Wednesday, August 23, 2017

LANEIGE Ideal Shadow Quads: Swatches and First Impressions



LANEIGE updated their eyeshadow collection this month, and relaunched 10 quads in mostly new color combinations, repackaged in sleeker silver-lined cases. These are all currently available at LANEIGE counters and boutiques, as well as Lazada.sg and Zalora.sg.

I've been quite a fan of the older Pure Radiant Eyeshadow quads and had likened some of the color compositions to Tom Fords before, so let's get the head-to-head comparisons out of the way. The Ideal Shadow Quads:
  • have 6g of product (1.5g per shadow, same as standard MAC/MUG pans), same as the Pure Radiant quads
  • are S$42, $2 more than old Pure Radiant quads
  • have updated formulas
  • come in a mix of neutrals as well as a few more edgy color options
  • have more mattes interspersed among the quads, so you have more options and textures
Shade overview - new LANEIGE Ideal Shadow Quads
The older compacts are smaller, and it looks like there is more product in the new quads, but they actually contain the same amount. I'm not complaining though; they've been quite good about keeping the price stable instead of taking the chance to jack the price up with this revamp.

The new quads DO look a lot nicer compared to the older ones which have a tendency to look a little "cheaper", not as grown-up, and a bit outdated.

"Old" Pure Radiant eyeshadow quad

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Blood-rose lips: A deep, dark obsession (and tips for wearing it in the day)

Just a few favorite deep dark berry rose shades in my collection
The first lip color I can remember obsessing over as a child (yes - I started young) was a deep dark vampy noir red. Not pink, not peach, not red. I even recall the excitement I felt when I realized for the first time that it was POSSIBLE to even wear a color that dark on the lips.

It looked gorgeous. I was in love.

As an adult, I've built quite a collection of deep dark lip shades over the years, but let's face it - for most of us, these gorgeous blood colored shades don't get a lot of air time because they are so dramatic. Until you learn how versatile they are of course.

L'oreal Infallible Lipstick in 337 Refined Ruby worn sheer

One of my favorite things to do on days when I don't want to spend too much time on my makeup is to take one of these vampy reds and wear it as a translucent matte wash over the lips, over a neutral lip pencil. The final effect is polished but not harsh, relaxed but still dressy.

Steps:
  1. Apply nude/neutral pencil around the edges of lips and blend in a bit so it's not a visible line
  2. Swipe your deep dark lipstick in the center of the lower lip only (this is usually the perfect amount to achieve this effect)
  3. Press your lips together a few times to transfer and spread the color onto the rest of your mouth
  4. Use a brush or your finger to tap and spread the color out to the edges of your lips

The edge of the mouth is not meant to be harsh and precise so I prefer fingers over brushes. Also, this is a great way to make your dark lipsticks go further, both in terms of being able to use them for more occasions, and also from the perspective that you really need very little product each time.
Choosing a red:

Not every dark red works the same way though. The trick is to look for the ones that sheer out to a cool berry-ish rosy red. There are some that sheer out into a brown or purple tone that can look dull and dirty against the face.

For an example, below are a few good options that are currently in my rotation, although I will also mention a few other old faves.


Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Pro Yellow Laser - A Safer Way to Remove Freckles, Pigmentation and Redness for Asian Skin?


The QuadraStar Pro Yellow Laser is considered by many to be one of the latest and best ways to treat surface pigmentation as well as vascular (vein) lesions. Basically those thing that detract from a glowing, even-toned complexion. Dark marks, uneven tones, flushed areas from rosacea, redness and purple marks from broken or dilated capillaries.

Add the ability to kill acne bacteria, regulate oil glands, and subtly firm skin… and heck yeah - I’m in for a trial. In fact I think this might be THE thing to have before your big day or any special occasion.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Shu Uemura Petal Skin Foundation


Petal Skin Fluid Foundation (S$68) launches today (1 April) in Singapore, and is a welcome addition to Shu Uemura's foundation series. Built around the idea of fresh, smooth "effortlessly radiant" skin that looks like a flower petal, the formula aims to combine semi-matte with semi-glow characteristics in a lightweight, velvety smooth formula that feels comfortable and natural on the skin.

I've been test-trying this for the past few weeks now, and I'll say I love the finish and effect this has on the skin.

When I first saw the name, I expected a lightweight, radiant foundation with very light coverage. The things that surprised me were:
  1. the instant pore blurring effect
  2. how much like real skin it looked
  3. the rather impressive medium coverage despite the light texture
Shu Uemura Petal Skin Foundation before-after: 1 coat

Finish:

My pores instantly looked "filtered" as I rubbed it on. The formula contains a unique volatile fluid that glides over skin and disperses pigments in a thin layer, where they bounce light off in a smooth, even sheet for that smoothed-out effect. It also subtly corrects texture and is not settling into or around pores and fine lines or emphasizing them.

Like the pigments in some of the Lightbulb powders, the ultra-fine reflective powders are also spherical so they don't sit on top of the skin in a matte, cakey layer, but diffuse light so you look "lit from within". I'm endlessly fascinated by formulas that manage to bounce light without making you look shiny or emphasizing all your pores and this one does it very well.

Coverage:

While this doesn't give high coverage like The Lightbulb or Smooth:Fit, it managed to give decent coverage and unify my skin tone quite well. I need less concealer when I use this, but if you have active spots or darker pigmentation to cover,this will not have enough concealing power on its own.

