REVIEW: Benefit They’re Real! Big Sexy Lip Kit – Flame Game, Pink Thrills, Revved-Up Red & Lusty Rose

Hey everyone!

In 2015, Laneige sparked the craze for effortless ombré lip with their Two Tone Lip Bars across Asia and even though more than two years have passed since that game-changing debut (which would have been obsolete by now in this fast-moving industry), it was only in recent months that dual- or multi-tone lipsticks had finally caught on in the Western market. Not only has Maybelline leveraged the innovation, Givenchy has also come up with their own version of the concept, thus reaffirming South Korea as the leading trendsetter in the global beauty scene once again. Now that there are already brands dedicating to the mass and premium markets, you may be wondering who is going to fill the void to cater to most of us (I assume) – the mid-tier consumers.

Well, ponder no more, Benefit is your answer!

they're real BIG sexy lipstick set

they’re real BIG sexy lipstick set

Launched last fall, they’re real BIG sexy lipstick set includes four 2-in-1 lipstick liners in complimenting colours named Flame Game, Pink Thrills, Revved-Up Red and Lusty Rose. These lipstick liners – subsequently known as They’re real! double the lip when they were upsized to singles earlier this year – has a tip shaped like a teardrop to ensure precise placement along the edges and throughout the lips for the appearance of volume and dimension. They are also advertised to have an 8-hour longevity which I was very sceptical about.

Presented in a light metallic box, each of these miniature They’re real! double the lip is loaded in a reflective fun-sized retractable twist-up tube with a net weight of 0.75 g / 0.02 oz (S$51 / S$12.75 each) vis-à-vis the 1.5 g / 0.5 oz of product contained in every single (S$35). If my math doesn’t fail me (because not all Asians are math prodigies 🙃), this set should be cheaper by more than S$6 per gram. But the price was further marked down for me (at 20% off!) because this was purchased at a Sephora private sale not too long ago.

they're real BIG sexy lipstick set

they’re real BIG sexy lipstick set

they're real BIG sexy lipstick set

they’re real BIG sexy lipstick set

they're real BIG sexy lipstick set

they’re real BIG sexy lipstick set

Actual size of the packaging - slightly longer than my index finger, but only the little cylindrical tube at the top is filled with product which makes about 50% of the packaging hollow after factoring in the mechanics of it 🤔 How misleading and what a waste of resources, definitely..

Actual size of the packaging – slightly longer than my index finger, but only the little cylindrical tube at the top is filled with product which makes about 50% of the packaging hollow after factoring in the mechanics of it 🤔 How misleading and what a waste of resources, definitely..

At their maximum length

At their maximum length

Since these lipsticks serve primarily as a sneak preview of the actual product, don’t expect them to last an eternity. Each bullet measures only about 1.5 cm (approximately 0.6 inches) long when twisted up to its maximum length which, with daily use, should deplete within 2 months. But the good news is that there are four lipsticks in every set, so you get four times the maximum length of use 😭

Overview of all the swatches

Overview of all the swatches

Truth be told, for a lipstick that promises visibly fuller and sexier-looking lips after usage, I was not entirely pleased with the swatches. They appear too muted to achieve that sort of result and will most likely not show as prominently on darker skin tones. But until I tried them on my lips, I thought I should give them the benefit (no pun intended) of the doubt. Body chemistry works in mysterious ways and for all you know, they might turn out differently upon skin contact. So let’s see…

At the time of trial, my lower lip was still recovering from a scab (blame my itchy fingers) which I would be using as a means to assess the opacity and consistency of the lipsticks. Ha, striking while the iron is hot 😝

#1 Flame Game

they're real BIG sexy lipstick set - Flame Game

they’re real BIG sexy lipstick set – Flame Game

they're real BIG sexy lipstick set - Flame Game

they’re real BIG sexy lipstick set – Flame Game

they're real BIG sexy lipstick set - Flame Game

they’re real BIG sexy lipstick set – Flame Game

they're real BIG sexy lipstick set - Flame Game

they’re real BIG sexy lipstick set – Flame Game

they're real BIG sexy lipstick set - Flame Game

they’re real BIG sexy lipstick set – Flame Game

they're real BIG sexy lipstick set - Flame Game

they’re real BIG sexy lipstick set – Flame Game

they're real BIG sexy lipstick set - Flame Game

they’re real BIG sexy lipstick set – Flame Game

Flame Game is described as a fiery orange-red. It is a brightened, medium orange with red undertones which complements Asian skin tone (even those with olive and dark skin) very well. It has a satin finish and glides on the lips with some tug, leaving an uneven and streaky payoff which becomes more conspicuous after several hours of wear. It offers medium pigmentation with a slight sheen. Although sheer, it is buildable to a semi-opaque coverage. The product settles into my lip lines and around my scab while accentuating other imperfections of my lips but generally it feels hydrating and lightweight. The lip liner, however, camouflages into the main colour and cannot really be seen.

they're real BIG sexy lipstick set - Flame Game - swatch comparison with similar shade from other brands

they’re real BIG sexy lipstick set – Flame Game – swatch comparison with similar shade from other brands

#2 Pink Thrills

they're real BIG sexy lipstick set - Pink Thrills

they’re real BIG sexy lipstick set – Pink Thrills

they're real BIG sexy lipstick set - Pink Thrills

they’re real BIG sexy lipstick set – Pink Thrills

they're real BIG sexy lipstick set - Pink Thrills

they’re real BIG sexy lipstick set – Pink Thrills

they're real BIG sexy lipstick set - Pink Thrills

they’re real BIG sexy lipstick set – Pink Thrills

they're real BIG sexy lipstick set - Pink Thrills

they’re real BIG sexy lipstick set – Pink Thrills

they're real BIG sexy lipstick set - Pink Thrills

they’re real BIG sexy lipstick set – Pink Thrills

they're real BIG sexy lipstick set - Pink Thrills

they’re real BIG sexy lipstick set – Pink Thrills

Pink Thrills is described as a real pink or to be more precise, a very flattering shade of cool muted pink which lends the lips a soft, diffused look. Lightweight, it has more of a matte finish to it with very minimal shine. This shade is slightly drying so it glides on the lips with some tug. It does not discernibly settle into my lip lines but does bunch up at some edges of my scab, though not as pronounced as Flame Game. It has medium pigmentation with mostly sheer coverage that lends a more seamless colour payoff and the lip liner is also noticeable enough to give the lips some depth. This shade leaves an unattractive ring around the edges of my lips after about five hours of wear.

