Since I became part of the beauty industry, this question has been posed to me a few times already: if you could only live with one beauty brand for the rest of your life, which one would it be?
For any beauty junkie, it’s a nightmare scenario – how can you pick just ONE brand??!? Still, it’s an interesting question to ponder, so we put ourselves to the challenge: which brand would we pick?
Tami Lai, Associate Editor
Brand pick: NARS
If I ever had to be in the very unfortunate circumstance of having one beauty brand in my life, I’d like François Nars to be my main man. I’ve already given this quite a bit of thought, and my choice has always been clear: NARS is a brand with an identity that resonates the most with me, with the minimalist packaging that holds a full spectrum of colours that range from subtle nudes to statement darks, so I know I’ll always be able to find a shade I want.
Another thing that’s very important to me is base makeup. NARS’ Radiant Creamy Concealer needs no introduction, and I can see myself relying on it for the rest of my days; for coverage, I could rotate between the Velvet Matte Skin Tint and the All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation. Previously, maybe the one thing I wished the brand would carry was a solid matte liquid lipstick… but from September, there’ll be the Powermatte Lip Pigment! And with all the nude hues I like too!!
Obviously, I’m much more into makeup than skincare, having chosen a makeup brand without giving much thought to my skincare regime. Fortunately for me, there’s NARSskin, which encompasses a pretty decent skincare lineup, down to eye cream and a night treatment.
Top product picks:
1. Powermatte Lip Pigment in American Woman, $40 (launching in September)
2. Blush in Liberté, $50
3. Semi-Matte Lipstick in Morocco, $40
4. Radiant Creamy Concealer, $46
5. Dual-Intensity Blush in Jubilation, $68
6. Orgasm Liquid Blush, $50
Adele Chan, Editor-in-Chief
Brand Pick: shu uemura
When Tami asked me which ONE beauty brand I would choose if I had to live with just that for the rest of my life… I felt very stressed. I love and use so many brands right now that it’s difficult to choose just one; and in my profession as an editor, I shouldn’t be playing favourites and should proclaim my love for ALL brands for the sake of advertising sales. But alas, this is editorial and I have to speak from the heart. It would be shu uemura (no surprises here!). I can’t live without my shu uemura cleansing oil — it’s my fountain of youth and ensures my skin stays blemish free (yup, that campaign I worked on was not a sham). I’ve not found another product that can replace this one item (no other cleansing oil, even from Japanese beauty brands, comes close), and this is the most essential product in my beauty regime. Everything else is secondary… moisturisers, foundations, eyeliners, etc. Not that these products are not important; they are, but I can be flexible and live with the ones from shu uemura. In fact, shu uemura has some pretty good skincare and makeup products in every category! If I needed to build my beauty box from just ONE brand, this will do. And it would look like this.
Top product picks:
1. Makeup box, $1,055
2. High Performance Balancing Cleansing Oil Advanced Formula, $50 (150ml) / $115 (450ml)
3. Depsea Hydrability Moisturising Lotion Enriched, $68 (150ml)
4. Ultime8 Sublime Beauty Oil In Essence, $145 (30ml)
5. Tsuya Skin Youthful Bouncy-Fine Cream, $115 (50ml)
6. Stage Performer block:booster Colorless, $65 (30ml)
7. Petal Skin Fluid Foundation, $68 (30ml)
8. Stage Performer Fresh Tint All-In-One Hydrating UV Cushion SPF 38 PA+++, $68
9. Point Cealer (concealer), $55
10. Glow On (blush), $33
11. Natural Bush 20 (blush brush), $92
12. Stage Performer Eye Primer (eyeshadow primer), $45 (12ml)
13. Pressed Eye Shadow Refill, $25 each
14. Natural Brush 12 (eyeshadow brush), $192
15. Natural Brush 10 (eyeshadow brush), $106
16. Calligraph:Ink Liquid Eyeliner, $29 (applicator) / $29 (refill)
17. Lasting Soft Gel Pencil, $37
18. Hard Formula (eyebrow pencil), $33
19. Eyelash Curler, $30
20. Petal Lash Mascara, $50
21. Eyelash Adhesive, $18
22. Partial Soft Cross (false eyelashes), $29
23. Deepsea Hydrability Moisturising Lip Balm, $48 (15ml)
24. Brush Cleaner, $25
Amelia Tan, Associate Editor
Brand pick: Glossier
I know, it’s kinda pretentious to be picking a millennial beauty brand that’s not even available in Singapore, especially when my favourite beauty products come from a wide range of brands that are actually available here — but hey, that’s the problem, I simply couldn’t decide. Here’s my thought process: to be smart, should I go for brands with a wide array of items to choose from (eyeliner! base makeup! lipsticks! also skincare!) or should I start by picking my must-haves, or my favourites… and eventually, if there was a zombie apocalypse, what’s the one box of beauty items I’d slash through a horde for on my next raid? Because #priorities, duh. So I went with my gut (still intact thanks), and picked Glossier.
