Add to cart: The best beauty products to shop this August 2023


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Jun 28, 2023

Add to cart: The best beauty products to shop this August 2023

1 / 24 It’s rare to find a perfume that while sweet upon first spritz, lingers to a sensual, entrancing scent—almost like a metaphor for an alter-ego. The Gucci Flora Gorgeous Magnolia Eau de Parfum,

1 / 24

It’s rare to find a perfume that while sweet upon first spritz, lingers to a sensual, entrancing scent—almost like a metaphor for an alter-ego. The Gucci Flora Gorgeous Magnolia Eau de Parfum, bottles a decadent mix of magnolia essence, dewberries accord and muskiness of patchouli. While it glides on heavier than your typical floral fragrance, the clever balance between the ingredients make this a mesmerising fragrance, one that shows its prowess lasting till the end of the day. – Janice Sim, digital editor

Gucci Flora Gorgeous Magnolia Eau de Parfum, $265, available at Sephora

2 / 24

Trust when I say this baby has emerged as a hidden gem in my vanity. I had been on the hunt for a dependable retinol formulation that my skin could tolerate over the past few months and this Grail offering has truly proven its might; a couple of weeks in and my skin has never been more radiant and full of that natural bounce. Perhaps it’s the combination of retinol with bakuchiol, which has been touted as a potential replacement to the former, without all its accompanying side effects. Whilst my acne-prone skin did definitely go through a pretty intense purge at the beginning, a slow and steady regime has granted my mien with astonishing results. Think refined pores, revitalised dull skin and a complexion that feels close to brand new. All in all, consider this skincare savant a Grail convert. – Azrin Tan, digital writer

Grail Retinol Vitamin A Serum, $54, available at Grailskin

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What is this sorcery? For a medium-to-full-coverage foundation, this oil-free product is nothing but lightweight and fresh-feeling. Crafted in Japan, it’s formulated with aloe, soothing arnica, green tea, and 60 per cent water which probably accounts for its pudding-like texture. It enlivens the complexion and is great for those my skin-but-better make-up days. – Alli Sim, beauty director

Chantecaille Future Skin Gel Foundation, $156, available at Takashimaya

4 / 24

We’re always on the lookout for facial mask options that are well-packed with generous amounts of serum. So when homegrown brand ést.lab has returned to amp up a shelf favourite of theirs—the VitaLift A+ Brillage Mask—know that we were instantly all for it. Infused with brightening powerhouse diglucosyl gallic acid meant to inhibit melanin production for a luminous and sustained glow, it is further bolstered by collagen-boosting ingredients such as plankton extract and arginine which speeds up cell regeneration. Glad to note that it’s a plus on the sustainable front too. – Azrin Tan, digital writer

Ést Lab VitaLift A+ Brillage Mask, $98 for 6 masks, available at iChangi

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A lightweight primer that glides and blends into the skin easily, with a mattifying effect that benefits oiler skin types. But even with that mind, the gel-like formula is also hydrating, thanks to the hyaluronic acid packed within the midas Chanel Hydra Protect complex. You get the best of both worlds, essentially, when you are looking to prep and moisturise the skin before following with the rest of your base. To chock up skincare points, Chanel La Base Matifiante is also boosted with annatto seeds and marine sugar, which minimises pores and improves skin texture. While some might prefer a non-scented product, I found the lingering scent invigorating upon application—a welcoming start to my daily routine. – Janice Sim, digital editor

Chanel La Base Matifiante, $86, available Chanel

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Single ingredient serums (think: bottles solo of hyaluronic or salicylic acid) certainly have their place, but it takes real mastery to formulate a science-backed product with synergistic ingredients this artfully. Powered by a 15-year collaboration with Harvard and MIT Scientists, this sculpting pro-youth serum from Estée Lauder is not just about making surface-level improvements. It’s about using their proprietary SIRTIVITY-LP Technology to support cells’ ability to look and act younger for longer. Sirtuins or longevity proteins are key in optimising longevity but decline, which speeds up the ageing process. This serum is boosted with SIRTs to aid in cellular recovery. SIRT 1 giving cells the time they need to repair, SIRT 3 maintains the cells’ natural structure for a youthful shape, SIRT 4 boosts the skin’s energy production while SIRT 6 helps to extend a cell’s natural life. And if you’re more keen on aesthetics than science, this ultimately means a boost in radiance, improved lifting, firming and smoothing around the facial features such as jawline and cheeks, and a boost in elasticity. – Alli Sim, beauty director

Estée Lauder Re-Nutriv Ultimate Diamond Transformative Brilliance Serum, $425, available at Takashimaya

