisable to pick up the pigment with a light hand. When applied, it yields a smooth and intense pigmentation even in its wet state (which makes it suitable to be used as a liner too) without fallout. Diva is certainly one of the better performers in the palette.聽For comparison swatches, please scroll down to the review on聽Strut ‘n Slay.

I.E. is described as a metallic olive. This muted army green is flaked with gold micro-shimmer and it applies pigmented on the lid with minimal fallout when patted on top of a primer. However, it quickly loses its intensity upon being blended out, becoming a patch of muddy grey with an uneven texture. I found the colour payoff and consistency to be much better when applied with a dampened brush.聽For comparison swatches, please scroll down to the review on Sassy.

14 is described as a metallic navy with closely packed blue shimmer that provides a uniform shine with every application. Fairly smooth in texture, it has an even consistency and a nearly opaque pigmentation. But it was a bit challenging for me to blend out the harsh edges without causing them to become blotchy in the process. I prefer applying this wet to maximise its intensity.

Swatch comparison for Stallion and 14

Swatch comparison for Stallion and 14

Strut ‘n Slay is described as a metallic rosy copper with a name inspired by Shayla’s signature tagline. The colour payoff is mostly opaque in a single layer, and despite it being of a shimmery finish, this shade does not catch as much light as the other metallic ones in this palette. Furthermore, the product did not seem to adhere very well to my skin as there was a reasonable amount of fallout during application. However, it blends out seamlessly without losing much intensity.

Swatch comparison for TF, Diva and Strut 'n Slay

Swatch comparison for TF, Diva and Strut ‘n Slay

Culture is described as a matte soft brown. Moderately pigmented, this muted orangey brown has a sheer-to-medium coverage with a soft and smooth texture that doesn’t feel dusty or dry. The product doesn’t have much fallout and its edges can be聽diffused easily without sheering out too much. Contrary to the other shades, I found Culture more suited to be applied dry because the colour on its own is gorgeous and the original finish gives a soft touch to the eyes.聽For comparison swatches, please scroll down to the review on Thic.

Sassy is described as a metallic eggplant with a teal flip. This intriguing shade has a strong teal presence in the pan but applies medium brown on the lid. When more product is piled on, only then will the teal shift be more apparent. The first layer rendered a rather streaky consistency but it gradually evened and smoothed out with a couple more pats. To maximise its potential, use Sassy with a dampened dense brush.

Swatch comparison for I.E. and Sassy

Swatch comparison for I.E. and Sassy

September is described as a metallic pinky violet. This mulberry pink is finely milled with densely packed shimmer. It applies semi-opaque with a rather weak intensity at first, and takes about three layers to build to full coverage and achieve the same degree of vibrancy as in the pan. The product adheres fairly well to my lid and I was able to diffuse the edges easily.

Swatch comparison for September

Revenge is described as a matte red brown. This shade is rather loosely pressed in the pan so my brush was able to pick up a lot of product with only a light touch on the surface. Needless to say, there was a decent amount of kickback in the pan. Almost velvety in texture, Revenge appears burnt red when applied, but turns slightly more brownish when blended out. When used wet, it also becomes a bit patchy.聽For comparison swatches, please scroll down to the review on Shade.

Thic is described as a matte vibrant orange. This warm orange feels much drier as compared to other mattes, thereby rendering it a slightly grittier texture (but it isn’t rough on the lid so not to worry). It applies pigmented but sadly doesn’t blend very well over a large surface area. The intensity and pigmentation of this shade remain largely unchanged regardless of wet or dry application.

Swatch comparison for Thic and Culture

Swatch comparison for Thic and Culture

Played Out is described as a matte chocolate brown. This deep cocoa brown can be simply described in one word: problematic. Smooth with great pigmentation and a nearly opaque payoff on the first sweep, this shade was off to a promising start.. until I blended it out – a great deal of intensity and opacity was lost in the process and the finish actually separated on my lid. The harsh edges were a pain to diffuse too. I thought it would be a lot better when applied wet, but it became patchy so.. 馃し馃徎鈥嶁檧锔

Shade is described as a deep matte purple with violet glitter. This maroon brown contains mostly silver but sparse shimmer. Like Revenge, it has a considerable amount of kickback in the pan due to it being loosely pressed, but it is drier in texture and more coarse to the touch. It goes on slightly streaky on the lid, coating it with a semi-opaque and streaky colour (some of which landed on my face). More product was piled up to build it to full opacity, but to little success. And once it was blended out, it instantly sheered out. That said, Shade may yield better results when used wet.

