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Stuff I Actually Used Up: Skincare and Makeup Empties!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

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Yes, I did it! I have pan porn and empties to show you guys! And because my last empties post was sometime back in September last year, and because I've been diligently consistently using products until they were all gone, I do have a good amount of finished products to show you this time, and I'm so excited about it! It's been six months, and I've accumulated all this pan!


So proud of my many empties!

Look at all that! Look at all that makeup and skincare that I managed to pan! While it might seem odd to non-beauty junkies, the sheer amount of makeup I have means that using up something is always an acheivement - I take it to mean that 1) I'm not as much of a hoarder as I think I am, and 2) Why yes, I could indeed buy another lipstick to replace the one I just used up! (Nevermind the fact that I already have many other lipsticks...*ahem* incriminating Instagram evidence here.) But I guess if you just have a lot of makeup, it's always a good feeling to actually use something up!

So, without further ado, let's take a closer look at what I've managed to use up in the past half year!

The Body Shop MoistureWhite Bright Compact Foundation SPF25 PA+++ Review and Ingredients Analysis

Saturday, March 21, 2015

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The Body Shop's latest compact foundation and part of its MoistureWhite range, is the MoistureWhite Bright Compact Foundation SPF25 PA+++. I guess that's a pretty self-explanatory product name: it's a powder foundtion, it's in a compact form, it has brightening properties, and there is sun protection in the product. With such a comprehensive product name, what more is there to say? The Body Shop essentially succintly summarized what the product does in less than 10 words! Let's end the review here and you guys can just scroll down and look at photos! Yay!


Just kidding. (Aside: I don't know if that joke was funny or not. At least I tried!) I still do have lots more to say, because that's just the kind of verbose makeup geek I am. The MoistureWhite Bright Compact Foundation actually has two different colours in the compact. The main colour, which takes up most of the space in the compact, is the foundation colour. But there is also a little pink, shimmering strip inside, that is meant to act as a highlighter of sorts to brighten your complexion. The Body Shop claims on their website that the product is "infused with light-diffusing fine mica pearls" and that "the illuminating part of the compact is designed to bring multi-dimensional light...so your complexion looks radiant from every angle". Whitening, brightening, and illuminating properties in base makeup (primers, foundations, BB creams and so on) are always popular in Asia, so this is definitely the kind of marketing that people would be curious about.

The Body Shop MoistureWhite Bright Compact Foundation SPF25 Compact

Right, you say. So the MoistureWhite Bright Compact Foundation has brightening properties. But how does it work? Which ingredients give it these awesome illuminating properties? And speaking of brightening, does this product actually contain anything that will brighten my skin over the long term, like a skincare product? (See, this is why I have more to say!) And to answer such questions, we'll start off at the ingredients list of the products, and take a look there.

Vecua Honey Honey Luster Lipgloss Swatches

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

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Vecua Honey is a Japanese brand that is sort of like a cuter, girlier, Asian version of Burt's Bees. Both brands have makeup, skincare, and body care products, both brands have a natural angle, and both brands feature bees and their byproducts prominently in their advertising. For instance, their latest line of lipglosses, the Honey Luster Lip Gloss, is marketed as being part honey serum, part lipgloss.

As it so happens, I've just reviewed a product that also featured another bee by-product, propolis, as its key ingredient. I swear it's coincidence. I didn't plan it, but after the science and research-heavy skincare post, I felt like a swatch post was next, just to give me a breather. It just so happened that the swatches were of another honey product, so that part was coincidental.



Vecua Honey Honey Luster Lipgloss in Honey

Anyway, the lipglosses are quite cool-looking when you first get them - they are dual-phase, so there is a yellow-gold layer of honey serum on the top half, and the bottom half is the lipgloss colour. Of course, as you use the lipgloss, the two phases get mixed together, until in the end you get just one homogenous phase throughout. The price of the lipgloss also isn't cheap - in Westgate's Tokyu Hands shop, the pricetag was SGD$51.40 for a lipgloss, which gave me sticker shock. On the Vecua Honey website, however, it lists the price as SGD$48.


Vecua Honey Honey Luster Lipgloss in Honey, Honey Dew Pon Pon Cheek and Solid Perfume

Vecua Honey also has a range of other makeup products - above is a small blush and a solid perfume, in addition to the Honey Luster Lipgloss (the shade I have is Honey). And like Burts Bees, the products are also often advertised to have some botanical or bee-product ingredients inside. Anyway, on to the swatches!

CNP Laboratory Propolis Energy Ampule Review and Ingredients Analysis

Sunday, March 15, 2015

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CNP Laboratory is a Korean skincare brand that boasts that it is started by doctors, and has an emphasis on skincare science - now, doesn't this sound like the kind of skincare brand I would like? So of course, as a beauty blogger who's into the science and geeky stuff behind skincare, I felt like I just had to review at least one of their products! CNP Lab's most famous product is their Propolis Energy Ampule (yes it is spelled "Ampule" not "Ampoule" - apparently "Ampule" is an acceptable spelling of the word, but the lack of an "o" in the word just throws me off when I'm reading it visually), so naturally I figured I'd start with this!


