|ZA Coming Journey Lipsticks (Limited Edition)
Cosmetic giant Shiseido's drugstore line ZA is best known for its popular foundation and brow products. This year though, they've expanded the True White Protector primer line to include color correcting versions as well as a color-correcting finishing powder.
|ZA True White Protector range
Priced at S$15.90 per 35g tube (about 1.2oz), the primer range is formulated with Hyaluronic Acid and vitamins C and E for smoothing antioxidant protection, so they are multi-tasking moisturizers, sunscreens and color correcting primers in one. I do have to say these were more pigmented than I expected as I'm used to tinted or "tone up" primers rubbing out to near-invisibility most of the time.
This means though, that if you have a medium to deeper skin tone, I would stick with the classic brightening formula or the more universal luminizing pink Glowing Protector as the lavender and mint shades will likely give you an ashy cast.
Again, please remember that like concealers, deeper skintones require corresponding stronger tones of green/purple/orange color correctors to neutralize discolorations appropriately, so do not expect a pale green corrector made for light skins to work well on a deeper complexion. Sadly, Asian brands still only cater to one generic light skin range.
|ZA True White Protectors swatched
These have a non-greasy light-creme texture typical to Japanese and Korean primers. If you hate the feel of slippery silicone-heavy primers, these are a nice alternative. While they do include an SPF33, PA++ in the formula, I would definitely NOT rely on these as my main sun protection product. A PA rating of ++++ is the gold standard for protection against wrinkle-, pigmentation- and cancer-causing UVA rays.
As for the cute little Color Blend Finishing Powder (S$25.90) compact which contains a blend of all 4 protector shades, this is a nice soft mattifying powder that adequately blurs texture and reduces shine. There is a teeny-tiny trace of pearl (courtesy of the pearlescent pink patches) but the overall effect on a fair to medium-light skin is that of an invisible powder. Hence no swatches from me.
|ZA Color Blend Finishing Powder
It's pretty to look at but any "brightening" effect is incredibly subtle unless you really pack the product on, which I don't recommend with ANY powder. You'll just make your face look dusty and cakey, through no fault of the product.
Again, I do not recommend this for very deep complexions. It's not that this is not wearable, but that you'll need to control the amount you dust on in order to avoid an ashy cast over your face. I'm just not sure it's worth the hassle when there are other translucent or tan-skin appropriate options around.
These come in 2 textures; Semi Matte and Super Matte. Semi Matte is what I'd call a traditional satin finish. Creamy and opaque, with a low sheen. The Super Mattes are a suede-like powdery texture which is semi-opaque and great for the "blurry lip" look.
The Semi Mattes are no slouch either. They look deceptively creamy but the formula has a density to it as well and clings very well to skin. Even though they are not transfer proof, the color does last through drinking and light snacking.
|RD350 Semi Matte Red
|RD460 Semi Matte Orange
|PK458 Super Matte Pink
All in all, I think it's a fun and aesthetically attractive release overall. I'm biased towards the lipsticks simply because they are fun and the formulations are stellar as well.
As for the True White Protectors, the sun protection is too low when compared to similar products like the Skin Aqua Tone Up UV Essences which also come in mint and lavender but rock an SPF50+ PA++++ with photo-stable UVA filters. While the ZA formula is a much better-performing corrective makeup base due to the higher levels of pigments, I personally prioritize the skincare aspect over the color correction, and it's too much of a hassle to layer two products when they're meant to be an all-in-one.
And that's just my take on the new releases!