Swatch comparison for Titus, Revenge, Played Out and Shade

Swatch comparison for Titus, Revenge, Played Out and Shade

APPLICATION & SUGGESTED LOOK

Culture sets the stage

Culture sets the stage

Applying Culture all over my lids

Applying Culture all over my lids

Played Out goes next

Played Out goes next

Defining the eyes a little with Played Out

Defining the eyes a little with Played Out

Followed by 14

Followed by 14

Further defining the outer V with 14

Further defining the outer V with 14

Stunning Diva picks up the baton

Stunning Diva picks up the baton

[Pardon my crazy eye] Diva for an added pop on the inner corners

[Pardon my crazy eye] Diva for an added pop on the inner corners

Pick up some I.E. with a finger

Pick up some I.E. with a finger

Apply I.E. to the centre of the lid

Apply I.E. to the centre of the lid

Now, going over to Shade..

Now, going over to Shade..

Adding some depth along the crease

Adding some depth along the crease

Dabbing the brush in Stallion

Dabbing the brush in Stallion

Giving some attention to the lower lash line with Stallion

Giving some attention to the lower lash line with Stallion

Extending the application to the next 40% of the lower lash line

Extending the application to the next 40% of the lower lash line

And finally, TF as the finishing touch

And finally, TF as the finishing touch

TF on the inner corners

TF on the inner corners

Without eye shadow 鈫 with eye shadow

Without eye shadow 鈫 with eye shadow

A full frontal shot of me rocking Perception!

A full frontal shot of me rocking Perception!

Lipstick: OOUUUU!

ColourPop 脳 Shayla Lipstick in OOUUUU! (US$7)

ColourPop 脳 Shayla Lipstick in OOUUUU! (US$7)

ColourPop 脳 Shayla Lipstick in OOUUUU!

ColourPop 脳 Shayla Lipstick in OOUUUU!

ColourPop 脳 Shayla Lipstick in OOUUUU!

ColourPop 脳 Shayla Lipstick in OOUUUU!

ColourPop 脳 Shayla Lipstick in OOUUUU!

ColourPop 脳 Shayla Lipstick in OOUUUU!

ColourPop 脳 Shayla Lipstick in OOUUUU!

ColourPop 脳 Shayla Lipstick in OOUUUU!

ColourPop 脳 Shayla Lipstick in OOUUUU!

ColourPop 脳 Shayla Lipstick in OOUUUU!

OOUUUU! is described as a warm peach with Cr猫me finish. This satin lipstick glides with ease to saturate the lips with a lustrous reddish salmon (orange) colour which is聽 quite a letdown for me because it appears way too peachy than what is depicted in the tube, and anything too peachy makes me look jaundice. Like the other Lux Lipsticks, this is infused with a faint chocolatey scent. Although moisturising, it feels excessively creamy, making it prone to transfer and not as long-wearing as I would like it to be. On top of that, it also tends to leave gaps on the lips and cling onto rough patches.

Swatch comparison for OOUUUU!, against the orange lipsticks I have

Swatch comparison for OOUUUU!, against the orange lipsticks I have

Lipstick: C’mon Sis

ColourPop 脳 Shayla Lipstick in C'mon Sis (US$7)

ColourPop 脳 Shayla Lipstick in C’mon Sis (US$7)

ColourPop 脳 Shayla Lipstick in C'mon Sis

ColourPop 脳 Shayla Lipstick in C’mon Sis

ColourPop 脳 Shayla Lipstick in C'mon Sis

ColourPop 脳 Shayla Lipstick in C’mon Sis

ColourPop 脳 Shayla Lipstick in C'mon Sis

ColourPop 脳 Shayla Lipstick in C’mon Sis

ColourPop 脳 Shayla Lipstick in C'mon Sis

ColourPop 脳 Shayla Lipstick in C’mon Sis

ColourPop 脳 Shayla Lipstick in C'mon Sis

ColourPop 脳 Shayla Lipstick in C’mon Sis

C’mon Sis is described as a soft pinky brown with Cr猫me finish. This gorgeous medium brownish-red has the right amount of slip to blanket the lips effortlessly with a moisturising coat of colour that instantly brightens up the face. Richly pigmented, it is opaque in one pass without emphasising the lip lines. A great everyday lip colour for medium skin tones especially, C’mon Sis goes well with any occasion and stays on the lips much longer than OOUUUU!.

