Monday, 4 June 2012

Six Daytime Looks with Chanel Illusion D'Ombre 86 Ebloui

Shortly before I left London, I arbitrarily challenged myself to wear Ebloui (my least-reached-for Illusion D'Ombre) for a whole week, which for my current life means a ratio of  
six days of work-safe/soft/wearable/grown-up/boring OL looks
one day/night of "finally! The freedom to wear the kickiest-ass totally original makeup evar!" ....paralysed by choice.... *applies wash of taupe eyehadow and tinted balm in defeat*
 ....oh, and I also decided to to shun traditional lipsticks that week. I don't know, because it just wasn't! Fun! ENOUGH!

I'd intended to blog them eventually in between swatch/review/rambly random posts with pictures of other things but a friend on makeupalley reminded me yesterday that it's been a while and I still hadn't started. So, just wages of procrastination, I now drown myself in a vat of embarrassment (yeah it comes in vats now, brave new world), as I present a solid wall of eleven billionty pictures of my face and eye, all in one post.

Ebloui itself has been reviewed and swatched exhaustively by far better photographers already -- prettymaking has the truest-to-my-experience swatches, with green, gold, pink and silver shimmer distinct against the red-brown base. For other excellent reviews, see delicatehummingbird and cafemakeup. My favourite product pics are by planetmartha (because girlcrush they're most realistic and show the colour post-usage.

Okay, here goes.
Chanel Ebloui with Suqqu Eye Lucent loose pigment in EX-01 Kyokkou (dc), a supremely delicate iridescent white. Shu Uemura white pencil on waterline and Rose of Versailles black liquid liner pen for wing.
With RMS lip2cheek Modest on, well, lips and cheeks.

With Rouge Bunny Rouge Periwinkle Cardinal (seafoam sage, both picks up the green sparkle in Ebloui and makes it look redder in contrast). Make Up Store Go Wild pencil (lilac) on the inner corner.
Beige/neutral lips and cheeks: Lunasol Full Glamour Liquid Lips EX01 Clear Beige (dc) on lips over Lunasol Contrasting W Lip Liner in 10 Soft Beige, RBR Delicata blush

With Addiction Concrete Jungle (lavender grey) in socket and Blue Moon (cornflower) under lower lashline. Very fine line (step up from tightlining) with Rose of Versailles liquid liner.
Soft 'neutralisers' on lip+cheek: Rouge Bunny Rouge Gracilis, Fresh Sugar tinted lip treatment Honey.

Paired with warmer grays this time -- Becca Chincilla sheerly in the socket and heavily under the lower lashline. Thicker bluntish wing too, with Rose of Versailles liquid liner again.
Warm pink lip+cheek Illamasqua Katie and Chanel Rouge Allure Extrait de Gloss Liberté (Asia-exclusive.

With the gold from Suqqu Blend Eyeshadow quad 06 Ginbudou as a central highlight.
Cool pinks on lip (Chanel Extrait de Gloss Imaginaire) and cheek (Nars Gaiety).

(you may have seen this before in my Dainty Doll review)
Ebouli as liner. On the lid, mixed white+yellow shades from Shu Uemura  tri-colour pencil Energy Flow (dc), Rouge Bunny Rouge Mountain Bluebird and Delicate Hummingbird.
Cool pinks -- Dainty Doll Hippy Hippy Shake blush and Addiction Miss You More gloss.

(The seventh look was a standard smokey eye, Ebouli on its own, with the cool pink lips+cheeks I realised I preferred with it. I think I was running late that day so no pictures.)

Very unnecessary disclaimers:
I barely qualify as an amateur at either makeup or photography. Unlike some beauty bloggers, I don't do makeup specifically to blog (so no extra contouring, packed-on blush or extremely precise eyeliner to compensate for the camera) which means lighting is variable, a lot of detail is washed-out / unclear and I don't always have enough time to take shots from a representative series of different angles. Indulge me.

I did enjoy the experiment and hope it was interesting to you, and would welcome any suggestions for further ways to wear this rather delicious shade!

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Jill Stuart Mix Blush Compact #9 Little Bouquet

You may have already seen my swatches of the complete line-up of Jill Stuart Mix Blushes, but I thought it would be a good idea to show as well as tell you how versatile the best of these can be -- scroll on for swatches of all four separate shades in the prettiest of these dangerously pretty quads, No.9 Little Bouquet.

