Friday, 14 November 2014

SUQQU 2014 Christmas Set A featuring EX-22 Yukiichigo

Until the release of Christmas set A, I had thought that 2014 would've been my first Suqqu-quad-less year since my falling for the brand since 2009. Then I saw the palette in Set A, EX-22 Yukiichigo (雪苺, snow strawberry), and the rest is picspam:

Suqqu EX-22 Yukiichigo Christmas Set A
natural light, overcast
Yeeeeeeah. *_*
More shots in different lighting conditions, to demonstrate its seductive shiftiness:

Suqqu EX-22 Yukiichigo Christmas Set A
bright direct sunlight
Suqqu EX-22 Yukiichigo Christmas Set A
bright artificial light

Two textural and contrasting-flash illustrative close-ups:
Suqqu EX-22 Yukiichigo Christmas Set A
bright sunlight
Suqqu EX-22 Yukiichigo Christmas Set A
bright sunlight

Swatches, made with included sponge applicator onto bare arm
Suqqu EX-22 Yukiichigo Christmas Set A swatch

Left to right
bottom left pan: very pigmented burgundy gel-cream with packed with olive-bronze glitter that flashes where it catches the light
top left pan: soft mauve satin base with cooler microshimmer in icy pinks and blues, flashing lilac as a whole; medium+ pigment
top right pan: pigmented peony with warm gold duochrome, mostly a frost leavened some sparse aqua sparkle
bottom right pan: sheer-medium pale peach-pink satin with sparse silver-peach microshimmer

The contrasting base and flash / sparkle in each shade, even the understated bottom-right 'base', is absolutely the selling point of this palette, and something that wasn't evident at all in the promo pictures. The burgundy-bronze cream, in particular, photographs deceptively as simply an olive-bronze, since the intensely packed shimmer catches the light like unto ye hypnotic glitter vortex. of doooooom. but once you break up the surface of the pan (what with the frantic slathering everywheres), the rich base comes through more strongly:

In practice, the more you blend/sheer out the cream (which is as effortlessly creamy, lightweight, high-slip and workable as Suqqu's gel liners or their Creamy Glow lipsticks in texture), the more evident the burgundy base becomes, while a bolder, built-up application (e.g. with a dense fine liner brush) produces a complex bronze. Both aspects visible in this look, which involves the burgundy bronze cream buffed along the mobile lid and blended out; the gilded pink in the outer crease; lilac in the inner corner, blended up through socket, and accenting the outer corner; and peach satin as a transition shade/blender. More burgundy-bronze smudged along the lower lashline. Kiko white kajal on waterline, and L'Oreal Papillon False Lash Flutter WP mascara.

Paired with the lipstick in this set (Creamy Glow Moist EX-13 Beniaka), whose soft warmth I feel clash slightly with this palette (it seems better suited to EX-23 in Set B):

For this second look, I wanted to showcase the cream as liner (a job to which it's slightly better suited, considering 1. its ultralight texture which can make overblending as eyeshadow a little too easy, 2. maximum glitter and 3. hoarding of precious yet woefully tiny pan (already showing dips, people! *hyperventilates*). Pink in a triangular placement on lid, blended out with peach satin, and lilac layered below the bronze/burgundy cream on lower lashline. Suqqu Creamy Glow 18 Karakurenai on lips, inspired by this Suqqu Global video (it would be impossible for me to achieve that shade and saturation with the set's EX-13 lipstick) for a more decided clash.
Lighter lashes, so as not to compete with the liner, with L'Oreal Miss Manga WP.

In both looks I'm wearing Shu Underbase Cream Pink, RBR Sea of Tranquility highlighter, Burberry Sheer Touch Concealer 01 and Paul&Joe Face Powder S (bird balls) as base, and Suqqu brow pens through brows (01 Moss Green in the first look, 02 Brown in the second).

