Colourpop 2019 Birthday Collection: Buy or Bye

image courtesy: colourpop

Hey, all!

Today’s post is another episode of my Buy or Bye series where I talk about recently-released full makeup collection and discuss whether it’s worth a purchase or not. At first I didn’t plan to make this a series in my blog, but from time to time, I find some full collections worth to discuss! I wrote one before, which was the Zoella x Colourpop collection. As they are still available now on Colourpop (CP) website, do check that link if you want to know more about my thoughts on that collection.

This month, May, Colourpop, the so-called brand that never sleeps, celebrating their 5th birthday. CP has been releasing a bunch of new stuffs and drops many sales every other week, so of course this month is no different, especially it’s their birthday month. According to their tradition, they always released a full huge collection as well as one special super shock shadow that is limited edition and comes as freebie for every purchase.

By the time I wrote this post, I actually have placed my order, so I’ll tell you what I got!

Ok, without further ado, let’s dive right into the post!

Psst, stay tuned until the end to get a 20% off discount code to shop on Colourpop website! (NOT A CLICK BAIT!)

Full collection

Since this is their Birthday Collection, of course everything must be so special. Not only it’s a HUGE collection, the main theme of this collection is also not disappointing (at least for me!). The theme of this collection is watermelon. Every items here are designed and named accordingly. The graphic design of the packaging is so cute, and you know I’m a sucker for a cute packaging. If I had unlimited amount money, I’d probably have bought everything just because of the packaging! ><

image courtesy: colourpop

The full collection consists of following items:

Main Squeeze eye shadow palette: USD 12
Best Served Chilled bundle: USD 24
Three liquid lipstick duos: USD 12 each
Melonade ultra matte lip: USD 7
Big Slice so juicy plumping gloss: USD 7
Three Supernova shadow and Mini Gliterally Obsessed duos: USD 12 each
Mini Gliterally Obsessed trio: USD 12
Two Full size of Gliterally Obsessed: USD 8 each
Birthday Treat super shock shadow: free with any purchase while stock lasts

Now, let’s break it down one by one!

Main Squeeze Eye Shadow Palette

In every CP releases, of course the eye shadow palette is the star of the collection. This palette is meant to be a red monochromatic palette, and it’s an addition of their currently existing monochromatic palettes, such as Brown Sugar, Ooh La La, It’s My Pleasure, and Just My Luck.

image courtesy: colourpop

Apparently, this was a highly requested monochromatic palette, and I was actually one of them who requested a red palette, so I’m not complaining. I love red, and I personally don’t have anything like this in my collection. I’m currently liking the 9-pan palette as I can create a quick look without having to think much. Since this one is right up my alley, this is the first item from this collection that I know I’ll pick up!

image courtesy: colourpop

However, after looking some swatches and reviews online, I must admit that a lot of the shades in this palette are somewhat ended up looking so similar once applied on the eyes. It’s also lacking in depth. There is no light enough or deep enough shade. If you look this palette as a whole, it’s full of medium and transitional shades only. The darkest shade which is the one on bottom right corner (“red bottoms”) could’ve been even deeper. And I can’t tell which one is the lightest shade, the 1st one (“frose”), or the 6th one (“big gulp”)?

Aside from that, some also mentioned that since it’s a watermelon themed palette, there should be a green, creme, and black shades. I personally don’t mind the fact that even though they claimed it to be a watermelon palette, it’s only consists of red colors. I’m sure they want to add this palette to the monochromatic palettes family without having to release another red-only palette.

With that being said, I did pick up this palette! This is my favorite item from this collection, the packaging is stunning, and the fact that it’s a 9-pan palette is also practical. I can’t wait to create all-red looks using it!

Best Served Chilled Bundle

This bundle is a collaboration with CP sister skincare brand, Fourth Ray Beauty (FRB). It consists of Watermelon Face Milk, Watermelon Seed Oil, and Watermelon flavored Lippie Scrub. Watermelon Seed Oil is previously existing product from FRB, while Watermelon Face Milk is a new one, and Watermelon flavored Lippie Scrub is also a new product from CP’s Lippie Scrub line. By the way if you’re wondering, Watermelon Face Milk is a light weight moisturizer that’s supposed to be hydrating but non-greasy.

image courtesy: colourpop

I’ve been wanting to try FRB products and CP lippie scrubs, but since I’m on a low buy year, I can’t just buy them whenever I want. I have to follow my low buy budget and schedule (PS: you can read my low buy rules here). So, when I saw that CP offers this bundle, which include literally everything I’ve been eyeing, I know I want to pick up this bundle. Additionally, from swatches and reviews I saw online, many people seems liking this bundle also.

This bundle retails for USD 24, while the actual total price of three of the items is USD 26, so we’re not really saving a lot of money by buying them in a bundle.

image courtesy: colourpop

I was actually a little bit iffy to buy liquid products internationally because I’ve read from several bloggers who ordered FRB stuffs that their stuffs came leaking (I read from my friend AlwaysCleia and PolishedAndInspired). I wish that they are sold individually so that I can pick up only the lippie scrub which doesn’t have high risk of leaking. But, since I’ve been wanting to try FRB products for a long time, I decided to pick up this bundle and just hoping for the best that there won’t be any spills during the shipping! ><

Liquid Lipsticks Bundles

There are so many liquid lip products within this collection and I like it since it’s very suitable with the theme. The three liquid lip bundles are: Sweet Crush, Slice of Life, and Our of Your Rind.

image courtesy: colourpop

Let’s talk about them one by one!

Slice of Life

image courtesy: colourpop

This bundle consists of one ultra glossy lip (UGL) in “Fresco” and one ultra BLOTTED lip (UBL) in “Swing Away”.

image courtesy: colourpop

It’s been a long time since CP released a new shade of ultra blotted lip so I’m very excited to try it. But I’m actually not a glosses type of girl. I like lip products that are pigmented and not sticky. If they were sold individually, I would’ve pick up only the UBL. But since they are only available in bundle (as of now), and luckily the UGL here is the only one that actually has color in it among the three bundles, I decided to pick up this bundle. I don’t hate glosses so I will just wear it from time to time.

Sweet Crush

image courtesy: colourpop

This bundle consists of one UGL in “Granita” and one ultra MATTE lip (UML) in “Sherbert Shop”.

I actually really like Sherbert Shop, it’s the type of lip color I like to wear. But since it’s only sold in a bundle, and I rarely wear glosses especially clear glosses, I decided not to pick up this bundle. Were they sold individually, I think I might’ve picked up only the UBL from previous bundle and the UML from this bundle.

Out of Your Rind

image courtesy: colourpop

This bundle consists of one UGL in “Scorcher” and one UML in “On The Grill”.

I don’t wear a lot of hot pink or fuchsia matte lippies because I find it too “in-your-face”. If the shade On The Grill was in UBL formula, I don’t mind it since UBL looks more muted than UML. I also rarely wear glosses, so this bundle is a pass from me. But I still think it’s a pretty color. I just hope it was in different formula.

Melonade Ultra Matte Lip

image courtesy: colourpop

I actually can’t justify why they include a single UML with only one shade option. I really like the color, tho, it’s right up my alley. But if they want to include a single item, there is one item I think is better than one shade of UML. They should’ve included a true red loose pigment! It much more makes sense to include a single loose pigment than a single UML that’s already available in bundles, too. But this is only my suggestion, I’m sure they had their own justification.

