Monday, 10 September 2012

Armani Maestro Fusion Foundation Review / Swatches

Maestro Fusion Makeup is a brand new formula from cult bassists Giorgio Armani and my review of it is brought to you by Selfridges' early release [available nationwide from October 1st] and helpful provision of samples, and my inability to resist anything touted as a foundation game-changer. Which comes in a wee glass dropper bottle!

It's like, all SCIENCEY, but there's a delicate wisp of silk too, for the laydeez. [Surely I am not the only one to extrapolate from this that their next foundation will be called Impressario Cold Fusion and the ad will feature tassels? And an elephant.]

If my tone hasn't tipped you off, in my opinion this foundation aint no game-changer. In fact, there are only two things stopping me from calling naked emperor altogether:

  1. The texture feels like the most cutting-edge of dry oils from high end skincare brands -- with more glide than even a very dry neat oil like jojoba (technically a wax blah blah shush) -- and applies like a dream. It's literally 'effortlessly blendable', blending seamlessly as you apply. I generally dislike using my fingers for makeup application, but they worked beautifully with this formula; I honestly think you could load this stuff into Homer Simpson's makeup gun, shoot yourself, and get a perfect finish.
  2. It adjusts to match my skintone. Just like the copy promised. Making this my first match in Armani since they discontinued the palest shade of Designer Cream 4? 5? years back.

I like to review foundations hot on the heels of a breakout so the current gauntlet (thanks, stress & summer flu!) consists of: spots on cheeks, both fresh and just-healed, volcanic cyst in middle of forehead, flaky nose and cheeks, usual unevenness/sallow patches.

Armani Maestro Fusion #2

A great example of a light-as-air texture failing to translate as a natural-as-skin finish. Despite offering only light-medium coverage [even the sallowness around my mouth and the faint red marks on my cheeks are still visible, not to mention the brighter spots] Maestro still looks like foundation. Texturally, it actually emphasises ....everything, highlighting the flakes on my inner cheeks and bracketing my nose (while not covering the redness at all?!) and picking out every strand of peach fuzz [look near my jawline in the second picture]. These flaws were much more obvious in reality than my camera would have you believe, and I don't give any makeup bonus points for how it looks in photos. Failin' as blogger, I know....

More seriously, it is not only cosmetically but also physically drying (alcohol denat. is fourth on the ingredients list), leaving my skin tight and itchy by lunchtime and with red and peeling patches after washing it off at 5 pm. Other sensitive-skinned folk may wish to note inclusion of fragrance and botanicals among aaaaall teh cones.

So obviously this formula is not for me. Which isn't too heartbreaking as regular readers may know that I do not enjoy sheer foundations, much preferring to use a miniscule amount of full-coverage stuff sheered out myself on a beautyblender sponge or to skip foundation altogether and prime/spot conceal as necessary.

Still think the colour shift thing is pretty nifty though.
From jaundice-face immediately after application.... a perfect match ten minutes later
Note: Maestro's coverage didn't miraculously improve in this ten minutes; I added Becca compact concealer Meringue over spots and Burberry Sheer pen 01 under eyes. 
[Other makeup Addiction Arabian Nights eye kohl, Concrete Jungle eyeshadow, Fasio Ultra Curl Lock Mascara Volume // Addiction Faithful // RBR Gracilis]

I cannot explain this witchery; perhaps one of you wise readers could? Or chime in if Maestro also changes up on you, or if it doesn't, or if you love it and it's your new baby and I can go suck a goat. Y'know, the usual.

The magic does not happen on my arm with a heavier swatch, so Armani Maestro 2 remains definitely yellower than Shu Uemura Nobara stick 784, Illamasqua Skin Base 2, Laura Mercier Silk Creme Soft Ivory or Bourjois Healthy Mix 51, although (only) Bourjois is a little darker than the Armani.
foundation swatches Armani Maestro Fusion 2 Shu Uemura Nobara stick 784, Illamasqua Skin Base 2, Laura Mercier Silk Creme Soft Ivory, Bourjois Healthy Mix 51

More comparison swatches by request: MAC Studio Sculpt NC15; Armani Lasting Silk, Luminous Silk and Maestro 2 and MAC Studio Fix Fluid NC15. Which illustrates how inconsistent these letters and numbers can be even within a swatches Armani Maestro Fusion 2, MAC Studio Sculpt NC15 Studio Fix Fluid NC15, Armani Lasting Silk 2 Luminous Silk 2

Saturday, 8 September 2012

Suqqu EX-07 Tsukiakari Forwards, Backwards and Sideways

Hullo sky! Hullo birds! &c. Oh yes, I am on holiday at last :D Which hopefully means I'll be spamming you all more regularly with the enormous hoard of pics on my hard-drive.

