Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Suqqu Creamy Glow Lipstick paper swatches

Due to the popularity of the YSL Glossy Stain paper swatches, I now offer up the Suqqu Creamy Glow lipsticks. (BTW, thanks so much to everyone who reads, links, comments, or emails me about the blog -- I'm a little frazzled/fragile at the moment and honestly they cheer me up like nothing else.)

These come in 18 shades, released in Autumn 2010 in Japan and March 2011 in the UK. They replace the previous Blend Lipsticks and Creamy Lipsticks, and combine the strengths of both those formulas.

Unlike the YSL stains, these do look very different on paper than on lips -- in a separate post I'll be swatching the shades I own on arm and lips and writing more about the formula. In brief: these are my favourite lipstick formula ever, and one of the few I can wear on my very dry, picky lips without lipbalm even in winter.

natural light
Suqqu Creamy Glow Lipstick complete swatch 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
Pink: 1-3 are all clear pinks: 1 Saebana is a neutral/cool cherry-blossom shade, 2 Kyoganoko is a brighter, deeper candy pink, 3 Tsuyazakura adds some peachy warmth.
4 and 5 are more muted pinks: 4 Yamamomo softened by beige and mauve, 5 Suzumecha warmed and rounded by peach and rose tones.
7 and 8 are both lightly browned (toasted?) roses: 7 Asasuou is warmer, more muted and has more red, 8 Keshiaka is brighter and heavier on the pink.

Peach/Coral: 6 Umegasumi is a soft, neutral coral, 9 Hanarenga is a brighter and warmer peach. 10 Urumishu is a warm, bright "persimmon coral" (as FrontRowBeauty excellently put it) and 11 Sharegaki is its more muted sister with additional brown warmth.

Brown/Nude: 12 Hiwada is a neutral beige with balanced peach and rose tones.
13 Tsukushiiro is a warm yellow-peach beige and 14 Amairo an even warmer orange-peach beige -- both have strong brown undertones.
As do 15 Kogarecha, a cool browned rose, and 16 Akanecha, a richer, deeper browned rose with more red in its base.

Red: 17 Ichijiku is a vampy warm brick red. 18 Karakurenai is an uncompromisingly loud'n'clear neutral red.

You can see all eighteen shades on the beautiful cinnamongal here, though as with all lipsticks, they will look different depending on the skintone and the shade of your bare lips.

Suqqu is currently only available in Japan, the UK and Bangkok, Thailand. In the UK the Creamy Glow Lipsticks retail for £27 each. International readers can order from Selfridges (by phoning the counter on +44 207 318 3809) or from Dollyleo online.

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Halcyon Fakes

As fellow UK'ers will know, it's just gone all wintry over here, so naturally I'm, like, so over those vampy plums and reds and all about bright oranges and beachy corals! Well, until next week...

Becca is my go-to brand for that effortless beach girl/angel thang, and I've been resisting their Halcyon Days palette since its release last summer. Their palettes usually manage to be both pitch-perfect combinations of flattering shades and textures and to dexterously conjure up mood, scene and story through those combinations. And while they don't offer the innovative and inspiring juxtapositions of brands like Suqqu, Shiseido or Addiction, sometimes an old tale told simply and well is just what's needed.

Shu Stage Performer mixed with RBR liquid bronzer as foundation
RBR liquid bronzer mixed with Sea of Tranquility highlighter as blush
Visee x Smacky Glam Glam Glow Eyes BR-7 Bitter Brown* (peach/coral on the lid, dark brown to line, bronze-taupe on lower lashline)
Ellis Faas Glazed Lips L307
Helena Rubinstein Lash Queen Fatal Blacks waterproof mascara
(not pictured: Ellis Faas concealer S201, KATE brow gel BR-3)

natural light

after about six hours of wear, artificial light with flash (becuase that's all the sun ration we're allowed)

I apologise for the excessive amounts of posiness / derp in these. My hair was even more wayward than usual and kept flopping into my face and hiding the bronzer/highlight which I especially wanted to show.

