[SHOUT-OUT] TAKASHIMAYA Beauty Hall #UnveilANewFace with New Brands and Counters

Hello everyone!

Singapore鈥檚 leading department store, Takashimaya recently celebrated its 25th Anniversary with a little unveiling party to introduce a couple of new brands such as HERA, Fresh and Albion, as well as to reveal the transformation of some existing counters.

The press event – hosted by Jade Seah and Marie Alexander – kicked off last Tuesday (the day before Hari Raya Haji) with live makeup demonstrations by celebrity makeup artist Ginger Lynette using products from the aforementioned brands. HERA’s global makeup artist Lee Sehyoung was also present to work his magic on the face of the model while giving some insightful tips with other respective trainers on how to achieve flawless skin using the brand’s makeup products. Following that, Class 95 radio deejay Jean Danker opened Day 2 of the event by inviting聽makeup maestro Peter Khor to take centre stage to demonstrate his coveted skills.

Read on to find out what went down on those two exciting days!

All photographs courtesy of Alexander PR Group and Willy Foo unless otherwise stated

DAY 1

TAKASHIMAYA celebrates its 25th anniversary with #UnveilANewFace

TAKASHIMAYA celebrates its 25th anniversary with #UnveilANewFace

Media personality Jade Seah picking the lucky draw winners!

Media personality Jade Seah picking the lucky draw winners!

Mouth-watering Japanese canap茅s by Ma Maison

Mouth-watering Japanese canap茅s by Ma Maison

Guests were also treated to some delicious pastries and cakes by Butter Studio

Guests were also treated to some delicious pastries and cakes by Butter Studio

Bloop

Pretty nails at the Bloop booth!

Pretty nails at the Bloop booth!

HERA

TAKASHIMAYA Beauty Hall welcomes HERA!

TAKASHIMAYA Beauty Hall welcomes HERA!

HERA's global makeup artist Lee Sehyoung (who flew in from South Korea) giving some invaluable beauty tips

HERA’s global makeup artist Lee Sehyoung (who flew in from South Korea) giving some invaluable beauty tips

Fresh

Fresh is also one of the newcomers at the beauty hall

Fresh is also one of the newcomers at the beauty hall

Check out their counter!

Check out their counter!

Some star products by Fresh!

Some star products by Fresh!

Live demonstration by a representative from Fresh

Live demonstration by a representative from Fresh

Fresh product testing

Fresh product testing

Albion

Welcome! Albion joins the ranks of HERA and Fresh

Welcome! Albion joins the ranks of HERA and Fresh

Some of Albion products

Some of Albion products

Aren't these eye shadow quads pretty?!

Aren’t these eye shadow quads pretty?!

Albion skin care products

Albion skin care products

Celebrity makeup artist Ginger Lynette wowing the crowd with her makeup prowess

Celebrity makeup artist Ginger Lynette wowing the crowd with her makeup prowess

DAY 2

Radio personality Jean Danker looking at stunning as ever while addressing the crowd before her

Radio personality Jean Danker looking at stunning as ever while addressing the crowd before her

Chantecaille

Cult beauty label Chantecaille (pronounced shan-duh-kai) finally opens its first outlet in South East Asia at TAKASHIMAYA!

Cult beauty label Chantecaille (pronounced shan-duh-kai) finally opens its first outlet in South East Asia at TAKASHIMAYA!

The brand's founder Sylvie Chantecaille is an anti-poaching advocate, so don't be surprised to find images of at-risk animals embossed on the eye-shadow pans of its signature and collectible palettes!

The brand’s founder Sylvie Chantecaille is an anti-poaching advocate, so don’t be surprised to find images of at-risk animals embossed on the eye-shadow pans of its signature and collectible palettes!

The embossing has already worn away with use, but you can roughly make out the elephant print on two of the pans

The embossing has already worn away with use, but you can roughly make out the elephant print on two of the pans

More of Chantecaille! Their products are so pretty!

More of Chantecaille! Their products are so pretty!

THREE

Hello and welcome, THREE!

Hello and welcome, THREE!

Some of THREE's products

Some of THREE’s products

Celebrity makeup artist Peter Khor showing us the tricks of the trade!

Celebrity makeup artist Peter Khor showing us the tricks of the trade!

MDNA

All hail the queen of pop: TAKASHIMAYA brings in Madonna's premium line of skincare products, MDNA SKIN

All hail the queen of pop: TAKASHIMAYA brings in Madonna’s premium line of skincare products, MDNA SKIN

You can already tell how luxurious (and expensive *gulps*) her products are just by the looks of the packaging!

You can already tell how luxurious (and expensive *gulps*) her products are just by the looks of the packaging!

Shiseido

Not a newcomer, but Shiseido has just got a counter revamp! It's so much more spacious now!

Not a newcomer, but Shiseido has just got a counter revamp! It’s so much more spacious now!

The goodie bag I received for attending the press event! I will be doing a review on the Guerlain lipstick soon 馃槈 (Photo by me)

The goodie bag I received for attending the press event! I will be doing a review on the Guerlain lipstick soon 馃槈 (Photo by me)

Other new beauty brands not mentioned above include聽Cl茅 de Peau Beaut茅, La Prairie, La Mer, Sisley, ReFa and Yves Saint Laurent Beaut茅.

Have you popped by the beauty hall at TAKASHIMAYA to get your beauty fix yet? Let me know what you’ve bought in the comments below!

Thanks for reading!

All brands featured above are available at Cosmetics Department, Level 1, TAKASHIMAYA Department Store (391 Orchard Road Singapore 238872)

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[SHOUT-OUT] Shopee 脳 Seoul Shop Pop-Up Store @ Suntec City

Hello everyone!

The Prudential Marina Bay Carnival opens tomorrow and those who’ve planned to go there might be wondering what to do before the doors open at 4 pm. Well, perhaps you could consider adding Suntec City to your afternoon itinerary since it’s just one stop away from Bayfront MRT and has a free shuttle service to the carnival. Most importantly, if you’re into all things Korean, there’s something new there to keep you occupied for at least an hour!

