The Thing About Beauty YouTubers…



Let’s talk YouTube for a second.

I am an avid fan of YouTube. It has replaced television channels in my life. Not to mention my addiction to beauty channels, it’s almost unhealthy. I watch them religiously and follow massive amounts of beauty Youtubers. After years of watching beauty videos, watching the market get more and more saturated, I realised that slowly I have been unsubscribing to more channels than I am subscribing to new channels.

“YOUTUBE IS BROKEN” was a major headline that went viral.

Apparently, people have been unsubscribed to channels and there has been a general decline in views. While, I do believe that YouTube has been tinkering things around without communicating the changes they have applied, I also believe that people are unsubscribing actively. Or perhaps auto unsubscribing to channels where you are a dormant subscriber.

I too realise that I have not been watching as many beauty videos as I used to.


Because it’s ALL THE SAME.



This argument has been going on for ages. People hate sponsorships because it destroys the credibility of a YouTuber. At the same time, some sponsorships come from genuine love of the products being advertised. Ultimately, they are paid to say the things that they say. And this tarnishes the integrity of the YouTuber, even though the viewer is aware that this is their job.

My preference was to simply skip sponsored videos altogether. While it is easy with UK YouTubers that indicate their sponsorships with a #AD on the title, it’s tougher to distinguish with other YouTubers.

The worst parts about sponsorships are the scripted dialog and the giant infestation that appears in your subscription box, because the videos are scheduled to be released around the same time. Furthermore, big companies would reach out to several influencers all at once. Next thing you know, your subscription box is filled with “so-and-so” lipstick or some random hair tool.

Just. No.



Even if the video is not technically “sponsored”, more often than not large beauty companies will send out free PR packages containing the products they want to promote for these YouTubers to try. We are talking GIANT boxes filled to the brim with products. More than any one person can fathom to use to its entirety before it goes bad. Most of the time, they use these PR products for giveaways.

Most of these PR packages are sent out all at once to a plethora of influencers. So in certain portions of the year, you get a bunch of YouTubers mentioning the same products again and again because it is a new product they were sent. Therefore, even if the companies are not officially sponsoring these YouTubers, because they are all sent the same batches of products from companies, eventually they end up talking about the same products.

It’s inevitable. And incredibly boring.




Constant Newness

On top of that, subscribers have the expectations that these YouTubers always have their hands on the pulse of the beauty community. Hence, these influencers are constantly talking about whatever’s new. Whatever it is that they were raving about 4 months ago is conveniently forgotten to make room for newer things. It is exactly what the large beauty companies want. They want you to keep buying and buying anything that’s new.

It cultivates a wasteful culture, which I had fallen prey to myself. I lose interest in products quickly and move on to new things faster than I can actually finish one. It’s horrible! It’s wasteful to the environment and it’s wasteful to my wallet. Whatever product is hyped at the moment is THE thing I want to get my hands on, completely disregarding the copious amounts of stuff I still have yet to use up.

Therefore, essentially, the videos are constantly about whatever’s new at the time. YouTubers are hardly talking about the older products again and again even if they are their tried and true. They will mention one or two offhand but these videos matter less than ones involving new things. It leads to perfectly good items being discontinued and overlooked. The companies also churn out product after product, launching something new every other week, in order to stay relevant and in the spotlight.




What’s next?

My rant is tapering to an end. I was just overwhelmed with a sudden wave of anger and annoyance as I was trying to find something to watch on YouTube. The videos that started out as a friend recommending products to other people became an advertising platform. So much so that majority of the videos currently are paid in some form or other.

Nothing is genuine anymore.

There is no difference between watching a youtube “Get Ready With Me” video and a full-blown ad on the telly.

For those who are looking for integrity, look for smaller YouTubers that don’t try to emulate the “popular crowd” too much. For solid beauty recommendations, go for Emily Noel’s, she has never done a sponsored video in all her years on YouTube. Stephanie Nicole is also infamous for her scathingly honest review. As for skincare, I love Gothamista’s videos as they are filled with information and honest recommendations.


What do you think about the current state of YouTube?

Ultimately, I will probably stray away from YouTube, beauty-wise. I am going to be focusing on using up the stuff I have now and forming my own opinions on things. YouTube is in dire need of originality. If I want to see paid posts, I might as well opt for Vogue.

Must-haves : Japanese Skincare

As I mentioned in my previous visual diary episode, I wanted to do a round up of some awesome Japanese skincare I have fallen in love with. I go through phases with my skincare, moving from continent to continent. Currently, I am loving Japan’s simplistic approach, adorable packaging and affordable prices.

While I researched more on Japanese skincare, I found very few English sites that does reviews or provide information on Japanese products. It’s especially difficult as most products are entirely in Japanese, without translations.


Tip #1 : Find the item online, even on a Japanese site and cut and paste the ingredients to Google translate. It gives you a rough idea of what’s in the product, just in case you have any skin sensitivities. 


To cover every single Japanese product I love would take ages, so I will probably do a follow up on other things like haircare, makeup and so on. For now, I will pick out my favourites for each category that I think the Japanese excel in.


Here are my top picks.








Japanese sunscreens are where it’s at. Their formulations are always cutting edge, leaps and bounds ahead of others in the market. They are known for their light textures that never leave a white cast whilst providing the perfect base for makeup. My favourites are the Hada Labo Air Aqua UV Day Emulsion SPF 50 PA+++ (S$19.90) and Labo Labo Super-Moist UV-Cream 5H x 5C SPF 30 PA++ (S$21.90). Though they sound they same, they are actually from different companies. Both are drugstore Japanese skincare brands and very affordable. I love these two because they are light but can be used alone without a separate cream underneath. They are undetectable when applied on the skin and are alcohol free.

The Hada Labo one comes in two formulations, but my favourite is the fresh version that contains anti-aging ingredients such as vitamin C, resveratrol and hyaluronic acid. The Labo Labo version is a thicker cream texture, more like a traditional moisturiser that is formulated with 5 types of hyaluronic acid and collagen. Best sunscreens EVER!!



The Japanese are masters at formulating facial lotions. In Western terms, these lotions would be classified under toners. You would soak them on a cotton pad and use them after cleansing to prep the skin for serums and moisturiser as well as giving it added benefits and balance the skin’s pH levels. Japanese lotions come in all shapes and forms but I recently discovered the economical ones that come in giant half a litre bottles. These lotions are unbelievably inexpensive and actually have a simple, yet effective ingredients list.