Honestly, if all of the items here were available as singles, I think the ones I picked up would be the watermelon lippie scrub, UBL in Swing Away, UML in Sherbert Shop, and this one. Since I have limited budget, I decided not to pick this one up, although I really really want to pick it up also 😥

Big Slice So Juicy Plumping Gloss

image courtesy: colourpop

As I mentioned before, I don’t usually wear glosses, let alone a thicker one like this. I personally think the color is pretty and really suits the theme. I actually considered to pick this up because I think this time might be a good time to try this plumping glosses. But since I have a limited budget, this one didn’t make the cut.

Supernova Shadow and Mini Gliterally Obsessed Duos

It’s been a long time since CP released new shades of supernova shadow. The last time was in their collaboration with Zoella. I never tried a supernova shadow before, so I can’t say much about it. I imagine it’s just like a usual liquid shadow.

Gilterally obsessed (GO) is not a new product, but this time they released it in a mini size which I think is a clever idea! The full size is 15 g/ 0.53 oz and retails for USD 7.5. The mini is 3 g/ 0.11 oz, and if we break it down from this bundle, since supernova shadow retails for USD 8, this GO mini’s value is around USD 4.5. If you wanted to try it since before but not quite ready to commit to a full size, this could be your chance. But you might want to keep in mind that you pay around half of full size price with the amount of 1/5. Of course we can’t always value a product based on their weight only since there’s also packaging that contributes to the price. But I think I just want to mention this in case it helps you decide on whether to buy the mini or not.

There are three of these duos, they are Dear Summer, Sandia Smash, and Slip N’ Slide.

image courtesy: colourpop

Dear Summer

image courtesy: colourpop

This bundle consists of “Wish Me Luck” GO and “Sand Castle” supernova shadow. Wish Me Luck is an existing GO shade but Sand Castle is a new one.

I was actually intrigued to try this since I never tried a supernova shadow and GO before. But I need to consider whether I will get a lot of use out of it. On daily bases when I go outside, I wear hijab and my whole body is covered except my face and my palms. On the other hand, GO is intended to use on the body or maybe face except the eye area. However, there’s not many part of my body that is shown. The highest possibility is only to use it around my face or my eyes (which is not safe). But I can’t justify going to a mall wearing glitter on my face XD. So although I like the shades of this supernova and actually don’t mind wearing glitter, I don’t think I can get many use out of it. So I decided to pass on this bundle (and also any glitter products within this collection).

Speaking about the bundle itself, I think the shade of supernova shadow in this one is the most consistent within this whole collection, which is around red and coral color family. The other two bundles are too pink-y and purple-y, which I think a little off to be paired with the palette if you want to wear them together.

Sandia Smash

image courtesy: colourpop

This bundle consists of “Avenue of The Stars” GO, which also an existing GO shade, and “Ice Pop” supernova shadow, which is a new one. I actually really like the glitter since it’s very colorful, and I do think the supernova shadow’s shade is also pretty, and the overall shade of both of them quite matches. But again, since I won’t be wearing them a lot, I decided to pass on this one.

Slip N’ Slide

image courtesy: colourpop

This bundle consists of “Disco Lady” GO, which also an existing GO shade, and “Hazy” supernova shadow, which is a new one. Among the three bundles, I think the supernova shadow in this one doesn’t quite match the theme. It’s still a pretty shade, so if you like the shade alone without considering the whole theme in this collection, I’m sure you’ll be happy to have it! I also passed this one with the same reasoning as I mentioned above.

Mini Glitterally Obsessed Trio

image courtesy: colourpop

This trio consists of three mini GO retails for 12 USD. Each of them is 3 g/ 0.11 oz and if we break it down from the bundle’s price, each would be USD 4. The shades are “Starfire”, “Star Party”, and “Keep it Plutonic”, which all of them are existing shade. If you don’t want the supernova shadow bundle, you can have this instead. I myself didn’t pick this one up.

Full Sized Gliterally Obsessed

image courtesy: colourpop

There are two new GO shades in this collection which are “Trippin on Skies” (the left one from image above) and “Bring The Heat” (the right one from image above). They are just like typical CP GO that has been released before. I can’t say much about it since I never tried any of them. I also passed on this one.

Free Birthday Super Shock Shadow

image courtesy: colourpop

Just like CP’s previous birthday celebration, they give this super shock shadow (SSS) as a freebie with every purchase made during the birthday period. I love SSS and this color is perfect for this collection. I obviously get it for free with my purchase and can’t wait to play around with it!

Additional Bundles

Besides the ones mentioned above, CP also offer some additional bundles. The first one is “Birthday Bash” which consists of four previous birthday-special SSS retails for USD 20.

Birthday Bash bundle, image courtesy: colourpop

I didn’t pick this up because I have limited budget and for this purchase, I decided to pick up products I never tried before such as FRB stuffs, lippie scrub, and UBL, so this one didn’t make the cut. But now I’m kinda regretting myself by not picking this one up. They are special SSS and not sold in singles anymore so I should have pick this up to complete my collection. Now I only hope they make this bundle a permanent so I can pick it up a little bit later 😥

The next bundle is “Sweetest Fling” which consists of Main Squeeze palette, Melonade UML, and Big Slice Plumping Gloss. This one retails for USD 26, which actually doesn’t save any money.

image courtesy: colourpop

The next bundle is “In Season” which consists of Main Squeeze palette, Best O liner, and Get Paid liner retails for USD 20. I actually considered to pick this up since it saves USD 3. But after considering the liners included here, I think I don’t really want them at the moment.

image courtesy: colourpop

Overall Thoughts

So that is it guys my thoughts about CP 2019 birthday collection. The ones I picked up are Main Squeeze palette, Best Served Chilled bundle, Slice of Life bundle, and Birthday Treat SSS. Overall, I really love the theme and in my opinion they executed it well with the selection of products, the graphic design, and the product/ shade names. There are some elements that could’ve been better, such as a wider range of reds in the palette, adding another type of product outside the bundle instead of one single shade of UML, and selling the products individually so that we could choose them more freely. In the end, I am still happy with my purchase and can’t wait to play around with it!

20% Discount Code

So this is what I promised you guys. I have a referral link so that you can get 20% off your FIRST purchase only. This is not an affiliate code but I will get also 20% off my next purchase if you use this link to make your FIRST EVER purchase with CP.

https://www.talkable.com/x/boSyX0

Please keep in mind that there could be some exclusions applied, and once you get the discount code from the link above, you will have to use it within TWO WEEKS. Sometimes CP also deactivates the discount code if they have their own sales on their website (for example during their site-wide sales), so you might want to check their website first before clicking the link above.

image courtesy: colourpop

That’s all for today’s post! Now let me know what you think about this collection. Did you pick anything up? Which is your most favorite product? Or did you completely skip this collection? Please comment below!

I’ll see you on my next post!

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Ramadan Culture that Confuses Non Muslims

Hey, everyone!

It feels like years since the last time I posted on this blog, while actually it’s only been two weeks! As I mentioned on this post, it’s a little bit hard for me to keep my old schedule to write blog posts since I got a new job. It’s actually even worse now because a relative who stays in my house and helps me take care of my son while I’m working went to her hometown for Ramadan and Eid (biggest Muslim celebration in a year). So basically I will be a single fighter until after Eid. Thank goodness my mom lives in nearby city so she will come help me every couple days in a week. That’s why I took a break from writing for two weeks just to let my self ‘breathe’ a little bit amidst this whole situation.