From now till 17 December 2017 (that’s two days from now), get your Korean fix without leaving Singapore! In partnership with Shopee, Seoul Shop (the same management behind I’M STARTICE) has set up a pop-up store at Suntec City (West-North Link) that provides a unique (believe me on this) and fuss-free shopping experience!

Expect an array of products ranging from beauty, accessories to household essentials flown in from South Korea at the store which will make great Christmas gifts! For the neat freaks, I spotted some nice 2018 planners on the shelves too 馃槅

The aisle

The aisle

Cutesy stationery found here!

Cutesy stationery found here!

If you're a fan of LINE Friends, this is why you should go to the pop-up store!

If you’re a fan of LINE Friends, this is why you should go to the pop-up store!

Handheld LINE Friends fans (if you didn't manage to score one from McDonald's)

Handheld LINE Friends fans (if you didn’t manage to score one from McDonald’s)

Isn't this the cutest tea infuser you've ever seen?!

Isn’t this the cutest tea infuser you’ve ever seen?!

Iceberg-inspired cup cover and infuser! Gwiyo

Iceberg-inspired cup cover and infuser! Gwiyo 馃槏

Writing pads!

Writing pads!

A durian-looking humidifier? Not expensive at all - only S$13.41 (before discount)!

A durian-looking humidifier? Not expensive at all – only S$13.41 (before discount)!

Wigs! Quite a number of styles available!

Wigs! Quite a number of styles available!

Vanity mirror for you to see if the wig looks nice on you!

Vanity mirror for you to see if the wig looks nice on you!

I guess.. these are hair dyes? Buy one get one free!

I guess.. these are hair dyes? Buy one get one free!

Eye shadow palettes

Eye shadow palettes

Lipsticks! Don't expect insane pigmentation though because Koreans like barely-there makeup looks!

Lipsticks! Don’t expect insane pigmentation though because Koreans like barely-there makeup looks!

But how is this little retail space different from the surfeit of pop-up stores out there? For one, a customer service counter takes the place of the cashier because the shop adopts a contactless payment system whereby only credit cards are accepted through the Shopee app. In other words, all purchases at the pop-up store are made聽through @hiseoul.sg聽on the Shopee app so you don’t have to tote around your bulky wallet! Hence, don’t be deceived by the lack of customers waiting in line at the counter (as given the Singaporean mentality, when a shop has short or no queue, it is presumably not good, right?) because checkout queues are practically nonexistent at the pop-up shop!

That said, do arm yourselves with the app already downloaded on your phone to speed up the transaction process (and save your mobile data). Once you have the app installed, register for an account with your mobile number, add a credit card via Account Settings and you are good to go! In the meantime, you can browse the catalogue to get a better sense of what may be available at the pop-up shop. Due to space constraints, only a small selection of items (from the catalogue) is sold at the pop-up shop so it is advisable that you drop by before you make any order on the app.

To add new credit card, go to settings (gear icon on top left) on your profile page

To add new credit card, go to settings (gear icon on top left) on your profile page

Tap on 'Bank Accounts/Cards'

Tap on ‘Bank Accounts/Cards’

Then, tap on 'Add New Credit Card/Debit Card'

Then, tap on ‘Add New Credit Card/Debit Card’

What’s more, buying through the app entitles you to a 15% off your total bill with the code “HISESEOUL“! If your Korean sheet mask supplies are running low, I suggest you take this opportunity to stock them up! Don’t say I bo jio聽worz聽馃き聽Prices reflected on the shelves are before the discount is applied!

When it comes to mask packaging, Korea wins hands-down!

When it comes to mask packaging, Korea wins hands-down!

I spy the Americano and Latte Mask on the bottom right. Like, what?!

I spy the Americano and Latte Mask on the bottom right. Like, what?!

More masks! The ones on the bottom row are mask for your feet! Bought one box and it friggin' works!

More masks! The ones on the bottom row are mask for your feet! Bought one box and it friggin’ works!

Buy this Peel Off mask and film down your reaction XD #waystogoviral

Buy this Peel Off mask and film down your reaction XD #waystogoviral

There will be a live makeup demonstration by native Korean makeup artist Jinnie Lee on Saturday and Sunday (16/12, 17/12) at 1-2 pm and 6-7 pm so be sure to stick around if you’re heading to the pop-up store this weekend! Psst.. I heard there will also flash deals up for grabs over the weekend! You won’t wanna miss them 馃い

Can’t make it for the event or want something on mobile but is not available at the store? If you don’t mind the wait, go ahead and place your order with ease because Shopee is currently offering FREE local shipping聽on top of the 15% discount that is extended to orders made through the app! Simply apply the same code “HISESEOUL” at checkout to enjoy the offer! But remember, all good things must come to an end – this irresistible promotion sadly runs right up until this Sunday, 17 December 2017. The good news, though, is that you get to keep the Shopee coins (100 Shopee Coins = $1 discount) you earned from your Seoul Store order for three months!

Some products available on the app

Some products available on the app

That’s not all! Shopping at the pop-up store comes with an extra treat – a goodie bag! But do act fast because the goodie bags are available while stock lasts on a first-come-first-serve basis and are limited to one redemption per person. Psst.. get another friend to make the payment of half your order to fully utilise this offer 馃槣

Mmm, what else? Oh yes, a grand draw! Who can say no to contests? Stand a chance to win a pair of tickets to Seoul by following @hiseoul.sg on Shopee. And as an added bonus for your support, you get to double your chances of winning with any purchase on @hiseoul.sg from 11 to 17 December too! Easy, right?

Look for 'Seoul Shop' in the search bar

Look for ‘Seoul Shop’ in the search bar

Hit the 'Follow' button!

Hit the ‘Follow’ button!

