Face off – Etude House Precious Mineral BB cream SPF30/PA++ vs L’Oreal BB cream “UV Perfect” SPF 50+/PA+++

The previous face off post seemed to be popular so this seemed like it might be worth doing. The etude house cream is initially a touch more beige than the L’oreal which is good and the texture is thicker.


The RRP of the L’Oreal cream is about $SG17.50/30ml in singapore (although I purchased mine in Indonesia so paid about 70% of that). The etude house cream looks like it retails for around $SG39.90. the etude house cream comes in 4 shades whilst the L’oreal has one colour ‘whitening’ which I can do on my skin tone and just look a touch paler but I suspect might not work as much on darker toned skins.


The etude cream also has a slightly blue undertone which knocks out some of the yellower under tones that asian skin can have but is more likely to give the grey-ish tinge pinker toned caucasian skins sometimes see when they use bb creams.

Immediately after application

Immediately after application

Full blended and left for 5 mins

Full blended and left for 5 mins

The Etude is a touch more glowing/dewy and much more smoothing on the pores and fine lines  than the L’oreal which is more fluid and illuminating. I prefer the more smoothing effect as I have large-ish pores, but it’s worth noting the ingredients include silicones like dimethicone which can be clogging. I found that the etude was a better product for my skin and the smoothing effect was relatively long lived on my oil-y slightly sallow skin. The biggest downside is the higher price tag and lower sun protection.  More mature skins would probably prefer the L’Oreal, as would anyone with a pink undertone in their skin.


No spend update April

So, I fell off the wagon this month. I spent about $45 on cosmetics, about $150 on clothing whilst in Singapore. I can ‘justify’ it in many ways, but it is a combination of things;

– I shopped while tired. That is, I shopped for things I needed to get like sunscreen and walked out of the pharmacy with things I did not need like bb cream.

– I am tired because my kids aren’t sleeping which means I don’t get down time. One of the cosmetics companies has a slogan of ‘Because you’re worth it’ and they tap into a really powerful bit of pyschology. Women tend to be the carers in families and we struggle to carve out time and energy for ourselves. Makeup is purely for ourselves and is sold as treat, a way of rewarding ourselves that doesn’t take that much time or resources and doesn’t take us away from our caring duties in any meaningful way. Caitlin Moran touches on it in How to be a Woman, where she talks about the reason woman look for the high that comes from over eating rather than other addiction because it still allows us to be carers.

– I was travelling and my usual ways of coping with stress where not as available to me. These include the need for downtime, books to read, gym time and so on. I am a creature of habit.

– I start to wonder if blogging is helping or not. I keep reading about the new product people are using or seeing new colours and finishes of products… and wanting them. Yet being accountable is helpful, so I have to weigh the positives against the negatives. I will be dwelling on this one a bit….

Anyway, all I can do is start again next month. I have a few new reviews/comparisons to show you this month (as well as cleaning out of the closet to do…). Let’s see how it goes!

Korean nail polishes rule the school

I am the best enabler friend a polish fan could want. Check out these little beauties I picked up in etude house to replace the ‘missing‘ Illamasqua ones I promised my friend for her birthday. There is a matte red/white/black diamond shaped glitter, with silver diamond shaped glitter, and bar glitter polish (I’m dying to get my own bottle of this one), the etude icecream which is supposed to be a dupe for the Illamasqua freckled polishes and a green/purple/silver/black bar glitter polish. And the total damage to my wallet… $SG20.70 ($16AU) which is less than the cost of one illamasqua polish.


etude close

I also scored some sample of the etude bb cream for free so I’ll do a comparison post with the l’oreal bb cream as the garnier/l’oreal bb cream comparison seemed popular. They sure know how to get me in, it’s a good thing they aren’t expanded into Australia yet for my wallets sake!!!

Almay Smart Shade Blush

I picked up an Almay Smart Shade blush at a cosmetics corner display just before December. I thought it might be a useful addition for my gym bag as my cheek colour of choice, Benetint, isn’t exactly packaged in a gym bag friendly form (glass bottle and brush). Unfortunately I opened it when travelling and discovered it had separated. Even when I try and blend it with my finger it separates later on the face. I guess this is why it was cheap… even though it didn’t have a marked use-by date it seems either really old or was stored badly. In the bin it goes 😦

almay smart shade blush

almay smart shade blush

The faceshop CC cream – temptation to buy averted!