Postscript 1: comparison swatches
I know, these belong in the main body of a review, but my lighting has been so terrible every time I've tried to do these, I'm shoving them here. For shame. (But posting anyway, because shame schmame? Or just shhhh, look, sparkly.)

a. bottom left burgundy-bronze cream (see what I meant about making a dip in it already? WOECAKES) with Chanel Illusion D'Ombre Ebloui and Charlotte Tilbury Amethyst Aphrodisiac pencil:
The Suqqu has a very clear creamy shimmer-free burgundy base with contrasting bronze shimmer-flash thing going on, while the other two are more holistic sparklefests. Also pretty different, colourwise, though the CT base has something of the rich depth of the Suqqu burgundy, and the Chanel also combines a warm (red-brown) base and cooler (green'n'gold) sparkle.

b. top left lilac with the violet glitter third-sliver from Suqqu EX-17 Hatsushimo, Shiseido Ghost and the amethyst from THREE 04 Art of Parties.
EX-22 is most similar to Ghost in its satin-with-occasional-specks-of-contrasting-shimmer finish, while tonally it's closer to though more muted and warm in its base than EX-17. The THREE is here because I luff eet as and example of a more scattered glitter and a purple with a cool blue rather than warm pink base.

c. top right pink with the pinks from Suqqu 08 Mizuaoi and EX-17 Hatsushimo, the rose glitter from THREE 06 Tranquil Oasis, RBR Eaten All the Cherries pigment and Chanel Rose des Vents Illusion D'Ombre.
Even with my penchant for these kinds of colours, I don't have a 'dupe' for the Yukiichigo pink in my stash, thrown by its combination of bright perky pink base (making most of these other shades look more muted than they wear on their own) and warmer (almost coppery) gold flash. The closest would be the RBR, but even that looks cooler and slightly dustier in comparison.

d. bottom right peach satin with the peach base from EX-17 Hatsushimo and RBR Bashful Flamingo
Well the RBR looks hilariously dark here, but that's how a NW15-20 foundation looks on my skin too :P The Suqqu pair are similar in their relative delicacy, but hopefully you can see in this isolated swatch what I meant about the complexity of even the understated 'base' shade in EX-22 -- it has a warmer base with a hint of a pink/gold halo and subtle cooler sparkle overlaid on top, unlike the very lovely but pretty much uniform (and cooler) satin of EX-17.

(I've included Suqqu EX-17 Hatsushimo (reviewed) in three of these comparisons, but even this most-similar Suqqu palette isn't all that close to EX-22 Yukiichigo; it's a much cooler, less blingy composition, with the glitter kept tastefully to that violet sliver -- if Hatsuhimo is an enchanted starlit walk in a frosted wonderland, Yukiichigo is the swathed-in-mink-and-diamonds, chandelier-lit, champagne-fuelled reel.)

Postscript 2: Packaging
I'm a heretic who cares naught for such things, but admittedly it's cool that Suqqu continued last year's 'scatter holo-glitter over the palette' tradition with, this time, pink-and-gold on white:

There's some holo on the label of the compact lipstick EX-13 Beniaka, too, which is exquisitely dainty. As in, without the holographic Suqqu I might well fish this out of my bag one day and chug it down as a reeeeefreshing mint. Those less liable to blind-snack out of their handbags can, however, throw it in there with impunity -- the case is small but perfectly formed, and closes securely with a snap.
As with all the Creamy Glow Moists (Beniaka was released previously in traditional tube form, too), it's a scent-free sheer (buildable to medium) lipstick with a flatteringly cushy jelly (but not too glossy) finish, though my dry lips feel parched in this without balm underneath.

Sadly also keeping with tradition, the coffret again includes skincare-I-have-no-use-for, this year deluxe minis of Reset Cleansing Cream and Refining Foam, the first (makeup-removal) and second (soap) steps respectively of the Japanese double-cleansing routine. You'll have to look to a better blogger for details on those :)


I hope this has been helpful to those of you still making up your minds about Suqqu Christmas. In the UK the brand will be opening yet another counter (in addition to the ones at Selfridges and Fenwicks Bond Street), in Harrods -- so that's one more source for the sparkly :)

As for me, work and travel and lighting (cheers for the free mood lighting, semi-permanent cloud of smog!) continue to conspire against my blogging as often as I'd like but no, the blog lives (well, shambles) on! I don't want to be annoying and promise a posting schedule I probably won't keep, so expect a post when you see one, and I at least hope it will be soon :)