7 / 24

Weightless, scentless and oh-so-effortless. That’s what you get with Melixir’s Vegan Airfit Sunscreen 50+ PA++++: a reliable option which I’ve been counting on for my morning routines recently. Considering my melanin-rich skin, it’s always been crucial for a sunscreen to leave little to no white cast; a point which I’ll be glad to give my solid word for. A lightweight formulation, this SPF 50+ baby glides on like a dream and feels gentle on my skin. With two inches and a pinch, it’s sufficient for me to spread generously across my mien and neck and it doesn’t hurt that it’s an easy-to-use squeeze tube. Another crucial aspect of my SPF lies in how it takes my multitudinal layers of make-up on any given day—and safe to say, it’s ticked that checkbox too. – Azrin Tan, digital writer

Vegan Airfit™ Sunscreen SPF 50+ PA++++, $48, available at Musinsa

8 / 24

I’m all for beauty products that offer maximum impact with minimal effort, and Rare Beauty‘s Perfect Strokes Longwear Gel Eyeliner is no exception. This high-pigment liner glides on with ease, offering smudge-, transfer-, and waterproof finish with little to no effort. Use it as a precision liner (there’s even an in-built sharpener) or smudge it out with the fingers to create an eyeshadow effect on lazy make-up days. – Alli Sim, beauty director

Rare Beauty Perfect Strokes Longwear Gel Eyeliner, $37, available at Sephora

9 / 24

Can we take a moment to appreciate that not every face is able to tolerate potent vitamin C serums? I for one have been left with angry patches resembling chemical burns testing these antioxidant-rich serums at times. That’s not to say this clean Vitamin C Brightening Booster by Neal’s Yard Remedies doesn’t do as it promises: in fact, it helps to brightening the appearance of dull skin with certified kakadu plum without being overly aggressive for sensitive skins. And as those in-the-know will tell you, kakadu plum is 100 times more powerful than the vitamin C found in oranges. Mix this vegan formula into your skincare or use it on its own twice a day to gently enhance your radiance. Bonus points for not being sticky or cloying. – Alli Sim, beauty director

Neal’s Yard Remedies Vitamin C Brightening Booster, $38, available at Simple Wellness

10 / 24

There’s not much we’re asking for when it comes to a traditional brow pencil. That it lends to a natural finish, that its line strokes are not too strong and that it is long-lasting, even through those sticky, humid days. So we were happy to note that this particular Back2Brow Pencil by RMS Beauty was able to deliver on all three. For those of us conscious about what we’re drawing in with, its inclusions of nourishing hibiscus and safflower oils are most definitely welcome. It’s also a comfortable size to wield with ease when filling in sparse areas and its sleek, metallic casing that opens to reveal a spoolie on the other end also scores itself points for aesthetics. Despite usually opting for a darker shade for our brows, we enjoyed using the Light shade that lends it a soft, beige taupe hue—something we found to meld well with our bleached, coloured strands. And in case anyone’s wondering, a sharpener’s part of the package too. – Azrin Tan, digital writer

RMS Beauty Back2Brow Pencil, $48, available at RMS Beauty

11 / 24

Firm, radiant skin? Sign me up. We bang on about how the effects of stress, pollution and poor sleep affects our skin, but latest research by SK-II and Harvard have found that these accelerate our Aging Trigger Factor aka AT-0, leading to collagen loss in as early as our 20s. And if you’re in your 30s and beyond, thinking, “Great, now what?”, this skin regenerating solution is delivered via a potent combination of Pitera, kinren and peony extracts that plump the skin, reduce roughness and improve wrinkle reduction for a youthful, hydrated mien—regardless of age. Texture-wise the formula manages to be lightweight especially in our humid climes while still being comforting on the skin. – Alli Sim, beauty director

SK-II Skinpower Advanced Cream, $280, available at Lazada

12 / 24

Perhaps spurred by the jitters of a new school semester or the looming end of my internship, pesky pimples, and their lingering blemishes, have been cropping up all over my complexion. Marching in the footsteps of their revered Bye Bye Under Eye Concealer, It Cosmetics unveils its latest creation: the Dark Spots Concealer + Serum. This baby boasts a buildable, medium-coverage formula enriched with 2 per cent niacinamide, hyaluronic acid, and caffeine for instant coverage and skin wellness. Its lightweight and highly blendable liquid formula has proven to be the veritable saviour in my quest to camouflage imperfections. While the built-in kabuki brush also provides a deft tool for precise application and blending onto dark spots, I prefer to use my fingertips to finesse those under-eye circles. – Faith Leong, beauty intern