The one I recommend would be the Kiku-Masamune Sake Brewing Skin Care Lotion. The skincare line is based of a famous sake brewery in Japan and features sake as a skin care ingredient to help tone and brighten the skin. What’s mind-boggling is that this giant bottle costs S$14.90. An amazing budget buy that actually works. It comes in two versions. The Light version is great for hot weather as it is weightless and refreshing whilst the High Moist version has added ceramides to help provide extra moisture and is alcohol-free. Both are fantastic, though Singapore weather does better with the light version.

I can’t wait to try other giant bottles of Japanese lotions because they seriously make the best toners and are such money-savers.






Japanese skincare is big on gels and gel-cream formulations because they tend to prefer light, fast absorbing skincare that are great for layering. However, I do love a good night cream that helps lock all the moisture in while I sleep. After much searching, I found one that I am completely smitten with. Presenting the Keana Nadeshiko Rice Cream (S$27) ! This rich cream in housed in an adorable little orb that’ll look just so cute on your vanity. Keana Nadeshiko brand is known for tackling issues with pores using primarily natural ingredients such as baking soda and rice bran oil. This particular cream is packed with fermented sake, rice bran oil, rice bran extract and saccharomyces ferment (aka pitera).

I was initially worried that this would be too rich for my oily, acne-prone skin but I was pleased to find that it’s just right. The cream is luxurious to spread on the skin but sinks in very well. I wake up to plump skin despite using acids and acne treatments on a daily basis. I cannot recommend it enough. I was so pleasantly surprised how much I fell for this product. My only complain would be that it’s a more pricey product and the jar is rather tiny with only 30 grams of product. The results are worth it though.



LOVE Japanese masks. I have written an ode to Japanese sheet masks, which you can read here for an extensive list of my favourites. The one I consistently repurchase again and again are the LuLuLun Masks (S$8.90). They are inexpensive and tackle different concerns depending on which colour you picked. The ones I love most is the brightening mask that comes in a silver packaging.

Another awesome thing is that these masks are so affordable. Even more so than the korean ones. Enough said.



I know this is something you wouldn’t really think is a big deal. But for a girl with oily skin, oil blotters are LIFE SAVERS. I am never without it, ever. I have one packet with me at all times to help me absorb excess oil and keep my face looking fresh. The best kind are the paper ones, and the Japanese variety are just the best of the best. Japanese blotting papers are revolutionary because they absorb oil so well and do not disturb any makeup you have underneath. I find that the plastic film types tend to lift my foundation and leave my face looking patchy. So now, I will only use paper.

The Japanese oil paper blotter are very affordable. No matter the price, they all work the same. If ever you are at a Japanese store or in Japan, I say stock up!


Cotton Pads 

A necessity that no one cares for. Cotton pads are rather dull, really. So no one ever wants to talk about them. However, I am incredibly picky when it comes to my cotton pads. I hate cheap cotton balls or squares that shed lint all over my face. Some that are too thin to hold and deposit your skincare properly. That is not to say that you should splurge on “luxury cotton”.

Japanese cotton pads are on another level. They are so soft, never shed and are designed to be a delivery system for your skincare. And they are affordable to boot! While many rave on and on about the coveted Shiseido cotton pads, I very much prefer the Muji Unbleached Cotton variety. They are identical to the Shiseido ones in terms of thickness, softness and never shedding. Fortunately they are cheaper. But the ones I repurchase the most are Silcot brand. The Silcot Lintfree Cotton Pads (S$4) feel like pillows on your face, I tend to use that for hydrating toners. The Silcot Uru Uru Sponge pads (S$4) are my favourite for acid toners (or really expensive toners) because they help you use 50% less toner. Truly I can attest to that. It’s a sponge-like pad that gets really soaked with very little product, which really help stretch your skincare product for longer.

It is AMAZING. I can’t be without this now. Otherwise I feel like I’m wasting so much product.




And there you have it! If you ever visit Japan and are overwhelmed with the plethora of beauty products, try these out or go for the categories I’ve highlighted.

It’s so amazing that you can get such great quality and results at drugstore prices. I can never justify buying a 50 dollar cream anymore, when the Japanese have such superior formulas for so much less.

Try them out and let me know!

Poppin’ My Colourpop Cherry


I think it’s safe to say that everyone has either heard of or own some Colourpop cosmetics. But for those who are unfamiliar, Colourpop is a cosmetics brand from the US that sells affordable and unique makeup. Their Ultra Matte Lip blew up in the last year or so. Now, they have a huge offering from face to eyes and lips. They are known for their signature, spongey powder formulas that almost feel cream to powder and are particularly famous for their liquid lipsticks that come in a variety of finishes at USD$6 a pop.

The hype on Colourpop is deafening, especially with Youtubers and other beauty influencers singing it praises. Until last month, international shipping was not offered to the official Colourpop site, which was why it was difficult to get your hands on them here in Singapore. You could get them from resellers on Carousell or other sites, but they tend to hike up the prices. Plus I always get suspicious when it comes to resellers. So, once they offered international shipping, I was over the moon excited.

Then, I thought I would share my overall experience with Colourpop as an international customer. So, if you guys ever wanna purchase anything from their site, you would know what to expect.



Wait Time

As you would expect, wait time is about 3 weeks. Orders from UK and US tend to take around that time, unless expedited. I ordered on the 25th of September and received the package mid this week, second week of October. What’s interesting was that my order was not packed and despatched until a whole week after my order was confirmed. The confirmation email say that you will receive a tracking number once shipment has been despatched. I didn’t receive that tracking number until a full week after my order was confirmed.

So don’t worry if you are faced with radio silence after they took your money and your order was confirmed. Apparently Colourpop takes, on average, 3-4 days to actually assemble your package, excluding weekends and holidays. And on promotional periods, it can take longer. I was having anxiety that my order got lost somewhere, but I simply had to wait. Hence, it is something to take note of, as I would imagine that they have a high volume of orders, considering how popular they are.

What I did appreciate was the tracking number that let’s you see the check points your package went through before arriving to its destination. It gave me a sense control over the whole thing and I could roughly gauge when the package is likely to arrive.