Speaking about Ramadan and Eid, last week’s Sunday evening (May 5th, 2019) marked the start of Ramadan month this year according to Islamic calendar. If you don’t know what Ramadan is, I found this article from Google where you can read simple and short but clear explanation about Ramadan. Ramadan month lasts for 30 days, and after that, we, Muslims, will have Eid al-Fitr celebration that usually takes up to one week long. So when I said my relative who helps me take care of my son is in a long holiday for Ramadan and Eid, it means I have to juggle between my son, my teaching job, and this blog all alone for around 5 weeks. I actually don’t know how I can handle that so if you’re a busy mom like me, please give me some advice!

In today’s post, since we are in the topic already, I thought I want to share with you my Ramadan experience among many people from different nations and ethnicity during my stay in Japan for three years. As Japan is a Muslim-minority country, not many people (Japanese or other non-Muslim foreigners who live in Japan) are aware about Ramadan’s customs. So I thought it would be interesting to share what non-Muslims think about Ramadan according to my experience. I hope you don’t mind that I take you to a trip down my memory lane so that you will get to know me little by little!

Now, let’s get started!

No Eating and Drinking During The Day

While non-Muslims in Indonesia (as Muslim-majority country) are aware about what Muslims do during Ramadan, that’s not the case for my Japanese and foreigner friends in Japan. When they first heard about Ramadan and came to realize that I won’t be eating and drinking during the day for a WHOLE month, they were shook!

“Won’t you be dead if you aren’t drinking and eating for more than 10 hours?” was the most common question I got from my friends. The fact is, we won’t (in God’s will). Our body can hold up to three weeks without food and up to four days without water (according to this article). So don’t worry, 12 hour-ish without food and water is doable!

The fact is, we must not drink and eat (or simply called ‘fast’) from sunrise until sunset, so the time will be different around the globe. In Indonesia, since we are near equator, we are so lucky to have similar hour-long between day and night. But during my stay in Japan, Ramadan always occurred in summer, so the day was longer than the night. At that time, I had to fast for about 17 hours. But I know it wasn’t the hardest fast known. In other countries, they have to fast for nearly 20 hours.

The next common question I got was, “Why would you sacrifice yourself like that just because your religion told you to do so?” First thing first, ‘fasting’ not only about ‘not drinking and eating’ only, but also about ‘abstaining our self from humanity desire or pleasure, such as sex, swearing, arguing, or smoking’ because this month is a special month for worshiping and getting closer to God. The fact is, personally, because I’m used to do it since I was a kid, I don’t feel any pressure to do it, but i must admit that fasting 17 hours in Japan was much harder than 12 hours in Indonesia. And about the ‘sacrifice’ thing, I feel like by abstaining myself from pleasure activities, I can focus more on my spiritual dedication. I always feel like I became a better person by the end of Ramadan by not arguing with people or restraining my anger. So definitely I must say rather than sacrificing myself by being hungry all day long, I feel the significance of my personal growth is worth the struggle (I hope it makes sense!).

Eating before Dawn

So how do we survive fasting during the day? We actually eat before dawn, and by ‘dawn’ here is also on different times around the world. In Japan when Ramadan lasted on summer, the dawn was 02.30, while in Indonesia it is typically around 04.30.

You might think that we eat a lot during this time, but actually, it’s hard to eat a lot while we’re still half asleep >< In the end, we can only eat just enough to start our day without looking too miserable.

I personally tend to avoid too much carbo or fat. It’s better to take a lot of protein and fiber as it slows down the digestion process, hence makes us feel full a little bit longer. I also make sure I drink a lot water.

Getting Together and Eating after Sunset

One of our favorite time would be none other than the time when we can break our fast. It is around 19.00 in Japan during summer, and 17.30 in Indonesia.

During this time, we usually get together with our family and friends and break our fast together. In Japan, in the city where I lived in, we have huge Muslim community because my city has some universities and research centers, so I can safely say that my city was very foreigner friendly. We have one mosque that is actually not very big, but because of that, we feel very close to each other.

During Ramadan, we had break-fasting schedule almost everyday in the mosque, and in every schedule, we took turn to prepare the food according to our countries. We have Indonesian, Malaysian, Arab, Egypt, Indian, Bangladesh, and Pakistan community when I lived there, so I’m so grateful to be able to experience so many different Ramadan dishes from around the world. We sat together without distinguishing nations and ethnicity, and we just felt as one big Muslim brothers and sisters :’)

Break-fasting menu from Arab Community, photo by me
Break-fasting menu by Pakistan Community, photo by me
Break-fasting menu by Bangladesh Community, photo by me
Break-fasting menu by Indonesia & Malaysia Community, photo by me

So sorry for the low quality photos, guys. I retrieved those photos from my personal IG account. I took them around 2013-2015 when I was still living in Japan, at that time I didn’t know how to make objects look aesthetic on photos. I basically just took the photos for documentary purpose. But I’m sure you get the idea! XD

Praying until Late at Night

And after break-fasting, we had a special prayer that was longer than usual (and by ‘usual’ here I mean months other than Ramadan month). This prayer actually can be done alone in our own home or together in the mosque. But definitely it feels different when we pray together in the mosque and it feels more Ramadan.

This prayer usually started around 21.00 in Japan because of the summer time, while in Indonesia it started around 19.30. The length of the prayer is actually different according to each mosques’ custom. In our mosque in Japan, this prayer usually finished around 22.30. But this is not an obligatory prayer (like I’ve said before). There were several breaks in the middle of the prayer, so we can go home during those breaks if we want to. Or we can completely skip it from the beginning and do it alone in our home.

So after the prayer, me and my friends usually rode our bicycle together from the mosque to our apartment or dorm in Japan. Even though it’s almost midnight, it felt so nice to be with friends, riding our bicycle in the middle of the road. How I missed those time when I was young and free XD

So those are our Ramadan culture, especially when I was living among many Muslims from different countries in Japan. This is such a rare experience and I can’t thank Allah (God) enough for giving me the opportunity to meet my brothers and sisters from around the world and share Ramadan together for once in my lifetime. When I think that I might not be able to repeat this experience, I am a little bit sad. But at least, I have this memory to remember forever :’)

That’s all guys for today’s post. I hope you enjoyed reading it! If you’re not Muslims, do you find this culture interesting? Or maybe do you have some Muslim friends and know how their Ramadan culture is? Are they different than mine? If you’re Muslims, where are you from and how is your Ramadan culture? Share it on the comments below because I’m really interested to know about that, too!

See you on my next post!

Easy and Quick Skincare Routine to Look Young in Your Late 20

Hey, everyone!

I think it’s really the first time I talk about skincare on this blog. I always talk about makeup while actually I care about my skincare as much as I do about makeup. For me, skincare is even more important that makeup, and I was interested in skincare first even long before I was interested in makeup.

I mentioned briefly how I was first interested in skincare on this blog post. And since that time, I have tried so many skincare products and have gone through so many trials and errors in skincare routine. Gladly I don’t have sensitive skin, so I rarely (or almost never) had a bad experience when trying new products. However, there were several products I felt really did something on my skin, while some others did almost nothing.