they're real BIG sexy lipstick set - Pink Thrills - swatch comparison with similar shade from other brands

they’re real BIG sexy lipstick set – Pink Thrills – swatch comparison with similar shade from other brands

#3 Revved-Up Red

they're real BIG sexy lipstick set - Revved-Up Red

they’re real BIG sexy lipstick set – Revved-Up Red

they're real BIG sexy lipstick set - Revved-Up Red

they’re real BIG sexy lipstick set – Revved-Up Red

they're real BIG sexy lipstick set - Revved-Up Red

they’re real BIG sexy lipstick set – Revved-Up Red

they're real BIG sexy lipstick set - Revved-Up Red

they’re real BIG sexy lipstick set – Revved-Up Red

they're real BIG sexy lipstick set - Revved-Up Red

they’re real BIG sexy lipstick set – Revved-Up Red

they're real BIG sexy lipstick set - Revved-Up Red

they’re real BIG sexy lipstick set – Revved-Up Red

they're real BIG sexy lipstick set - Revved-Up Red

they’re real BIG sexy lipstick set – Revved-Up Red

Revved-Up Red is described as a cherry red. It is a muted cool red with pink undertones and has a satin finish with a soft sheen and a creamier, stain-like consistency. It applies with some tug and although the lip liner appears a lot darker than the main colour on the bullet, it does not translate into the desired ombre appearance on the lips. In fact, it looks a tone lighter close up which doesn’t quite does it job in defining the lips. The product settles slightly into lip lines but not as noticeably around my scab. It has medium pigmentation with some patchiness and is mostly sheer but buildable to a low-medium coverage. This shade, on the overall, feels hydrating and lightweight but budges upon contact with water and food, leaving with just a hint of colour.

they're real BIG sexy lipstick set - Revved-Up Red - swatch comparison with similar shade from other brands

they’re real BIG sexy lipstick set – Revved-Up Red – swatch comparison with similar shade from other brands

#4 Lusty Rose

they're real BIG sexy lipstick set - Lusty Rose

they’re real BIG sexy lipstick set – Lusty Rose

they're real BIG sexy lipstick set - Lusty Rose

they’re real BIG sexy lipstick set – Lusty Rose

they're real BIG sexy lipstick set - Lusty Rose

they’re real BIG sexy lipstick set – Lusty Rose

they're real BIG sexy lipstick set - Lusty Rose

they’re real BIG sexy lipstick set – Lusty Rose

they're real BIG sexy lipstick set - Lusty Rose

they’re real BIG sexy lipstick set – Lusty Rose

they're real BIG sexy lipstick set - Lusty Rose

they’re real BIG sexy lipstick set – Lusty Rose

they're real BIG sexy lipstick set - Lusty Rose

they’re real BIG sexy lipstick set – Lusty Rose

Lusty Rose is described as a rosy neutral. It is a muted cool mauve with pink undertones – the most flattering MLBB shade in the set which, I feel, goes well with any skin tone. This shade gives the lips a sophisticated look without appearing too overdone, making it perfect for any occasion – be it making a quick run to the grocery store or work. It has more of a matte finish to it with a soft sheen but like the other shades, it also applies with some tug.

Out of all four shades, this is perhaps the only one with a visibly deeper liner colour (I mean, it’s rather telling just by looking at the swatch) that contrasts enough again the main colour to give that intended depth. It has medium pigmentation and a medium-but-buildable coverage that enables it to conceal my scab entirely with a layer of solid colour. It has a slightly patchy consistency and feels slightly drying and heavier as compared to the other shades so you may need to exfoliate before application. Still, it is comfortable to wear and is also probably the only shade that lives up to the 8-hour longevity claim (but with some flakiness). Hands down, Lusty Rose is my top pick from this set and I’m already planning on getting the full size once I exhaust this.

they're real BIG sexy lipstick set - Lusty Rose - swatch comparison with similar shade from other brands

they’re real BIG sexy lipstick set – Lusty Rose – swatch comparison with similar shade from other brands

All in all, if you take Benefit’s over-the-top guarantees with a pinch of salt (if you’ve been a Benefit user long enough, you’d be familiar with their marketing style so this is nothing out of the ordinary 😅), this set actually makes a pretty good and worthwhile buy. The colour selection is very varied and wearable in my opinion, and the compact and handy size also makes it convenient to carry in your pocket or purse wherever you go. I recommend getting it if you’re not ready to commit to the full-size version, or if you want more bang for your buck while still being able to try out more colours from this range.

What do you think about this new lipstick kit by Benefit? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below or take a quick poll!

Thanks for reading!

Benefit they’re real! big sexy lip kit is now available at sephora singapore online and outlets.

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REVIEW: Foreo ESPADA Acne-Clearing Blue Light Pen

Hello everyone!

Temperatures are soaring globally and this spells trouble for those with acne-prone skin. Heat and humidity intensify oil production in our skin which in turn gives rise to (more frequent) breakouts. Hence, while blessed souls with amazing complexion just need to slap on some toner to prevent summer zits from sprouting, the not-so-lucky ones like us would have to take significantly more precautions to stop new ones from popping up on our already-blemished face. What is your beauty regime for the hot weather like?

Apart from the usual acne cleansers and medicated cream we sufferers are all too familiar with, the trend these days seems to be toward using at-home LED devices to treat pesky pimples. LED light therapy for acne is not certainly not new as it has been used by dermatologists for years. But receiving the therapy in a clinic could set you back a few hundred dollars per session, or thousands to complete the entire treatment (and it doesn’t guarantee that you’ll never get another pimple again). Handheld light therapy devices, on the other hand, are typically more affordable in the long run (a one-time payment of less than S$400) and are a more practical option because they can be used any time you want to avert an acne crisis.