Presentation & Packaging

The box that it arrives in is unique to Colourpop. Outwardly it looks like a regular package, but inside it has the Colourpop logo with fun designs. The products themselves are padded with only flimsy foam sheets, hence they aren’t tightly packed and do rattle around. Some of the Lippie Stix boxes were open and none of the individual boxes are sealed in any way. I was initially worried that someone went through my package but turns out there was no issue. That’s just how they roll.

The actual product packaging was the standard Colourpop packaging. One of my Super Shock Shadows was cracked (but salvageable) and my Ultra Satin Lip in “Mess Around” came without a stopper, hence the wand was completely glopped with excess product. I then asked my other friends who also ordered around the same time as me, Sofi from Singapore and Liz from France. They had some issues with their product packaging as well. One Liz’s lipgloss came without a stopper like mine and Sofi’s blush came completely shattered. It’s interesting to note as well that out of the 3 Ultra Satin Lips I owned, 2 of them came without a stopper.



Final Thoughts

The products themselves are great quality for the price. The Ultra Satin Lips’ formula is one of my favourite lip formulas of all time. They are pigmented, opaque and go on the lips like butter. They are also so comfortable on the lips. Personally, I can’t wear the Ultra Matte Lips, but my sister enjoys them. The Super Shock Shadows are ultra creamy and pigmented. Best applied with fingers. However, I own quite a few of them and they have the tendency to dry out after a while, especially the matte and satin formulas. So make sure you screw the lid on tight to prevent it from drying out quicker.

Unfortunately, I am unimpressed with how poor their quality control is. I get that they have large volumes of orders. But it doesn’t make it okay to send customers lip products without stoppers that help remove excess product. And this wasn’t just my experience. I knew lots of friends who received products this way, which is one too many. I understand if only one of items arrived that way, but to find so many people experiencing the same issue is quite concerning.

While I do like the mail packaging overall, I think that they should’ve wrapped their fragile cream-powder formulas in bubble wrap to protect them from being shattered in transit. I have shopped at many online retailers and they will usually wrap each individual product to prevent breakage or use packing peanuts to prevent the products from rattling around in the box. Considering how soft the Colourpop formulas are, I thought that this would be a standard packing process for them. I get that how roughly the packages are handled by the post is not their fault, but Colourpop could’ve packed the products in a manner that can minimise possible damages.





Eyes : Game Face // Elf Mad About Matte Palette 

Lips : Matte X Lippie Stix in Hollywood Blvd

Overall, I think their prices are great! And their products perform well. I LOVE their colour range and I am OBSESSED with their Ultra Satin Lips. So soooo good.

However, upon reviewing my personal experiences and my other international friends’, I don’t think that it’s worth the risk as an international shopper. On top of the price of shipping, you can get charged for customs (like Liz did) and for the products to come shattered, cracked and without a freakin’ stopper, I think that I’ll wait until I have a friend in the States who can help me order some.

Sheet Mask Smackdown!

Sheet masks have never been my thing.

I have and will always be a clay mask kind of girl. Thanks to my oily, acne prone skin, I found lots of sheet masks overbearing on my skin. Particularly Taiwanese & Korean ones that are absolutely DRIPPING in essence. So much that there is usually a pool of excess essence left in the packet, which is a good thing that people tend to look for. However, for me, it’s just too much.

Most masks are so saturated that it feels as if they are slipping and sliding off my face. The essence is so thick that it feels as if it isn’t penetrating my skin. Thus, I hated “patting” in the goo after I have removed the mask from my face. Often times, I end up breaking out.

As I grew older though, my skin has definitely changed. It’s now more combination oily. Plus, after using retinol, my skin does get dry and I have to be more diligent about hydration.


With new formulations and new brands, I decided to give sheet masks another shot.






LuLuLun Masks, US$3.90-$19

This is my first introduction into Japanese sheet masks. My best friend, Diyanah, brought back a pack for me from Japan. Their masking concept is slightly different because there are 7 sheets in a pack and it is meant for DAILY use. Though it sounds excessive, these masks are perfectly formulated for that. They are thin cotton masks that are saturated in a cocktail of skin-loving ingredients. The keyword here is “saturated” but not soaking, sopping wet. It’s perfect for oily skinned girls like me who can’t stand rich textures. The LuLuLun masks are hydrating and emollient, but not occlusive.

I’ve tried a bunch, my favourite being the brightening one that comes in a silver packet. The moisturizing range is bit heavy for me, so I do find that I have to rinse my face after use, to get rid of any residue. They are alcohol free, which is very important for me and have a short but effective ingredients list. If you are confused as to what is in the different ranges and colours, I found a blog that explains the different types you can get here.

Best of all, they are so inexpensive at less than 10 bucks a pack.


Leaders Insolution & Mediu Masks, S$3-$9.90

The hype on these masks are real. The Leaders masks are well-loved globally. They are pretty pricey, but boast immediate results. I have tried two types and I have to say that I really do like both (insolution & media amino masks). It brightens and any acne I have going on is visibly less red and irritated. The cotton used in these masks is thicker and more plush than the LuLuLun ones. They cling to the skin better and have a better, more luxurious fit on my face.

As expected, I had to wash off the residue after taking off the mask because korean mask formulas are just too moisturizing for my skin. But the results are still noticeable. This would be a special occasion mask for me. Perhaps if my skin is experiencing a bad breakout or is generally looking a little rough, I would splurge on a sheet as a treat.




Naruko Snail Essence Hydra Repair Masks, S$29.90

This Taiwanese drugstore skincare brand always impresses me with their ingredients list. It is packed with botanical extracts and effective ingredients, whilst omitting alcohol, parabens and other nasties. I’ve heard great things about their snail essence mask and I was not disappointed.

First thing you will notice is how incredibly slimy the mask is. Absolutely dripping with snail goo, which isn’t the most appealing thing to slap on your face. But once you get over that, the mask itself is thick and stays wet for a very long time. There is a rather strong fragrance – a notable downside for me. It’s very cooling and this treatment can be left on longer than all the masks I’ve tried.

The essence does drip around a bit so be warned, it can get messy. The result is worth the slimy hassle because I was left with clarified and calm skin. It really helped with my hyper pigmentation and acne scars. It’s another special occasion type mask but it’s great stuff!


