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).
Established in 1964, CEZANNE was created with the intention to offer high quality yet affordable cosmetics to the Japanese beauty community through a three-pronged approach – being kind to the environment, skin and on your wallet.
A trendsetter in environmental sustainability, the brand adopts a refillable system which enables customers to reuse their cases. Additionally, metal pins are not used in the manufacturing of the packaging to allow for easy disposal, and packaging is also standardised to be simple and straightforward to reduce wastage and cost.
To minimise the probability of allergic reactions, patch tests are performed for all of their products (excluding nail polish remover) so those with skin concerns can use them in confidence!
Here are some CEZANNE products I was introduced to at their launch party in June! Please pardon my brief review (or lack thereof) on the face products – due to time constraints (damn early morning classes left me with very little prep time every day so I decided to skip out on the face makeup 😅) I couldn’t put them on long enough to form a fair judgement on their longevity and wear. But I will update this space once I’ve tried them all!
Available in shades 01 (Light) and 02 (Natural), the UV Clear Face Powder provides the skin a silky smooth and semi-matte finish that helps to conceal minor blemishes and even out skin tone. Formulated with SPF28/PA+++ to protect the skin from harmful ultraviolet rays, this face powder also doubles as a setting powder as it prevents makeup from melting by absorbing the excess sebum on the face. It also comes with a built-in mirror and a high-quality powder puff for targeted application.
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.
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.
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!
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!
No matter how affluent we are, we have this innate desire for things that offer a bigger bang for our buck. That’s why we’re often drawn to palettes rather than singles despite knowing that less than half the selection would be utilised eventually, and suddenly it doesn’t seem like we’ve saved much after all. Do your wallet a favour and opt for this no-frills contour kit that features just two sculpting shades you’re bound to use – one of a fine-grained white pearl for highlighting purposes and another of a beige-brown that blends softly with any typical fair Asian skin (sorry, dark-skinned ladies 😞) for a more natural finish.
The darker shade, which I foresee myself hitting pan really soon since it takes up only a-third of the compact, adds dimension to the face (more specifically, the bridge of the nose, under the eyebrows and cheekbones) by emulating shadows. The pigmentation, however, isn’t as buildable as I’d like it to be so I felt there wasn’t a noticeable difference to my face even after three swipes.
Complementing it is the lighter shimmery shade, which is strangely given a lot more emphasis in this kit, as it helps to add glow (that turned out rather beautifully) to areas where light would naturally hit, such as the top of cheekbones, center of forehead, nose bridge, center of chin and top of cupid’s bow. The compact also conveniently includes a small dual-ended applicator (brush to apply the bronzer and sponge-tip to diffuse the highlight) to allow touch-ups on the go.
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).
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!