*Which swatches like this:

Saturday, 14 January 2012

YSL Rouge Pur Couture Glossy Stain paper swatches

Remember how I love these? (Still do, and I can now report that a few day's wear doesn't worsen the condition of my picky lips.) They are now available to buy from for those in the US, and have also been released in several European countries (Ireland, Germany and Denmark for sure). In the UK they will remain exclusive to Selfridges until Feburary.

To help you early adopters and online shoppers (my brethren and sistren!), here are the paper swatches I was kindly allowed to make at my counter... which didn't receive a tester of #19. But huzzah the blogosphere, you can see that one on beautIE, which also reports that shades #2 and #20 are limited edition.

paper swatches, natural light

Purple: #1 Violet Edition is a cool, vampy plum. #4 Mauve Pigmente is a wamer, more muted berry. #16 Poupre Preview a bright, cool pinky orchid-purple.

Brown: #2 Brun Glace is a dark warm brick red, #3 Brun Cachemire a cooler browned rose.

Pink/Rose: #5 Rouge Vintage is a deep romantic rose, #17 Encre Rose a blue-based bubblegum rose and #18 Rose Pastelle a soft rosy nude.
#11 Rouge Philtre is a bright reddish fuchsia and #14 Fuchsia Dore is cooler, more muted and more purple.
#12 Corail Fauve is an fluoro-bright coral pink, #13 Rose Tempera a bright coolish rosy pink, #15 Rose Vinyl a warmer and clearer watermelon pink.

Orange/Coral: #6 Camel Croisiere is the warmest, a brownish rust. #7 Corail Aquatique a muted, slightly dusty orange. #8 Orange de Chine is a no-holds-barred, juicy clear orange.

Red: #9 Rouge Lacque is bright, clear, and warm. #10 Rouge Philtre is bright, clear and cool. #20 Rouge Enamel is neutral and more muted than the other two.

A closer look at the reds (what? you all know my ways by now...)
natural light with flash -- a much better representation of the texture. They're all this lacquered.

For my Violet Edition lipswatch and FOTD, click here.

Friday, 13 January 2012

Highlighters -- rambles and swatches

To bring a little light into your Friday the thirteenths, highlighters to complete this series of RBR swatches and to supplement my earlier post about base makeup.

I was born with very dry skin with absolutely no natural glow, and a perverse and stubborn nature. This means that I've been trying to fake a glow for over a decade -- coupled with my extreme pickiness and absolute intolerance of any visible shimmer on my face (in direct sunlight, viewed in a magnifying mirror), this means in fact that I've also been failing to fake a glow for over a decade.

You name the illuminating product, and I'll bet you a lipstick I've tried it and found fault with it.

Then, with a suitably fairytale twist, came Rouge Bunny Rouge Seas of Illumination highlighters. And they are simply perfect. Extremely blendable cucumbers-and-roses-scented light liquids, they offer a wide range of finishes and effects used alone and mix very well with foundations/primers or with eyeshadows. Fellow tinkerers and makeup 'rules' breakers may like to know that they layer excellently OVER as well as under powders.
I own Sea of Clouds and Sea of Tranquility (two on the left), and the liquid bronzer As If It Were Summer Still (on the right). The two pots in the middle are Sea of Showers and Sea of Nectar, free samples (!) ordered from zuneta.

Paper swatches, natural light with flash

I found these beauties impossible to swatch realistically without becoming totally invisible to my camera, so first up we have some moderately heavy swatches:
natural light with flash

dark with flash

And then, some extremely heavy swatches, using about ten times my usual amount. Seriously, a faint breeze would leave ripples in these stripes.
natural light with flash

dark with flash
Notice how the bronzer texture is even more refined than that of the highlighters? And its total lack of orange/ruddy tones even in the stupidly heavy swatch? Even at my wintry palest, I can use this ALL OVER MY FACE, yo. I know people from NW5 to NC40 who love it equally. Magic.