Personally, I own a blue light device – a Foreo ESPADA Acne-Clearing Blue Light Pen gifted by my boyfriend for my birthday last year. It is quite a new product (less than a year in the market?) and was retailing for S$209 on Sephora. Now that the price online has been reduced by 30%, some of you may be tempted to give it a go but discouraged by the lack of reviews. Well, lucky you, you’ve come to the right place 😁 Read on to find out how I feel about the device!

Foreo ESPADA Packaging

Foreo ESPADA Packaging

Foreo ESPADA Packaging

Foreo ESPADA Packaging

Support FIONASEAH.COM by shopping through this affiliated link 😘 PLEASE CLICK THE BANNER BELOW:

[FROM NOW TIL 7 SEPT 2018] Quote “21OFFLPP” for 21% off all devices (excluding UFO, FOFO) + GWP LUNA play plus with purchase above $230 USD

As a quick introduction (with most information obtained from here and here), the ESPADA (‘sword’ in Spanish, but Foreo is a Swedish brand) is a slim handheld acne-fighting device which combines Blue Light Pulse Technology and T-Sonic™ pulsations. Operating it is easy as it has only one on/off button on the front. Once switched on, it activates a red laser-like beam for more precise targeting of blemish. This is extremely useful as without this function, it would be quite difficult to tell beneath the flat surface of the head if you’ve accurately aimed the blue light at your desired spot.

On/Off button

On/Off button

Targeted light precision

Targeted light precision

See the red laser-like beam on my forehead?

See the red laser-like beam on my forehead?

Next, rest the device on the targeted area and it will let out 415 nm of blue light (LED) which penetrates deep below skin’s surface to kill acne-causing bacteria at the source, while the T-Sonic pulsations help the light diffuse into pores for maximum efficacy. This treatment is only initiated on contact with the skin to ensure safety for skin and eyes and conserve battery. The whole process does not involve any pain or discomfort with the only rumbling sensation you experience coming from the pulsations. Repeat the process twice for mild acne, or three to four times for moderate acne. I’m a kiasu (overly cautious) person so I tend to zap every zit, regardless of their severity, minimally three times.

Be prepared for tired hands..

Be prepared for tired hands..

The ESPADA has a built-in timer that enables the device to vibrate every 30 seconds with longer pulses to indicate the end of each acne-treating routine. It is also USB-chargeable and one charge can provide up to 240 treatments. Mine, in most cases, needs to be charged once every week if used daily (about 30 treatments each day) and it takes about 3-4 hours to be fully charged. The red light at the foot of the device starts flashing once it reaches a critically low battery level and the treatment stops abruptly the moment the device deems itself to have insufficient power to complete the routine. But sometimes, there would still be a teeny weeny bit of power left to keep it running for a couple more seconds, so if you’re thrifty like me, just keep hitting the button until it can’t be switched on anymore  😁

Blue light technology in action!

Blue light technology in action!

Designed with hygiene as a priority, the head of the device is coated in a special bacteria-resistant silicone that prohibits the spread of acne-causing bacteria. The waterproof body is quick-drying, easy to clean and nonporous to prevent bacteria buildup. This device is said to be most effective on clean skin so I usually use it after cleansing my face and would only wipe the head with a damp cloth (or rinse under running tap every other week) thereafter. It is very portable and comes with a grey pouch for easy storage.

Comes with a grey pouch that is big enough to fit the device and the complimentary USB cable

Comes with a grey pouch that is big enough to fit the device and the complimentary USB cable

Now, moving on to the efficacy of this product, the ESPADA clears up pesky pimples to a satisfactory extent but unfortunately, does not work on severe cases of acne like my big cystic ones which did not only go away, their size remained unchanged and were still as painful as ever. This device is only effective against occasional or smaller pimples – such as those with poppable heads – as it is able to dry them up faster and reduce the inflammation. Moreover, contrary to what it also promises, it does not (at least for me) prevent further pimples from forming.

Price-wise, I thought the ESPADA is pretty affordable (although I received mine as a gift) especially with the discount at Sephora now. It is a lot cheaper than another similar product by Tria (not available in Singapore) due to the fact that this does not require additional or changeable cartridges which will collectively cost more than the device itself in the long run. There are a handful of other products in the Singapore market that use similar technology (such as SKIN INC’s Optimizer Voyage Tri-Light and Clariancy’s Tanda Clear) but cost at least a hundred dollars more.

In conclusion, is Foreo ESPADA a worthy buy? If you’re a student dealing with teen acne, then for the love of your wallet, yes. Otherwise, this still makes a decent combat tool against the little bumps on your face.

Thanks for reading!

Disclaimer: modelled pictures were taken 1.5 months ago when I had massive breakout of cystic acne. pictures posted in the recent reviews show my visibly clearer skin after seeking professional help from a skin clinic. I will share that wonderful experience soon on this space.
keep your eyes peeled!
😉
The Foreo ESPADA Acne-Clearing Blue Light Pen is available in three colours (cobalt blue, magenta & pink) on foreo.com and at Sephora Singapore for S$206.

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[BEAUTY PICKS] SEPHORA Natural Allure; Feel-Good Beauty Redefined

Hello everyone!

With sustainability becoming a global business trend, even the beauty and personal care industry has joined the growing green movement by incorporating natural ingredients in their products. This news comes as music to the ears of beauty enthusiasts afflicted with troubled skin like yours truly because not only do some of the synthetic cosmetic ingredients found in many products cause skin irritation and toxic reactions, they are also detrimental to our health if used on a long-term basis.

(Scroll to the bottom of this post for an exciting giveaway!)

This season, Sephora pays homage to Mother Nature with a bounty of skin-loving goodness inspired and powered by the very best of nature as they are filled with plant-based ingredients that are absolutely gentle on the skin!

An overview of my beauty picks from the Sephora Natural Allure range

An overview of my beauty picks from the Sephora Natural Allure range

Among the brands I will be featuring from this theme are a handful of new faces such as UK brand This Works and a new product from Fresh. The key natural ingredients for each product are denoted in teal.

new

Fresh Rose Deep Hydration Face Serum

Fresh Rose Deep Hydration Face Serum

Fresh Rose Deep Hydration Face Serum

Fresh Rose Deep Hydration Face Serum

Fresh Rose Deep Hydration Face Serum

Inspired by the iconic cult-favourite Rose Face Mask, the new Rose Deep Hydration Face Serum is an expansion of the Rose skincare collection. This lightweight serum absorbs almost immediately and the hyaluronic acid, angelica leaf extract and porphyridium cruentum formula penetrates deeply to restore the skin’s natural glow.

