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Is that how my face look like 0_0

Can't believe I actually filmed my first makeup tutorial in 2.5 years.

I've been away THAT long, always wanted to come back and make more makeup/beauty videos, but just never know when I can do it. I thought it would be a lot more smashing and exciting, but it was just like any other day in reality.

I have not reached that state where I dreamed of reaching - silky smooth, hydrated and problem free skin - I now question if perfection is actually achievable. Nonetheless, I am at a state where I'm happy with what I currently have, and have accepted it to be part of me (still working on it, but I'm doing so well now!). It's so strange to see myself in makeup again after so long. I've grown to really like my own face without makeup, and with some makeup on, it adorns my face so beautifully. It makes me feel great to be able to put makeup on once again!

So with the blemish and flaws that are still present on my skin, I present to you this makeup look which is one of the looks I've been wearing to work the past 2 months.
It's understated, natural, no perceivable eyeliner that set off alarms in most people's eyes.
I love how easy it is, I can put this look together within 15 minutes in the morning rush hour :'D If I don't mess up my brows that is. And I normally don't, so I don't know why I messed it up during recording!



This is the complete eye look, just really minimal. It looks even less obvious in video because the camera washes out some of the colour. In real life, it gives myself beautiful and natural looking depth. Indiscernible to the untrained eyes.

THE PRODUCTS



  1. E.L.F. Perfect Finish HD Powder
  2. KATE Mineral Powder Foundation (OC-C) 
  3. AVENE Very High Protection Cream SPF50+
  4. CANMAKE Mat Fleur Cheeks (04)
  5. KATE Brown Shade Eyes (BR-6)
  6. REVLON Matte Balm (225 Sultry) (Review and swatches here)
  7. MAYBELLINE Volum' Express The Magnum Waterproof
  8. KATE Lash Maximizer White
  9. INNISFREE Auto Eyebrow Pencil (03 Grey)
Compared to my old looks, this look has a lot less products, right? That's mostly because I just started getting back into wearing makeup recently, and I am really cautious this time. I don't want to put on too much just in case it might irritate my skin. So I start with very little products, and slowly add more to it if I want to. Who knows, maybe a few months down the road, the number of products I use will increase exponentially, trying to squeeze every single product from the new releases onto my face all at the same time? Hahaha!




The brushes I used are all from REAL TECHNIQUES (not TRUE TECHNIQUES hahaha). The purple brushes are from their Eye Makeup Starter Kit. Looks like the recently revamped it, kept the brushes the same and changed the case that comes with it (now grey instead of black!).



I've actually been looking at getting a new lash curler, but my old KOJI No.73 is still working fine.. Just need to change the rubber lining every so often because it does break apart, which affects the curl that I can get. Speaking of which, it's time I change to a new rubber lining.

As for the makeup brush cleaning sponge, I bought the sponge from a store that sells household products, cut it to fit the cute tin case my aunt gave me and it's done. Really handy for cleaning the brushes in between different colours, especially when going from dark to light shades. The excess powder collects at the bottom which I then clean out once in a while. Time to wash the sponge soon, it's getting brown!

All in all, I am really glad I can do this again. Even though this gratitude is an afterthought, I still want to note it down. It really helps to reflect upon all that have happened in my life and to count my blessings. Even though things aren't exactly at where I want them to be, I'm still rejoicing at how far I've come, and how much improvements I've experienced. I will continue to keep my body, mind, and skin healthy, and hope to bring more videos with you all.

And now, the video tutorial.

Natural Brown Makeup for Work (Tutorial) - YouTube

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My encounter with Niacinamide happened by chance. My cousin was telling me about wanting to try a Vitamin B3 serum, I got curious and read the research and journals to see what's good about it.

Turns out it seems to be really suitable for me as it calms inflammation, redness, and promotes skin barrier function - pretty much what I think I need as I notice my skin being thinner and more sensitive over the years. It turns red very easily from temperature fluctuation, get tiny little bumps that itch if it is irritated, and what I dislike the most - gets blotchy and rashy.

The serum my cousin got is extremely expensive in my books, about USD35 for 10ml (at 13% concentration). I did some searching on iHerb not having much hopes, but I found something within my price range!!



The InstaNatural Niacinamide Serum goes for USD14.03 for 60ml. It has a concentration of 5%, which is the recommended level for therapeutic effects to take place without causing too much irritation to the skin. Considering my skin is already more vulnerable, I thought a lower concentration works well for me, as 13% is an overkill, and might even cause more harm than good on my skin.



They do have a warning on the side of the bottle that if it causes any irritation, you should stop using it. But did that stop me? Hell no! In fact, the first few days I used it, it stung my face a little bit. That is when I realize it's still too strong for my face - or my face is too fragile for it. Solution? I mixed in 1-2 drops into my facial cream, mix well and applied onto my face. No more issues after that.