These past 8 months, or to be precised since August 2018, I’ve been using the same skincare routine. And just recently I realized that my skin has never been this clear, supple, and elastic. My makeup also sticks better onto my skin effortlessly. And countless times when I didn’t wear any makeup, I was mistaken for a college or even high school student by people I met on the street, while actually I’m a 28 year old married woman with one kid XD But it actually has some drawbacks, too. For example, when I was browsing through a makeup display in my local drugstore, the BA wasn’t even trying to recommend me any product. Maybe because she thought I was a student so I wouldn’t be able to afford any product she recommended anyway XD

Oh and first of all, just for transparency, I wasn’t sponsored by any brand I mentioned here. I purchased everything with my own money. I’m (sadly) just a small blogger, those brands don’t even know that I’m existed in this world XD So don’t worry, what I wrote here is based on my real and honest experience 🙂 But, I mean, in the future even if I was sponsored to make this kind of post, I’ll always stay honest with my review!

So, if you want to know my skincare secrets, just please keep on reading!

Prolog

I adopted this skincare routine actually from the infamous 10-step Korean Skincare Routine. Let’s admit that we, average women in late 20 with all of our everyday routine activities, ain’t always got time for that, right? Just thinking of that and watching beauty bloggers apply that 10-step skincare routine already makes me headache. So, I made my own version of it that is easier, quicker, and more realistic!

First of all, even though the name is “10-step Korean Skincare Routine”, doesn’t mean we must use ALL Korean skincare products. The most important thing is to understand why those steps are implemented. When we understand the purpose of each step, we can clearly eliminate some steps or alternately change some steps so that the phrase “10-step” is no longer overwhelming. And along with it, we can freely choose which product we want to use in each step, as long as it fulfills the purpose of that step.

10-Step Korean Skincare Routine

When talking about “steps” in skincare routine, generally people will ask “why this step is after that step” and vice versa. Actually, the answer is easy. We want to apply products from the ones that have lighter consistency to the ones that have heavier consistency.

Here I will give you a quick explanation of each step, along with the label of which step we can completely skip and alternately change. I will also mention which products I’ve been using for each step.

Oil-based cleanser

I’m sure you are aware that oil can’t be mixed with water. Now let see, what does our skin produce during the day? It’s oil. Even if you have (relatively) dry skin, your skin still secretes oil everyday (it’s just less amount compared to other people). So, what happen if you wash your face with water-based cleanser only? It won’t be able to get rid off oil-based dirt that our skin has produced.

So clearly, this step is a MUST and the first step that you want to implement on your skincare routine. Only oil can help pull out other oil-based impurities, for example sebum.

Products that I’ve been using in this step are Banila.co Clean It Zero and Garnier Micellar Oil Infused Cleansing Water.

Banila.co’s consistency is kind of like balm, but as soon as we apply it on our face, it melts even the most waterproof makeup easily. But, this feels uncomfortable on the eyes. It doesn’t stink, but if it exposed to our eyeballs, it’s going to be like there’s a kind of layer on top of them and it’s slightly obstructing our view.

That’s why on the eyes, I prefer to use the Garnier one. This works perfectly for waterproof makeup, too.

Water-based cleanser

The same principal to the previous step, water-based cleanser helps draw out water-based impurities that aren’t picked up by the oil-based cleanser, for example sweat.

This step is obviously a MUST, too. And I’ve been rotating between Garnier Micellar Water, The Body Shop Tea Tree Facial Wash, or Cetaphil Facial Wash. I use the Garnier one when I’m too lazy to wash my face with facial wash. And I love the Body Shop and Cetaphil ones because they are so gentle on my skin. Even though I feel completely clean after washing my face with them, my skin doesn’t feel tight.

Exfoliator

To make it easier to understand, generally exfoliator comes in a form of scrub, because, exfoliator is used to clean clogged pores or remove dead skin. Therefore, we need a product that contains small grains to make it possible to enter our pores and clean them.

This is a step that we can ALTERNATELY CHANGE with other steps. Actually it’s better to NOT do this step every day because it could scrape not only dead skin but also moisture or other important properties that our skin has. I personally only do this step twice a week, and the products I’ve been rotating to use are Freeman Charcoal + Black Sugar Gel Mask + Scrub, Skinfood Strawberry Black Sugar Mask Wash Off, Kanebo Suisai Beauty Clear Powder, and Cure Natural Aqua Gel.

The Freeman and Skinfood ones are clearly scrubs, so you know how to use them and how they feel.

The Cure one looks like a normal facial wash with jelly-like consistency. Even though it looks like your typical facial wash, it removes dead skin like magic. And the Kanebo one can be used as scrub or gentle facial wash depending on how much water you add to it. I’ll write more detail about the Cure and the Kanebo on another post I’ve planned so make sure to follow this blog if you don’t want to miss it!

Toner

Toner helps restore moisture to our skin after cleansing and exfoliating. It also helps balance our skin’s pH because cleansing our face with facial wash increases our skin pH (remember, soap is an alkaline so it has high pH). However, actually if we use gentle facial wash, it’s not as harsh as usual facial wash that is made of soap, so toner can be skipped. But toner also helps prepare our skin for the next products that are going to be applied to our skin. Therefore, for me this step is also a MUST.

For this past months, I’ve only been using The Body Shop Tea Tree Toner. I never use a cotton pad to apply my toner because I feel it absorbs a lot of liquid so I think it’s a waste of product. I always use my hands to apply my toner.

Essence

The one common question about essence is “what is the difference between essence and serum?”. Generally, essence is liquid product that has consistency between toner and serum. If you know SK-II Facial Treatment Essence or Missha Time Revolution The First Treatment Essence, both of them have the similar liquid-y consistency, which is a bit thicker than a toner, but not as viscous-y as a serum.

SK-II Facial Treatment Essence
Missha Treatment Essence

In terms of composition, according to Fashionista on their article here, technically essence and serum are actually the SAME thing! Both of them have key ingredients that are formulated to resolve certain skin problems. I mentioned about texture above, but recently (according to Fashionista also) essence is getting thicker while serum is getting more lightweight, so the consistency line is getting blurry.

In summary, since both of them don’t have distinctive difference, IMHO, if you’re on a budget (just like me!) you can choose only one of them. I personally completely SKIP essence, and go straight to serum after my toner.

Serum

As I mentioned briefly above, serum is a liquid product that has key ingredients that are formulated to resolve certain skin problems, such as acne, hyper-pigmentation, dark spots, wrinkles, etc. For me personally, I’ve been using this same serum for 8 months, which is The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%, that has brightening effect and also reduce the appearance of blemishes and balance sebum activity. For more detail information about this product, please refer to this link.

I started to use this serum because before I was using them, I had severe acne scars problem. Before, I always broke out during menstruation. And after that, it left acne scars every where on my skin. Although it is said on the website that this doesn’t have direct properties to reduce acne, after using this (and other products I mentioned and will be mentioning here), I rarely break out these days. And my old acne scars is getting disappear!

So clearly, this step is a MUST, and you can use any other serum that suits your skin needs! I do recommend checking out The Ordinary, though, because they are fairly affordable, cruelty free, and a lot of their products are paraben free, gluten free, and vegan!

Again, I’m not sponsored to say this XD I truly am in love with this product and will keep repurchasing it in the future. Now I’m already on my third bottle, by the way!

