Candice Chen (avatar)
updated 8 months ago
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Recent/New Beauty Discoveries

Hey babes, phew I'm back.

Was a bit tied down with work (and also a bit tired recently) so have been consolidating things to update about.m at one shot.

Here are a few recent "discoveries".

You guys know I go for jaw reduction botox quite regularly (well twice a year if I remember to).

It's affordable and makes a huge difference for those of us with round or square faces due to over-developed jaw muscles. It's usually semi-permanent after a few treatments but I have a tendency to clench my jaws when I sleep and my muscles bulk right back in 1/2 a year.

Then @evonnz mentioned she'd started working for Simplistiq Aesthetic Clinic recently and invited me to check it out.

Good timing.

Dr YZ Tan runs Simplistiq at Marina Bay Financial Center Tower 1 B2 and quite a number of bloggers have gone to him for jaw reduction, HIFU, lasers etc so I felt safe trying botox there.

It's also my "gateway treatment" for new docs cos I've had it done by a number of diff docs so it tends to give me a basic sense of whether the doc is experienced, skilled with the needle, their general approach to aesthetics and if they are pushy and sales-y with other treatments.)

I have to say my experience at Simplistiq was pretty awesome.

Dr Tan was very nice (friendly but not overly casual), very earnest and easy to talk to, and didn't rush my consult or try to push extra treatments unrelated to the concerns I mentioned. I felt comfy enough to ask for forehead injections as well.

Rule of thumb:
If you don't know a doctor's skill yet botox around the head and eyes can be risky cos I know many who overdo it and end up with a slanted or permanently raised brows.

One side droopy or permanently "startled" 😨 cos the doc relaxed the wrong muscles and your brows suddenly pop super high.

I've also seen a lot of bad botox where someone has zero eye expressions and that ultra-shiny ultra-relaxed forehead.

A good doc will be concerned about which muscles NOT to touch so that there is movement and expression to your face, so I was happy when Dr Tan said he was only going to hit a few muscles near my hairline to soften (not erase) expression.

My lines are not too deep yet so he was quite firm about me not needing too much. If it wasn't sufficient I could always get a touch up in a few weeks. (Not that I was going to argue with him.)

I don't want to freeze my face. The main thing for me is to relax it enough that I don't keep deepening my lines prematurely. (Sigh the stuff u need to worry about when u are in your 30s.)

The best botox is botox nobody else notices. So you don't want to overdo it.

If you look close you can see the faint lines around my forehead here. Something I can no longer fix by slapping on heavier creams and masks before bed.

As for the procedure I have to say yesterday's session was the least I ever tried. I have a pretty high tolerance but it still can hurt a bit, especially for the thinner skin around the forehead. Dr Tan was very deft with the needle and the sensation was minimal.

On my jaws I hardly even felt the pricks.

(Dr Tan said the last prick with each needle tends to be the most painful due to the tip being duller after a few insertions, but - I didn't feel much of that last one. 😦)

So yes - if you are a total beginner to jaw reduction or botox in general, Simplistiq might be a good option. Besides the minimal pain, the pricing for jaw reduction is $599 which is good (it can sometimes go up to $800 or more).

Results typically last about 6 mths if you are a tooth-grinder slash jaw-clencher, and most docs I spoke to say the results tend to stay quite permanently for patients after a few treatments. (You retrain your face to use alternate muscles.)

For me it's just something I do because it makes taking pics 10x easier. No need to raise that phone/camera halfway to the sky to make your face look V-shaped.

On to skincare and makeup!

MAKE UP FOR EVER's expanded their Ultra HD line again. Ultra HD foundation (the liquid) was my wedding foundation so you kinda know how much I like it. They launched a stick version last year which was crazy good as well if you want quicker higher coverage that looks deceptively like real skin.

This year they've launched the Ultra HD Skin Booster, a hydrating serum/primer liquid that you can mix into foundation or wear as part of your skincare.

