Asian Makeup Collection: Evolution (with Swatches!)

Crazy Snail Disclosure: Some of the products in this post were sent to me for review. If you’d like to learn more about my personal rules for accepting gifts from retailers, read my sponsorship policy here.

Once upon a time, I didn’t have much makeup, and what I had came mostly from the Walmart down the street, because cheap and accessible.

Second bathroom counter makeup and hair accessories

Brushes. Hair ties. Mostly Western lip products. And now the inadvertent ultra-soft lighting gives us exactly that nostalgic feel we’re going for.

Then one day, I was visited by a sparkling and dewy-skinned Korean Makeup Fairy Godmother and her sister, Japanese Mascara Fairy Godmother, with her long, fluttery lashes that hold their curl all day and don’t smudge for anything.

Korean and Western blushes

The shell and the blushes. The balance is slowly shifting away from US drugstore and towards Korean brands.

And now we all live happily ever after, except that we keep running out of space.

93% AB, all but three Western makeup products destashed.

Korean makeup organization

You know those old-school horror movies about blobs that keep growing until they overtake entire towns? This is like that, only prettier.

Let’s take a look inside, with mini-reviews of my favorites from each level, plus some BB cushion swatches!

BB cushion mania! Laneige, Hera, Skinfood, and A.True swatches for ~NC15 skin

The top level is for the prettiest of the pretties. (Or, if you’re a glass half empty kind of person, for the things a bit too big to comfortably fit in the drawers.)

BB cushion organization

Cushions. Cushions are the reason my Missha M Signature Real Complete is gathering dust in the medicine cabinet now.

I’ve raved a little bit (“a little bit”) about BB cushions before, so I won’t do it again. Instead, I’ll give you swatches of all four cushions and a mini-review of the one I reach for the most. Keep an eye out for my full reviews and comparisons in an upcoming cushion mega-post.

Laneige, Hera, Skinfood, and A.True cushion makeup swatches for NC15 skin

From left to right: Laneige BB Cushion in Light, Hera UV Mist Cushion in C21, Skinfood Royal Honey Bounce Cushion in #1 Light Beige, and A.True Real Black Tea True Active CC Cushion in #1 Light Beige.

My arm is a shade or two darker than my face due to inconsistent sunscreen use. Even so, you can see that the Laneige–in the lightest shade offered in US Target stores–is darker, as well as significantly darker than the other BB cushion shades. Pale-skinned BB cushion fans, keep that in mind if you get tempted by these on Target shelves.

The cushion I reach for the most is the Hera UV Mist Cushion, which US-based Kbeauty retailer Peach and Lily sent to me for review. The shade is by far the best match for me (though to be fair, cushions apply so sheerly that perfect matching isn’t critical, as long as you aren’t piling it on). The finish strikes a perfect balance between satin and dewy, and it sets and stays so well that I almost never use a setting powder with it. And I find that one superthin layer is exactly enough to even out my skin tone for that natural-but-better look.

In the US, you can purchase the Hera UV Mist Cushion and refill for $45 from Peach and Lily or from Amazon at the following (affiliate) links:

The skin enhancers, including Innisfree’s famous No Sebum mineral powder

One level below the cushions, because they’re the next step in my makeup routine after base makeup, are the skin enhancers.

Korean concealer, powder, and blush makeup products

Primer, concealer, powder, blush.

I don’t really like to powder my face. In the first place, I am not a fan of the matte skin look. I find that it can be a really aging makeup style, even when it doesn’t bring out every wrinkle and fine line. Sometimes, though, one needs just a tiny bit of powder, whether to set makeup or to prevent the glow from getting out of hand on a very humid day.

For those times, I love Innisfree No-Sebum Mineral Powder. A very finely milled loose powder with an interesting herbal/minty scent, it looks dead white in the package but goes on perfectly translucent, no color matching necessary. The finish isn’t powdery at all, but rather a velvety natural matte, and in my experience, a light dusting will keep makeup in place and shine at bay for 5-6 hours. When I use this, I ignore the little puff that comes with the powder, instead using a small contour brush to apply the powder just precisely to the areas I want it: on either side of my nose and between my eyebrows. Precision application means that this stuff will last me forever.

In the US, you can find Innisfree No-Sebum Mineral Powder for $8.44 on Amazon with Prime shipping (affiliate link) or for $9 from Memebox.

Korean lipsticks and lip tints, featuring Peripera Peri’s Tint

Can you believe that just a few months ago, the only lip colors I ever dared to wear were drugstore My Lips But Better (MLBB) shades like Revlon ColorBurst Balm Stain in Honey?

Korean lipsticks and lip tints

So many lip things. It’s a lip wardrobe.

