Our Favourite Beauty Products: The August Edition

If you always find yourself strolling into beauty halls, drugstores, and Sephora in search of new products (just looking, not buying), look no further. This was a busy month in the beauty department with some blockbuster launches: an updated Foreo device (complete with a mobile application), a new addition to Estée Lauder’s Advanced Night Repair family, a new Eve Lom moisturiser, and Fenty Beauty releases.

There’s something for every step of your beauty regime. We’ve organised the products from cleansing to skincare, makeup, and perfume. Now, let the unboxing and honest reviews begin:

1. Foreo Luna 3 ($299)

Foreo's new Luna 3 cleansing and skincare device comes in three iterations: sensitive skin (purple), normal skin (pink), and combination skin (blue). Photograph by Tung Pham & Gregory Woo
Foreo’s new Luna 3 cleansing and skincare device comes in three iterations: sensitive skin (purple), normal skin (pink), and combination skin (blue). Photograph by Tung Pham & Gregory Woo

What It Is: A dual-function device with cleansing and skincare infusion capabilities, the Luna 3 comes in three variants, namely one for normal skin, combination skin, and sensitive skin. While the new Luna 3’s functions are largely similar to its predecessor, the Luna 2, one major update includes syncing to the Foreo mobile application. From the app, users are able to activate programmed cleansing and skincare routines on their Luna 3.

What We Say: After using Foreo’s Luna Play Plus and Luna Go for a long time, the new Luna 3 has a comparatively wider bristle-filled cleansing surface area. The coolest bit, however, is the mobile application (and video tutorials).

Sync your Luna 3 to the Foreo mobile application (left). When you press 'Start', you're led to the cleansing mode which can be customised to your preferences. Watch and follow the model as she move her hands to different parts of the face.
Sync your Luna 3 to the Foreo mobile application (left). When you press ‘Start’, you’re led to the cleansing mode which can be customised to your preferences. Watch and follow the model as she move her hands to different parts of the face.
There are currently four skincare programmes for the eyes, neck, contour, and mouth. Apply a cream or serum of choice generously (you don't want to drag your skin) and, well, you're set!
There are currently four skincare programmes for the eyes, neck, contour, and mouth. Apply a cream or serum of choice generously (you don’t want to drag your skin) and, well, you’re set!

For the longest time, I’ve always questioned if I was using my Foreo devices right — safe to say, these video tutorials ironed out all these self-doubt. Switch your Luna 3 on, select the cleansing mode, and press play. Follow the model’s every move: cleanse your forehead, your left cheek, your right cheek, chin, nose, and neck. As you move along, the T-sonic pulsations increases and decreases in intensity to suit the skin’s needs.

2. Orbis U Wash ($30)

Part of the moisturising range from the rebranded Japanese skincare label, Orbis, this foaming cleanser promises to draw impurities from the skin and hydrate it. Photograph by Tung Pham & Gregory Woo
Part of the moisturising range from the rebranded Japanese skincare label, Orbis, this foaming cleanser promises to draw impurities from the skin and hydrate it. Photograph by Tung Pham & Gregory Woo

What It Is: A foaming cleanser by the Japanese skincare label, Orbis. Formulated with Moroccan lava clay, this wash promises to draw impurities from your skin, leaving it moisturised and primed for incoming nutrients from other skincare products.

What We Say: If you’re fond of thick, creamy, and luxurious lathers, this cleanser is for you. The formula is so concentrated — a pea-sized blob lathers up dramatically into a mousse of fine bubbles sufficient for your entire face and neck.

With that being said, this foaming formula doesn’t contain the harsh and stripping sodium laureth sulfate. However, of the 20 ingredients, five turned out to pose moderate risk to the skin — two of which were paraben variants (usually used in small amounts as preservatives). So, if you’re a clean skincare aficionado or if you’re pregnant, this may not be up your alley.

3. Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Intense Reset Concentrate ($140)

Meant to be used after Estee Lauder’s Advanced Night Repair serum ($81) or any serum of choice, the new Intense Reset Concentrate ($140) reduces skin irritations

What It Is: A lightweight emulsion meant to be used after Estee Lauder‘s signature Advanced Night Repair ($81) serum — or any serum of choice at that — the new Intense Reset Concentrate ($140) promises skin recovery, by way, alleviating irritation, redness, and strengthening the skin’s natural barrier. It’s supposedly anti-acnegenic (in simple words, safe for acne-prone skin).

