Unconventional (But Useful) Beauty Products

Contouring crayons, multi-purpose jelly pots and a semi-permanent tint for your eyebrows? Here are some unconventional – but useful – beauty products to have in your stash.

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1. Moonshot Jelly Pot

$29, Available at Sephora.

Korean cosmetics brand Moonshot may not stock many products in its range here, but a good number of them are still worth a try. The Moonshot Jelly Pot, in particular, is one of the brand’s standout products. Versatility aside, the jelly-like colour pots come in a whole spectrum of colours, ranging from gunmetal grey to shimmery beige. There are also two different types of finishes – matte and pearl. See the whole range of colours applied here.

moonshot-jelly-pot-hawaiian-sandMoonshot Jelly Pot in Hawaiian Sand

Depending on what colour you choose, the Moonshot Jelly Pot can be applied as an eyeshadow, highlighter or even eyeliner. The gel-like product has quite an interesting consistency – almost like agar agar, if you ask me – and it has far better staying power than traditional powder eyeshadow. I wouldn’t recommend using it over an eyeshadow primer though – for some reason the formula seems to stick better to the skin, rather than a layer of primer.

In terms of application, the Moonshot Jelly Pot feels creamy when applied, but dries to a lightweight powder finish. The product sets quite quickly on the skin though, so blend it out as soon as you apply it.

At $29 a pop, the Moonshot Jelly Pots are dangerously inexpensive for a Sephora-stocked brand – so do not be alarmed if you end up with more than one colour in your shopping basket. But hey, that’s a small price to pay for your happiness, no? #girllogic

Moonshot-Jelly-Pot-SwatchMoonshot Jelly Pot in Hawaiian Sand

2. trèStiQue Bronzer Stick

$34 (USD), Available on trestique.com.

Contouring sticks are hardly a new invention, but yet they are (sadly) still quite uncommon in the market – in Singapore, at least. Powder formulations may seem less daunting to work with, but I personally find that contouring sticks actually provide more precise application. The cream formula also tends to be more long-wearing than powder ones.

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I’ve tried several contouring sticks (Oh the woes of having a square jaw), but the trèStiQue Bronzer Stick is by far one of the better ones. I don’t know why it’s named as so though, because it’s more of a contouring product rather than a bronzer.

Compared to other formulations, trèStiQue’s is probably the most long-wearing one of the lot. The formula is pigmented but creamy, so it creates nice shadows when blended. Some contouring sticks only apply a sheer coat of colour, so you don’t get much of an effect when blended.

The bullet is also wider than most other contouring sticks (Burberry’s Face Contour Pen and Tarte’s The Sculptor, to name a few), so it makes it easier to contour your jaw and forehead.

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The stick also comes with a blending brush on the other end, but I usually use my fingers because body heat helps the product blend better.

There are no local stockists for trèStiQue at the moment, but you can buy it online from their website. Makeup Revolution’s The One Stick is also a good dupe – it may not be as long-wearing, but it is available locally.

trestique-bronzer-stick-on-face-2 trestique-bronzer-stick-on-face

3. Etude House Tint My Brows Gel

$15.90, Available at Etude House.

I’m always amazed at how innovative Korean beauty products can be. Case in point – the Etude House Tint My Brows Gel, which gives you a semi-permanent tint on your eyebrows. If you are apprehensive about trying out brow embroidery, the Tint My Brows Gel is a good in-between product to get you accustomed to darker brows.

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The gel applies like a mask on your eyebrows, so do not be alarmed if you first look like an Angry Bird. Leave the product on your eyebrows for a few hours (or overnight), then peel off the dried layer to leave a tint on your brows. Depending on how often (or hard) you exfoliate, the tint can last anywhere between two to seven days.

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There are three shades available, so pick the one that is closest to your hair colour. Application can be a bit tricky at first, but try painting it on in slow, steady strokes rather than one big one.

etude-house-tint-my-brows-gel-swatch(Source: Etude House)

4. Eyeko Skinny Brush Mascara

$27, Available at Sephora and NET-A-PORTER.

Mascara can be very subjective, but Eyeko is one of those brands that always comes up when you mention long-lasting mascara. The Sport Waterproof Mascara, in particular, comes highly recommended for those with oily eyelids.

Most of the Eyeko mascaras also come in interestingly practical packaging. Unlike traditional cylinder tubes, the mascara is housed in a squeeze tube – so you can get that last bit of product from the tube.

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Each of the mascaras in the Eyeko range have different brushes based on varying needs (volume, length, curl etc.), but I’ve found the Lengthening Skinny Brush Mascara (pictured above) to have the best brush for short and stumpy lashes. The brush is much thinner than standard mascaras, with short and well-separated bristles, so it’s easier to get to the base of your lashes with the wand.

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5. Maybelline Color Sensational Lip Flush Bitten Lips

$16.90, Available at leading pharmacies and supermarkets.

I’m totally one of those girls who has a weakness for buying pretty makeup (a lot of which I may not necessarily need, ahem) so naturally, I was drawn to the Maybelline Color Sensational Lip Flush Bitten Lips (whew, what a mouthful).

The three-shade bullet creates a bitten lip effect when applied, so it’s actually a good dupe for the Laneige Two Tone Lip Bar. I mean, Song Hye Kyo ain’t using it but it’s half the price of the Laneige one, you know?

Also, can we all take a moment to appreciate how pretty the lipstick bullet is? *heart eye emojis*

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The Maybelline lipstick is actually easier to apply than the Laneige Two Tone Lip Bar, because the bullet is wider than the latter’s cube-like one. The formula also has a pleasant fruity scent (a welcome change from most drugstore lipsticks), and is surprisingly moisturising as well.