Jill Stuart Mix Blush Compacts are made in Japan and retail for HK$370 for 8g.They are scented with the signature JS candied roses (sweeter, lighter and less powdery than the Chanel Joues Contraste scent, also quicker to fade) and each blush comes with a retractable goat hair brush.

Jill Stuart Mix Blush Compact 9 little bouquet

Little Bouquet consists of:
  • top left: light pink satin with very sparse silver microshimmer (sheer-medium pigmentation) 
  • top right: soft apricot matte (medium+ pigmentation) 
  • bottom left: bright, clear pink-coral-red matte (another one of those Orpheline/Hussy-a-likes I adore, pigmented)
  • bottom right: demi-matte magenta with tonal sheen (no shimmer, pigmented)
The textures are uniformly smooth, finely-milled and balanced evenly between creamy and silky, probably how they combine blendability and lasting-power. They feel closest to the current Shiseido Luminizing Satin Face Colours, but are less tightly-pressed -- I believe this is by design, as they are designed to be swirled and mixed in various patterns.

The mixed swatch is made with the included brush, the separate stripes are each one swipe with a sponge applicator, except for the rightmost (palest) shade which is two swipes. It is still, like the others, easily wearable as a blush on its own.
swatch Jill Stuart Mix Blush Compact 9 little bouquet

Is perfectly usable and I enjoy the decadence of having a coordinated brush solely dedicated to one blush; I actively seek out small brushes and short handles anyway, so the portable size suits me fine. Made from densely-packed white goat hair, it is extremely efficient at picking up pigment, swirling colours evenly across the different pans. For me, its main weakness is blending -- its hairs are so short and so dense that it's essentially a mini-kabuki, and suits buffing-out more than blending. My sensitive skin doesn't like being buffed, so I usually reach for a separate clean brush (or, in a pinch, fingers) to soften any edges.

Here it is compared with the Hakuhodo Medium Pointed Yachiyo and Illamasqua Highlighter Brush:
From left to right they go from:
least dense ---> most dense/tightly packed
longest hair ---> shortest
most pointed ---> most rounded

Shown on the Hakuhodo Yachiyo is the colour of the lightest pink shade from this quad, which I wore on its own recently. You can also see how evenly corally-pink the JS brush (which I use for swirling) looks, while leaving the four shades still very neatly demarcated in the pan:
Jill Stuart Mix Blush Compact 9 little bouquet
After about 15(?) uses

'Favourites' Look
Combining this new favourite with some enduring loves: Suqqu 01 Kakitsubata quad (just discontinued, WHY WHY WHY much wailing and gnashing of teeth) and Chanel Rouge Allure Genial (limited edition, why etc.)

The only frontal pic I could get was in even dodgier lighting, sorry

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Lavshuca Dramatic Memory Rouge Swatches

This is a do-over of one of my first swatch posts, with far better pictures (in natural light and with my posh camera). I prioritised these because they are still my favourite drugstore lipsticks of all time, and are far superior to most high-end lipsticks out there too.

DM Rouge are surprisingly pigmented (medium+) while being absolutely weightless on the lips, and are a sheeny cream finish -- the perfect middle ground between glossy and matte. There is micro-glitter visible in the tube, but on the lips it's less visible than that in Chantecaille Lip Chics, so tolerable even for a shimmerphobe like me.
Despite being less glossy than Dior Addicts, these are far more moisturising -- my extremely dry lips do not need a balm with these, and that's not something I can say of any other drugstore lipstick. They also apply with the perfect amount of slip: so smoothly that you don't need a lipbrush or mirror, without being a liquefying texture like Chanel Rouge Coco Shine or Cle de Peau Extra Silky (both of which I find too messy and short-lived).

