Monday, 14 May 2012

Dainty Doll Deuxième Début: Liquid Foundation Swatches and Review

Dainty Doll is a recently relaunched mid-range brand aimed at the pale-skinned, headed and fronted by (ex-/now re-? oh who knows) Girls Aloud member Nicola Roberts -- the redhead, natch.

The original Harrods-exclusive range of foundations did not impress me (flat, basic formulas, and violently pink or yellow undertones) but positive murmurings about the new range tempted me to revisit (Dainty Doll is now widely available at Boots and lookfantastic online.)

Face products will be the main draw for this brand, as most companies in 2012 still persist in thinking that those paler than MAC 15 are a vanishingly rare breed...we're not. And we HAZ monies! Y U NO let us throw them your way, companies?! *weeps and flings doubloons weakly* Ahem, for now I'll be reviewing the liquid foundation, and in part two there will be blood blush. Based on a cursory swatch sesh in Boots, the eyeshadow and lipstick formulas are unexceptional rather than unexceptionable, and personally I've never found it a particularly pale-specific challenge to shop for those anyway...

Here's Dainty Doll Now That I've Found You Liquid Foundation (RBR much? 30ml for £22) in the two palest shades, 001 Very Light and 002 Light swatched against Make Up For Ever Mat Velvet 15:
foundation swatch mufe make up for ever mat velvet 15 dainty doll 002 001
foundation swatch mufe make up for ever mat velvet 15 dainty doll 002 001
heavy swatches, natural light
(In my opinion, Mat Velvet 15 is neutral, but beauty net consensus seems to have it leaning pink.) In any case, Dainty Doll 002 is a little darker and substantially more yellow than the MUFE, while 001 is a good step paler, looking almost white. (On my extrapolated MAC scale, MV 15 is N10, DD 002 is NC13 and DD 001 is NW5.)

Dainty Doll 001 Very Light, swatched between Yaby Daisy (an actual white) and Illamasqua Skin Base 02, to bring out its cool neutral-pinkiness as opposed to Illamasqua's warmer more pronounced pink.
foundation swatch yaby daisy dainty doll 001 illamasqua skin base 02
full sun
foundation swatch yaby daisy dainty doll 001 illamasqua skin base 02
natural light

And Dainty Doll 002 with Nars Sheer Glow Siberia (so jaundicey, I can't quite believe I've gone out in public / posted pics wearing this D:), Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer SX-01 (this is definitely yellow but looks neutral next to these other shades) and Paul&Joe Light Cream Foundation S 00 (the coolest yellow of the bunch, looks olive).
foundation swatch nars siberia kevyn aucoin sensual skin enhancer sx-01 dainty doll 001  paul joe light cream foundation s 00
full sun -- it suddenly got very cold, sorry about goosebumps
foundation swatch nars siberia kevyn aucoin sensual skin enhancer sx-01 dainty doll 001  paul joe light cream foundation s 00
natural light

Here's Dainty Doll 002 Light on me, looking a little too dark and yellow (if your monitor shows it):

The difference is probably too minor to register on most screens / any sane person's list of bothersome things but I'm enough of a special, special snowflake to feel more comfortable for slapping a thin layer of 001 Very Light over the top (approximately achieving a 3:2 mix i.e. 001.6 Quite Light):

dainty doll liquid foundation 001 002

That's also why I'm pouting: a brand especially for pale folk and I still have to mix?

A bigger disappointment was how dry and unforgiving this formula was on me -- see how matte my face looks even without setting powder? In real life it brings up a multitude of flaky and bumpy patches I didn't even know I had. I get good medium coverage from one thin layer (applied with a damp beautyblender sponge), and it's buildable to full -- though you'll have to work quickly, as this stuff isn't the most blendable, and once it sets, it sets.


Saturday, 12 May 2012

Shu Uemura Rouge Unlimited Swatches Part 1: Colours

These are the new Rouge Unlimited lipsticks, launched in Spring 2012. For more details, click through to the introduction.
For Part 2, the neutrals, click here.