You CAN build this up a bit more, and I did try it with 2 coats (below) for a more perfected look, but I would not advise going any thicker because there's no point in losing that fresh, "my skin but better" effect.

Petal Skin Foundation \: 2 coats 

Lasting Power:

I wore this for full days out, and it holds up beautifully on my normal-ish skin, in humid weather, for about 6 or so hours without any blotting, if I set it with a little loose powder. The formula has been tested in Singapore weather so it is quite humidity- and heat-resistant.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

New LANEIGE Silk Intense Lipsticks



LANEIGE has updated their Silk Intense Lipstick range recently with revamped formula, packaging and shades. The new lipsticks come in sleek white and silver magnetized tubes that are more sturdy and grown-up looking than the original.



Compared to the original Silk Intense Lipsticks, the new formula is similar in intensity and coverage and share the same lightweight creme texture. However, I find the new formula less "slippery" feeling and easier to build up. The shades also contain ultra-micronized pigments so they go on more evenly and can be built for opaque coverage or worn sheer without looking patchy.

I've worn these a few days now, and I'm pretty happy with the feel and performance. I have not had issues with them making my dry lips flaky or uncomfortable, which ironically happens with some thinner, more slippery creme lipsticks. In fact, when my lips got quite parched and wrinkly in-between swatches these lipsticks just plumped them right up once I applied the next shade. Despite the creamy hydrating texture, they do last pretty well and a simple wet wipe is surprisingly not sufficient to remove it completely from skin. 

Silk Intense Lipstick 335 Get the Red

There are 35 shades available in Singapore at S$36 each, which is a good price point considering the luxe feel of the formula. They do somewhat remind me of Rouge Diors and Rouge Cocos in formula, with the exception being that the shades are obviously designed to suit Asian/pale-to-medium skin tones.

I've swatched them all below roughly separated by color category or the effect they have on the face, and marked LANEIGE's Star shades with **.

Soft peachy/pink Silk Intense tones
These softer tones look quite soft against the skin but have somewhat "natural" undertones. My personal pick here is 430 Pink Garden. These colors will probably look like pink-nudes or peach-nudes on most people.

430 Pink Garden
The next group are more typical Korean "It" shades. Coraly pink tones with a touch of juicy vibrancy.


I especially love 147 Raspberry Pink, which I'd describe more like watermelon pink, and 142 Love Me New Me, a classic K-style pink coral. Both shades look great worn ombre-style with minimal makeup, for a glowy stained lip effect.

As for the pinks, there are a couple of great ones as well. I personally would not use 101 Neon Pink or 350 Peony on their own but I do love 149 Cherry Popcorn and 362 Urban Jungle especially. I'm usually not a fan of pearlescent pink shades but I also found myself really liking 145 Glam Pink. I suggest applying a tiny bit and pressing your lips together for that rosy baby-lips "no makeup" effect.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Rollover-Reaction Sueded! Lip and Cheek Creams




I'm quite a fan of the latest generation of matte and semi-matte lip creams, one of them being indie Indonesian-based brand Rollover-Reaction, which is gaining quite the cult following locally. They have a capsule series of creams called Sueded! which work as both lipsticks as well as blushes.

I do love a good uber-matte - don't get me wrong - but this year, I'm a bit over the transfer-proof lip, if you know what I mean. I love how they look in photos, freshly applied. They are so dramatic and your lips look "DONE". But I don't love how they feel, how they darken and morph into completely different shades when dry, and how they emphasize every single line. Great for reel life, not so great for real life.

Luxe brands like Dior, Armani, Chanel, NARS, Burberry and Bobbi Brown have their own versions of the "velvet" lip creams which are nothing like the trendy transfer-proof liquid lipsticks a la Kat von D and Jeffree Star. These luxe lip creams are designed to be forgiving to dry and mature lips. Most go on a creamy satin, with the understanding that lip products dry down after some time and become more matte. (You'll see how they are much more matte on my lips versus the arm swatches.)

I've really been enjoying some of these (Burberry and Bobbi Brown in particular) for their ability to look matte and last for hours, while feeling comfortable and not emphasizing dryness. So imagine my pleasant surprise when I applied my first Sueded! shade and thought "Wait - these feel like the Burberry Liquid Velvets!"



Now the Sueded! range is meant for lips and cheeks, so the whole color range is understandably neutral-leaning. (Which is probably great news for a lot of people.) But I do have to say the shades are very different from one another - you're not going to get 3-4 warm rosy beiges that look alike.

Another feature is they have a "cream-to-powder" finish since they are also meant for the cheeks, so they do rub out into a non-greasy texture and will go matte if you don't apply too heavy a layer. These feel slightly different from the typical non-drying lip creams on the lips because of that formula.

Sueded! ingredients

I don't mind that they are not transfer-proof. After all, one of the most annoying things about kiss-proof liquid lips is the fact that they STILL transfer and wear away around the center after you eat, but they aren't easy to touch-up.

As for the shades, I have to say I love Umma, the deep oxblood shade, and Lucy which is a powdery soft orange beige. Saddie is a great rosy brown tone for neutral 90s lip lovers, and I also like Sally as a standard soft peachy nude, while Livv is a unique terracotta shade which is quite lovely too.