12 permanent shades
HK$90 for 2.5g, packaging is your standard twist-up bullet, with a very girly Lavshuca twist. (The plastic cakedish thing at the top may look fragile but I've been throwing these lipsticks around for years and have never had a breakage yet.)

natural light
lipstick swatch Lavshuca Dramatic Memory Rouge PK-1 PK-2 PK-3 PK-3 RS-1 RD-1 RD-2 RD-3 OR-1 BR-1 BE-1 BE-2

full sun
lipstick swatch Lavshuca Dramatic Memory Rouge PK-1 PK-2 PK-3 PK-3 RS-1 RD-1 RD-2 RD-3 OR-1 BR-1 BE-1 BE-2

paper, natural light
lipstick swatch Lavshuca Dramatic Memory Rouge PK-1 PK-2 PK-3 PK-3 RS-1 RD-1 RD-2 RD-3 OR-1 BR-1 BE-1 BE-2

paper, angled -- to show creaminess of texture only; NOT colour-accurate
lipstick swatch Lavshuca Dramatic Memory Rouge PK-1 PK-2 PK-3 PK-3 RS-1 RD-1 RD-2 RD-3 OR-1 BR-1 BE-1 BE-2

Lavshuca Dramatic Memory Rouge
PK-1  bright yellow-based medium pink
PK-2  warm peachy pink
PK-3  clearer peachy pink with more beige than PK-2
PK-4  soft yellow-based beige with a hint of pink
RS-1  cool mauve rose
RD-1  neutral clear, bright watermelon
RD-2  warm browned rosy red
RD-3  deeper browned rose (sheerer than the others)
OR-1  bright pastel coral
BR-1 neutral brown with hints of plum and red
BE-1 beige with yellow and grey base
BE-2 peachy-pink nude

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Saturday at Sogo

SOGO is a Japanese department store with two locations in Hong Kong, and more pertinently for this blog, paradoxically bi-annual "anniversary" sales during which all the beauty counters offer cosmetics 'bundles' at hefty discounts. And all oddly delicious Japanese snacky things are 10% off. And of course every single department on each of of the twenty-something floors also had offers on. But I didn't get to witness those personally, because, well, here are some phone pics of what the ground floor beauty hall looked like:

Shiseido, Cosme Decorte and Lancôme counters -- the orderly sea of heads at the back in the upper left hand corner are lining up for the MAC store
Estee Lauder, Dior and Clarins -- this part of the beauty hall was particularly mad, as it was surrounded by various designer bag concessions, each with their own line (you can see Gucci there at the back). Also check out the scary ghostly blurs in the foreground, closing up the tiny gap that opened up just long enough for me to take this.

Sofina, Ipsa,  Kanebo, Burberry. Estee Lauder again.

Sofina may look abandoned but that's simply because it was by far the most popular sale (no-one left it without buying at least 6 full sets of skincare), and had a specially cordoned-off queue of military precision prepared:
This is less than halfway down the Sofina queue -- the tiny red+white sign in the distance is where the line starts.
These aren't even the most crowded scenes -- in those I was borne along by the wave o' humanity and couldn't even lift my arms to take pictures.

See those colourful pamphletty things people are studying?
Here's one full unfolded page out of eight:

It details the best weekly deals and the rotating daily specials for each brand in every sub-department; for further info on particular brands you'll have to contrive to be borne past the concession in question, all of which are womanned by ultra-efficient SA's handing out more detailed flyers:
flyers from YSL, Burberry, Shu Uemura, Sofina, Kanebo, Ipsa, SK-II, Shiseido and Helena Rubinstein

....yeah, I think I have PTSD.

I thought I was prepared! I'm a Londoner, ferchrissakes, not exactly unused to consumerist crowds. *sigh* Lesson learned (again): DO NOT MESS WITH ASIANS DURING A SALE.
The first entrants to last Christmas' Selfridges sale from The Grauniad. If you spotted non-Asians in this picture --  they're Selfridges staff XD

So what did I leave with? Sets from Lunasol, Burberry, Shu and Ipsa for friends. And for myself:
Burberry Earthy blush, Hibiscus lip cover, and a black canvas and leather makeup bag for HK$490, and Midnight Brown eyeshadow thrown in for an extra $178.

For the record (comparison swatches to come in review):
Earthy replaces MAC Strada
Hibiscus replaces Shu RD 178M
Midnight Brown is a legit breaking of the low-buy -- I'll be curious to see if I have any dupes lurking in my stash back home

I was also very tempted by (but womanfully resisted) another Burberry set containing an eyeshadow, eyeliner pencil, no.9 socket brush and a compact mirror for $440 (!), and the Lunasol 'starter kit' consisting of the decade-long bestseller Skin Modelling Eyes Beige Beige, a lipgloss, a cream blush and a choice of liquid or jelly single eyeshadow, in a makeup pouch for $620.

