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Beauty Products That Work in Singapore

Since moving to Singapore earlier this year, one of my missions has been to find make up that actually works in our wonderful (challenging) climate. Before leaving London, I harboured romantic visions of becoming nicely blushed by the sun. I wouldn’t need make up anymore because I’d have that wonderful holiday glow that only requires a bit of lip gloss. Day one and my make- up melted off within about 30 seconds. It’s true that I could’ve embraced the climate and taken it as an opportunity to go bare faced and ditch the make up for a bit. Believe me, I’m not one who can’t leave the house without being fully made up. I actually favour the natural look but, sadly, I’m not blessed with a face that can be left bare. In fact, on the few occasions that I have left the house without a shred of make- up, I’ve been greeted with concern by friends and family. If someone clutches your arm and asks you if you’re ill, you know you’re not naturally blessed with glowy skin. And I’m fine with that. I just knew that I needed to find some basic make up staples that would allow me to live in Singapore without scaring people.

After scouring Singapore (okay, mostly Sephora) and spending quite a bit on different products, I’ve found the following products that I swear by and I just had to share with you. Unless you’ve found something better. In which case, share the wisdom on the NMSG Facebook page immediately!

The first thing to mention is skin type. I have combination skin which means a constant battle between oil on my nose, chin and forehead and dryness on the cheeks and, if I’m not careful, the nose too. For those who thought that the ‘T Zone’ was a 90’s reference reserved for teenage girls, think again. Combination skin means you get the worst of both worlds yet, there is a silver lining. All of the following products are wonderfully versatile and work for most skin types unless you have extremely dry and sensitive skin. If this is the case then I’m sure you have already discovered Origins and swear by their natural product range (available in Tangs and Robinsons).

The most important thing for me has been to find the right base. In London, I swore by Diorskin. It worked all year round and provided just the right amount of coverage. Sure, it’s on the pricey side but you only need a small amount and it lasts for ages. I’ve found that my trusty Dior just doesn’t cut it in the Singapore humidity. Like so many other products that I’ve tried, it seems to turn into a jelly like consistency and then evaporate away from your face. Mysterious.

I’ve tried Estѐe Lauder Double Wear (far too thick and melts off) and NARS Velvet Matte Skin Tint (curiously orange even in a light shade). I discovered my perfect base in Watsons one day when I was ducking out of a rain shower and the best news is that it’s pretty purse friendly. Bourjois City Radiance (Watsons $29.50) is light yet actually sinks into the skin meaning that you avoid the dreaded melt. It gives just the right amount of coverage, isn’t cakey and lasts all day. I keep it all in place with Kat Von D Lock It Powder Foundation (available in Sephora). I’ll admit, I wanted to try this for purely shallow reasons. I like the packaging and I like Kat Von D. Luckily, it was $35 well spent. Just a sweep of this and everything stays put. I knew Kat wouldn’t let me down!

For me, primer is a must. Now this one is easy. I used it in the UK and it has survived the journey to Singapore with me like and old, trusty friend. Thank God it’s available in Sephora over here. Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion in Eden ($22.00 Sephora) is amazing. I use it on my eyelids to prevent creasing and even touches of it across my face if I have any blotches or blemishes. It completely covers any redness and stays put even if you start sweating profusely whilst pushing a buggy around containing a toddler who is a having a full- blown melt down. This has been tried and tested by me many times.

Blusher and bronzer is a tricky conundrum. I mean, it’s really hot. Do you need a product to potentially make you look hotter? In my case, yes. Without anything on my cheeks I am back in the territory of arm clutching and ill looking pallor. Generally, I would recommend a good cream blusher but with this humidity? Madness! As my cheeks are dry, I need a powder that will stay put but not add to the dryness issue. The solution is Tarte Amazonian Clay 12 hour Blush ($47.00 Sephora). I use Glisten as it’s soft and easy to blend but highly pigmented and with a slight shimmer to it.

I’ve found that mascara needs to work a bit harder out here too. Again, my Dior Show mascara has sadly let me down. In London, I would sing the praises of it to anyone who would listen exclaiming how my Dior coated lashes just would not smudge or flake even over the course of a long haul flight. I’ve reached the conclusion that the only way to stop smudging or flaking is to use an eyelash primer. Pre-Singapore, I didn’t even know that such a thing existed but Dior do a fantastic one and it works to keep your mascara in place and even add a bit of extra length and thickness. Double win! Christian Dior Diorshow Maximiser 3D Triple Volume Plumping Lash Primer is available to order on Amazon for around $40.

Last but by no means least, I need to mention lips. Sadly, my beloved MAC Ruby Woo has been packed away. A bright red lip in the Singapore heat looks, at best like I’ve broken out in some sort of tropical disease. But for those times that I’m craving more than just a slick of rose tinted Vaseline, I break out the Sephora Kiss Me Balm ($12.00) which is tinted with a pleasing soft red and smells delicious and fresh.

Good luck and happy make-up hunting!

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