It's taken me over a year of using these highlighters almost daily to decide, but I now think the RBR Seas are uniquely effective because of the refinement, variety and complexity of the shimmer particles within, and the way they're integrated into the opalescent bases. Most highlighters rely on:
  1. all-out bling through glitter (Nars multiples, Lunasol illuminating powders and most of the MUFE uplights and Armani fluid sheers)
  2. densely-packed, finely-milled metallic frost (Laura Mercier Rose Rendezvous, Dior Amber/Rose Diamond, Bobbi Brown Shimmerbricks)
  3. a shimmer-free glossy 'wet' look or sheen (MAC cream colour bases or strobe, Benefit Moon Beam, other Armani fluid sheers, Illamasqua Lies).
The first two finishes don't work for me because I'm a shimmerphobe (except for eyes) and my skin texture is not up to having every bump, flake, pore and hair magnified. The third, while superficially the most attractive option, doesn't work either, because:
  1. I'm not vapid/fabulous enough to walk around with my face angled precisely just so that they catch the light (I save that for FOTDs, ahem)
  2. highlighting down the centre of my face is more flattering than tops-of-cheekbones-and-browbones. A 'sexy' glossy effect usually just translates as 'greasy' when it's manifesting down someone's nose, forehead and inner cheeks.
  3. this one also took ages to work out, but for a highlighter to actually highlight (add dimension as well as glow), it needs to be noticeably paler than my skin. Most sheeny products blend out to a clear glossiness -- great for photography, when that contrast will translate as dimension, but not enough for real life (especially subject to the vagaries of London sun, flourescent supermarket/office lighting etc.)
My collection is subsequently very highly edited. Firstly, whites.
Rouge Bunny Rouge Sea of Clouds (refined shimmer)
MAC Cream Colour Base Luna (sheen)*
Illamasqua powder blush Intrigue (matte)
Shiseido Luminizing Satin Face Colour WT905 High Beam White (satin)

natural light

dark with flash

You may have to do some monitor angling to see these -- sorry! MAC Luna is starred because it didn't make the final cut -- too similar to Shiseido HB White which I prefer. It is however hopefully useful to see how the sheen of Luna throws back light in a more solid way than the delicate shimmer of RBR, which is much more flattering on imperfections (like the complex light-reflecting particles in such cult undereye illuminators like Touche Eclat). Illamasqua Intrigue looks a little chalky here, and honestly it kind of is, but you need so little of this pigmented stark white that the chalkiness doesn't really translate on to the face.

Next, pinks:
RBR Sea of Tranquility (refined shimmer)
Guerlain Parure de Nuit LE holiday 2011 (satin)
Shiseido Luminzing Satin Face Colour PK107 Medusa (satin)*

natural light

dark with flash
Guerlain is the palest and subtlest once the overspray has been thoroughly swept off (it looks just off-white here, but is a very pale pink in reality), and the only one I use as a highlighter. As I've said before, Shiseido Medusa functions more like a blush topcoat/mixer for me, while RBR Tranquility is mainly a foundation-mixer/colour-correcting primer, enabling me to wear more pink- and red-based shades.

Long post is long. But hopefully somewhat helpful.

Post script down under:
My favourite highlighters before discovering RBR were by Becca. I completely agree with this excellent review on visionarybeauty -- the finer microglitter particles in Becca Shimmering Skin Perfectors are more densely packed and uniform, so while they swatch 'better', they look less refined and flattering than RBR in practice.

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Stash Swatch: Rouge Bunny Rouge Eyes Part 2

Now for my less-complete collections of RBR cream eyeshadows, loose pigments and pencil liners, neatly composed of three of each.

I've also owned and loved their Quartz liquid liner/eyeshadow in Tiger Eye Essence (blackened old gold shimmer) but at £27 for a dainty pot I blazed through in about three months (admittedly used profligately, Liz-Taylor-Cleopatraly even...) they proved too rich for my blood. Perhaps if you were an occasional liquid liner wearer after something unusual and of RBR's usual stellar quality...

Pencil Liners
These come in two formulas, the sharpenable pencil Eye Kohls and automatic twist-up (but not back down) Long-Lasting Eye Pencils. Both formulas are extremely creamy (so that they apply with no tugging and blend smoothly for use as cream bases even on my dry eyelids) and offer exceptionally long wear once set; the Long-Lasting Eye Pencils are on par with KATE gel liner, the Eye Kohls are only slightly less impressive, and last longer than any other pencil formula on my allergy-ridden, contact-wearing waterline. The operative difference is that the kohls are waterline-safe and the automatics are not.