The best thing about this sale for me was the ability to make your own 'collection' by choosing the shades that go into your set. Don't think it'd be enough to tempt me back a second time, though. Overall the most therapeutic part of my haul (after a particularly draining week) was this:
Yakult soda ice cream float :D Aint nothing like brain freeze from friendly bacteria, sugar and fat. (That garnish totally counts as one of my five-a-day, right?)

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Jill Stuart Mix Blush Compact Swatches

Jill Stuart is that rare brand which makes even a bonbon-nibbling, frilly-chiffon-wearing bit o' fluff like me want to run screaming from their Stepford-pink counters to shave all my hair off (and possibly my left boob) before rolling in a dung-heap en route to the filthy cave by a stinking cesspool which I shall henceforth call home.

It's really pink, yeah? 

Aesthetics aside, the products are generally meh -- I wanted to say lacklustre but as they are generally 99 parts chunky glitter : 1 part pigment, that seems misleading....
The Mix Blush Compacts are the exception, and the only reason I would brave a counter, risking aforementioned one-boobed cesspool cave scenario. Yes, the packaging is pure fairyfarts, but it is also functional -- the compacts are hefty, with a secure magnetised closure. Each blush comes with a very good quality rounded goat-hair retractable brush (which can be detached from the palette), big enough to swirl around all four pans and apply, and if half-retracted, precise enough to pick up colour from one pan alone -- though not all the pans are equally pigmented, so some are less usable solo than others. And the product itself is good-to-great depending on shade, the best ones being pigmented, blendable, versatile and famously long-lasting even in humid weather. 'Worst' is trickier -- but I personally would warn against 1 Baby Blush, 6 Fresh Apricot and 12 Candy Orange... the shades are not so unique that you couldn't find a superior dupe from another brand.
Candied-rose scent, which dissipates quickly once applied.

Currently there are 9 permanent shades in the lineup, with 2 limited edition ones for this spring/summer. I've split the swatches into 3 rough colour groupings -- these are all swirled swatches (all 4 shades together), 1 swipe made with the included brush.
Mix Blush Compacts (Made in Japan, 8g) retail for HK$370 or ¥4725.

blush swatch jill stuart mix blush compact 14 lantan honey 11 rose fairy 7 lovely tulip 1 baby blush
14 Lantana Honey (LE for SS2012) -- pigmented warm pink, sparse shimmer
11 Rose Fairy -- pigmented bright pink, sparse shimmer
7 Lovely Tulip -- cool, clear pink, medium pigment, very shimmery
1 Baby Blush -- soft pink, sheer, shimmery

Peachier Pinks
blush swatch jill stuart mix blush compact 15 strolling bee 12 candy orange 9 little bouquet 6 fresh apricot
15 Strolling Bee (LE for SS2012), warm rosy coral, medium pigment and shimmer
12 Candy Orange -- medium pigment and shimmer, difficult to swirl evenly but very close to Strolling Bee though slightly warmer
9 Little Bouquet -- pigmented peachy pink with very sparse shimmer
6 Fresh Apricot -- sheer and very shimmery warm apricot-pink

Uh... the rest
blush swatch jill stuart mix blush compact 13 milky strawberry 10 sweet biscuit 8 romantic poppy
13 Milky Strawberry -- pigmented soft neutral pink, very sparse shimmer
10 Sweet Biscuit -- pigmented warm browned rose, shimmery
8 Romantic Poppy -- pigmented muted coral rose, very shimmery

Official pan pics -- these bushes mix up pretty intuitively, so these give a better idea of the nuances within the different pinks or peaches, and also the four individual shades you would potentially be buying.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Chanel Rivière Look #3

Now this is the kind of cool lip I'm much more at home in -- Burberry Lip Cover in Bright Plum is the perfect example of the saturated deep-bright fairytale roses I swoon over in Once Upon A Time. Lip Covers rank among my favourite lipstick formulas of all time, rose-scented, creamy, just the right amount of slip, moisturising and pigmented (you all know my keywords by now); deeper shades like this one leave a pretty stain after a meal.

