Fab or drab: We review new makeup, skincare and haircare products in Singapore.
Holla beauty junkies! We’ve made it to October. This month, we said ‘hell yes!’ to a vitamin C serum, tried a popular beauty tool and loved it but weren’t too thrilled about an eyeliner as well as a hair removal product. We present these new beauty reviews in Singapore.
Tried and tested: New beauty reviews in Singapore
Shark FlexStyle Air Styling & Drying System
I admit: I’m not the best at hair styling. Somehow, I always spend too much time on makeup. My hair routine includes a quick use of the hairdryer and my fingers to ‘comb’ out tangles, some hair oil or serum to tame the frizz and I’m done. But when I heard that Shark was launching its Flexstyle hair drying and styling tool in Singapore, I had to give it a try. What drew me was how it featured every type of hair (from straight to curly) in its advertising.
First, let’s talk specs. This tool comes with five different attachments – a large oval brush for a va-va-voom blowout, a paddle brush that smooths and straightens your mane, auto-wrap curlers with Coanda Technology offering anything from glamorous to loose curls, a curl-defining diffuser with extendable prongs for longer hair, and a styling concentrator. As with other hair styling tools, this also has three airflow and heat settings, with a cool shot button.
A major plus point is that you can dry and style your hair simultaneously. Need to use it as a hairdryer? Simply twist it to a 90-degree angle. Weighing just 700g, it’s also lightweight and travel-friendly.
Now, on to my experience. If you have thick and extra-long hair like mine, grab a chair ‘cos styling your tresses is going to take a while. A beginner like me took close to 90 minutes with the auto-wrap curlers, almost curling every part. Tip: remember to prep your hair with mousse and hair spray so your curls stay longer. I rotate between the styling concentrator and diffuser for everyday use and it dries my hair in just under seven minutes (the length of my hair reaches my stomach, so this duration is impressive).
My only gripe is that it’s way too loud. Yes, I know that hairdryers are noisy but this one’s got a high-pitched sound that rings in my ears. Nevertheless, I can look past that as it’s great bang for your buck.
Shark FlexStyle Air Styling & Drying System, $499, available online
Origins Ginzing Into The Glow Brightening Serum
Anything vitamin C is like music to my ears – and there’s a lot to love about this brightening serum. It’s got a re-texturising blend of coffee seed, AHAs and BHAs to bump up cell turnover for an even skin texture and a natural glowy look. After using it for about three weeks, new dark spots from pimple popping (guilty as charged) have visibly faded and my skin is just looking healthier. I also like the minty fresh citrusy scent and how it layers well with other products including makeup.
Origins Ginzing Into The Glow Brightening Serum, $81, available at Sephora
Kins Clinic’s Hydrafacial
Fans of Japanese skincare brand Kins can now rejoice as they’ve opened a new clinic in the heart of Orchard. And guess what? It’s dedicated to acne. Embark on an acne-free journey with treatments using a holistic microbiome-based approach. The cosy space had a sense of calmness as I entered – a great contrast to the noise and heat outside. I was served a nice cup of tea before we proceeded with my facial.
I tried the classic Hydrafacial with its range of microbiome skincare including cleansing oil, booster, serum, and essence. My congested face of clogged pores and gunk looked radiant and clear after the relaxing facial (the leftover water that sucked out my white and blackheads can attest). I’m not the best candidate but if you experience any type of acne, I suggest trying the signature Personalised Acne treatment plan which includes a microbiome health and acne serenity analysis to provide you with your preferred method of treatment.
Kins Clinic’s Hydrafacial, $288/session, #11-09, International Building, 360 Orchard Road, Singapore 238869
Answr Exfoliating Hair Removal Drop
This alternative is perfect for those with fine hair. Unfortunately, I’m not one of them. Don’t get me wrong. I like the idea of the hair removal drop – it’s sustainable (saves you up to 12 razors for about six months) and is a painless hair removal option. It also exfoliates as you remove the hair. But it’s pretty troublesome to use on hard-to-reach spots and takes longer than your usual shaving process. Yup, you’ve got to pull the skin and rub the device in circular motions for hairs to clump, break and fall out. So unless you’ve got time on your hands, hate shaving and have a low threshold of pain, skip this.
Answr Exfoliating Hair Removal Drop, $48, available at Sephora
Stilla Stay All Day Matte Liquid Eye Liner
The waterproof version is this eyeliner has been at the top of my list forever. But sadly, this doesn’t match up. The formula doesn’t have an intense black colour like its predecessor. It also rubs off easily and bleeds into the inner corners of my eyes. It’s quite ironic that I have to go in with the waterproof version just to get the intense black matte it promises.
