But firstly a few UK-based PSA's:
- On Saturday 15th Shu Uemura's creative director Kakuyasu Uchiide [aka Hottie McTalented-san] will be at Selfridges in London for a preview of the Shu x Karl Lagerfeld Mon Girl collection. 'Learning Atelier' sessions will start at 11am, 2pm and 5pm, during which Mr Uchiide will talk through the collection and demonstrate looks using the new palettes on a model, and then customers can play/practise at the vanity stations themselves, each helped along by a personal Shu Uemura makeup artist. Booking is £30 redeemable and the no. to call is 0207 318 3962.
- Chanel's new range of Rouge Allure Intense lipsticks will be released on Friday 14th. The twinsets nail polish and Rouge Allure Velvet shades are currently available at Selfridges London and John Lewis Oxford Street; they're meant to be in Chanel boutiques as well but if you can't track them down, it's worth giving either of those shops a call.
- Shiseido Lacquer Rouge are due out on the 30th. FINALLY.
- Debenhams' sale (this week :P) involves 10% off beauty and an extra 500 points for every £40 spend. Which is just over a 20% discount, like our own Sephora F&F. But pricier.
- Meanwhile House of Fraser is offering £10 off 10 products [including Rouge G lipsticks, the new YSL Teint Touche Eclat foundation and Dior quints] when you spend £50 on beauty. Both instore and online, this runs until the 23rd.
Selfridges' new Beauty Workshop area (which Haru already blogged about) means there's now a convenient central London place to swatch and buy Belmacz, Bite Beauty, Butter London, Ciaté, Eyeko, Jinnylash, Louise Young brushes [the full range! unlike Fenwick/Harvey Nick's sad selection], OCC and Youngblood, as well as RMK with a more spacious counter. It's located round the back of the main beauty hall (past Clarins/Clinique) and wraps all the way to the high street brands (Miss Selfridge/Monki), taking in stations for hair, nails and brow-shaping as well as this dinky little play area
where you can indeed go and have seat and swatch stuff, using the tissues, q-tips and cotton pads supplied. The salesfolk are happy to leave you alone to browse [this is the Sephora-ish schtick of the area] but also easy to flag down if you want to buy something; I also saw a few giving customers mini-makeovers upon request.
To give an idea of scale, this is about 1/3 of the space so far [aren't those Ellis Faas bullets cool?]:
It's not all clinical efficiency; scattered throughout are weird cultish little beauty treats, like these lipbalms from NPW (shades of P&J kitties....):
Other brands present (slightly odd choices I thought): Paul&Joe, Stila and Topshop -- to be updated as there's still a boarded-up section.
Now, swatches! As usual, pictures taken in natural light (indirect sun) unless otherwise specified.
BY TERRY Luxuriant Collection introduces five new shades of Rouge Terrybly (which, epically horrid range name and shade names aside, rivals Suqqu Creamy Glow as one of my favourite lipstick formulas -- moisturising, opaque, flatteringly silicone-laden satins to plump out liplines, lasts HOURS sans fuss or muss). These shades seem to me to shade from high summer to late autumn.
400 21 VD is a bright orange coral
401 Guilty Nude (hijinks in the sacristy...?) a pretty melon pink coral, sheerer than the rest
402 Red Ceremony is a warm slightly muted red [an opaque version of Nars Autumn Leaves]
403 Bare Instinct is a browned rose with a hint of plum
404 Carnal Attraction is all-out plum with a cool fuchsia base
I don't know why my arm hates darker shades; I promise 404 Carnal Attraction does not look this uneven on my lips. Same goes for the YSL Les Mats 205 Prune Virgin which I went back to try after swatching last time.
The three new shades of Ombre Blackstar cream shadows comprise two satins (9 Velvet Orchid
and 10 Midnight Forest) and one low-shimmer metallic (11 Beyond Gold). While the pigmentation and texture of these were back to the excellent quality I expect from this range [after the sheer patchy-gritty messes of 7 Fizzy Jade and 8 Paradise Island released this summer], I think Beyond Gold looks awfully if unsurprisingly similar to Topshop Sunshower Crayon....
ILLAMASQUA Generation Q was one of my most-anticipated releases of the season and now it's one of my biggest disappointments of the season. With the exception of Wisdom liquid liner (stunning, complex, already on my wishlist; multi-angle spam below) and Magnetism lipstick (finally Illa release a formula that doesn't make my lips crack before I've even finished applying it), the textures and finishes made this collection an easy pass for me. Handily, you can see both those very items on Grace London :)
Underworld lipstick is an unholy mess of patchy, frosty, dry iridescent violet. Call me old-fashioned but I think a shade this bold should be more opaque -- this is four layers; one just looked like space-frostbite.
Magnetism is a lovely glossy, squishy cream (a crelly to borrow nail polish lingo), a slightly cool-toned raspberry rose.
Aurora is an extremely frosty pale white gold powder highlighter.
S.O.P.H.I.E is a gorgeous mid-toned rose powder with gold sparkle. Lots.
Allure is a brick rose, again with the gold sparkle. Did I mention it's chunky too? Like Nars-Multiple-sized chunks?
Angled fuzzy shot: note how the solid frost of Aurora contrasts with the glitter in the blushes? Either way, DNW.
Ahh, let's look at delicious Wisdom instead :D This was richly pigmented and applied like a dream, with the complex sparkle evenly distributed throughout the line. Fat swatch here because a. more visible and b. PRETTY but you can of course draw fine ones with the applicator (identical to MUFE aqua liners, Stila sparkle liners, Mac Liquidlasts etc.)
Both glosses were on the sheer side (this is 2 thickish coats layered) and in Illamasqua's usual sticky, candy-scented formula. Opulent has multitonal sparkle; Boost has tonal shimmer and a bluish iridescent base.
Full sun pictures:
The palettes had been already reviewed / swatched by the time I lurched over to the counter, so I didn't bother. My thoughts on the dry, patchy textures and disappointingly uneven colour-payoff basically tally with Temptalia's. Ah well. As always, I loved the concept and imagery of this collection, and will be going back to it for inspiration -- for years to come, if past Illamasqua collections are anything to go by.