So, wait no further and start Shopee-ing now! 馃榿 Who knows? You could be the lucky one jetting off to Seoul next year!

Shopee 脳 Seoul Shop Pop-Up Store 路 11 – 17 December 2017 路 Suntec City West-North Link 1-2 (Outside Cotton On)聽路聽3E Temasek Boulevard Singapore 038984聽路 Operating hours: 11.00 am to 9.00 pm 路 Nearest MRT stations: Esplanade (CC3) / Promenade (CC4/DT15) / City Hall (NS25/EW13)聽路 More information here
This post is brought to you by Seoul Shop.

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[SHOUT-OUT & GIVEAWAY] I’M STARTICE, Korean Premium Shop @ Big Box

GIVEAWAY CLOSED
SCROLL DOWN FOR WINNERS

It was barely 11 a.m. on a Saturday, just four days shy of our nation’s birthday. Blaring music from the tower speakers configured next to a stage for a significant event at Big Box pierced the usually-quiet mall in Jurong East. Unbeknownst to many, a Korean premium shop initiated and appointed by the Korean government (Small & Medium Business Corporation or SBC for short) as an exclusive authorised agent to promote their locally-made products was about to open its doors officially.

I'M STARTICE main entrance

I’M STARTICE main entrance

This 4270-square-foot unit marks the first Singapore outlet for I’M STARTICE(鞎勳瀯鞀ろ儉韹办姢) which already has locations worldwide including the U.S., China, Vietnam and Indonesia. The relatively low-key occasion was graced by one-eighth of Running Man cast, Ji Suk-jin, as well as business partners and several South Korean government officials. I’M STARTICE commemorated its official opening with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and a free lucky draw where shoppers could stand a chance to win up to S$1000 worth of shopping vouchers. Missed it? Click here to watch the repeat of Big Box’s live stream or check out the pictures below!

Ji Suk-jin and the other VIPs present at the grand opening

Ji Suk-jin and the other VIPs present at the grand opening

Ribbon cutting ceremony

Ribbon cutting ceremony

Announcing the winners of the lucky draw

Announcing the winners of the lucky draw

And this lucky guy walked away with S$1000 worth of I'M STARTICE shopping vouchers! Dude, you can practically buy one of every item in the shop with those vouchers!

And this lucky guy walked away with S$1000 worth of I’M STARTICE shopping vouchers! Dude, you can practically buy one of every item in the shop with those vouchers!

We scored a picture with Suk-jin oppa! I had a solo picture with him but I accidentally deleted it 馃槬馃槬馃槬

We scored a picture with Suk-jin oppa! I had a solo picture with him but I accidentally deleted it 馃槬馃槬馃槬

Conveniently located right before J-Walk connecting to Jem on level 2, I’M STARTICE boasts a wide variety of products from cosmetics to food to household wares (not sold anywhere else in Singapore) by small to medium enterprises with a limited selection of offerings from mainstream brands such as Innisfree (mainly their facial masks) and Lotte. Due to their low visibility, most of the brands carried at the shop may be unfamiliar even to the most dedicated Koreaboos but they are in no way inferior to more established brands. Apart from the stringent South Korean safety standards they have to comply with, it is also no secret that K-beauty products in general are made of high-quality聽(and sometimes exotic) ingredients which their Western counterparts fall behind on. And yet, they are inexpensive. For instance, a 125 ml tub of Mizon’s Water Max Aqua Gel Cream costs just S$19.90 when a similar product聽by a more reputable brand聽with less than half the volume would set you back at least S$50.

This area sells mostly household items

This area sells mostly household items

The cashier

The cashier

Heading to an EXO concert any time soon? These official EXO light sticks may interest you..

Heading to an EXO concert any time soon? These official EXO light sticks may interest you..

The other side of the shop stocks up beauty products and food

The other side of the shop stocks up beauty products and food

Another Korean group that has been generating a lot of buzz lately for winning international awards... BTS! Why hand cream of all products, though..? I guess whatever sells with their autographs and faces on it.

Another Korean group that has been generating a lot of buzz lately for winning international awards… BTS! Why hand cream of all products, though..? I guess whatever sells with their autographs and faces on it.

Crazy for Aloe Vera!

Crazy for Aloe Vera!

A complete list of participating merchants and their specialty products can be found here聽(though I can’t guarantee that everything featured is available in-store here).

My favourite section in the shop!

My favourite section in the shop!

There's something for everyone - even the men get a beauty section dedicated just for them!

There’s something for everyone – even the men get a beauty section dedicated just for them!

Some beauty products for the femme..

Some beauty products for the femme..

Skin care products are sold in a bundle at relatively affordable prices!

Skin care products are sold in a bundle at relatively affordable prices!

Of course, how can there NOT be face masks? South Korea is well-known for their face masks!

Of course, how can there NOT be face masks? South Korea is well-known for their face masks!

Makeup by J.ESTINA, which is more known for their jewelry

Makeup by J.ESTINA, which is more known for their jewelry

Authentic (licensed in Shanghai) Hello Kitty Face and Body brushes! You'll be surprised at how affordable they are!

Authentic (Sanrio license awarded in Shanghai) Hello Kitty Face and Body brushes! You’ll be surprised at how affordable they are!

Korean dietary supplements

Korean dietary supplements

Snacks and some instant beverages

Snacks and some instant beverages

Instant food on the other side

Instant food on the other side

You can find foods like kimchi tteok-bokki in the refrigerator

You can find foods like kimchi tteok-bokki in the refrigerator

Household products like adult diapers, containers and diapers are also sold at I'M STARTICE!

Household products like adult diapers, containers and diapers are also sold at I’M STARTICE!

At I’M STARTICE, products are priced as low as S$1.30 for an instant ramen cup and can be as much as over S$200 for a bag pack. On the whole, everything – especially those at the food and beauty sections – is rather affordable so you should be able to stretch your dollar a lot farther than you would at other Korean marts. The following shows some interesting Korean products I could get under S$100:

Dr. Plus Banana Milk Mask Pack

Dr. Plus Banana Milk Mask Pack

And they smell EXACTLY like Banana Milk. The essence has the texture of milk too!