The key natural ingredient in this face serum is rosewater, a venerable elixir suitable for all skin types which helps to maintain the skin’s pH balance and prevent excess sebum production. It can be used as a makeup base (but do allow some time for the skin to absorb the serum before applying your makeup) and the size of the bottle is small enough to be carried around all day.

RETAIL PRICE: S$88 in-stores and online

This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray

This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray

This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray

This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray

This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray

This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray

This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray

Insomnia is one of the most common sleep problems in Singapore as can be understood from a 2014 study which showed that we are among the cities in the world with the least hours of sleep. Considering how fast-paced and stressful life can be in these current times, it is almost inevitable not to be able to unwind at the end of the day. But not all hope is lost because with This Work’s Deep Sleep Pillow Spray, you will likely find yourself having better sleep or falling asleep faster as you inhale the invigorating yet soothing scent of a combination of three pure essential oils – lavender, vetiver and wild chamomile. To experience the wondrous effect of this spray, do ensure that you spritz it on a clean pillow case as you wouldn’t want such fragrance to blend with the intoxicating smell of your sweaty hair and saliva 😉

This natural alternative to prescription sleep aids calms and relaxes the mind and body while you have sweet dreams at night. Some health benefits of the key natural ingredient (lavender) include its ability to eliminate nervous tension and improving mood, thereby uplifting your spirits in the morning. If you’re still unsure of what to get for your insomniac father this Father’s Day, then look no further and get this in your shopping cart right now!

RETAIL PRICE: S$32 in-stores and online
(also comes in supersize 250ml at S$66)

This Works In Transit Camera Close-Up

This Works In Transit Camera Close-Up

This Works In Transit Camera Close-Up

This Works In Transit Camera Close-Up

This Works In Transit Camera Close-Up

Freshen up your morning with This Works in Transit Camera Close-Up, an all-in-one product which works (no pun intended) as a leave-on mask, moisturiser and primer, to banish any signs of fatigue and make you look camera-ready in no time. It has creamy and slightly thick texture but does not leave a tacky or greasy finish. Instead, it leaves the skin feeling hydrated, supple and smooth. Smell-wise, it reminds me of clinical hand creams – no overpowering artificial fragrance whatsoever.

It contains hyaluronic acid and caffaine, combined with Bio Boost – a revolutionary blend of echium and sunflower oils that restores, heals and brightens and tightens the skin.  Echium is also known for its emollient qualities and anti-inflammatory effects, hence making it extremely suitable for eczema-prone skin. This product can be used daily or as a pick-me-up throughout the day to give your face a dewy appearance.

RETAIL PRICE: S$61 in-stores and online

* * *

Estelle & Thild Biocleanse Deep Cleansing Detox Mask

Estelle & Thild Biocleanse Deep Cleansing Detox Mask

Estelle & Thild Biocleanse Deep Cleansing Detox Mask

Estelle & Thild Biocleanse Deep Cleansing Detox Mask

Estelle & Thild Biocleanse Deep Cleansing Detox Mask

This multitasking Biocleanse Deep Cleansing Detox Mask by Estelle & Thild promotes glowing skin as it protects the skin’s delicate natural moisture levels. On top of that, the natural bentonite clay of this certified organic mask draws out impurities and toxins and shrink your pores while the black elderflower decongests and detoxifies for a firmer and more radiant complexion.

This mask does not require a lot of your time as you would only need to let it sit on for five minutes before you can rinse it off with warm water. Given the minimal time needed, nobody would suspect a thing in the event that you feel like cleansing your face in the midst of your work!

RETAIL PRICE: S$57 in-stores and online

Erborian Yuza Doudoune for Hands

Erborian Yuza Doudoune for Hands

Erborian Yuza Doudoune for Hands

Looks are important, but so are our hands. We always shower our face with so much tender loving care and neglect the most valuable tool we have that is often overworked. Since our hands have fewer oil glands than the rest of our body, they are susceptible to drying out, especially in air-conditioned environment.

Application

Application

Prevent your hands from aging prematurely with the Erborian Yuza Doudoune for Hands which acts as an antioxidant barrier and powerful protective agent to reduce moisture loss. It keeps the hands soft and smooth with liquorice, yuzu peel extract and vitamin E and has a nice citrus scent. Yuzu, the key natural ingredient of this product, is also a good source of antioxidants that can help replenish dead skin cells.

RETAIL PRICE: S$17 in-stores only

REN Rosa Centifolia Cleansing Gel

REN Rosa Centifolia Cleansing Gel

REN Rosa Centifolia Cleansing Gel

Dehydrated skin is a common concern but one that is often mistaken to be solely caused by inadequate water intake. In fact, the issue may well be brought about by the use of soap as their high alkaline levels could damage the skin barrier function and allow greater water loss. The solution? Use soap-free products, of course, starting from the most sensitive part of our body – our face!

REN Rosa Centifolia Cleansing Gel is a soap-free facial cleansing gel that removes makeup, oil and pollution without the harsh effects of sulphates found in traditional cleansers. Formulated with aloe vera and rose otto oil for its therapeutic healing and regenerating qualities, this cleanser balances, tones, decongests and soothes the skin to promote healthy skin metabolism.

RETAIL PRICE: S$50 in-stores and online

June Jacobs Neroli Hydrating Mist

June Jacobs Neroli Hydrating Mist

June Jacobs Neroli Hydrating Mist

Seal

Seal

June Jacobs Neroli Hydrating Mist

June Jacobs Neroli Hydrating Mist

Every office desk needs a pick-me-up to get you through the work day. June Jacobs Neroli Hydrating Mist does just that by providing a surge of moisture to refresh your skin. It contains bitter orange from the south of France to calm the over-active production of sebum especially on oily and acne-prone skin. Other ingredients such as neroli oil and a powerful patent-pending blend of tea extracts revitalise the skin and stimulate cell regeneration to combat the visible signs of aging.

