A review of 3 Concept Eyes aka 3CE in Malaysia

The hallyu wave looks like a mighty big one that never seems to end. Starting with the deluge of BB creams and face masks, the Korean makeup/skincare craze doesn't look like it's stopping any time soon.

And thus I got swept up with the recent 3CE hullabaloo. It was the first time I've ever attended a Sephora event proper. Also so far the only time I've rolled out of bed for a Korean brand (so to speak). And sadly. Because I didnt have anything else better to do. 

My take on Korean makeup is that it's typically gimmicky and cutesy with pseudo-English names (Waterful? Glossing? 3 Concept Eyes??), with glitter. Lots and lots of glitter. And ultra-dewy looks  marketed as "glossy" look. That sadly translates as pure oily looks for me. 

I'd seen the brand being hawked over at Hermo.my and so piqued by its seeming ubiquitous appearance online, I thought why not. The worst is just that it justifies how I view most Korean makeup stuff (except perhaps Laneige) . And the best is just a trip to Sephora anyway. I tried looking for the brand's official website but the closest was at Stylenanda. The brand ambassador is Park Sora, who also came for the launch at Sephora Nu Sentral.

I have no idea who she is. But there were  two Korean girls behind the line gasping "Sora Sora Sora..." while struggling to catch a glimpse of the Olive Oyl-like stick-thin figure that was her. As usual there were over-zealous PR girls and event people everywhere, with one trying to command people to clear a path for the oh-so-wonderful Park Sora. Although most of us just wanted to get to the actual makeup. Like seriously. 

Granted, she has very, very good publicity pics from what I saw online but (no offence to her fans or her) she doesn't seem to exude much charisma in real life and unfortunately looks like a painted stick, with no personality. Was expecting a dewy-faced typical Korean beauty but she looked nowhere like her publicity pics, more pasty-faced due to too many layers of makeup, which looked like it was meant to conceal her less-than-perfect complexion. Such is the perils of Photoshop. Because no one can humanly look so perfect. Unless you're Jessica Alba. Or Priyanka Chopra. Or...wait there are truly crazy gorgeously perfect looking beings....but I digress.

3CE products with the freebie mini brush set (brushes touted to be worth RM120)

After the longest time (because we were herded in by batches to get to the makeup counter; the one and only counter for the launch), we find out that they ran out of the limited edition lipstick – one with a square pink casing with black polka dots, compared with the usual plain black ones. It had a beautiful plummy red that looked perfect for autumn and also for the usual berry Christmas looks. But out of stock. Which beggars the question: If we were supposedly the "first" to "view" the collection, how the heck can it already be out of stock? Unless they brought in like...3 pieces...for the whole of Malaysia. So it can be "Limited Edition".

Anyway, all the jostling and waiting, led to more jostling and waiting in order to actually try to swatch the makeup items. Couldn't test most of it as they set up only the actual counter (with no additional temp standalone island just for the launch), so the stampede to test the out the makeup meant it was simply too crowded for people to get to it. Got fed up really and it was just grab and go for a bit.

Which was probably makeup mistake number 1. Because I grabbed a lippie color that looked good swatched on the back of my hand. But was magically unattractively chalky and streaky on my lips, once I tested it back home. UWAAAAA...The color was called (made me guffaw),,,Daily Lady. Naah, no Lady will be going about with chalky, streaky pale lips Daily.

(Top to bottom) Swatches of the 3CE cream highlighter, lipstick and cream stick eyeshadow

I don't get it. Look at it (the middle swatch, the pinkish tone). It looks gorgeous on my hand and in the bullet, (and not frosty as it appears in the pic above, must be the lights picking up on the shine). I was sold on the creamy nude pink with a touch of gloss.

3CE lipstick in the shade Daily Lady
I thought maybe I got a MLBB (my-lips-but-better) lippie. But twas not to be. Now I have to figure out how best to maximise any use out of it.

Next is the 3CE Shimmer Stick in the shade Peach.

3CE Shimmer Stick in Peach with colour watch
It's basically a cream highlighter in stick form. I've only ever had powder highlighters so this was more of a novelty item for me. It has a subtle golden glow, not so much of a peachy glow, and wasn't too sticky. I've tested this a few times since, on the tops of my cheeks and just above my cupid bow; it's not bad, really, lending a subtle glow. For once a wearable Korean makeup item that has an actual subtle glow rather than in-your-face shimmer or oily mess being passed as off as "dewiness".

Another (thank gawd) wearable item I picked up was the 3CE Longwear Eye Crayon in the shade Syrup.

3CE Longwear Eye Crayon in the shade Syrup with colour swatch
This kinda reminds me of the Stila stick eyeshadows as well, exact same concept. I picked up this product because I thought I needed an easy-to-use  inner eye highligher that can also double nay triple up as a brow highlighter and actual eyeshadow. With its pearly sheen, worked out well enough for lazy makeup dummies like me.

3CE Mini Trio brushes
And for getting three items, I got a trio of mini brushes. It's actually pretty cute. And looking at the quality and cut, possibly even usable. The brush hairs for the slanted foundation brush and the powder brush appear to be made from natural hair; very soft and looks good quality. The dual ended eye brush appears to be synthetic in comparison but looks pretty usable. I wont ever bother to buy mini brushes as I dont see the point; however these are a good bargain then, seeing the quality. Believe these were said to be worth RM120; thank gawd they were free for me.

The rest of the stuff that I got pretty much range between RM60 till RM70. Not too bad.

Anyway, these are not so bad overall. I only have these three 3CE items to really test out. But after swatching most of their items (during another separate trip to Sephora KLCC), I don't really see any standout item. In fact I dont really see any compelling reason to go out of  my way to grab any more of their stuff. 'Nuff said on this till the next one!


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