Swatch comparison for C'mon Sis

Swatch comparison for C’mon Sis

Lipstick: Quickie

ColourPop 脳 Shayla Lipstick in Quickie (US$7)

ColourPop 脳 Shayla Lipstick in Quickie (US$7)

ColourPop 脳 Shayla Lipstick in Quickie

ColourPop 脳 Shayla Lipstick in Quickie

ColourPop 脳 Shayla Lipstick in Quickie

ColourPop 脳 Shayla Lipstick in Quickie

ColourPop 脳 Shayla Lipstick in Quickie

ColourPop 脳 Shayla Lipstick in Quickie

ColourPop 脳 Shayla Lipstick in Quickie

ColourPop 脳 Shayla Lipstick in Quickie

ColourPop 脳 Shayla Lipstick in Quickie

ColourPop 脳 Shayla Lipstick in Quickie

Quickie is described as a peachy nude with Cr猫me finish. Touted as the perfect nude lipstick for Black women, this salmon beige goes on smooth to deliver a nearly opaque colour (but buildable to full coverage) with a moisturising sheen on the first swipe. But due to the overly creamy and slippery texture, the product moves quite a bit during application and, of course, doesn’t last very long on the lips.

When I swatched it, the colour seemed lot lighter than what was shown in the swatches provided on the ColourPop website so naturally, I didn’t expect to like it on my lips. But surprisingly, it doesn’t wash me out and it actually complements on skin tone.聽If you’re planning to amp up the eye makeup, this also makes an ideal lip colour to keep it as the focus. That said, this shade may still be too pale on some skin tones so I recommend pairing it with a mocha brown lip liner to create some depth.

Swatch comparison for Quickie

Swatch comparison for Quickie

I am not going to lie – the聽preposterous amount of beauty influencer collaborations in the market has tamped down my interest in them entirely but this ColourPop聽脳 Shayla partnership has definitely brought in some interesting and unpredictable products (I’m so over those warm palettes) – with great value, no less. If there’s anything I’d recommend from this collection, it would be the Perception palette which is probably the most diverse palette ColourPop has ever released.

What are your thoughts about this collection? For those with darker skin tones, do these products really work for you? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below. Otherwise, simply take a quick poll!

Thanks for reading!

ColourPop 脳 Shayla is now available on ColourPop.com.

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REVIEW: L鈥橭real 脳 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聽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鈥橭real Paris 脳 Balmain for Winter 2018

L鈥橭real Paris 脳 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聽three colour themes to represent the three tribes of L鈥橭r茅al Paris 脳 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鈥橭real Paris 脳 Balmain lipstick packaging

L鈥橭real Paris 脳 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聽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 馃槙聽#life).聽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聽脳 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 (鈮圫$23) or less after discounts

* STILL CHEAPER THAN IN SINGAPORE 馃ぉ *

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 脳 Balmain lipsticks (through careful consideration – I would’ve gotten all if my bank account permitted) have earned a spot in my stash!

My L鈥橭real Paris 脳 Balmain lipstick haul!

My L鈥橭real Paris 脳 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鈥橭real Paris 脳 Balmain lipstick in Legend (US$14 / S$28)

L鈥橭real Paris 脳 Balmain lipstick in Legend (US$14 / S$28)

L鈥橭real Paris 脳 Balmain lipstick in Legend

L鈥橭real Paris 脳 Balmain lipstick in Legend

L鈥橭real Paris 脳 Balmain lipstick in Legend

L鈥橭real Paris 脳 Balmain lipstick in Legend

L鈥橭real Paris 脳 Balmain lipstick in Legend

L鈥橭real Paris 脳 Balmain lipstick in Legend

L鈥橭real Paris 脳 Balmain lipstick in Legend

L鈥橭real Paris 脳 Balmain lipstick in Legend

L鈥橭real Paris 脳 Balmain lipstick in Legend

L鈥橭real Paris 脳 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鈥橭real Paris 脳 Balmain lipstick in Power (US$14 / S$28)

L鈥橭real Paris 脳 Balmain lipstick in Power (US$14 / S$28)

L鈥橭real Paris 脳 Balmain lipstick in Power

L鈥橭real Paris 脳 Balmain lipstick in Power

L鈥橭real Paris 脳 Balmain lipstick in Power

L鈥橭real Paris 脳 Balmain lipstick in Power

L鈥橭real Paris 脳 Balmain lipstick in Power

L鈥橭real Paris 脳 Balmain lipstick in Power

L鈥橭real Paris 脳 Balmain lipstick in Power

L鈥橭real Paris 脳 Balmain lipstick in Power

L鈥橭real Paris 脳 Balmain lipstick in Power

L鈥橭real Paris 脳 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鈥橭real Paris 脳 Balmain lipstick in Rebellion (US$14 / S$28)

