The best beauty products we tried in February

Tried and tested: Shu Uemura's non-sticky Laque Supreme liquid lipsticks, Laneige's Two Tone Matte Lip Bar, Fancl's Reformulated MCO Mild Cleansing Oil, and more awesome products we discovered this month

La Prairie Platinum Rare Cellular Night Elixir ($1890) White Caviar Crème Extraordinaire ($1090)
La Prairie Platinum Rare Cellular Night Elixir ($1890) White Caviar Crème Extraordinaire ($1090)
23 Feb 2018

La Prairie Platinum Rare Cellular Night Elixir ($1890) White Caviar Crème Extraordinaire ($1090)

What they do: The Night Elixir promises to reawaken and rejuvenate your skin by morning, while the White Caviar Crème Extraordinaire uses an “illuminating molecule” to eliminate dark spots and skin discolouration while inhibiting the production of melanin.

Why we liked them: If your experience is anything like ours, your face will look and feel reaaalllyyy soft.  

With their four-digit price tags, La Prairie’s newest releases – a night serum and a brightening moisturiser – seemed a little extravagant. We just couldn’t believe that this duo of skincare products, which cost as much as an iPhone and Macbook, could be more effective than our trusty arsenal of drugstore and Korean brands.

But after just a week of diligent use (the Night Elixir in the evenings, and the moisturiser twice a day), it became obvious that La Prairie’s products were in a totally different league. We’re talking softness, shrunken pores, and a smooth texture that even our friends noticed. The scent might be a little strong for people who are sensitive to perfume, but we loved how luxurious we looked and felt while using this.

Available at La Prairie boutiques

Estelle and Thild Biocleanse Radiant Micropolish
Estelle and Thild Biocleanse Radiant Micropolish
23 Feb 2018

Estelle and Thild Biocleanse Radiant Micropolish

What it does: This 100 percent organic exfoliator buffs away dead skin cells to help you achieve peak radiance.

Why we like it: It effectively eliminated persistent flakiness.

Personal story time: At the end of last year, an allergic reaction to laundry detergent left the bottom half of my face flaky for weeks, even after the swelling and redness subsided. I tried different exfoliators, masks, and gentle moisturisers, and while these helped alleviate the problem, the flakiness returned in full force after I spent the winter holidays abroad, where the weather was considerably drier and colder. Out of desperation, I fished out this product (which I’d actually brought with me as a last-minute gift for a friend – oops), and since then, the flakiness has never returned. This stuff is pretty gentle, given its organic composition, but it’s the most effective exfoliator I’ve ever tried.

$47, available at Sephora

Bio-essence Rose Gold Water
Bio-essence Rose Gold Water
23 Feb 2018

Bio-essence Rose Gold Water

What it does: Hydrates the skin, reduces fine lines, shrinks pores, regulates moisture, basically, do everything short of reversing time, thanks to a Japanese rose extract called Eijitsu

Why we liked it: Uh, it’s pretty?

Our inner millennial hipster couldn’t resist the combination of rose gold and glitter, so we splashed this on not caring in the least whether or not it was effective. But its quick absorption rate, non-greasy texture, and pleasantly light floral scent made this one a real winner, especially since our skin felt pleasantly springy afterward. A good choice for people who fear the “stickiness” of skincare, but who desperately need some hydration.

$36, available at Watsons, Guardian, and on Lazada

Mamonde Pore Clean Clay Mask and Petal Purifying Bubble Mask
Mamonde Pore Clean Clay Mask and Petal Purifying Bubble Mask
23 Feb 2018

Mamonde Pore Clean Clay Mask and Petal Purifying Bubble Mask

What they do: The clay mask reduces sebum, closes the pores, and refines skin texture, while the bubble mask works more like a cleanser.

Why we like them: They’re gentle.

There are an abundance of clay masks out there now, but there are two things we like about Mamonde’s: firstly, its mint green colour looks totally cute once applied, and secondly, it’s thin enough to use on a day-to-day (or every other day) basis. Being a Mamonde product, it smells like a bouquet of flowers, but isn’t too overpowering. A warning: the exfoliating walnut shells might feel a little scratchy to some, so make sure you wash the mask off gently.

If you want something even gentler, and that requires less commitment than a clay mask, check out Mamonde’s Petal Purifying Bubble Mask, which you can remove after just one minute. (It even becomes foamy on its own so that you don’t need to lather as much.)

Both $28, available at Mamonde TANGS VivoCity, the Mamonde flagship stores in Takashimaya, and on Lazada 

Astalift White Perfect UV Clear solution 50 + PA ++++ 30g
Astalift White Perfect UV Clear solution 50 + PA ++++ 30g
23 Feb 2018

Astalift White Perfect UV Clear solution 50 + PA ++++ 30g

What it does: This posh-looking sunscreen not only keeps those UV rays at bay, but it also works as an essence and a makeup base. As a bonus, the cap changes colours when exposed to “deep UVA” (that is, UV rays that can penetrate below the epidermis) so that you know when to hide in the shade.

What we liked about it: It’s flattering.

A sunscreen created by Fujifilm? Colour us intrigued. To create this product, Fujifilm used its image analysis technology to visualise deep UVA rays, which in turn helped them develop the technology to protect us from it. We not only love how this product feels, but we were pleasantly surprised by its colour-correcting qualities and dewy finish.

