- Intense pigment. I tried and failed to make sheer swatches for reference; the lightest swipe deposits pure, full-coverage colour.
- The most moisturising formula I have ever tried (i.e. they actively boots moisture in my very dry lips, rather than just not drying them out further) -- I can skip balm under these on all but the coldest of winter days, and wear them even on chapped, cracked skin.
- But not too much slip. For me, the ultra-creamy YSL Rouge Volupté formula just results in mess and migration. It would feel faintly blasphemous (okay, not really. I'm just lazy.) to use a dry lipliner base under these luscious Suqqus so I'm glad they have enough traction? heft? to stay neatly on the lips without it. (Seriously, I've found Rouge Volupté smears on my earlobe. Possibly because the scent makes me flail wildly in 'get it off me!' frenzy...)
- Scent- and taste-free. Not unscented because that usually means crayony and vaguely bitter-oily and gross, these really don't taste/smell of anything.
- Flattering finish. Just because something is emollient doesn't mean that it will necessarily look good on dry lips. Even the paler/milkier and darker/brighter shades in this line do a great job of smoothing out my vertical lip lines. (Pretty Jess' too.) The fact that all eighteen shades are creams, with no hint of any microshimmer anywhere, also helps.
- All this talk about moisture and creaminess might lead you to think they are heavy balms like Chantecaille Lip Chics or buttery creams like Rouge Bunny Rouge Colourbursts, but once applied, the Suqqus feel weightless. This alchemy starts as soon as you pick up some colour from the bullet, when the creamy solid changes into the consistency of very thin single cream; once 'set' on the lips, they are like water.
- Good wear. Vanishingly few long-wearing formulas work for my picky lips; I'd rather have lips that look nice and plump even if the colour has gone after a few hours than lips that stay coloured all day and look dry and cracked (which is what Rouge D'Armanis, MAC mattes and Illamasqua lipsticks do). The Suqqu lipsticks apply as very slightly glossy creams. After two hours the glossiness fades to a soft sheen but the colour stays true, and after five hours the colour will usually fade leaving moisturised, evenly-stained lips -- no outer ring of death or leprous mottling. They won't stand up to a meal, but I always reapply my lipcolour afterwards anyway.
- I need a lipbrush to apply the bolder shades. Not a big deal as I always prefer a lipbrush anyway, but it's not optional with the brighter shades in this extremely silky formula.
- The severe shortage of bolder shades. I know, I know, it's not really Suqqu's métier but really, I wouldn't complain about six browny roses if there was just one measly fuchsia or eye-searingly bright coral-pink... how am I to build an entirely Suqqu lip wardrobe, PTB?
1 Saebana // 2 Kyoganoko // 6 Umegasumi //12 Hiwada //18 Karakurenai
Arm swatches, natural light
Over the next few weeks (sun allowing) I'll be comparing these to older shades from Suqqu and to the lipsticks I own from other brands, to give a better idea of where they lie on the shade-map.