This new hero product contains mostly water-based humectants like glycerin and sodium hyaluronate but also has some argan oil. It sinks in quickly and doesn't leave a heavy film.

But I can't say it's the most unique serum if you just want a hydrating product under makeup. Consider maybe if you need to mix something directly into your foundation.

Also remember mixers are formulated to go with the brand/line's own products. You need to test to see if it works with your other foundations.

My personal hero product was the Ultra HD Microfinishing Pressed compacts though. I prefer the measured dose of powder you get and this isn't pure silica like the loose version, so you are less likely to get powdery flashbacks if you take pics under strong lighting.

The best thing is it comes in different tints. I ran out and bought the yellow one because I wanted something that could very subtly cut the pink in many of my "neutral" foundations, making them more flattering on my skin.

Yes tip:
Many "neutral" foundations have slightly orange-beige undertones. I prefer to go slightly more yellow.

I know it sounds strange cos many people want "rosy" skin. No - if you are rosy all over you look like boiled prawn. If you are between two undertones go with the slightly yellower one. Your skin will look brighter, more even, and it will correct more discolorations. For the "rosy" effect just apply light blush to the cheeks. You do NOT want to be rosier all over.

Speaking of undertone correction, Innisfree recently released their No-sebum Correcting Cushions.

This is something you are supposed to be able to apply under foundation, or even for touch-ups through the day to color correct and control sebum.

It's a great idea - if these were simply foundation colored. I personally am scared at the idea of applying green or purple to my face on top of makeup in the middle of the day.

The texture is quite moist - this doesn't give a powdery matte finish despite the name - so another thing you should take note of.

And the tints are quite visible. If you are going to use color correction, either use it ONLY on areas that need it (eg. green over red areas) or be prepared to apply it all the way down your neck and chest. No sense tinting your face and having it look a different tone to your body.

Hence my usual reluctance to ever recommend color correcting products.

The one place I would say ok yes - is peach around the eye area socket area or around the mouth if you have darker grey or brown hyperpigmentation. It does brighten and correct.

But also remember that brands usually release color correctors in one tone only. The standard pale peach only looks passable on light to medium skins. If you have a tan or deep skin tone you need a deeper salmon or even orange tone. All of these shades would give tan skins an ashy cast.

Lavender is meant to correct sallowness but remember sallowness usually isn't isolated to the face. Your whole body is affected, which makes it unrealistic to apply a color corrector to your whole body.

Green corrects red on the color wheel. Yes. But remember the shade you get when applying green over pink is a perfectly neutral greyish-taupe. Basically corpse color.

To get a realistic beige on human skin, you need a yellowy tone over reddened areas. Not green unless you are porcelain pale.

So no I am not a fan of color correcting products in general. Because it's usually way too easy to make a mistake with them.

If you love them though, by all means try them. I just think they should always go under foundation and powder for best effect. Even when I use a peachy concealer under my eyes, I will always use a beige over it to brighten and even out the color rather than leave the peach on its own.

I AM however a lot more excited about the new series of pink cushion cases Innisfree launched.

These are limited edition so grab them while they are around. They are $12 if I don't remember wrong, which is super.

The stripey pink - ahhhh luv it.

Speaking of concealing, these are my new babies.

The NARS Soft Matte Complete Concealers. They are matte but quite soft and blendable. These are blurring smoothing concealers that I personally find better for general discolorations and even around the eyes. Maybe not so much for active blemishes because it's very similar to the classic Cle de Peau concealer sticks. They are non-drying and contain elastomers to stretch and blend over skin without settling into pores and fine lines.

They have a soft matte finish but they are not hardcore long-wearing like the MAC Pro Longwear, Estee Lauder DoubleWear, KatVonD Tattoo type concealers.

IF you want to try Cle de Peau but can't stomach the $100+ pricetag you might want to try the NARS ones ($45). For me the finish and coverage is very similar.

They run a bit deeper than the Radiant Creamy Concealers though, and come in many different undertones so you might want to try it out at the counter properly before picking a shade.

