|natural light, overcast|
More shots in different lighting conditions, to demonstrate its seductive shiftiness:
|bright direct sunlight|
|bright artificial light|
Two textural and contrasting-flash illustrative close-ups:
Swatches, made with included sponge applicator onto bare arm
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:
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.
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.
d. bottom right peach satin with the peach base from EX-17 Hatsushimo and RBR Bashful Flamingo
(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.
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 :)