RETAIL PRICE: S$74 in-stores and online

Burt’s Bees Intense Hydrating Nourishing Facial Water

Burt's Bees Intense Hydrating Nourishing Facial Water

Burt’s Bees Intense Hydrating Nourishing Facial Water

In the heat of everlasting summer in Singapore, one can never have too many moisturisers. Infused with clary sage to regulate oil production and reduce inflammation, Burt’s Bees Intense Hydration Nourishing Facial Water is a toner that replenishes your skin’s natural moisture. Applied using hands or cotton pads, it absorbs into the skin readily and leaves a visibly softer and smoother appearance.

I unfortunately didn’t find the smell all that pleasant. It actually reminds me of the chemical-ish smell of unscented lipsticks, though not that strong. But then again, it could just be me so do pop by Sephora to have a whiff of it 🙂

RETAIL PRICE: S$30 in-stores only

Caudalie Vinosource Moisturizing Sorbet

Caudalie Vinosource Moisturizing Sorbet (S$46)

Caudalie Vinosource Moisturizing Sorbet

Illustrated instructions within the box

Illustrated instructions within the box

Caudalie Vinosource Moisturizing Sorbet

Caudalie Vinosource Moisturizing Sorbet

Everything about this moisturiser – down right to the lovely baby pink packaging (I’m not ashamed to admit that I love everything pink, heh) – is just so noteworthy! Formulated with advanced skincare technology, this gel-cream transforms into a liquid on contact with the skin just like a sorbet.

Application

Application

For those who are not familiar with Caudalie, it is one of the few beauty companies to harness the properties of grape seed into their formulas to maximise anti-aging properties. Suitable for dehydrated and sensitive skin, this sweet-scented moisturiser contains both merlot (a kind of grape used for making red wines) and muscat grapes from the south of France which integrate to create the key natural ingredient: Organic Grape water®. It increases skin hydration levels by 127% with each application and together with other natural ingredients such as chamomile, this moisturiser soothes skin and reduces redness.

Retail price: S$46 in-stores and online

Edible Beauty On The Fly Travel Kit

Edible Beauty On The Fly Travel Kit

Edible Beauty On The Fly Travel Kit

Edible Beauty On The Fly Travel Kit

Edible Beauty On The Fly Travel Kit

Edible Beauty On The Fly Travel Kit - #1 Cleansing Milk

Edible Beauty On The Fly Travel Kit – #1 Cleansing Milk

Edible Beauty On The Fly Travel Kit - #2 Citrus Rhapsody Toner Mist

Edible Beauty On The Fly Travel Kit – #2 Citrus Rhapsody Toner Mist

Edible Beauty On The Fly Travel Kit - #3 Exotic Goddess Ageless Serum

Edible Beauty On The Fly Travel Kit – #3 Exotic Goddess Ageless Serum

Edible Beauty On The Fly Travel Kit - #4 Vanilla Silk Hydrating Lotion

Edible Beauty On The Fly Travel Kit – #4 Vanilla Silk Hydrating Lotion

Gear up for your upcoming vacay with Edible Beauty On The Fly Travel Kit! This travel kit contains all four of Edible Beauty’s core products and covers all your skincare needs on-the-go.

Perfect for any climate around the globe (save for the extreme ones, of course), No. 1 Belle Frais Cleanser cleanses and purifies the skin with coconut oil during winter while No. 2 Citrus Rhapsody Tonique refreshes the skin with a unique blend of antioxidant rich fruits and herbs to protect you against the sun when you hit the beach. No. 3 Exotic Goddess Angeless Serum increases the skin’s elasticity with Edelweiss and No. 4 Vanilla Silk Hydrating Lotion hydrates with cocoa butter extracted from the cocoa bean when the air turns dry and colder in autumn. These portable skin-lovin’ goodies may merely occupy 1/8 of your luggage space but they will definitely be your go-to items to keep your skin in tip-top condition!

Retail price: S$73 online only

* * *

Dying to get something listed above but have already emptied your bank account for your summer holiday? Here’s your chance to lay claim to one of the coveted products above because I’m about to throw a…

1 MILLION MILESTONE GIVEAWAY

WOOHOO!! That’s right! This site has recently passed the one million mark in visits! I wouldn’t have gotten this far without your support 🙂 In celebration of this huge milestone and as a gesture of appreciation to everyone who has supported this blog, I would like to reward one reader with an Edible Beauty On The Fly Travel Kit worth S$73 (as featured above) to prep you for your next holiday!

To win, simply follow these steps:

(don’t worry, nothing too burdensome if you’re already following my social media accounts!)

1. Like my Facebook page here
2. Follow me on Instagram here
3. Comment on this post what you like about fionaseah.com or what you would like to see more on this blog! 🙂 This is for me to know your interests better! It can be related to any category I’ve covered on this blog
4. Remember to leave your e-mail address for me to reach you if you win

And guess what? This contest is open internationally because how could I forget about my foreign readers? You guys are equally awesome! Postage will be fully borne by yours truly so all you need to do is sit back and wait for the parcel to arrive at your doorstep! 🙂 It’s that simple!

Contest ends 24 June 2016 and the winner will be notified by 26 June 2016 (GMT+8). More giveaways (lipsticks included… yup) will be coming your way to mark this significant milestone so stay tuned! 🙂

Contest has ended! Thank you for your participation! 🙂

Thanks for reading, lovelies! And good luck!

find out which other products made it to the ‘green’ list! SEPHORA Natural Allure is now available online and/or at all Sephora stores in Singapore.
DISCLAIMER: PRODUCTS FEATURED were sent to me for review purposes with information provided by sephora BUT OPINIONS, AS ALWAYS, ARE MY OWN.

ShopBack: Save with Sephora promo codes, cashback and more!

INVITED POST

Hello everyone!

One of the perks of applying for a credit card is the ability to earn cash rebates whenever the card is used to make purchases. I know because I’ve been earning mine through my beauty trips to Sephora and the accumulated amount is quite substantial. But very often, the money collected from such rebates can only be used to offset the subsequent purchase and cannot be converted to cold hard cash. Being one who doesn’t like carrying my bulky wallet around, it inconvenience me sometimes knowing that the physical card has to be produced in order for me to enjoy these benefits. Above all, I believe nothing irks us more than losing out on an attractive deal (1-for-1 air ticket deals especially – happens oh too many times!) just because we’re not cardholders of that particular bank that has rolled out that irresistible offer!