Swatches, from left to right:
Long-Lasting Eye Pencil Calypso inky black with cool blue and white shimmer
Long-Lasting Eye Pencil Lola rich but cool(!) brown with brighter copper shimmer
Eye Kohl Vera smooth metallic iris on a blackened base

Paper swatches, flash

Arm swatches, natural light

Arm swatches, flash
The natural light swatches are most true-to-life -- the shimmer in these usually read as a subtle sheen (the ultimate work-appropriate neutrals-with-a-kick).

Unlike every other species of loose pigment in my experience (MAC pigments, Barry M Dazzle Dusts, Fyrinnae shadows, MUFE Diamond Dust, Bare Escentuals and other mineral brands), these paradoxically creamy, finely-milled loose shadows apply and stay all day on the lids without any kind of base or special technique. Even with my dry skin, I experience no fallout from these applied onto a bare lid.

As many other reviewers have mentioned, you should probably disregard the word 'glitter' as well as the word 'loose' in the title... these are ultra-refined shimmers on skin, less sparkly than some of RBR's pressed shadows.

Swatches from left to right:
Caress of Mink cool taupe base with warm copper and burgundy shimmer
Night-Wind Sailing cool steel grey base slightly warmed by silver and pink shimmer
Wishing for Wings neutral silver-mauve-taupe

Arm swatches, natural light (most colour-accurate)

Arm swatches, flash (showing how complex they can look)

Cream Eyeshadows
are a fairly substantial sub-addiction of mine; as with red lipsticks, violet perfumes, or pale foundations, a new formula usually ends up on my arm before the end of release week.

It's been a year since RBR came out with their Silk Aether creams, packaged with fuzzy doefoot applicators in airtight black plastic tubes. Having tried all the shades and finished two tubes since, they remain absolutely unique in my experience -- weightless, blendable satin-mattes with the subtlest microshimmer that works, oddly, to refract light away from imperfections rather than attract attention.

Swatches from left to right:
Batiste Grayling neutral mid-tone grey satin, gets warmer with more layers
Velvet Fritillary muted grey-khaki, gets warmer and more yellow/green with more layers
Atlas Swallowtail rosy taupe, gets cooler and more pewter with more layers

Paper swatches, flash

Sheer swatch, natural light

Heavier swatch, flash

I no longer own Chiffon Ringlet (rich copper-mauve brown) as it was too dark for a lid shade and I prefer my liners glossier and more pigmented in one swipe. I finished my tube of Brocade Skipper (neutral yellow-beige) as it was excellent for evening out any redness on my eyelids; however, that shade was not unique enough to repurchase, unlike Atlas Swallowtail -- its pewter flash is more evident on my eyes than my arm and it's one of the few neutrals I find complex enough to wear alone as a wash with some liner.

The three shades I've kept are all on the murky side, and work better as crease shades for me, so  it's especially nice that these layer flawlessly over powder eyeshadows as well as under them.

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Stash Swatch: Rouge Bunny Rouge Eyes Part 1

I adore RBR eyeshadows (pressed, cream and loose), and have recently fallen for their liners too, so decided to split these swatches into two parts.

First up, pressed eyeshadows. There are some variations in finish and pigmentation across the shades but what does not vary is the richly creamy texture, smooth true-to-pan application and comfortable wear these offer. Versatility too: each shade provides a range of effects, applying equally well with fingers, firm/fluffy/natural/synthetic brushes, and mixed with water (you can dip damp brushes straight into the pan without harm), highlighters or mattifying primers. (More on this in future.)

As always, click to enlarge pics.
RBR Rouge Bunny Rouge eyeshadow swatch Delicate Hummingbird, Solstice Halcyon, Mysterious Tinamou, Mountain Bluebird, Periwinkle Cardinal, Resplendent Quetzal, Abyssinian Catbird, Angelic Cockatiels, Unforgettable Oriole, Grey Go-Away Lourie, Chestnut-Napped Apalis, Papyrus Canary
Solstice Halcyon was my first attempt at depotting RBR (er, not that can you tell, readers of exquisite tact that you are...) The rest went far more smoothly. If you want to depot these, I'd recommend the candle+poking method and absolutely on no account the alcohol+jimmying method.