Japan Gals Pure 5 Essence Masks, S$24.90

This is, I daresay, my HOLY GRAIL sheet mask. I found this Japanese sheet mask on a whim at John Little. It has a similar concept to the LuLuLun masks in the sense that they are meant for daily use and come in large packs of 7 to 30. Personally, I have never heard of this brand, but what peaked my interest was the simplicity of the ingredients list. It’s very simple, without any alcohol or parabens, featuring 5 main ingredients that make up majority of the formulation. Due to the lack of parabens, the masks have to be used up within 2 months of opening. That pushes me to use them daily and oh my god.

My skin has never been better. The masks come in a giant resealable bag, with plastic tweezers to take a sheet out, making it more sanitary. The cotton masks themselves are of a thicker, more plush cotton than the LuLuLun and they have a larger surface area as well. This is one of the very few masks that completely absorbs into my skin, leaving zero residue. I can put on moisturizer and makeup as soon as I am done masking, without feeling sticky or slimy. With regular use, my skin tone is SO much clearer and even toned. So even that I have been going out without a shred of foundation or concealer. It’s liberating.

I highly recommend this mask for anyone with oily or dull skin. They offer a wide range addressing different skin concerns. It’s relatively inexpensive considering there are 30 sheets in the pack. But keep in mind that these are meant for daily use.


For what it’s worth, unwinding everyday for 10 mins with a little pamper routine like this can do more good for you than your skin. Treat yourself!



Best of H&M Beauty

If the H&M beauty launch last Saturday is making you go hmm, let me put your mind to rest. It is worth the trip to town because it is BOMB. I have been waiting for this to launch in Singapore for almost a year. H&M beauty launched in the UK and US in the last quarter of 2015 and I have been patiently waiting ever since. It’s amazing that Singapore is the first to launch the ginormous beauty collection in Southeast Asia.

And ladies, it was worth the year long wait.

The prices do not disappoint. Nothing is above SGD$20, that includes liquid foundation, powders and bronzers. Which is impressive, considering the quality and other drugstore brands like Revlon have foundations priced at SGD$30.90.


First and foremost, let’s talk packaging.






It is monochromatic goals! Everything is black, white and gold. Though they don’t feel luxurious in your hands, they are a sight to behold. And that is good enough for me, considering the price. Packaging aside, the formulation of the products I’ve tried are incredible. I would never have guessed that it was drugstore. Part of the reason, I think is because majority of the makeup is made in Italy. Italy is known for their superior makeup formulations are unreal prices. Most of my favourite drugstore brands, such as Catrice and Essence, are European. Hence all the formulations can be encompassed in two words: Creamy and pigmented.

If you are overwhelmed, like I was, on where to start, here are my recommendations.





1. Single Eyeshadows, S$9.90

The H&M single eyeshadows can put MAC to shame. The formulas are buttery and blend like a dream. Not only that, they have impressive pigmentation which means that you don’t have to work very hard to get them to show up true to colour. They have every colour you can think of from neutrals to bright greens and blues. Collectively they are pricier than a Maybelline eye palette, but the quality is far superior. I suggest getting a statement shade that you will reach for or a matte neutral that you need every single day.


2. Colour Essence Eye Cream, S$9.90

These things are INSANELY good. I want every single shade. I am not even joking. This is what I wanted the Maybelline Colour Tattoo eyeshadow pots to be like. Dare I say, I prefer this even to my MAC Paint Pots, which have been my go-to cream eyeshadow formula for years. The texture is luxurious and light, almost whipped and moussey. They have mindblowing pigmentation and a sophisticated sheen. Once blended out on the lid, they set and do not budge. These cream shadows blend so well with my finger, it’s effortless. They make the perfect one-shadow eye look that makes it seem as if you spent hours doing your makeup. Most shades that they offer are shimmery, but that’s what I love on a day to day basis. I cannot recommend these enough.


3. Cream Lipstick, S$14.90

Currently, H&M is only offering one cream formula for their lipsticks. Although they also have Lip Lacquers and other types of lip products, the traditional lipstick bullet houses very creamy lip colours that just glide on the lips like butter. These lipsticks go on fully opaque in one swipe, so they aren’t messing around. They are comfortable but do not feel overly thick or balmy. Hence, it stays on your lips for a long time, unless you are eating or drinking. The colour choices are as vast as choosing paint in an art store. They offer unique shades on top of popular neutral ones. Even if you are a lipstick hoarder like me, you will find a shade that you have yet to add to your collection.


4. Cream Blushes, S$14.90-S$19.90

Their blushes in both the powder and cream formula are amazing. You can’t go wrong with owning either. I went with a lip & cheek pot because I fell for it’s chic all black packaging. Also, even for a super oily skinned gal like me, their cream blushes do not make me look overly greasy. In fact, they have a velvety finish that is flattering and natural looking. This is the most natural looking blush I own. Granted because of that, they are not the most long lasting, but they last a decent amount of time and I love pulling out the dinky compacts to reapply. They are so silky and are a joy to put on.


5. Lip Definers, S$7.90

If there is ONE thing that you need from this launch, it is THIS. I have tried many lip liners, both high-end and low-end. But this lip liner formula tops EVERYTHING. First of all, the colour range is perfection. It goes from nudes to deeper nudes, reds, corals and even a berry. A lip liner to go with any lipstick in your collection. I was most impressed by how easily they glide on the lips. They aren’t drying at all, but don’t let that fool you. These liners will not budge. I had the hardest time wiping them off my hand after swatching a bunch. They are matte and they will stay all day. I would say they are very similar to Huda Beauty Lip Contours and Urban Decay Lip Liners.

I am OBSESSED with them. I want every single shade. Considering they are just 7.90 a pop, that claim isn’t too far a stretch either.


So there you have it my top 5 picks! Needless to say, I will explore deeper. But for now, the Lip Definers and Cream Eyeshadows are MUST HAVES.

Trust me.

You can thank me later.


Empties #3 : Makeup

More and more empties! This, in particular, is a round up of makeup items that I’ve thoroughly finished up, along with my thoughts and whether I am willing to repurchase ’em. You know the drill by now, and yet I still preface these posts.

God knows.

