Sunday, 1 January 2012

Eleven and Twelve

Happy New Year, everyone!

My beauty resolution for your future smirking and I-told-you-so-ing pleasure is to buy only twelve new beauty products in 2012.

If the blog still exists a year from now, it will be interesting to see whether I manage to stick to it, and if so, which things I regret buying or not buying. I've applied this one-a-month rule (staples and basics excluded) to clothes for the last four years out of five, with such success that I needed to relax it so that laundry day didn't roll around quite so tyrannously often...

In the meantime, here's my jump on the 'best eleven of 2011' meme bandwagon. All products were new to me this year, and the colour products were all released this year. Brushes/tools excluded as a separate 'favourites' post for those is in the works.

Group shot

Hourglass Film Noir Lash Lacqueur
Odd to have a gimmicky impulse buy turn into an essential staple, but this volumising, glossy black topcoat (v)amps up any mascara for night-time or more dramatic looks in a few slicks, without clumping, smudging or making my curl droop. Dispenses with the need to faff about with falsies, and easier to remove too.

Shu Uemura Stage Performer Instant-Glow
Magical pore-minimising, skintone-evening, kind-to-flakies, glowy-but-not-dewy-or-god-forbid-sparkly potion. Nominally a 'skincare' product and usually marketed as a primer-with-benefits, in my opinion it is a platonic base that replaces foundation for everyday looks.

Suqqu Nuancing Loose Powder Natural
Single-handedly converting this lifelong powder-shunner, this blurs all the pesky minor flaws and textural issues (pores, fine lines) which it's not worth or even possible to hide using foundation/concealer. Setting to a natural skin-like finish, it is genuinely translucent, as undetectable on my skin as my NC40 friend's, and from what I hear, does a bang-up job at controlling oil too. Airbrush in a sleek black jar.
(The Glow version contains micro-shimmer, which makes it less flattering on flaky or bumpy dry skin, despite the tempting name.)

Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer SX-1
This is the best blemish concealer I've ever tried, and it helpfully runs pale enough for me to wear without mixing. Creamier and lighter in texture than other products offering comparative coverage (Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage, Dermablend), it is therefore much easier to work with and more flattering to blemished skin which usually needs texture- as well as colour-correction.

Addiction Cheek Stick Revenge
blah favourite multi-purpose cream blush / matte lipstick ever blah

Suqqu Creamy Glow Lipstick 12 Hiwada 檜皮
Technically released in 2010 in Japan, this new lipstick formula only made it to the UK in spring. I had impossibly high hopes as the Blend and Creamy Lipsticks it displaced were two of my favourites, and this exceeded them. Emollient enough that I can skip lipbalm underneath even in winter and so richly pigmented that my very pink lips barely skew the shades, these were easily my favourite new lipstick in a year which saw so many new releases, such as Guerlain Rouge Automatique (an honourable mention), Chanel Rouge Coco Shine and Rouge Allure Velvet, Dior Addict, Shu Uemura Supreme Matte, Shiseido Shimmering Rouge, Burberry Lip Mist, Laura Mercier Gel Lip Colour, Bobbi Brown Rich Lip Colour, Clinique Chubby Stick, Revlon Lip Butter, NARS Velvet Glossy Pencil...
I was forced kicking and screaming into this warm peachy nude by the Suqqu International Makeup Artist Kazumi Obayashi (who had learned from past makeovers of my deathly fear of such shades) and months later, a continent away from her sweetly evil grin, I still love it and the new colour-options it's opened up.

1. Fyrinnae Eyeshadow Madame and Eve's
My love for unique, complex glitters waged a long and bitter internecine war with my strong dislike for loose pigments before I finally succumbed to the lure of Fyrinnae earlier this year. Five orders and an overflowing drawer later, the first shade I added to my basket remains my favourite -- a complex blackened teal shimmer that shifts to bright violet at different angles. Honourable mentions go to Sacred, Bastet and Newcastle (the first golds I actually liked on me), Conjurer and Velvet Vampire (ditto, reds), Damn Paladins (cool taupe with icy blue duochrome) and Dokkálfar (blackened golden green). Their Pixie Epoxy primer is an essential.

2. Sonia Rykiel Quatre Eyeshadow 10
Blah blah again. Leapfrogged over my first purchase, no. 9, to become my favourite. The unusual colour combination of cool lilac, neutral silvery pink, warm blackened green and bronze compose my favourite neutrals-with-a-kick look.