And they smell EXACTLY like Banana Milk. The essence has the texture of milk too!

These Choco Cacao Nose Pore Strips made me craved for chocolates every time I use it. The chocolatey smell is really no joke!

These Choco Cacao Nose Pore Strips made me craved for chocolates every time I use it. The chocolatey smell is really no joke!

What I bought from the Hello Kitty section. Two of these will cost less than US$100 altogether.

What I bought from the Hello Kitty section. Two of these will cost less than US$100 altogether.

Hello Kitty 4D Face Brush

Hello Kitty 4D Face Brush

Hello Kitty 4D Face Brush

Hello Kitty 4D Face Brush

Black Hello Kitty 4D Body Brush

Black Hello Kitty 4D Body Brush

Black Hello Kitty 4D Body Brush

Black Hello Kitty 4D Body Brush

Black Hello Kitty 4D Face Brush

Black Hello Kitty 4D Face Brush

Great news for those who hate hustling through the crowd and meandering around the aisles!

You can soon place your orders online at the comfort of your couch and pick them up in-store on another day. This service is not available at the moment, but do check back for further updates!

Some Korean cup noodle which I've yet to try..

Some Korean cup noodle which I’ve yet to try..

I've grown tired of Samyang noodles.. Time for a change!

I’ve grown tired of Samyang noodles.. Time for a change!

More snacks!

More snacks!

Green Tea Dream Cacao

Green Tea Dream Cacao

Korean fried chicken-flavoured chips? Take my money!

Korean fried chicken-flavoured chips? Take my money!

Other purchases we lugged home were a few vacuum-sealed airtight containers (which we bought mainly for storing durians in the refrigerator馃槻) and a set of kitchen cooking tools meant for our future use (when we’ve gotten our own flat – gotta think ahead, y’know?). Teehee!

And now, here comes the most exciting part of this post..

鈽 鈽 鈽 INSTAGRAM GIVEAWAY 鈽 鈽 鈽
-CLOSED-

I understand Jurong East may be a little too far for some of you living in eastern Singapore, so I plan to bring some of I’M STARTICE’s bestsellers to your doorstep (or rather, mailbox) instead! It has been awhile since I held a giveaway, so I promise this is gonna be huuuge. To thank you for your continued support all these years, I will be gifting three lucky readers either a Hello Kitty 4D Facial Brush or Body Brush. More prizes are up for grabs this time around so as to increase your chances of winning something from this giveaway! If you are a Hello Kitty fanatic, this is definitely one giveaway not to be missed 馃槝

Prizes to be won

TOP PRIZE
1 脳 Hello Kitty 4D Facial Brush

CONSOLATION PRIZES
2聽脳 Black Hello Kitty Body Brush

To participate in this giveaway, all you need to do is complete the following easy steps:

  1. Follow me (@amelieseah) and I’M STARTICE (@imstartice.sg) on Instagram
  2. Comment on this Instagram post why you should be picked as the winner (unfortunately, you won’t be able to choose the prize) and..
  3. Tag 2 friends who may also want to lay their hands on these Hello Kitty brushes

And I will pick 3 lucky winners once the giveaway ends! 馃槈

T&C #1: ELIGIBILITY

This giveaway is open to everyone currently residing in Singapore only. To enter the giveaway, participants must follow @amelieseah and @imstartice.sg on Instagram, tag two (2) friends and comment why you want to win the Hello Kity brush on this particular Instagram post. Only entries on Instagram will be considered for this giveaway. Entries submitted after 8 September 2017, 2359 h will be disqualified.

T&C #2: SELECTION & DELIVERY

Winners will be electronically selected and will be notified via e-mail within 3 days of the closing date. All giveaway results are final; winners are not allowed to choose the prize. Prizes are also non-transferable. Winners will be announced on the aforementioned Instagram post as well as on this feature. Prizes will be delivered by post only and no meetups will be entertained. In the event of unclaimed or unsuccessful prize claims, another draw will be held to determine the next winner.

NOTE

FIONASEAH.COM reserves the right to edit, amend the giveaway Terms and Conditions (T&C #1 and #2) as it deems fit.

[UPDATED: 10 SEP 2017]

鈽吢犫槄聽鈽

That’s about it!

Thanks for reading and good luck if you are intending to enter the giveaway! 馃槃

I’m Startice
big box (next to Jurong East MRT Station)
1 Venture Dr, level 2
Singapore 608521
Instagram: imstartice / imstartice.sg
THIS FEATURE WAS DONE IN COLLABORATION WITH I’M STARTICE. PRODUCTS FEATURED WERE EDITORIALLY SELECTED. ALL OPINIONS, AS ALWAYS, ARE GENUINE AND UNINFLUENCED.

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

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.聽Being one who doesn’t like carrying my bulky wallet around, it inconvenience聽me sometimes knowing that聽the physical card has to be produced in order for me聽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,聽with the recent introduction of ShopBack, everyone can now enjoy these deals without any prerequisite.聽ShopBack聽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聽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聽once you’ve reached Redeemable Cashback of $10.00. That’s quite an attainable sum especially聽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聽of its wide selection of products and the irresistible Zalora discount codes they聽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聽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聽without聽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 馃槅 聽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

REVIEW: MAC Magic of the Night Lipstick in Evening Rendezvous

Hello everyone!

How has聽your wallet held up to the festive season? Despite not feeling聽the Christmas spirit, the last holiday had almost聽depleted my bank account! I blame it on聽MAC and its colossal of a holiday collection. Alongside the Magic of the Night collection launched about three months ago (or last year, if I were to exaggerate) were oodles of聽holiday gift sets聽in three categories namely Irresistibly Charming,聽Enchanted Eve聽and Viva Glamorous which of course, were beyond my budget. As if these were not enough to bankrupt beauty addicts like myself (and I still had to fund my trip to Japan 馃槬 ), there were celebrity collaborations including Mariah Carey, Dita Von Teese and Ellie Goulding – all released in the month of December!