Makeup tends to be my kryptonite when it comes to empties as it is really tough for a makeup addict like me to actually use a product constantly until it is completely done. Hence, majority of the products mentioned are my makeup essentials and are always in my makeup routine, regardless what eye or face look I end up going for that day.

My number one essential is of course, BROWS.

The one thing I cannot leave the house without doing are my brows, which sadly are non-existent. Therefore, I am not only very picky with brow products, but I tend to use them up quite quickly.




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Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Brow Colour, S$30

Eyebrow pens are my favourite type of eyebrow product. To me, they are better than pencil, powder and pomade. They can mimic the look of hair most realistically, in my opinion. I tend to use them for the front and tail end of my brow, which are my most sparse areas. I draw them on with hairlike strokes and they last all day on me without fading or smudging.

The Stila version in medium has been my go-to for years. I have repurchased many times, but have since then found drugstore dupes that work just as well for half the price. The Etude House Tint My Brow Pen, particularly, is a pretty spot on one.


Anastasia Brow Wiz, USD$21

One of the brands that has not made its way to Singapore shores, much to my dismay. Anastasia was all the rage a year ago and the hype died down a bit after other companies started to make their own micro brow products, pomades and liquid lips. We tend to forget that Anastasia was one of the OGs.

I love this brow wiz. I go back and forth with this product because as much as I enjoy using it, I cannot warrant the price tag, with very similar products available at the drugstore. The brow wiz has a tiny nib, making it perfect for creating hairlike strokes on the brows. While it does create the illusion of fuller brows, I think it’s a little TOO pigmented for my taste. I have to consciously use a light hand, for fear of blocky “Instagram” brows. Instead, I prefer its hip younger sister…


Urban Decay Brow Beater, S$33

She is the cooler, edgier sister to the brow wiz. The packaging is just stunning. It feels luxe but young. Not mention, the writing doesn’t rub off as easily as the Anastasia one does, so you won’t lose track of your shade. Besides the outward appearance, the product itself is very similar. Retractable, micro fine nib with a handy spoolie at the other end.

To me, the result I get with the Urban Decay is more desirable. The formula is waxier than the brow wiz, doesn’t deposit too much pigment and gives me a more natural looking brow. Only problem with stiffer formulas is that they tend to break off easily, which was what happened with mine. The price hurts my wallet as well. So I didn’t repurchase this one.




Anastasia Clear Brow Gel, USD$22

More brow products! Can you tell I have a problem? This is the coveted brow gel that everyone swears by. It’s so bloody expensive for what it is. The packaging is lovely. I wish all clear brow gels are housed in such an elegant, opaque casing such as this one. It’s weighty and the brush is slightly large-ish, though it doesn’t really matter as you don’t have to be super precise with a clear gel. It holds my brow hairs in place without looking wet or stiff. Plus, my brows stay that way all day.

But is it worth repurchasing? No. Personally, I get comparable results with the Milani Brow Shaping Clear Gel and the Elf Brow and Lash Clear Mascara. Granted the packaging isn’t as amazing, but it does the job.


Nudestix Lash & Grow Mascara, S$37

Possibly the best mascara in the world. Ever. I wanna sing love songs to this mascara. That’s how good it is. It lengthens my lashes to the point that they actually look like falsies. You can layer coats without ever getting clumpy. Your lashes just look long, volumized and fluffy. It’s sexual.

Plus, it has peptides and ingredients inside that help your lash grow too. I can definitely attest to the fact that my lashes are so much stronger when I use this compared to other mascaras. Can you tell I love it? My only issue is the price. That is honestly the only reason why I have yet to purchase a third tube. 37 bucks for mascara is painful. I’m definitely repurchasing once I can afford the splurge.


Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Concealer in ‘Light’, S$19.90

When this concealer finally made its way to Watsons, I literally squealed. I have heard nothing but rave reviews. The coverage is amazing with a thin consistency. However, I found that it looked a little dry under my eyes, despite having eye cream underneath. I felt that the tiny lines under my eyes were more prominent, even though it completely cancelled out my dark circles. I prefer the Maybelline Fit Me concealers instead. They are less heavy duty in terms of coverage, but far more hydrating and blendable. If dark circles aren’t a big issue for you, I suggest switching to the latter.


There you have it. Mini reviews of makeup products I’ve gone through. Safe to say, I have a brow addiction. I’m on a mission to use up more products because I can never completely finish up one thing before moving on to another. It’s an awful habit and something I am determined to get better at.

Here’s to more makeup related empties to come!

Club Night Chronicles #1

As me and my girls were blasting our group chat, we started the topic of makeup looks that are not only long-lasting but make-out proof and sweat proof, because as we all know, nights out can be pretty eventful. This got me thinking, I have five girls in my squad and they all have specific (and semi ratchet) expectations for their makeup whenever they go out.

I’ll particularly be looking into long wearing lip products for the ladies that wanna get down, or y’know get dirty. Whatever that means to each individual. Even with all that dancing, sweating and drinking, your makeup should still look on point until you decide to take it off (which could be the next morning, we’ve all been there).

On top of that, I thought it would be fun to dedicate makeup looks according to my friends personality traits and needs when the sun goes does and the booze goes up. Come on! We’re gonna get the party started.


Roll with me here.




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This is for the bitch that will most probably go home with a guy so needs makeup that will look cute in the morning AND not stain the guy’s pillow.


And here is the look!








The base needs to be long-lasting. Always, always wear a primer to increase the longevity of your makeup. I suggest a mattifying primer because it’s going to be hot, stuffy and sweaty in the club and you want that grease to be kept at bay.  I love the Makeup Forever Step One Mattifying primer. That stuff is hardcore.

Foundation is up to your preference, but setting that face with powder and a setting spray is a must. Nothing is worse than hugging and dancing with someone and then accidentally leaving chunks of your face on their clothes. Go with the coveted Laura Mercier translucent setting powder and then follow with the Urban Decay All-nighter makeup setting spray.

Because gurl, we gonna be up all night.



Keep the eyes simple! This look is for girls like my friend, Munira, who don’t want to fuss around with brushes and eyeshadows but still wants to look 100. Go for a cream colour base like Mac’s paint pot in ‘Groundwork’ that neutralises veiny lids. Then, I opted for a sophisticated all-over-lid colour that preferably has a little shimmer. Here, I went with Burberry’s ‘Pale Barley’, a soft taupe with subtle shimmer. It’s a barely there colour that just enhances the eye.