The concealers are currently not at Sephora stores yet but will be soon. In the meantime just head to a NARS counter.

You can also take the chance to visit their swanky new boutique at Ngee Ann City opposite Sephora. The full range if products is there for you to browse and pick through.

Speaking of NARS I got bored and picked up my Alhambra shadow duo - which had gone all sticky - to fool around with the other day. I'm not able to cover up all the patchiness with bronze pigment but I DID manage to bling it up with crystals.
Then I coated it with matte gel topcoat and nuked it under my LED nail lamp to seal everything in.

(The things I do to destress.)

There's a whole load of new foundations I'm testing now. One is Shiseido's new Synchro Skin Glow Luminizing Fluid Foundation.

Y'all know I love the original matte Synchro Skin formula and the cushion was super handy while I was traveling in Japan last October. This fluid is probably the lightest of the three, and most suited to drier skins. It's designed to boost skin's self hydrating powers and add a soft glow.

That said the texture is non-oily so if you want hydration it's good.

The only slight "con" for me is maybe that this comes a bit close to my other beloved Shiseido foundation, Sheer and Perfect. You don't need both.

The watery light textures are similar but Synchro has a touch more coverage and hydration.

Sheer and Perfect is also probably better suited to combi skins as it has treatment properties that suit congestion prone skins a bit more. Synchro Skin Glow Luminizing Fluid is focused on lasting hydration. I think it's fantastic for more mature skins.

Also there is La Mer's Soft Fluid Long Wear. Yes La Mer does makeup. But only base/skin products like foundation concealer powder.

This is a long wear foundation that I find particularly suited to slightly dry or mature skins because it stays on without looking dry or cakey. The coverage is a light medium and even my dry areas felt comfortable all day wearing this.

I would say it has a soft matte finish but might not be able to control a significant amount of oil if you don't blot.

Another one I've been trying out is Chanel's Le Blanc Light Revealing Whitening Foundation.

Just cos I tend to like most of Chanel's foundations. This is a light-medium with a satin finish that feels very fresh on the face. The SPF is not sufficient to skip sunblock which is a minus for a whitening foundation. But the texture is very fine and sits beautifully on skin.

If you want high coverage for freckles and marks Dior's Diorsnow might be a better alternative although it's heavier too.

Lastly is Shu's Petal Skin Foundation which will launch towards the latter half of March.

And this one is something to look out for if you want something that blurs pores. It's not an oil control foundation per se; more like a liquid filter for the skin that blurs fine lines and pores while giving luminosity and evening out skin tone. I have not read ANY of the marketing materials for this so I am only describing what I observed on my skin.

The coverage is surprisingly good. I've been repeatedly surprised cos at the end of the day I wipe what I think is "bare skin" and I realize there is a LOT of coverage that comes off on my cotton pads.

I think many new generation foundations are aiming for the "your skin but better" effect and this is definitely one of them. I wasn't too pleased with Water:fit foundation (too impractical for daily use and doesn't survive even water) but they've managed to come back round with this new liquid.

The only people I might not recommend this to are the very oily. So far it holds up fine on me but I don't see the "hardcore" cling needed for very oily skins.

I've only just started testing this but I'm very happy with it. Will update again as I use it more.

For hardcore wear and coverage I think I would suggest this one. Kat von D's updated Lock-it Foundation.

I previously mentioned I can't get UD's All Nighter to sit or blend right on me. If you had a similar experience, check out the KVD. They both have high coverage and long wear but I can get this to blend out a bit better on my slightly dry skin and it doesn't cling to every dry flake/spot as much as the UD did.

Not knocking the UD - I know some people really love it. Just didn't suit me.

P.S. This has different undertones too. Warm Neutral Cool.

I have 45 Light Neutral. Light Warm would have been a more perfect match for me but they were out of that shade at the press event and I don't use matte foundations with hardcore coverage often enough to justify going out to buy another bottle.

You want to make sure you match high coverage concealers to your lower neck or collar bone area cos when you use so much coverage it is INSTANTLY visible if your head is a different shade.

