Monday, 13 August 2012

Voce Magazine September 2012

It's August which means we're heading for season of mists and mellow fruitfulness and toasted marshmallows and cosy knits and vampy lips -- what better way than to celebrate with a delicious crop of September issues?

First up, Voce, one of the Big Three Japanese monthly beauty glossies, along with the more no-makeup-makeup-obsessed Maquia and my personal (geekier) favourite, Biteki. For September, these three go all out with supplements listing the new collections along with shade names, prices, release dates, details of limited-editionness -- i.e. all the basic things I feel like a knob asking sales assistants about (especially when they have no clue....) -- as well as an array of 'new' looks with the products employing some nuanced little tweaks to make pretty, wearable makeup (which these three mags rarely deviate from -- look elsewhere for your editorial/streetstyle fixes) look fresh again.

Let's start with some tasty new product pics:
jelly polishes and split pan kohl liners from Addiction
cream eyeshadow bases (pencils) and loose pigments from THREE
Paul&Joe powder blush duos

Some more complete overviews from the new collections booklet (this included Euro/American brands as well, so I'm picking and choosing from the Asia-exclusive ones):
Addiction Desert Rose collection
Shiseido Maquillage
Sonia Rykiel Daisy Duck collection
Cosme Decorte AQ MW
THREE Fantastic Voyage collection

N.B. labels: 限定 = limited edition // 本記 Px = this product has been used for a look on page x of this issue.

Some of the looks in question:
Cle de Peau showcase
Suqqu showcase
I'm not usually a heavy-neutrals fan but I do like this end-of-summer burnt blush and black-rimmed eyes spin.... 
...using a THREE gloss, Addiction blush trio as well as new neutrals by Chanel and Dior.
much more to my taste: I love the discrete placement of pigment here... a look devised by makeup artist Nakano Akemi using Ladurée, Paul&Joe, Chanel etc.
These last two looks don't just showcase the models but also the makeup artist responsible and feature their commentary on the overall inspiration/impression, choice of products and possible substitutes from other brands.

This is the kind of attention to detail which made me toss all past and subsequent English beauty rags into the bin circa 2006. There are shots of the makeup from different angles, not just one artistically underlit über-flattering 6/7th profile! There are actual words! There are realistic product breakdowns rather than totally random sponsored featured items!
Let's exclaim over a tutorial, one from a series of three on current trends: 'Mode', as opposed to 'Feminine' (flirty flicked liner / soft pink lips / high ponytail) or 'Sexy' (slightly dropped and elongated eye / berry red lips and cheeks / tumbling waves).
Closeup of eye with key points highlighted: khaki tonal gradation on the lid, echoed horizontally on the lower lashline, black rimming the waterline to tighten the gradation, mascara on the outer lower lashes to subtly drop the eye balanced with high-shimmer shading. Also note the split liner flicks, opening up the eye to offset the strong waterlining.
yet another angle showing how the lid-gradation catches the light // other possible products

And a twelve-step program (!) on the perfect translucent/dewy base, again with the makeup artist's little pop-up pointers:

To be fair, I am cherry-picking the best bits; there be plenty of photoshopped-to-hell ads, vapid diet plans and boring fitness/hair/celeb stuff to wade through too. But somehow less annoying when not in one's native language, as in this How Not To Be Jowly article:

In London, you can find Japanese magazines in Japan Centre on Regent's Street or JP Books on nearby Denman St; Both shops also offer subscriptions by post/collection with a discount.

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Addendum: Addiction Eyeliner Pencil

As featured in the last post and which formed part of my Japanese birthday haul -- Addiction Eyeliner Pencils in Moonwalk (silver) and Lady of the Lake (red)both new for summer 2012, but permanent additions to the range of thirteen shades.

These pencils are automatic (fully retractable, yay!) and packaged in a capped plastic twist-up tube in Addiction's usual sleek black.
Addiction Eyeliner Pencil

Addiction Eyeliner Pencil Moonwalk Lady of the Lake

Moonwalk is a neutral steely silver that layers paler microshimmer into a smooth metallic base, so it shifts from a darker gunmetal to a sparkly silver to an almost wet-look moonlit glow (it can read as texture without colour on my pale skin) depending on lighting.
Lady of the Lake is a cool-toned blood-red satin with very sparse tonal microshimmer that's barely/rarely visible but adds dimension. It's this dimensionality as well as a lack of muddy brown  warmth which make this supremely easy to wear -- it looks like (intentional and awesome) makeup, never like rabbity red-eye.