HELP!聽I CAN’T KEEP UP!

I have a pile of lipsticks in my room waiting to be reviewed but first, let’s talk about the聽Magic of the Night collection – a moderately big one with 4 lipsticks (in Please Me, All Fired Up, Evening Rendezvous & Dark Side), 2 lip pencils (in Redd & Nightmoth), 5 Colourdrenched Pigments (in Ascent of Glamour, Moon is Blue, Tonight’s the Night!, No Taboos & Night Thrill), 2 Pearlglide Intense Eye Liners (in Petrol Blue & Black Swan) and 1 In Extra Dimension Skinfinish in Shaft of Gold.聽聽Fortunately, the lipsticks were mostly repeats of shades that were already permanent. so I didn’t have to dig deep into my pocket this time around. Furthermore, with just聽a single new shade in this collection, it didn’t take me long to decide what to get.

MAC Evening Rendezvous

MAC Evening Rendezvous

MAC Evening Rendezvous

MAC Evening Rendezvous

Festive colours were aptly chosen for this theme as聽the lip products聽were all聽decked out fully in luxurious purple reflective聽casing, thereby shying away from the standard sombre black packaging. The eye and face products, on the other hand, were adorned聽in a darker shade of aquatic blue. In view of the efforts made to pimp up the packaging, naturally the products would cost a little more. But聽thankfully, they were聽still on the affordable side.

Evening Rendezvous is a deep reddish purple with Matte finish (US$18)

Evening Rendezvous is a deep reddish purple with Matte finish (US$18)

MAC Evening Rendezvous

MAC Evening Rendezvous

MAC Evening Rendezvous

MAC Evening Rendezvous

MAC Evening Rendezvous

MAC Evening Rendezvous

MAC Evening Rendezvous

MAC Evening Rendezvous

MAC Evening Rendezvous

MAC Evening Rendezvous

After a series of disappointing 聽and subpar lipsticks (especially those annoying lustres) released throughout the year, there’s finally one I can rave about. Evening Rendezvous boasts intense colour payoff in just one swipe and flaunts an emollient and slightly lustrous texture聽even though it is technically a matte.聽It is neither drying nor overtly balmy, which I felt was the perfect finish. On top of that, it has mostly opaque coverage with a great聽lasting effect because it only started wearing off after 4 hours. This is a gorgeous universal shade of purple which complements all skin tones. I have聽seen similar colours on dark skin tones (on Indians, to be precise) and thought that they pulled it off really well!

Strangely, being the only new lipstick shade in this lineup, it would have been expected to be among the first to sell out but聽instead, it was Dark Side聽that got greyed out on the website. There must be some kind of magic in this limited edition packaging because people actually didn’t mind paying more for a permanent shade! Unbelievable. Based on the reviews I’ve read so far, the general consensus I got was that it’s a聽high-performing lipstick, so I don’t understand how it’s not snapped up yet.

MAC Evening Rendezvous swatch comparison

MAC Evening Rendezvous swatch comparison

Pure Heroine is pretty close, so if you’ve missed out on the Lorde collection聽about 2聽years ago, you should consider getting Evening Rendezvous!

And that’s about it! Do stay tuned for more beauty updates聽coming your way! 馃檪

Also, my sincere apologies if you have been waiting for my lipstick reviews (the last time I did one was more than a month ago, shame on me!). Final year project聽has been a total bitch lately although聽it is technically the school holidays but I will still try to find聽time to bring you the latest beauty reviews even if it means having to sacrifice a few hours of my sleep time!

Thanks for reading and have a blessed week ahead! 馃檪

MAC Magic of the Night collection is now available on MACCosmetics.com as well as in stores (may be pulled off the shelves by now, so please call to check before heading down).

REVIEW: NEXGEN Biosteel Spider Silk Protein Die Hard Hydrating Serum & Phantom Mask

ADVERTORIAL

Hey everyone!

It has been drilled into our heads since we were聽little children聽that preserved food is detrimental to our health. But do you know that preservatives are also existent聽in beauty products? Like food preservatives, they allow extend the shelf life of the products by allowing them to remain fresh聽during the long span between the time of manufacture and the time the customer finishes using it. Similarly, they are often unhealthy as they聽may pose long-term health risks. However,聽preservatives form an integral part of the cosmetics ingredients.聽Without them, you’d most likely be tossing out聽your barely-used lipstick and facial cream every other聽few weeks.

Furthermore,聽it’s perfectly legal to use these聽toxic materials聽despite the fact that they may cause adverse effects to the聽health. Therefore,聽don’t be alarmed to see them on the list of ingredients of your everyday beauty products. They are聽everywhere.

Ingredients of a very popular body lotion sold in Singapore

Ingredients of a very popular body lotion sold in Singapore

Methylchloroisothiazolinone is an allergen and can cause severe skin reactions in some people.

Methylchloroisothiazolinone is an allergen and can cause severe skin reactions in some people.

Ingredients of a branded lipstick I own

Ingredients of a branded lipstick I own

Phenoxyethanol is believed to cause damage to the brain cells and the central nervous system when used in large quantities

Phenoxyethanol is believed to cause damage to the brain cells and the central nervous system when used in large quantities.

On the other hand, there are still聽cosmetics brands around that tout to be completely free of preservatives and specially formulated to be self-preserving. But the problem lies with the fact that they are often reusable. Reusable cosmetics products which are free of preservatives usually can’t withstand the test of time (hence the shorter expiry dates) because they get contaminated very easily with repeated contact with the skin.聽That’s why most of such products are sold in small packaging, but at premium prices. With聽that said,聽are you getting more bang for your bucks, or not?