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Summery Summary

A lookbook, representative of my basic makeup doings (cough snort) during my blog hiatus. I've chosen to include only looks featuring products I haven't shown you before, with reviewlets, since the life unbeautiful is taking up way too much of my brainspace right now to allow for the usual rambly reviews proper. Try to contain your gusty sighs of relief....
(If you're a member of makeupalley, you may have seen these posted over the last few months, but please point your fingers / scratchy GWP brushes of Blame and Shunning at those fellow MUAers who told me to just go and blog them already / anyway. :P)
Consider yourselves forewarned, and scroll straight down to the end for recompense. By which I mean PIE.

The products:
clockwise from compact: Rouge Bunny Rouge At Goldcombe Bay powder bronzer, Shu Uemura Tint in Gelato AT03 Fantasy Orange, Jill Stuart Lip Blossom 08 Pretty Poppy, Benefique Theoty Lipstick Melty-Touch PK-06, Addiction Pastel Love lip gloss, Etude House Play 101 Pencils 15 and 39,  Dior It-Lash It-Purple mascara, Guerlain Kiss Kiss lipsticks in Sugar Kiss and Red Love.

Look 1: orange, high-contrast
The combination of bright lip&cheek tint (Shu Uemura Tint In Gelato AT03 Fantasy Orange) with coloured mascara (Dior It-Purple It-Lash) perfectly suited my minimal-effort-maximum-impact approach to simple summer makeup, in no-brainer complementary tones of yellorange and blurple.
Dior It Lash It Purple, Shu Tint In Gelato AT03 Fantasy Orange
This mascara shares the excellent formula of its pink sister, but reads as less vibrant on my black lashes than in the tube, so I smudged some Diego Dalla Palma Storm Violet shadow [review] along lashlines to help it along, blending out with the blue-white from Suqqu Hisuidama [review]. 
The Shu tint blends out to a a soft glow-from-within matte on my cheeks and, layered more thickly (and worn over balm), as a satin on my lips, where, owing to its high silicone content, it's surprisingly kind to vertical liplines. In pigmentation, blendability and scent-freedom(!) this formula has been and will remain a summer staple for years to come, displacing the Becca Beach Tints in my heart. I like best to pair its modern matte finish with fresh, glowy-but-not-dewy skin: here courtesy of Shu Uemura Underbase Cream Pink set with loose Guerlain Meteorites in Mythic (discontinued).

Look 2: orange, low-contrast
Another staple look took the opposite approach to create a soft monotonal gradation of tones -- my favourite this season has been orangey peach, to 'summerize' the rose tones of my 'no makeup' look. In common with that basic recipe, the eyecolour here is a wash of one of Etude House's Play 101 pencils (#15 is one of the 'glossy' shade, with no shimmer, which adds dimension naturally as it catches the light, obviating any need of further shading/highlighting procucts), and Rouge Bunny Rouge powder bronzer replaces blush in a 'W' placement (over bridge of nose as well as cheeks). Addiction lipgloss in Pastel Love works as un-makeup for my lips: its jelly texture conceals and evens out out my dry areas and fine liplines [I've shown you this formula in action before], while its warm peachy-beige tint cancels out their corpsical blue-mauve tones.
Etude House Play 15 Pencil, Rouge Bunny Rouge Goldcombe Bay powder bronzer, Addiction Pastel Love gloss
Touches of Rouge Bunny Rouge Seas of Tranquility highlighter to add some warmth as well as plenty of glow to unbronzed areas of skin, set again with Guerlain Mythic ballz, and (because my waterlines were a little red this particular day) a bit of GOSH white eye kohl on the inner rim and the grey cream from THREE Tranquil Oasis [swatch] for softer-(and-glossier-)than-black lashline definition. Maybelline Rocket WP mascara for light, fluttery lashes.