L鈥橭real Paris 脳 Balmain lipstick in Rebellion (US$14 / S$28)

L鈥橭real Paris 脳 Balmain lipstick in Rebellion

L鈥橭real Paris 脳 Balmain lipstick in Rebellion

L鈥橭real Paris 脳 Balmain lipstick in Rebellion

L鈥橭real Paris 脳 Balmain lipstick in Rebellion

L鈥橭real Paris 脳 Balmain lipstick in Rebellion

L鈥橭real Paris 脳 Balmain lipstick in Rebellion

L鈥橭real Paris 脳 Balmain lipstick in Rebellion

L鈥橭real Paris 脳 Balmain lipstick in Rebellion

L鈥橭real Paris 脳 Balmain lipstick in Rebellion

L鈥橭real Paris 脳 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鈥橭real Paris 脳 Balmain lipstick in Liberation (US$14 / S$28)

L鈥橭real Paris 脳 Balmain lipstick in Liberation (US$14 / S$28)

L鈥橭real Paris 脳 Balmain lipstick in Liberation

L鈥橭real Paris 脳 Balmain lipstick in Liberation

L鈥橭real Paris 脳 Balmain lipstick in Liberation

L鈥橭real Paris 脳 Balmain lipstick in Liberation

L鈥橭real Paris 脳 Balmain lipstick in Liberation

L鈥橭real Paris 脳 Balmain lipstick in Liberation

L鈥橭real Paris 脳 Balmain lipstick in Liberation

L鈥橭real Paris 脳 Balmain lipstick in Liberation

L鈥橭real Paris 脳 Balmain lipstick in Liberation

L鈥橭real Paris 脳 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聽sensation when I wore it.

Swatch comparison against Rebellion & Liberation

Swatch comparison against Rebellion & Liberation

Confidence

L鈥橭real Paris 脳 Balmain lipstick in Confidence (US$14 / S$28)

L鈥橭real Paris 脳 Balmain lipstick in Confidence (US$14 / S$28)

L鈥橭real Paris 脳 Balmain lipstick in Confidence

L鈥橭real Paris 脳 Balmain lipstick in Confidence

L鈥橭real Paris 脳 Balmain lipstick in Confidence (virtually invisible)

L鈥橭real Paris 脳 Balmain lipstick in Confidence (virtually invisible)

L鈥橭real Paris 脳 Balmain lipstick in Confidence

L鈥橭real Paris 脳 Balmain lipstick in Confidence

L鈥橭real Paris 脳 Balmain lipstick in Confidence

L鈥橭real Paris 脳 Balmain lipstick in Confidence

L鈥橭real Paris 脳 Balmain lipstick in Confidence

L鈥橭real Paris 脳 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聽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聽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鈥橭real Paris 脳 Balmain lipstick in Confession (US$14 / S$28)

L鈥橭real Paris 脳 Balmain lipstick in Confession (US$14 / S$28)

L鈥橭real Paris 脳 Balmain lipstick in Confession

L鈥橭real Paris 脳 Balmain lipstick in Confession

L鈥橭real Paris 脳 Balmain lipstick in Confession

L鈥橭real Paris 脳 Balmain lipstick in Confession

L鈥橭real Paris 脳 Balmain lipstick in Confession

L鈥橭real Paris 脳 Balmain lipstick in Confession

L鈥橭real Paris 脳 Balmain lipstick in Confession

L鈥橭real Paris 脳 Balmain lipstick in Confession

L鈥橭real Paris 脳 Balmain lipstick in Confession

L鈥橭real Paris 脳 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鈥橭real Paris 脳 Balmain lipstick in Fever (US$14 / S$28)

L鈥橭real Paris 脳 Balmain lipstick in Fever (US$14 / S$28)

L鈥橭real Paris 脳 Balmain lipstick in Fever

L鈥橭real Paris 脳 Balmain lipstick in Fever

L鈥橭real Paris 脳 Balmain lipstick in Fever

L鈥橭real Paris 脳 Balmain lipstick in Fever

L鈥橭real Paris 脳 Balmain lipstick in Fever

L鈥橭real Paris 脳 Balmain lipstick in Fever

L鈥橭real Paris 脳 Balmain lipstick in Fever

L鈥橭real Paris 脳 Balmain lipstick in Fever

L鈥橭real Paris 脳 Balmain lipstick in Fever

L鈥橭real Paris 脳 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.聽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鈥橭real Paris 脳 Balmain lipstick in Balmain Instinct (US$14 / S$28)

