If you have a passion for weeding out obscure beauty finds, you’ll probably agree that it’s a highly addictive pastime for the beauty enthusiast. Be it burrowing through the shelves for elusive new arrivals, digging out gems from the likes of Daiso/Miniso, or sieving through the steady stream of beauty labels mushrooming on Instagram… Some of my best beauty finds were hidden in corners far away from the big guns. I love enigmatic beauty discoveries. They have a way of cleansing an over-saturated beauty palette with new character, new formulas… And of course, the excitement of stumbling on something before they were famous *wink*. Seeing that we’ve just stepped into March and if you’re feeling like a routine revamp, here are 6 low-key new beauty finds we’re loving for a big beauty refresh!
1. Ange Gardien Paris
You might have already heard of Ange Gardien Paris from its namesake fragrance line which has been around since 2018. Although if you haven’t yet, you might want to bump Ange Gardien Paris up your hit list, because the French beauty label recently launched its own joie de vivre makeup range! Think effortless French girl beauty made with plant-derived, natural ingredients and scientifically-proven beauty technology. For conscious beauty-goers, Ange Gardien Paris’s commitment to sustainability across its formulations, production and packaging is also a massive plus. Clean, elegant and trés chic!
The shade combination of this nifty 6-pan palette is stunning. If you’re a fan of burnt brown hues, this will be right on your street. It pretty much ticks all the boxes of a great warm-toned, autumn mood palette; intense pigment, buttery shadows, and a good mix of shimmers, metallics and mattes. The shimmery shades here may be more subtle (don’t expect any blinding glitter bombs), but they fit right into the everyday wearability of this sleek palette.
I really like the convenience of this stacked cushion-and-more. This handy compact comes with both a cushion foundation and pressed powder compartment (but is nowhere near bulky)! The glowy cushion formula is lightweight with a buildable formula -- although the star is really its heavy duty SPF50/PA+++ sun protection. Flip down to find the pore-controlling pressed powder that will fix excess grease and unevenness on the go.
A velvety matte formulated with plant-based oils for ultra smooth, buttery application. I can imagine the creamy formula being universally pleasing (and flattering) and a dream for dry/chapped lips!
2. Augustinus Bader
Where a good number of red carpet beauty favourites found their spotlight through multi-million dollar campaigns and celebrity endorsements, Augustinus Bader became an overnight hit simply by word of mouth… Then quietly popping up in the beauty routines of Hollywood’s favourite muses (like Ashley Graham’s and Victoria Beckham’s). The multi-award winning German beauty brand is the innovation of Professor Augustinus Bader, who has a running list of impressive biomedical achievements (including being one of the world’s leading biomedical scientists). Although none from the beauty industry… That is, until now. And as silently as it blew up, Augustinus Bader has also stealthily hit our tropical shelves. I’d like to say “Wait, why isn’t it everywhere?!”, but I’m guessing Augustinus Bader is one of those unicorn finds that lie low because it can.
First things first, you’ll immediately notice that Augustinus Bader’s skincare does not come cheap. To put it point blank, the line is wickedly expensive. But here’s where your coins are going: TFC8Ⓡ, the brand’s proprietary Trigger Factor Complex and it’s miracle worker. This cutting-edge complex contains natural amino acids, high-grade vitamins and synthesised molecules for the deepest skin repair and renewal. It helps to alleviate signs of ageing and free radical damage for visibly (or dare we say, life-changing) restored, regenerated skin! The Cream is a lighter but still deeply hydrating version of Augustinus Bader’s classic moisturiser, particularly suited to combination/oily skin, daytime use and humid climates.
The Rich Cream, as its name suggests, is Augustinus Bader's richer formulation of the cellular renewal cream. Formulated for normal to dry skin and night time care, this intensely nourishing moisturiser delivers intense, luxurious overnight rejuvenation. With an added blend of superbly nourishing ingredients such as Argan and Avocado Oil, as well as Omega 6 Fatty Acids and Antioxidants, the Rich Cream promises a dramatically improved visage!
3. MT Metatron
Shifting the spotlight back to the region, MT Metatron is probably Japan’s own version of Augustinus Bader. The leading professional skincare brand from Japan specialises in aesthetic, clinically effective skincare, with a proven track record of success in over 5000 clinics and salons. MT Metatron *finally* opened its first counter in Singapore late last year, with a line-up of its regionally bestselling, award-winning skincare and the original MT Metatron skin treatment. You might also want to zoom in on MT Metatron if you’re on the hunt for youth-enhancing elixirs, because the brand (and its OG facial treatment) has a particular focus on anti-aging skincare innovation.