Here's a swatch comparison between the Etude House Play 15 pencil, THREE Love Satisfaction duo [review] and Kiko Colour Kajal 104 Red to illustrate the glossy finish and pinky coral tones (vs. the pastel tangerine and primary red of the other two oranges) which make it such a good 'neutral' orange for me.
THREE Love Satisfaction, Etude House Play 15 Pencil, Kiko 105 Red Kajal

And a look at how the Rouge Bunny Rouge At Goldcombe Bay powder bronzer compares to their liquid offering, which I've finally used up after three happy years together: in short, the powder is slightly paler and cooler-toned, and blends out to an even more exquisitely airy skin-flattering satin texture.

Intermission: this year's jellies
Last year confirmed that a jelly finish looks most flattering on my dry, dehydrated and lined lips in an alternately boiling/aggressively air-conditioned climate. Having a decent wardrobe of them from last year, I only added two new products: Benefique Theoty Melty-Touch lipstick PK-06 (a warm pink to replace the Addiction Psychadelic gloss and Coffret D'Or RD128 I'd finished, and more pigmented and truer a jelly than either); and Jill Stuart Lip Blossom 08 Pretty Poppy, a glossy warm red that sits in between the slightly cool-toned Lunasol Cherry Red and more orange Chicca Amaryllis. (All the shades named here were featured in last year's jelly roundup.) Unusually for Japanese formulas, both of these are scented: a clean tea-rose for the Benefique and candied peach-and-floral for the Jill Stuart.
Shiseido Benefique Theoty Melty Touch lipstick PK-06 and Jill Stuart lip blossom 08 Pretty Poppy
preposterous J-brand packaging is an added bonus -- and check out the flip-up mirror lid on that JS
Shiseido Benefique Theoty Melty Touch lipstick PK-06
Benefique PK-06
Jill Stuart lip blossom 08 Pretty Poppy
Jill Stuart 08 Pretty Poppy
(I tended to wear these with tightlining, glasses and a tonally similar blush, so no full-face pics because BASIC.)

However, I did add two shades from the new Guerlain Kiss Kiss lipstick range to my stash: 343 Sugar Kiss (cheery coral pink) and 324 Red Love (softened strawberry). Evonnz has great lip swatches of the various offerings in the line, which, as is customary with Guerlain, vary quite a bit in terms of pigmentation and finish. Both of mine are medium-pigment crellies (or maybe, considering the texture and candied violet scent, fondants), with greater creamy glide than the usual Rouge Automatique or Rouge G formulas, but surprisingly superior lasting- and staining-power to the Autos.

Swatched with the samples from my blister pack: see the squishiness?
Guerlain Kiss Kiss lipstick swatches: Baby Rose, Red Love, Rouge Kiss, Sugar Kiss, Sexy Coral

The soft red of Red Love went well with not-quite-true blues (muted by grey just as the lipstick is warmed by strawberry) for a vaguely retro look i.e. the three right-most pans from Lunasol Vivid Clear Eyes EX-02 [Rouge Deluxe's review], Rose de Versailles Oscar black liquid liner and GOSH white kohl. Sheer application of Canmake CL01 Clear Red Heart cheeks.
Guerlain Kiss Kiss Red Love

On the other hand, I liked to wear the perennially sweetly-pretty-for-summer coral Sugar Kiss with an oh-so-SS-2014-dahling mixed metal haze on the eyes: here the complex olive-bronze Etude House Play 101 Pencil in 39 blended out with the coral-pink glitter from THREE Tranquil Oasis [swatch]. Blush is my favourite nude, Chicca Flush Blush 01 Baby Girl [review].
Guerlain Kiss Kiss Sugar Kiss, Etude Play 39 pencil

Admittedly, my interpretation of the mixed metals trend was more or less 'wear this Etude House pencil with all of the things all summer long', because it is basically the complexparkly lovechild of two of my beloveds: RBR Abyssinian Catbird, and THREE Eye Rock pencil, closer resembling the AbCat the more you blend it out, while applying at full strength with a depth that rivals Eye Rock.

