With Circuit Breaker actually coming to an end, we thought it would be appropriate to do a roundup of our favourite beauty products during the last two months — after all, we did have all this extra time to try them. And what have we subjected our skin, face, and hair to?
Lots of skincare for sure, which is how we’ve overhauled entire regimes, or found new serums to rave about. Makeup’s also on the agenda for the very occasional times we’ve tried them out of sheer curiosity, while hair care and self-care have ranked as way higher priorities than before. Here, a list of beauty items we think you should try too.
1. Sulwhasoo First Care Activating Serum
“There’s so much technology that went into this product; from the research and development of 3,912 formulations and 1,041 medicinal herbs, to an intense analysis of the skin and its ageing process. Sulwhasoo has truly tapped into the science behind ancient medicine, and have concocted a solution to ageing skin.
I’ve been using this pre-serum / booster for the last five years and didn’t think I could love it even more than I already do, but with this new fifth generation version, I can tell an immediate difference; the texture is silkier, more fluid than previous versions, and my skin has been healing faster than normal. This past month of reviewing new skincare products has been making my skin act out; I’ve had random breakouts and my complexion is looking dull. But after just two days of using this serum day and night, my skin is returning back to normal. I dare say this is better than any exfoliant or acne treatment.” — Adele, Editor-in-Chief
$118 (60ml), available at Sephora.sg.
2. Krave Beauty Great Barrier Relief Serum
“I was excited when Krave Beauty sent over their skincare items to try. For an Insta-famous brand, it’s so much more than that — founder Liah Yoo is truly set on simplifying our beauty routines, and the brand’s philosophy of “skin-loving products for people who love their skin more than skincare” comes through with their less-is-more formulas and range. The Oat So Simple Water Cream’s been a hit, especially for those with reactive skin, but I have so much love for their Great Barrier Relief serum!
I was experiencing some minor breakouts, perhaps due to the cycle of continually testing beauty products, or my skin being unused to its new home environment. This baby cleared that up effectively, was soothing, and helped restore some much-needed balance so my complexion got better and stayed better.
Here, Tamanu Oil and other ingredients (Safflower Oil, Rosehip Seed Oil, NMF + Ceramides, Phytosterol*, Squalane) replenish what the skin lacks. Most importantly, the serum helps with a healthy skin barrier so my skin’s more resilient and less prone to irritation — very important over time! Even though there are several oils in this, its texture never once felt greasy, and in fact was lightweight and refreshing. I can’t recommend it enough for anyone experiencing irritated skin. Consider this if you need a skin reset!” — Amelia, Deputy Editor
USD28, available at Krave Beauty’s global site.
3. The Inkey List Polyglutamic Acid Serum
“I’ve always liked to keep my skincare routine simple — which is why I’ve never been an avid of the whole 10-step k-beauty skincare routine. But during the course of this quarantine, I’ve managed to try a few skincare products that I brought from the office to try while working from home, including The Inkey List Polyglutamic Acid Serum.
Unlike Hyaluronic Acid, the Polyglutamic Acid ingredient found in this serum is said to maintain the skin’s moisture levels and holds four times more moisture than the former. But that’s not all. In fact, the serum also comes with 3% polyglutamic acid complex — that left my skin feeling smooth, supple and hydrated all day ‘round. I usually use it twice a day, day and night, to ensure that my skin isn’t parched. After using it for the past 3 weeks, I could feel that my skin appeared softer, plumper. I also didn’t experience any midday oiliness thanks to the serum — which is great especially if you’re fond of blotting your face. You may read a full review here.” — Shazrina, Writer
$22, available at Sephora.sg.
4. Huxley Secret of Sahara Cream: Fresh And More
“It could be a coincidence, but I also got to try another minimalist k-beauty brand this season — and I finally got to know for myself why Huxley’s so talked-about! I tried this trio of products as a regime and was most impressed by how lightweight yet moisturising the formulas are. All of them are gentle enough on my skin too, for those who may have worries on their skin barrier holding up while trying multiple items in one go.
Of course, the star product’s the Huxley Oil Essence is one to rave about — it glides on very smoothly and my skin feels nourished after — but I do want to give attention to the just-as-deserving Huxley Cream Fresh and More! The gel moisturiser contains 56% Cactus Extract, which explains that cooling and non-heavy effect, and other antioxidant-packed ingredients including Prickly Pear Seed Oil that lock in hydration. I’ve noticed my skin becoming more plump and less prone to dehydration after using these day and night; the effects last beyond just the immediate difference too, which says a lot for a gel cream formula.” — Amelia, Deputy Editor
$49, available at Huxley.sg.