First up, a new thing which-I-am-not-sure-is-a-great-idea-but-people-asked-people-as-in-more-than-one-person-even: a pictorial step-by-step of one of my typical vertical-gradation eye looks using Suqqu's new, limited edition EX-07 Tsukiakari quad for autumn (previously swatched). Srsly, it is actually embarrassing how basic this is / how unskilled I am; you can probably extrapolate from this to unlock the sekrits of all my other makeup :P

The Quad In Question

The Look
1. Swept the white powder primer (bottom right pan) all over up to brow

2. With a dense flat brush (I used Shu Uemura Synthetic 10), patted the navy cream (bottom left) over the mobile lid, feathering outwards at the very edges. [Don't worry about making it perfectly neat; it is just fine if it looks a patchy mess in close-up :P] Took it under the lower lashline with the edge of the same brush, from outer corner fading inwards.

3. With a dense-but-fluffy brush (I used Suqqu Eyeshadow M, but a flatter brush like MAC 239, Shu Natural 10 etc. works too), patted the plum taupe (top right pan) over and slightly beyond the navy base and swept to blend lightly at edges. Layered it over the navy cream on the lower lashline.

4. With a fluffy blender (I used Suqqu Eyeshadow L, other possibilities: MAC 217 or 224, Stila 9, Nars 14 etc.), lightly blended the peachy pink (top left) over and beyond the edges of the plum taupe into the socket and inner corner.

5. With the remains of the peachy pink on the same fluffy brush, blended out any harsh lines separating the shades [I wanted a very soft, hazy look]. Dusted off brush, then used it to pick up more of the powder primer to help adjust/clean up the shape -- I changed my mind at this point from the elongated shape I'd laid down to wanting a more rounded one, so pulled the outer corner in and up.

6. Used a liner brush (I used Chikuhodo Artist 6-1 cf. MAC 231, Hakuhodo 005 etc.) and the navy cream again to make a thickish line following and extending straight out from the natural shape of my eye. Also to rim lower waterline and line outer 1/3 of lower lashline.

7. Mascara (Lancome Hypnôse Drama WP) and done.

With the left side of Suqqu EX-02 Mizumomo blush and Beauté Fever stain on lips, topped with balm.
Base: Rouge Bunny Rouge Sea of Clouds to highlight, Becca compact concealer Meringue on blemishes and Burberry pen concealer 01 under eyes. BCL Browlash EX Water Strong W Eyebrow Pencil Natural Brown on brows.

Better angle for the blush

The Look, Backwards
I think of looks like this as a smokey-eye-with-colours: it smokes outwards from the lashline. The more traditional way of doing this kind of vertical gradation of eyeshadow goes from light to dark, towards the lashline but creates a similarly flattering smokey effect. I really don't have a preference for either method (sometimes I will start with the midtone shade), so it depends more on the kind of effect you want to achieve with the particular shades you're working with.

Going from light to dark with this particular Suqqu palette creates a lighter and warmer pink/red look without the navy sludging things up as a base. I kept the brushes and overal shape consistent with the first look. For Science.

1. Again I applied the white primer base all over my eye. Then the peachy pink all over the mobile lid into the socket with Suqqu Eyeshadow L brush.

2. The plum taupe on a denser brush (Suqqu Eyeshadow M) over lid and crease, leaving a halo of the peachy-pink untouched.

3. Navy to line (Chikuhodo Artist 6-1). Turned out a little more winged out than the day before. oops. 

4. Lower lashline is pretty much the same as the day before's but with the addition of the pinky peach layered over the two darker shades.

Blush is Suqqu EX-02 Mizumomo again (this time I mixed both shades for a lighter and softer pink) but to echo the eye I went with Addiction Lady of the Lake on the lips, a deeper, richer wine than the red before.
Same base, but RBR Sea of Tranquility (opal pink) replacing Clouds (white).

The Palette, Sideways
or, y'know, comparison swatches.
The peachy pink from EX-07 Tsukiakari is very close to (maybe a hair lighter than) the pink in Suqqu's 08 Mizuaoi quad: both are pinker and cooler (and less sparkly) than Chanel Illusion D'Ombre Abstraction. What my swatch doesn't show is that the Tsukiakari shade is much more pigmented and less delicately sparkly than the Mizuaoi one (which is layered here twice).