L鈥橭real Paris 脳 Balmain lipstick in Balmain Instinct (US$14 / S$28)

L鈥橭real Paris 脳 Balmain lipstick in Balmain Instinct

L鈥橭real Paris 脳 Balmain lipstick in Balmain Instinct

L鈥橭real Paris 脳 Balmain lipstick in Balmain Instinct

L鈥橭real Paris 脳 Balmain lipstick in Balmain Instinct

L鈥橭real Paris 脳 Balmain lipstick in Balmain Instinct

L鈥橭real Paris 脳 Balmain lipstick in Balmain Instinct

L鈥橭real Paris 脳 Balmain lipstick in Balmain Instinct

L鈥橭real Paris 脳 Balmain lipstick in Balmain Instinct

L鈥橭real Paris 脳 Balmain lipstick in Balmain Instinct

L鈥橭real Paris 脳 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鈥橭real Paris 脳 Balmain lipstick in Glamazone (US$14 / S$28)

L鈥橭real Paris 脳 Balmain lipstick in Glamazone (US$14 / S$28)

L鈥橭real Paris 脳 Balmain lipstick in Glamazone

L鈥橭real Paris 脳 Balmain lipstick in Glamazone

L鈥橭real Paris 脳 Balmain lipstick in Glamazone

L鈥橭real Paris 脳 Balmain lipstick in Glamazone

L鈥橭real Paris 脳 Balmain lipstick in Glamazone

L鈥橭real Paris 脳 Balmain lipstick in Glamazone

L鈥橭real Paris 脳 Balmain lipstick in Glamazone

L鈥橭real Paris 脳 Balmain lipstick in Glamazone

L鈥橭real Paris 脳 Balmain lipstick in Glamazone

L鈥橭real Paris 脳 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鈥橭real 脳 Balmain is now available on Barneys.com聽(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 脳 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聽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聽Super Mario Bros. collaboration fare in my book!

shu uemura 脳 Super Mario Bros (PART II)

shu uemura 脳 Super Mario Bros (PART II)

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

#1 Dual Stamp-Me Liner

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

shu uemura 脳 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 馃槀) 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聽脿 la Kat Von D 馃槤聽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 馃槤)

The line-up of lipsticks in this collection includes five popular shades聽from the Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte series聽(PK 375, PK 376, RD 187, BG 954 & OR 570)聽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 馃槏) lipsticks in particular. Oh, would ya just look at that?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

shu uemura 脳 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聽unctuous and heavy food and drinks are not involved and fades evenly when they are without聽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 脳 Super Mario Bros Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte in PK 375

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

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

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

(single swatch)

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

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

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

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

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

shu uemura 脳 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聽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聽Invisible Superstar Premium Curler

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

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

shu uemura 脳 Super Mario Bros Invincible Superstar Premium Curler

shu uemura 脳 Super Mario Bros Invincible Superstar Premium Curler

shu uemura 脳 Super Mario Bros Invincible Superstar Premium Curler

shu uemura 脳 Super Mario Bros Invincible Superstar Premium Curler

shu uemura 脳 Super Mario Bros Invincible Superstar Premium Curler

shu uemura 脳 Super Mario Bros Invincible Superstar Premium Curler

shu uemura 脳 Super Mario Bros Invincible Superstar Premium Curler

shu uemura 脳 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.聽The sharp edges of it left a small impression on both corners of my lid but they fortunately went away after some time.聽However, I聽still聽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 脳 Super Mario Bros product I have! Which side do you prefer?

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

What are you favourite products from the聽shu uemura 脳 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 脳 Super Mario Bros is now available on the Sephora Singapore (online), at TANGS and shu uemura boutiques islandwide.

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REVIEW: shu uemura 脳 Super Mario Bros. – Peach鈥檚 Eye & Cheek Palette

Hello everyone!

Before the internet became a household fixture, the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) was a huge phenomenon which provided hours of enjoyment for children cooped up in the house all day聽(like myself). Through the NES, users were introduced to a whole new world of video games. The “Jump Man” in Donkey Kong in particular received so much attention that it was eventually made into its own game called Super Mario Bros. Today, the character is undeniably one of the things that is synonymous with the ’90s.