But not all hope is lost! With the advancement of technology today, nothing is impossible. In the case of NEXGEN, instead of using preservatives, their products are packed separately before聽undergoing a sterilizing process, all while ensuring that the composition and functions of the products are not altered.

skinthenext

Established聽in 1999 in South Korea, NEXGEN is a biotechnology company specialising in second generation (hence the name) plant biotechnology which does not involve the use of herbicide, pesticides and genetically modified plants. Diversifying from the聽medical, agricultural and industrial business, NEXGEN started venturing into the cosmetics industry聽in 2011 under the subsidiary name of SKIN THE NEXT.

What sets SKIN THE NEXT/NEXGEN apart from other cosmetics brands is that it makes beauty products that are perfectly sterile and as mentioned earlier, preservative-free because of the individual and disposable packaging. On top of that, it also bans the use of plant extracts.

“Wait, aren’t plant extracts supposed to be good?”

Not many people know this (neither did I!) but besides the聽active ingredients in plants which are highly effective and pure with high biological value [1], they also contain synthetic substances which can be really harmful to humans. In order to extract the beneficial ingredients, companies have to pay a truckload of money and go through a dreadful process. Realistically speaking, not many commercial enterprises would do it.

Therefore, instead of using these unknown substances, SKIN THE NEXT incorporates聽Growth Factor Protein (a protein almost identical to human DNA and found in vegetables and fruits) into their products to help聽stimulate human tissues to repair themselves. Another active聽ingredient is the Cellular Vital Complex which contains 21 essential amino acids and 14 minerals in an optimum proportion to nourish your skin.

Here are 2 beauty products recently launched by SKIN THE NEXT/NEXGEN.

Biosteel Spider Silk Protein Die Hard Hydrating Serum

Biosteel Spider Silk Protein Die Hard Hydrating Serum

Biosteel Spider Silk Protein Die Hard Hydrating Serum

Biosteel Spider Silk Protein Die Hard Hydrating Serum

Biosteel Spider Silk Protein Die Hard Hydrating Serum

Biosteel Spider Silk Protein Die Hard Hydrating Serum

Biosteel Spider Silk Protein Die Hard Hydrating Serum

Biosteel Spider Silk Protein Die Hard Hydrating Serum

Biosteel Spider Silk Protein Die Hard Hydrating Serum

Biosteel Spider Silk Protein Die Hard Hydrating Serum

Biosteel Spider Silk Protein Die Hard Hydrating Serum

Biosteel Spider Silk Protein Die Hard Hydrating Serum

Biosteel Spider Silk Protein Die Hard Hydrating Serum

Biosteel Spider Silk Protein Die Hard Hydrating Serum

Biosteel Spider Silk Protein Die Hard Hydrating Serum

Die hard庐 is a moisturizing repair serum that doubles as a wrinkle treatment. It is聽composed with genetically engineered growth factor protein named Spider Silk Protein, which is 18 times stronger than steel that replaces collagen and elastin to improve skin elasticity and triggers cell聽 division.

As a moisturizing and anti-aging product, it contains vital complex (21 kinds of essential amino acids, and 11 kinds of minerals), sH-Oligopeptide-1 (EGF) 10ppm and Spider Silk Protein. There are 60 sachets in each box.

There is a perforated line on the individual packaging to facilitate the opening.聽

There is a perforated line on the individual packaging to facilitate the opening.

Easy to tear

Easy to tear

Extract all the serum from the pouch

Extract all the serum from the pouch

Colourless serum

Colourless serum

You just need one sachet for every application. Apply the serum evenly onto聽the聽face and smooth it gently until it is completely absorbed into the skin. I use this only at night before heading to bed because it does leave a mildly sticky residue on my skin. The amount of serum in the pouch may look insufficient but trust me, it’s more than enough to cover the entire face because it has a flowy聽consistency. It’s colourless and formulated without fragrance but it聽doesn’t have a pungent chemical smell.

Effectiveness-wise, my skin did feel a lot more moisturised, supple and revitalised the following聽day. Most importantly, it didn’t break my skin out one bit. In fact, I’m not sure if it’s pure coincidence but I noticed some of my acne scars lightened up a little. Nevertheless, the聽product worked well enough for me to continue using it.

I also love the聽travel-friendly size of the individual packaging and how two sachets are adhered together to save even more space. It will definitely come in handy for me when I go abroad聽at聽the end of the year!

Biosteel Spider Silk Protein聽Phantom Mask

Biosteel Spider Silk Protein Phantom Mask

Biosteel Spider Silk Protein Phantom Mask

Biosteel Spider Silk Protein Phantom Mask

Biosteel Spider Silk Protein Phantom Mask

Biosteel Spider Silk Protein Phantom Mask

Biosteel Spider Silk Protein Phantom Mask

Biosteel Spider Silk Protein Phantom Mask

Biosteel Spider Silk Protein Phantom Mask

Biosteel Spider Silk Protein Phantom Mask

Biosteel Spider Silk Protein Phantom Mask

Biosteel Spider Silk Protein Phantom Mask

Biosteel Spider Silk Protein Phantom Mask

Biosteel Spider Silk Protein Phantom Mask

Biosteel Spider Silk Protein Phantom Mask

Like the hydrating serum,聽one of the key ingredients of the Phantom Mask is spider silk protein. Phantom Mask is suitable for sensitive skin and it helps to replenish moisture and add glow to the skin. It is separated into 3 sections for the upper and lower half of the face as well as the neck area. There are 8 sheets in each box.

3 sections of Phantom Mask folded into one so be careful when you open it up!

3 sections of Phantom Mask folded into one so be careful when you open it up!

Mask application

Mask application. Leave mask on your face for about 30 minutes (minimum 20 minutes)

Moisturizing my eyelids with the flaps. Time to doze off!

Moisturizing my eyelids with the flaps. Time to doze off!