I built up these swatches as necessary to show the colours most clearly (up to seven swipes for the 'very sheer' shades, only one swipe for the 'very pigmented' ones) -- see the notes for info on how pigmented each shade is.
In general, the sheerer the shade the more visible shimmer (the most shimmery shades are still less shimmery than Chanel Rouge Coco Shines however), and the more pigmented, the more like a traditional cream finish (zero shimmer, some balmy shine).

All pictures are taken in natural light, no flash. Click to enlarge.

Wine (WN), Mauve (MV), and Red (RD)
lipstick swatch Shu Uemura WN295, WN285, WN255, MV275, MV245, RD185, RD175, RD170,  RD160, RD155, RD145, WN 295, WN 285, WN 255, MV 275, MV 245, RD 185, RD 175, RD 170,  RD 160, RD 155, RD 145
full sun
lipstick swatch Shu Uemura WN295, WN285, WN255, MV275, MV245, RD185, RD175, RD170,  RD160, RD155, RD145, WN 295, WN 285, WN 255, MV 275, MV 245, RD 185, RD 175, RD 170,  RD 160, RD 155, RD 145

WN295 v. pigmented
WN285 pigmented
WN255 sheer
MV275 pigmented
MV245 pigmented
RD185 pigmented
RD175 medium
RD170 pigmented
RD160 medium
RD155 medium
RD145 sheer

Pink (PK)
lipstick swatch Shu Uemura PK300, PK315, PK320, PK325, PK335, PK340, PK345, PK355, PK365, PK375, PK 300, PK 315, PK 320, PK 325, PK 335, PK 340, PK 345, PK 355, PK 365, PK 375
full sun
lipstick swatch Shu Uemura PK300, PK315, PK320, PK325, PK335, PK340, PK345, PK355, PK365, PK375, PK 300, PK 315, PK 320, PK 325, PK 335, PK 340, PK 345, PK 355, PK 365, PK 375
PK300 v. sheer
PK315 sheer
PK320 medium
PK325 sheer and v. shimmery
PK335 sheer-medium
PK340 medium
PK345 v sheer
PK355 medium
PK365 pigmented
PK375 v. pigmented

Coral (CR) and Orange (OR)
lipstick swatch Shu Uemura OR540, OR530, OR520, CR341, CR330, CR310, OR 540, OR 530, OR 520, CR 341, CR 330, CR 310
full sun
lipstick swatch Shu Uemura OR540, OR530, OR520, CR341, CR330, CR310, OR 540, OR 530, OR 520, CR 341, CR 330, CR 310
OR540 v. pigmented
OR530 medium
OR520 sheer
CR341 sheer and shimmery
CR330 medium
CR310 pigmented

Shu Uemura New Rouge Unlimited: Intro

Shu Uemura recently revamped their entire core lipstick line, launching fifty shades in a new Rouge Unlimited formula on April 1st in Japan. The packaging has also been tweaked to match the new Rouge Unlimited Supreme Shine range released in 2011.

I was a big fan of the old Rouge Unlimiteds, and for those of you who shared my love (and increasing poutiness as the shades were chopped into year by year), two warnings:
  1. these new lipsticks are entirely different textures, not a mere repackaging despite the repetition of certain shade codes/numbers
  2. no mattes D: (so we continue to wait for versions of classics like RD178M or PK360M)
The new lipsticks vary a bit colour-to-colour (to me, there seem to be three sub-categories which I'll note in swatches) but overall, they differ from the old formula thus (yes, thus):
  • totally scent-free, for those who disliked the faint candied orange blossom of the past
  • more shine and more balmy slip (rather than the older silky siliconey slip), like the popular modern jellied formulas Dior Addict/Extreme, Chanel Rouge Coco Shine or Lancôme Rouge In Love
  • (on my lips at least) not nearly as long-lasting or moisturising, though I don't find them quite as drying as I do the formulas above.
Some stats:
Old Rouge Unlimited: 3.8ml and 3.7g, also Made in Japan
New Rouge Unlimited: 3.7ml and 3.2g, Made in Japan
(making evident the lighter texture of the new ones -- see, it's not totally subjective!)

