This month, we saw a variety of beauty launches—mostly point makeup in the likes of mascaras, eyeliners, lip glosses, some skincare products, and the unveiling of the cult-loved drugstore brand, Milani, in Singapore.
Here, the ELLE team tried their hands at the launches and picked out the best, the unexpected, and the favourites:
What it is: Chanel beauty’s first-ever 3D-printed mascara brush. While news of the mascara broke last March, products only arrived in European stores mid 2018 and this month in Asia. By way of 3D printing, Chanel achieved precision for the mascara brush—gaps on the skeleton of the brush holds the product, the grainy surface of the brush captures the individual lashes, uniform brush strands deliver the mascara formula evenly.
What we say: The mascara in a nutshell: it’s a long-lasting, lengthening product ideal for a natural everyday look. Moderately smudge-proof, the mascara may not be for those of you with very oily skin (like me), for the product smudges around the corners of the eye three hours into wear and panda by the night. The cherry on top? It’s a strictly no-clump formula, just like how Chanel promised. And unlike other stubborn mascara formulas, this easily came off with a swipe of Bioderma’s micellar water.
What it is: A new addition to the Diorshow (focussed on eye products) range, the new volumising Diorshow Pump ‘n’ Brow (S$39) launches on the 1st June. It comes in a soft, squeezable bottle that’s brand new to the beauty market. Why a squeezy bottle? According to Peter Philips, the man helming Dior Makeup, he wanted to pump and soften the formula—essentially to get more product onto the brush and to prevent the formula from clumping.
What we say: While Dior’s previous brow products gave full, structured, bold brows, this new Pump ‘n’ Brow gives a natural, light look. The small brush gives users a lot control over the formula which coats individual brows gently—which means you can stop at a natural look, or continue layering for a more defined brow. When it eventually dries down, it doesn’t feel stiff to touch. The only catch? You probably need to have a pair of pretty manicured brows else it’s going to accentuate all the unwanted strands of stray hairs.
What it is: A no-sting, lip-plumping and hydrating lip gloss by the Los Angeles-based brand, Hourglass. This new gloss boasts 18 shades (mostly opaque colours with some glittery options) and comes as an update to the brand’s lip gloss predecessor, Extreme Sheen High Shine Lip Gloss (S$47). According to the brand, they removed the sting and stickiness that comes with lip glosses. In other words, “reinventing everything that we don’t like about a certain product that we don’t like but put up with,” said Marc Raegan, the resident director of artistry at Hourglass.
What we say: The product comes in a generous long tube and a rounded, flat applicator which, to a certain degree, makes it difficult for users to control the application process. So when transiting from the usual pointy-ended applicator to this, you might want to concentrate when applying the gloss. The formula is highly pigmented (like a liquid lipstick!), and it’s not as sticky as the usual glosses. The greatest surprise we found was at the end—upon removal you’ll find your lips plump, immensely hydrated, no longer wrinkly nor chapped.
What it is: A highly-pigmented and hydrating lipstick by Etude House. This new range of lipsticks launched with a whooping range of 60 shades (a mix of regular shine and velvet finishes) and is set to have 40 more in the pipeline. The formulas are house in a baby pink and gold case with magnetic caps.
What we say: First up, the packaging. The matte pink and gold chrome tube and the magnetic closure definitely gave a luxurious feel to this new lipstick. This is a far cry compared to other Etude House products which are usually more cutesy and fun. Second, the texture of the lipstick is creamy and very nourishing (surprise, surprise!)—which gave it a smooth application, gliding along my lips without much effort. The finish was glossy which proved to be not too icky, but just nice for everyday use.
I tried two shades—a bright red called Apple-ogize and a coral called Vintage Way. The red Apple-ogize was highly pigmented. It easily gave my lips full coverage with just one swipe. The colour didn’t transfer and had incredible longevity—even after food and drinks. The coral Vintage way was way more sheer than the former. You’ll need at least two layers to get the coral to show. And for some reason, it wasn’t lasting like its red counterpart.
In the scent department, this range seems to be perfumed—a fruity, sweet scent but that dissipates shortly after so it’s manageable for those who are averse to scented products.
What it is: A cult-loved eyeshadow palette (with solid and shimmer colours) by the Los Angeles-based drugstore-famous cosmetics brand, Milani. The brand recently entered the Singaporean market in March with a sampler of their extensive range of vegan products: liquid foundations, foundation sticks, liquid lip colours, lip plumpers, matte lipsticks, brow palettes, their coveted blushes and eyeshadow palettes.