Arm swatches
Addiction by Ayako Eyeliner Pencil Moonwalk Lady of the Lake swatches

Paper swatches
Addiction by Ayako Eyeliner Pencil Moonwalk Lady of the Lake swatches

I went out of my comfort zone with Moonwalk (silver! hisses) so have nothing close in my collection but here's Lady of the Lake with Chanel Ebloui (cream), Kryolan Skinliner 31 (liquid) and Estee Lauder Vintage Violet (cream):
red burgundy eyeliner swatches Chanel Ebloui Addiction Eyeliner Pencil Lady of the Lake Kryolan Skinliner 31 Estee Lauder Vintage Violet
the Addiction shade is a much clearer, truer red compare with Chanel or Estee Lauder but next to Kryolan's primary brightness its magenta coolness and depth are more evident.

Formula: Moonwalk is lovely creamy blendable goodness, and can double as a base/eyeshadow. Lady of the Lake is much drier and sets almost immediately on my dry lids, so is tricky even to smoke out without irritation, let alone smudge all over as a base. I suspect this in particular will have phenomenal lasting power on oilier skins -- on @cosme these liners are rated very highly in general, which usually testifies to tenacity on hooded lids / humid weather.

What Lady of the Lake sacrifices in creaminess is made up for in ultra-precision: with most pencils I need a separate tool to handle wings and flicks (a firm brush or the attached smudger on those THREE flash performance liners), but with this drier satin formula the most fiddly angles are a breeze.
Here's a comparison with the Rouge Bunny Rouge Automatic Eye Pencil in Lola to illustrate how fine a line the Addiction draws:
Addiction eyeliner pencil RBR automatic eyeliner

It's taken me a month of usage to appreciate the thoughtfulness of the two different Addiction formulas (the love-affair with THREE was more precipitous) -- Moonwalk blends out to a beautiful wash of iridescent light on the lid or by the tearduct, even built up to full its sparkle gives it a delicacy instead of a flat metallic wall; Lady of the Lake makes an uncompromisingly vivid statement, made for clean lines and graphic shapes and liner-without-eyeshadow looks (perfectly suited to my kind of minimalism in fact) and its very unblendability saves me from my own unhealthy leanings to over-softened hazy consumptive looks (never as pretty as they look in my head) with red.

Here's a close-up of the eye from Monday's look, playing to the individual strengths of these liners. Lady of the Lake sharply along the upper and Moonwalk softly along the lower lashlines. A bit more of Moonwalk blended out in the centre of the upper lid as purely textural highlight.
lid redness is all my natural beauty, ahem, not the effect of the liner 

Addiction eyeliner pencils are currently exclusive to Japan and retail for ¥2625 each.

Monday, 6 August 2012

Guerlain M25 Colère Rouge G L'Extrait: First Look

This season is the season of the liquid lipstick, and I for one will be exalting and worshipping at their footstool [which like most real biblical phrases, sounds like totally made-up Pratchettian, cf. 'the blind are leading the blind and they shall fall into ditches.']

Anyway, thanksgiving&worship&all that -- I'm sure your appetites have already been whetted as mine were by delicious reviews at Get Lippie, Messy Wands and Temptalia. So let's roll on with the shade that I personally came home with, M25 Colère:
Guerlain Rouge G L'Extrait liquid lipstick M25 Colere
note that the inner tubes are a uniform dark red -- I thought at first that the SA had given me the wrong shade 
On my pale, neutral skintone, Colère reads as a neon-bright coral red -- quite close to how Gourmandise looks on Temptalia's Christine.