Tsukiakari's plum taupe is most similar to ME Medium Plum 761 from Shu Uemura, but it is sheerer and has a much more melty-buttery texture and less of a metallic sheen. The darker side of Paul&Joe Eye Gloss Duo 4 Bourgeoisie is more metallic yet, and is much cooler -- more of a straight taupe with only a hint of mauve reflect. Rouge Bunny Rouge Delicate Hummingbird looks extremely grurple alongside these, but reads as a dusty taupe against proper jewelled purples [I had a reason to swatch it, honest]. 

The navy cream turned out to be quite tricky to 'dupe' exactly, considering my fondness for this shade. Its grey-blue base makes it look brighter and clearer than both Rouge Bunny Rouge Vera kohl (with which it shares a little violetiness) and KATE BU-1 gel liner (which looks almost tealish in consequence). The micro-sparkle in the Suqqu lighten it further -- making it both brightening and defining as a liner.

Friday, 31 August 2012

Suqqu Autumn 2012 Collection Swatches

Suqqu's latest collection has finally landed in the UK and as the half-arsed title suggests ('Pink', really?) this is another collection that's unified more by textures than by colour-story.

(As always with Suqqu, the EX- prefix means the item is limited edition.)

The shiniest of new shinies are the three eyeshadow palettes (£45) which for the first time, contain a cream pan -- pigmented enough to use as liner, blendable enough to work as a base. The bottom right pan is Suqqu's usual powder primer base (this goes under the cream even if you are using that all over the eye). The two top pans are both richly pigmented dimensional shimmers of a very similar feel to the top right pan from the quints released this spring. It's a typically thoughtful departure from Suqqu's usual practice of having a sheerer, more sparkly shadow in the top left pan; both of these are pigmented enough to layer alone over the cream to create a radically different shade, rather than just adding a shimmery highlight.

Swatches: I skipped the powder primers and swiped the three main shades separately (powders with the included sponge tips, cream with my pinky finger) once; for the rightmost stripe, I blended out the cream over the powder primer and swept both powder shadows over it.

EX-07 Tsukiakari (月灯, moonlight) makes for a lovely murky purple/grey haze when combined or layered but worn separately the shades give an interesting warm/cool contrast, which makes this a slightly better replacement for my beloved discontinued 01 Kakitsubata than 12 Konruri. Comparison swatches and a few looks with it are here.
Suqqu Blend Eyeshadow palette swatch EX-07 Tsukiakari

13 Akanezora (茜空, lit. madder sky) mixes to a lovely taupe but I think it best evokes the ruddy sunsets of its name when worn in staggered layers in a rosy smokey eye. This combination of cool pink, peachy rose and yellow-brown reminds me of the recently discontinued 05 Sakurakaba quad.
Suqqu Blend Eyeshadow palette swatch 13 Akanezora

14 Kosumosuiro ( 秋桜色, lit. autumn cherry-blossom) is named for the cosmos flower whose vivid blossoms are supposed to evoke the early autumnal mood just as the pink-and-white sakura herald spring. For those with richer inner lives than mine, presumably. The green/bronze/peach combo is undeniably lovely and feels very right as the nights draw in, even if their richness of tone evokes plush velvets, murky tweeds and soft wool jumpers for me, rather than anything as artless as flowers.... Suqqu's 07 Komorebi (lit. sunlight-through-trees) quad is a much more delicately bucolic take on a similar combination.
Suqqu Blend Eyeshadow palette swatch 14 Kosumosuiro

Another, more sneakily new release: two limited-edition blush duos called Gradation Cheeks (£38). All the shades are satins, significantly less shimmery than the blush duos from spring, slightly less visible shimmer than in the Shiseido powders but with more of a kick than those from Rouge Bunny Rouge or Burberry.