Paper swatches, natural light
RBR Rouge Bunny Rouge eyeshadow swatch Delicate Hummingbird, Solstice Halcyon, Mysterious Tinamou, Mountain Bluebird, Periwinkle Cardinal, Resplendent Quetzal, Abyssinian Catbird, Angelic Cockatiels, Unforgettable Oriole, Grey Go-Away Lourie, Chestnut-Napped Apalis, Papyrus Canary

Grey Go-Away Lourie, Chestnut-Napped Apalis and Papyrus Canary are all mattes. You all know I like glitter, but honestly my magpiedom extends to all the pretty makeups, it's just harder to find mattes that flatter my dry skin. RBR make my favourite formula: ultra-pigmented, creamy (yeah, that word again) powders which are both blendable and buildable for a variety of effects. They kick Shu, Addiction, Edward Bess, MAC Matte2 and Urban Decay to the curb. Unfortunately the shade range currently consists solely of workhorse neutrals.

Solstice Halcyon is a satin taupe, one of those subtle, complex chameleon neutrals that make beauty devotees swoon'n'stampede and leave casual makeup wearers utterly bemused.

Abyssinian Catbird, Angelic Cockatiels and Unforgettable Oriole are metallics, not a finish I'm too fond of, as the usual 'foiled' look (think Urban Decay or Dior) tends to make my hooded eyes look puffy and tired. However, RBR seem to have mastered the trick of Asian brands like Shu or Addiction in injecting enough complexity and shimmery light-refraction along with metallic reflection to obviate this.

The rest are shimmers, Delicate Hummingbird and Mysterious Tinamou are as pigmented as the metallics; Mountain Bluebird, Resplendant Quetzal and Periwinkle Cardinal somewhat sheerer.

Arm swatches, natural light (more colour-accurate)
RBR Rouge Bunny Rouge eyeshadow swatch Delicate Hummingbird, Solstice Halcyon, Mysterious Tinamou, Mountain Bluebird, Periwinkle Cardinal, Resplendent Quetzal, Abyssinian Catbird, Angelic Cockatiels, Unforgettable Oriole, Grey Go-Away Lourie, Chestnut-Napped Apalis, Papyrus Canary

Arm swatches, flash (better representation of texture)
RBR Rouge Bunny Rouge eyeshadow swatch Delicate Hummingbird, Solstice Halcyon, Mysterious Tinamou, Mountain Bluebird, Periwinkle Cardinal, Resplendent Quetzal, Abyssinian Catbird, Angelic Cockatiels, Unforgettable Oriole, Grey Go-Away Lourie, Chestnut-Napped Apalis, Papyrus Canary

RBR's own shade descriptions are usually spot-on and far better than other brands' offerings, but I've added some notes along with the abbreviation key as to how these wear on me.
Delicate Hummingbird alternately dusty-and-jewelled neutral purple
Solstice Halcyon plummy taupe with a balanced base of yellow and pink
Mysterious Tinamou deep jewelled blue on a blackened green base
Mountain Bluebird clear sky blue with gold and silver shimmer
Periwinkle Cardinal cool dusty sage green with gold and silver shimmer
Resplendent Quetzal RBR calls this "delicate" and it is indeed a clear pastel green between lime and grass; do not go in expecting an acid bright
Abyssinian Catbird cool bronze with green and gold patina
Angelic Cockatiels rich honeyed peach with cooler gold reflects
Unforgettable Oriole balanced neutral white gold
Grey Go-Away Lourie warm smoky grey with a hint of plum
Chestnut-Napped Apalis neutral yellow-based mid-tone brown (slightly cooler and deeper than MAC Wedge or Urban Decay Naked)
Papyrus Canary neutral yellow-beige

For swatches of some of my later (peachy!) RBR acquisitions, see here.

