Every week, fashion and beauty editor Jolene Khor, makeup artist Fiona Bennett, hair guru Christian Maranion, and beauty connoisseur Monica Saranya Selva De Roy — collectively known as The Clubbers — test drive the latest (and with hopes, the greatest) makeup, skincare, hair care, fragrance, bath and body drops to land in Singapore. Tools and brushes too. You get the idea. To buy in bulk or to take a hard pass? We give you the 411 so you never have to second-guess again.
In the spotlight this week: It Cosmetics Oil-Free Complexion Trio

We're not making mountains out of molehills when we talk about the difficulties of maintaining a beat face. Any self-respecting makeup maven can attest, everything from order of product application to its texture play a pivotal role in extending (or failing to extend) the longevity of bold liner flicks, bomb eyeshadow, and bangin' brows. In combat, the best of grease-killers (oil-free formulations), budge-proof bad boys (primer), and mattifying exemplars (powder). It is a line of thought certainly understood by It Cosmetics, with the release of their motley crew of oil-busters. The Oil-Free Complexion Trio includes the Your Skin But Better Makeup Primer+, CC+ Cream, and Bye Bye Pores Pressed Powder — aka the key players behind a luminous, glowing complexion that never succumbs to slick. Or so it claims. Whaddya say we put it to the test?
Ok, But
There are three products in the trio and I like/dislike them to varying degrees. I'll start with the one I rate poorest to get it out of the way. This is likely going to be an unpopular opinion: while I love the OG CC+ Cream by It Cosmetics, I don't have the most positive things to say about the new Your Skin But Better CC+ Cream Oil-Free Matte. Sure, it goes on easily, looks beautifully matte upon application, and offers a flawless full-coverage finish. But it loses major points for not staying on my skin. Barely five hours after I finished my makeup, I was dealing with a slip and slide situation. Disclaimer alert — it was a super hot day and I have oily skin, though it should be noted that I've found luck with the Fenty Beauty Pro Filt'r Soft Matte and Dior Forever foundations.

The CC+ Cream fared better when used atop the oil-free primer. My pores were far less obvious to the naked eye and my makeup stayed shine-free for longer, yet my skin didn't feel tired or suffocated after a long day. My favourite of the three is the Bye Bye Pores Pressed Powder. I have reservations about applying pressed powder with a sponge after carefully making sure my face is beat, but the formula is so fine, it puffed on like a dream. It gave the CC+ Cream additional longevity too, which makes sense that It Cosmetics is branding these products as a trio. I only wish the matte version of the CC+ Cream carried its own weight and lived up to my (impossibly high, frankly) expectations.

Jolene Khor

My Skin but Matte
The Your Skin But Better CC+ Cream by It Cosmetics is one of the most talked about CC creams in the industry. Once I gave the oil-free matte version a go, I can see why. My friend, Yvette King, has been using the hydrating original for a while now and has told me many times how much she loves it. So I know I'm on a good thing!

I tried the new CC+ Cream Oil-Free Matte on a handful of occasions and every time I use it, I love it more and more. It's smooth, glides on the skin very easily, and buildable. Half a pump is enough for a sheer finish, and up to two pumps is advised for a full-coverage face; both look great and natural. Though the product is said to be mattifying, it's not drying at all. In fact, my skin feels super hydrated, and it looked flawless. Clearly, the matte formula doesn't leave me with a powdery or cakey finish. My nose did get slightly shiny by the end of the day.

To set the CC+ Cream, I dust it with the Bye Bye Pores Pressed Poreless Finish Airbrush Pressed Powder and it does seem to set it nicely — transfer was minimal. You can use the powder in specific spots to mattify certain areas too; it's very finely-milled, which makes it perfect to throw in your bag for re-application. The primer is pretty standard. It does indeed help with uneven texture and yes, foundation will go on smoother with it on. But I have used better primers. Sorry!

Fiona Bennett

Mind the Flash
It's about time that It Cosmetics showed some love to my fellow oilies with a mattifying version of their popular CC+ Cream. Like most BB and CC creams, I was a little disappointed by the lack of range on the CC+ Cream Oil-Free Matte. The colour that I was matched to was the shade 'Rich'. It was a tad too dark and far too warm for my neutral complexion.

However it did make my pores look softer and less obvious. I wasn't expecting to look porcelain given how large my pores are, but I was pleased with how much improvement I saw. I was surprised with the lightness on my skin too, given that the formula was very creamy and emollient to the touch. I got full coverage, yet my skin didn't feel clogged. At the same time, do not expect it to cover up hyperpigmentation or darker freckles completely.

