My beauty staples

My beauty staples by charmainef - April 7, 2013

After spending the last 2 – 3 years out of school and actively experimenting with beauty products,  I’m pleased to report that I’ve finally managed to figure out my beauty staples… Yay!

And boy, were there a whole lot of misses along the way.

I tried several makeup routines ranging from the almost bare-faced (not referring to the chic runway look, but literally having no makeup on) to really piling the makeup on (not a phase I’d like to revisit anytime soon!).

It was only recently that I realized that what I really needed was a base of clear skin (which took a while to work on, given the rather hectic lifestyle I’d led previously,  which was really bad for my skin, as you can imagine), before I could simplify the routine to the 3 items for my present routine for the day: powdered sunscreen, blush and mascara!

I thought I’d share a bit more about these items from my own experience, in case you might want to consider purchasing these products in future.

1) Laneige Brightening Sun Powder SPF 50+/PA+++ 

I’d learned about this product in a magazine’s beauty column snippet last year and was extremely curious about it:

– the product packaging was enticing because it was a convenient compact which was easy to bring around
– the powdered format could mean not having a shiny face… the default effect of suncream applied on my face.
– a myriad of benefits was cited, including the brightening effects from the Vitamin C component, ability to layer on more protection without caking, amongst others.

To be perfectly honest, the relatively high price point of approx. SGD$50 (approx. USD$40) put me off as I was skeptical about this product’s efficacy and there was no telling how long that compact could last.

… Which was why I asked a Korean friend to purchase it on my behalf on one of her trips home – and saved something like 40% off the prices here, because Laneige is a Korean brand – yay, savings!

I tried it and was hooked,  almost immediately. God bless the soul of the genius behind the sun powder!

a. The product glides on smoothly and it’s a light powder, but doesn’t feel like it clogs your pores.
b. My skin took on an airbrushed, matte appearance – super plus!
c. The powder did indeed deliver on its promise to brighten up my otherwise dull skin!
d. It offers good sun protection because I diligently apply it to my face before heading out (only moisturizer is applied below this), even while I was doing water sports in Cherating, and I didn’t get any form of freckles or pigmentation despite the sun intensity. Yippee!

Go test it out at your nearest Laneige counter and you’ll see what I mean : )

2) NARS Blush in Torrid

While it’s enjoyed its status as the makeup artists’/celeb/loyal fanbase’s blush of choice for the last couple of years (I might even say decade), NARS definitely took its time to make its way to Asia and at long last, it’s available in Singapore!

I bought the blush in 2011 when I was vacationing in Hong Kong, and was impressed by the intense colour payoff with just a single swipe of the highly pigmented blush.

I’d thought I’d pick up the signature hue of Orgasm but was advised by the beauty advisor to consider Torrid instead to complement the shade of my skin tone. I’m a very happy girl now because I heeded her advice!

A side-by-side comparison of the shades below:

L: Orgasm – peachy pink with golden shimmer
R: Torrid – warm coral with golden shimmer

Credit: NARS
Credit: NARS










3) Diorshow Iconic Mascara in Noir

Believe it or not, this was a gift I’d received from a guy friend.

He’d presented it to me on my 21st birthday party and I squealed in delight when I first laid eyes on the packaging – he had definitely gotten the right gift for the right girl. : )

But, beneath the pretty exterior lies a powerhouse mascara product – I liked what I’d read about the Diorshow range of mascaras’ lengthening and volumizing ability, often giving the appearance of false eye lashes, but was again deterred by the high price point as a college student.

I had kept it safely tucked away in my stash for a good 2 – 3 years waiting for a special occasion before I opened the silver packaging up for its first use and I’m now a Diorshow convert – the mascara is the epitome of all mascaras (well, in my mind, at least!)  and the special formula works perfectly fine for me because I’m too lazy to curl my lashes… : p

What are your top 3 beauty products?
Consider this a tag, if you’d like – I’d love to hear what you consider as your beauty staples too! : )


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