This year, the Italian plumber – who recently turns 32 – gets his big break in the beauty world when he was invited to collaborate on a holiday makeup collection by shu uemura. Released on 1 October in the U.S., this 25-piece Super Mario Bros-themed collection offers lipsticks, palettes, cushion cases, cleansing oil and many others presented in packaging that will hit you gamer girls right in the childhood.

Having grown up with Super Mario Bros, saying that I was excited for this launch would be an understatement. I was literally counting down the days until this collection finally makes its appearance at the local shu uemura counters on 15 November!

But sounds like Christmas came early this year as shu uemura Singapore had kindly sent me a few products to blabber about here 馃槏 In this first instalment of my two-part review on this collection, the spotlight will be solely on the Peach’s Eye & Cheek Palette聽(which has聽sold out in the U.S., by the way 馃槰).

shu uemura 脳 Super Mario Bros Peach's Eye & Cheek Palette (S$128)

shu uemura 脳 Super Mario Bros Peach’s Eye & Cheek Palette (S$128)

Goomba motif on the inside of the box!

Goomba motif on the inside of the box!

shu uemura 脳 Super Mario Bros Peach's Eye & Cheek Palette

shu uemura 脳 Super Mario Bros Peach’s Eye & Cheek Palette

shu uemura 脳 Super Mario Bros Peach's Eye & Cheek Palette

shu uemura 脳 Super Mario Bros Peach’s Eye & Cheek Palette

shu uemura 脳 Super Mario Bros Peach's Eye & Cheek Palette

shu uemura 脳 Super Mario Bros Peach’s Eye & Cheek Palette

Inspired by Princess Peach (a character in the Mario franchise), the limited-edition eye and cheek palette includes a dual-ended brush, six eye shadows聽and two glow ons (shu uemura’s version of blush that enhances the natural glow of cheeks) embossed with some distinctive elements of the game.聽The shades, organised in quads of purple and brown hues, are specially curated to create two highly-achievable monochromatic looks and are exclusive to the palette.

Made with acrylic plastic with a glossy surface, the palette is pink on the outside with pixel art of some notable characters and items of Super Mario, and white on the inside. It is thin yet sturdy and doesn’t take up much storage space. Upon opening the lid, you will be greeted with a removable transparent sheet of plastic with the names (or rather purpose) of each product placed on top of the pans to guide application and perhaps, to prevent the inbuilt mirror from getting dirtied by powder residue.

From top row, left to right: IR pink, S mauve, P plum, G gold light, ME orange, ME bronze eye shadows (1.0 g x 6 / 0.03 oz) // bottom: dreamy peach, brave orange glow ons (3.5 g x 2 / 0.12 oz)

From top row, left to right: IR pink, S mauve, P plum, G gold light, ME orange, ME bronze eye shadows (1.0 g x 6 / 0.03 oz) // bottom: dreamy peach, brave orange glow ons (3.5 g x 2 / 0.12 oz)

鈽 Eye Shadows聽鈽

shu uemura 脳 Super Mario Bros Peach's Eye & Cheek Palette eye shadows

shu uemura 脳 Super Mario Bros Peach’s Eye & Cheek Palette eye shadows

The base shade on the first half of the palette is described as a pink with an iridescent finish which, according to shu uemura, “offer(s) glimmering reflections of changing colors”. It is a light wash of cool pink with finely milled shimmers which have a gritty texture to it. Sheer in coverage, it acts as a lightening and smoothing agent for the shade applied atop it. It can also be used on its own for a dewy look. This feels smidgen dusty and is prone to sheer out when applied dry. Hence, you would get better results聽(i.e. colour intensifies and a more pronounced shine)聽when used with a wet brush. Otherwise, if you don’t want to leave a water stain on the eye shadow, perhaps using a dense brush would help the colour show better on the lid.

Compare Base with other similar shades from the Kat Von D Shade + Light (Plum) and Urban Decay Naked 3 palettes

Compare Base with other similar shades from the Kat Von D Shade + Light (Plum) and Urban Decay Naked 3 palettes

The styling shade is described as a mauve with a shimmery finish. It appears more of a violet to me with warm undertones and has a slight metallic sheen to it. This shade is safely one of those eye shadows that appears dull when applied, but comes alive when light hits it. It applies sheer at first but is buildable to a semi-opaque coverage. It isn’t too soft or firm in the pan which gives it a smooth and blendable texture.聽The edges also diffuse rather well without losing much intensity. I experienced a negligible amount of kickback in the pan when I dabbed it with my brush but there wasn’t much fallout on me.