The brand speaks to me because, 1) hello packaging, and 2) it’s minimal and fuss-free and prides itself on real, natural beauty. Something about their philosophy feels very authentic to me. Since working at NYLON, I honestly don’t think I can live a day without makeup, and yet I like to take shortcuts in my routine — annoying, yes — so I’m always on the lookout for products that do a lot with very little. Take for instance the Priming Moisturizer, one of the first products I tried. It’s a real multi-tasker that both plumps my skin, leaving it smooth and hydrated and silky, contains an anti-redness complex that soothes and evens my skin tone in the mornings, and leaves a dewy finish that doesn’t feel too oily.
Base makeup’s important to me, as you can tell from my selection of products, and I always want to live my day with (the illusion of) good skin — this is achieved by the Perfecting Skin Tint, that seriously looks like My Skin But Better on my face with its lightweight formula. Then, I swipe on the Haloscope for a dewy sheen on the top of my cheeks for a natural-looking glow; helps that the product’s a skincare hybrid too.
As for the Cloud Paint, it’s set to be my next purchase! I’ve been yearning for it since I saw their models’ flushed cheeks on Instagram, and gotta say, anything that I can apply without precision in the mornings/in the car is always a winner. Of course, the brand has a range of skincare items, including serums and masks too, in case my skin needs that boost in this imaginary brand-starved beauty landscape. One thing I’d sorely miss though — eyeliners, and all those high-intensity lipsticks that I love playing around with!
Top product picks:
1. Priming Moisturizer, US$25
2. Haloscope, US$22
3. Perfecting Skin Tint, US$26
4. Cloud Paint, US$18
Phyllis Guo, Editorial Assistant
Brand pick: ETUDE HOUSE
This week’s team beauty picks was a tough one for me, not because I had many beauty brands in mind, but rather, I haven’t found one that I really would swear by. But going by my previous team picks edition, my colleagues immediately pointed out that I’ve been using a couple of products from Korean brands, which is why I have decided to settle for Etude House (at least for now).
When I went to Korea last year, I bought a bunch of products from this brand, and they all didn’t had anything negative I could point out. If there is one product you have to try from the brand, I would highly recommend their AC Clean Up Pink Powder Spot, which works so effectively. I do break out quite a bit, and this product dries out the pimple and reduces redness the very next day. I’ve mentioned it before in a previous team pick edition, so you can check out my review of it there.
Their Play 101 Blending Pencils are also one of my favourites because the range is just so versatile and multi-functional. They can be used as an eyeshadow shade, for contouring and highlighting, or even as a lipstick or a blusher. Not only does it save you money, it also makes for a lighter makeup pouch. Their All-Day Fix line of eye makeup are also part of my everyday make-up routine. The eyeliners and mascaras stay all day without smudging, and are waterproof as well, so I rarely have to touch up on my eyes throughout the day. I especially like how the eyeliner is super smooth to glide on and is very precise as well, so I can usually perfect my eyeliner in just a few strokes of the pen.
Top product picks:
1. AC Clean Up Pink Powder Spot, $23.90
2. Play 101 Blending Pencil, $16.90
3. All Day Fix Pen Liner, $19.90
Jade Yeo, Writer
Brand pick: Paula’s Choice
My sensitive, blemish-prone skin reacts negatively to about 89% of beauty products on the market (statistics you can trust), but there are 6 products from Paula’s Choice that have shoved every other product out of the way and nestled themselves into my permanent skincare routine. They keep my raging acne under control, they don’t ever annoy my delicate skin, and they’ve taught me to focus on formula instead of hype, which is a feat when you’re working in this industry.
I’m pretty much the designated guinea pig in this office when products arrive claiming to be formulated for sensitive skin, so you’ll often find me squinting at ingredient lists and cautiously monitoring patch tests on my limbs. So far, none of the items I’ve tried (oh, there’s been plenty) have replaced my cleanser, toner, exfoliant, spot treatment, and sunscreen from Paula’s Choice. I think that speaks for itself.
If you’re new to the brand, I’d recommend starting with their bestseller, the Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid, which is an essential I’ve raved about in the past. At the moment, I’m still in love with their body exfoliant – I’ve waxed poetic about it here. The brand also carries a nice range of sunscreens that cater to every skin type and address all sorts of skin concerns, so do give them a browse if you have trouble finding good SPF.
Top product picks:
1. Skin Recovery Daily Moisturizing Lotion SPF 30, $42
2. Resist Advanced Replenishing Toner, $38
3. Clear Acne Regular Strength Exfoliating Treatment 2% BHA (Salicylic Acid), $41
4. Resist Weightless Body Lotion 2% BHA (Salicylic Acid), $45
5. Resist Perfectly Balanced Foaming Cleanser, $30
6. Skin Perfecting 2% BHA (Salicylic Acid) Liquid, $43