EX-01 Mizudaidai (瑞橙, juicy orange) is a pairing of soft warm apricot with palest peach.
[I'm trying to avoid the word 'fleshy' here but it's swirling around my brain so why not yours too.]
Suqqu Gradation Cheeks  blush duo swatches EX-01 Mizudaidai

As requested I compared the left side of EX-01 Mizudaidai (centre) with Armani #2 (left) and Nars Douceur (R):

EX-02 Mizumomo (瑞桃, juicy pink) combines a pale pink-tinged white [not swatched as invisible on my skin -- would work as highlight on NC/W20+] with a bright, cool pink, compared here against Addiction Amazing powder and Nars Gaiety.
Suqqu Gradation Cheeks  blush duo swatches EX-02 Mizumomo

Finally, the five lipsticks are all in Suqqu's sheer jelly Creamy Glow Moist formula (£27). Three pretty, populist shades are permanent expansions of the line: 03 Fuyuzakura, 04 Tsuirokokemomo and 05 Usunadeshiko go from pinkest to orangiest on the warm pink-peach scale. Swatches are all 3-4 swipes layered, taken in natural light.
Suqqu Creamy Glow Moist Lipstick swatches 03 Fuyuzakura, 04 Tsuirokokemomo, 05 Usunadeshiko

Of the limited edition releases, EX-05 Hanabotan is a shimmery browned rose and EX-06 Maaka a warm strawberry red -- a great one to try if you find most sheer reds pull pink/fuchsia, this is not as pink as Lipstick Queen Medieval but has less brown than Shiseido Natural Red.
Suqqu Creamy Glow Moist Lipstick swatches EX-05 Hanabotan EX-06 Maaka

The last item in this collection is a very subtly (wears as translucent on me) cool-pink-toned Chiffon Feel Loose Powder which is slightly more moisturising while giving a slightly more matte finish than the regular Nuancing Loose Powder Natural. You get 19g instead of the usual 15g for £40, and the ingredients differ only... er... slightly between the two formulations:
Suqqu Chiffon Feel Loose Powder ingredients
Suqqu Nuancing Loose Powder Natural ingredients

Friday, 24 August 2012

Summer Blogsale

*all gone*

And yes, this means that out of the EIGHT items I've purchased so far (discounting replacements) for my twelve-a-year pledge, I've fallen out of love with FOUR (Ladurée 11, Shiseido Fire, Kanebo Sensai Shirafuji and Suqqu Himesango).

But overall, despite taking a free month of hauling at will in June, my collection has shrunk to about half its size at the beginning of the year. Carry on with what feels like a bit of a pointless exercise or pat self on back for keeping to the spirit if not the letter? Would love to here your thoughts :)

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Field Notes: Autumn 2012 Swatches

A mixed bag of recent dabblings in department stores: Chanel Blue Illusion, YSL Rouge Pur Couture Les Mats, and Estée Lauder Vivid Shine collections.

1. Chanel Blue Illusion was previewed at the Haute Couture SS 2012 show and I'd been anticipating the two new (limited edition) Illusion D'Ombre cream shadows (both blues! one light, one dark) ever since -- given the idiosyncrasy of fashion seasons, we're talking months of calf-eyed mooning over backstage closeups here.
And after swatching them repeatedly over the past month? Resounding meh.
Swatches fom least to most light (natural):
swatches Chanel Blue Aerien Illustion D'Ombre Apparition Destination
The liner (Blue Aerien) is a moderately pigmented mid-tone blue matte with sparse silver shimmer that's only visible once blended out (second swatch). As with all non-shimmery Chanel pencil liners, I found it to apply patchily and to tug on my dry skin.
Both Illusion D'Ombre Apparition (deep blue-grey with silver, green and very sparse pink microshimmer) and Destination (silvery blue with the same microshimmer) are softly shimmery, moderately pigmented mousses like Rivière rather than the creamier, denser, more pigmented and much sparklier original lineup of shades (or the latter releases Abstraction and Vision).
All shades are limited edition and are available in the Oxford Street John Lewis and Selfridges in London -- may be able to order these by phone.

2. YSL Rouge Pur Couture Les Mats is a new, permanent collection of six shades of modern matte lipsticks: touted-as-moisturising, with a good bit of siliconey slip to ease application, but long lasting and highly pigmented, corrective satin rather than flat matte -- cf. Chanel Rouge Allure Velvets or Lancôme Colour Design Mattes.
I found these very impressive -- in particular 202 Rose Crazy, 203 Rouge Rock and 204 Rouge Scandal were intensely and smoothly pigmented -- although the darker 205 Prune Virgin (!) and 206 Grenat Satisfaction looked a little patchy on one swipe, and 201 Orange Imagine needed three-four layers to reach the opacity of the other shades.
YSL Rouge Pur Couture Les Mats matte lipstick swatches 201 Orange Imagine, 202 Rose Crazy, 203 Rouge Rock, 204 Rouge Scandal, 205 Prune Virgin, 206 Grenat Satisfaction
Based on the look and performance of 203 Rouge Rock on my delicious friend Mira Sundari, even through some epic ice-cream-and-waffle-nomming, I think these are worth every penny of their £23.50 pricetag and tacky gold packaging.