Comparison swatches
Guerlain Rouge G L'Extrait M25 Colere Lancome Corset YSL Glossy Stain 9 Rouge Laque Revlon Strawberry Suede Illamasqua Intense Gloss Mistress Hourglass Femme Rouge Muse

The pinkness in Colère really comes through in contrast to orange-red YSL Glossy Stain #9 Rouge Laque; but it's also evident against the other corals I own, contrasting with the stronger orange tones in Revlon Strawberry Suede, Illamasqua Intense Gloss Mistress and Hourglass Femme Rouge Muse.
Lancôme Colour Design Matte Corset is closest to Colère, but with more muted rosiness in contrast to Colère's saturated brightness. Corset's more traditional matte finish also contributes to its softer look, whereas Colère surface is so smooth as to glow from within:

Lip swatch

Application: I used a lip brush (Hakuhodo Misako Portable), not the included doefoot, because on my dry lips (even over balm) this lightweight formula starts setting as soon as it hits skin and needs to be worked in carefully then quickly smoothed out to avoid streaking. Glooping on too much at once or trying to patch up afterwards can cause the colour to ball up. It's quite unique in my experience of lip stuff [the closest might be ByTerry's silicone- and pigment-rich Rouge Terrybly formula] and there's a bit of a learning curve; the best analogues would be tubing mascaras or oil-controlling primers or rubber-finish nail polishes but, like those, once you get the hang of it, these Rouge G L'Extraits don't take longer to apply than any other product.

The ingredients list reads to me (not a nexpert, remember) like a very advanced face primer with pigments in and Colère does have a texture-blurring and line-filling effect on lips. It also does feel like a very luxe primer if you press your lips together -- there's no stickiness, heaviness or creaminess but it isn't truly weightless like an Beauté stain or Addiction Colour Lipstick either.
Guerlain Rouge G L'Extrait liquid lipstick ingredients

As for wear-time, we're deep into your-mileage-may-vary territory, because unlike previous reviewers I found these quite average for a saturated lipstick -- no eight-hours-plus-meals perfection here and no shadow of a challenge to the YSL Glossy Stains.

After a few drinks (it will transfer slightly to cups/glasses, if you're bothered by that):
The slight patchiness towards the centre of the lips is only clearly visible in close-up, definitely liveable-with in real life.

After a typical pig-out meal, a pretty, even coral sheer-matte tint
See, this is what I mean by average wear. Not a diss in any way -- I actually adore the shade this ends up as. Even so, it's not quite a stain: if you try to refresh it with lipbalm as with a traditional stain (Hourglass, Beaute etc.) the Guerlain colour will readily transfer onto the balm, and move around the lips; a gloss will sheer out the colour further and mix into it rather than going over the top neatly. 

It's a trade-off I personally am fine with -- as you can see from the last picture, this Rouge G L'Extrait leaves my lips looking plump and feeling comfortable for hours without balm touch-ups and, and I'd much rather this than a more indelible formula that looks dry from the get-go and then deteriorates steadily (Rouge D'Armani, Lancôme Rouge In Love). After four days of continuous wear, it's clear that Rouge G L'Extrait is kinder on my lips than YSL or Beauté/Hourglass stains, although unsurprisingly less moisturising than my favoured creamy lipsticks.

Sorry if I've been uncharacteristically muted in this review. I'm trying my very hardest to be fair about the formula because the shade, people, the shade. OMG IT IS SO PERFECT I DON'T EVEN.
eyes: Addiction Lady of the Lake and Moonwalk liners, Lancôme Hypnose Drama WP // cheeks: RMS Modest // base: Shu  Uemura UV Brightening Mousse, Burberry concealer, copious amounts of RBR Sea of Clouds highlighter

Guerlain Rouge G L'Extrait (made in France) are lightly candied-violet-scented, demi-matte-finish liquid lipsticks in the signature clunky mirrored packaging wot I hate. It comes in seven permanent shades (named somewhat surreally for the seven deadly sins -- envious orange, really?) and retail at £29.50 for 6ml.

Friday, 3 August 2012

Old and New -- MAC 217 brush

Lazy belated blogger that I am, this post will just confirm a very cold bit of news (olds?): that MAC have tampered with one of their very best products, the 217 brush. The new version is a rough, kinky [I realise I may be making this sound more appealing than it is] scratchy mess of a shapeless....messy thing.

Makeupalley rumours hinted at one point that the way to spot the old/new versions was to check whether the handle was engraved with Japan (old) or USA/France (new); this is not true as both my brushes are made in Japan and they could not be more manifestly different.

I'll let the pictures speak for themselves from here, but for reference, my old MAC 217 is about 5 years old (and identical to the one I had previously, from about 10 years back) and the new one was purchased in May 2012.

