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Saturday, 10 March 2012

Sleek Blush By 3 Trio swatches and monochrome FOTD

Sleek make some of my favourite blushes at any price point. Texture-wise you won't be getting something creamily unctuous like RBR or impossibly silky like Suqqu or Shiseido. But they are excellent, pigmented, drier formulas which I find superior to the more comparable Nars, Illamasqua and MUFE -- the tightly packed powderiness of Sleek doesn't ever translate to chalkiness or free-floating glitter on my skin, perhaps because their intensity means I can get away with a few molecules per cheek... I'm a big fan of the almost texture-less vibrancy of pigment they give, and their unusual, ambitious shade range.

To which there are limits. There are quite a few dupes for permanent Sleek singles in these trios -- comparison swatches here.

Unlike the eyeshadow palettes (which I don't care for), and like Sleek's blush singles, these Blush By 3 Trios are made in Taiwan. Each palette contains an incredible 20g for £9.99 and are limited edition, exclusive to Superdrug.

363 Pumpkin
Sleek Blush by 3 trio pumpkin swatch lantern squash p pie
Lantern is a red-gold satin shimmer; Squash a cool bright pink with a sheen; P Pie an intense neon orange matte.


364 Sugar
swatch Sleek Blush by 3 trio sugar demerara muscovado turbinado
Demerara is a rich, warm red with a sheen; Muscovado a stunning duochrome shifting between ruby/plum and copper/gold; Turbinado a matte muted terracotta.


365 Flame
swatch Sleek Blush by 3 trio flame molten bon fire bonfire furnace
Molten is a soft brick red with a sheen; Bon Fire (sic. why.) an glow-in-the-dark bright true red matte; Furnace a warm orange-red satin.


366 Pink Sprint
swatch Sleek Blush by 3 trio pink sprint pinktini pink ice pink parfait
Pinktini is a saturated raspberry-rose with a sheen, Pink Ice a fun blue-fuchsia matte, Pink Parfait an elegant demi-matte warm plum.


367 Lace
swatch Sleek Blush by 3 trio lace chantilly guipure crochet
Chantilly is a soft clear apricot matte (sheered out it gives me that platonic peaches&cream complexion), Guipure is another rose-gold Orgasm-a-like shimmer, Crochet is a softly sheeny complex red-coral-pink in the RBR Orpheline/Illamasqua Hussy vein.


I made heavy swatches with sponge applicators to show the colours and undertones as clearly as possible -- in practice, they all apply smoothly enough to use as eyeshadows, and even the most shimmery shades translate as a soft even sheen e.g. in this quick monochrome look using the Sugar palette (all 3 shades on eyes, and Muscovado on cheeks):
nat light

with flash -- see, no glitter on cheeks!
Lips: Kanebo Sensai The Lipstick 21 Shirafuji
Face: Laura Mercier Silk Creme Soft Ivory mixed with RBR Sea of Tranquility, Ellis Faas concealer.
Eyes: Shu Uemura white pencil, Rose of Versailles liquid liner, Majolica Majorca LEFP mascara, Shu H9 Seal Brown brow pencil.


NB you eagle-eyed twelve-resolution-monitors: I received four of these as a personal gift, and bought Lace to replace a finished Becca Rosebud cream blush.

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Suqqu Spring Blend Eyeshadow Palette comparisons

As promised, comparison/context swatches for the three spring eyeshadow quints (permanent, £45 each), after which I will shut up about Suqqu for a while, honest. There are belated Sleek Blush By 3 swatches on my conscience, and I also fell off the twelve-buy wagon at a Shu Uemura masterclass earlier today...

All pictures in natural light unless otherwise specified and clickable to enlarge as usual. Original swatches of all three palettes here. I skipped the bottom right base shade for these comparisons.