3. Addiction Eyeshadow Concrete Jungle
and blah. You thought I was going to go for a glitter, but nohoho! Those who love grey shadows as I do will know just how elusive the perfect warm-grey-with-a-lavender-undertone is. Factor in Addiction's excellent texture (this time in a silky satin) and we have Instant Holy Grail.

4. Chanel Illusion D'Ombre Cream Eyeshadow Mirifique
Back in character now: glitter + cream = win! This is the sparkly black liner I've been searching for, like, forever. If I could revisit my angst-ridden teenaged self, I would bring much wisdoms regarding Boys, and a few pots of this.

5. Suqqu Blend Colour Eyeshadow 07 Komorebi 木漏日
Released in Autumn 2011 and joining the permanent line-up along with its sister 08 Mizuaoi, this features two sheerish iridescent shimmers (the top left adding depth despite that, the top right functioning more like a traditional light-reflecting highlighter), a very pigmented satin liner (bottom left) and the standard matte powder primer shade (bottom right). While I love both quads, Komorebi's unusual pairing of clear orange-peach and soft leaf green with rich sepia is a better reflection of Suqqu's refined and consistently inspiring approach to colour.
For those familiar with the old Suqqu line, Komorebi and Mizuaoi seem to be updated versions of the 2008 Kirari collection quads (06 Touryoku, 07 Sousei and 08 Koucha).


  1. Blast, now I want Concrete: a satiny grey with a lavender undertone sounds divine... I've been hunting high and low for a greyed lavender, not necessarily heavy on the purple, so long as it's subtle on the finish so it can wear as a neutral. Do Addiction pans fit into Laura Mercier palettes? I may just eat the cost from ichibankao if so...

    I raise my hat to you. Twelve is ambitious.

  2. I love this post! I was thinking doing a post similar to this of my own.... Haven't been home much so I haven't had much time to pick out items.

  3. Good luck on the 12 items for 2012!! Better be sure to make each one of them count!!

  4. Great post!
    Love reading about those items, love top 10's, top 11's :)

  5. Great post! I am really curious whether you'll manage to stick to purchasing just 12 items. Isn't this what you do with clothes too?

    Concrete is one of my favourites too. Ever since MAC did their Tempt Me/Tease Me collection (check out the Tease Me visual) in 2004 I had been looking for the perfect cool, not quite matte lavender grey, and this totally fits the bill. I was so excited when I got it because I had purchased it sight unseen, as your fabulous swatches weren't available then. I can't thank you enough for those! I've already compiled my Addiction wishlist for my bday in August! :D

    I think I have to look into the Suqqu powder. I really like my Chantecaille, but you know what they say about greener grass. :)

  6. Good luck with the 12 beauty items for 2012 resolution! :) Mirifique has been one of my favourite products as well and I've now purchased Illusoire which is just as beautiful and have my eye on Epatant. Chanel can be such a miss sometimes but these shadows are really amazing. And now you make me want to try the Kevyn Aucoin concealer stuff as well. Love your blog and wish I found it earlier. x Klara

  7. I love favourites posts too much!

    I'm also trying to curb my make-up buying this year, but I think I lack your iron-clad willpower! Also if I do get to go to Japan this year I'll be lucky if I can limit myself to 12 products a day!

    I bought my first Suqqu Lipstick on Thursday (and my second YSL Glossy Stain) and I love it. My little brain is blown by how smooth and hydrating it is, but it still lasts for such a long time. The pigment is crazy as well, it has the pay-off of a Rouge d'Armani.

  8. Thanks for the best wishes and luck, everyone! :) I love reading these kinds of posts too, so thought I should really give something back after years of blog-hopping.

    Dain: Addiction pans are much smaller than LM ones, I'm sure it would fit but may offend your aesthetic sensibilities with rattling around.

    LJ: I think this has been a good beauty year for both of us, and can't wait to see what makes your list.

    Bastet: Addiction spring with its "dusty bright" colours is going to be my first serious test this year... mutual support when the time comes?

    Klara: welcome! :) I could have written your comment. Chanel has left me cold for the past few seasons but I am addicted to these ID'Os and can't wait for some expanded shades. While I love Illusoire and Epatant, some real unashamed brights would be good too.

    glossedintranslation: I'm trying not to squeal but eeeeee! Aren't they just glorious?! And I'm so glad you're liking the YSL stains too.

  9. LOL. I have to admit, with some shame, it would bother me. You know me too well...