To add a little pizzazz, I smudged a glittery kohl at the lash line. The Sephora glitter gel liners are unbeatable. So smooth, gorgeous colour pay-off and once it sets, it lasts the whole night and all through the next morning, if you want it to. The colour I used is ‘Cappuccino‘ – an earthy brown with gold glitter. It adds interest to the eye look, without being overbearing. I did a baby wing, followed by tons of mascara. False eyelashes are not ideal for the ‘morning after’ look as they are a bit of a hassle, so opt for a jet black volumizing, waterproof formula.



This would be a case of ‘you do you, boo’. My little tip would be to make sure that it’s waterproof. Whatever it may be – pencil, pomade, powder. Here, I used Stila Stay All Day waterproof brow colour marker for the tail end and the Elf Instant Lift brow pencil  in ‘Neutral Brown’ for the body. The key here is to set that bitch in place with a waterproof clear brow gel. I used a cheapie, but a goodie; Elf clear brow mascara. The gel will seal all your hard work and make sure they don’t budge all through the night.






Do whatever you want with the cheeks. I went for a subtle blush and contour combo – Nars ‘Madly’ blush with Catrice sun glow matt bronzing powder in ‘Deep Bronze’. Cheek products are always the first to fade, plus the alcohol will give you a natural pink flush. So go easy on the blush. Let nature do its thang.

One thing you can’t skip out though is highlight. Highlight yourself to the gods! I used a highlighting eyeshadow from Catrice on the cheeks, just to create an angelic sheen for a devilish night.



This is the main event. For this look, we are going bold or going home. I went for the Tarte Matte LipSurgence in the colour ‘Lively’. But any colour from this Tarte range will do. These handy lip pencils have intense colour pay off. The matte finish means that these formulas are long lasting and are less likely to transfer. Furthermore, these lip surgence stain the lips. So the morning after, you will be left with a soft pink stain. Hence you will wake up looking a lot better than you usually would.




There you have it! Simple night out look that will still look lived-in but fresh the next day, if the occasion calls for it. It’s also one that can easily be taken from day to night. Thanks for indulging this mini series on my site! There’s more where that came from!




Empties #2 : Japanese Faves

Recently, I am making a point to use up my current rotation of products before buying any new ones. And so far, I  have been doing really well.

Japanese products are where it’s at when you want something that is effective and affordable. I initially fell in love with their “no-nonsense” approach to skincare, and slowly found myself in the middle of a Japanese product invasion – right down to the toothpaste I use.

It all started with my desire to use more affordable skincare, after finishing up my SK-II facial treatment essence. I found that with daily use, though effective, high-end skincare products are just too burdensome for my measly pockets to warrant repurchasing again and again. I realised that there were many offerings in the Japanese drugstore category that perform amazingly! *cough* Hada Labo *cough*

After using a couple items up, I thought I would do a small round up of my thoughts from using these products from start to end.


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1. SK-II Facial Treatment Essence, S$99

Let’s begin with the item that kickstarted my Japanese product craze. I bought a trial pack of the coveted SK-II treatment essence after reading countless raves about this “miracle water“. Their patented ‘pitera‘ is made from fermented rice and is said to be the key ingredient in keeping your skin balanced and fight against aging. The trial pack came with an SK-II sheet mask and a 75ml bottle of their essence, which lasted me a long, long time (more than a year). I did see an improvement in my skin clarity and it does help balance my skin. My acne scars faded more quickly and overall, it was a great addition to my skincare routine. However, I found that there are now a lot of other essences, priced affordably, that feature their key ingredient ‘galactomyces saccharomyces ferment filtrate’, also known as ‘pitera’.

Therefore, currently I have switched out my SK-II for Missha’s First Treatment Essence and it has been working well. There were more visible results from the SK-II, but in terms of its anti-aging benefits, the Missha suffices.


2. Hada Labo Tamagohada Mild Peeling Lotion, $17.90

Speaking of essences and lotions, this Hada Labo one is absolute holy grail status for me. This is the 8th bottle I’ve gone through and needless to say I will continue to repurchase this amazing skincare item. For people with sensitive skin who want to exfoliate without irritation, this is your answer. I use this as a very mild exfoliating toner as it contains ‘gluconic acid’, a natural enzyme occurring in fruits and wine. On top on that it also has ‘tranexamic acid’ that helps to brighten the overall complexion (similar to ferulic acid).

As with all Hada Labo products, the pH is slightly acidic and perfect to protect your skin’s acid mantle, making this a suitable for all skin types. It doesn’t dry out the skin and can be used day and night, to prevent the build up of dead skin cells and clogging of pores. No nasty ingredients in this one. More importantly, it’s affordable and effective. I highly recommend.


3. Hada Labo Air Aqua UV Day Emulsion, SPF 50, PA+++, $19.90

While we are on the Hada Labo train, I finished up my holy grail sunscreen, also by the same brand. This is my second bottle that I’ve gone through and I already have a back up waiting. I can’t stress enough how much I love this SPF. It’s perfect for everyday, super lightweight and sits well under makeup. It comes in two formulations, one for oily/combination skin and the other for dry skin. I’ve tried both and both work well! The dry skin formulation is perfect for lazy girls that want to just slap on only one thing. It definitely can be used as both a moisturiser and SPF, thanks to the addition of skin-loving ingredients like hyaluronic acid, resveratrol and vitamin C.

I would repurchase this again and again. It’s alcohol free and fragrance free, perfect for sensitive and acne prone skin types that usually break out due to SPF. So affordable and beats a lot of high-end SPFs I’ve tried, even the coveted Shiseido/Kiehl’s ones.




4. LuLuLun 7 Days Premium Face Masks, $10.90

I’ve always had an issue with sheet masks, particularly the Korean ones that are over saturated with essences. I find them too rich for my oily skin to use on a regular basis, even though I want my skin receive the extra nutrients. So I stopped using sheet masks for years, until I was gifted this one by my best friend. The LuLuLun masks are super popular in Japan, not just due to its adorable packaging, but also because of its ‘daily mask’ concept. These masks are formulated to be used daily and come in a pack of 7, folded into one zip-lock bag. My prayers were answered with this one.