Sheet mask

Actually, sheet mask is just a mask that is soaked into an essence or a serum. The natural way of using it (by putting it onto our face and leave it for a couple minutes) is able to prolong the contact of that essence/ serum to our skin, thus enable our skin to fully absorb the ingredients and moisture. So actually, we can ALTERNATELY CHANGE the usage of sheet mask with our essence/ serum. When I use my sheet mask, I don’t use my serum, and vice versa. I only use sheet mask once or twice a week.

I’ve tried so many sheet masks from different brands, but recently, I’ve been using and keep repurchasing these sheet masks by Etude House. It has very thin layer and it sticks well onto my skin so I never feel it slips off my face whenever I’m using it. It also has perfect size for my eye and mouth holes.

Eye cream

Our eye area is the most gentle part of our skin. When we’re getting older, this is the part that gets wrinkly first, so taking care of it as early as possible is a MUST. Eye cream is formulated to hydrate eye area, reduce the appearance of wrinkle, and prevent dark circles or puffiness.

I used Innisfree Orchid Eye Cream for months before completely running out of it just a month ago. For now, I’m using Safi Age Defy Eye Treatment because I wanted to try more affordable eye cream. The Safi one definitely is more lightweight thus it’s suitable for using on AM routine underneath our makeup. The Innisfree one is much more thicker, and I must say it’s better to be used on PM routine only.

When I run out of my Safi one, I think I will buy both of them because I feel the Innisfree one is more hydrating, thus I need it on my PM routine much more than the Safi one. Of course currently I can’t say many related to the long time result, but I’ve been enjoying the two of them so far, and I rarely had a problem with dark circle or puffiness!

Moisturizer

Moisturizer, just like its name, is mainly used to provide extra moisture to our skin. There are many kinds of moisturizer on the market, so my advice is to choose one based on the ingredients or the consistency that suits your skin needs. For me who have normal to oily skin, I chose the one that has lighter consistency, so that it won’t add too much moisture to my skin that is fairly hydrated.

This step is a MUST for PM routine, and I’ve been using Laneige Water Sleeping Mask as my moisturizer since it’s very lightweight and absorbed pretty fast. But according its manual, this sleeping mask is not for everyday use, so I just use it three times a week.

Sun protector

You know what it is, it’s to protect our skin from damage caused by UV rays. This step is clearly a MUST for AM routine. Don’t forget to apply it not only on your face, but to all skin area that is exposed to the sun light during your daytime activity.

Sun protector or sun screen was the first skincare product that I owned, long before I know toner, serum, etc. And believe me, I’ve tried so many different ones, from Indonesian brands, to Korean brands, to western brands, but the best one yet is the one that I’ve been using now, which is Biore UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence SPF 50+ PA++++.

This one is perfect to use underneath makeup. It’s absorbed fast, not greasy, and not sticky at all but still helps add more adhesion to our makeup. 10 out of 10!

Face Oil (Additional)

I add an additional step to my PM skincare routine which is face oil. Having oily skin doesn’t mean we don’t need face oil. By adding face oil, it helps decrease the secretion of our natural oil during the night. After I incorporate this step as my very last step of my PM routine, I feel my face is less oily now, and I suppose that’s why I also don’t break out as much as before.

The face oil that I’ve been using is The Ordinary Organic Cold-Pressed Rose Hip Seed Oil. I only use it three times a week and a little goes along way. I’ve been using it for eight months but still have 2/3 left. This step is an ADDITIONAL step but I highly recommend you try it out!

Summary

So, to summarize all of the things I mentioned above, here are my AM and PM skincare routine for the past eight months that helps me reduce my break out, makes my face less oily, and brighten up my face, thus help my face look younger (according to the people I met on the street):

AM

Water-based cleanser (everyday): The Body Shop Tea Tree or Cetaphil Gentle Facial Wash

Toner (everyday): The Body Shop Tea Tree Toner

Serum (everyday): The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%

Eye cream (everyday): Safi Age Defy Eye Treatment

Sun protector (everyday): Biore Aqua Rich Watery Essence SPF 50+ PA++++

This AM routine only has 5 steps!

And if you want to see me applying this routine, check it on my video here!

PM

Oil-based cleanser (everyday): Banila.co Clean It Zero or Garnier Oil-infused Micellar Water

Water-based cleanser (everyday): The Body Shop Tea Tree or Cetaphil Gentle Facial Wash

Exfoliator (twice a week): Rotation between Freeman Charcoal + Black Sugar Gel Mask + Scrub, Skinfood Strawberry Black Sugar Mask Wash Off, Kanebo Suisai Beauty Clear Powder, and Cure Natural Aqua Gel.

Toner (everyday): The Body Shop Tea Tree Toner

Serum (everyday when I don’t use my sheet mask): The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%

Sheet mask (once or twice a week): Etude House

Eye cream (everyday): Safi Age Defy Eye Treatment or Innisfree Orchid Eye Cream

Moisturizer (three times a week): Laneige Water Sleeping Mask

Face oil (three times a week): The Ordinary Organic Cold-Pressed Rose Hip Seed Oil

This PM routine has 5 steps that I do everyday, and 4 other steps that are alternately change with each other.

I’ll make sure to film this routine also in the future, so don’t forget to subscribe to my Youtube channel and follow my Instagram account!

Final Advice

Thank you so much for you who made it until this part! Such a long post, isn’t it, but I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I love sharing it with you. My final advice would be:

  1. It’s important to know the “why” before actually implementing a particular skincare routine.
  2. Choose products based on your skin needs. Check the ingredients and don’t buy/ use something just because the hype of it. Just because we’re on our late 20, doesn’t mean we ONLY need to use products that have anti-aging properties in it. If you, for example, have severe acne scars or break out, fix that problem first, because clearer skin looks healthier thus makes you look brighter in general.
  3. Choose products based on your skin condition. For me who has more of a normal-oily skin, I tend to choose products that is not really thick, not greasy, and absorbed fast.
  4. Apply the products from lighter to heavier consistency.
  5. Be consistent! I’ve been implementing this skincare routine for eight months before sharing it with you as now I can see clear result on my skin.
  6. “You are what you eat”. Recently I also have been trying to eat “okay” (I want to say “healthy” but I don’t think I’ve reached that level as for now) . I’ve been drinking 2 L of water everyday, and also avoiding processed food as much as I can. I believe what comes from inside is also important to maintain what is seen from the outside.
  7. Be happy! Surround yourself with positive people and positive activities!

So yeah, that is all for today’s post! I hope you don’t feel overwhelmed by so many products I mentioned here. That’s just because I love trying skincare products, so I try to rotate them as much as I could to be able to finish all of them. But, among all of skincare products I’ve tried, the ones I mentioned here are the ones that have clear positive impacts to my skin.

I hope this post is somehow helpful for you and don’t hesitate to correct me if I’m wrong.

What is your current skincare routine? Will you implement this routine to your routine? Did you find your holy grail products here? Let me know on the comment section below!

‘Till next time!

Reading sources:

10-Step Korean Skincare Routine

The Difference Between Essence and Serum

Be Grateful

Hey, all.

Today’s post is actually very short, but I just want to give you a quick update.

So, just recently I got new job! I can’t thank God enough for this! Well, actually it’s not ‘new’ new, but here’s the thing.

From the beginning of this year, I want to give a shot once more to this blog. I have this blog since 2012 but I never write it regularly with a specific theme, so I always ran out of idea of what to write in this blog. So, on January, along with the start of my low-buy year project, I revamped this blog, and actually set a designated schedule to write. I’ve been enjoying writing in this blog, updating my Instagram account and Youtube channel, and I was able to meet new friends from all over the world, all because of this new blog that I have.