These days, I switch it up almost every day, choosing from among MLBB pink lip tints from Etude House, bold matte fuschia and raspberry lipsticks from Innisfree, and the occasional red or even orange.

It’s hard to pick a favorite out of all of these, since I use a different one every day and love them all a lot, but if I had to pick two, they’d be my Pony Blossom Lipstick in Orange Dahlia and my Peri’s Tint and Water Balm in Cherry.

I have to admit that I got the Pony Blossom Lipstick primarily because I love Korean vlogger and makeup artist Pony, whose Pony’s Beauty Diary videos taught me pretty much every makeup trick I currently know. Orange Dahlia is a soft rosy coral shade with a rich, creamy formulation. It glides on smoothly and feels supremely moisturizing and comfortable on my lips, and while it won’t last through a meal or a cup of coffee, it reapplies nicely. As a bonus, it doesn’t have any noticeable fragrance or flavor, two things I can’t stand in lipsticks.

Pony Blossom lipstick in Orange Dahlia, swatched

“Orange,” but not at all scary.

Lip swatch of Memebox Pony Blossom lipstick in Orange Dahlia

I wear this at least a few times a week. It feels as comfortable as a simple lip balm.

Pony Blossom Lipstick in Orange Dahlia is available for $12 on Memebox.

My other go-to lip color is a layer of Peripera Peri’s Tint Water in Cherry Juice under a swipe of Peripera Tint Water in Cherry. I was originally sent the set–known as Peri’s Tint House–by Club Clio USA, and fell in love pretty much immediately with the deeply pigmented, non-drying tint and the equally vivid and very moisturizing balm. Like the Pony Blossom Lipstick, these products feel as good on as plain old Chapstick. That’s a quality I really appreciate in lip color, almost as much as I appreciate fantastic color payoff and staying powder. The Peripera combo can go several hours and several drinks without needing a reapplication.

Peripera Peri's Tint House in Cherry

Love the depth on these.

The Peri’s Tint House sets in orange and cherry are on sale for $19 from Club Clio USA.

Asian lashes need Asian mascara

I’ve probably complained about my Asian Lash Problems before. If you’re East Asian, you probably feel my pain: short, sparse lashes that grow straight, point downwards, and, 9 mascaras out of 10, refuse to hold a curl, even with mascara that’s marketed as “curling.” Japanese mascaras changed all that.

Japanese mascaras and Korean eye makeup

Seriously, Japanese mascaras do not mess around.

I’ve been loyal to Heroine Make Volume & Curl and Heroine Make Long & Curl for ages and ages, but I recently decided to branch out and get some Shiseido Majolica Majorca Lash Expander Edge Meister.

This. Mascara. Is. Ridiculous.

I haven’t done photos of it yet, so I’ll have to describe it with words for now and hope that can convey how much I love it.

Majolica Majorca Lash Expander Edge Meister mascara is a fiber mascara with an unusual applicator. Instead of the standard spoolie brush, it comes with a flat comb that is concave on one side and convex on the other. You use the convex side to add length and separation for doll-like, fluttery lashes, or the concave side for precision separation.

This mascara looks completely natural on. No spider lashes here, just silky black lashes that won’t drop their curl until you apply some oil to take them off. It resists clumping and refuses to smudge. While it’s less dramatic than the Heroine Make, it gives an incredibly natural yet enhanced look that I’ve really been loving. I’ll do a FOTD soon to show it off.

Shiseido Majolica Majorca Lash Expander Edge Meister mascara is available on Amazon (affiliate link) for $18.08 with Prime shipping.

Can you tell I love makeup now? It’s so fun to play with different colors every day and makes me feel completely in control of my appearance, something that I’ve found is very important to being in control of my mental health.

What’s your favorite makeup these days?

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7 responses to “Asian Makeup Collection: Evolution (with Swatches!)

  1. Oh yes, I love the Heroine Long and Curl, it’s pretty amazing! I might have to try the MM Lash Expander Mascara you mentioned! I previously had the Lash king which made my eyes itch like crazy but I loved the results so I’m keen to find a new MM mascara that works for me.

    Do you mind if I ask what the two lip products at the bottom left are, the shiny tube looking ones in a deeper and lighter pink? They look really cute and remind me of the Benefit Benebalms (wondering if they’re similar because I’m keeping an eye out for a dupe!)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow, you have a lovely stash! i’m really keen to try some asian mascara but after a bad experience with the Heroine Make, I don’t know which to choose. I’ve discovered that I just really dislike the traditional spoolie type wands, and prefer a silicone type one. Maybe I’ll try out the Lash Expander!

    Like

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