For those still counting who've ended up way past their twelfth finger -- bah! I have some more wagon-falling planned this weekend -- this replaces Guerlain Rouge G Gigolo in my wardrobe. Well, 'cos! lookit!
lipstick swatch Shu Uemura Rouge Unlimited Matte RD178M Burberry Lip Cover Bright Plum Guerlain Rouge G Gigolo
Shu Uemura Rouge Unlimited Matte RD178M (DC)
Burberry Lip Cover Bright Plum
Guerlain Rouge G Gigolo

The tone issoperfect! It makes Gigolo look like a flat pink-red! And good god, the packaging. Whatever your issues with Burberry check (I won't string you up on a lamppost if you can't help finding it tacky) it at least has a nifty magnetic closure, and I think it is a truth universally acknowledged that nothing sucks harder than Rouge G's space dumbbell tampon applicator. Of doom.

or constipated-smirky... ah my range, it is so broad

Eyes: Rouge Bunny Rouge Eye Gloss Angel's Play as a base, Estee Lauder DoubleWear Cream Eyeshadow Vintage Violet framing Chanel Illusion D'Ombre Rivière
Mascara: Lancôme Hypnôse Drama WP
Brows: Shu Uemura H9 Stone Grey
Lips: Burberry Lip Cover Bright Plum 
Cheeks: Ladurée Pressed Cheek Colour 11 (review) -- which doesn't really go with this eye in hindsight
Base: Helena Rubinstein Colourclone Liquid 00 (Japanese version), Burberry click pen concealer 01

 now... does decapitation make me look fat?
silk slip maxi: Pure&Good // waistcoat: All Saints // necklace: HK market find :D // shoes: Clarks, nicked from mum
I'm running about a week behind on my posting, so hey, last week my mum visited me in Hong Kong and in return for feeding and watering her, I commandeered about half the clothes she'd packed. She wondered sweetly if I was perhaps a wee bit old to be raiding her wardrobe still, and I wondered just as sweetly if she wasn't perhaps a wee bit old to be buying the same kind of stuff as me. :D Just a little vision of the future there for all you mothers-with-young-daughters out there. Happy belated mother's day!

necklace closeup

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Shu Uemura Rouge Unlimited Swatches Part 2: Neutrals

Click through for the introduction to the new formula, and swatches part 1: colours (reds, pinks, mauves, wines, corals).

This batch features the other half of the 50 permanent shades currently available: BR (brown) and BG (beige), although both codes contain quite a few roses and pinks, and the black and white 'mixers'.

As before, I built up the 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).

Beige (BG)
lipstick swatch Shu Uemura BG910, BG911, BG920, BG921, BG922, BG930, BG931, BG 910, BG 911, BG 920, BG 921, BG 922, BG 930, BG 931
natural light
lipstick swatch Shu Uemura BG910, BG911, BG920, BG921, BG922, BG930, BG931, BG 910, BG 911, BG 920, BG 921, BG 922, BG 930, BG 931
full sun
BG910 -- medium
BG911 -- medium
BG920 -- medium
BG921 -- pigmented
BG922 -- sheer
BG930 -- pigmented
BG931 -- pigmented (and gorgeous! and not remotely beige!)

lipstick swatch Shu Uemura BG935, BG940, BG941, BG950, BG955, BG960, BG965, BG 935, BG 940, BG 941, BG 950, BG 955, BG 960, BG 965
natural light
lipstick swatch Shu Uemura BG935, BG940, BG941, BG950, BG955, BG960, BG965, BG 935, BG 940, BG 941, BG 950, BG 955, BG 960, BG 965
full sun
BG965 -- no. 1 bestseller in Japan, a very flattering, versatile rose
These were all uniformly pigmented, creamy 1-2 swipe wonders.

Black (BK), White (WH) and Brown (BR)
lipstick swatch Shu Uemura BK009, WH001, BR740, BR741, BR750, BR760, BR780, BR790, BR791, BK 009, WH 001, BR 740, BR 741, BR 750, BR 760, BR 780, BR 790, BR 791
natural light
lipstick swatch Shu Uemura BK009, WH001, BR740, BR741, BR750, BR760, BR780, BR790, BR791, BK 009, WH 001, BR 740, BR 741, BR 750, BR 760, BR 780, BR 790, BR 791
full sun
BK009 -- one swipe, a nearly opaque balmy cream with a sheen
WH001 -- conversely it took seven swipes to build up even to this coverage, shimmery
BR740 -- medium pigment, extremely frosty
BR741 -- medium
BR750 -- pigmented
BR760 -- sheer
BR780 -- medium
BR790 -- pigmented
BR791 -- sheer, frosty