There's also suggested directions on the bottle. The gist is to apply it onto clean skin so maximum absorption. The serum actually absorbs pretty damn quickly so you don't have to wait forever before applying your moisturizer. Or you could do it like me, mix it with the moisturizer! Genius! BUT doing that will definitely lower the concentration of the Vitamin B3, so probably don't do it if you can tolerate the 5% concentration, and want results fast.



The serum itself is whitish in colour. Spreads and absorbs quickly. Yada yada. Nothing special about it's texture, however I'd like to highlight it has a soft lavender scent which I really enjoy. It's very soft and nothing offensive or long lasting.

Apologies as I do not have before and after photos. I can only tell you over the 2-3 months I've been using it, I noticed a slow but slight improvement in my face. It's less blotchy, less rashy, and less red in general. The good days are longer and bad days relatively shorter. I still have a long way to go though!

I can't be sure if it's just because of this B3 serum alone, or the combined effects of using the Avene Skin Recovery Cream, but I like it enough to repurchase it because I believe in it. USD14 for 60ml is a very reasonable price and I'd like to keep it in my routine until I find something better.
Definitely gonna be a repurchase item.
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The natural alternative to petroleum jelly, but better.

Where shall I begin to sing praises about Shea butter? I love it, and can't live without it now. Of course, it has its short coming, but I've since learnt how to overcome that.

I've read so much about the benefits of Shea butter on dry skin in the past (pretty much a nutritious skin moisturizer that can help repair skin), and finally got to try it recently as I found an affordable option on iHerb. They have an 207ml version so that's what I bought to try. I don't know if I'll like it so it's safer to go with the smaller option.

On the sides of the bottle are description and instructions of the product.



On the bottle, it reads
Condition: Dry or rough skin in need of moisture, especially on tougher areas such as the elbows, knees and feet.

Suggested Use: Gently apply as desired, paying close attention to dry or rough areas, reapply as needed.

If you ever used Shea butter before, you'd realize "gently apply" is not really possible. The Shea butter is pretty much multi purpose - it can moisturizing your skin, scalp, and even hair if you want to.

The whole set of description is also available on its iHerb page.



Shea butter is a solid at room temperature (30 degrees C in Singapore), but will soften around body temperature. The label also mentions the formation of fat crystals that may change the colour or texture of the product, but it doesn't affect its function. In particularly cold country, it might be useful to warm it slightly till soft to facilitate application of the Shea butter.

They suggest placing in a pan of warm water, or microwaving to soften the Shea butter. But who has the time for that all day!? I have clever solutions for you later!



Here's an embarrassing photo of my almost finished tub of Shea butter. But this is only proof that I've been using and loving it! On the right is a tiny plastic spatula I use to scrape some products every time I use it. The Shea butter has an off white colour, and no scent at all. I suspect they have removed any odour during the refinement process. On the iHerb page, it claims to be hexane free.


Keep staring and you'll notice it changes!

On my hand, it starts out as a soft butter. Rubbing it and spreading it on my palms feels luxurious - it nourishes my dry skin without any heaviness. You can even observe a slight sheen on my palms, not the overly greasy kind!

I don't know if it makes any sense to talk about the fatty acid profile of Shea butter. If you're interested in the technical details, I'm sure google can guide you to appropriate websites that can enlighten you. Forgoing all the potential benefits of individual fatty acids, I can vouch for its ability to keep my skin soft all night long. It really locks it in damn well.

Some people prefer raw Shea butter, but I read that refined Shea butter has a longer shelf life and is less prone to oxidation, which is something I've observed as well. Compared to body oils I've used in the past, I notice my clothes doesn't really have that rancid oil smell.Also, since I'm using this mainly to lock in serious moisture, I have no issue using a refined Shea butter.

Comparing it to Vaseline petroleum jelly, I prefer the Shea butter a lot more because it has equal emollient capabilities, but feels less heavy? I don't feel like it's cloaking my skin. Sometimes my skin feels warm after applying some Vaseline. Also, the Shea butter has more slip to it, allowing it to spread out more thinly.

Only draw back? It's rock solid consistency especially when the room temperature drops below 20 degrees Celcius. Using a spatula helps for sure, and that is one of the ways I've used to circumvent this problem.



Introducing the Shea sticks!



The other solution I've found is to put them into old lip balm tubes. This is the best application method I can currently think of. Instead of scraping the product, all I have to do is to glide the Shea stick onto my skin. Or, I can also choose to swipe it across my finger or palms, smooth it out evenly before gently patting it on my face. The warmth of my palms really helps to soften it further, feeling luxuriously rich.

Making it is extremely easy, it's just a matter of melting, pouring, and freezing. If you like, you can even add in a few drops of your favourite essential oil!

As you can see I'm already about to finish this tube of Shea butter. About to clean and refill them (I have more than one sticks so I don't have prepare another batch too frequently). They've become a staple in my skincare routine, and I never leave house without it. I feel safe knowing it's in my bag because I can use it to hide any dry patches that aren't ready to shed just yet. I'm still rather self conscious about my dry skin, so if a small item like this could help, why not?
Have you tried Shea butter before? What are you thoughts?
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So thoroughly used I hardly have any left!