In my travels I walked into a faceshop shop and thought I’d have a look at their new cc cream. It’s retailing for $49.90 SG. It comes in a compact style with a single hole in the centre and a poof that you pat it on with which you can see quite well in the link I just put in above. The packaging is a bit chunky and meh to be honest, and it seems like it only holds 20grams which is quite low for the price.

Now on to the product, it’s a little unusual. It’s not at all like the very light Tony Moly/Etude formulas I knew and expected. The texture is initially quite rich and heavy and seemed alarmingly pale at first. But after a few minutes as it really started coming into it’s own and the colour adjusted into my skin tone well. The texture is really nice, it plumps the skin and gives nice hydration but with good oil control. It has an SPF30/PA++ which is pretty reasonable as well.

Now onto the downside. It has an ingredient which was quite irritating just on the back of my hand which was a worry. But the biggest issues of all… it is really REALLY glittery. I quite like an illuminating effect but in Australia once I go out in the sun I’ll light up like a Christmas ornanament (or twilight vampire, haha). Seriously, my camera could not even capture it in full light to show you it just blurred up into a weird shiny space :/ so this is in super low light and you’ll note the visible glitter pieces… and redness in lower right corner.

faceshop cc cream

Anyway, I walked away with my wallet in tact and temptation to buy averted! But it’s probably a good option for anyone who is inside most of the time or lives somewhere with low light. Or a twilight vampire.

Azure by Witchery

Witchery is a local ‘high street’ brand that bought out some nail polishes last year. Azure was definitely the pick of them, look at this yummy cornflower blue. This is without top coat. It’s not exactly the same, but is in the same colour family, as Nails Inc Baker Street which is really hard to come by in Australia. I think I paid $6.95 on sale for the full size and I’ve seen minis in store for $3.95 in the sale bins.


The formula is runny which is nice for self leveling but does give you some problems with flooding cuticles if not careful! The wear time is not great – about 2-3 days before chipping but it’s a cheap and very cheerful polish.

Maybelline Colorsensational Red Revival

This is a more detailed review for Maybelline Colorsensational Red Revival. This is a thick and very pigmented near true red lipstick, it leans very slightly to the blue end I think. It’s got a texture that you don’t find much in lipsticks anymore, very heavy and a bit waxy. It’s got a retro feel with packaging, and the smell is slightly old fashioned too – smells like old lady.

maybelline red revival

red revival

The colour is fun though and makes me think of those songs about lipstick on your collar. This is the sort of lipstick that will leave a mark on your husbands collar is you lean on him. I wear it for burlesque because it’s so vivid, but also gets me in that retro glamour mood.


Just a reminder that the comparison swatches are here.


Red Lipstick Comparison

I am comparing Revlon Colorstay Liquid Lipstick in Top Tomato, Illamasqua Sangers, Revlon Matte in In the Red, MAC Ruby Woo. Maybelline Colorsensational in Red Revival, and Dior Rouge in Red Icon.

The most pleasant texture is the Dior. This is a true red and has the second best pigmentation.

The best pigmentation is the Maybelline Red Revival. The downside is this is really waxy, it’s a really old fashioned ‘nanna-ish’ style formula to me as it has that old school lipstick odour. I mainly use this as stage makeup as it’s so thick and vivid it wears well as stage lipstick.

Best wear is the Revlon Colorstay Liquid Lipstick. You can try feathering this and it just does not move. It’s great for work wear as a result. But it’s drying as heck so I usually it as a lipstain with a lipgloss or less wearing lipstick on stop. It’s got a nice shimmer that subtly lifts the matte finish.

Revlon Matte and MAC matte lipsticks have a similar level of moisture and pigmentation. Illamasqua lipsticks are a bit disappointing on the pigmentation front but do have good wear so I usually layer these with a lipgloss. In the Red leans to a brick red, and Sangers is a beautiful true red.


Red Icon lipstick by Dior

This is Red Icon by Dior Rouge. I’d called it a brick red aka a true red. This is more flattering on my sallow complexion and the formula is lovely, with heavy pigmentation and buttery texture. Unfortunately this doesn’t bode that well for wear time and I find myself doing multiple touch-up’s a day with this lipstick. I love it as I wear it, but for the price point I wish I wasn’t reapplying quite so often.

dior red icon lipstick

Just a reminder that the comparison swatches are here.