It Cosmetics Bye Bye Dark Spots Concealer + Serum, $47, available at Sephora

13 / 24

When your make-up looks as glam as your beat, you know it’s the result of meticulous artistry. Dior’s latest cushion foundation arrives in a refillable, travel-friendly case adorned with the maison’s iconic cannage pattern in embroidered fabric or vinyl; I opted for the former for a classic Dior moment. The foundation itself manages to be lightweight and full-coverage all at once, with a remarkable resilience toward the rigours of an entire day’s heat and humidity. Whether you’re into soft-focus cloud skin or luminous glass skin, choose either the Dior Forever Cushion, a velvety, no-transfer matte, or the Dior Forever Skin Glow Cushion, which sports a dewy finish. As an added bonus, both formulations are enriched with wild pansy extract and fortified with SPF 35+++, designed to compliment Asian skin tones by accentuating their inherent radiance. – Faith Leong, beauty intern

Dior Forever Cushion, $120, available at Dior

14 / 24

If sun-seekers and skincare savants were to meet at a crossroads, it would likely take the form of a sunscreen-cum-serum. Enter AHC’s newest innovation, a sun serum that not only shields from UV rays but also addresses dark spots and blemishes through a potent blend of arbutin, vitamin C, glutathione, ellagic acid, and tranexamic acid. Further imbued with advanced moisturising and antioxidation ingredients, this formula also caters to delicate or mature skin types that revel in sun-soaked moments. Now, if it weren’t for the inscriptions on the bottle, you probably would have never guessed it was an SPF—its lightweight, peach-hued gel glides on effortlessly and completely vanishes into the skin, leaving behind a matte finish. Plus, the immediate 4.7°C cooling sensation also offered some much-appreciated respite for those scorching days. – Faith Leong, beauty intern

AHC Safe On Light Sun Serum, $39.90, available at Watsons

15 / 24

I waited to hop off an early morning flight to test the de-puffing, revitalising powers of these bad boys. You’re likely no stranger to cooling hydrogel eye patches, however these are powered by Professor Bader’s proprietary TFC8, Trigger Factor Complex TFC™—a powerhouse blend of amino acids, vitamins and peptides which claims to guide these key actives into the skin, improving the environment for cellular renewal. This, coupled with hydrating hyaluronic acid and brightening niacinamide spells a reduction in dark circles and hyper pigmentation with consistent use. Do I wish these came in a tad more serum to piano tap around my nascent crinkles? Yes. But I also can’t deny my peepers felt firmer, and appeared more radiant after a single use. – Alli Sim, beauty director

Augustinus Bader The Eye Patches, $142, available at Tangs

16 / 24

An unlikely satisfaction can be derived from a simple yet reliable moisturiser. Mine, notably came from the revamped version of The Body Shop’s Vitamin E Nourishing Night Cream—a product that puts in the hours overnight to keep the moisture locked in and your mien, hydrated in the morning. It’s an age-old formulation that’s worked for the skincare house through the decades but the combinative power of its titular vitamin E and raspberry seed oil has long been a definitive favourite for its antioxidant properties and nourishing benefits. As of late, my countenance has most definitely seen better days and I’ve chosen to strip the routine down to a select few products to cover the necessary bases. Of which, this particular night hydrator has made the cut for its rich yet non-greasy texture—a trait my acne-prone skin duly appreciates. – Azrin Tan, digital writer

The Body Shop Vitamin E Night Cream, $39, available at The Body Shop

17 / 24

Perhaps it has been the incessant late nights and excessive screen time but oft late, the pressing skin concern has been revolving around the eyes. But the latest in the beauty game in town, happens to be London-based luxury name, MZ Skin, to answer that particular woe. Lauded by supermodels Adriana Lima and Gisele Bündchen, their firming eye cream, for instance, holds a powerful tri-peptide—to stimulate collagen and elastin, while hyaluronic acid and ceramides hydrate and plump the sensitive area over and under the eyes. However the real star ingredient that sets it apart has to be albazia bark extract, which strengthens capillaries and lightens dark circles. The buttery-whipped formula glides on nicely and potentially, I’d imagine, to feel better after a quick chill in your beauty fridge. – Janice Sim, digital editor

MZ Skin, Soothe & Smooth Hyaluronic Brightening Eye Complex, $219, available at MZ Skin

18 / 24

It’s 2023, and we’re well into our boycott of silicon and sulphate-based shampoos. That said, Stephen Knoll, a New York hair care brand operating under Japan’s well-loved Kosé, has come up with a revitalising and reparative shampoo designed to address daily and extensive hair damage by sealing moisture within each shaft. My sister—who likens her bleached blonde strands to hay—saw supple, moisturised, and more manageable tresses after using the shampoo. While my own mane isn’t severely damaged, it tends to be dry. Yet, after sudding up my roots for a week, I noticed a more lustrous sheen and reduced scalp oiliness. Its quick-to-foam formula also emits a subtle floral-fruity musk, making your hair care routine even more therapeutic, especially when used with a scalp massage brush. – Faith Leong, beauty intern