3. Estée Lauder Vivid Shine features a mix of limited edition and permanent shades, providing a bonanza of autumn-collection-awesome: saturated jewel tones, icy pastels, and unashamed sparkle being the main themes.
The eyeshadows are re-stamped but not reformulated from last year's Cyber Eyes release and the molten wet-or-dry "Illuminating Powder Gelee" formula was also used in this summer's limited edition Bronze Sands quint; a step up from MAC's Extra Dimension formula from spring. I finger-swatched these dry, because the EL counters were heaving in contrast to Dior, Lancôme and others, but you can hopefully extrapolate how much more intense they would be used wet based on Lipglossiping's excellent swatches from last year.

All swatches in natural light, without flash. I angled for fuzziness in the bottom pictures. Starred items are limited edition.
Estee Lauder eyeshadow swatches Cyber Silver, Arctic Sky, Cyber Ice, Cyber Pink
Arctic Sky is the only sheer sparkle in this batch; Cyber Silver and Cyber Pink are more pigmented and metallic-glittery while Cyber Ice is an all-out frost.

Estee Lauder eyeshadow swatches Cyber Copper, Cyber Gold, Lights Out, Cyber Green
As you can see, Cyber Green hasn't been tweaked to match its name since the original release. It's still a black warmed by copper, green and gold sparkle. Cyber Green along with Lights Out and Cyber Copper were the driest in texture and would need to be packed on with a very heavy hand or foiled with water/mixing medium to display much complexity on the eye.

Estee Lauder eyeshadow swatches Cyber Ruby, Magenta, Electric Orchid, Cyber Lilac
Cyber Lilac is the most complex and pigmented of this batch, and one of the shades that really show off this new formula's balance of pigment, creaminess and complex sparkle -- a great
illustration of why Estée Lauder makeup has been making a comeback in recent seasons. Cyber Ruby is a rich rose-brown with, yep, ruby and fuchsia shimmer; even softer are Electric Orchid and Magenta which balance gloriously unsubtle the-eighties-are-back tones with less textural bling.

Estee Lauder eyeshadow swatches Pop Pistachio, Ultramarine, Cyber Teal, Fire Sapphire
This last set mixes a sheer sparkle (Fire Sapphire) with two moderately-pigmented shimmers (yellow-green Pop Pistachio and blue-green Ultramarine) and another complex metallic glitter, Cyber Teal.
The first thing that struck me about these was their similarity to a few Addiction Aurora Reflection shades I owned. While Addiction are a step up still in texture, complexity and greater colour payoff, these EL shades are worth looking into as accessible relations. (Ignore Magenta peeking out on the right there.)
Estée Lauder Fire Sapphire is the less-pigmented twin to Addiction Blue Moon.
Estée Lauder Pop Pistachio is a flatter, less-sparkly, yellower cousin to Addiction Silent Scream.
Estée Lauder Cyber Teal is much more tauped (greyed and browned) and less, well, teal than Addiction Deep Forest.

Finally, some very messy field swatches of what seemed to be to be the four sparkliest nail polishes in the new line. From index to pinky: Smashed, Molten Lava, Explosif and Chaos.

[While I can't fault Tom Pecheux's eye, I do question whose nose in Haus Lauder is responsible for keeping that lurid fig scent in their lip products, season after season -- the latest batch of Pure Colour lipsticks did seem wonderfully moisturising and lushly pigmented, for those of you who like that kind of thing. There was a killer coral in the line too, from what I could tell between dry-heaves.]

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Sunday Sundries

i.e. my belated entry into Yumeko's Weekly Photo Challenge #11: Hey, How Was Your Week?

1. Something you ate this week
I am a stress-baker. And -eater. Awesome combo as you can imagine, usually leading to my leaving ranty sugarhigh 400-words-a-minute PSA's on people's answerphones at 3 am about how I Am Now Self-Sufficiency Woman Hear Me Roar/Burp. If I have your phone number I will apologise now, because this will happen to you eventually. 
As there's been no shortage of stress lately...

Tiny green tea sables with demerara sugar crust for extra maltiness (from the bits that melt) and crunch (from the bits that don't)
I put too much matcha powder in. This happens every time because it ensures that everyone finds them too bitterly caffeinated and they end up mine all mine.