What We Say: When slathered over the skin, the lightweight emulsion easily spreads into a thin, watery texture which quickly dries down into a velvety finish. Now, it’s laced with scents of chamomile and lavender — a very subtle fragrance that’s relaxing. I have acne-prone skin (and a couple of nasty zits at the moment). So, when trying this on, I was definitely wary. When I woke up the next morning, there was no redness, no irritation, and my zits didn’t flare up any further. My acne sisters, this is okay for use.

4. Eve Lom Moisture Cream ($240)

Eve Lom's new moisture mask ($240) comes in a lightweight, mousse-like formula which is readily absorbed into the skin, drying down to a barely-there finish. Photograph by Tung Pham & Gregory Woo
Eve Lom’s new moisture mask ($240) comes in a lightweight, mousse-like formula which is readily absorbed into the skin, drying down to a barely-there finish. Photograph by Tung Pham & Gregory Woo

What It Is: Here’s a multi-tasking cream for moisture, anti-ageing (reduces fine lines), anti-pollution, and packed with antioxidants. These effects supposedly can last up to 72 hours. It’s quite a universal cream, suitable for both day and night use.

What We Say: Dry skin girls listen up. This is our new favourite — and we mean it. If you’re fond of lightweight formulas, swift product absorption, and barely-there finishes, this is for you. When you first dig your finger into the tub, the cream feels compact, dense, and heavyweight (as with most Eve Lom products). Once you slap it on your face, it spreads like whipped cream — gently, lightly, and quickly disappearing into your skin, leaving behind almost nothing but a radiant sheen on your face. If you have a couple of extra minutes to spare, massage the product into your face in circular motions. Here’s the good part — if you have dry and dull skin (like yours truly), you’ll watch your skin immediately brighten.

What about combination and oily skin types? On combination skin types, the cream initially felt heavy and tacky. Pat it down and it dries into a velvety finish. “Pleasant,” combination skin types said.

For oily skin, the cream proved to be too heavy. It felt like there was perpetually a layer of cream sitting atop the skin. That aside, the formula didn’t irritate sensitive nor acne-prone skin.

5. Crystal Tomato Beyond Sun Protection ($78.80)

Best known for their whitening supplements, Crystal Tomato released their first sunscreen called Beyond Sun Protection ($78.80). Photograph by Tung Pham & Gregory Woo
Best known for their whitening supplements, Crystal Tomato released their first sunscreen called Beyond Sun Protection ($78.80). Photograph by Tung Pham & Gregory Woo

What It Is: A cream that protects the skin from blue light, pollution, and UV rays. Its formula is supposedly non-comedogenic (doesn’t clog pores), and promises to be safe for sensitive skin, acne-prone skin. It’s both a physical and chemical sunscreen.

What We Say: Let’s start from texture: like any sunscreen, the cream dries down into a velvety consistency. When you spread it across your skin, a white cast appears — but quickly blends seamlessly into a lightweight, clear finish. All in all, it’s an easy sunscreen for everyday wear.

The only catch? The brand doesn’t provide a list of ingredients anywhere on their website, on the product, or in the packaging. You won’t know if there are any harmful ingredients in the likes of parabens or fragrances (may irritate sensitive skin).

6. Fenty Beauty Mattifying Pro Filt’r ($48)

Fenty Beauty's new Pro Filt'r Mattifying Primer ($48) comes as an updated iteration of the original Pro Filt'r Instant Retouch Primer ($48) for oily skin types. Photograph by Tung Pham & Gregory Woo
Fenty Beauty’s new Pro Filt’r Mattifying Primer ($48) comes as an updated iteration of the original Pro Filt’r Instant Retouch Primer ($48) for oily skin types. Photograph by Tung Pham & Gregory Woo

What It Is: A brand new oil-wicking and mattifying primer to blur out pores and help your face of makeup stay on. This comes as an update to Fenty Beauty’s original Pro Filt’r Instant Retouch Primer ($48) formulated for normal skin types. To complete the series of primers, another hydrating primer for dry skin type is in the pipeline.