Compare Styling with other similar shades from the Kat Von D Shade + Light (Plum) and Urban Decay Naked 3 palettes

Compare Styling with other similar shades from the Kat Von D Shade + Light (Plum) and Urban Decay Naked 3 palettes

The defining shade is described as a plum with a pearl finish which, as defined by shu uemura, lends a “silky shimmer of light for luminous radiance”. This deep violet contains chunkier purple glitter and has a drier and somewhat uneven texture so undoubtedly there would be fallout during application. Moderately dense and generally patchy in consistency, it sheers out quickly when blended but can be built to an opaque coverage if used with a dense brush. The metallic sheen becomes rather glaring as the eye shadow is piled on. Similarly, this applies noticeably better with a dampened brush. Occasionally, I would use this shade alongside the browns to give my eyes a smokier look.

Compare Define with other similar shades from the Kat Von D Shade + Light (Plum) and Urban Decay Naked 3 palettes

Compare Define with other similar shades from the Kat Von D Shade + Light (Plum) and Urban Decay Naked 3 palettes

APPLICATION & SUGGESTED LOOK

Apply the base colour all over lids with the shader side of the dual-ended brush

Apply the base colour all over lids with the shader side of the dual-ended brush

With the same end of the brush, apply the styling shade above the base

With the same end of the brush, apply the styling shade above the base

Define the eyes while still using the shader brush

Define the eyes while still using the shader brush

Apply styling colour along the lower lash line with the precision end of the brush

Apply styling colour along the lower lash line with the precision end of the brush

Using the same brush, add definition along the outer corner of the eye and do a little bit of crease-cutting on the upper lid. Blend out harsh edges with shader brush.

Using the same brush, add definition along the outer corner of the eye and do a little bit of crease-cutting on the upper lid. Blend out harsh edges with shader brush.

From plain to glamourous!

From plain to glamourous!

The base shade on the next half of the palette is described as a gold light with glittery finish which adds “abundant sparkles for glistening glamour”. It is a cool-toned pale gold with a powdery smooth texture. The glitter in this eye shadow is more sparkly in appearance. Although it also seems more scattered, it was fortunately not messy to work with. It may offer sheer coverage but as a base colour, this packs a punch of glow even on the first layer and piling on the product will only build up the shine. I find that this shade applies more smoothly and evenly with the finger tip. On top of that, it can also be used as a lid topper to enhance the sparkle of the main eye shadow colour.

Compare Base with other similar shades from TheBalm NUDE 'tude, Urban Decay Naked Heat and Juvia's Place Nubian 2 palettes

Compare Base with other similar shades from TheBalm NUDE ‘tude, Urban Decay Naked Heat and Juvia’s Place Nubian 2 palettes

The styling shade for the second look is described as an orange with a metallic finish which is supposedly “smooth like liquid with a metallic glow”. It is an orange with brown undertones and has micro-glitter distributed uniformly to give a nice, frosted sheen. This shade applies evenly and goes on semi-opaque on the first swipe when used with a finger or dense brush (dry or dampened – it doesn’t really matter). Buildable to a completely opaque coverage, it is lightweight and blends fairly well on the lid. It may feel a bit gritty in the pan but there is hardly any kickback and fallout. If I have to pick a favourite in this palette, this will be it!

Compare Styling with other similar shades from TheBalm NUDE 'tude, Urban Decay Naked Heat and Juvia's Place Nubian 2 palettes

Compare Styling with other similar shades from TheBalm NUDE ‘tude, Urban Decay Naked Heat and Juvia’s Place Nubian 2 palettes

Lastly, add some definition to the eye with a聽metallic bronze. This warm-toned brown has faint multicoloured micro-glitter that seems more loosely incorporated into the product. The eye shadow has a powdery smooth consistency with rich pigmentation. It is best applied with a dampened brush for maximum coverage and colour intensity. However, it would require a firmer hand to completely diffuse the edges.

Compare Styling with other similar shades from TheBalm NUDE 'tude, Urban Decay Naked Heat and Juvia's Place Nubian 2 palettes

Compare Styling with other similar shades from TheBalm NUDE ‘tude, Urban Decay Naked Heat and Juvia’s Place Nubian 2 palettes

APPLICATION & SUGGESTED LOOK

Apply base colour all over the lid with the shader brush

Apply base colour all over the lid with the shader brush

Using the same brush, pack on some colours with the styling shade

Using the same brush, pack on some colours with the styling shade

Define the eye by adding a darker shade on the outer corner

Define the eye by adding a darker shade on the outer corner

Cut them crease with the darkest shade on the palette!