This is not my first encounter with Argan oil. After venturing into Rosehip seed oil years ago, I've decided to give Argan oil a try because I read that it's lighter than Rosehip seed oil. This is actually my second bottle of Acure Argan oil!



Acure has 4 variations - original, rose, citrus, and coconut. This one is rose scented, but do not be fooled - it contains a blend of fragrances such as Orange, Rose Geranium, Lemongrass, and Rose flower oil. In fact, I find the rose scent to be so subtle as it's overpowered by the Orange scent. It still smells nice, it's just NOT the rosy scent I expected. Be warned!



On the back of the bottle are some instructions:
Apply small amont to palm, rub hands together, then apply to desired area. If using in hair, work it through to the ends.

I think it needs just one more step: to inhale deeply after rubbing hands together to enjoy the scent!



I really like the glass bottle, as it has a frosted finish. Makes it feel more luxurious? Having tried dropper bottles, I realize i prefer pump bottles more because it reduces the tendency for the oils to oxidize as there is limited contact between the left over oil and air. An older bottle of Rosehip seed oil actually oxidized over time because I don't always close the bottle tightly. My bad I know! It's just less convenient. I've since washed and reused my first bottle of Argan oil (with dish soap) to house some vegetable glycerin now! Complete with a handwritten label :)

I noticed they have changed the packaging a while ago, so it's no longer a frosted glass bottle :( Perhaps they are worried that this packaging doesn't prevent again UV degradation?



Also, I like that it has a locking mechanism that prevents accidental pumping action, particularly useful when you're travelling with it. Just twist in the direction as indicated on the top of the pump and you can switch from open to lock easily.



Even though I really like this packaging, I do have a small complaint about the pump itself - for some reason, there will be oils collecting in the crevices. I've added a small arrow pointing to a thin layer of oil. It's not supposed to be there, I think? I have to remove the top part of the pump and clean it on several occasions. I suspect it malfunctions when I do not do a full pump. Sometimes I only want a small drop of oil so I'd only press the pump half way down.



The oil has a pale golden tint in the bottle, but appears colourless when it's on my palm. It's very runny, spreads easily between my palms and applies easily. I find that lightly pressing my palms against my face is a pretty good way to apply the oil, instead of rubbing it around. I'd concentrate it around my eyelids, cheeks, and lip area, places that get dry easily. Whatever is left is then pressed onto my forehead, jaw, and neck. I find one pump sufficient for my entire face and neck.

Typically, I apply this as a last step after my creams and serum. If I were to apply this on its own onto my dry skin, it wouldn't help much. The Acure Argan oil is a wonderful oil, but it is by no means a miracle oil. It has all the moisture sealing properties of other oils, with the exception of its lightness. I do find that it is slightly more lightweight than the Rosehip seed oil.

In a nutshell, the Acure Argan Oil in Rose scent is a wonderfully lightweight oil to use on pre-moisturized skin. The scent is more citrus than rose, but it doesn't take away from the fact that its has a relaxing scent that can enhance the overall experience. At USD9.34 each (it's price actually dropped over the years!), it's an extremely good buy.
Repurchase? HELL YES.
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My thoughts after finishing it (it only took a month).

I've just finished up this 400ml bottle of lotion, so it's a good time to do a review on it because I really want to cut it up to reach the bits that are still stuck onto the inside walls before I declare it empty so I can throw it away. So frugal.

The LRP Lipikar Fluide belongs to their Lipikar line, which is formulated for dry skin. I am interested in this line because it contains Vitamin B3 (Niacinamide), which I have recently found to be really awesome for chronically dry skin. Research has shown that it soothes the skin while stimulating the production of ceramides within the skin to strengthen its skin barrier function! Looks like something that will benefit me, right? My skin is so dry and damaged, it feels good scratching almost any part of my body.

Guardian happened to be running a sale a while back, so instead of S$29.90, I only paid S$24 (for 400ml) after their 20% discount. It's more affordable than the Cetaphil Restoraderm Skin Restoring Moisturizer (S$49.90 for 300ml). Granted, the latter contains ceramides that Lipikar Fluide doesn't. I'll write about that in another entry because I actually DO like the Cetaphil Restoraderm Moisturizer.


They have another product in the same line, the Lipikar Baume AP+, which seems like an even better option for my eczema, but I could not commit to the price of S$56.90 for 400ml. At that price point, I feel like I need a tester to try out extensively before deciding if I want to drop that much dough on it.



On the bottle, it reads:

Indications: Skin sensitivity and dryness in babies, children and adults.
Innovation: A moisturizing formula concentrated in Niacinamide to instantly soothe and protect skin from external aggressors. Within an ultra-light texture to facilitate and speed up daily application. Tested on atopy skin.
Use: Apply 1-2 times a day in light massaging strokes to face and/or body skin pre-cleansed with a gentle soap-free product.