While the Etude House Play 101 pencils had more misses than hits for me (in particular the 'matte' and 'creamy' formulas dragged like chalk across my dry skin), this one was an absolute standout -- buttery, pigmented, and blendable, applying intensely without looking crepey on my lids, and without the fallout issues I experienced with several other 'glitters' in the line. It's now working beautifully as an eyeshadow in autumn, with some black waterlining for a sultry smokey eye -- the only issue being that its opaque twist-up mechanism makes it hard to gauge how much I have left.

(In the last two looks I'm wearing Shu Uemura Whitefficient pink/purple mousse, set with Paul&Joe bird balls as base, and my last tube of Fasio Full Dynamic Volume mascara :'( In all looks, Burberry Sheer Touch concealer 01 and Suqqu brow pen 01 or 02.)

Finally, if you've made it thus far, here's an autumnal afterword. Can it really be that I'm blogging something I did last weekend instead of three months ago? :O

Rosemary pecan pie, by Ruby Tandoh (she of last year's Bake Off), with the modifications I make to all pecan pie recipes to dial back the sweetness: substitute walnuts for half the pecans in the filling, unrefined molasses sugar (I like this) for regular brown sugar, and a glug of bourbon for the vanilla. And add extra salt, water retention bedamned. The rosemary in this recipe added the perfect smoky savoury depth, and I can't recommend it highly enough. [You may find, as I do, that using molasses sugar requires a slightly longer baking time at a lower temperature (45 mins at 170C), preparing to throw a sheet of foil over the pie for the last 10 minutes if the nuts on top seem to be burning.]

I am in full-on autumn mode now, and hope to actually post some looks and reviews while this season's still...seasonal. Thanks to everyone still reading for your patience, and do let me know what's been going on in your makeup lives lately :)

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Femme Boulevard: Simple and Seasonal

Hello world! As you can tell, I am shooting for 'laziest blogger of the year' this year, so thanks for all your support *genuflects* But as before, my lovely pals of Femme Boulevard have dragged me out of hibernation, in order to present our various interpretations of a simple, seasonal look.

It seems the ideal opportunity to show you the kind of makeup uniform I've been living in this month, with a built-in excuse for / handy illustration of why this blog has been so quiet: I've become basic, yo. :P But hey, it's seasonal because normcore is the new FASHUN :D and in any case, a bit of simplicity always feels suitably palate-cleansing and back-to-schoolish for autumn -- witness my autonal series from two years ago.

Guerlain Gladys, Surratt Vreeland Rougeur, Chanel Mirifique, Shiseido High Beam White
lips: Guerlain Rouge G Gladys, one of my rare recent acquisitions, and the focus of this simple look. The colour is a vibrant jewelled fuchsia, with a berry richness that make it my most-worn lipstick of early autumn, and an ultra-shiny, lacquered finish thanks to its profusion of (hidden) microshimmer in tones of blue and red. Its formula stands up to the best of the Rouge G line (my favourite lipstick formula), with intense pigment, fine-line-plumping plushness and a truly impressive lip-hugging yet moisturising wear-time, fading evenly to a rosy stain after multiple hours, drinks and noms.

face: Surratt Artistique Blush 4 Vreeland Rougeur is its ideal tonal companion: among my many red blushes, this one has a berry ruddiness that feels almost parodically autumnal; a subtle warmth keeps it looking neutral even on my naturally cool pink cheeks and gives the perfect Red-Delicious flush -- best worn on apples, natch. The formula is excellent, too -- silky, finely-milled and fragrance-free powder that rivals my favourite THREE and Rouge Bunny Rouge blushes in quality, wearing as a texturally undetectable satin on skin.
Shiseido Luminising Satin Face Colour WT905 High Beam White is an old faithful: this is my second pan, and already showing a dip.

Chanel Mirifique
eyes: Chanel Illusion D'Ombre 85 Mirifique smoked along and out from lashlines, with the outer corner kept open, to keep my eyes looking open (or embiggened) in glasses. The silver from Shu Uemura x Karl Lagerfeld Smoky Velvet (EU/Asia version), layered over from inner corner to middle of eye for a tonal dimensional highlight. Which black&white gradation is, oops, basically the non-costume version of the last look I posted XD One slick of Maybelline Rocket WP mascara, my current natural/defining/nothingy formula, as anything with more oomph (like the Guerlain Cils D'Enfer WP I still love) makes my lashes crash against my lenses with every blink.