CNP Laboratory Propolis Energy Ampule: CNP Labs' bestselling product

The CNP Labs website claims that this prooduct "contains Propolis extract also known as Honey Essence, it is well known for its antioxidant and moisturizing benefits". Interestingly, though, although CNP Labs calls propolis "honey essence", propolis is actually not a component of honey - it is instead "a natural resin produced by honeybees" that is used to build their nests. The product also contains Hyaluronic Acid too, "to maintain firm healthy glowing skin". Looking up some online retailers, I found out that the product has 10% propolis extract.

So now that we know what we're looking at, let's start dissecting this product, and taking a look at its ingredients! But first, I thought we should take a closer look at propolis, because, after all, it comprises 10% of the product and is the advertised ingredient. In particular, does propolis have a use in skincare? Is it beneficial to the skin? What effects does it have?

Laneige Two Tone Lip Bar Swatches and First Impressions

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

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Laneige's Two Tone Lip Bars have just hit Singapore after being launched in Korea a month ago. Th Two Tone Lip Bars are basically lipsticks with two shades inside, so when you apply the lipstick, you get the look of gradient lips (which are popular here thanks to Korean beauty trends). The tubes are also rectangular in shape (as you can see from the photo of the tubes below), which is supposed to be easier to use. When I first posted about these sometime back on Instagram, I had several comments saying that they looked forward tot he product, and I figured that since they're now in Singapore, I really should post my swatches!


This time, the swatches are taken in natural light, so hopefully these should be pretty true to life! The 10 shades cover a pretty good range of colours - everything from nudes to reds to brights to berries is in there. Due to the different colour pairings, the gradient effect is more obvious on some colours than others.

MUFE Step 1 Skin Equalizer Primer Review, Swatches: Mattifying, Smoothing, and Radiant Primers

Sunday, March 8, 2015

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MUFE's Step 1 Skin Equalizer Primers are the latest range of makeup primers from MUFE, and as is typical of MUFE, they have launched not one or a few, but a whopping eleven primers under the Step 1 Skin Equalizer range. Each of these 11 shades is meant to serve a particular need, from hydrating to mattifying to smoothing, to nourishing, and a good 6 of the 11 are "Radiance Primer" shades, to subtly colour correct and give skin radiance, and these come in a variety of shades, from pink to blue to yellow to mauve and caramel, for different skin types (the yellow, mauve and caramel shades, for example, are for darker and tanned skins, while the pink, blue, and peach are for fair skin) . So no matter what your need, there's probably going to be a primer that works for you!


MUFE Step 1 Skin Equalizer Primers: Comes in 11 different shades and finishes for everyone

According to MUFE's comment on my Instagram photo, Step 1 Skin Equalizer Primers will also replace MUFE's previous primers, so the HD Primer, HD Elixir, and All Mat Primers will be replaced with the Step 1 Skin Equalizer range. For the review, I have three shades of the Step 1 Skin Equalizer Primers - Mattifying Primer #1, Smoothing Primer #2, and Radiance Primer - Blue #7. While mattifying and smoothing primers aren't anything particularly new, I thought a blue primer for radiance and colour correcting was definitely something I've not seen on the market yet. I'm told you can also layer these primers together - so if you want a combination of say, smoothing and colour correcting, you can certainly combine or layer the primers.

MUFE Step 1 Skin Equalizer Mattifying Smoothing Radiant Primer 2
MUFE Step 1 Skin Equalizer Primers: Will replace the existing HD Primer, HD Elixir, and All Mat primers

The Step 1 Skin Equalizer Primers themselves are packaged in very sensible packaging - little tubes of 30ml each, with a squeeze nozzle at the end. I like tubes and pump packaging better than jars, because they are always more sanitary. And tubes with small nozzles also help to prevent evaporation of some of the move volatile ingredients, like some types of silicones, which would otherwise quickly evaporate from a jar.

MUFE Step 1 Skin Equalizer Mattifying Smoothing Radiant Primer Open
MUFE Step 1 Skin Equalizer Primers: In handy-dandy tube packaging

Because my favourite thing to do is look at the ingredients in the products, I'm going to start this review by doing just that, and we'll take a peek into how exactly the MUFE Step 1 Skin Equalizer Primers work, and the ingredients behind their key functions!

Illamasqua Eye Colouring Pencils Swatches

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

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Illamasqua's Eye Colouring Pencils aren't one of their more famous products (the ones that seem to get the most attention are their blushes, lipglosses, lipsticks, and eyeshadows), but when I was at the Illamasqua store opening at Takayashimaya, I thought it would be good of me to do some quick and easy swatches of the Eye Colouring Pencils, because swatches are always good, right?


Illamasqua Eye Colouring Pencils: For use as eyeliners and eyeshadows

Illamasqua calls these "creamy", and I agree. These are creamy and pigmented, and really useful for eyeliner, or even eyeshadow if you are able to handle colouring your eyelid with a pencil. Illamasua describes these as "long-lasting", and I'd have to disagree with that - I'm not sure if it was my arm chemistry not hitting it off with these eye pencils, but I found that they didn't seem to "set", and thus seemed prone to smudging/rubbing. These are also mostly matte in finish - no glitter or shimmer to be found.

Illamasqua Colouring Pencil - Eye Crayon Yeux Close
Illamasqua Eye Colouring Pencils: Up close

Anyway, swatches!

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