Ingredients for the NEW BK099

The swatches are split into two posts:
Part 1: Colours will feature the reds (RD), pinks (PK), corals (CR), oranges (OR), mauves (MV) and wines (WN).
Part 2: Neutrals the nudes/beiges (BG), browns (BR), black (BK) and white (WH).

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Chanel Riviere Look #2

Please excuse the absolutely dreadful lighting and lack of close-up -- all pictures taken in sepia-toned smog.

A tweaked version of the first one, with a more rounded shape (the deepest shade blended upwards at the outer corner rather than extended in a fine line) and in warmer tones (a pinked apricot replacing the gilded pink, an olive bronze replacing the frankened teal).

Eyes: Chanel Illusion D'Ombre Rivière over the mobile lid and inner corner, with Rouge Bunny Rouge Fire-Tailed Sunbird in the socket and under the lower lashline and Abyssinian Catbird along the lashline and blended up at the outer corner.
Liner: KATE Supersharp Liner S BK-1
Mascara: Lancôme Hypnôse Drama W
Brows: Shu Uemura H9 pencil Stone Grey
Lips: YSL Rouge Pur Couture Glossy Stain 16 Poupre Preview
Base: Shu Uemura Stage Performer Instant Glow, Ellis Faas concealer S201 under eyes, Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer SX01 on blemishes. No blush(!)

This new glossy stain formed part of my swap parcel, and you can gauge just how uncomfortable I am in such a fluoro cool colour by counting the numbers of of green (my comfort colour) and yellow (current fav'rite colour) I felt I needed to don
collar: ASOS // blouse: Topshop // nails: Essie Pretty Edgy // ring: personal gift

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Magazines #2: Marie Claire Beauty Bible SS 2012

Anyone who's flipped through my pinboards will guess that I have a wee fashion magazine addiction, which has not been allocated its requisite % of drivel. And if you hadn't seen it, here's Part #1: Vivi Magazine, of what will imminently become a series.
 ...starting right now. Marie Claire Beauty Bible is a biannual cosmetics supplement which is sold independently of the main magazine in Hong Kong for the very accessible price of HK$20 (less than £2). It offers a tightly-edited rundown of the latest trends and new products each season with a cleaner layout and less padding/digressive random than Japanese beauty mags, which is why I try to pick up a copy whenever I can but also why I wouldn't keep one past its season.

Beauty trends 
I enjoy the more fashion/runway tilt of these collages as distinct from Japanese magazines which focus more on the domestic OL market or target very specific subcultures  and rely on a small stable of house models with a fairly narrow range of eye/face shapes.
What a delicious variety of looks -- blue eyeshadow FTW
Graphic shapes to play with
The magazine's own spinoffs on the trend, on three different eyeshapes

I prefer their take on the "English Rose" thing to the minimalist runway pics (umpteenth clean skin, bambi lashes + slick of lip balm season, yawn)
I'm not sure if this is an intentional Beatles ref or the Engrish adjectival striking again. *ponders*

Hair trends
does what it says on the tin


....seriously. Call me a saucy pedantic wretch but I think this answers my earlier Beatles question.
New Releases: false lashes oh wait, mascaras *eyeroll* We'll just look at the wands, then. The ones on the left give a more natural and the right a more dramatic look.

Tutorial: eyeliner
A back-to-basics primer about brushes, the differences between pencil, liquid and gel, and a few notes on tweaking your line to suit your eyeshape.

