Sit tight, this is gonna be a long article. In the second part of our Sephora Spring launches review, we’re diving right into… makeup! After discovering which items worked well on our hair, the NYLON team is about to dish everything we loved — and hated — about these new or upcoming makeup launches.
Here’s what to expect: some really good concealers, hit-or-miss blushes, surprisingly affordable products, a mascara that comes highly-raved, and a liquid lipstick that changed our minds about red lipsticks. Read on!
BECCA Light Shifter Brightening Concealer, $44
“This makeup review is off to a good start, I thought, because this was love at first swipe. My best description of BECCA’s new concealer would be that it’s a cross between Maybelline’s Instant Age Rewind Concealer, thanks to that fluffy flocked applicator, and YSL Beauty’s cult Touche Eclat, due to this one’s brightening formula, which makes for a very formidable product.
First, the dispensing system. You twist one end to dispense the right amount of product, so it’s never messy. On the skin, the applicator feels soft and blends out very evenly — you don’t need even need a brush!
What might take some convincing is that this is a brightening concealer that uses reflected light, instead of heavy pigment, for a blurring effect. Not a highlighter. It gives a very natural finish that’s a bit more luminous than usual, which makes it perfect for the undereye area; you can also take it to the top of your cheekbones. Compared to a typical concealer though, this one’s more of a sheer coverage, which can however be layered. I wouldn’t count on this obscuring major blemishes, but it doesn’t matter! I love how it makes my undereye area, and then my entire face, look naturally radiant and healthy. I look like I have amazing skin, which is not a humble brag, I swear.” — Amelia, Deputy Editor
NYLON RECOMMENDS: Treat yo self!
GOOD FOR: If you have relatively good skin, and like a naturally radiant complexion.
Zoeva Authentik Skin Perfector Concealer, $28
“I previously tried Zoeva’s liquid foundation and it was really decent for its price, so I expected this concealer to be equally impressive — and I’m glad to say that it is! It glides on smooth and actually melts into skin, blending over blemishes and pigmentation. I could effectively conceal dark rings, sun spots, blemish scars, redness around the nose and even unsightly enlarged pores. This is an excellent concealer for its price point.” — Adele, Editor-in-Chief
GOOD FOR: Everyone! This works. Just make sure to get the right shade for your skin tone.
Sephora Collection Smoothing Translucent Setting Powder, $29
“I find myself occasionally using setting powders and so I’ve dabbled with a few but I’ve been staying true to my favourite cult classics — Laura Mercier, for instance. So when I came across this setting powder, I wasn’t quite sure about how it would fare on my skin — also because it came in the shade medium, which seemed a little too yellowish to my liking.
However, after using it thrice, I realised that this smoothing translucent setting powder feels pretty decent on my skin and it didn’t feel heavy nor did it make my face look cakey too. I also noticed that it came with a unique netting — making it easier to dispense the powder and get the appropriate amount for baking. And surprisingly it didn’t give a yellow tinge to my complexion which I also really liked.” — Shazrina, Writer
NYLON RECOMMENDS: Yes.
GOOD FOR: Normal to oily skin types.
Moonshot Air Blusher in 302 Breeze Fig, $18
“Yet another pretty product, in a peachy shade that sits nicely within a translucent case. Perhaps that exterior is an indicator of what to expect within — don’t worry, it’s all good. The blush is just as fresh, and very airy. You can see that it looks great even on the back of my hand, and trust me, it looks great across my cheeks as well. Very buildable, with a great airy, cloud-like texture. Decent stuff!” — Amelia, Deputy Editor
NYLON RECOMMENDS: Yes, please!
GOOD FOR: Anyone and everyone who needs a good, reliable blush.
Jill Stuart Bloom Mix Blush Compact in #01 Blooming Tulip, $50
“This is a kawaii-level compact, without a doubt. With a crystal-like exterior, this blush was definitely made to be used in public. After opening the compact, you get a whiff of a fragrant, floral scent, but it fades fairly quickly after application. With the five shades combined and applied with a fluffy brush, you’re left with a very light, pink shade (but border-lining bubblegum) that could be quite complementary for those with a much fairer skin tone. Think igari-style makeup, maybe? While the overall shade is a little too feminine for my taste, there is the option to use the colours individually.” — Natalie, Writer
NYLON RECOMMENDS: Not really, unless you’re into pretty packaging.
GOOD FOR: Looking cute in your purse, a more feminine blush, those with fairer skin tones.
Wander Beauty Double Date Lip/Cheek in Rendezvous/Swipe, Price TBC
“What great packaging, I thought once I first saw this. You can tell by now that I’m very swayed by the way a product looks, but hey, aren’t we all? This doesn’t only look pretty, it’s very convenient and compact too, especially since the multi-functional product combines a blush and lip product in one. Also, there’s a mirror, which is superb for on-the-go makeup. The top pan features ‘Rendezvous’, a sweet pink shade in a cream-gel texture that you can apply to your lips or cheeks, then blend out with your fingers. At the base, it’s a clear gel that can be used as a balm or subtle highlight.