The ingredients are:
AQUA / WATER,
GLYCERIN
NIACINAMIDE
DIMETHICONE
PARAFFINUM LIQUIDUM / MINERAL OIL
CAPRYLIC/CAPRIC TRIGLYCERIDE
BRASSICA CAMPESTRIS OLEIFERA OIL / RAPESEED SEED OIL
DIMETHICONOL
SODIUM HYDROXIDE
AMMONIUM POLYACRYLDIMETHYLTAURAMIDE / AMMONIUM POLYACRYLOYLDIMETHYL TAURATE
DISODIUM EDTA
CAPRYLYL GLYCOL
XANTHAN GUM
ACRYLATES/C10-30 ALKYL ACRYLATE CROSSPOLYMER
BUTYROSPERMUM PARKII BUTTER / SHEA BUTTER
PHENOXYETHANOL

As you can see, Niacinamide is the 3rd ingredient in the list. I can't find a definitive amount of Niacinamide it contains, but their Lipikar Gel-Fluide contains 4%, so I guess that's a good ball park figure to work with.

Let's move on to the texture and feeling of this product.

Viscosity: It is very spreadable, so one pump could easily cover both of my arms without much effort. I like that a lot because it reduces the chances of me rubbing it in too hard just to spread it around. The product has quite some slip to it, and I believe it can be attributed to the dimethicone.



Texture: The product has an almost gel like structure in a sense that it kind of holds a shape after I pumped into onto my palms. However, once you rub it into your palms, it feels watery. It kind of reminds me of the Cetaphil Gentle Cleanser, but a little stiffer.

Colour: In the photo, it looks opaque white, but it's more like a translucent white colour. It also has no fragrance, but it does have a soft scent. I guess it's just the smell of the ingredients? it is not off putting at all.

After feeling: As the moisturizer is rather light weight, it absorbs very quickly and doesn't leave me sticky. The downside to that is it is not moisturizing enough for when my skin is extremely dry (the shedding phase).

Longevity: Depending on the condition of my skin, it can vary from minutes to hours. On a bad day with extremely dry and flaky skin, it keeps it moisturized for 10-15 minutes? On the better parts of my body, my skin feels moisturized for 6-8 hours.

Usage: I use it once every night after my shower, about 4 pumps for my entire body (1 for my arms, 1 for my torso, 1 for my thighs, and 1 for my calves). It has lasted me about 4 weeks?

The first time I used this product, I have a lot of broken skin so it stung like a bitch. Over the course of a month, I notice my skin condition did improve in a sense that I have a lot less broken skin. My skin is moisturized and the healthier parts actually stayed moisturized with the help of this cream. I can't attest to the soothing part, because I don't typically use it during an itchy moment. I use this at night after my shower, and I must say, I think it does soothe my skin quite a bit because there will be moments when I caress my skin and it doesn't feel gratifying as though I'm scratching an itch - it just feels normal.


Will I repurchase this? Probably, if I can get it at the discount price :) Spending S$24 every month for calmer skin is worth it, and something I can afford.
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Why only two weeks? Because sensitive skin.

This entry is long over due, as I've received this along my other iHerb purchase in November of 2017. iHerb was having a Korean beauty sale, if I remember correct it was a 15% discount, so I got this for SGD17.35 instead of the usual SGD20.41 (it's now a little more expensive at SGD25 .43 though, for reasons unknown to me). It's a good deal!

I wanted to give this product a try because I read on reddit how it helped soothe redness in other users' skin. I have plenty of redness on my face, in fact, my entire face is red, except my nose. If this could bring down the redness, it'd be worth a try.




This snail mucin essence comes in a plastic pump bottle, very much different from the Mizon AIO Snail Repair Cream, which comes in a glass container. Price wise, after the discount, the COSRX is a little more affordable ($17+ vs $21+). Also, pump bottles are slightly more hygienic as there is no direct contact with the product within the bottle.



The official description of the product:
Formulated with 96% Snail Secretion Filtrate (Mucin), this essence protects the skin from moisture loss while keeping the skin texture smooth and healthy.
Compared to Mizon AIO which has 92% mucin, the COSRX contains a little bit more of that slimy goodness. Also, it contains lesser ingredients, which I thought would be a plus for my sensitive skin.



The pump is easy to use, but deposits a little too little product in one pump. Is it because I have a big face, that's why I require more product?



On the bottle, there's only Korean description. For English description, refer to the outer packaging (which I've thrown out before taking a photo).



This is how much one pump gives me. One tiny splooch. I need 2 pumps to comfortably cover my entire face and neck. It has a watery consistency, yet still a little viscous and slimy. I feel this is more slimy than Mizon's AIO. Then again, the COSRX is a in liquid form, while the AIO is in a gel form.

It spreads very easily and is absorbed almost instantly. It has no emollients as far as I can feel, because if i do not top up my normal face cream quick enough, my skin feels tight and taut again. Although it has sodium hyaluronate in the formula, that stuff alone is insufficient for my parched skin.

The COSRX Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence does an amazing job at giving my skin a surge of moisture, but doesn't nothing to keep it that way. With that said, it's meant as an essence that boosts the hydration of your skin when coupled with your other face creams. 

