Friday, 31 October 2014

Latest Kit Acquisitions: Treasures from the Far East

Home at last! After spending 2 weeks in South-East Asia attending and doing my cousin's wedding makeup, I had time to once again browse the myriad of skincare and makeup offerings from the ever ingenious Asian cosmetic market! And wow what a change in the less than 2 years! I was amazed to see more and more brands emerging from especially countries like Korea. Not only K-Pop (Korean Pop boy/girl groups) and fashion but also cosmetic brands. I knew of brands such as Innisfree, Etude House and Laneige but not luxury brands such as Sulwhasoo, are also firmly planted in the market in South-East Asia. All offering their own interpretations on how and what women want today in their skincare and makeup.

Let's not waste time, I'm gagging to show you what I got. Obviously I couldn't buy everything but picked out what really caught my attention!

First up, a few choice offerings from what seems like a major player in Singapore!
K-Secret Cushion Teint
I suppose this is Asia's answer to the chubbies which popped out everywhere in Europe and the West. Also there's a current trend for using the word "cushion" in may Korean brands. I have a feeling it's to explain the softness of the textures?  I'll talk more about this later!
I got 3 of the brightest, poppiest colours and what it's meant to do is to create that gradated fresh burst of colour which MUAs have been achieving by patting and blurring with either a cotton bud or a brush or fingers. So you're advised to pat the colour on the central part of the lips and then using the sponge tip, you blur the edges and spreading it out till you get the desired finish.
My thoughts? Gorgeous soft textures in gorgeous fresh candy shades! Love.

Water Drop Tint
Asia seems to be obsessed with anything water. Everything has to be drenched in water. I suppose with the humidity, brands don't want to use the word oil as it might equate to greasiness. Anyway water is good. This is a lip tint/gloss that aims to create a fluid, watery tint on lips and the doe foot applicator can be used to deposit more colour on the central lower lip to create that much favoured gradient effect.
I got Raspberry Pink for the freshness of the colour. I will try on a shoot as soon as I can. It's pretty though.

Pushbutton Shadow Palette
This was part of a limited edition collection and this doggie palette is simply sheer shimmer that looks pretty. It won't change any games but it's pretty and embodies the Asian fondness of anything pretty and shimmery.

Brush Pact 
An all-in-one retractable synthetic brush with a pink-tinged shimmery highlighter compact. The sheen is super fine and very very pretty and I think great for collar bones, decolletage and maybe even on the top of the cheekbones. Really pretty. I got No. 3 Pink Beam.

Gel Liquid Liner
A high pigment gel liquid liner with a super fine brush in Black and Brown. I liked how fluid the textures were and once again I will test it out soon. I can never get enough of gel liners. 

Water Gel Bank Cream
These were samples the lady at the counter gave me. I liked how light they smell and the texture is a combination of a gel and a cream! More hydrating than a water based gel but not as heavy as a cream. Good for combination or for men who don't like heavy hydrating products.

Time Freeze Eye Serum
I got this because I liked how cool the container was! Well mostly and also the texture was lovely. I thought there was no harm in trying. I had friends in Asia who swore by it so I decided to try it too!

This brand I noticed when I last went to Korea and while browsing the Internet. A brand drawing inspiration from properties of Korean Traditional Medicine with ingredients such as Ginseng. A luxury brand with a price point to match so it took a bit of time for me to decide to get this. I hmm-ed and ahh-ed about it in Aug when I was in Korea but August in Singapore,  I decided to take the plunge.

First Care Activating Serum
The brand's #1 all time best seller so without hesitation I got this! This multi-use go to product aids in prepping the skin to receive other treatments. I love the clean-smelling amber fluid that sinks in quickly and calms skin, ready to boost the other products in the your routine.

Essential Balancing Emulsion
A non-greasy high moisture full of Korean herbs to help nourish and balance the complexion. Everything about this range so far seems polished, potent and luxurious. I suppose it's too soon to say yet but I like what I am testing for now.

Concentrated Ginseng Renewing Cream
This star product is formulated from the berries, roots and water from the rare 5 year-old Korean Ginseng to deeply nourish, regenerate and resurface the complexion. It is a lot of money to spend but hey if I don't spoil myself who am I going to spoil eh? I'm a huge fan of Korean ginseng, taking it as a supplement and tincture to help with fatigue and to energise. I'm a huge believer!

Evenfair Perfecting Cushion
Now this cushion term seems to be everywhere in Asia. I think this is the next big thing in complexion makeup in Asia. As far as I can understand, it refers to the delivery system in the compact. A sponge cushion soaked with the latest foundation utilising flexible film-fixing polymers to form a barrier on skin. This results in a nourished and moisturised finish for that highly sought after dewy glow!

When I tried it, the foundation is very fluid and with the provided sponge applicator, you pat on the cushion to get the foundation and then you pat onto skin. If you want more coverage you just pat more on. The key is speed and convenience but the finish is really lovely and dewy. I have to work out how to use this professionally as the sponge would be unhygienic. Let me get back to you but for the general public, watch out. I have a feeling this will be headed our way very very soon!

I love this Korean brand for their BB creams. Great finishes and particularly for men! So I had to  stop by the counter see what they had.

Long Wear Cushion SPF50+
Promising a sweat + sebum proof finish, Innisfree's offer to the Cushion foundation has a gorgeous cooling finish. I will text and report but what a curious invention these Cushions!

Soybean Energy Essence
Asian women have for a long time had a one up on the us in the West when it comes to number of steps in their skincare regime. It's not just cleanse, tone, moisturise. They also have an essence water/lotion step to prep their skin to receive treatments etc. We are catching up though, with such brands as L'Occitane and their Divine Lotion!

An essence is basically a product to help balance skin after cleansing and to create an environment to get the best results for your moisturisers and serums. 

Biore Cleansing Oil Facial Sheets
A Japanese offering now. This time from a brand I've known all my life, using their face washes since I was a teen! A close friend swore by these and insisted I got some so I did! She is a MUA too and says that these oil-based sheets sweep ALL makeup off without any resistance and effort. And without harsh alcohol. Now that's a plus for me, time is always an issue when I'm on a job. 

Sorry for the huge post, lots of things to show. And I've kept a few things back as they were just too many! There's just a plethora of amazing products from Asia that we don't see in this part of the world. Have you tried any of these? If so, what are you thoughts? I would love to hear your opinions. I'm super excited about the Cushions in particular. I wonder how they will transfer to Europe! Let's talk!