1. Suqqu 09 Usumoegi with:
  • Suqqu EX-05 Tandou (LE from Autumn 2009)
  • top left pale green from Suqqu 02 Kokedama (DC)
  • top left light taupe from Suqqu 03 Matsukasa (DC)
  • KATE Deep Trap Eyes GN-1 (DC)
  • bottom golden taupe from Guerlain 2 Place Vendôme
  • top right golden taupe from Sonia Rykiel Quatre Eyeshadow 10
  • deep green from Hourglass Visionaire Duo Dune
Being a bit of a green and yellow-taupe eyeshadow fiend, I expected this to be the easiest palette to 'dupe'. Actually, Suqqu played a typical trick by resting the three main shades on an unusual dusty sepia base, giving them that balanced cool-and-warm feel that this brand does so well.

 
with flash

Usumoegi with its closest shades swatched above it: the icy lime from Tandou is very similar to but sheerer; the taupe from Matsukasa is cooler and less golden-iridescent; the second-deepest KATE shade is sheerer and has more of a grey base, while the Hourglass green is more of a standard forest green and lacks Suqqu's refined texture (looks positively gritty here although it isn't in the grand scheme of things).


2. Suqqu 10 Kozuecha with:
  • Guerlain 407 Bal de Minuit (LE Holiday 2009)
  • bottom golden taupe from Guerlain 2 Place Vendôme
  • Visee x Smacky Glam Glam Glow BR-7 (LE Holiday 2011)
  • Rouge Bunny Rouge Angelic Cockatiels
  • top left light peach from Suqqu 01 Kakitsubata

Another study in balance: Kozuecha looks like cool minky taupes next to Visee's brighter peach-bronze and RBR Cockatiels' honeyed copper (neither of which are too warm for me to wear). Set against the greyer Guerlains, it looks distinctly yellowy-brown. I think this would make a flattering neutral palette for a wide variety of skintones, beautifully sunny.
with flash

Closest shades: the pale peach from Kakitsubata is more pigmented and a delicate shimmer rather than the sheer iridescent of Kozuecha. The Guerlain Place Vendôme taupe shares the cool yellow-that's-almost-olive base of Kozuecha's taupe, but takes it even further into khaki grey territory; when angled right, the two shades throw off almost identical reflects. The Visee brown sits somewhere in between the two Suqqu browns but is sheerer than either, with more shimmer.


3. Suqqu 11 Himesango with:
  • top left pink from Suqqu 08 Mizuaoi
  • top right taupe from Suqqu EX05 Usumomokurumi (LE Holiday 2011)
  • Shiseido Luminising Satin Trio RD711 Pink Sands (LE Summer 2011)
  • light taupe from Hourglass Visionaire Duo Exhibition
  • Guerlain 407 Bal de Minuit (LE Holiday 2009)

Are you sick of seeing this Guerlain quad-you-can't-have yet? :P I think it's a handy way of illustrating why Suqqu palettes are my neutrals-with-a-kick of choice -- the Guerlains look almost drab next to the complex Suqqus, and all four shades share an identical smooth metallic finish, unlike Suqqu's thoughtful mixture of textures and light-reflecting effects. In colour terms Himesango is another one of those carefully balanced neutrals: more pink/plum than the warmer beachier shades to its left, and more peach/gold than the purple taupe of Hourglass Exhibition.


with flash

The Shiseido peachy-pink is similar to but slightly warmer than the Himesango pink. It's also more muted and gives less of an illusion of 'depth' than the Suqqu which has a greater variety of shimmer particles. If you missed out on last Christmas' limited edition quads, Himesango has a slightly cooler, more plum/silver version of the taupe in the pink Usumomokurumi palette.

Monday, 5 March 2012

Suqqu Spring Blend Eyeshadow Palette swatches

Three new quints were just released and will be joining Suqqu's permanent collection; like the quads, they are priced at £45 each. They will however be replacing three of the current lineup of Blend Eyeshadow Palettes -- 02 Kokedama, 03 Matsukasa and 05 Sakurakaba will be discontinued, so if you've had your eye on any of those, it's time to decide whether to pull the trigger.

Unlike palettes 01-06 (which feature two mattes, a delicate satin shimmer, and a shimmery metallic) and unlike 06 and 07 (one matte, two iridescent sparkles, and a satin), these new quints include:
  • top left: sheerish iridescent sparkle
  • top right: pigmented iridescent metallic (almost molten-creamy, extremely impressive)
  • bottom left: split pan with two very pigmented shades, an iridescent satin and a matte with very sparse microshimmer
  • bottom right: standard Suqqu matte primer/base shade
I was underwhelmed by the early pictures/swatches but as always, Suqqu's attention to detail (unusual undertones, neutrals made complex by multi-dimensional shimmer) and constantly improving textures (a step up in pigmentation without sacrificing any of the silky smoothness) won me over when I played with these in person. With thanks again to the friends who let me sample their precioussesses for the blog, I present: swatches! (Comparison swatches here.)