Friday, 6 January 2012

Stash Swatch: Rouge Bunny Rouge Lip and Cheek

As Zuneta are currently running a 20% off discount code (ELLE20) until February 28th, I thought it would be useful to swatch my Rouge Bunny Rouge collection to help you make your blind-buying decisions. Not that there's any great shortage of those any more, but I'm not one of those fastidious sophisticates who think that less is somehow more. Or, if it is, then more is even MORE. And better, always!

First up, lip and cheek products.

RBR blushes are my favourites, and the core of my 'wardrobe'. They are richly pigmented, creamy-feeling powders with satin finishes (not entirely matte, no visible shimmer once applied). They are one of the few powder formulas which I can wear year-round, even on dessicated winter skin, and conversely stay true-to-colour and are impressively long-lasting even in tropical climates.

Yeah, I'm a depotter. The other nice thing about creamy powders like RBR (rather than dry ones like Illamasqua or Nars) is that they're relatively safe and easy to depot.

Paper swatches, natural light
RBR Rouge Bunny Rouge Blush Swatch Delicata Starina Orpheline Gracilis Florita Rubens

Arm swatches, natural light
RBR Rouge Bunny Rouge Blush Swatch Delicata Starina Orpheline Gracilis Florita Rubens

Arm swatches, natural light, shade
RBR Rouge Bunny Rouge Blush Swatch Delicata Starina Orpheline Gracilis Florita Rubens
Delicata is the perfect nude 'my cheeks but more better' blush for pale skin. No, I never knew such a thing existed either but I always get cheekbone compliments when I wear this.
Starina is a light, yellow-based coral. It's very unusual to find a shade like this in a non-Asian brand, which tend to assume that pale skin is always pink. As birkinbeautybag writes, it's the perfect brightening wamth for pale skin, without any ruddiness or muddiness.
Orpheline is my favourite, as you can see. Perfect face-brightening clear coral-pink. Think Illamasqua Hussy, but in a creamy, smooth texture with a slight dimensional sheen.
Gracilis soft rosy mauve. I usually find RBR's shade descriptions spot-on, but this shade is warm enough not to be a cool-skintones-only option in my experience.
Florita neutral raspberry red
Rubens blush stick, the cooler, deeper, sheerer cream version of Florita. These blush sticks are not overly creamy -- more comparable to the blush sticks by Shu Uemura or Shiseido than traditional potted creams by Illamasqua or Becca. On my skin, Rubens leaves a slight sheen and feels weightless and completely unsticky.

All of these swatches were one-swipe with a sponge applicator.

Swatch-queen Karla Sugar has now lined up all the RBR lipstick shades but when I was first discovering this line, I really did have to buy 'blind'. Just a general warning: RBR shades tend to look very different on the lips than in the tube. The majority of their shades are complex and look warm once applied (even a cool shade will often be grounded by brown tones or lifted by warm-toned shimmer or sheen) and are largely out of my shimmer-comfort-zone.

The two shades I kept are both warm roses with a cream finish: Irreverence and Whim of Mine. Other shades which worked for me were Word of Mouth (cool jelly-finish cherry red) and Raw Silence (retro pillar-box red cream).

Lip swatches, natural light:
Irreverence, a warm, soft rose
RBR Rouge Bunny Rouge lip swatch Irreverence

Whim of Mine, a brighter warm coral-rose
RBR Rouge Bunny Rouge lip swatch

The last product I'm drivelling about today is the liquid blush/lipgloss duo in Samba Enredo. The gloss side (Samba) comes with a doefoot applicator and the liquid blush side (Enredo) with a brush. Samba is a sheer warm rose in a blendable gel-cream texture which sets as a weightless satin stain, and the gloss is exactly as RBR describes it: a sheer lavender base with coppery-red and gold shimmer, in a balmy, thick (but not sticky) texture. It is also sold separately as a full-sized Gleaming Temptations Gloss, under the name Inflammable.