I've only tried it for 2 weeks because it started stinging my face. What I did not know is that whenever I clean my face in the shower, I create a lot of micro abrasions that I can't see with my eyes (I have a lot of dry flakes that I try to exfoliate while in the shower). While the product felt great on my skin the first week, it slowly began to sting starting from the second week.

:( This is a no for my sensitive skin. I have no idea what's going on with my face right now. I can only describe it as dry, red, and flaky. I do not have any before and after images, but if there were, it'd look a bit better at the end of the first week, then a little worse at the end of the 2nd week because it stung my face.

On the iHerb page, there is a list of warnings, one of which states
Do not use on damaged or broken skin
So.. That's me! I've since passed this on to my brother since he has dry skin, but his skin ain't broken like mine! But he didn't use it consistently enough for me to tell you it made a huge improvement to his dry and oily skin.

Should you try this? If you have pretty normal skin that needs a little boost of moisture, have tried other snail products before and like its effects, and if iHerb is running another promotion on Korean beauty, then yes you should! Otherwise, maybe you could skip this. No one really needs a 10 step skin care routine, for reals. Unless you have too much time on your hand, or too much money to spend?

Unrelated Note

Thanks for staying with me after almost 2 months of inactivity on this blog. I went back to HK in December to visit my family, I did not bring my laptop back consciously because I just wanted to have something like a digital detox. After I got back, I was busy with other stuff. Plus, I haven't been using much new stuff in my skin care so I have nothing to talk about. 

Also, photobucket (the photo hosting service I've been using forever) recently axed their old paid plans, so I'm left stranded in an awkward situation where if I do not pay their new plan price (USD599 a year), I can no longer host my images using photobucket. This just paralyzed me because it's like being held hostage. All of the past entries are built from photos hosted on photobucket. Heck, even parts of my blog skin are kept visible because I hosted on photobucket. Till now, I still do not dare to take a look at the plight of my blog. I would hate to see all the photos unavailable. I hate knowing it will take a tremendous amount of work to relocate all my photos, and then to relink every single one of them. FML. I'm just paralyzed by the amount of work it'd take to fix this silly issue, and I have yet to think of a better idea yet. So, in the mean time I'll just look forward and make sure I host my new images elsewhere. I don't even make 599 a year from the ads displayed on my blog, and to pay such a huge amount for a hobby blog just doesn't make sense to me. 

With that out of the way, I have been trying new skin care products for the past 2 months and I think I have something to write about soon! 

Once again, thank you so much for reading.
Karman.
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Etude House released a new collection at the start of November, it's theme - The mysterious Universe.

I'm so late to the party! I'll elaborate a little at the end of the post.



This collection is small, but varied. I think variety always gives an illusion of making things seem more interesting than it actually is.

Let's take a look, if you haven't already!


UNIVERSE MULTI PALETTE | US$ 24.70

An eyes and cheeks palette containing 7 colours: 6 eye shadows (1g each), and 1 blusher/highlighter (1.8g).


I love their creative swatching techniques! All of the different shades at a glance.

There are 2 palettes in this collection.



#01 PINK GALAXY
Reminiscent of the glittering galaxy, this palette has a variety of soft shades, pinkish toned point colours, and sparkling glitter. I believe the swatches are done in an anticlockwise spiral, starting from the blusher shade (the biggest pan), ending with the pan in the center.




#02 GOLDEN GALAXY
A gold shift of the previous palette now gives us the same glittery shimmery splendid, but in gold tones instead of pink.



UNIVERSE GLITTER PIGMENT | US$ 11.05

Made to look like a glittery firework spewed by a spaceship rocket, the oil binder gives you a high shine finish. The bullet shaped rubber tip reduces glittery fall out so you can use this without worrying it'll ruin the rest of your makeup!


At a glance.

Available in 3 shades.


PP501 Broken Rocket Flash is a pinkish purple colour, just like the glare of the center of the universe.

BK801 Starlight Dust of the Universe is a gold black colour, just like the revealing sparkling presence in the dark space.

PK002 Rocket Firework is a rose gold colour, created in the image of a charming space goddess.



UNIVERSE LASH PERM CURL FIX MASCARA | US$ 15.60

The classic Lash Perm Curl Fix Mascara gets a small face lift with this Be My Universe collection. If you look really closely, then handle now has some metallic dust that looks like what I think star dust would look like. The formula is still the same, it gives you 24 hour curls that is water, sweat, and sebum resistant! The special C-curve brush will pull up your lashes to create clump-free curled lashes.


Available in 2 shades.


UNIVERSE DEAR MY TINT & GLOSS TINTING LIPSTICK | US$ 10.40

A small addition to their existing Dear my tint & gloss tinting lipstick (lipstick case sold separately), both the matte and glossy lipsticks glides on smoothly. The matte lipsticks delivers sharp and vibrant colours.


Again with the creative swatching! Lovely! Maximum effort!

Available in 5 different shades, of which 3 are limited colours.


The glossy shades seem to work well as top coats!