Neck area

Neck area

If you like truffle oil, you’d love this mask because it smells almost聽like it. But if you don’t, you’d probably find the smell unpleasant. It didn’t quite bother me because I fell asleep soon after I went to bed with it.聽This mask gave me a sense of luxury, the聽feeling I had when I was in the esthetician room a few weeks back. The moisture of the mask on my face coupled with the cool breeze from my air conditioner just spelled bliss. Plus, I had actually refrigerated my mask before application. It felt so, so good and relaxing! My worn out face聽looked evidently lifted, tighter and calmer (inflammation of pimples greatly reduced)聽when I peeled off the mask and I also realised my skin tone becoming a teeny weeny bit more even.

And the best part?聽The aftermath feeling wasn’t as tacky as I thought. Just smack on some sunblock and you’re ready to leave the house! (No I’m not kidding because I really did go to Orchard after one of the sessions).

The mask is made of great quality cotton sheet to prevent clumsy people like me from tearing it accidentally while trying to separate the sections. There would also be plenty of remaining essence left in the packaging which you can massage onto other areas of the neck, or wherever you deem fit. This is what I call “stretching your dollar” 馃榾

What do you think of these products? Would you be more wary when purchasing your beauty products now? Let me know in the comments below!

Thanks for reading!

NEXGEN BIOTECHNOLOGIES

NEXGEN: Website (English)聽| Website (Korean)
SKIN THE NEXT: Website (English) | Facebook | Twitter |聽Naver (Korean)
To order, please visit SKINTHENEXT.COMor email to lei@nexgenbiolab.com

REVIEW: ColourPop Lippie Stix & Lippie Pencil – Poison, Grunge, Oh Snap & Dazed

Hey everyone!

After a satisfying first purchase from ColourPop,聽I’ve been following their social media feeds for updates on their upcoming launches. But as I delved deeply into their catalogue,聽I find myself amazed at聽how quickly a relatively new set-up is able to grind out a wide聽variety of decent-quality products in so many聽inspiring聽shades and finishes at such affordable prices. Apart from liquid lipsticks, they also boast an array of regular lipsticks, lip pencils, eye shadows, bronzers, highlighters and blush. With gel liners already in the works,聽their offerings seem to be聽almost on par with that of the largest cosmetics companies around, don’t you think?

But as a lip junkie, I am more riveted by their selection of lip products. For their Fall collection released in late August, 6 new shades namely Contempo, Dazed, Grunge, Nevermind, Poison and Oh Snap were added to the lipstick (lippie stix) and lip liner (lippie pencil) range. The low cost enabled me聽to buy more of their products without feeling much of a pinch, so I got myself 4 matte lipsticks – 3 with聽their complementary lip pencil and 1 standalone shade. That’s 7 items in total for just US$30 (after discount)!聽And after conversion to Sing dollars, each item is still about S$6 (or around S$8 after shipping). Mad cheap. I don’t think any local drugstore cosmetics聽of similar quality has a price that close.

Packaging

Packaging

ColourPop Lippie Pencil

ColourPop Lippie Pencil

ColourPop Lippie Pencil

ColourPop Lippie Pencil

ColourPop Lippie Pencil

ColourPop Lippie Pencil (from top: Oh Snap, Grunge, Poison)

I noticed the disparity in the colour of the “ferrule” and the tip. I was hoping that the colours on the lips would turn out to be the one on the ferrule聽because they seem more vibrant and saturated.

ColourPop Lippie Stix

ColourPop Lippie Stix

ColourPop Lippie Stix

ColourPop Lippie Stix (from top: Oh Snap, Dazed, Grunge, Poison)

I’m not really fond of the name “Lippie” or anything that has unnecessary suffix聽as a matter of fact. The same goes for “Stix”. ColourPop is probably trying聽to be different by coming up with a unique-sounding name for their products but they聽just look, I don’t know, juvenile? Or twittish in Singaporean context.

Also, if you have little kids, you may want to keep your Lippie Stix away from them because聽much as I find the packaging of the lipstick and lip pencils really distinctive and perhaps handy, they bear a really strong resemblance to real colour pencils and crayons. The Lippie Stix, for instance, reminded me of those聽twistable crayons I was absolutely crazy about in my primary school days. So yeah, just a precaution lol.

A quick overview

A quick overview: The swatch of the Lippie Stix and their complementary shades look largely identical

The lipsticks and lip pencils are packed in white plastic packaging which I felt was extremely聽prone to becoming dirty, especially at the area near the cap. Already some of my lip pencils are stained with the product even when I had tried to put the cap back on really carefully.

#1 Oh Snap Lippie Stix and Lippie Pencil

Oh Snap Lippie Stix

Oh Snap Lippie Stix (US$5)

Oh Snap Lippie Stix

Oh Snap Lippie Stix

Oh Snap Lippie Stix

Oh Snap Lippie Stix

Oh Snap Lippie Pencil

Oh Snap Lippie Pencil (US$5)

Oh Snap Lippie Pencil

Oh Snap Lippie Pencil

Oh Snap Lippie Pencil

Oh Snap Lippie Pencil

Oh Snap Lippie Stix and Lippie Pencil

Oh Snap Lippie Stix and Lippie Pencil

Oh Snap Lippie Stix and Lippie Pencil

Oh Snap Lippie Stix and Lippie Pencil

Oh Snap Lippie Stix and Lippie Pencil

Oh Snap Lippie Stix and Lippie Pencil

Oh Snap Lippie Stix and Lippie Pencil

Oh Snap Lippie Stix and Lippie Pencil

Oh Snap is described as a pale dirty nude pink with a matte finish. It’s a shade that would probably show better on lighter skin tone. While the swatch of both lipstick and lip pencil appeared to be similar on my hand, it differed slightly when applied on my lips. The colour from the lip pencil actually seemed darker. It’s good in the sense that it may add a聽little more depth to the colour but the difference isn’t stark enough to be noticeable聽at all.