Samba (Inflammable), which adds a milky warmth to my mauvey-pink lips. The shimmer isn't remotely gritty once applied, and adds dimension; I'm just not a gloss/shimmer on lips girl, even for a lovely formula like this which plumps up my lips and fills in liplines.
RBR Rouge Bunny Rouge lip swatch Samba Inflammable

Paper swatches, natural light

Arm swatches, natural light
RBR Rouge Bunny Rouge swatch Samba Enredo Whim of Mine Irreverence

Arm swatches, flash
RBR Rouge Bunny Rouge swatch Samba Enredo Whim of Mine Irreverence

RBR lip products are scented/taste faintly of spiced honey (more clovey than sweet) and are creamy and moisturising even on my dry lips. The blushes (powder, cream or liquid) are unscented.

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Guest Post: Chikuhodo Z-4 and RMK Cheek Brush S Comparison by toto850

Today, I bring you a guest review (hopefully the first of many) by the fabulous toto850 of makeupalley, who has one of the sexiest makeup brush collections around.

RMK brushes are manufactured by Chikuhodo (as are Suqqu, Lunasol, EST, Shiseido etc.) and a meme floating around the beauty net suggests that they are therefore all the same. In my experience, having tried all of the brands above, this is categorically untrue, even when you compare two brushes of very similar shapes and hair types, as she proceeds to:

Chikuhodo Z-4 and RMK Cheek Brush S Comparison by toto850
The first thing I noticed is that they have both a simular dome shape to it. The Chikuhodo Z-4 is made from grey squirrel hair and the RMK brush from grey squirrel hair and goat; I did find that the Chikuhodo is a little bit softer than the RMK one.

Although the RMK brush fluffed up after washing, it's not as densely packed as the Chikuhodo one and is even a little flatter. The reason for this is because the bristles are more splayed than the Chikuhodo one.
How about the application of blusher? I did a swatch for Nars Exhibit A on my arm using both brushes. Left is the Exhibit A applied with the Chikuhodo Z-4 and on the right the same blush applied with the RMK S brush.
You can see that the Chikuhodo Z-4 gives a more pigmented and even application than the RMK one, b/c of the densely packed bristles.
With the RMK one you need to layer the blush more to get the same result, but generally it's good if you want a more diffused look.

The Driveller again:
Another misconception which toto850's review corrects is the 'rule' that soft brushes cannot deposit pigment as effectively as scratchy ones, which in makeup terms seems to come down to an oversimplified duel (and high-larious mental picture) of squirrel vs goat. The no-pain-no-gain approach to brushes is one that I've always found frankly baffling, being a fan (as you all know by now) of all kinds of looks from subtle to bold, and therefore requiring my (mostly squirrel) brushes to be just as versatile.

There are many more factors which affect how a particular brush performs, and hopefully detailed comparisons like this one will help those of you hesitating over brushes with very similar 'stats'.

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Something old, something...flu?

Now for an illustration. Somewhat fluey, mildly hungover, in need of comfort both physical and psychological = '90s throwback RMS face. Because if you're going to go brown, you may as well go brown.

Shu Uemura Stage Performer Instant Glow
RMS Beauty 'un' cover-up 11 under eyes
RMS Magnetic eyeshadow over lid and lower lashline
RMS Rapture lip2cheek on lips and cheeks
Shu Eye Light Pencil matte white on lower waterline, natch
Shu H9 eyebrow pencil Stone Grey
Shu Mascara Basic (DC) (being propped up by an RMS lid)

90s Day, natural light

Just for fun, Outfit (I did the plaid and lingerie things, sadly no DMs remained. Also, I washed my hair. Hey, I had to go out.)

Shoes were an Anthro sale score, comfy/quirky enough that they're authentic in spirit. Ahem.

Slightly amped up for night-time, with three additional products
 RBR Long-lasting eye pencil Lola smudged along outer halves of lashlines
Illamasqua Intrigue blush (I am still searching for the a matte ashy taupe contour shade that works for my pale skin -- in the meantime, reverse contouring (matte highlighting) will have to do
Hourglass Lash Lacquer over the Shu mascara

I also added extra coats of Magnetic on lids, Rapture on lips and white on the waterline

90s Night, artificial light
It looks like I have a darker matte on the outer half of my lid here; I don't, it's just a quirk of the lighting. Magnetic manages to both look very sheeny when it catches the light, and very subtle/muted when in shadow.