The Makeup Box

Beauty news, product reviews, makeup pictorials, and more! Msg me on Instagram (@makeup_box) or fb.com/makeupbox.sg or find me on dayre.me/makeupbox!



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Nail Polish Crush: Lancôme Vernis In Love Gris Angora 407N
Was at a L’oreal private sale the other day and picked up some varnishes going at less than one-third the usual price.
This soft grey with a hint of lavender, Gris Angora, is my absolute favorite polish shade right now. It is just gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous. Enough to dedicate an entire post to it.
Neutral and polished, but never dull.
What more could a girl want???
I’m just wondering why I never noticed it until now. 

Nail Polish Crush: Lancôme Vernis In Love Gris Angora 407N

Was at a L’oreal private sale the other day and picked up some varnishes going at less than one-third the usual price.

This soft grey with a hint of lavender, Gris Angora, is my absolute favorite polish shade right now. It is just gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous. Enough to dedicate an entire post to it.

Neutral and polished, but never dull.

What more could a girl want???

I’m just wondering why I never noticed it until now. 

The Whitening Story (plus New Laneige White Plus Renew Products and BB Cushion!)

If you’ve never lived in Asia, you might find it odd that “whitening” is a big thing in skincare here. It frequently out-sells color cosmetics and other skincare lines for many of the brands.

One thing you need to understand is that “whitening” in Asia generally doesn’t carry the same stigma that it does in the West. It doesn’t stem from the same concept as some Western skincare brands in the early parts of the 20th century, where “white skin” was associated with superiority and women of color were often sold skin-lightening products and encouraged to change their appearance.

Many East Asians ARE very fair-skinned to begin with, and culturally, we grew up associating porcelain skin with unblemished beauty and well-preserved youthfulness. So if you ask many women here, it’s more about achieving (or mimicking) pristine, perfectly-preserved skin that looks like it has never been exposed to any photo-aging and environmental damage, than about emulating other races. (That’s why you’ll see most women here buying sun creams and foundations with as high an SPF factor as we can find.)

Ironically, in modern days, a tan, golden appearance is more associated with Western ideals and pop culture!

Long-winded story aside, the 2 powerhouses where the most popular whitening ranges originate are Japan and South Korea. And every Spring, we usually see a bumper crop of new whitening products launched.

The latest “thing” among many of the whitening ranges this year are groups of active ingredients that work together to treat 3 forms of discolorations. Redness (flushed skin, capillaries), darkness (melanin), and sallowness (poor circulation etc). Japanese brand Shiseido’s new White Lucent serum promises the same as Laneige, although the pricing and ingredients used to achieve those vary slightly.

Laneige introduces 3 new products that contain the new “melano-crusher” complex.

  1. The updated White Plus Renew Original Essence (S$76 for 40ml): the serum contains the highest concentration of the whitening complex and is used day and night before moisturizer and sunblock. 
  2. The White Plus Renew Capsule Sleeping Pack (S$42 for a pack of 16): These fun little portable vacuum-sealed pods contain a white cream suspended in a clear gel. Open one, mix up the cream and gel using the spatula that comes in the box, and apply in place of moisturizer twice a week as an intensive treatment before bed.
  3. BB Cushion SPF50 PA+++ (S$65 per box with 1 case and 2 stamp pads): The latest iteration of the super-popular BB cushions (portable little stamp-pads soaked in a lightweight BB cream) come in 6 shades; the 4 above, plus 2 darker shades for tanned skins. The texture and finish is dewy, with light to medium coverage depending how you apply it (pat for higher coverage, rub for lower coverage). The new version give the same glowy perfected skin finish as the Soothing BB Cushion, but includes the new whitening complex for added skincare benefits. 

My favorite out of the 3? It’s hard to say since I haven’t had a lot of time to try each of them, but here are my first impressions.