Argh, stop the discrimination already!

Haven’t they heard of the saying, “The best things in life are meant to be shared”? Nobody should be deprived of any cashbacks, discounts and jaw-dropping deals. Nobody!

shopbacklogoxmascot_1200x627

Fortunately, with the recent introduction of ShopBack, everyone can now enjoy these deals without any prerequisite. ShopBack keeps you up to date with the latest online deals while helping you to save money via their cashback scheme. That’s right, you get reimbursed a portion of what you originally spent online through ShopBack on top of whatever discounts the merchant is offering!

With every deal categorised in a logical manner, you can expect site navigation to be a breeze. Whenever I’m on ShopBack, I would zoom straight in on the beauty section for the latest Sephora sales.

Well-organised menu

Well-organised menu

Current Sephora deals

Current Sephora deals

I was also surprised to see American brands that do not have retail presence here like Bloomingdales, Walmart and Nordstrom Rack listed on the page with a cashback rate of 3%. Considering that the Singapore dollar has weakened against the US dollar, these little savings would definitely come in handy for your future purchases. Furthermore, you can already request for payout once you’ve reached Redeemable Cashback of $10.00. That’s quite an attainable sum especially if you’re a shopaholic like me! You can find out more about how ShopBack works on this comprehensive guide here.

Some of the many listed merchants under the "Beauty" section

Some of the many listed merchants under the “Beauty” section

Apart from beauty, another section I would browse for deals and offers is fashion because I’m crazy about clothes and shoes. If you would like to see more variety of affordable apparels and fashion accessories, Zalora is one store you should check out because of its wide selection of products and the irresistible Zalora discount codes they would offer every now and then. Besides, the cashback rate tagged to Zalora (up to 12% for new Zalora customers) is also one of, if not the highest among all the stores listed on the website.

Busy professionals who prefer to whip up a good meal at home would rejoice knowing that they can now buy fresh produce and household items from RedMart and on the cheap too, when they make their orders with RedMart coupons without needing to spend additional time outside to do last minute grocery shopping (when you could jolly well be home earlier). You can place your orders whilst at work and they will be delivered to your home within the next 2 hours. How amazing is that? I personally dislike making trips to supermarkets during peak hours because the queues can be alarmingly long sometimes.

What about you? I’m sure I’m not the only lazy one 😆  It is impossible for me to write about all the brands listed on ShopBack here so I’d really recommend that you visit the website to find out more. You’d be amazed by the vast number of choices available and the cashback rates offered for purchases at some of the outlets!

Thanks for reading!

Shopback

How to Spot Fake Urban Decay Naked 2 Palettes on Carousell

Note (1): This is going to be an informational entry about Urban Decay products (more specifically Naked 2 palette since it is the hottest thing around in Sephora) mainly for girls but guys can also read on to advise their girlfriends/sisters when it comes to purchasing cosmetics online.

Note (2): This applies to the latest Naked 3 palette as well! Now counterfeit makers claim that they are Urban Decay factory rejects because they have alignment problems, warped mirror, etc. Ridiculous! Please don’t fall for it!

Hey guys, I’m back again with another update. However it’s still not going to be about my life but on something I think is going to be really useful for everyone.

Before I go on about the main subject, let me give a mini introduction and review about the Carousell App. Do skip the part in blockquote if you’re not interested to read! Lol.

Like many ladies out there, I’ve been frequenting Sephora and tempted to buy many of their products but somehow I knew my limits and managed to curb my spending. Last year, the founders of Carousell (a Singapore-based mobile marketplace) e-invited me to join its community but I was too lazy to download anything on my phone so I regrettably chucked that e-mail aside. Then, seeing that I hadn’t registered they invited me again 4 months back so I thought, OK these people are so sincere.. maybe I should give it a shot? After all if I don’t like it I can always delete it, right? And wow, the moment I went into the App, I knew I wouldn’t be exiting it so soon. There were just too many great deals around! You can easily get a product worth $80 at Sephora for just $65?! I could’ve possibly saved a lot of money if I had joined earlier -_- But since this post is not about Carousell, I shall do a more in-depth review on it some other time! (full review here)

So anyway Carousell, being extremely user-friendly and organised, has a “Beauty Products” section for users to sell mainly their (brand new or used) cosmetics, nail polishes and other stuff which you’d apply on your body parts. When I first joined I was still pretty new to (high-end) make-up but I definitely spent time long enough in Sephora to know the price ranges for the brands like Benefit, Urban Decay, M.A.C. and Bobbi Brown. An Urban Decay Naked Palette 2 is sold for $80 in local Sephora stores. So imagine my joy when I saw this:

Fake Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette for sale on Carousell

Fake Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette for sale on Carousell

Naked 2 for $30?! How not to be tempted? For your information, this user actually posted about the same item TWICE with the other one stating his/her contact number for quick replies. I was enticed by that listing but I shall not be ruthless and reveal his/her personal information here. (But if you’re interested to know which username you can always ask in the comments below)

Though it was a really attractive deal, common sense told me that something was amiss. It does not make monetary sense for someone to sell something worth close to a hundred bucks for less than half the price? I texted the seller immediately and verified its authenticity with him/her (ok this is getting tiring. Let’s just assume that it’s a her). I do not have the SMS conversation with me already but she replied along the line of, “It’s close to authentic… Minerals are directly shipped from the U.S… I have sold hundreds of it already… You can check my Facebook page for reviews..” FUNNILY she didn’t leave her Facebook link for me to see. Trying to smoke me with the “shipped from the America” gimmick ah? Not so easy babe!! And notice she didn’t mention outright that it’s NOT authentic? Close to authentic my foot! If it’s not authentic, it’s NOT authentic. There’s no such thing as close-to.