All swatches are one swipe with the included sponge applicators.

09 Usumoegi, natural light
Suqqu Blend Eyeshadow 09 Usumoegi palette

09 Usumoegi, with flash
Suqqu Blend Eyeshadow 09 Usumoegi palette

09 Usumoegi, natural light
Suqqu Blend Eyeshadow 09 Usumoegi palette swatch

09 Usumoegi, natural sunlight (!)
Suqqu Blend Eyeshadow 09 Usumoegi palette swatch

09 Usumoegi, fuzzy flash pic to show iridescence
Suqqu Blend Eyeshadow 09 Usumoegi palette swatch


10 Kozuecha, natural light
Suqqu Blend Eyeshadow 10 Kozuecha palette

10 Kozuecha, with flash
Suqqu Blend Eyeshadow 10 Kozuecha palette

10 Kozuecha, natural light
Suqqu Blend Eyeshadow 10 Kozuecha palette swatch

10 Kozuecha, natural sunlight
Suqqu Blend Eyeshadow 10 Kozuecha palette swatch

10 Kozuecha, fuzzy flash pic to show iridescence
Suqqu Blend Eyeshadow 10 Kozuecha palette swatch


11 Himesango, natural light
Suqqu Blend Eyeshadow 11 Himesango

11 Himesango, with flash
Suqqu Blend Eyeshadow 11 Himesango

11 Himesango, natural light
Suqqu Blend Eyeshadow 11 Himesango swatch

11 Himesango, natural sunlight
Suqqu Blend Eyeshadow 11 Himesango swatch

11 Himesango, fuzzy flash pic to show iridescence
Suqqu Blend Eyeshadow 11 Himesango swatch

Saturday, 3 March 2012

Suqqu Spring Nuancing Cheeks comparison swatches

New eyeshadow palette swatches will come tomorrow, but I thought it best to prioritise the limited edition blush duos (£38) and put them in some kind of context for those of you still deciding whether or not to buy. Click here for my original swatches of the blushes.

Disclaimer: I am a texture fiend and believe that true 'dupes' are vanishingly rare. These swatches are just to give an idea of how these shades compare to others, which may be more accessible.

Pictures in natural light unless otherwise specified.

1. Suqqu EX-01 Botaniro with Shu Uemura Colour Atelier P Medium Pink 365, Rouge Bunny Rouge Gracilis and Lipstick Queen Oxymoron Matte Gloss Free Ride.
Suqqu Nuancing Cheeks EX-01 Botaniro blush comparison

Shu P365 is almost a dead ringer for the left side of Botaniro, albeit less pigmented and slightly peachier.
Suqqu Nuancing Cheeks EX-01 Botaniro Shu Uemura P 365 blush comparison

with flash
Suqqu Nuancing Cheeks EX-01 Botaniro Shu Uemura P 365 blush comparison

The right side of Botaniro is somewhere between Lipstick Queen Free Ride (brighter, pinker) and RBR Gracilis (softer, peachier).
Suqqu Nuancing Cheeks EX-01 Botaniro, Lipstick Queen Free Ride, Rouge Bunny Rouge Gracilis blush comparison swatches

with flash
Suqqu Nuancing Cheeks EX-01 Botaniro, Lipstick Queen Free Ride, Rouge Bunny Rouge Gracilis blush comparison swatches


2. Suqqu EX-02 Kohakusui with Illamasqua Cream Blusher Rude and RMSBeauty lip2cheek Smile.
Suqqu Nuancing Cheeks EX-02 Kohakusui blush comparison

I don't own any shades similar to the individual pans in the duo, but when evenly mixed, Kokakusui produces something similar to Illamasqua Rude (peachier and with more of a pastel tone than Kohakusui's brighter coral) and RMSbeauty Smile (lighter, pinker).
Suqqu Nuancing Cheeks EX-02 Kohakusui, RMS Smile, Illamasqua Rude blush comparison swatches

with flash
Suqqu Nuancing Cheeks EX-02 Kohakusui, RMS Smile, Illamasqua Rude blush comparison swatches