Besides that, teaching Japanese has always been my passion also. So, in the beginning of this year, I also posted some advertisements on some local medias here in the city where I reside about me opening a private Japanese lesson. Since then, several people contacted me, but none of them finally became my students. It was like this until March, so I just focus on this blog, my Instagram account, and my Youtube channel. I tried to not have high hopes for my Japanese class.

However, in the beginning of April, suddenly two people contacted me about my Japanese class, and both of them finally decided to study from me! I am so grateful and couldn’t be anymore happier than these days. Three days a week now I have my teaching schedule for these past two weeks.

Therefore, consequently, I have less time to update all of social media accounts. Because of this new schedule that I have to add to my previous existing schedule, I couldn’t finish some drafts that I have prepared for this blog. I need to re-arrange my schedule ASAP!

So, I hope you don’t mind that there will be no beauty-related content this week. I have prepared two posts for the next weeks, but I need more time to do my research related to those posts. I don’t want to upload a blog post just for the sake of uploading every week. I want the content to be comprehensive and actually helpful for you who read it.

Regardless, I’m so grateful for my new job, and also for you who have followed me and read my blog posts. I hope I can sort everything out quickly and have a normal schedule again!

Thank you for bearing with me, and see you on my next post!

Super Easy Way to Make A Sushi Roll

Hey, everyone!

First of all, no, you are not opening a wrong blog. This is still me, Unpretty Vanity, and this time I want to share with you something a little bit different than what I usually write. But of course, this blog ain’t gonna change to a recipe blog. This blog will still be a beauty & lifestyle blog. And since Japan-related lifestyle is also part of me, I think it’s not out-of-nowhere that I write this kind of post once in a while!

Actually, I haven’t really told you about myself and maybe some of you who followed me just recently was a little bit confuse why Japan is related to me. If you’re Indonesians or understand Indonesian, you can read my previous posts about my life in Japan on the menu ‘Japan’ and ‘Monbusho’ on this blog. But if you’re neither, I’ll make sure to write more detail about my life in Japan later, of course if you are interested to know a little bit more about myself! For now, let’s diggin’ into this post!

If you happened to come across this post hoping for some fancy sushi roll recipes, I’m sorry that this post might disappoint you. Here I’ll mainly give you a SUPER EASY STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE TO MAKE A SUSHI ROLL WITH INGREDIENTS YOU PROBABLY HAVE AT YOUR HOME. If it’s your cup of tea, then just keep on reading!

Sushi roll is probably the easiest kind of sushi we can make by ourselves at home. You can literally fill it with any veggies or meats you like.

A couple days ago, me and my husband wanted to have fun a little bit at home, so we decided to make a simple sushi roll. Our son is only two and a half years old so we also wanted him to learn making food and we thought sushi roll is not dangerous to be made by toddler. Here were all the ingredients and tools that we used.

Ingredients: rice, fried chicken nuggets, fried chikuwa (a kind of fish sausage), furikake (food sprinkle) in any flavor (this time we used nori-flavor), and some sheets of nori (seaweed). You can find these ingredients in your local Asian market. You can of course change the filling with some healthier ingredients such as cucumber or carrot.

Tools: knife (to cut the ingredients), cutting board, and sushi roller. This sushi roller we have we bought in Daiso in Japan. I’m sure you can find it in Daiso or any Japanese dollar store in your area.

First, mix the furikake with the rice evenly. It makes the rice looks pretty and very Japanese. Also cut the ingredients (in our case: nuggets and chikuwa) into long and slim shape so it will fit inside our rice roll without making the diameter of the roll too big.

Next, spread one sheet of nori on the roller, and put rice as much as one third of the nori, and then put the ingredients on the center part of the rice. If my words don’t make sense, just see the picture below XD

Next, roll up the roller until in covers all first components that have been added above, give it some pressure until it feels tight. And then, add one third of rice again without opening the roller, just like the picture below:

Yes, we were using our son’s table to make this dish and don’t worry even though there were knives there, our son was completely safe from them XD

After that, open the roller, but immediately roll it again until it covers the second component of rice that has been added just now. And then, add a little bit of rice to make the rest of the nori part sticky, and lastly, roll it again until the roller completely cover the sushi roll. Give it some pressure again until the roll tight and firm like on the picture below:

Now, just cut the roll into some bite-sized pieces!

So it’s basically done! Super easy, right! It was also super fun to make with kids at home to make bonding time without having to go outside 🙂

That’s all for today’s post. I’m sorry that it’s very short, but I hope you enjoyed and got some inspiration for when you don’t want to cook complicated meals!

What do you think about this kind of post once in a while? If you like it, I’d more than happy to make this kind of post again in the future. Please tell me what easy Japanese recipes you want to read next on this blog!

Still want to read some more from this blog? Here are some of my popular posts:

Halal in-flight meals review (in Indonesian)

MEXT scholarship selection process (in Indonesian)

Life as a blogger (in English)

Tips for shopping on Colourpop website (in English)

Thank you for reading today’s post! Until then!

Things I Would’ve Bought: Feb-Mar 2019

Hey, everyone!

It’s another end of the month again, which means it’s time for me to give you an update about my low-buy year project! It feels just like yesterday I wrote my January “Things I would’ve Bought” and in fact it’s already the end of March. Can you believe how fast time flies!

So, if you haven’t followed me since before, then first of all, welcome to this blog! I’m glad that you came all the way here, and I hope you stick around!

In this particular blog series, I will be documenting my journey on my low-buy project this year. Before, I’ve written my rules here, and my January “I Would’ve Bought” here. On February, I didn’t have many things I wanted to buy, so I decided to merge my monthly “I Would’ve Bought” list to this post that covers my February and March list all at once.

What I Bought

Before sharing my list, I want to share what I have bought during these two months. I still managed to not buy anything new, so all of the items here are refills or necessities. But, I did receive one thing as a gift from my husband. I’ll show you a bit later in this post!

The first thing I bought was three packs of cotton pads. Each of them costs USD 1. I also bought two bottles of Garnier Micellar Oil-Infused Cleansing Water, which costs USD 10 for both. And then I bought Safi Age Defy Eye Contour Treatment because I ran out of my Innisfree Orchid Eye Cream and was looking for a cheaper alternative. It costs USD 6.

And lastly, I bought a small tube of hair conditioner that costs USD 1. This was a new product I didn’t have before but I bought it because recently my hair feels so rough and dry so I thought I might need a hair conditioner. I never took care of my hair properly because I rarely had problem with my hair (thank goodness). So I never had any hair care product except my shampoo. Now I realized I should’ve taken care my hair more.

All of my February & March haul, except the cotton pads are 3 packs and the Garnier ones are 2 bottles.

In total, these 2 months I spent only USD 20! This might looks so cheap for you to spend in 2 months, but here in Indonesia, it’s a decent amount of money!

Besides these stuffs, I also got a gift from my husband. He bought me a brush storage made from acrylic material that I’ve been eyeing for months but couldn’t pick up because of my low-buy project! Now I can store and display my brush collection prettily and without having to worry about them getting dusty!