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The colour payoff isn’t intense, but rather a sheer coat of colour that gives a more natural finish. Definitely a useful lipstick to have in your everyday bag for quick touch-ups.

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6. Benefit Cosmetics Fine-one-one

$53, Available at Benefit counters and Sephora.

I admittedly had doubts about Benefit’s Fine-one-one at first, because it looks like well, clown makeup waiting to happen. Surprisingly though, the Fine-one-one applies to a sheer, peachy-pink finish – giving you that natural flush in just a swipe or two.

The Fine-one-one is supposed to be a multi-tasking product that works on both the lips and cheeks, but I’d probably give the lips a miss with this because uh, it tastes kind of funny. Plus, I’m not sure how I feel about swiping my cheeks with something that has been on my lips? Pimples are a reality yo.

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The bullet comes segmented into three shades – coral, pink and a slightly shimmery beige. While I wouldn’t classify the formula as a creamy one, it does glide on easily on the skin. When blended, the combination of colours somehow give a natural, peachy pink glow.

benefit-fine-one-one-swatch

The Fine-one-one is a handy product for travelling or mid-day touchups, mainly because you don’t need a brush to apply it. However, if you don’t usually wear blusher then just skip this. It’s not a holy grail item and quite expensive too.

benefit-fine-one-one-on-face-2 benefit-fine-one-one-on-face-3

7. Laneige Two Tone Shadow Bar

$38, Available at Laneige counters and Sephora.

While we’re on the topic of makeup that comes in a bar, I feel like I should mention the Laneige Two Tone Shadow Bar. Eyeshadow sticks are not new by any means (Marc Jacobs Beauty’s Twinkle Pop Eyeshadow Sticks probably kickstarted my love for them), but the Laneige one does have a unique two-shade bullet.

laneige-two-tone-eyeshadow-bar-1Laneige Two Tone Shadow Bar in Coffee Bronze

All of the colour options come with a light and dark shade, so all you really need to do is to swipe and blend. I wouldn’t say that the colour payoff is as great as some other eyeshadow options in the market, but it is definitely a convenient product to have while you’re on the go. If you usually prefer natural eye makeup, then you’ll probably like the finish that the Laneige Two Tone Shadow Bar gives.

laneige-two-tone-shadow-bar-swatchLaneige Two Tone Shadow Bar in Coffee Bronze

There are a total of four colours available in the range in Singapore, but the Coffee Bronze shade is (in my opinion) the only one that looks uh, normal. The other shades are a bit too light or orangey if you ask me, but hey, whatever floats your boat. You do you, I say.

laneige-two-tone-shadow-bar-on-eyesLaneige Two Tone Shadow Bar in Coffee Bronze

8. Sasa ART NET Brush

 $13.90, Available at Sasa stores.

The Sasa ART NET Brush is an obvious dupe of the popular Artis Brush, which was designed to mimic the shape of your fingers. While I haven’t tried the famed Artis Brushes (ain’t nobody got $60 to blow on a makeup brush yo), the Sasa one does do a good job of applying concealer seamlessly.

The bristles are firm but soft, and the oval-shaped brush makes it easy to get into the corners around your eyes and nose. The brush applies concealer evenly and smoothly, which makes setting the product much easier. It doesn’t seem to work well with liquid foundation application though, so I would stick to your Beautyblender or foundation brush if I were you.

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9. Foreo LUNA mini 2

$225, Available at Sephora.

I’ve always been somewhat dubious about facial cleansing tools, because the Clarisonic has proven to be much too harsh for my sensitive skin. So when I read about the Foreo LUNA mini 2, I never really thought twice about it – until I watched a couple of YouTube videos and well, let’s just say that the rest is history (isn’t that always the case with YouTube beauty videos though).

For starters, the Foreo LUNA mini 2 is made of silicon, so you don’t have to worry about bacteria or dirt getting trapped in brush bristles. You can also safely use the device in the shower, and it cleans easily with soap and warm water. The battery life supposedly lasts 7 months on one full charge, but of course it depends on how often you use the device.

Although the Foreo LUNA mini 2 seems to be gentler than the Clarisonic, it still gives a deep clean and leaves your skin softer than usual. It sort of feels like you’re massaging your skin, rather than scrubbing it.

At $225 apiece, the device definitely doesn’t come cheap. There are other variations in the range as well, but they are generally priced between $150 – $250. I got mine from the Sephora Malaysia website though – for some reason, it’s much cheaper than the prices listed on the Singapore site (after conversion). You have to send it to an address in Malaysia, but ironically the item ships out from the Singapore warehouse. If you want to save even more, just wait until the next Sephora Black Card Member Sale for an extra 20% off.

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10. Mario Badescu Drying Lotion

$36, Available at Sephora.

Unlike traditional acne creams, the Mario Badescu Drying Lotion comes in a peculiar sediment-like formulation. To apply the product, dip a clean cotton bud into the pink part of the lotion then apply it on spots. Contrary to what may be a natural instinct, you’re actually not supposed to shake the bottle before application.

Strange application aside, this is hands down one of the best acne treatments for spots (but not cystic acne). It’s a bit pricier than your usual Oxy and whatnot, but also far more effective. The salicylic acid formulation is powerful enough to calm angry red spots, but still gentle enough that it doesn’t dry out your skin.

If you don’t usually get monster pimples though, I say just skip this and get Acne Clear Pimple Cream, a cheaper but slightly less effective alternative.

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Still want more? Check out these other articles:

How To Contour and Highlight (Like A Goddess)

Most Instaworthy Beauty Trends Of 2016

Korean Makeup Trends

Affordable Makeup Dupes (And Where To Buy Them)

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