Unfortunately, that’s where my praises end. I’m not a fan of the texture of the product, especially the pink shade. I do like ‘Swipe’ as a subtle highlighter, but overall, the product felt too wet and too intense for a blush, and on my face, it wasn’t easy to blend out for a natural effect. I really tried. I thought the shade too baby-pink for the lips too, and shade aside, it’s not the most hydrating or long-lasting formula either. Such smart packaging, but I was let down by the product itself.” — Amelia, Deputy Editor
NYLON RECOMMENDS: You can do better!
GOOD FOR: People who do their makeup on-the-go, especially in shaky Grab rides, we see ya.
Sephora Collection Face Shimmering Powder in #05 Magnetic Glow, $26
“There’s no such thing as too much highlighter, so I was excited to give this a try. I was a little worried that it might be too dark on me, but with an extremely light hand, it blended into my usual makeup routine surprisingly well. For my skin tone, I feel like it worked better as an eyeshadow, and it lasted without much creasing throughout the day. While it does serve its purpose, I do think it would suit someone with a darker skin tone even better.” — Natalie, Writer
NYLON RECOMMENDS: Depends.
GOOD FOR: Darker skin tones, for a more golden-brown highlight.
Tarte Big Ego™ Frameworker™ Brow Pomade in Medium Brown, $32
“I’ve been using the Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade for the longest time, so when Tarte’s Frameworker™ Brow Pomade came in, I was excited to get my hands on it. With the help of the Tarte Fill Service™ Brow Brush & Spoolie, I had some mixed views about the pomade itself.
Firstly, it was really smooth — it had a buttery-like texture that melts and goes on seamlessly — which can be a good or bad thing depending on how you see it. For sure, it had a good colour payoff but I wasn’t really big on how harsh the lines came off on my brows. Basically, it felt like I was literally filling in my brows, without being able to draw hair-like strokes. So I didn’t actually manage to achieve a more natural finish.
Then I thought to myself, “maybe it isn’t the pomade and it was just the brush”. And so I switched to a more precise brow brush and I could definitely see an improvement — it was more natural and it was easier to define my brows with it. However, I wouldn’t say it’s the best pomade out there, I still needed a few touch-ups every now and then.” — Shazrina, Writer
NYLON RECOMMENDS: Not really.
GOOD FOR: Those who like filled-in, precise brows.
Tarte Big Ego™ Fill Service™ Brow Brush & Spoolie, $32
“Tarte has been known for many of their iconic products, so I knew that I had to give it a go. After trying it out a few times, I found that I wasn’t a big fan of their brow brush because it wasn’t as precise as I thought it would be. If you’re applying your brow pomade with it, I suggest using a lighter hand. Other than that, I totally digged its packaging. One, the brow brush is retractable which makes it a little more hygienic than the other basic ones in the market; and two, it also comes equipped with a spoolie that comes in handy especially when you need to comb through your brow hairs.” — Shazrina, Writer
NYLON RECOMMENDS: Maybe.
GOOD FOR: Defining brows for beginners.
KVD Vegan Beauty Tattoo Liner in Mad Max Brown, $32
“I’m already a fan of KVD’s Tattoo Liner. I mean, I’ve raved about how it lasts all day, through the most sweaty conditions, and yet doesn’t smudge or leave nasty streaks on my eyelids. Still, I’ve since toned down my comments because I acknowledge that it may not be the most intensely black shade in the market. That formula though, is still solid, and same goes for the Tattoo Liner, this time in what they’re calling ‘Mad Max Brown’. Catchy name. I wanted to dislike it because, brown, but this isn’t what I expected at all. It’s not a soft, subtle brown, the kind that k-beauty loves to tout, but a deep brown that goes on darker and raunchier. Nothing beats black, but for a slightly less intense look, I can definitely get on board with this!” — Amelia, Deputy Editor
NYLON RECOMMENDS: Go for it.
GOOD FOR: If black eyeliner’s too intense, but you’d still like a strong, slightly more natural eye look.
Sephora Collection Retractable Eyeliner in 25 Glitter Rose Gold, $18
“If you’re in search of something to make you look a lot more awake than you actually are, then adding a shimmery eyeliner to your waterline might just do you some good. What I like most about this eyeliner is that it goes on really nicely along my waterline and it gives a subtle sparkle of shimmer to my eye area that can also be added to the inner corners of my eye for a brighter look. It also comes with a smudge-tip that can be found on the other end of the eyeliner for you to perfect your lines with. However, the only setback is, it does look a little too subtle for some, so if you want something that gives a higher impact, try opting for a shade that’s bolder or lighter.” — Shazrina, Writer
NYLON RECOMMENDS: Maybe.