I'm currently trying to work out ways to wear white eyeshadow and liner; this is both sharp and soft
Judge away, but I think this is kind of awesome and subverts the prim dress

Skincare articles: 10 pages on on various kinds of acids, some products featuring them and the best bases, concentrations and combinations. 
incidentally a flattering soft take on This Summer's Orange

most interesting to me: unfamiliar acids used in Asian whitening/brightening products

And a paean to that Asian beauty staple, lotion -- featuring products split into four types (ultra-hydrating, whitening, oil-production-balancing and anti-ageing) and thirteen ways to use the stuff, from the obvious (use it for facial massage! use it as a daily five-minute mask! mix it with your foundation to lighten the coverage and texture!) to the intriguing (use a cotton pad doused in SPF-containing lotion to blot the face and refresh cakey makeup? likewise, treat it as a makeup primer? and on a cotton bud, to clean up makeup mistakes and prep the skin for corrections).
some lotion-massage techniques
Due to copyright, I posted less than 10% of the magazine, but it should give you an idea of the house style. This issue also included extended features on foundations, nails, fashion, perfume, overnight skincare, 24 hour moisture, and the expected summer-issue pieces on pedicures, hair removal and dieting (boo!)

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Rouge Bunny Rouge Refills -- Bohemian Waxwing, Trumpeter Koel and Lilac Reef Curassow Swatches

Epic title is epic.

Yes, kids, it's That Russian Brand, knocking my low-buy out of the way as casually violently as an ahjumma with ...actually nowhere in particular she needs to be.

My version of restraint consisted of buying only three of the six new shades released last Friday at zuneta, and due soon at beautyhabit for Americans. As usual, props to team zu for their awesome service -- I ordered on Saturday, received my shipping notification on Monday and my parcel landed on my Hong Kong doorstep on Wednesday.

Obligatory box porn -- actually only qualifying because of the GWP cream eyeshadow in Batiste Grayling (perfect timing, as I'd finished my beloved tube, swatched here). The new refills themselves are packaged sufficiently minimally to please a depotter, sandwiched between a thick paper insert inside a paper envelope. They made it to me safely, so no complaints here.

Each new single eyeshadow refill retails for £16 (actually £13.33 for non-EU customers) and contains 2g instead of the pots' 2.4g. The pan is also smaller, as a comparison between the new Bohemian Waxwing (L) and my depotted Abyssinian Catbird (R) shows:

The shadows are still made in Italy and are of the quality I've come to expect from RBR. However, the texture and finish of these new iridescents are, well, new, at least in my experience of previous RBR textures, sitting somewhere between the delicate holographic sheen of Fire-Tailed Sunbird and ultra-refined satin of Solstice Halcyon; although the three shades I chose also vary somewhat along that scale. All three are on the sheer side of the RBR average -- perhaps among the shades I didn't buy there's a buttery superstar like Abyssinian Catbird, Mysterious Tinamou or Angelic Cockatiels; I'll be hunting for swatches to find out.

The following swatch pictures are all taken in natural light without flash; the 'shade' (left-hand) pictures are more true-to-colour but those taken in full sun show some other nuances and convey a better idea of the textures.

Bohemian Waxwing, described as "iridescent bronzed champagne" hides a cool mauve-tinged dustiness-- I'd expected a light rich, warm metallic from the description but this "bronze" has such a cool patina it swatches more like a taupe with a mauvey-gold flash. See how the iridescence in Waxwing compares to the clearer pinkypeachy-gold of of Fire-Tailed Sunbird? Abyssinian Catbird is there to show how taupe Waxwing looks against a complex but unambiguously bronze shade.

Trumpeter Koel ("dark lead-grey with lilac-blue iridescence") I swatched by its lonesome, as I'd passed up the previous black/silver/dark grey RBR shades as being not quite right. Despite its scary speckled appearance in the pan picture above, this swatches perfectly smoothly with zero grit and pretty much matches the description. This is the most pigmented of the three shades I bought and appears more shimmery because of the distinctness of its shimmer and base shades -- I would call its effect lilac-on-blue.