Stilla Stay All Day Matte Liquid Eye Liner, $38, available at Sephora
Other beauty products we tried this year
Fenty Beauty Eaze Drop Blurring Skin Tint Foundation
I’ve always been sceptical about skin tints in the past. Perhaps it was due to the lack of shades available or the fact that my uneven skin tone and hyperpigmentation still creep out after application. But when I got the right shade (13) of Fenty Beauty’s Eaze Drop, I thought I’d give it a chance. This stuff is like an Instagram filter IRL, blurring out my pores. It’s also a buildable superstar whether you’re going for that light, breezy coverage or dialling it up to a medium glow. It took a couple of tries before I got the technique right, though.
First, I prep my skin with a water-based moisturiser and primer. Next, I blend it in with my fingers or a dense brush. Avoid using a sponge as it soaks up the product. Finally, I add a tiny bit of concealer on my dark spots and under the eye. Tip: it’s best to have a good base (ace that skincare!) before adding a skin tint to your routine. It’s totally fine to skip this if your skin is cranky.
Fenty Beauty Eaze Drop Blurring Skin Tint Foundation, $53, available at Sephora
Est.Lab Purclear Multi-Biotic Balancing Cream
Est.Lab’s Purclear range is for dry and acne-prone peeps – perfect for me. A quick flashback: earlier last year, I was shocked to discover that my skin type is dry to combination. I always thought I was an oily girly, but it was just my skin crying out for moisture. Then came this new product by Est.Lab. This water-based cream is like a superhero for your skin’s microbiome, kicking acne to the curb and giving your skin the TLC it deserves. With a 2% blend of pre- and postbiotic bioactives, it’s like a party for your good bacteria while saying ta-ta to the bad ones causing trouble. I also love the gel-like texture and soothing scent of tea tree oil.
Est.Lab Purclear Multi-Biotic Balancing Cream, $108, available online
Moist Diane Fresh Citrus Repair Scent
I’m very particular about my hair – it’s my crowning glory. I only wash it every other day to maintain the colour and avoid drying it out. In between washes, I use dry shampoo to keep it clean. So it’s timely that I got to test Diane’s range of dry shampoo. The Fresh Citrus Repair Scent reminds me of a tangy grapefruit drink. It feels like I just doused my head with citrus juice powder! Each spritz emits a good dose of product that’s not too powdery, easily sinks into my scalp, and absorbs all the oil, leaving my hair clean and fresh for the day. Pro tip: you can use this to add volume to your hair before styling it. The price isn’t too hefty for your wallet, which I daresay is another enticing factor.
Moist Diane Fresh Citrus Repair Scent, $12.90, available at Watsons
– Sufyan Saad, Senior Lifestyle Writer
Nudestix x Glamzilla Nudies Matte Blush
This Nudestix icon needs no introduction. But for a refresher, it’s a fab multi-tasking cream colour balm that can be used on your cheeks, lips and eyes. The blending brush on the other end makes for easy-peasy application. There are over 10 shades available but the one that recently caught my attention was the collab with makeup artist and content creator Stephanie Valentine aka Glamzilla.
The result is a neutral red shade called Hot Fire, an orange-red hue that gives a soft pink undertone to my brown skin. Just like every Nudies Blush Stick, I love the creamy and bendable texture that bumps up the natural colour of my cheeks. I personally like to blend with my fingers but I use the brush on the go if I don’t want to stain my fingers. I also dab a little on my lips to give them life.
Nudestix x Glamzilla Nudies Matte Blush, $57, available at Sephora
Belif Aqua Bomb Vita Water Cream
Dial up your moisture with this water cream from Belif. I’m not kidding. This supercharged brightening moisturiser gives my skin a serious boost, with a dream team of Vitamin C and E, along with the holy grail of hydration – a quadruple hyaluronic acid blend. It’s like a big gulp of water for your face, leaving it feeling plump, fresh, and oh-so-radiant. This moisturiser’s also got that soft, lightweight consistency that melts right into your skin, leaving you feeling like a glowing goddess. Yup, no icky, greasy residue on your face. I use this during the day so it doesn’t weigh down my makeup.
Belif Aqua Bomb Vita Water Cream, $54, available online via Shopee
Sol De Janeiro Brazilian Crush Cheirosa 62 Hair And Body Fragrance Mist
Sol De Janeiro’s hair and body fragrance has been all the rage on my TikTok feed… but is it really worth the hype? Well, if you like sweet scents, you’ll fall in love. The mist takes me straight to the beach thanks to its notes of pistachio, salted caramel, vanilla and sandalwood. Despite the ‘body mist’ tag, the product actually stays on throughout the day. I’ve already had a couple of people ask me what I’m using, so don’t go all liberal with the application. NGL, it’s a little steep at $38 for a 90ml bottle, so two spritzes on both shoulders are good enough for me. However, if you prefer woody and musky notes, you won’t be a fan. Ultimately, it boils down to preference.