GOOD FOR: Brightens up your eyes, buildable enough for beginners.
Sephora Collection Brush Tip Liquid Liner in 01 Black, $20
“Eyeliners are usually a hit or a miss — and with very few factors to judge them on, its easy to see which eyeliners actually live up to their promises. Fortunately, for this newcomer, it was an easy ‘yes’ for me. I’ve always had a soft spot for liquid liners, especially those that come with a brush tip and this one by Sephora didn’t disappoint. It gave a nice, pigmented flick in one stroke and it stayed on for hours without smudging. So what more could you ask for?” — Shazrina, Writer
NYLON RECOMMENDS: An easy yes!
GOOD FOR: Perfecting that winged eyeliner look.
Sephora Collection #EYESTORIES Eyeshadow Palette in Fresh Florals, $22
“It’s easy to judge a house brand palette, and though this one is pretty, I still think it falls under “okay”. Let’s start with what works. The choice of colours is certainly fresh — versatile rosy-browns and light shimmers, with that pop of yellow that I can definitely appreciate. The handy eye tutorial printed right on the palette is a good guide to get creative beyond the usual nude eyeshadow tones. The palette’s size is also compact enough to carry about. My key issue is pigmentation — while the colours look alright on first swipe, they soon disappear when blended out. In particular, the shimmery Dew shade doesn’t show up very well. It’s okay if you layer the shades, but perhaps I’ve been used to super pigmentation from the start, I feel like I shouldn’t have to do double the work for the colour I want. The packaging also doesn’t feel luxe, even for its $22 price tag. I’d skip this, but maybe makeup beginners would want to give it a try.” — Amelia, Deputy Editor
NYLON RECOMMENDS: Nah, there are better eye palettes out there.
GOOD FOR: Beginners looking for an interesting-enough but versatile palette.
Anastasia Beverly Hills Amrezy Eyeshadow Palette, $75
“This palette is the literal definition of ‘all things that glitter is gold’— I mean have you seen its packaging? It looks like it was doused in glitter — not that I’m complaining; who doesn’t love something a little extra every now and then, am I right? Besides that, the colours in the palette were pretty interesting, though I wasn’t surprised that half of the palette were made of shimmery/glitter hues. Also because I usually tend to stray away from glitter eyeshadows for safety reasons.
Nevertheless, Anastasia Beverly Hills palettes have long been known for their crazy-pigmented shades that I’ve always been a fan of. I like how there was a mixture of bright and dark shades within this range, so it was wearable for many occasions, day or night. On the contrary, I obviously don’t see myself wearing some of the more daring shades like Leo and Rezy — though it might be a good option for those who’d like to explore into bolder looks.
Besides, that, this ABH palette is something worth investing only for those who love to add some sparkle to their lids, especially if you have a special occasion coming up. But other than that, you might want to explore the other alternative options from the brand for something that’s more wearable on a daily basis. ” — Shazrina, Writer
NYLON RECOMMENDS: Maybe.
GOOD FOR: Exploring new sparkly eyeshadow looks for big occasions.
Tarte Surfer Curl™ Volumizing Mascara in Black, $35
“Let me just say, this is hands-down the best mascara I have ever tried. My lashes looked lengthened and naturally lifted despite not having used a lash curler, and it didn’t transfer to my under eye area at all. I applied a coat of this mascara in the morning at work, and by the time I ended my day with an hour-long (and very sweaty) workout, not only did my lashes look great, but I could also take the train home without looking like a panda.” — Natalie, Writer
NYLON RECOMMENDS: YES! Don’t even think about it!
GOOD FOR: Everyone. Every lash. Any mascara user. No regrets.
Sephora Collection Size Up Mascara, $22
“Somehow, some way, this mascara makes it look like I have more lashes. The pigment catches every single lash and spreads them out, without too much clump, so my lashes look extra voluminous. When I did a side-by-side comparison to a different mascara, my lashes looked so much thicker and there was just MORE there. One downside though, is that while this makes my lashes look ultra-fluffy and voluminous, it does tend to transfer to my under eyes by the end of the day, especially if I end up sweating at any point.” — Natalie, Writer
NYLON RECOMMENDS: Sure, but watch out for panda eyes!
GOOD FOR: Fluffy lashes, bringing out the lashes you never knew you had.
Nudestix Magnetic Plush Paint in Bahama Mama, $42
“It’s under ‘lips’ but Nudestix’s new multi-functional product works — and most importantly, has approved ingredients — for lips, cheeks and eyes. And I love it! Truly. I’m very on board with the brand’s commitment towards easy-to-use makeup, which caters to quite a natural, unfussy beauty look, and the Magnetic Plush Paint falls in line with that.