UNIVERSE DEAR MY LIPS TALK CASE | US$ 5.20

5 new limited edition lipstick cases for this festive season! These are extra sparkly and glittery. Holographic is trending now I suppose (wait a minute.. this is old news isn't it?).


GLOW ON OIL VOLUME BASE (UNIVERSE SPECIAL EDITION) | US$ 20.80

Formulated with luminous oil and water, this base hydrates your skin and imparts a shiny finish. The gold ingredients and ruby powder creates a luxuriously radiant skin with its subtle red capsules. Using a thin layer of this glow up base before makeup helps increase the longevity of the make-up, with the added bonus of a gentle glow.

While it sounds extremely lovely, due to its potentially sticky nature, use only if you're in a very dry country like Korea. The bottle contains 30ml of product.


COLOURFUL SCENT PERFUMED HAND CREAM UNIVERSE TRIO | US$ 19.50

This set of scented hand cream is made up of 3 different scents, each with its own unique personality.



Each tube contains 50ml of hand cream.


COLOURFUL SCENT EAU DE PARFUM SPECIAL SCENT (BE MY UNIVERSE) | 23000 WON

Inspired by the mysterious universe, this is Etude House's take on what it will feel like to fall into outer space - a charming and alluring scent. The blend of Neroli and Musk creates a charming harmony that warms and softly envelop the entire body.


A look at its different notes.

This set contains a perfume spray (50m) and a roll on (7ml). How convenient! On a side note, the perfume isn't available on the International site.


UNIVERSE BRUSH TRIO SET | USD 29.90

The limited edition brush set and pouch is inspired by the emotions of the universe, with its glittery pouch and pastel coloured brushes.


The pouch allows you to carry a variety of makeup products within, including the 3 brushes that make it easy to apply your eyes makeup, contouring, and blusher/highlighter.



Etude House is running a launching promotion now, where everything is 20% off! Prices shown above are before discount.



The International site says the promotional period is from 6 November to 23 November, but it's still showing discounted prices now. If you're in Korea, lucky you because the promotion runs till 27 December!

Ending Note:
I actually quite like this small collection. Even though I may sound like I'm underwhelmed, it's actually quite the opposite! I am surprised how big this collection feels despite the small number of items!

Now, the eye shadow and cheek palette looks like a really convenient product, and might benefit those who don't already have massive amounts of separate eye shadow palette and blushers. But who're we kidding? If you're reading this entry, you probably are a makeup addict :P I think what might be better is if it allows you to change up that blusher shade with other blush pans. The current selection is just too narrow, don't you think? You either get a blush or a highlighter. Granted, you could use one of the shimmery/metallic eye shadows as a highlighter, but then again, you do kinda need that huge of a surface area to coat your blush brush to make sure you get a diffused and blended look.

The glossy lipsticks was a pleasant surprise too. I've seen topcoats similar to the 2 above released by mostly western brands. Seeing Etude House take the lead in the Asian market is rather nice. Now these can transform any existing lipstick you have, that's quite exciting isn't it?

Also excited about the glow on volume base, something I would love to use but probably won't because Singapore's climate is too humid for one to wear that base comfortably. The only shiny skin you get here is because you're sweating a lot, and your oils and sebum gets secreted due to the warmer weather.

That's all I have to say about this collection!

As for my extremely lateness to this entry, I feel like I'm in some sort of a ditch lately. I don't really feel like doing anything more than status quo, so blogging just went to the very back of my mind when I'm in such a state. Hoping that this storm passes soon so I can find that vitality back. If you're still reading on, thank you for your concern!
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New eyeshadow but not really?

Etude House is introducing a new line of eyeshadows - aptly named the Prism In Eyes. They are designed to sparkle in a wide range of enchanting colours hidden in light. Get ready for fascinating glimmer and vivid colours.

This type of cream to powder, high intensity metallic eyeshadow isn't exactly new - Kiko released their Water Eyeshadow years ago. Catrice had the Liquid Metal Eyeshadow a few years back too. I'm sure there are other products just like these, but those 2 are what I heard of.


ETUDE HOUSE | PRISM IN EYES | 1.8G | 9800 WON

It's not available on their global site yet, so here are some details about the eyeshadow, translated from the official website:
  1. Prism colour captures light from all angles with its glitter and colour pigments.
  2. The innovative Prisma Shine texture reproduces colour and shimmer gorgeously.
  3. The HD finish makes the eyeshadow glide on smoothly, adhering tightly to your skin to give you long lasting wear.
  4. Prisma Shine has a special texture thanks to its manufacturing process. Unlike powder eyeshadows which are pressed dry, the Prisma Shine starts off as a moist gel dough. Powder, colour pigments, and pearl pigments are then added into the mix. It's then poured into molds, and left to set in a warm chamber.
Here are the swatches!


An overview of all 15 shades. Coded them for easy reference.

The colour selection consists of browns and pinks. Most of them are either yellowish or reddish, with the exception of PP502, which appears a little less yellow compared to the rest. Boy, are those pinkish/reddish shades lovely. URGH!!! (that's the sound of me trying to stop myself from buying beautiful but unnecessary things)


Click to enlarge!



