lightbulb foundation


Doing the 5-minute Face in 2 Ways!

Here are 2 ways to get out the door quick while looking polished. 


1. Look for bases with high coverage. Whether you do the first method (powder foundation) or second method (liquid/cream) the key is something that gives a lot of coverage quickly.

2. If you have very oily skin, the first method is better for you. If you have dry skin, the second method gives you a better effect. If you have normal skin, you can do either!

3. When you don’t have much time, the easiest way to look “done” is to use a stronger lip color and/or blush and keep the eyes simple. Strong eye makeup usually takes more precision and time to do.

Products for The Powder Foundation Method:

  • A good concealer. If you need to cover spots and scars, look for high-coverage concealing products like The Body Shop’s Pencil Concealer, MAC Pro Longwear Concealer, or any camouflage cream. 
  • A high-coverage powder foundation that has some luminosity. Powders can look quite flat and heavy so products with some reflective properties like Shu Uemura’s The Lightbulb Powder Foundation would be better. (As mentioned in the picture above, never buff your powder on if you don’t want to buff off the concealer you applied beneath. Pat.)
  • An oil-free lip/cheek cream or stain goes on quickly and will last well. But if you did a lot of concealing on your cheek area, a powder brush will work better.
  • A powder highlighter in a soft, universal shade like champagne or beige.
  • Mascara and lip color.

Products for The Liquid Foundation Method:

  • A full-coverage camouflage cream or foundation that can be diluted as foundation and used straight from the tube/pot as concealer. Products like Cover Mark Extra Formula, Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer, or Laura Mercier Silk Creme Foundation work well.
  • A primer or lotion to “dilute” the foundation. Choose based on your needs. If you want a matte effect like I did above, go for something like Lancome’s La Base Pro. If you need hydration, use either your favorite lotion or something like Laura Mercier’s Hydrating Primer.
  • A powder blush. Again, this was chosen as I was going for a matte effect, but if you prefer a dewy finish go for a cream blush.
  • A powder or cream highlighter for the center of the lid.
  • Mascara and lip color.

Shu Uemura “the lightbulb” oleo-pact review (plus a preview of a couple of Fall 2014 “Brave Beauty” products)!

Here’s a quick peek at 2 products from the upcoming Brave Beauty collection, which features intensely strong colors and beautiful printed packaging. But this post is really about the lightbulb oleo-pact!

I’ve spoken about Shu Uemura’s the lightbulb foundation and powder foundation before, but I’m not joking when I say the new oleo-pact launching in Sep 2014 is my favorite of the bestselling series so far.

The original Lightbulb foundation is better for dry skins and dry weather; I loved it when I was traveling in Japan. In warmer weather or on oily skins, it can feel slightly heavy cos of the different oils in the formula, doesn’t really set and has a tendency to shift or smear off after a few hours.

The Lightbulb powder foundation I’m afraid I never quite liked as much because I personally don’t like matte full-coverage powder foundations, and I could never get this powder “glow” with the buffer sponge.

The oleo-pact combines the best of both worlds. It isn’t as dewy as the liquid foundation, isn’t as matte as the powder, and comes in a convenient portable compact for touch-ups on the go. 


Satin finish (natural-looking glow)

Lightweight feel; not as heavy as the liquid, but not as weightless as the powder of course


This has less coverage than the original liquid foundation, but it’s still buildable to a respectable medium coverage.

Lasting power: 

I tried this on normal/dry skin in humid weather without any powder and it stayed quite fresh for the whole day (about 10 hours) without oxidizing; no oil-control but it didn’t get dry or cakey on my skin either.


  • Sustained natural glow and good skin-evening coverage without being heavy or unnatural
  • Reasonable lasting power for normal-to-dry or combi/dry skins
  • Lightweight and non-greasy feel
  • Skin-conditioning
  • Stays fresh-feeling even after experiencing some humidity and sebum over the day; didn’t bleed, streak, or cake up after sweating even without setting powder
  • Good for normal to slightly-dry or even slightly-combi/oily skins


  • Contains oils so it won’t last extremely well on oily skins, although it would do ok on combi skins if set with some powder
  • Won’t be hydrating enough if you are extremely dry
  • The dense slightly-domed bouncy sponge is a PAIN to clean, just like the other lightbulb sponges. 
  • Not enough coverage to cover more prominent blemishes; a separate concealer would be needed
  • Not refillable; I’d like to purchase a refill for a reduced price instead of throwing out the compact and paying full price each time

The Lightbulb Oleo-pact will launch in Singapore on 1 Sep for $75.


Classic Glam for the Lunar New Year Holidays

This was the weekend Face of The Day that I posted about on Instagram  (find me @makeup_box!) over the Chinese Lunar New Year holiday season. 

After days of late nights, early mornings and endless junk food, my skin protested by breaking out in rashes around my cheeks, and I needed higher-coverage foundation AND powder foundation on top of it, to mask the patchiness and redness. 

Here are some of the key items that helped save the day.

  • Base: NARS Sheer Glow foundation in Fiji - this and Dior Nude are the 2 foundations I rely on to give me coverage while maintaining a radiant, skin-like finish. 
  • Concealer: Kosé Sekkisei Concealer 01 - yellow enough to cancel redness on spots, and it sets and stays put without looking dark under powder.
  • Powder: Shu Uemura The Lightbulb Powder Foundation 764 - YESSSS, there is going to be a powder compact version of this mega-hit, for those who have oily skin but want some matte radiance to the skin. The coverage is high, so I actually use it to set foundation when I want extra coverage that doesn’t look like a lot of heavy powder. More about this soon!
  • Blush: Chanel Joues Contraste 99 Rose Pétale - something pink and pretty but with some depth and tawniness so it sculpts at the same time. Enough sheen to add a glow but not so much that it emphasizes my rashes!!
  • Red lipstick: Lime Crime Retrofuturist; a deep warm red with the slightest brown tint so it doesn’t go orange against the skin.

Other products used:

  • Brow pencil: Shu Uemura Hard Formula 9 pencil in Grey
  • Undereye corrector: Shiseido Sheer Eyezone Corrector 303
  • Black liquid liner: Givenchy Parad'eyes Liner 01
  • Soft brown shadows: shades from the Narsissist eye palette
  • Mascara: Maybelline Great Lash in Blackest Black