Because my skin is super oily, I didn't expect the CC+ Cream to stay shine free for 12 hours as claimed. I appreciate the consistency of the formula for not breaking down as my facial oils came through. Its long-lasting coverage held up even better when used in conjunction with Your Skin But Better Oil-Free Primer. I found myself blotting less. Even though the CC+ Cream has SPF 40, it does not cause flash to bounce in pictures. However, the same cannot be said for the Bye Bye Pores Pressed Powder. With it, I lost definition on the face and my dark skin tone looked a tad ashy.

Christian Maranion

Glow Without the Sweat
Let's start from the top. I'm not a fan of mattifying primers. I'm a collector of satin finish primers, my favourite of the lot being Catrice Aqua Fresh Hydro Primer… that is until I met the It Cosmetics Your Skin But Better Primer. Before it, I never knew that 'oil-free' and 'hydrating' can exist in the same sentence. I tested this on clients, people with varying skin types, so I can really put this up for a challenge. There was someone with intense open pores, one client with extremely oily skin, a lady with dry skin, and myself. It worked on everyone. With the CC+ Cream and Bye Bye Pores Pressed Powder on, I didn't have to blot once in seven hours.

The CC+ Cream Oil-Free Matte was light in a good way. I usually go for heavy-duty foundation given my long hours in front of cameras and under crazy studio lights. But this CC+ Cream is versatile — when worn on its own, it creates a natural look, and can still be amped up when mixed with my usual foundation. My only reservation is the limited 12 shades they released, out of which only four are suited for brown and black skin tones.

Did the Bye Bye Pores Pressed Powder help me complete the look? Hell yeah! I usually opt for my usual Laura Mercier Translucent Powder after cream contouring. This time, I went ahead with It Cosmetics' offering and it minimised my pores as it states it would. It's not heavy and it's perfect for a work day as it is long-lasting. If it was released in more shades than just translucent, I would invest in it. Translucent just doesn't cut it for us darker-skinned girls.

Monica Selva De Roy
The It Cosmetics Oil-Free Complexion Trio is available online and in Sephora stores.
The Clubbers
a.k.a. the people who will never lie to you, the beauty enablers you never thought you'd have, the voices of reason when logic goes out the window on payday, and when Sephora goes on sale.
Jolene Khor
Beauty Editor of Buro. Singapore
The fashion and beauty editor at Buro. Singapore swiped on her first glitter lip gloss at age 12 and have never looked back since — except the rare (only not so rare) occasions when she wants to feel better about her makeup skills as an adult. That kohl eyeliner look wasn't working out despite the fact that she was listening to The Cure and quoting Oscar Wilde. Her mother is thankful that K-beauty happened though that means her glow isn't just genetic. These days, her worst crimes are knocking out with full makeup on and forgetting to apply sunscreen on her neck. Old habits die hard.
Christian Maranion
Hair Specialist & Makeup Artist
Nine years. That's how long Christian Maranion has been in the hair game. Having honed his craft, he then began dabbling in makeup, finding equal joy in killing it at both. He has worked with the likes of Vanessa Fernandez aka Vandetta, Tabitha Nauser, and Charlie Lim. He also frequently collaborates with names such as Sephora, Elizabeth Arden, and Kat Von D to up their beauty game. Don't be fooled by appearances — though he may love dark humour and even darker outfits, he is a pocketful of sunshine.
Fiona Bennett
Makeup Artist & Hairstylist
Fiona Bennett is a makeup artist and hairstylist by profession, and a wife, mother, and part-time Kardashian expert when she's not hustling. Hailing from Australia, she reluctantly came to Singapore with her husband almost six years ago but she's grown to love it so much she wouldn't want to be anywhere else. She began her journey (sometimes by force) pinning her friends down to make them up before going out — only now she gets paid for it! You might find the self-proclaimed beauty-obsessed Fiona snapping up the latest products in the department stores on weekends. You name it, she has probably tried it.
Monica Selva De Roy
Henna & Makeup Artist
Monica doesn't have enough heads for the hats she wants to wear. When the sun's out, she's selling ultra cool tech that makes logistics look sexier than ever. Then, she slaps on some face cake to moonlight as an actress on Vasantham; from nasty stepmother to varsity mean girl, she's seen them all in the realm of antagonism. Oh, her makeup and henna businesses keep her busy during the weekends too. Amidst all this, she's finding time to test and review makeup — if that's not true love, what is?