Stephen Knoll Repair & Control Shampoo, $18.60, available at Guardian

19 / 24

It is an apt time as any to make the transition to weightless, oil-free moisturisers seeing how temperatures are continuing to skyrocket. But that’s not to say you should skimp out on skin-nourishment in favour of lighter formulas. Compromise arrives in the form of the Tatcha Water Cream, which provides an intense dose of hydration thanks to a formidable blend of Japanese herbs and ingredients. I observed less inflammation within just two weeks of use; a by-product of the incorporation of Japanese leopard lily which is revered for its ability to address sensitised skin as well as minimise oil production. Another plus point: its lightweight texture that sinks into your visage both seamlessly and instantaneously, allowing for the almost-immediate application of make-up—on a baby-soft, immaculate canvas to boot. – Emily Heng, associate beauty editor

Tatcha The Water Cream, $118, available at Sephora

20 / 24

There is just a certain something about Chanel’s Oversize Illuminating Face Powder—that grants you with a sheer, ethereal radiance in a single swipe. My pick of the three available shades was the Warm Gold, a considered choice on my part for a more natural-looking sheen that would blend seamlessly with my golden-brown skin tones. Whilst preparing for a regular day in the office, I did take to this with ease; applying light strokes of its translucent powder on my cheekbones, the tip of my nose and my cupid’s bow. And though a highlighter brush would usually be the applicator of choice, I did find that using my fingers was able to amp up the shine and grant me that extra jazz of glam. TLDR? Double the dose and don’t shy away from using your fingers on a girls’ night out. – Azrin Tan, digital writer

Chanel Oversize Illuminating Face Powder, $144, available at Chanel

21 / 24

Clogged pores and congested skin have nothing on Skin Inc’s latest Pore Refiner Device—an LED-light therapy meets pore vacuum meets oxygen facial à la contraption. Despite its many functions, this deep cleansing facial device is no larger than a house phone, and is sure to satisfy anyone with a guilty pleasure for watching blackhead vacuuming videos (myself included). First, the red LED light gets your blood pumping under the skin, while 45°C Water Heating technology opens pores and softens blackheads. Then comes the fun part—impurities are vacuumed into the void, née waste cartridge, before skin is deeply detoxed and oxygenated with a hydro-oxy infusion system. Finally, soothe and tighten squeaky clean skin with blue LED lights and icing technology.

The set includes an Onsen water-infused serum mist, which serves as a treatment for the detoxification step. While the device’s habit of pausing whenever tilted at an angle of more than 40° took some time to get used to, clear and supple skin afterward made the learning curve entirely worth it. Here’s a hot tip: Avoid lingering on the same area for too long, or you might end up giving yourself a hickey. – Faith Leong, beauty intern

Deepcare O2 Hydro-Facial Pore Refiner Device Set, $288, available at Skin Inc

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We love a good lip moment around here. Lip tint, lip balm, lip gloss… Clarins‘ new Lip Perfector is all that and more in one handy tube. With its glistening finish and lip-plumping effect, the Lip Perfector imparts the precise amount of treatment and colour to lips (and cheekbones, so you’re essentially getting a 2-in-1). True to Clarins, it’s not just about the radiant flush of buildable colour the product imparts but the nourishing inclusion of 96 per cent shea and mango butters, rice oil and plumping peptides for full, juicy lips. This was love at first swipe for me. – Alli Sim, beauty director

Clarins Lip Perfector, $38, available at Clarins

23 / 24

Ease of use ranks high on Rare Beauty’s list of priorities—an aspect of which is clear to see with their latest eyeshadow drop: a creamy, pigment-packed shadow that glides onto lids effortlessly. I put it to the test on a particularly hectic day whereupon I applied it on sans primer. To my delight, it lived up to its claims of being a long-lasting formula, showcasing water- and crease-resistant properties despite the lack of a gripping base to bolster it. Prospective users can expect a vivid wash of colour interspersed with multidimensional pearls; a fuss-free, versatile option that can be deftly manoeuvred to line, shade, smoke out and/or highlight. Blending brushes need not apply—fingers alone are enough to grant a show stopping eye look. – Emily Heng, associate beauty editor

Rare Beauty All Of The Above Weightless Eyeshadow Stick in Compassion, $37, available at Sephora

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The cult-favourite foundation formula is now available in a concealer format that promises the same extensive coverage with a glowing, luminous finish. This can be credited to the inclusion of its photoluminescent complex, which transforms UV light to blue light that eradicates dark circles. This effect also translates to a brightening of the skin to deliver on a visage that looks healthy and velvety-soft. Its potency was evident upon first use, where I noticed it sink into my mien seamlessly, working in tandem with the rest of my complexion make-up to shroud my designer eye bags and cast them in a milky glow. And while I did observe some creasing after six hours of wear, it was easily rectified on my second use after I doused my face in generous helpings of setting spray. – Emily Heng, associate beauty editor

Tarte Shape Tape Radiant Concealer, $47, available at Sephora