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The Road Test
Warmer and more humid weather calls for a switch-up of items in my beauty bag. As I’m not a fan of lugging numerous products around, I usually keep only absolute essentials in my bag, like a statement lippy and a fail-safe mascara, plus one or two portable items like a versatile eye shadow palette or hydrating face mist. To take things in a spring-worthy direction, I will forgo rich winter formulas for lightweight products that feel comfy on skin, and swap moody shades for peppier colors when it comes to lip and eye products.
For this month’s Beauty Lab, I tested six Korean beauty products ideal for quick touch-ups while on the go. From makeup products like soft matte lipsticks to skin-pampering essentials like sunscreens with a super lustrous finish, this selection of goodies promises to keep me looking impeccable through spring and beyond.
Read on to find out which of the following ended up in my spring makeup bag!
My take: Lip products are must-haves for any makeup bag, from statement lippies to nourishing balms. To rescue my perennially chapped lips, I tested out the More Than Lip Balm from SIORIS. Its formula is chock-full of organic ingredients, including cold-pressed perilla seed oil, coconut oil and shea butter, and it comes in sleek, minimalist packaging. While the lip balm hits the mark for hydration powers, it left a slightly tacky finish that I’m ambivalent about.
For a matte lip that delivers a bold pop of color, peripera’s Ink Mood Matte Stick in spring-worthy coral appears to be just the ticket. While I’ve grown to love lightweight lip tints, nothing beats the feeling of swiping on a soft matte lipstick. As a statement lip product for spring, this peripera lipstick struck the perfect balance between vibrant and OTT, and crucially, the formula didn’t strip my lips of moisture.
Into the bag or not? An unequivocal yes for the lipstick, and a maybe for the lip balm.
My take: After a strenuous workout at the gym, I usually can’t be bothered to glam up, save for some jet-black mascara. Although I’m usually all for luscious lashes that dial up the drama, I’m curious about mude’s Inspire Volume Curling Mascara that promises a natural-looking effect. While the formula didn’t provide dramatic length, it more than made up for this by leaving my lashes with extra volume, subtle curl and a fluttery finish. The mascara gets bonus points for the skinny spoolie that easily separated my lashes during application, while grabbing and coating all the tiny hairs at the inner and outer corners of my eyes. If you’re looking for a zero smudge mascara that’s low-key yet high-performance, this mascara from mude is a keeper. What’s more, it’s easily removable with cleansing oil.
Into the bag or not? For sure! But for days when I’m aiming for maximum drama, I might swap it for a mascara that leaves a more OTT finish.
My take: It’s hard to find a compact eye shadow palette offering shades that are both work-appropriate and date-friendly. This CLIO eye shadow palette satisfied my needs on all counts with four sultry, earth-tone shades in glittery formulations (ivory, champagne, copper, reddish brown) that deliver instant glam. The cute, pocket-sized packaging is a plus!
I was initially worried about how holographic the powders would look, but those concerns proved unfounded, as the crystal glitters were subtle rather than overpowering. I was also pleasantly surprised by the richly pigmented formula as a little amount of powder goes a long way. The reddish brown shade, in particular, was a standout, producing a dramatic wash of color that blended out beautifully on my eyelid to complement my warm skin tone. My only quibble with the palette is that the shades, while versatile, may be underwhelming for party eye makeup looks.
Into the bag or not? Yes, although I’ll rotate it with palettes offering brighter colors for days when I wish to go bold with neon eye makeup looks.
My take: This is hands-down one of the best-smelling rose-scented Korean skin care products I’ve ever used. Not only was the aroma soft, sweet and refreshing rather than overpowering, it lingered pleasantly on my skin even after a couple of hours. As someone who has never found a rose-scented product to my liking, this mist serum has converted me.
The double-layered formula is infused with 10,000ppm of rose damascena flower water and hyaluronic acid for deep hydration, and 10,050ppm of collagen for boosting skin elasticity. It instantly gave my skin a dewy, plumped-up look. While the effects faded after around half an hour, a couple spritzes of this mist can help combat a mid-afternoon slump, especially on a long, hot day.
Into the bag or not? The 100ml container is a bit large for my makeup bag, but given how obsessed I am with the product’s scent and after-feel, I’ll make room for it.
My take: Every makeup bag needs a multitasking product. This is why I chose to test out heimish’s mineral sunscreen that also functions as a primer and tone-up cream. This sun care product is fitted with SPF 50+ PA+++ for UV protection. It’s infused with 1,000ppm rosehip oil, adenosine and 800ppm of rose water to keep skin soothed and hydrated while minimizing fine lines. This summer essential is suitable for every skin type.
As expected, applying the watery, bright pink formula onto my face immediately produced a luminous glow. On the downside, the formula left a shiny finish, and the strong rose scent might not suit everyone’s taste. It’s hard to beat, though, if you’re looking for a multifunctional product that can prep, protect and tone up skin all at once.
Into the bag or not? Despite the product’s strong scent, I appreciate the mini glow-up it delivers. All things considered, this item earns a spot in my spring beauty bag.
My Final Verdict:
After testing out these goodies for a week or so, it became pretty clear which Korean makeup and skin care products should be in my beauty bag. peripera’s Ink Mood Matte Stick is a real keeper that can be depended upon to instantly pull a look together. Although glossy lips are all the rage, I’m still partial to a matte lip, especially if it comes in a sweet coral or classic red color. I’m equally smitten by mude’s Inspire Volume Curling Mascara, which provided a natural-looking yet flirtatious lash look.
I could take or leave SIORIS’s More Than Lip Balm, as the product, though hydrating, left a tacky after-feel. I’m pleasantly surprised by MARY & MAY’s Rose Collagen Mist Serum and heimish’s Bulgarian Rose Tone-Up Sunscreen, as they both delivered glowing skin. As for CLIO’s TWINKLE POP Pearl Flex Glitter Eye Palette, it more than lived up to my expectations with four versatile shades that offered just the right amount of sparkle.
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