Flowery Earl Grey tea biscuits -- check out my poncy Harrods loose-leaf, what. (Srsly though, use the most fragrant tea you have or chuck in some oils / dried flowers -- it makes a huge diff.)
It's sweltering in London so no proper tea to go with -- but hey, a glass of elderflower cordial for English twee counts, surely?
As if you couldn't tell, I cut round a real teaspoon for these... then decided even heroic procrastination couldn't justify this utter pointlessness and fetched a mug to stamp out the rest of the dough. Most hostesses have more mostestness than I do, so do feel free to steal this cutesy idea (which I nicked from a Japanese cake book.)

In case of precipitous drop in blood sugar levels while stranded far from oven:
How glad am I that bubble teas have hit the UK Azn Mnstrm? Tearfully, vowelessly glad. Left: brown sugar milk tea and right: matcha milk tea (I love matcha okay), both with delicious chewy tapioca 'pearls'. From Candy Cafe in Chinatown.

2. Something you bought this week
Dolce&Gabbana Sole blush (the big ball of hotness in the sky, not the fish / shoe component) -- eight of twelve, if anyone's still counting.

And 'no pics without tea,' I hear you cry? MOAR TEA it is then:
From the always delightful Postcard Teas, a refill of Big Smoke [gutsy Indian black mix smoked over cinnamon wood mixed with delicate Darjeeling] and two caddies of Green Mulberry [dried young Thai mulberry leaves] and Tea Flower Tea [Sri Lankan black, with the flowers of the plant] to try. Cannot recommend this shop highly enough -- you can probably tell how deadly tempting it is from the packaging alone -- note, their China teas are just okay (well, I'm spoiled by biannual Hong Kong trips) but the rest are gold.

3. Something you wore this week
I finally made something from the vinage pattern book I got for Christmas with that greenyblue silk/merino yarn from May -- which, after halving the blousoniness of the sleeves (man those 1940s ladies were built), I am frankly besotted with:
sorry this pic is fuzzy -- wanted to show the clever 'darts' underneath both boobs and at the elbow (there's one at the centre back too)? So stealing this construction for my modern knits.
I will never not-love a good puff sleeve.

I'm not big on accessories but the iridescence of this supremely simple COS ring caught my eye while stocking up on shirts and knickers, and it's been garnering compliments ever since:

 My HK sale steal, Tsumori Chisato sunnies. ^_^
RBR liquid bronzer looking supernaturally glowy // Essence Candybar gloss 

4. Something you read this week
Beauty books: Ugly Beauty by Ruth Brandon (a loose, journalistic skim through the stories of Helena Rubinstein and, especially, Eugene Schueller and his Vichy collaboration-or-not) and Beauty Imagined by Geoffrey Jones (much meatier, but less cultural analysis and more bizniz stats and numbers than is to my taste).
September issues: So-En, Voce, and Biteki.

A friend recently challenged me to give this year's crop of literary fiction (hiss, spit) a fair chance [in return he gets to gambol through the list of 'Shiny, Shiny Stories from the Last Three Millenia' I put together] so I'm starting with the obvious Booker/Orange/Pulitzer prize nominees but any recommendations would be welcome! Especially if they are properly enjoyable like Jane Harris' Gillespie and I, Stella Tillyard's Tides of War, Emma Donoghue's The Sealed Letter [uh, is it obvious that I beelined for the hist-fic crossovers on the lists?], Michael Frayn's Skios or Esi Edugyan's Half-Blood Blues [not pictured, still feel ridiculous photographing kindle screen] -- when did litfic get so good?

5. Something that made you smile this week
In material terms,
a. This freebie ad / fan handed out by a poor dude from Yamamoto Removals melting outside the Japan Centre was like an instant imaginary ticket to Tokyo (no tissues to be had, sadly).

b. A proper souvenir this time, from my dad's recent E. Asia trip: a DesignComplicity umbrella/parasol printed with a leaf canopy, perfect for napping under with a book post-picnic or running under after the suddenbutinevitable thunderstorm.

c. Nicked from my mum after Sunday dinner last week: softly squidgy bee-charmed flats by Pilcro & The Letterpress. They are cut very wide so wear more like flipflops on me and can be kicked off in an instant -- perfect for the park, especially with their stripy trim peeking out. It's going to feel like the end of summer when I return these to her tomorrow.

I especially enjoyed taking part this particular photo challenge and reading Lost In Omo's and Rouge Deluxe's entries -- please drop me a comment and a link if you decide to join in too.