Cut them crease with the darkest shade on the palette!

Be extra - apply defining shade on the inner corner to add emphasis to the center of the lid

Be extra – apply defining shade on the inner corner to add emphasis to the center of the lid

Line the lower lash line with the styling shade

Line the lower lash line with the styling shade

Followed by the defining shade on the outer corner

Followed by the defining shade on the outer corner

Don't forget to blend out the edges!

Don’t forget to blend out the edges!

From girl-next-door to femme fatale 馃

From girl-next-door to femme fatale 馃

When glam meets edgy

When glam meets edgy

鈽 Glow Ons聽鈽

shu uemura 脳 Super Mario Bros Peach's Eye & Cheek Palette blush

shu uemura 脳 Super Mario Bros Peach’s Eye & Cheek Palette blush

Dreamy Peach is a warm pink with flecks of gold shimmers even though it appears to have more orange undertones in the pan. This聽Super Star and Super Mushroom-embossed blush has sheer pigmentation and can be built to a semi-sheer at most. It聽blends quite easily owing to its soft texture but has the tendency to sheer out on normal or drier skin (I had swatch it on my wrist a couple of times and it fades away quickly every time). It doesn’t cause any kickback in the pan nor leave any noticeable dents even after multiple uses and that is great if you, like me, don’t want to ruin the cute embossing on the glow ons 馃榿

Darling Princess (3-4 swipes)

Darling Princess (3-4 swipes)

Darling Princess Darling Princess (3-4 swipes, blended out)

Darling Princess Darling Princess (3-4 swipes, blended out)

Brave Orange is a pale neon orange with yellow undertones topped with accents of gold shimmers. It comes with Fire Flower and the iconic Question Mark Block embossed on it. Soft and lightly powdery in texture, this blush feels luxuriously smooth to the touch and is buildable to a semi-sheer coverage. I actually find this more pigmented than Dreamy Peach and surprisingly, does not camouflage into my Chinese skin tone nor look too yellowish on me. It can be doubled as a bronzer for lighter skin tones to give a subtle contour. However, it does have the tendency to cling onto the drier areas of the skin which could be why it applied slightly uneven on me and needed some effort to buff out the unsightly streak.

Adventure Princess (1 swipe)

Adventure Princess (1 swipe)

Adventure Princess (3-4 swipes)

Adventure Princess (3-4 swipes)

Adventure Princess for contouring (using Sigma F04 Extreme Structure Contour鈩 Brush)

Adventure Princess for contouring (using Sigma F04 Extreme Structure Contour鈩 Brush)

Adventure Princess for contouring (using Sigma F04 Extreme Structure Contour鈩 Brush)

Adventure Princess for contouring (using Sigma F04 Extreme Structure Contour鈩 Brush)

Two looks (without the lipstick, yet!) side by side. Which one do you prefer?

Two looks (without the lipstick, yet!) side by side. Which one do you prefer?

As a Japanese brand serving international markets, shu uemura has managed to strike a balance between bold and delicate with this palette to cater to people on either ends of the preference spectrum. While it delivers a relatively lighter wash of colour with a touch of glitter when used as-is, these attributes can also be easily amped up on the lid with your finger tip or a dampened brush. That said, the choice of shades (especially the glow ons) seems to gear towards lighter skin tones in general.

And in case you didn’t catch the price earlier, this would set you back a whooping S$128 so unless you are obsessed with Super Mario or don’t mind splurging a few hundred dollars on a high-end product (made with top grade ingredients and presumably state-of-the-art technology, no less), I honestly don’t think this is worth burning a hole in your pocket for in terms of the price per ounce for each product in this palette.

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

 

Totally unrelated to this palette but聽what are some of your favourite NES games? Apart from Super Mario Bros, I was hooked on playing Antarctic Adventure,聽Ice Climber, Circus, Duck Hunt, Bubble Bobble, Popeye and Bomberman聽馃槅聽There should be more but I can’t remember their names at the moment. Just listening to the 8-bit music of these games brings back so many childhood memories!

Anyhoo, thanks for reading and stay tuned for part two of this collection 馃檪

shu uemura 脳 Super Mario Bros is now available on the Sephora Singapore (online), at TANGS and shu uemura boutiques islandwide.
The product featured in this review was editorially selected. All opinions, as always, are genuine and uninfluenced.

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