It has no alcohol and parabens. Everything in the ingredients list is lush. More importantly, the masks are saturated just enough to hydrate the skin deeply, without over burdening the skin or clogging it. It’s because it is more serum based and is formulated to be used every day. Thus, it’s much lighter. I use this every other day and I am loving the results. My skin is so much more radiant and plump. I managed to find a seller in Singapore that carries it, so I’m already on to my next packet.


5. BCL Tsururi Ghassoul Oil Cleansing, $18.90

I call this my underdog pick. I found this one at Tokyu Hands (a magical place by the way) and read the ingredients at the back. I had just finished my previous favourite oil cleanser, the Muji Mild Oil Cleansing, and was itching to try something new. This particular one drew me in because it is olive oil based, just like the Muji one, but has the added benefits of Moroccan lava clay, charcoal powder, honey, oat extract and organ oil. It comes out a black oil and takes off makeup like a dream. It’s more purifying than other cleansing oils, without leaving the skin feeling stripped. The clay and honey also helped my acne prone skin tremendously with its anti-bacterial properties.

The only drawback is that is comes in a measly 145ml bottle! Lasts roughly 2 months. I switched it out because of that but after a week of using something else, I came back to this one. My skin just loves it too much.


6. Ora 2 Stain Clear Premium in Aromatic Mint, $8.90

BEST. TOOTHPASTE. EVER. I know you’re thinking, it’s just toothpaste. How amazing can it be, right?


This stuff has SAVED my coffee-and-tea-stained teeth. If I had not found the Ora 2 Stain Clear range, I probably would have the yellowest teeth, known to man. Pirate-like. I initially tried the range because it has cool flavours like ‘peach mint’ and ‘apple & rose mint’. But then I realised how amazing it is at keeping my teeth looking white. Granted, it does not replace whitening strips. However, it’s amazing for daily maintenance and keeping stains at bay. Plus, I get compliments on my teeth and trust me, that wouldn’t be the case if I didn’t use this one. I’ve tried other whitening brands, but always go back to this one.


7. KOJI Dolly Wink Liquid Eyeliner in Brown, $24.90

As much I love Japanese products, I tend to use their skin and body care more than their makeup. But if there’s one thing the Japanese got down, it’s their eyeliner formulations. The Dolly Wink eyeliners have a brush, calligraphy tip and the most adorable polka-dot packaging. It lasts forever, even on my oily eye lids and is saturated with pigment. I tend to use brown liquid liner more than black because it offers a softer look, plus it’s less likely to show uneven wing liner application.

I love this one, and would probably go back to it. Though I am not particularly loyal to this brand yet. I feel any Japanese or Korean eyeliner would do the trick.



And there you have it! My recent Japanese empties. Loads of them I’ve already repurchased. Most are affordable and so effective. I am just enamoured by Japanese products currently.

Who knows which country I will be obsessed with next time.

The Battle of The Dry Shampoos

Like many women out there, I have a deep, deep love for dry shampoos. Ever since I discovered its existence at the age of 16 (I was late to the dry shampoo party), I couldn’t live without it. I consider as much a necessity as an actual shampoo or oxygen.

Despite that, I realise that there is still a certain stigma that comes with using dry shampoo or proclaiming your love for it as I have. Some have the misconception that dry shampoos are for lazy, unkempt girls who don’t bother washing their hair everyday. It isn’t a reflection of your personal hygiene or a mark of your laziness. Simply put, dry shampoo is a convenient way of reviving hair on the second (or third or fourth) day  and is brilliant at creating volume and texture.

Busy women and men use it to refresh their hair in the morning and I personally use it because I don’t think washing your hair everyday is good for your scalp. I find that the less I wash my hair, the healthier it looks and feels. My natural oils help my hair grow quicker and my scalp is less likely to be dry. Furthermore, it helps me conserve my hair colour for a lot longer.

Sometimes I use dry shampoo even after I shower to add body and volume to my limp hair. It’s much less drying than sea salt spray and gentler than a full-blown hair spray.

Needless to say, I have gone through hundreds of bottles over the years and have tried many different brands. I thought I would share with you my thoughts and preferences of the four that I have used in the past year.


Let’s commence, The Battle of The Dry Shampoos!!

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The Holy Grail

Klorane Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk (for brown to dark hair)

I’m going to start with a bang. The Klorane dry shampoo formula is something that I picked up in Paris and it’s a complete revelation, especially when I got my hands on the tinted version for dark hair. It leaves no visible white marks in my roots that makes me resemble a senior citizen. It smells clean and fresh, nothing overpowering and does not interfere with any fragrances you would like to wear after, but effective enough to make your hair smell clean. The aerosol spray distributes product evenly so, you don’t have to worry about accidentally spraying too much. The gentle formula is my favourite because it is effective at sucking up all the oil and grime, without drying out my sensitive scalp.

While it’s currently my holy grail, there is still room for improvement. It comes in a 150ml bottle, which is minuscule in my opinion. If you use dry shampoo as much as I do, this bottle will typically last you slightly over a month. To me, that makes it quite a pricey purchase at $14.90 a pop. Pisses me off every time I finish a bottle quicker than I anticipated, but I still go back to it. Every time.


The Smelly One

Toni & Guy Matt Texture Dry Shampoo

This giant bottle lasted me a good number of months. Part of the reason is that it comes in a massive 250ml aerosol can. Another part of that reason is that I couldn’t spray too much of it without gagging and choking in fragrant fumes. Fumes is not a exaggeration. I would pick this up if I’m on my third day hair and I want to make sure that my hair smells as if I just washed it. The fragrance is very strong and will definitely interfere with your perfume. But it’s a great refresher after gym.

It comes out as a white powder, but it doesn’t leave too serious of a white cast, if I’m careful. I also can’t spray too much because I get a massive headache from the overpowering fragrance. However, it’s very effective at getting rid of oil and creates amazing volume. It definitely has elements of a texturising spray in it because my hair has a lot more body and is easier to style whenever I use this one. It does mattify my hair quite a bit, so go easy on this one. Great value for money and my hair looks (and smells) fresh all day.


