April 21, 2017

This past week, we received the usual hoard of new beauty press releases that included base makeup from Kose, lipsticks from Rimmel, the Ambush shu uemura collaboration, sunscreen from Anessa, the entire NARS Charlotte Gainsbourg makeup collection, Dior skincare and makeup (can’t talk about most of it; it’s embargoed), and even Joico whipped cream hair conditioners. Most of these are up on our Instagram. So what did I actually use and which are the ones I kept? These are the standout beauty products for me:

By Adele Chan


1. Kiehl’s Calendula & Aloe Soothing Hydration Masque

kiehls calendula masque

I was introduced to this masque just before I left for Kiehl’s World Day in New York. So yes, I’m a bit biased — you could even say I’ve been indoctrinated into the Kiehl’s brand — but that’s what happens when you live and breathe something for a while right. So the official press launch for this new hero product was this week and I can proudly say that I’ve actually tried this masque and it’s good. It’s an extension from Kiehl’s already best-selling line of calendula products (the Herbal-Extract Toner and the Deep Cleansing Foaming Face Wash), and it is lovely to use. It looks like jelly, but is light like a soufflé. You pile it on the face and enjoy the cool sensation that follows. It calms skin with the soothing and anti-inflammatory properties of calendula and nourishes and hydrates it with aloe vera. There’s only good stuff in this jar and I like it for the whole experience of putting it on, and even more so for the resulting super soft skin after I wash it off.

$62, available from May at Kiehl’s boutiques and counters.


2. RMK Matte Mascara

rmk matte mascara

When I find a mascara that doesn’t make my lashes droop I hang on to it like it’s gold. This one HOLDS THE CURL, ADDS VOLUME, and actually makes my eye makeup appear smokier and edgier. I think it’s the matte formula that the press release claims is super intense. I like this mascara. A lot. I just threw out my current mascara to replace it with this new one.

$28, available from 28 April at RMK counters.


3. KATE Super Sharp Liner EX

kate super sharp

Kate really does have very good liquid pen eyeliners. This new version launching next month has a multi-faceted body that’s supposed to help with grip. I don’t think it’s a big deal because it’s really the nib and the formula that matters, and this doesn’t disappoint. It draws smoothly with an inky black smudge-proof formula (not waterproof) — so yai! for those who want an easy-to-wash-off eyeliner. I honestly zoomed in and grabbed this from the entire bag of Kate that came into office… it was the one item I always know will work from this brand. (TIP: the best liquid pen eyeliners really do come from the drugstores and not the luxury beauty counters and boutiques).

$17, available from May at Sasa, Watsons, Fairprice Xtra and Fairprice Finest.


4. NARS Matte Multiple in Laos

nars matte multiple

Eight new matte shades of the NARS Multiple came into office and I didn’t know what to do with them. I tossed the hoard to our Associate Editor, Tami to “figure it out”. “Maybe let’s get a tutorial up on how to use these. ‘Cos even I’m clueless!” And then I brought one of the safer colours home (Laos) and whoooaa… my cheeks look so naturally flushed! No patchiness which I would expect from a cream stick, and not dull at all, which was what I imagined I’d get from anything matte. So natural. So pretty. Now I see what the hype is all about.

$60, available now at NARS counters.


5. Dior Diorshow Khol in black

diroshow 1

diorshow 2

It’s very hard to find a good pencil eyeliner that doesn’t smudge when you line under the eye, so you can imagine how impressed I was with Dior’s nondescript offering. This pencil was mixed into a bag full of colourful makeup and luxury skincare from the brand, and I can imagine many journalists glossing over this one small pencil… but I’m so glad I reached for it first, because it’s good. It has a soft, cream texture that glides on smoothly, but stays in place after it settles down (about 30 seconds). It reminds me of Marc Jacob Beauty’s Highliner, which does the same thing — it locks in place after it dries on skin. I actually only did ONE touch-up to my under eye line, which happened toward the end of the day. With other pencils, sometimes the line smudges or “disappears” before I even leave the house for work. This Khol pencil also comes in white (for highlighting), and a nude beige (for neutralising any redness). I want them all.

$34, available from 1 June at all Dior counters.