What We Say: I have very oily skin, and one of the ways I combat that is by using a mattifying primer before foundation — though many I’ve tried can hardly hold up for half a day. Then came Fenty Beauty’s Pro Filt’r Mattifying Primer ($48). It’s pleasantly lightweight, albeit not extremely mattifying (l’m comparing this to the ultra-mattifying Porefessional Primer by Benefit Cosmetics, $23). Fenty’s leaves you your natural glow, sits well under makeup and doesn’t dry out your skin. Fenty never disappoints.

7. Dior Forever Couture Perfect Cushion SPF35 ($92)

What It Is: A long-wear cushion foundation infused with 86 percent of skincare ingredients. Reportedly designed in shades to match Asian skin, the foundation gives medium to high coverage with a mewy (or matte-dewy) finish.

What We Say: I’ve always found cushion foundations (at least the Korean ones I’ve tried) too dewy, too light or too heavy. That being said, Dior’s Forever Couture Perfect Cushion ($92) was everything I ever wanted in a cushion foundation. It finishes beautifully — matte with a natural healthy glow. Coverage? Medium to high — just enough to conceal minor flaws and scars. I have oily skin. So, no matter what foundation I use, I’ll always have to eliminate shine with a dust of setting powder. With this foundation, I didn’t have to (surprise!). The formula is luxurious and creamy. Yet, when layered, it didn’t cake. Finally, the cushion’s packaging is distinctly slimmer compared to its counterparts in the market which makes it a perfect on-the-go foundation. I’m keeping this for myself.

8. Kate Super Sharp Liner Ex 2.0 ($18.90)

What It Is: An upgraded edition to the Japanese cosmetics label, Kate’s signature Super Sharp EX Liner, the EX 2.0 Liner boasts the same super-fine brush tip and an improved body for a firmer grip. 

What We Say: Many people swear by Kate’s Super Sharp EX Liner ($17) but to be very honest, I don’t. The tip is perfectly engineered to be pin-point precise, which is amazing. Every single time I tried it, the formula flaked off my oily lids within the first two hours. That was history.

This new Kate Super Sharp Liner Ex 2.0 version ($18.90) didn’t budge. It, however, isn’t totally waterproof because it smudged when rubbed with wet fingers. If you’re new to liquid eyeliners, this is a good option — you can easily mop it off when you make mistakes, and the pigments are faint, so you can slowly layer the cat-eye on.

9. Three Lyrical Lip Bloom (S$48)

The Japanese beauty brand, Three’s new range of matte lip colours, Lyrical Bloom ($48), comes in five shades for everyday wear.

What It Is: A hydrating mewy (or matte dewy) liquid lipstick in five shades — a dusty pink, a plum pink, another pink with a tinge of orange, a chilli red, and another red with a purple undertone — to suit different natural lip tones.

What We Say: We’ve always loved Three’s makeup range for its wearability and ease. If you’re new to liquid lipsticks and are still figuring out a neutral, easy colour for everyday wear, try this range. The colours are subdued and the pigments are light — which gives you the option to just apply a light and unnoticeable layer to inject colour to your lips. Otherwise, you could build on the colour by layering. The formula glides on lightly and doesn’t dry up into a harsh, matte finish. Instead, it leaves a little dewy and healthy glow behind. At $48, the price is definitely on the higher end, but this little tube will give you mileage. Also, did I mention that it comes in an ultra-lightweight plastic tube? Kudos to shatter-proof packaging!

10. Diptyque Essences Insensées ($225)

What it is: On select years, Diptyque releases a limited edition fragrance called the Essences Insensées — a special floral scent released for summer. The brand likens it to wine-making: no two bottles smell the same since the blooms picked out for distillation all have their own characters. In 2014, the scent was mimosa. In 2015, jasmine took centre-stage. Later in 2016 came roses. This year, it’s the Tiare, otherwise known as the national symbol of Tahiti.

What we say: This fragrance demands attention. It comes in a weighty and ornamental disk-shaped bottle topped with an old world bulb atomiser, making it look almost as if it came straight off the vanity table of a screen siren from an old Hollywood film. The very act of rotating the bulb and misting the fragrance is a glamorous indulgence, transporting you back in time. The juice? It’s a pleasant blend of floral and fresh greens. With frangipani and vanilla coming to the forefront, chased closely by the Tiare flower, it ends up smelling vaguely like the best of sunscreens. That very scent stays close to your skin and eventually fades into a faint floral whiff.