The OG One

Batiste Dry Shampoo in Eden

Ah, Batiste! The original formula that made dry shampoo a household name. Comes in a standard 200ml bottle and a million different “flavours”. The one I am using currently is one that smells of sugar melon and honeysuckle. It’s super fruity but not offensive. The scent dissipates after a few minutes and doesn’t interfere with your own fragrance. I have tried both the tinted and the regular formula and unexpectedly, I prefer the regular one without tint. I found that the tinted dry shampoo for brunette made my hair look dirtier for some reason, as if I had rubbed soil or cocoa powder in my scalp, no matter how little I use. So the white powder formula is the better one, in my opinion. I never get too much of a white cast, if I apply the product from a distance.

It refreshes my hair, soaks up grease and gives it some body and volume though it is not at all gritty in texture. It doesn’t build up in my hair like the Toni & Guy one does but is definitely more drying than the Klorane formula. The bottle lasts me at least 3 months of regular use, making it a great drugstore purchase. My tip is to find a scent you like and you’ll love this one.


The New Girl In Town

COLAB Sheer + Invisible Dry Shampoo

As a follower of Ruth Crilly’s blog and youtube channel, I was so delighted to see that her range is finally being sold at Watsons. I’ve heard so much about her range of dry shampoos and was desperate to try them. To be honest, after finishing a bottle, I’m a little ‘meh’ about it. Perhaps I was hyping it up too much. This dry shampoo is perfect for any coloured hair because it is truly invisible. I was the most heavy handed with this one and I can attest that it’s truly invisible. Also, ‘Monaco’ smells absolutely divine! So fresh, lightly floral but with a certain depth. I would wear it as a perfume. The scent lingers quite bit in your hair, but it will disappear after about two hours. It gives me lots of volume without being as heavy as the Toni & Guy one.

However, my only gripe with this is that it takes a lot of product to get rid of the grease in my hair. Therefore, I finished this 200ml bottle in slightly over a month and that angers me slightly. Granted it is cheaper than the Klorane one, I still wouldn’t want to repurchase it every month. Perhaps it’s due to its invisible formula that it is less mattifying than the others, but the whole point of a dry shampoo is to get rid of grease. I think for someone with a dry scalp this would be great. The product never builds up or weighs my hair down, even after the third day. I’m just disappointed that it didn’t last longer.


Ultimately, my search for the perfect dry shampoo continues! But these are the tried and tested. I’ll keep you posted if anything bumps my current holy grail.


Red Hot Summer

While it is full-swing summer mode in most of the northern hemisphere, here where I live, it is a constant summer. Living smack dab in the equator has its pros and cons, one being an eternally summer styled wardrobe and makeup. I’m always wearing a light base and tons of bronzer.

What got me thinking was how to incorporate more colour , not in my wardrobe, but on my face.

As much I love the nineties look that has been taking over the world, it got me reaching for my neutral browns over my bright lipsticks and shadows. Personally, I want to get more comfortable wearing brights and donning classic red lips during the day. I tend to have the habit of shying away from red lips, for fear of calling too much attention or just avoiding the hassle of lining my lips and avoiding smears.

Hence, I made it a mission to wear red lips on a regular basis during a day. Slowly I became more comfortable and actually enjoyed how red lips transformed my look into something more chic and polished. To avoid looking overly “done”, I opted for warmer reds that have a more youthful vibe, and also perfect for sunny weather.

Here are my FAVOURITE summery reds.


summer red



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1. Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick in ‘Teroso’, S$32

The brightest and loudest shade of red I have. It’s practically orange with a hint of red. These Stila liquid lipsticks are the OG matte liquid lips that have been around before everyone started making their own version. The formula is thicker and moussey, but dries completely flat matte.

The only issue I have is that this formula leaves no room for mistakes. Lip liner is a must for me so that my lips don’t look horrifically lopsided. It’s also pretty drying, as with most liquid lipsticks. But its amazing  for bold day time looks.


2. Catrice Ultimate Stay Lipstick in ‘Behind The Red Curtain’, S$8.90

This is my everyday red. And it’s so affordable to boot. It’s a new colour to the ‘Ultimate Stay’ range, which offers a semi-matte finish and claims to be long-lasting. To me, this is the most comfortable lipstick that does not compromise on pigmentation. It’s not completely opaque at first pass on the lips, which I prefer as it makes it more versatile.

I can wear this all day, without feeling like my lips are cracking. The colour is a warm red, bordering on neutral. I usually pair this with a coral lip liner to make it warmer and more orange toned.

I would also dab my lips with a tissue after application and reapply a second layer to increase longevity and create a more matte finish. Obsessed with this shade!


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Nudestix ‘Satan’ on my lips

3. Nudestix Lip + Cheek Pencil in ‘Satan’, S$25

I am absolutely gutted because I think Nudestix doesn’t make this specific shade anymore. I got this from their holiday lip kit that came with mini sizes of their coveted lip pencils that I love. Out the three in the tin – Mystic, Whisper and Satan – I love ‘Satan’ the most. As blasphemous as that sounds.

It’s a vibrant neutral red shade with a satin matte finish. It’s to die for! The lip pencils are creamy and glide on the lips like butter and stay comfortable the whole day, without any bleeding or patching issues. They are not transfer proof but the pencils make for easy reapplication.

UGH DEVASTATED that I can’t buy it in full size. But I’m waiting for the Intense Matte Lip + Cheek Pencils to come to Singapore. ‘Stiletto’ looks similar to Satan.


4. Sephora Cream Lip Stain in ‘Strawberry Kissed’, S$24

The name screams summer! The Sephora cream lip stain are essentially liquid lipsticks that leave a stain on your lips. These have been around for a while and have one of the best formulas – long-lasting, without being overly drying and a beautiful matte finish. Strawberry Kissed is a bright pinky red. A great option, if you prefer a blue-toned, bold summer lip.

For a less defined lip look, sometimes I dab a bit of this at the centre of my lip and blend it out, to create a gradient lip. Almost as if I have been sucking on a strawberry popsicle.



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Stila ‘Teroso’ on my lips

Pair these bold lips with a classic looking eye. Throw on a light crease colour, winged liner and some blush. Let the lips make the statement.

Personally, as someone who is enamoured by eye shadows and cannot leave the house without throwing a colour on my eyes, I find that gold shadows work so well with these reds. It brings out the warmth in your skin and makes the look more summery.


Go on now, show your bold lipsticks some love!


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