5. Charlotte Tilbury Charlotte’s Magic Lip Oil Crystal Elixir
“Is it just me, or have my lips been more chapped than ever? My WFH space is right next to the kitchen, but that somehow doesn’t motivate me to drink enough water. I consider Charlotte Tilbury’s new lip care product very timely then! What I love about this serum-in-oil formula is how lightweight it is — which seems to be what I say for most skincare products, but hear me out here. Most overnight lip masks or even everyday lip oils with flocked applicators tend to feel heavy upon application and I don’t like that goopy feel on my lips. This one’s different. You basically roll on the formula for instant hydration while the rollerball applicator helps distribute the oil evenly, though you do have to squeeze the tube a fair bit at first. Once on, it nourishes my lips despite that lightweight layer, and leaves it looking glossy and fresh too. To be honest, I can’t vouch for it boosting lip volume, but for non-chapped lips alone, this one’s a keeper in my stash.” — Amelia, Deputy Editor
$55, available exclusively at CharlotteTilbury.com.
6. Fenty Beauty Cheeks Out Freestyle Cream Blush in ‘Bikini Martini’
“I’ve always resorted to going back to my cult favourites like the Orgasm blush from NARS or even Paula’s Choice Blush It On Contour. However, when Fenty Beauty sent over their Cheeks Out Freestyle Cream Blush, I was thrilled to give this highly anticipated number. I’m usually not very fond of cream blushes, and I usually tend to skew towards powder or stain formulations — so this product was definitely something different from what I would usually prefer.
On first impression, I thought that the blush was going to feel heavy on the skin — especially because of the cream formula. After trying it on my cheeks though, I was pleasantly surprised that it was the exact opposite, which is a good thing, of course. It was so lightweight, it didn’t feel like I had anything on my cheeks.
Secondly, the colours from the range were also very bright and vibrant — they’re not the shades most people would reach out for on a daily basis. But to my surprise, when I tried the blush in the shade Bikini Martini, which came in a bright neon hue, the blush blended really well and it had a beautiful, subtle finish that’s reminiscent of cherry blossoms. ” — Shazrina, Writer
$33, available at Sephora.sg.
7. Fenty Beauty Diamond Bomb in ‘How Many Carats?!’
“I’m always looking out for new highlighters and this is one of the most glittery ones I’ve tried. Unlike other glittery highlighters, the result is subtle, yet satisfying. Although it doesn’t seem super pigmented, the superfine glitter particles just catch the light really well when applied. There’s absolutely no fallout throughout the day either — it truly does provide a “diamond-dusted” effect. With this highlighter, there’s no such thing as too much. Even after re-applying it after a few hours, it provides the same subtle shimmer. I got the Diamond Bomb Baby Mini Face And Lip Set (Limited Edition) because I wanted to test the mini version out first, plus it came with a mini Gloss Bomb in Fu$$y, but I’m probably going to indulge in the full-sized once I hit pan.” — Natalie, Writer
$60 (full-sized), available at Sephora.sg.
HAIR & HOME
8. Yungo The First Total Care Shampoo
“As someone who has bleached her hair more than once, finding the right shampoo can be pretty painful especially when I tend to get wiry hair after a few washes. Having used Yungo’s Repair Care for Damaged Hair shampoo for a while, I felt confident enough to switch to their First Total Care shampoo which offered a combination of shampoo, conditioner and treatment.
The first wash definitely felt like a scalp cleanse though I wasn’t able to see the results until after a couple of washes, where I could easily run my fingers through my hair. Compared to my experience with Repair Care, I found that First Total Care helped moisturise my hair a lot more which gave my hair a less dry, wiry feel on a whole instead of just the parts that were bleached.” — Jasmine, Writer
$24, available at Guardian.
9. L’Oreal Elvive Rapid Reviver Extraordinary Oil Dry Hair Power Conditioner
“My never-ending quest to find the perfect conditioner for my tresses has been an ongoing one. I came across this bottle of L’Oreal Elvive Rapid Reviver Extraordinary Oil Dry Hair Power Conditioner while I was shopping for groceries and I immediately added it to my cart when I saw that it required ‘no leave-in time’. Evidently, I’m not one who would want to spend half an hour in the restroom while waiting for my conditioner to set in so this was a perfect solution for me.
With an affordable price tag, you’d think this product would do a mediocre job but truth be told, it really softened my hair. And if you know me, you’d know that my tresses are pretty tough to deal with considering that my mane is long and wavy, and it’s always getting tangled. I use this conditioner with every wash and it never fails to make my hair smooth and more manageable. The texture is really thick and delivers the right amount of moisture to your hair cuticles — which also curbs the problem of frizzy hair. I can totally see myself repurchasing this bottle once I’ve emptied it.” — Shazrina, Writer
$9.90, and available at Shopee.
10. Jo Malone Orange Blossom Diffuser
“I find that home fragrances can be a hit or miss for me — they could smell like a spa, but with that lingering smokey / incense flavour that I might not prefer, or citrus-based ones can sometimes smell like Mama Lemon, a dishwashing liquid… Jo Malone’s candles though, always smell divine, and so does their Orange Blossom home diffuser.
The scent itself is very balanced — there’s a citrus hit from the orange blossom heart itself, but the other floral notes of water lily and some green notes balance it out into a refreshing fragrance fit for any mood. Some home scents tend to be too overpowering at the start; this one’s quite mellow, and most importantly, lasting. You’re paying a steeper price after all! Plus, how sleek does that frosted glass bottle look?!” — Amelia, Deputy Editor
$160, available at Sephora.sg.