3. Suqqu EX-03 Akanemizu with Rouge Bunny Rouge Orpheline.
Suqqu Nuancing Cheeks EX-03 Akanemizu comparison

Short'n'sweet because again I don't have anything too close to either individual Suqqu shade, but their lovechild is a warmer, more corally sister of one of my favourite blushes ever: RBR Orpheline, and I suspect could be brought even closer with judicious mixing (this shade was 1:1)
Suqqu Nuancing Cheeks EX-03 Akanemizu, Rouge Bunny Rouge Orpheline comparison swatches

with flash
Suqqu Nuancing Cheeks EX-03 Akanemizu, Rouge Bunny Rouge Orpheline comparison swatches

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Suqqu Spring Blush Duo and Lipstick Swatches

Today, Suqqu finally launched its spring collection in UK and I went to pick up a few bits and bobs for my nearest 'n' dearests. Inquiring minds may like to know that the counter was not mobbed as in previous years, and they've instituted a no-purchasing-of-multiples policy. These two elements may be related...

From March 15th-18th, the incredibly talented Suqqu International Makeup Artist Kazumi Obayashi will be visiting the London counter again. Makeovers with her are *correction: £70* redeemable and there will be gifts with purchase too.

Nuancing Cheeks (£38 each) are blush duos which feature two well pigmented shades in Suqqu's incredibly smooth, blendable textures:
  • left: a satin with very subtle shimmer (think Shiseido+)
  • right: a satin matte scattered through with larger but v. sparse shimmer flecks (not overspray)
Each limited edition compact contains 3.8g of product and as always, includes an excellent squirrel hair brush.
All swatches made with sponge applicators. One swipe for the single shades, two swipes for the layered swatches. For Comparison Swatches, click through.

EX-01 Botaniro, natural light
Suqqu Blush Nuancing Cheeks Duo EX-01 Botaniro

EX-01 Botaniro, with flash
Suqqu Blush Nuancing Cheeks Duo EX-01 Botaniro

EX-01 Botaniro left pan // right pan // mixed, natural light
Suqqu Blush Nuancing Cheeks Duo EX-01 Botaniro swatch

EX-01 Botaniro swatches with flash
Suqqu Blush Nuancing Cheeks Duo EX-01 Botaniro swatch

EX-02 Kohakusui, natural light
Suqqu Blush Nuancing Cheeks Duo EX-02 Kohakusui

EX-02 Kohakusui, with flash
Suqqu Blush Nuancing Cheeks Duo EX-02 Kohakusui

EX-02 Kohakusui, left pan // right pan // mixed, natural light
Suqqu Blush Nuancing Cheeks Duo EX-02 Kohakusui swatch

EX-02 Kohakusui, swatches with flash
Suqqu Blush Nuancing Cheeks Duo EX-02 Kohakusui swatch

EX-03 Akanemizu, natural light
Suqqu Blush Nuancing Cheeks Duo EX-03 Akanemizu

EX-03 Akanemizu, with flash
Suqqu Blush Nuancing Cheeks Duo EX-03 Akanemizu

EX-03 Akanemizu, left pan // right pan // mixed, natural light
Suqqu Blush Nuancing Cheeks Duo EX-03 Akanemizu swatch

EX-03 Akanemizu swatches with flash
Suqqu Blush Nuancing Cheeks Duo EX-03 Akanemizu swatch


Creamy Glow Moist Lipsticks (3.8g, £27 each). Unlike the current lineup of Creamy Glow lipsticks, these three new shades are sheer, shimmer-free jellies like the trio released last autumn. Two shades will join the permanent line but the third (EX-04) is limited edition.
Swatches are three swipes each

01 Haruoto // 02 Kurumiiro // EX-04 Tousakura
natural light
Suqqu Creamy Glow Moist lipstick swatch 01 Haruoto // 02 Kurumiiro // EX-04 Tousakura

natural light, full sun
Suqqu Creamy Glow Moist lipstick swatch 01 Haruoto // 02 Kurumiiro // EX-04 Tousakura