What I Would Have Bought

Now let’s move on to the more interesting part which is my wish list! I don’t actually like to call this wish list, but rather “things I would have bought if I wasn’t doing a low-buy project”. I prefer call it like that because I tend to do an impulsive buy >< So by doing this low-buy project, it helps me restrain my bad shopping habit and not buy something immediately ><

So far, I must admit that the temptation to break my rules is getting harder and harder. As the season changes from winter to spring (although we don’t have that season-changing here in Indonesia), all makeup brands starts competing to release new spring items every other day. Recently, not only the products are getting innovative, the packaging is also getting cuter, and I’m such a sucker for cute packaging.

Before I continue to my list, I want to give a disclaimer first XD I apologize in advance that you might be bored of me mentioning this particular brand. If you’ve followed me for a while, you might be able to guess it by now. Yes, it is none other than Colourpop XD I’m sorry in advance that there will be a lot of Colourpop products mentioned here. It’s just simply because Colourpop ships to almost every where in the world so I find it cheaper and easier to shop directly from their website.

Okay, without further a do, here are some products that caught my eye and almost made me break my low-buy rules these past months.

Colourpop BFF Liners

Not stopping after colorful mascaras, Colourpop released yet another colorful product, which were colorful liquid liners. The second they announced it, I know right from the bat that I will buy one or two to pair with the purple and red mascaras I wanted to buy since January. But, I was a little bit disappointed when I found out that there was no purple liner! I was so heart broken because purple is my favorite color and I have planned to buy the purple palette and purple mascara together. It would’ve been perfect if there was a purple liner too! I do hope they add the shades in the future. It is Colourpop we’re talking about 😉

For now, I’ll settle with only the red one. So, if I wasn’t doing a low-buy year, I would’ve spent USD 8 for this liquid liner.


Colourpop Overtime Lippie Pencil

Colourpop released a bunch of new lippie pencil shades as well as renew the packaging. I wasn’t a type of lip liner girl. Can you believe that I only have one lip pencil until now? So I thought why not try a new one? I happened to need a red one anyway. Among all red shades on Colourpop website, I find this one called “overtime” is the most basic. So,I would’ve spent USD 5 for this lip liner.

Colourpop Spring 2019 Collection

If you can’t tell already, pastel pink, coral, and peach are my color, hence the logo I made for this blog. I made this logo even before I knew that this year’s pantone color is living coral. How happy I was when Colourpop released their spring collection this year and the main color was living coral!

This collection is the hardest collection to resist for me during this low-buy. To be honest, I almost break my rules. But, I still can hold on until I wrote this post.

All items in this collection is so pretty. There are no shades I dislike. But, since I’m always on a budget, I must select just a few things from this entire collection.

From this collection, I definitely would love to pick up the palette, the “sweet talk” palette. This palette is so special. Not only because the packaging and the coral color scheme that really scream spring to me, but also because it contains one super shock shadow which was reformulated to be able to not drying on the pan, and two pressed glitter. This is such a good deal for me who wouldn’t bought a single jar of glitter since I wouldn’t get a lot of use out of it anyway. But, since it’s on a palette, it’s a good chance for me to try it out!

“Sweet Talk” Palette

And then, I’d also love to pick up the blushes in “get leid” and “growth flirt”. They are the ones on the first and third from top on the picture below.

I also love the jelly much eye shadows recently. They are easier to work with than my initial thoughts. And I like how foiled they look on my eyes. Among the jelly shadows, I probably would’ve picked up the ones called “doves n roses” and “wisthlin’ pixie”. They are the first and second from top on picture below.

And lastly, of course I would’ve picked up the lipsticks. I’m glad that they included the creme lux lipsticks in this collection, because they are my all time favorite finish among all Colourpop lip products. If I had unlimited amount of money, I would’ve picked up all of them. But since I didn’t, I probably would’ve picked up three of them, which were “ur thriving”,
“spring roll”, and “tea thyme”. They are the first, third, and last respectively from the top on the picture below.

So if I wasn’t on low-buy, I would’ve spent 18 + 4 * 8 + 3 * 7 = USD 71 for this collection only.

Colourpop Disney Villains

And yet another big collection from Colourpop, which was their second collaboration with Disney, the Disney Villains Collection. I was so hyped up when I first heard about this launch because I LOVE my Disney Princess’ palette and lipsticks. But, after all products were revealed, and I saw swatches everywhere, I feel a little bit underwhelmed.

First, the price. Almost all items in this collection retail more expensive than any similar products Colourpop has released before. Usually their 15 pan palettes retail for USD 20, the palette in this one retails for USD 22. The lux lipsticks that are usually USD 7, retail for USD 8 here. And the super shock highlighters that are usually USD 8 is USD 10 in this collection. Lastly the lip glosses are USD 7, which is usually USD 6.5. Only the jelly much shadows that remain the same price as usual, which are USD 8.

I understand about the lipstick, though. They have special “villains” emboss on it, which means Colourpop has to make a special mold for these lipsticks only. And the highlighter is super shock but stored in a heavy duty cardboard, which means it has to be specially formulated to non drying on the pan, unlike their usual super shock highlighters that are stored in a closed jar.

And then, usually in a collection, I would’ve been interested in the shadow palette. But the palette in this one, I feel the color scheme is sooo similar to “Perception” palette by Shayla. I don’t have that palette, but many have said that that palette was a dupe for Urban Decay “Born to Run” palette which I have. I don’t want to have palettes that are to similar in color scheme, so I am still unsure whether I want to pick up this palette or not.

And then the lipsticks. Almost all the colors look similar to their current existing shades, especially the Disney Princess’ lipsticks. Among all lipsticks, I would probably picked up only “Maleficent”, which is the second from the right on picture below.


Besides that, I probably would’ve pick up the Maleficent highlighter, and the blue jelly much shadow since I don’t have any blue jelly much shadow yet.

Maleficent highlighter “Mistress of all evil”
Ursula jelly much shadow “Just your voice”

If I wasn’t on low-buy, I would’ve spent USD 26 on this collection.

So, that’s all my imaginative haul. In total, I would’ve spent USD 110 in these two months if I wasn’t doing a low-buy year! Glad that I am!

If you’re currently doing a low-buy like me, how is your low-buy so far? What’s your biggest temptation, and how you restrain it? Please share your experience on the comment section below!

Thank you so much for reading today’s post and I’ll see you next week!

Top 5 Korean and Drugstore Matte Liquid Lipsticks

Hey, everyone!

In this post I want to share with you my top 5 Korean and western drugstore matte liquid lipsticks, as well as some comparisons between them. Since this is my own top 5 ranking, I evaluate them based on my preferences in matte lipsticks.

Basically, in term of matte lipstick, I prefer liquid lipsticks than conventional bullet lipsticks. I find liquid lipstick is easier to apply by nature and offer more crisp look without having to put a lot of effort by lining our lips first. I often do my makeup in a hurry so I rarely have time for a lip pencil.

To make it easier for us to compare, I divided the evaluation into some categories: price, consistency (creamy or watery), applicator (whether it makes application easier or not), finish (whether it sits on fine lines or not, whether it stains our lips or not, and whether it feels heavy or not), wearing time (whether it’s long-wearing or not), and transfer-ability (whether it’s transfer-proof or not). And for a quick disclaimer, since all lipsticks here are imported, I’ll be mentioning the price when I bought it, not their original prices in their country of origin, and convert them into USD so it’s easier for you to assess whether it’s affordable or not.