LAST last thing to mention today. This isn't a new product. But I really like it. And I keep forgetting about it when I try newer, flashier products.

Maybelline's Super BB Cushion Fresh Matte is dabomb if you want a drugstore alternative to high-end matte or semi-matte cushions like Dior's and Lancome's.

This is nothing fancy. Just really really good at what it does. Give good coverage and go on with a soft matte finish. I think it's perfect for combi skins but even my dry skin felt fine.

I am again not 100% sure if it can tackle the oiliest of skins for a whole day but it will certainly do so better than most other drugstore cushions which tend to be sheerer and more dewy.

Don't let the "BB" fool you. This can build to pretty serious coverage. Good if you need a perfected look fast while you are on the go.

With this one if you can't find a PERFECT shade match maybe wear it sheer around the outsides of your face and concentrate coverage in the center where you need it.

That's one unavoidable issue with drugstore ranges. The lack of color options.

But we make do.

Oh dang almost forgot my Tarte Highlighter in Stunner. This was one of the few items I made a mental note to purchase after the Sephora Spring preview.

It is a GORGEOUS champagne beige. A bit deeper and not as blonde as the original Exposed shade. If you like Becca Opal this is similar but a bit finer-grained and not quite as metallic.

This also works on a wider range of skin tones from pale to tan.

Looks deep in the pan but it goes on very luminous and doesn't emphasize pores as much as the more metallic formulas.

Totally worth a look. I'd been meaning to buy their new highlighting/contouring palettes but I realized what I really wanted was this single shade anyway. I learnt my lesson after the Becca Afterglow palette. I only finished up Moonstone.

So why buy a whole palette?

Day 56

Saturday, 25 Feb 2017

120 18
jiaxuaz (avatar)

jiaxuaz Hi what colour do u use for petal skin foundation just for reference?

8 months ago

cherily (avatar)

cherily Hello which shade do you use for your dark circles for the Nars concealer? Excited to find an alternative for CDP!!

8 months ago

traumend (avatar)

traumend Thank you for the great review :) I've always wanted to try out the shiseido synchro skin, might head out to the counter one day to try!

8 months ago

traumend (avatar)

traumend And I think the NARS concealer is really really good! I tried out during their launch at Taka!

8 months ago

delia (avatar)

delia Hello, can you share on the price range for forehead injections? Thanks!

8 months ago

binxue (avatar)

binxue could u share and compare ur experiece with Ardmore vs simplistiq? thanks!

8 months ago

bingz (avatar)

bingz Hihi, may I know how much does the Tarte highlighter cost? Tks!

8 months ago

makeupbox (avatar)

makeupbox @bingz it's $48!

8 months ago

makeupbox (avatar)

makeupbox @binxue i've only been to Simplistiq once so I can't compare too many things yet! So far they are both run by young doctors and are quite affordable, with the main diff being one is a lady and one a gent LOL. So depends what you prefer. At ardmore there is more focus on trying out a lot of new machines and therapies for face and body so if you like trying more experimental stuff you can check them out. At Simplistiq there seems to be more focus on the tried n tested therapies that Dr Tan believes is very effective. I also see more focus on the face vs all over treatments but I might be wrong on this last bit as I'm new to them as well. Both are skilled with the needle but I haven't tried Dr Tan's laser therapies yet. Will keep you guys posted!

8 months ago

makeupbox (avatar)

makeupbox @delia it really depends on how many units the individual needs! In general most places I've tried start around $200+ if you don't need a whole lot. You will have a clear idea after a consultation with a couple of docs. (And you can also weed out the ones who try and push more at you than you need, to try and make more money.) I'm more inclined to trust the ones who say they will start with less first rather than risk giving u too much at one sitting. Heard of too many bad cases from friends and colleagues abt unethical docs who overdo it and ask them to go for touch-ups every 2-3 mths regardless of whether the botox wears away that fast for them, which is totally unnecessary usually.

8 months ago

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