Of course, upon knowing that it’s a fake, I rejected the deal albeit very nicely. However I was still very concerned that others may be duped into believing that it was a real deal. I went back to the listing and saw a comment posted by a potential buyer, also asking if it was authentic (pictured above). It was a simple yes or no question but this seller didn’t want give a direct answer and chose to reply with the same minerals-shipped-from-US phrase again. On another listing (MAC blush), a user saw through her and commented, “So it’s not authentic..?” and this crook responded that “…imitate sounds a bit too weird. It’s a graded one, stocks taken in directly from the U.S. Minerals and products are authentic..”. Seriously, does she know the meaning of “authentic” or not?!?! *roll eyes*

Because it is a marketplace, I didn’t want to appear like I’m breaking her rice bowl by exposing her misdeeds. But I really hope people were smart enough to see that the UD palettes were fake and probably NOT shipped from the U.S. If not, I don’t know… I guess that’s the price to pay for being so gullible.

I skimmed through her other listings and saw many more unoriginal products for sale (e.g. M.A.C, Britney Spears Midnight Fantasy perfume, Marc Jacobs wtf…), some which she blatantly claimed were authentic under the Comments (can be seen by everyone) when she had clearly told me they were near to authentic through private messaging. What a downright despicable and greedy liar!! I despise you!

More examples of fake UD palettes for sale on Carousell and also evidently showing sellers being delusional themselves.

Fake UD Good Karma brushes won't have the UD logo?! Oh yeah if the fakes factory can imitate a UD PALETTE, they can pretty much imitate ANYTHING! C'mon don't kid me.

Fake UD Good Karma brushes won’t come with the UD logo?! Oh yeah if the fakes factory can imitate a UD PALETTE, they can pretty much imitate ANYTHING! C’mon don’t kid me.

And the item above is already SOLD. Who bought it? Hallelujah to you my dear! $55 for an imitation product is definitely.. wow, so-worth-it.

This seller foolishly thought she had the real UD palette as her friend “bought it from the shop (I’d guess it’s Sephora?)” Her friend also one kind ah, made this kind of lie.

An ongoing preorder which you can find by searching some of its keywords. Factory rejects? No such thing.

An ongoing preorder which you can find by searching some of its keywords. Please, people, do not believe every single thing your supplier says. They are also doing a business. THEY ALSO NEED TO MAKE MONEY. And factory rejects? No such thing. And I really detest it when sellers say “Quality Assured” when they obviously do not know what “Quality” is.

I’m definitely not trying to deter anyone from buying cosmetics online. You can still get the real deal on Carousell at a fraction of the retail price, in BRAND NEW condition, but you just need to be more careful and alert. Now, let me show you how mine looks like:

The real deal.

The real (brand new) deal at just $65. #nofilter to show how it really looks like lol

You can already see a vast difference. I’m not going to open up my palette at this hour (it’s past 1 am here) and swatch all the colours for you since I do not own a fake palette to compare with. But I have done numerous research and watched too many fake-vs-real YouTube videos that I can tell at one glance if it’s authentic. To make everyone’s life a lot easier, I shall do a quick summary on how to spot a fake UD on Carousell (applies to eBay and other online marketplaces as well).

Fake UD Naked 2 in Appearance and Packaging

  • (Old packaging) Usually does not come with the mini lip junkie (a lip gloss) which is pictured together with my own palette – the red stick-like thing on the right. For UD Naked 1 palette, it comes with a primer potion. You can tell from the imitations above that the palette fits into the box nicely with no space for the lip junkie. However some fakes nowadays do come with it hence this is not the main determinant anymore.
  • (New packaging) Does not come with primer potion samples
  • (Old packaging) Does not come with clear hard plastic box because it is cheaper to use one made of paper.
  • (New packaging) Does not come with good quality, thick paper box. This is a little hard to tell so if in doubt, please refer to the rest of the guidelines.
  • See below:
If palette was originally bought from local Sephora store, it should bear this sticker.

(Old version released before early 2014) If palette was originally bought from local Sephora store, it should have this sticker. Criminal organisations are too busy making black money that they wouldn’t care about minute details like this.

SAMSUNG CSC

(2014 onwards) After Naked 3 was released, Urban Decay changed the packaging of Naked 2 and is now imported by LS (L’Oreal Singapore) Cosmetics instead of Sephora (as shown above).

Fake UD Naked 2 Palette (pre-2014 exterior)

    • (Old packaging) The brand “NAKED 2” is printed on it in a darker font (almost like black).
    • (New packaging) “Naked 2” is gold embossed. REMEMBER THE FONT (thickness, kerning between characters etc.) because even though counterfeit makers can make copies very well, there are bound to be some dissimilarities!
    • Feels less heavy or very light, about 5.7g as compared to the authentic one which weighs more than 7g.
    • Does not come with a batch number (e.g. A046) printed on the lower back of the palette itself.
SAMSUNG CSC

This is the latest packaging (2014) which kinda resembles that of Naked 3.

SAMSUNG CSC

In the latest packaging, you’ll be able to see (1) an expiry date, (2) batch number, (3) bar code tag if purchased from Sephora and (4) an import sticker, as mentioned above.

Fake UD Naked 2 Interior and Eyeshadow Colours (applies to both old and new packaging)

  • Mirror looks warped and your reflection appears stretched or distorted.
  • Mirror is hence of low quality and looks like it’s going to come off any moment.
  • The names of the eyeshadows are not aligned to the centre and some may also be misspelled (e.g. ‘D’ typed as ‘O’ and vice versa, so it’s printed as “HALF BAKEO” instead of “HALF BAKED”).
  • Colours generally look less shimmery (for shimmery colours), dull on the overall and less pigmented (i.e. you need to apply many layers over another to make the colour “appear”)
  • Fake Good Karma brush has darker-coloured bristles and when you lay it in front of you with the fluffy, rounded-tip brush facing towards your left, the brand “Urban Decay Naked 2” should also face nicely towards you (i.e. not inverted)

Fake UD Naked 2 Sellers (!!!)

  • Usually sell these palettes through preorders. A high-end brand like Urban Decay do not sell in bulks unless you personally visit authorised resellers like Sephora, Ulta and Urbandecay.com and purchase many of them (but rarely anyone does that because it’s about the same price if you include shipping charges)
  • Having said the above, DO NOT BELIEVE 100% even if the seller has a receipt (proof of purchase that she bought it from “authorised resellers” overseas). Always scrutinise these “evidences” THOROUGHLY, bearing in mind that these may also be fabricated (I mean, how hard is it to forge a receipt with Photoshop nowadays?). But if item looks exactly like the duplicates above, do not buy. See example below from lowyat.net.
    Why are the reference and transaction numbers for all receipts the same? Even if they were bought at the same time, all transactions should be on one receipt, no??