Okay, without further a do, here are my favorite Korean & western drugstore matte liquid lipsticks from top 5 to top 1.

Wet n Wild Megalast Liquid Catsuit

This lipstick is the cheapest among all lipsticks I’ll be mentioning in this post. I bought it for around USD 5.

Wet n Wild Megalast Liquid Catsuit in ‘Give Me Mocha’

It has consistency between creamy and watery. So it’s not too creamy, but not too watery either. It has doe foot applicator with a dent in the middle so that it can reach our entire lips precisely. I found it very effective to apply the products not only to the front part of my lips, but also to the top part, without having to go back and forth.

It doesn’t stain my lips, instead it sits on top of them. And because of that, there’s possibility it could stick on my teeth if I shut my lips before it completely dries. However, it dries fairly fast, so I don’t find this property very annoying. I don’t have chapped lips, but I find it sits on my fine lips after a long wear time. So please keep that in mind if you have a very dry lips. I also feel it a little bit heavy, nothing crazy, but I can clearly feel that I have something on my lips.

Speaking about wear time, I guess it has an okay wear time. As long as we don’t eat or drink, it isn’t really worn off for nearly 4 hours. But it’s not transfer-proof. It definitely leaves some marks on my cup or my straw when I drink.

Maybelline Superstay Matte Ink

They claim to be 16-hour long-wearing but I never had a chance to wear it for that long. But I remembered one day, I wore this lipstick and ate a kind of soup. After eating, it was still on my lips as if I didn’t eat anything. And until the end of that day, maybe around 8 to 10 hours after the first application and without re-application, it was only start to worn off of the inner part of my lips, but it definitely left stain on that part so I still looked like I have lipsticks on. That being said, I can safely say that this lipstick is the most transfer-proof and long-wearing among all lipsticks I’ll be mentioning in this post. It also stains my lips therefore it looks there even after quite a long time.

Maybelline Superstay Matte Ink in ‘Ruler’

However, I feel like this one is also the heaviest. I definitely feel I have something on my lips. It has creamy consistency and doesn’t sit on my fine lines, which is usually the case for creamy liquid lipstick. But I don’t really like the applicator. It is too big for my small lips so I must be extra careful when applying it. It also needs a decent amount of time to be completely dry. And I highly recommend you to not shut your lips before it’s dry or it would wipe off some products you’ve applied.

Price-wise, it was slightly more expensive than the Wet n Wild one. I bought it for about USD 7.

Etude House Matte Chic Lip Lacquer

If you don’t know, Etude House is a Korean beauty brand. They always have cute packaging and are still considered drugstore/ affordable price among other Korean brands, although they aren’t sold in drugstores. They have their own stores widely spread across Korea and a lot of Asian countries, including Indonesia.

Etude House Matte Chic Lip Lacquer in ‘Wendy Brown’

Etude House advertised this as a completely transfer-proof lipstick, and I must agree. Although it has watery consistency, and watery liquid lipstick tends to transfer easily, it’s not the case with this one. It almost as transfer-proof as the Maybelline one. But, it takes a decent amount of time to be completely dried. If you shut your lips before it dries, it might stick on your teeth. So please keep that in mind. However, when it dries, it’s not easily transferred to our drinks or foods.

I bought it for around USD 8.5, so it’s in the middle range among other lipsticks I’ll be mentioning here. It doesn’t stain our lips, instead it sits on top of them, so it has tendency to sit on fine lines too.

It’s quite long-wearing, and since it’s pretty transfer-proof, too, I find it very practical to wear on the day when I don’t want to keep re-applying my lipstick. But this also because in my opinion, the applicator is not the easiest to use. It has bent like Wet n Wild one (so I like it), but the tip of the applicator is too long for my small lips, so I must be extra careful when applying it. It’s not as difficult as the Maybelline one, though.

3CE Soft Lip Lacquer

Now let’s move on to the top 2 of my all time favorite matte liquid lipstick, and two of them are actually from a Korean brand called 3CE. 3CE is actually considered middle range brand in term of price. They are not fairly affordable like Etude House, but not as expensive as, for example, Laneige or Sulwahsoo. Their style is also very different with Etude House. 3CE is more elegant, as they seem to target women around age 25-35 (based on my observation only), unlike Etude House that seems to target younger women (under 25).

3CE Soft Lip Lacquer in ‘Almost Mauve’

I bought this particular lipstick for around USD 12. What I think is a unique property of it is that it has watery consistency, but it dries down as velvety finish. That’s why it’s called ‘soft lip lacquer’, ‘soft’ because of the velvet finish, and ‘lacquer’ because of the watery consistency. And that’s why I love this one so much. Since it has velvet finish, it stains our lips, doesn’t sits on fine lines, and doesn’t feel dry whatsoever. It also blurs our lips texture and makes it looks so smooth.

It’s also long-wearing enough even though it doesn’t feel sticky on my lips like Maybelline one. I can safely say that it’s also very transfer-proof. I remember one day I had a lunch in a seafood place. It’s hard to eat neatly in seafood place, right? So I remember clearly that I didn’t try to maintain my lipstick during that lunch time. However after finish eating, my lipstick hadn’t come off AT ALL!

3CE Velvet Lip Tint

3CE Velvet Lip Tint in ‘Taupe’
3CE Velvet Lip Tint in ‘Daffodil’

And here’s my favorite of all time, the 3CE velvet lip tint. This one if I’m not mistaken has the same price as the soft lip lacquer, around USD 12. It has also the same velvet finish, but the initial consistency is different than the soft lip lacquer one, this one is creamy instead of watery. It has the similar shape of doe foot applicator with the soft lip lacquer one, but this one is a lot smaller so it fits better to my small lips.

Applicator comparison between soft lip lacquer and velvet lip tint

Although it’s creamy and creamy liquid lipsticks are usually not really long-wearing and transfer-proof, this one is otherwise. It is very long-wearing and has enough transfer-proof property. And the darker color one, since it stains our lips more than the lighter one, it helps to maintain the vivid color. It is unquestionably non-drying and doesn’t sit on our fine lines.

Left: taupe, right: daffodil

Comparisons

And here are all of them swatched together as well as the summary of their properties I’ve mentioned above in a table so you can see clearly how they are different with each other.

Left to right: etude house, two of 3CE velvet lip tints, 3CE soft lip lacquer, wet n wild, and maybelline
The swatches. You can see pretty clearly that the 3CE ones are non drying compare to others.
Comparisons of all lipsticks

From comparisons above you can see that although the Maybelline one has 5 preferred properties, the same as the 3CE velvet lip tint one, since it feels quite heavy on my lips and the applicator is a bit too big for me, I don’t reach it as much as the ones on higher rank. And because of the weight and how it looks on lips, I found it a little too thick and too crisp for a casual everyday wear.

And then, I also tried to wipe them off with an oil-based cleanser I normally use to clean my face, which is the Garnier Micellar Oil-infused Cleansing Water.

And here’s what they looked like from one to four swipes.

You can see from picture above that the most left one (which is the Etude House one) was the hardest to take off. That’s why I said it has the same transfer-proof property as the Maybelline one, but I prefer the Etude House than the Maybelline because the Etude one is not as heavy-feeling as the Maybelline one.

What do you think about my recommendation? Do you have one or some of the lipsticks I mentioned here, too? If yes, which one is your favorite? Let me know your preference on comment section below! Thank you for reading and I’ll see you on my next post!