Guerlain Rouge G Gladys, Surratt Vreeland Rougeur
as you see, back-to-schoolism extends to wardrobe too
Now, don't I look totally competent / awake / unlikely to abandon a blog for months out of sheer laziness? The power of makeup.

other products/basics: Shu Uemura Underbase Cream Pink, Burberry Sheer Touch concealer 01, Suqqu Brow Pen 02 Brown, Paul&Joe bird balls.

Do click over to my fellow Femmes' interpretations of this month's theme:
Teri's at Bellachique
Lily's at Chloeash
and Lilit's (our sister from another hemisphere) at Makeup&Macaroons

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Femme Boulevard Vamps It Up

Long time no see, dear ones! In the spirit of K.I.S.S. I haven't been wearing much interesting (or indeed unsmeared) makeup so far this sweltering Asian summer, but the ladies of Femme Boulevard have administered a kick up the arse in the form of this month's vamp challenge, so, swapping one four-letter word for another....

Both my newly grown hair and my old and enduring fondness for the S-of-stupidity mean that Louise Brooks is my achingly obvious inspiration for this one. If you haven't read her witty and waspish and wry essay collection, Lulu in Hollywood, I highly recommend it (and skipping Tynan's decidedly.... let'sjustcallit 'gushy' intro. oh em gee, ken, yr id is showing, put it away now kthx'). Available as a free ebook at the Open Library (with a short waiting list), so no excuses <3

The products, consisting of black, white and, er... sticks:
black: Shiseido BK912 Caviar (my second! Staple starlit off-black cream); KATE brow pencil BK-1 (a gift from a pal, this is darker than my hair so black as my soul...); Suqqu brow pen 01 Moss Green ; Guerlain Cils D'Enfer Maxi Lash WP (to which I did succumb after last month's glorious sample)
white: Shiseido WT907 Paperwhite (an even finer-milled satin off-white than my beloved, recently-panned-thus-too-fragile-to-pack Shiseido High Beam White highlighter) and 3CE Lip Pigment in Modern White
sticks: Guerlain Greta mixed with MAC Pro Paintstick in Rich Purple for a deepened red lip; Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation Stick Alabaster (which, as my original review guessed, is working much better for my summer-tanned skin in the heat&humidity of E and SE Asia)

Key aspects of this look are pretty well-illustrated by that Lulu in Hollywood cover :P Even with such a handy colouring-in guide the hardest thing for me was to stop my fingers from employing their usual prettifying tricks; 1920s makeup appeals to me precisely because it is so scrappy and slapdash and defiant, but it takes actually applying it to bring home how many unspoken rules of contemporary makeup flattery it breaks.

Brows, eyes and lips downturned, thinned and shortened. I skipped curling my lashes for only about the fifth time since I turned 13, to help 'drop' the eye and place even more emphasis on the heavily mascara-ed lower lashes and thickened outer lower lashline. Triangular placement of Shiseido Caviar.
Spoolied some 3CE Modern White through the brows I wanted to 'erase' (mostly at the inner corner and at my fairly-high natural arch), then sponged on a coat of BB foundation, before sketching in the straight, short, slightly down-tilted Brooks brows with the black KATE pencil, cross hatching with the Suqqu pen between my natural hair and the drawn-on ones.

Closeup of the eye and brow -- look how messy period-appropriate it is >:C

Lips were outlined quite heavily with BB foundation, blended inwards, to thin them down. Lengthened top lip slightly over lower corners for a downward tilt. I played with a bit of reverse contouring with the 3CE modern white pigment to achieve that '20s rounded cheek&jaw, and blended everything with a good dusting of Shiseido Paperwhite. Because despite MINUTES, MINUTES I TELL YOU of straightening, my hair's never going to retain Brooksian deco sleekness in this humidity, tending more towards the Colleen Moore anyway....

Have a lovely weekend, everyone! Be sure to check out my fiendish fellow femmes Lily and Lilit and their vamp looks.