    (Click to enlarge) Why are the reference and transaction numbers for all receipts the same? Even if they were bought at the same time, all transactions should be on one receipt, no?? Some crooks may also get these pictures from Google Images. One way to check is to drag the image and drop into the search bar on images.google.com.

    Lo and behold, cheated Malaysians lamenting on Lowyat.net bought their palette from deal sites like Groupon, deal.com.my and other similar pages. So people who like to purchase coupons from deal sites, beware and be extra careful.

  • Obtain their stocks from unidentified suppliers. THIS IS A GIVEAWAY and applies to any other luxury/high-end goods. No luxury brand, I repeat, NO LUXURY BRAND will allow sale of their products to unauthorised resellers like… you and I? I mean, who are you to represent the brand? JUST WHO ARE YOU? Lol. Sorry if I sound very agitated.
    Ask “Where did you buy it from?” and if answer is “supplier” or “another Carouseller”, it is highly unlikely that it’s authentic.
  • Believe everything suppliers say, for instance like the above, “FACTORY REJECTS”. High-end brands like Urban Decay, M.A.C, Bobbi Brown do not release defected products (or also known as factory seconds) for sale. Why? Obviously it will TARNISH their reputation if they don’t work well on UD users, duh! Wake up your idea, people!! THINK!
  • Priced their palettes ridiculously and unbelievably low, but that does not mean that a $50, $60-ish UD Naked 2 is authentic either. Refer to the points above again!
    If you wish, you can also ask why they’re selling them at such a low price. You’ll probably get a crap answer but it’s entertaining to see how they react 😛
  • Are likely to sell other fake stuff as well. Always, always check his/her listings when in doubt. If you spot one imitation product, STEER AWAY FROM THIS USER. Ok maybe not so serious, but exercise precautions alright? I’d never trust anybody who sells fake stuff. That’s so mean! How could you bear to sell something HARMFUL to someone else?
  • Do not have real-life pictures of the product. Either the user has something to hide or truly does not have any because the items are obtained from his/her “trusty” suppliers (hence pictures are also provided by them).
  • Are not very sure of its authenticity. If they’re not sure, then they probably didn’t get it from an authorised reseller. Likewise, stay away unless you have all the time in the world to verify. (Why bother? Patience is a virtue. Just wait for the real deal or get it from Sephora if you can’t)
    Ask “Is this authentic?” and do not stop questioning if they say “yes”. Probe further! Ask where they got it from 😉
  • People who buy from the ultimate counterfeit cosmetics wholesale centre called VogueMagic (originates from China). No matter how many A’s they claim the grade has, DO NOT BUY.

Always keep a list of sellers who sell counterfeit products. I have mentally blacklisted some and reported many of them.

Identifying Ethical Carousellers (who only sell authentic products)

This is just my observation so please don’t blame me if I’m wrong..

  • Usually have a profile picture of themselves (ok not 100% true because I don’t put a picture of myself hahaha..) because they are proud of the authentic stuff they put on their faces 😛
  • To reiterate, they sell other authentic products too. No sight of unauthentic items for sale. These people are damn atas (high class).
  • Usually indicate that everything on sale is 100% authentic on their description box. I once saw a seller semi-lashing out at doubtful buyers that she does not buy and wear fake make up and “neither should you”. How awesome is that? I like her.
  • Usually provide real-life pictures of their products on their listings automatically (without having you to request for any). Unethical sellers only know how to use low-quality pictures grabbed from Google or from their beloved suppliers.

Likewise, keep a mental list of sellers who only sell authentic stuff by perhaps, following them? Keep a lookout of their listings because that’s probably where you can find real deals at reasonable prices!

I think my brain has stopped working for now.

5 Reasons Why You Should NOT Buy Counterfeit Make-up

Just a quick summary once again…

  • Fake cosmetics are made of HARMFUL ingredients that are likely to worsen your skin conditions and cause you to break out. Or even worse than a pimple outbreak.
  • Unlike fake branded bags and apparels, you are applying them DIRECTLY on your face which will then get absorbed into your body. And then what happens? I don’t know. Why don’t you try and let me know? Ha, just kidding.
  • The money earned from selling fake make-up (I’m referring to the original sellers like the “SUPPLIERS”) is used to fund illegal activities like drug trafficking, people smuggling and robbery. Gasp, gasp! Why would you want to support that??
  • You want to buy Urban Decay products because you’ve heard great things about them. If you buy a counterfeit one, you are definitely not going to experience what beauty bloggers and product critiques went through! You’re better off buying Watsons/NTUC/Drugstore cosmetics that way.
  • Give Urban Decay credits where it’s due! Why are you supporting imitation? UD spent so much time and money perfecting the formula and yet you’re paying someone who is not involved in all these hard work at all?

OKAY hopefully I have knocked some sense into people who think wearing fake make-up “is no big deal as long as it does its job”. Well, if you still think it’s no big deal then I guess it’s your choice? You got problems later don’t regret ok?

There’s another fake Naked Product in the market! Wanna guess what it’s called? It’s no brain teaser I swear because counterfeit makers don’t have much creativity, do they?

Alright, let me unveil the name! It’s…. *drums roll*

NAKED 4!

naked4-lol-whut

WHAT.

naked4-lol-whut2

THE. HECK.

Those are screen captures from Carousell, by the way. I can’t remember if the seller actually indicated that it’s authentic but I think she did. Otherwise I wouldn’t have screengrabbed these. But seriously, if anyone bought this thinking that it’s authentic, then gosh you deserve to be conned because there is no such thing as Naked 4 (yet)! There were however quite a number of enquiries about its authenticity in the comments section. *face palm* Please leh, can you girls not be so gullible and naive?!

Ok ladies, that’s about it! 🙂 Thanks for reading and good luck in finding great deals on Carousell!

Read also:
Carousell Beauty Hauls 2013
Exposed: Urban Decay Palette Counterfeit Preorder

References (read to find out more, with pictures):
Vickyhoang.blogspot.sg
Amytabby.blogspot.sg
Where-is-my-mind.com
Dailymail.uk
Interpol.int