Click to enlarge!



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Click to enlarge!


From the official swatches, the product appears to apply thinly and evenly. Most of them have a pearly sheen to it instead of a frosty/metallic finish (save for BR406, crystal sugar). The pigmentation is that but not that outstanding, to be honest. The promo pictures got my expectations too high - I was expecting more shimmer and metallics.

What can I say? To each their own! Some people like subtle sheen like that. I think the only reason why one person who already has a lot of eyeshadows would want to buy this is if they want to be able to quickly apply eyeshadows with their finger evenly. A creamy product has that advantage over powder eyeshadows.

The eyeshadow can be applied with fingers, or with an eyeshadow brush. Nothing else is mentioned about using it wet or dry, so I think it's really up to you to explore how you want to play around with the product. If it's anything like the Kiko Water Eyeshadow, then do expect amazing colour payoff when used wet. In fact, I think the pearly sheen of the Prism In Eyes will complement the frosty/metallic finish of the Water Eyeshadow!

Also comes with a case where you can store trios.


This entry is clearly a case of "I got sucked into the beautiful reddish shades".
I'll update the links once it's available on the global site!
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You know what time it is when you see wine shades.

It's fall, and wine/burgundy shades are in trend again! Etude House recently released an eyeshadow palette that satisfies that need for even more wine coloured eye shadows.

They're currently having an 30% off online promotion (from 16 August to 31 August). Instead of the usual price of US$26.40, you can get it for US$19.80 now! Click here to get it from their online store! I am aware I should have posted this 10 days ago.. Anyway, let's take a look at the palette.


PLAY COLOR EYES WINE PARTY | US$26.40

The palette consist of 10 shades: 4 existing shades from their Look At My Eyes series, and 6 brand new shades. There is a good mix of matte, satin, and shimmer.


At a glance, you can see this palette is reddish toned (Duh! It's called Wine Party for a reason!). The browns also have a slight reddish hue to it, as opposed to a more yellowish brown. In between we have 3 reddish shades. At the bottom we have a purple shade. In the midst of the darker shades we have 2 golden sparkly shades.


Here they are swatched on the eye individually.


I put together the swatches and the palette into one single image. Perhaps this is easier to compare the shades' intensity as compared to what you see in the palette.

Etude House's formula has always been smooth (based on my limited experience with a few of their Look At My Eyes single eye shadows), but you can see from this official swatch that they tend to be on the sheerer side. The colour looks even, so that's a plus. I actually quite like that they apply sheer, because it makes it easier to create the soft edges that should blend seamlessly into the rest of your skin.

If you want really intense colour out of this palette, you could either use a eye primer before hand, or try using a damp brush so it picks up more pigments? Layering should help too!

I notice that the shimmer in the "not-matte" shades are rather refined. Instead of having chunky glitter or a strong frosty sheen (which sometimes looks metallic), it looks as if it's a very thin veil of golden silk - spun by the mythical gold silkworm - layered over the colours. Some people like it subtle, and maybe I'm one of them! This is the kind of shimmer that gives off a faux glossy effect, without having to smear clear lip gloss over your eyes for that wet look. It also adds a lot of dimension naturally, accentuating the natural contours of your eyes (as opposed to using a matte white shade to make certain parts of your eyes stand out).

Ending Note
This looks like a pretty great palette. If I can wear makeup right now, and if I don't already have so many eyeshadow palettes, I might get my hands on this. I don't know what's up with me, suddenly I'm really into the subtle sparkles.

Given that it's currently on offer till 31st August, it's quite a good deal at US$19.80.

Image credits: Etude House
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A tonne of new products from Kate this fall!

I've been entertaining my family the past week, then spending another week to recover from the loss of sleep. After not checking beauty news for a while, imagine how overwhelmed I am when I saw SO MANY new products being released by Kate!

I counted 15 new products, not including the different colour variations. Some of them are completely new, some are additional colours, while some are reformulation of existing product lines (but given a new name, so technically new, but theoretically not). If you think about it, nothing is really new anymore, as that would require a brand new innovation that has never been seen before. So, let's just take the word "new" at face value.

1. BROWN SHADE EYES N | 1200 YEN

With the addition of a "Bronzer" shade, the new Brown Shade Eyes N sets itself apart from the original Brown Shade Eyes that comes without the extra pearly shade. The Bronzer shade is supposed to add more dimension to the eyes when used in harmony with the fake shade powder to create a strong contrast between light and shadow.

It comes in 6 colour variations.



2. SMOOTH EYELINER PENCIL | 800 YEN

With its new and improved formula, this eyeliner pencil is smoother than ever!

Available in 1 shade:
BK (Soft black)


3. SOFT BLACK LINER | 800 YEN

A new natural black eyeliner that is super sharp and long wearing, yet it can be easily removed by warm water.