$72, available at Astalift stores

Kiehl's Powerful-Strength Line-Reducing Concentrate
Kiehl's Powerful-Strength Line-Reducing Concentrate
23 Feb 2018

Kiehl's Powerful-Strength Line-Reducing Concentrate

What it does: Newly reformulated with hyaluronic acid and additional Vitamin C, this customer favourite claims to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, improve skin texture, boost skin radiance, and minimise pores.

What we liked about it: The matte finish

Rumour has it that a bottle of this beloved serum gets sold every 60 seconds around the world. As skeptical as we were due to the hype, we’re pleased to report that this product not only made the space right above our cheekbones look less papery, but its silicone-like texture makes it useful as a skincare or makeup base. It does feel a little warm when applied, which surprised us at first, but the sensation fades quickly once you blend the product.

$105, available at Kiehl’s stores

Shu Uemura Laque Supreme
Shu Uemura Laque Supreme
23 Feb 2018

Shu Uemura Laque Supreme

What it does: These glossy liquid lipsticks, which are basically an upgraded lipgloss, offer brilliant shine and major colour pigment payoff.

What we liked about it: You might not believe this, but we walked out of the office on a blustery evening while wearing this, and not a single strand of hair got stuck on our lips. Consider our lives changed.

For years, we’ve avoided lip glosses and shiny finishes out of how annoying they are on windy days. Shu Uemura not only managed to make their lip lacquers non-sticky, but the products are wonderfully moisturising, providing some unexpected (yet much-needed) damage control after a week spent wearing matte lipsticks. Plus, they come in 16 colours – brb, buying all of them.

 $43, available at Shu Uemura counters and boutiques 

Laneige Two Tone Matte Lip Bar
Laneige Two Tone Matte Lip Bar
23 Feb 2018

Laneige Two Tone Matte Lip Bar

What it does: Give you ombre lips in an oh-so-trendy matte finish

What we liked about it: The vivid colour payoff.

If there’s one thing we dislike about matte products, it’s how drying they are. So we’ll admit to being a little apprehensive about these, given how a matte gradation effect could make our chapped lips look even more parched. There are 10 shades available, and No.3 Powerhouse Pink is our favourite out of the ones that we’ve tried.

After trying these, we’ll admit that, yeah, they’re not exactly moisturising, but the effect is so flattering that we’re happy to recommend wearing these periodically, as long as you apply a lip scrub and some heavy-duty lip treatments the night after.

$36, available at Laneige stores and counters, on Zalora, and on Lazada 

FANCL Reformulated MCO Mild Cleansing Oil
FANCL Reformulated MCO Mild Cleansing Oil
23 Feb 2018

FANCL Reformulated MCO Mild Cleansing Oil

What it does: Remove oil, dirt, and waterproof makeup while keeping skin hydrated

What we liked about it: It works, plain and simple.

This cleansing oil has been around for decades, and the reformulated version is definitely worth the hype. We tried this on a full face of makeup (base makeup, waterproof eye makeup, contour, highlight, matte lipstick, the works) and it dissolved everything in seconds, and without much lathering on our part. While the product felt a little greasy in our palms, it left no trace of oiliness after rinsing. Afterward, our skin felt refreshed, supple, and hydrated.

$30, available in all FANCL stores

The Body Shop Roots of Strength Essence Lotion
The Body Shop Roots of Strength Essence Lotion
23 Feb 2018

The Body Shop Roots of Strength Essence Lotion

What it does: To help you achieve firm and fresh-looking skin, The Roots of Strength collection derives its ingredients from three roots commonly used in traditional Chinese medicine: ginger, ginseng and ruscus root. This line also includes a serum ($62.90) and a shaping cream ($55.90), but we’re singling out the Essence Lotion for how truly refreshed we feel after using it.

What we liked about it: The watery consistency and soothing scent – which was a lot less medicine-y than we expected – perked us right up after all the Chinese New Year-induced food comas.

We haven’t used this line long enough to tell whether or not it has made a significant difference in the firmness of our skin, but it certainly made our skin feel more pliant. Follow it up with the serum and the shaping cream (which is a little on the heavier side) if you need a little more “oomph” in your anti-ageing routine.

$38.90, available at The Body Shop stores

frei öl Anti Age Hyaluron Lift All-In-One Concentrate
frei öl Anti Age Hyaluron Lift All-In-One Concentrate
23 Feb 2018

frei öl Anti Age Hyaluron Lift All-In-One Concentrate

What it does: Like the name suggests, this German beauty brand’s anti-ageing All-In-One Concentrate, which is packed with hyaluronic acid, performs double duty by working as both a makeup base and as a night-time moisturiser.

Why we liked it: We’re lazy, and this is convenient to use

An anti-ageing routine is hard work, but ironically, the very things that make us look haggard (work, the everyday stresses of life) are precisely what steal away the time and energy we could dedicate to a ten-step skincare regimen. So we were more than happy to try this multipurpose product during one particularly busy weekend, which helped us shave a couple minutes off our night and morning routines. The smooth finish also seemed to flatten our fine lines and keep our makeup in place, which also saved us the hassle of touching up midday.

$59.90, available at all Guardian stores and online (Amazon Prime Now, Lazada and RedMart).


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