First, as a lip product, this goes on incredibly light, such that I don’t feel any weight on my lips. ‘Bahama Mama’ is also a beautiful MLBB rose-nude tone, and while lightweight, still evens out fine lines for a smooth swipe of pigment (much thanks to that flexible brush). Don’t expect the pigment to be immovable though, but I didn’t mind that, since it’s not an obvious shade. My favourite part? You get a nice subtle blurred effect, very creamy, which I absolutely love!
As for its use as a blush and eyeshadow, well again, it’s very subtle, so you’ve got to layer it to see a difference. It still blends out well on the skin though, and the colour adds a pleasing warmth to my face, ideal for a matchy-matchy monochromatic look. I find that the pigment’s most suitable on the eyes — that soft mousse texture is a dream to blend, and I like its soft, airy aftereffect.” — Amelia, Deputy Editor
NYLON RECOMMENDS: Absolutely! It’s my new go-to.
GOOD FOR: A soft, subtle, natural look that’s still very flattering.
Natasha Moor Molten Matte Liquid Lipstick in Storm, $34
“I’m pretty particular when it comes to red lipstick so I was a little apprehensive about this at first. The results surprised me! The shade, ‘Storm’ is a bright pop of red, and I typically stray away from red lipstick because they fail to stay on my lips even after an hour or two. But to my pleasant surprise, this number was one that I would consider adding to my rotation.
It’s hydrating, long-wearing and waterproof — all of which I can attest to especially after my heavy meal which consisted of lots of water and a mixture of oily food that this red lipstick managed to withstand throughout, without smudging. 12 hours might be a little too long in their claim for the wearability of this lipstick though. Realistically, you would probably need a touch up or two for this lipstick to last you through your day. Still, the colour payoff is seriously out of this world and you can take my word for that.” — Shazrina, Writer
NYLON RECOMMENDS: Yes, highly recommended!
GOOD FOR: A long night out with the girls or a fancy romantic dinner.
Smashbox Always On Cream-To-Matte Bullet Lipstick in Bawse, $38
“I’m not really much of a fan of red matte lipsticks but nevertheless, I’ve never strayed away from trying them — well, in high hopes that I’d find one that would actually work. This number from Smashbox however was… alright. I wouldn’t say it was the best because it doesn’t stay as long as I thought it would, though it gave a really nice colour payoff on my lips. What I found interesting about this lipstick is that it transforms from cream to matte, which isn’t something as common as you would see in the market. It feels soft to the touch and melts onto your lips seamlessly which gives a nice feel upon application. But if you ask me if I see myself wearing this often? Well, based on personal preference, I highly doubt so.” — Shazrina, Writer
NYLON RECOMMENDS: Not really.
GOOD FOR: Your standard basic red lip look.
Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick in Pillow Talk Medium, $50
“I’ve always loved Charlotte Tilbury’s lipsticks and it’s only because they have every MLBB shade you could think of — well, most of it. This lipstick, on the other hand, came in a shade that was darker than I would usually opt for. It is a darker version of their classic MLBB shade, Pillow Talk, though.
Shades aside, this lippie also had a different texture from the ones I usually reach out for — you know the Superstar Lips Lipstick that combines a high shine of a gloss and the staying power of a lipstick? But this time, the lipstick came with a cashmere cream texture that glides on the lips effortlessly, giving it a nice soft matte finish. I really liked how comfortable it felt on my lips. However, the only downside is that it doesn’t stay on that long so you’d have to keep reapplying it every now and then.” — Shazrina, Writer
NYLON RECOMMENDS: If you love anything Charlotte Tilbury.
GOOD FOR: Adding a pop of colour to your lips without “overdoing” it.
Marc Jacobs Beauty Re(Cover) Hydrating Coconut Lip Oil, Price TBC
“For someone who loves trying out new lipsticks, I’ve always propelled towards other products that focused on my lip care routine to make sure that I stay on top of my game and of course, to avoid chapped lips at all cost. So did this Coconut Lip Oil by Marc Jacobs Beauty work for my puckers? Well, I’d give it a 7/10. Though, I’m not a fan of coconut (yes, we all have our differences), the smell of this lip oil wasn’t as strong as I thought it would be. In fact, I couldn’t tell that it was a coconut lip oil if I hadn’t read the labels. Upon application, it also smoothed on easily and felt very nourishing on my lips — in fact, my lips did feel a little more hydrated than it usually would and it didn’t feel sticky at all. To top it all off, it also didn’t have a tint to it, so this clear gloss would definitely work layered on top of your lipstick or even on its own for a nice healthy-looking sheen.” — Shaz
NYLON RECOMMENDS: Yes!
GOOD FOR: Dry, chapped lips.