  • Essence: Very fresh and soothing to use; the ingredients and the science behind it sounds promising, but I’ll have to use it for a longer period of time to say if it can really repair and sooth the skin as well as promised, but so far so good!
  • Capsule Sleeping Pack: Super fun, and feels extremely soothing and luxe on the skin, but I have to say a single capsule easily contains enough product for 2-3 uses, so it’s a bit of a waste unless you’re traveling and want something portable. You can try to use some and store the opened capsule in the fridge for another day, but I probably won’t recommend that because some ingredients can degrade with air exposure, so you won’t really be getting maximum efficacy if you do that. Great as a special treat before special occasions though!
  • BB cushion: I don’t need to say all that much about this; it’s a huge hit in Asia because of the amount of coverage it gives, and how convenient it is. (A multi-purpose skincare-slash-base with SPF50 PA+++, in a portable compact so you can touch up through the day; no brainer for all the lazy girls who’d rather sleep in than apply serum, lotion, sunblock, primer, foundation, etc). I do have to say this is better for normal to drier skins, as it doesn’t really “set”, and can rub off on oilier skins. 

Shade reference: (this is an approximation, so do make sure you test it out and check in daylight before purchasing!)

NC15/NC20 - 13

NW15 - 14

NW20/NC25 - 21 (this I can guarantee cos it’s my shade!)

NW25/NC30 - 23

NW30-35/NC35-37 - 31

NW40/NC42 - 33

The shades are quite forgiving, but I’d say if in doubt, go one shade darker. If you go lighter, you might get a white cast that’s more obvious because of the high SPF. And I do have to say the shade range isn’t quite large enough for women with darker skins, even though 6 shades is pretty impressive compared to most Korean/Japanese brands which carry about 2-3 colors max in their BB ranges. 

Shopping My Stash: I Rediscovered My Rainbow Lime Crime Arsenal!

Back when I just started my blog, there were a few brands I was obsessed over.

  1. Coastal Scents and BH Cosmetics (all those 88 palettes, 120 palettes and hundreds of pan shadows!)
  2. TKB Trading (pigments, pigments, glitters, pigments… and pigments…)
  3. Wet n Wild (back when they revamped their products and the Color Icon range was still big news)
  4. And of course, Lime Crime.

Lime Crime has always been about over the top cuteness and indulgent fantasy role-playing. It’s almost Japanese in its counter-culture aesthetic, and it’s extremely girly and fun. 

The brand has had its share of controversies in the past, so before anyone asks I always advise people to steer completely clear of all that speculation and just decide very simply if you like the products and whether you think they are worth the price. Just like with any other brand.

In the end, it’s just makeup. If you can’t enjoy it, don’t spoil it for everybody else. If you want to take up a cause, go volunteer at the animal shelter. At least pick something more meaningful - and POSITIVE - to devote all your spare energy to.

BACK TO MY POINT.

I have sort of been neglecting my Lime Crime products in the past year or so. (There was a period of time I was sporting neon pink, bright orange and purple lips at work, much to the alarm of my then-boss. I only drew the line at green, blue and black in the office, which - if you’ve worked in a conservative environment, is really something. Most people won’t even wear red to work.)

Then I rediscovered my sizable stash while I was packing up to move to my new apartment.

Here are some of my all-time favorite products:

  • Velvetines - Red Velvet is the best dramatic matte red in the world. And I don’t say this lightly. I like the convenience of Ruby Woo (I can remove it and touch it up easier) but Red Velvet is 10 points higher on the drama scale. They recently came out with Pink Velvet, which I haven’t tried yet!
  • Alchemy palette - China Doll and Aquataenia seem to be more popular just gauging from the instant reactions most people have to seeing them for the first time, but let me tell you - Alchemy is the most dimensional and interesting in my opinion. Every shade is more than it appears, and if you have brown or hazel eyes, this is a WICKED palette to own.
  • Coquette lipstick - my absolute favorite nude lipstick.  Kittenish but not deathly. If you are about NC25, NW20 or fairer, you might want to check it out!
  • Airborne Unicorn - best bright purple I own. And I do own quite a few. Perhaps the most surprising thing about this lipstick is that it’s actually very flattering. Don’t knock it til you try it!
  • Cherry On Top and Candy Apple Carousel glosses - I won’t say the applicators are perfect. Everyone likes different types of brushes and wands, so it’s really personal. Also, let me tell you straight up these are high-maintenance, color-saturated glosses. You will need to spend some time applying them perfectly so you don’t become a hot mess. But the colors, OMG. 