The hallmark of MT Metatron’s award-winning Stem Care range! This revolutionary age-delaying treatment features the brand’s star ingredient, DMAE (used in skin-lifting injectables), and powerful stem cell technology. The high-performing serum targets weakened, ageing skin to restore skin elasticity, radiance and resilience from first application.
A luxuriously silky cream formulated with 3 types of plant stem cells and a host of skin balancing ingredients, to alleviate pigmentation and dullness in ageing skin. The cream may seem rich but trust me, it melts into the skin and leaves everything *instantly* velvety soft. While the Stem Cream may be a pinch at nearly S$300 for 30ML, a little goes a long way for this one. Massage a pearl-sized amount into the face and décolletage for stronger and more brilliant skin!
Local represent! After a decade of intensive skincare R&D, Singapore-born Heure has made its debut with a lean range of science-led skincare. Designed to deliver industry-disrupting efficacy, Heure is rooted in its revolutionary SPHR™ Encapsulation and Transdermal Delivery System. A rigorously advanced skincare technology, SPHR™ speeds up the penetration of pure actives into deep layers of the skin’s dermis. Combined with Heure’s smart time-release formulas, the range promise visible results in just 7 days. Smart, modern skincare at its finest!
A hydrating, soothing and fast-absorbing lotion treatment essence that tones and restores optimal skin pH. This light and watery lotion also protects the skin from environmental pollutants. Apart from containing SPHR™ enhanced peptides, a blend of skin-loving ingredients including Camellia Japonica flower extracts and hydrolysed Hyaluronic Acid also help to calm and comfort skin. Use this as the first step in your Heure Ageless regime to prep the skin and boost efficacy. Psst: But I think this makes a fantastic first step to enhance any existing skincare routine you might have.
I like to consider some kind of eye cream a must-have once you hit the early-20s! If you’ve been looking to upgrade your eye care routine to something more age-delaying (don't we all), Heure’s Ageless Eye Serum could be a winner. This hydrating yet lightweight serum targets early fine lines, dark circles and saggy skin for brighter, more youthful-looking eyes. The formula has an impressive DNA: Chrysin and Palmitoyl Peptides alleviate puffy dark circles and boost elasticity, while a unique complex of Vitamin C, E, B3 and B5 help to nourish the delicate under eye area and simultaneously protects against UV aggressors.
Remember when Taiwanese skincare was all the hype back in the day (before the Korean skincare wave came around)? Taiwanese beauty may have quietly taken a backseat here for the past few years or so, but you bet the industry has kept growing! And we think it’s about time to start rediscovering this skincare trove. Now here’s one for the sensitive skin gang. 23.5°N pushes all the right buttons — it’s clean, cruelty-free and committed to irritation-safe gentle formulas developed with natural ingredients and free from a running list of nasties (e.g. SLS, Parabens, Fragrance and Alcohol).
I have a soft spot for gel/jar masks because of how convenient they are to pop on, so 23.5°N’s sprawling range of gel-based masks makes me feel like a kid in a candy store. This Gel Mask Mini Collection is an ingenious way to try 23.5°N’s best-selling masks and is also perfect for multi-masking junkies. The line-up includes the brand’s Bamboo Ultra Hydrating Gel Mask (hydrating), Oriental Beauty Tea Balancing Gel Mask (clarifying, refining), Red Pearl Barley Whitening Gel Mask (brightening, anti-aging), Rice Soothing Gel Mask (soothing, calming) and the Pineapple Exfoliating Gel Mask (exfoliating, purifying). Consider your masking needs settled!
Does anyone also experience surges of panic while browsing for any sort of health supplements? Bulldozing through 20 odd pages of supplements on iHerb is often a dizzy episode for me, because I can never seem to make up my mind if something is really great or just imaginably great. But here’s one supplement that has been clinically-proven to work, with a track record of success stories to beat. Meet: Miriqa, a hair nutrition supplement powered by all essentials of healthy hair for visibly stronger, thicker and more lustrous hair.
Featuring a proprietary blend of 100% drug-free nutraceutical ingredients, the MiriqaⓇ hair supplements are formulated 5 of the most hair-loving key ingredients: Tocotrienol, Tripeptide, Collagen, Keratin Forte, Saw Palmetto and Biotin. Developed to target every stage of the hair growth cycle, the supplements help to reduce hair loss, boost hair growth, enhance strength and increase shine!
The first quarter of 2021 is nearly over! We took a little break to work on something special ahead of International Women’s Day, which we can’t wait to share with you. Stay tuned for more good stuff coming to you soon!