Sunday, October 15, 2017

Quick Rave: MAKE UP FOR EVER Artist Liquid Mattes

MAKE UP FOR EVER has officially joined the matte liquid lipstick game with the new Artist Liquid Mattes (S$35), available in 19 shades from this month at the MUFE boutique as well as Sephora.

What is different about these is they promise intense color in an ultra-matte finish that remains comfortable to wear. If you know me, you'll know that I haven't been the biggest fan of matte liquid lipsticks that came out in the past couple of years because they DO make my lips look and feel mummified. Dehydrated, tight, wrinkly. 

Some transfer-proof formulas are a little more forgiving than others (MAC's reformulated ones, Sephora Collection, NARS PowerMatte, and Rouge Dior Liquids do feel a little better in my experience), but in general none of them actually feel great. I'll usually sacrifice the transfer-proof quality for some pliability and comfort, and I am most definitely a fan of Colourpop Ultra Satins over the Ultra Mattes. 

Until these came along.

One thing I was immediately happy about was that they don't change color significantly when they dry down. Then again, a lot of newer liquid lipstick lines seem to do better in this regard than the formulas that came out a couple of years ago. You no longer have to wonder how much darker or more grey the formula will go after it dries. With these, the colors stay pretty true in my experience. You can see from the half-dried swatches that the wet spots are not noticeably paler or a different tone to the dry spots.

Contrary to the claims, these MAKE UP FOR EVER Artist Liquid Mattes are not the most ultra-matte liquid lipsticks I've ever tried. In fact, they do dry down with a slight almost satin sheen to the surface. Like smooth calf leather instead of velvety suede. And this is not a complaint. 

Your lips don't look shriveled (or as some like to call it, like butt-hole lips). In fact, the formula won't emphasize lines unnecessarily, so they look more "plump" and smooth than they would with most other non-transferring liquid lip formulas. The other non-transferring formulas that have a similar smooth leathery finish upon initial dry-down are Dior's Rouge Dior Mat Liquids and YSL's Tatouage Couture, which will only launch in Singapore come Jan 2018.

You need to give these a moment to dry because of the slightly creamier, more hydrating texture. And like the YSLs and Diors, you can make these more matte just by pressing your lips together lightly after the product sets completely. That removes the satin finish and gives you more of the typical matte suede.

MAKE UP FOR EVER Artist Liquid Matte in 401
These remain comfortable and feel lightweight for hours, which is another huge plus for me. Like some of the more emollient formulas, they are more "flexible", so they don't feel stiff or crack when you smile.

After a few hours, drinking water through a glass, and eating some chips, it did wear away in the center of my mouth where most of the oil and moisture was. But these can be touched up easily as well. I simply dab a small drop of liquid lipstick onto a clean finger and pat it around the bare areas to fill them in. The formula does not cake up when layered this way.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Barbara Sturm Molecular Cosmetics now on

German luxury skincare line Dr Barbara Sturm is now available to Asian consumers via Sturm, an aesthetics doctor, roots her line around the idea that world-class skincare should protect, strengthen and detoxify without overburdening the skin, and that it should yield maximum results with a minimum number of products.

And for those who have overflowing cabinets, stressed skin, busy lifestyles, and a thirst for skin-pampering products that cut through the Marketing mambo-jumbo and do just what they say, this is a line to look into.

To allow skincare aficionados in Singapore a chance to sample her line, NET-A-PORTER is collaborating with The Landing Point at Fullerton Bay Hotel to offer a thematic Afternoon Tea experience. For SGD 48++, guests will enjoy a gourmet tearoom experience overlooking the panoramic Marina Bay waterfront, as well as receive a luxe gift set of Dr Barbara Sturm travel-size products worth SGD188 from NET-A-PORTER.

(For reservations and enquiries, call Dining Reservations at +65 6877 8911 / 8912)

I have been trying out a few of their products and I'll say they put their money where their mouth is. They don't skimp on active ingredients, minimize usage of cheap fillers and bulking agents, and also quietly throw in skin-nurturing "extras" that are not immediately obvious when looking at the product names.

The one word of warning is don't expect pretty fragrances and masking agents. These products are completely unscented and hence a great option to explore for those with more sensitive skins, but many will smell of raw ingredients. For me, as long as it works well, I can forget how it smells.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Lancôme Teint Miracle Hydrating Foundation - 2017 Formula Review

Teint Miracle (S$68) was the first foundation I bought from Lancôme years ago. I remember getting a couple of sample sachets (carefully squeezed into a travel jar and rationed out into several days of use) and had a light bulb moment when I when I realized foundation could refract and bounce light to give coverage and "fake" a natural-looking nude skin luminosity.

Teint Miracle has always had a spot (well, two spots because I buy this in two shades) in my foundation drawer since. Even though the market is now flooded with newer formulas, I come back to this one repeatedly because I trust it to deliver that my-skin-but-better effect without sacrificing too much coverage or a fresh feel. 

Lancôme Teint Miracle (2017)
Brands constantly upgrade formulas as new technology and better ingredients become available, so I wasn’t too worried about the new version not being good, but reformulations can cause things to sit differently on the skin, so I spent the past few days just testing out the new foundation repeatedly.

What I always loved about the Teint Miracle formula:
  • natural looking radiance that mimics great skin and gives a brighter, more rested appearance
  • lightweight feel with buildable to medium coverage
  • hydrating but oil-free and non-tacky to the touch
  • satin finish that looks like bare skin
  • great fairer shade options on the yellow-based spectrum
The latest formula is supposed to deliver these, along with:
  • deeper skin hydration from rose extract, glycerin and hyaluronic acid
  • soothing and anti-aging benefits from rose and Moringa extract (rich in vitamin A) 
  • oil-absorbent ingredients for better lasting power
  • new "Universal Light Technology" to mimic that perfect glow regardless of lighting conditions