For those who are new to the brand, remember that they do international shipping for a very reasonable flat rate so I always recommend getting a bunch of girlfriends together for a big group spree to split the already low shipping cost.

Shu Uemura Spring 2014 Bijoux Collection Overview and Swatches! (Excluding Powder Highlight/Blush)

Pearl, pearl, pearl! That’s the one word that sums up the entire collection.

For the first time, Shu Uemura has come up with a collection that is almost entirely composed of cream products. All of these come in delicious creamy pastel tones that swatch on paler than they look in the pots.

The collection includes:

4 cream shadows

2 cream blushes

2 limited edition premium lashes (only one shown here)

1 blush/highlighter compact (not available for swatching at this time)

While I love all the super smooth textures and colors (these shadows have a suede-like consistency and go on more evenly than the typical MACs, Make Up For Evers and Maybellines, which can be a bit streaky or patchy. I am pretty sure the cream blushes and shadows would be quite popular.

I do want to especially highlight the 2 lipsticks, because it’s easy to pass them over when you see them on the display. These 2 nudes come in a concealer nude tone (Topaz Beige) and a pink nude (Opal Pink), and what’s special about them is they feel like cream lipsticks but go on in a pearl-matte finish, so they subtly highlight the lips and create a natural ombre effect, making your lips poutier looking.

Fall Eyeshadow Tones: 88 Metal Mania Palette Tutorial

Let’s take a break from the high-end makeup and play with some affordable stuff!

One of the things you can consider investing in (if you haven’t already) is the Metal Mania palette from Coastal Scents. This is an all-shimmer collection, and it’s filled with rich, high-pigmented Fall-appropriate shades ranging from neutral to violets, to teals, and pinks. 

For this soft, richly-colored look, you will need 4 shades from the palette, along with black mascara and brown pencil:

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Benefit Rockateur Box O’ Powder Review - the “famously provocative” one

While it’s described as being a provocative “rush of heat” and a rose-gold, Benefit’s Rockateur blush is really a very NICE, flirty, soft, girl-next-door flush. If you’re imagining Nars Orgasm after reading the product descriptions (like me), you’ll be surprised when you actually try the product.

The sparkly-gold over-spray goes away after the first use, so don’t imagine that this is going to be as shiny as Orgasm. The main color you get is what you see on the “ROCK” embossed in the center of the pan, a soft tawny fleshy-pink that intensifies to an almost-bronze hue when layered. (See my wrist swatch.)

This is for:

  • Pale to medium-light girls who want a nice glow that’s part blush, part bronzer
  • Daily use (this blush is very forgiving, even if you’re not a pro at blending)
  • Natural looks, or when you want your blush to just take a backseat and complement the rest of your makeup
  • Buffing into your socket line or over the lids for a little warmth that doesn’t look like eye shadow
  • A soft warm glow and sheen leaning towards a highlight on darker skins (it’s translucent enough to give a pretty glow without looking chalky)

This is probably not as good for:

  • Tan to darker-skinned girls who are expecting a strong blush or bronzer (this doesn’t have enough pigment to work in that way)
  • Girls who want a matte cheek (there IS still a noticeably dewy sheen, though you won’t look like a disco-ball)

Rockateur comes in the signature cardboard square with a brush, like all other Benefit face powders, and is available wherever Benefit is sold (but only launched from October 2013 in parts of Asia, and for SGD46 in Singapore).

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