What we say: This 12-pan palette is broken down into six matte and six shimmery shadows that range neutral to autumnal tones, making it the go-to for (almost) every occasion. It has great colour pay-off—don’t let the affordable price point fool you—and to our surprise, barely budged when worn with primer on a 15-hour day in our sweltering heat (P.S. we have oily lids). We also noticed that on a fair Asian skin tone, its hues appeared deeper on skin as compared to how they look in the pans. Nonetheless, this is a winner if you’re looking to invest in a single palette that’ll work for both day and night, from picnic to party.
What it is: A gel-based clear eyeliner suspended with fine glitter that’s meant to be layered. The gel base supposedly contains hydrating ingredients in the likes of peach and cucumber extracts. It comes in a lightweight and compact tube with a fine-tipped brush. Although the Heavy Metal range has been in the market for a couple of years now, it recently relaunched with newer shades.
What we say: It’s really not as crazy as it looks. Unscrew the lid, pull out the brush, and when you swipe it across your lids, you’ll find that there’s more clear gel than there is actual glitter—and it can get patchy. So you’ll want to leave it for a couple of minutes (not the most quick drying) to dry before you layer over it again. If you’re using this in the day, one layer gives your eyes a just a hint of shine. And it’s really smudge-proof—it really doesn’t budge.
What it is: An intensive eye contour cream that combines the effects of a serum and a balm in one. This contains a super cocktail that targets multiple concerns including a loss of firmness and radiance, and wrinkles. Key ingredients include mitracarpus, kangaroo flower, caffeine and horse chestnut escin.
What we say: The texture is akin to a light balm that melts into the skin upon application. While it did not feel heavy when applied, those with younger or oilier complexions might find it denser than a typical serum. The product is meant for those in their 30s and I think it’s perfect for this age group who wants something that targets multiple concerns in the delicate area, but can still feel comfortable on the skin. I loved the unobtrusive scent—important as an eye product is pretty close to your nose. While I have not yet seen an effect on my wrinkles, it did smoothen out the under-eye area and brighten it allowing my concealer and foundation to go on more smoothly.
What it is: An essence designed to be the first-step of your skincare regime by the Japanese skincare brand, Sofina. It’s a pretty novel and fun product—the essence is housed in a pressurised aerosol bottle and the nozzle dispenses carbonated foam. The idea was to carbonate the face essence (think Sodastream for skincare products) so the active ingredients can be promptly absorbed into the skin.
What we say: When you press the nozzle, a ball of sweet-smelling, white foam forms in your palms. You’re supposed to very quickly and gently pat that foam all over your face, which quickly melts into a clear, white liquid. Upon a few more pats, the essence quickly absorbs into your skin, leaving behind a matte, powdery texture. Your skin feels softer and the overall skin tone is more even—fine lines caused by dryness dissipates immediately. Individuals who prefer lightweight and non-greasy skincare products in lieu of our humid climate might want to cash in on this.
What it is: Designed by Camille Goutal, the current creative director and daughter of the original founder of the Goutal perfumery house, Annick Goutal, the D’une Nuit was inspired by a French woman leaving her house in the night. As she walks out of the door, she gives her makeup a final dust of powder, and ties a silk scarf around her neck. Key notes include powders, lipsticks, florals in the likes of iris and rose, and raspberry.
What we say: There’s a very specific fragrance that expensive, European cosmetics tend to have. It’s a powdery, vaguely floral aroma that, well, somehow lends an old-world charm. This perfume smells like someone went back in time, picked up on scents, and put those notes into a bottle. The resulting scent is regal but not stuffy. It’s definitely a heavier evening scent that starts off with fresh florals drying down to a slightly muskier and almost-peppery heart note. Hours later, it settles into a powdery, rosy scent that lingers long into the night.
What it is: A shampoo and conditioner duo that treats pollution-exposed hair caused by everything from polluted air to cigarette smoke. Packed with antioxidants, it protects both the hair and the scalp by removing harmful environmental build-up without stripping the hair. The aquatic mint in the formula is harvested from the southwest of France.
What we say: The mint smell can be a tad overwhelming at first but settles down to a pleasantly refreshing scent. It has an immediate cooling effect, but we liked that it was not a very aggressive, men’s anti-dandruff shampoo version, but rather was more subtle. The shampoo lathers well, and leaves the scalp feeling very cleansed, but not in a squeaky, clean, uncomfortable way. As for the conditioner, it is lightweight and ideal if you don’t want that heavy feeling. What I liked was that it is suitable for coloured and highlighted hair—a lot of the time I worry that detox shampoos will strip my colour or cause it to fade. Also, the refreshing and light feeling on the scalp does last and feels refreshing in the humidity.