Lilac Reef Curassow is described most simply as "pale lilac with iridescent effect" and it's the  sheerest, simplest and driest of the shades I bought. Its iridescence is tonal and coupled with the scarcity and fineness of its shimmer, it swatches more like a demi-matte than a satin even. Under very strong direct sunlight, it's just about possible to separate its grey-blue base from its cool pink and white shimmer -- in all lights, the overall effect is still more lavender than lilac. It's so blue it makes the warmer lavender-grey of Addiction Concrete Jungle appear purple.

A ten-minute swatches-made-me-late-again FOTD, using all three shades together (not the most considered combination, but actually quite harmonious thanks to the mauviness in Waxwing.)
Bohemian Waxwing on lid and lower lashline // Lilac Reef Curassow blended up from inner corner // Trumpeter Kohl to line // Kiss Me Heroine Make Long&Curl mascara // Shu Uemura H9 Stone Grey brow pencil
Suqqu Momozoe blush // Guerlain Chamade lipstick // Sonia Rykiel Fresh Gel Foundation 10 // Ellis Faas concealer S201
And just to confirm, as usual for RBR, these shadows lasted the entire day without smudging, fading or creasing, without a primer. It's over 30ºC here and about 99% humidity (seriously, check out the HK weather report D:) and here are flash pictures taken after 14 hours of running around indoors and out:
I wanted to see how it looked with a warmer lip -- this is Ellis Faas Glazed L306

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Chanel Riviere Illusion D'Ombre and bluegreen babble

One of the first things I did after washing up on shore here was to inflict my unwashed, sleep-deprived self (plane diet consisting mostly of mini Nutella packets interpersed with the occasional Mozartkugeln -- seriously, Lufthansa FTW) on an innocent makeup-loving pal for a coffee and live swap.

Thanks to dear C for both putting up with and spoiling me royally, with these:

 Clockwise from top left:
  • OMI Solanoveil SPF50+ PA +++ Protect Face Milk Sunscreen (ingredients), alcohol-free, containing hyaluronic acid and arbutin
  • Kiss Mat Chiffon UV Moist Base SPF26 PA++, a moisturising primer
  • K-Palette 1 Day Tattoo Real Lasting Eyeliner 24H WP Micro, a waterproof liquid liner pen with an ultrafine 0.05mm tip (see glossedintranslation's review)
  • Avancé Lash Serum EX, a moisturising/repairing rather than a growth serum, a popular bestseller in Japan for over a decade
  • Chanel Illusion D'Ombre 87 Rivière (Asia-exclusive, see excellent reviews and swatches at The Non-Blonde and Joey'space)

I'll review this lot as well as the actual swap goodies (yeah, these are her ideas of extras) in good time but first up was of course Rivière, fitting in as it does so perfectly with my current colour phase:
Fyberspates Scrumptious Lace Water // Reiss skirt // Rivière (postmolestation)

natural light
direct sun
natural light
direct sun
Like other shades of Illusion D'Ombre (my favourite cream eyeshadow formula, btdubs) Rivière is complex and catches the light in fascinating ways, looking alternatively minty, seafoamy, and lilacy-grey. I agree with Gaia that its shimmer seems finer and more delicate than that in other shades, but it's definitely still visible both in the pot and applied -- predominantly silver, but pink and lavender too.

The pink was the nicest surprise for me -- too-silver eyeshadows tend to leave me cold -- so I played it up with Rouge Bunny Rouge Eaten All the Cherries in the socket, and added a dab of the gold shimmer from Suqqu Ginbudou on the inner corner to play its gold duochrome up. Matte navy from Suqqu Kakitsubata smudged along both lashlines which picks up a beautiful teal shimmer layered over Rivière.

Liner: K-Palette 1 Day Tattoo Micro
Lashes: Lancôme Hypnôse Drama
Brows: Shu H9 Stone Grey

With Revlon Fire&Ice lipstick and RBR Gracilis blush, Burberry concealer 01, Helena Rubinstein ColorClone liquid foundation 00, Shiseido High Beam White