The lipstick has聽mostly聽opaque pigmentation with a natural shine in a single swipe and like the other lipsticks I bought, it smells like chocolate. It has a slippery consistency which helps to spread the lipstick around聽easily. However, it felt fairly streaky聽on the lips and I didn’t like how it聽tended to聽settle into my lip lines.

Oh Snap Lippie Stix - swatch comparison with other brands

Oh Snap Lippie Stix – swatch comparison with other brands

#2 Poison Lippie Stix and Lippie Pencil

Poison Lippie Stix

Poison Lippie Stix (US$5)

Poison Lippie Stix

Poison Lippie Stix

Poison Lippie Stix

Poison Lippie Stix

Poison Lippie Pencil

Poison Lippie Pencil (US$5)

Poison Lippie Pencil

Poison Lippie Pencil

Poison Lippie Pencil

Poison Lippie Pencil

Poison Lippie Stix and Lippie Pencil

Poison Lippie Stix and Lippie Pencil

Poison Lippie Stix and Lippie Pencil

Poison Lippie Stix and Lippie Pencil

Poison Lippie Stix and Lippie Pencil

Poison Lippie Stix and Lippie Pencil

Poison Lippie Stix and Lippie Pencil

Poison Lippie Stix and Lippie Pencil

Poison is described as a deep brown red with a matte finish. The lip pencil colour is exactly that of the lipstick and it follows the natural curves of the lips to enhance its appearance even more.

The lipstick has聽a rich, smooth and velvety texture with an intense pigmentation that gives a comfortable and long-lasting wear. It聽provides an even coverage with a relatively lightweight feel. The added shine at the end also helps to plump up the lips a little to give them聽a more sultry look 馃槈

#3 Grunge Lippie Stix and Lippie Pencil

Grunge Lippie Stix

Grunge Lippie Stix (US$5)

Grunge Lippie Stix

Grunge Lippie Stix

Grunge Lippie Stix

Grunge Lippie Stix

Grunge Lippie Pencil

Grunge Lippie Pencil (US$5)

Grunge Lippie Pencil

Grunge Lippie Pencil

Grunge Lippie Pencil

Grunge Lippie Pencil

Grunge Lippie Stix and Lippie Pencil

Grunge Lippie Stix and Lippie Pencil

Grunge Lippie Stix and Lippie Pencil

Grunge Lippie Stix and Lippie Pencil

Grunge Lippie Stix and Lippie Pencil

Grunge Lippie Stix and Lippie Pencil

Grunge Lippie Stix and Lippie Pencil

Grunge Lippie Stix and Lippie Pencil

Grunge is described as a cool-toned plum brown with a matte finish. Like the other Lippie Pencils mentioned earlier, the lip liner delivers a flatter and聽drier texture which helps to prevent the lipstick from bleeding over the lip line.

But if you only need another US$5 in your order to fulfill the requirement for free delivery, you can聽drop聽the lip pencil and go with just the lipstick because it is able to stay in place on its own.聽The lipstick offers a semi-opaque coverage with a creamy texture and a slightly luminous sheen that lasts all day.聽It glided on very smoothly without tugging the lips and I didn’t have to聽apply many coats of the lipstick to get an even coverage.

Grunge Lippie Stix - swatch comparison with other brands

Grunge Lippie Stix – swatch comparison with other brands

Notice how similar聽in terms of colour and finish Grunge is to MAC’s Paramount, which has a satin finish. ColourPop’s matte lipsticks don’t possess the qualities of a traditional聽matte lipstick, which often appear drying and chalky like Whirl on the extreme right.

Grunge, Oh Snap and Poison Lippie Pencils - swatch comparison with MAC lip pencils

Grunge, Oh Snap and Poison Lippie Pencils – swatch comparison with MAC lip pencils I own

Interestingly, the texture of the lip pencils do not contrast much with my MAC lip pencils. The darker shades appear denser and more pigmented while the lighter shades have a thinner consistency.

#4 Dazed Lippie Stix

Dazed Lippie Stix

Dazed Lippie Stix

Dazed Lippie Stix

Dazed Lippie Stix (US$5)

Dazed Lippie Stix

Dazed Lippie Stix

Dazed Lippie Stix

Dazed Lippie Stix

Dazed Lippie Stix

Dazed Lippie Stix

Dazed Lippie Stix

Dazed Lippie Stix

Dazed Lippie Stix

Dazed Lippie Stix

Dazed is described as a berry red with a matte finish. It is the only Lippie Stix I got without an accompanying Lippie Pencil because.. yeah, you probably guessed it. I had hit my minimum spending requirement for free shipping 馃槅

This lipstick applied fairly evenly on my lips and has a lightweight and slightly chalkier consistency as compared to the other Lippie Stix.聽It isn’t entirely opaque because my natural lip colour could be seen peeking through the lipstick. However,聽I prefer this to Poison because of its cool/pink undertones. It’s so gorgeous and it doesn’t come across gaudy unlike Poison which may seem a little too heavy for me. I would recommend Dazed if you’re looking for a more muted red to wear on a regular聽basis.

Poison and Dazed Lippie Stix - swatch comparison with other brands

Poison and Dazed Lippie Stix – swatch comparison with other brands

All in all, each shade of the聽matte Lippie Stix is richly pigmented with great colour payoff. They reflect light to create a fuller appearance聽and聽are hydrating on the lips. They are long-lasting (no doubt about this) but can be quite difficult to remove fully. I don’t think it’s necessary to purchase the complementary lip pencil unless (you can’t line your lips properly, of course) because the lipsticks are quite static on their own, so chances of feathering is pretty low.

Having said that, I must say that聽ColourPop has once again surpassed my expectations of a low-cost cosmetics brand with their聽excellent quality.聽It’s like the poor man’s version of MAC with its wide spectrum of lipstick shades to choose from.

What do you think about their Lippie Stix and Lippie Pencil? Do you agree with my views? Let me know in the comments below! 馃檪

Thanks for reading!

ColourPop Lippie Stix and Lippie Pencils are now available on ColourPop.com at US$5 each.