Sol De Janeiro Brazilian Crush Cheirosa 62 Hair And Body Fragrance Mist, $38 for 90ml, available at Sephora
Joon Haircare Saffron Hair Elixir Pistachio + Rose Hair Oil
Don’t you hate it when hair serums just weigh down your hair? Me too. One other thing I hate? Frizz. This Persian haircare brand gives an answer to my woes with its magical bottle. The packaging itself looks like a luxury perfume thanks to its gold-rimmed bottle and speckles of saffron in the liquid gold serum.
Key ingredients in Persian tradition are the heroes – think saffron, pistachio and rose. Saffron to strengthen those roots, pistachio to nourish and moisturise tresses, and rose for a smooth and glossy mane. I can go overboard with the application and it still retains its lightweight texture. However, I’d say this is just a quick fix for frizzy and dry hair. And some may not like the hint of herby smell that comes in this elixir.
Joon Haircare Saffron Hair Elixir Pistachio + Rose Hair Oil, $44 for 33ml, available online via Sephora and Shopee
Sigi Skin Daylight Oasis Vitamin C Brightening Serum
Sigi Skin’s new vitamin C serum has a cocktail of ingredients. Some are like music to my ears and some, new to me. That’s what I love about trying new products. First, there’s fucoidan, a cell-regenerating superstar that repairs your skin, boosts elasticity, and kicks those pesky signs of ageing to the curb. Exosomes are an effective carrier that not only helps battle acne, eczema, and inflammation but also works their magic by rejuvenating your skin and speeding up the healing process. We’ve also got the usual suspects like 15% L-ascorbic acid, vitamin E, turmeric, resveratrol and copper tripeptide.
Unlike other vitamin C serums that are sometimes too oily, this has a moisturising, lightweight texture with just a touch of oil. So it’s a great accompaniment to your skincare routine. After about two months of daily use every morning, my new dark spots (from acne) have significantly faded, and my overall skin texture has smoothened out nicely.
Sigi Skin Daylight Oasis Vitamin C Brightening Serum, $109 for 30ml, available online
Ikeda Spa’s Kogao Small Face Correction Therapy
Raise your hands if you’ve ever woken up with a bloated face. I feel ya. Some days, my face is puffier than a marshmallow and I absolutely hate it. So when I came across this new facial therapy, I thought, “Why not give it a shot?” Conceptualised by a Japanese master chiropractor, Kogao Small Face Correction Therapy uses a combination of chiropractic methods and acupuncture to adjust the facial muscles and bones back in their proper places. Despite the name, what drew me to it were the words ‘non-invasive’ and ‘painless’. This type of therapy is also known to correct facial asymmetry, reduce water retention and balance bone structure.
After a quick double cleanse, my facialist measured different parts of my face like it was a geometry project. Turns out, my right side was a little off-kilter, so we focused on that. My facialist was an absolute angel, but she had the strength of the Hulk when it came to my facial muscles and bones. She went to town on me, and I won’t lie, some parts were more painful than others. Nonetheless, she always stopped to check on me and took her time to do the job.
After the treatment, I noticed that my cheeks were close to symmetrical – I never realised they weren’t before. And even though my face was a bit swollen, the measurements showed a significant reduction in size. It’s worth mentioning that the pain level can vary depending on your tolerance, though. For me, it was more intense than I expected, but hey, pain is beauty, right?
Ikeda Spa’s Kogao Small Face Correction Therapy, $450 for 90 minutes, available at 787 Bukit Timah Road (Before 6th Avenue), Singapore 269762
Filorga NCEF-Essence Supreme Multi-Correction Lotion
I always thought that I had an oily skin type but lo and behold, it’s dry with a capital D. Right after my double cleanse, I pile on a decent amount of this essence on my skin. I get a quick hydration boost thanks to the Aqua-Mx technology combined with an anti-pollution polysaccharide that attracts and retains water and has soothing, anti-inflammatory properties. That means guarding my skin against damage caused by free radicals and environmental stressors. I find my subsequent skincare seems to absorb better, creating a great canvas for my makeup routine.
Filorga NCEF-Essence Supreme Multi-Correction Lotion, $95, available online and at multiple locations including Tangs
Porcelain’s new ClearZ-Purity treatment
Zits aren’t anyone’s best friend and if spot treatments just don’t get it, facials are your next best thing. Enter Porcelain’s new ClearZ-Purity treatment. I paid a visit to its latest outlet at Funan and first experienced its Skin Discovery Enhanced programme to get a thorough examination of my skin. I learnt about the various concerns of my skin – from the moisture and sebum levels to areas with the most hyperpigmentation, pores and sensitivity. Then, it was on to the facial. We started with double cleanse action to free the skin from buildup for a clean canvas.