Available in 1 shade:
BK (Soft black)


4. SECRET SKIN CC BASE ZERO SPF30 PA++ | 1000 YEN

This new shade EX-2 is a light green that can colour correct any redness to create a more even out skin tone that looks brighter. The product also covers pores, smooths your skin, and enhances your original skin tone with the addition of "Beauty Up Pearl" ingredient.

Available in 2 shades:
EX-1 (Pink Beige)
EX-2 (Light Green)


5. WATER IN OIL BB SPF 20 PA++| 1400 YEN

A BB cream that covers, primes, moisturizes, protects you from UV rays, it seeks to minimize your foundation routine into a one step process. Its lightweight formula is designed to smooth out pores, leaving you with glowy and healthy looking skin.

Available in 3 shades:
01 BRIGHT
02 NATURAL
04 DARK


6. STICK CONCEALER A | 800 YEN

A concealer formulated to cover acne marks, spots, and freckles.

Available in 2 shades:
LIGHT BEIGE
NATURAL BEIGE


7. FACE POWDER A | 1200 YEN

This loose powder creates smooth porcelain-like skin. Comes with puff.

Available in 2 variations:
NATURAL TYPE
GLOW TYPE


8. SLIM CREATE POWDER N | 1300 YEN

A shading and highlighting combo for contouring purposes.

Available in 2 shades:
01 NATURAL TYPE
02 GLOW TYPE


9. 3D CONTRASTING CHEEKS | 1500 YEN

A glossy highlighter combined with a pigmented blush, allowing you to easily create sharp cheek bones and lift your face. Comes with a 2 way brush that can be transformed from a small condensed brush to a wider brush.

Available in 4 shades.


10. 3D PART DESIGN | 1200 YEN

A highlight and contour combo, this is a convenient and easy to use product that allows you to sculpt your features to get more definition. The sponge tip applicator dips into the highlight/shading powder that is within the cap, making it travel friendly.

Available in 2 shades:
EX-1 (PINK WHITE + DARK BEIGE, natural type)
EX-2 (GOLD BEIGE + DEEP BROWN, deep type)


11. CC LIP CREAM N | 400 YEN

A clear lip cream that moisturizes and also add a tinge of colour. It also colour corrects, acts as a gloss, can be used as a lipstick base, and provides UV protection (SPF 8 PA+)

Available in 3 shades:
01 BEAT RED
04 ORANGE BURST
07 GRACE PINK



12. CC LIP CREAM N (TINT) | 400 YEN

A lip balm that changes from light pink to dark pink once you apply it onto your lips. Also has the same capabilities as the lip cream above.

Available in 1 shade:
06 MODE PINK



13. CC LIP OIL | 920 YEN

A new product never seen before, the CC Lip Oil is a coloured lip oil that moisturizes, colour-corrects, plumps, acts as a lip gloss, and can also be used as a lipstick base. 5 in 1!

Available in 3 shades:
01 RED SPICE
02 TRANS PINK
03 SHEER YELLOW




14. CC LIP & CHEEK CREAM N | 700 YEN

As with other products in the CC line, it has 5 functions - moisturizing, colour correcting, can be used as blusher, or as a lipstick base, and has SPF protection. Formulated with moisturizing ingredients such as olive oil, almond oil, jojoba seed oil, and sunflower seed oil, this product can be used on the lips and cheeks as the name suggests.

Available in 2 shades:
01 GLOW RED
02 CLASSY PINK



15. COLOR HIGHVISION ROUGE | 1200 YEN

A matte lipstick with high pigmentation in just one swipe, it contains moisturizing ingredients such as almond oil, jojoba oil, and olive oil.

Available in 10 shades


Ending Notes:
Phew! That was quite a lot of products right!? What interested me the most is the light green SECRET SKIN CC BASE ZERO and the matte COLOR HIGHVISION ROUGE. Previously, only higher end Japanese brands made colour correcting primers, so having a drugstore option is a nice move. Also, as Japanese lipstick trend tend to favour glossy finishes, it really excites me (a matte finish lover) that Kate is being one of the first few to venture into the matte arena. All of my matte lip products are western brands not because I particularly like them, but because I just can't find any affordable Japanese alternatives! Now.. will Kate release more nude and berry shades in the future? I'm looking forward to this product line.

With the success of the Brown Shade Eyes when it was released a few years ago, this newer version is like.. lackluster. I imagine this scene taking place in Kate HQ.

Marketing team (M): We need something new to market!
Product development team (P): But the Brown Shade Eyes is perfect as it is!
M: Yes we understand, but the public likes new things!
P: Ok, how about.. we add 1 new blase shade into the palette?
M: Good idea!!!! We can sell it as a "Bronzer" shade that adds dimension! Just make it pearly.

Guys, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. The Brown Shade Eyes is loved for its simplicity and impeccable formula that rivals that of higher end brands. People loved it for its buttery smooth formula and high pigmentation. The three shades creates a beautiful gradation that even makeup beginners can easily master. Why complicate things??? I rather they add more colour variations, like greyish brown.

With that said, you can never please all. Just my 2 cents.
Image credits:
@cosme, biteki, Kate
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