MAC 217 brush old vs new comparison
handles are essentially the same -- even at this angle you can tell the new brush head is bigger
MAC 217 brush old vs new comparison
Add caption
MAC 217 brush old vs new comparison
each individual hair in the new brush is thicker and rougher too compared to the old 
MAC 217 brush old vs new comparison
I'd washed the new brush twice by this point, and the old over a hundred times -- yet it's the new one that's shapeless 
MAC 217 brush old vs new comparison
the biggest variation is how much 'give' the two brushes have -- in practice the new 217 does not provide the directionality and precision of the old one; it doesn't even perform as well as the much cheaper Real Techniques Base Shadow brush.

All together now: (larghissimo and in generally dirge-like fashion) #Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes~

Monday, 30 July 2012

Playing with Fire #1 and #2

Shiseido Luminising Satin Trio OR302 Fire, that is. Being the sixth purchase of twelve (and one of the three I kinda sorta regret, so not sure this project can be called a success so far, rethinking needed....)

Anyway, although I can't explain Shiseido's Fire trio better than its creator, Dick Page, does himself:

I did try to capture something of the complexity of its not-so-black and white in swatches:
Appropriately enough, these shades constantly change depending on lighting and there's a warmth (orange-red-gold shimmer in the soot; opalescent pink-peach sheen in the ash) tying both into the main orange shade.

Which I've compared with some other oranges:
orange eyeshadow swatches Sugarpill Flamepoint Shiseido Fire Fyrinnae Electro-Koi, Shu Uemura G Orange 251, Catrice Dalai Drama, Suqqu Komorebi
Sugarpill Flamepoint is the truest and brightest of the bunch -- next to it the warm terracotta note in the Shiseido shade becomes obvious. Fyrinnae Electro-Koi is most similar to the Shiseido -- it's a more sparkly, reddened and slightly more neutral version. Shu Uemura G Orange 251 is the pinkiest, blingiest and most complex -- for once I'm not afraid to play favourites: this one ROCKS. Catrice Dalai Drama and the orange from Suqqu Komorebi are here as examples of the kinds of clear, shimmery oranges I usually find easiest to wear.

The Shiseido orange is not the kind of orange I find easy. In general I tend to be more daring with eye colours (especially accent shades set among neutrals -- pretty much infinite leeway) so the next set of swatches, including lip and cheek shades, provides a clearer illustration of just how much warmer and more muted this shade is compared to my usual palette:
YSL Glossy Stain #9 Rouge Laque is a bright true orange-red and Illamasqua Lover was my idea  of a perfect neutral pinkless peach -- both of these look corally next to the Shiseido. The actual corals (Ellis Faas L307, Hourglass Muse and Rouge Bunny Rouge Fire-Tailed Sunbird) pull straight-up pink.

All this preamble to establish that I find this trio hard to wear and near-impossible to pair with other things. So the first look I'm posting is actually the 5th? 6th? one I've worn, which is not my usually bloggy métier [wear the makeups, snap the makeups, post the makeups, drivel done] but can, if you squint, be made to seem vaguely topical w.r.t. latest Olympic flame cock-up. Hey, mocking-because-we-care passes for civic pride in my bit of London :P

Look 1
Soot used along lashline to create elongated shape, orange in the centre of the lid/lower lashline to balance it out with roundedness, opalescent ash on the inner and outer  thirds of lid, framing the orange.

Paired with Shiseido Luminising Satin Eye Colour PK305 Peony worn as blush, Guerlain Rouge G Girly on lip. Laura Mercier Silk Creme Soft Ivory foundation as a near-flawless, distraction-free matte setting for the colour clash, and slightly fuller-than-usual brows to stop the brights from overwhelming my weebly features:

Look 2
Pale ash worn as a wash all over lid with soot to darker outer corner, blended up; orange in the socket, faded inwards. Ash+orange mixed and drawn along lower lashline.

With one sheer layer of Addiction Vamp lipstick over Jack Black lipbalm (so that it acts more as a colour here rather than a stylised black) and Rouge Bunny Rouge Delicata blush as a unobtrusive neutral. Slightly more naturalistic skin to offset the too-much-trend-in-one-look potential, with Lunasol Water Cream OC-01 foundation.

Constants: Lancome Hypnose Drama WP mascara, Burberry Concealer 01 under eyes, Suqqu Powder Eyebrow 02 Kuchibairo.