My facialist followed up with the ClearPurity deep pore cleanse where a 360° rotating tip got into every crevice of my congested pores, infused with botanical toner that’s easy on sensitive skin. No room for painful extractions here! Next, mandelic acid is applied to control sebum production and keep those pores unclogged for fewer future breakouts. I got an oxygen boost with a combo of vitamins that spruced up my dull skin.
Finally, it was lights off for the yellow/blue LED treatment. The final step of the facial was a custom-blended mask combined with light therapy to further boost my skin barrier and cell repair. In just under 75 minutes, I left with a squeaky clean skin and even better – a greater understanding of my skin’s needs.
Porcelain ClearZ-Purity treatment, $368 for 75 mins, available at multiple locations including Funan and Paragon
Trilogy Rosehip Transformation Cleansing Oil
This all-in-one pure plant oil starts as an oil, but when mixed with water, it transforms into a cleansing milk that banishes even the toughest makeup and grime. (Yes, waterproof mascara and long-lasting foundation, we’re looking at you!) But just remember to give it a good minute to marinate, gently going over the area in circular motions. With nourishing plant oils like rosehip, sweet almond, and grapeseed, along with the refreshing powers of papaya extract and sunflower oil, my skin feels soft and hydrated every time I use this. Tip: wipe your skin with a muslin cleansing cloth to remove leftover stubborn makeup and grime.
Trilogy Rosehip Transformation Cleansing Oil, $43.65 for 20ml, available online via iHerb, LookFantastic and Robinsons
Other products we tried this year
Sigi Skin Gentle Gaze Eye Cream
Local skincare brand Sigi Skin’s latest product is an anti-ageing eye cream formulated for dark circles, and tired and puffy eyes. First impressions: we love how it comes with a metal tip applicator that also soothes tired eyes. Secondly, the formula is lightweight and easily absorbs into your skin without weighing it down. No one wants pesky milia seeds!
A combination of antioxidant-rich kelp, sea buckthorn, red ginseng, CoQ10 and ceramides hydrates, brightens and restores elasticity around the sensitive eye area. After about three months of consistent use, my eyelids look brighter and the lines under my eyes seem to have faded away. The crow’s feet are still there, but I’m not complaining as this is an eye cream that actually shows results.
Sigi Skin Gentle Gaze Eye Cream, $78, available online
Briogeo Farewell Frizz Rosarco Milk Leave-In Conditioner
I’m on the fence about this. Some days I love the scent and combo of rosehip, argan and coconut oil, but some days I don’t. So if you’re weary of strong scents, this may not be the product for you. I do like how it tones down the frizz and gives a smooth and glossy finish after a fresh blow-dry. However, the frizz comes back towards the end of the day. A pity ‘cos I’m a big fan of Briogeo’s hair masks.
Briogeo Farewell Frizz Rosarco Milk Leave-In Conditioner, $44 for 147ml, available online and at Sephora
Farmacy Clearly Clean Makeup Meltaway Cleansing Balm
Having a heavy-duty makeup cleansing balm is my ultimate ride-or-die. It’s the best way to remove any form of skincare or makeup. So when I come across a product that does the job, I’m stoked. Farmacy’s clean, green and mean formula is free of fragrance, essential oils, PEGs, or dyes, and is great for those with sensitive skin. Take the time to massage your makeup away (it takes a little more time for matte red lips) and rinse with warm water.
Farmacy Clearly Clean Makeup Meltaway Cleansing Balm, $42 for 50ml, available online and at Sephora stores
Tarte Face Tape Foundation
Just like its iconic Shape Tape concealer, this foundation has one of the creamiest formulas. I received a sample and wiped it clean after three whole months. Yup, a little really does go a long way. It’s super blendable and delivers a natural matte finish without drying my skin (thanks to hydrating ingredients like snow mushroom extra, apple fruit extract and hyaluronic acid). With fifty shades available, you’re bound to find the perfect match.
Tarte Face Tape Foundation, $63, available online and at Sephora
The Face Shop Fmgt Lip Glaze
A lip tint is a hit or miss when you have dark lips like mine. Not all colours work so you have to be strategic. I wanted a different look from my usual nude gloss and matte lip choices so a lip tint was it. As a beginner, I went with a classic dark red shade with two coats of Fmgt’s Lip Glaze in Plum Jam. The semi-glossy formula just melts on my lips, creating a natural airbrush effect. The formula is moisturising and stains your lips but it definitely does transfer. Thankfully, we’re now pretty much mask-free!
The Face Shop Fmgt Lip Glaze, $20, available online and at The Face Shop stores
What product should we try next? Drop us an email at [email protected] and it might be featured on our list of new beauty reviews in Singapore!