Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Coup de Foudre II: Shade / Smoke / Air

Three more recent Guerlain Coup de Foudre looks, which I'm grouping together for reasons because they shift the 'highlight' from inner corner to centre to outer edge in turn.

Apologies for variable lighting.

....which is a slightly forced name for a basic horizontal gradation shading from mint through coral and olive to grey.

Paired with equally no-brainer my-x-but-better warm pinks on cheeks (Illamasqua Katie) and lips (Chanel Rouge Allure Darling, discontinued).
Base: Vapour stick 90 (hair yellow/dark for me right now)
Lashes: Shu Uemura H9 pencil Seal Brown

Basically an inversion of the second look here, with the olive-bronze blended over the lid and a tiny dab of the mint buffed into the very centre. Grey framing the coral below the eye.

As this look brought out the cooler, smokier facets of Coup de Foudre, I went with a correspondingly cooler, rosier lip (Sonia Rykiel Sublime 24) and my natural blotchy cool pink flush XD
Base: Mehron Celebre HD LT-1 to spot-conceal
Brows: Shu Uemura H9 pencil Stone Grey (for this cooler look)

'Airy' is a commonplace in Japanese beauty mag parlance -- one which has thoroughly permeated my makeup aesthetic. It can involve a lot of textural and tonal wank exquisite refinement but I've always found negative space to make for a handy shortcut. Here provided by a Shu Uemura matte white (M907) with grey lightly shading the outer socket and the coral to accent it further. Olive-bronze to line, edged in mint.
sorry for the slightly worn, end-of-the-day, bathroom lighting pic -- couldn't get a focussed pic that morning 

Back to the warm pinks: Givenchy Le Rouge 201 Rose Taffettas (auditioning as replacement for soon-to-be-finished Darling) and Kjaer Weis Lovely cream blush, which is being rapidly depleted too, thanks to its flattering texture and face-brightening magic.
Base: Shu Uemura Stage Performer Instant Glow, Mehron Celebre HD LT-1, RBR Sea of Clouds
Brows: Shu Uemura H9 pencil Seal Brown and Stone Grey.

Blush shot --attempt to photograph the very elusive Lovely, which deserves a glowing review pending my camera's ability to pick up on it :/ Look how glowy!

Throughout: Burberry Sheer Touch 01 concealer under eyes, Max Factor False Lash Effect 24 Hour black mascara.

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Enduring Loves: Sonia Rykiel Quatre Eyeshadow 09 and 10 Swatches

It's been a while since I've posted about this brand, but Sonia Rykiel Beauté is still one of my underrated favourites of Japanese makeup. In particular, two of the core eyeshadow quads, 09 and 10, have survived so many stash clear-outs that they now qualify as core items in my wardrobe too and introduce a new series of posts highlighting some of my older favourites: Enduring Loves.

....which I tend not to post about paradoxically because I wear them so frequently, my brain somehow assumes everyone is as familiar with them as I am.... yeah, good job, brain. And with all the sugar I feed you, too. Thanks to a lovely reader email (hi Kathy :D And sorry!) I present Sonia Rykiel 09 and 10 quad swatches! (And if you want me to write about / take pictures of other stuff I've mentioned in passing, please do feel free to administer a gentle kick up the arse.)

Clockwise from top left: (colour/finish; texture)
v. pigmented dark brown satin with lime, ruby and sparse cornflower microshimmer; creamy
pigmented taupe satin with sparse silver microshimmer; v. creamy
moderately pigmented metallic rust with lime duochrome; silky
sheer icy blue sparkle with silver and very sparse palest lime notes; silky
natural light, sunny
flash pic to try and pick up some duochrome at bottom right
Swatches are one-swipe with a sponge applicator onto bare arm:
natural light, sunny
different angle, attempt to capture duochrome
slightly fuzzy flash pic to show textural variation

Clockwise from top left: (colour/finish; texture)
v. pigmented blackened green satin with lighter green and sparse white gold sparkle; creamy
pigmented warm metallic bronze with subtle cool silvery taupe flash; v. creamy
sheer icy lilac satin; silky
moderately pigmented cool candy pink shimmer with iridescent and white gold sparkle; silky

natural light, sunny
Swatches: one-swipe with sponge applicator onto bare arm
natural light, cloudy
sorry -- yellow bathroom light / flash pic to show texture

It should be obvious why I love these: each shade is complex and in a quad add up to nuanced and inspiring combinations of textures, tones, temperatures and colours. The pigments (especially evident with the pastels) sit on a clear, not white base -- a distinction which Grace London crystallised for me only recently -- which makes them both inherently more flattering on my skin, and perfectly suited to layering for even more intricate effects.

Thursday, 31 January 2013

Shu Uemura Smoky Velvet....s Swatch and Comparison

Not sure how I contrived wind up with double the Dora at the end of this holiday season (uh, not that I'm cramming this belated post into the last day of January or anything....) but hopefully this comparison between the two different versions of Shu Uemura x Karl Lagerfeld's Smoky Velvet palette (LE for holiday 2012) will prove helpful for sale-stalkers, and any collectors/ebayers visiting from the fuuuuuuture *woo-woo noises*
identical red-eyed evil...
...but what lurks within?
On the left is the version sold throughout Europe and Asia, which I originally swatched here.
On the right is the one sold in the US and Canada -- excellent swatches on Planet Martha and The Notice. (Please avert your eyes from the dented black silk smooth shade here -- spontaneous depotting aint all it's cracked up to be. Literally, when your creamilicious cake of sparkly black lands on the edge of your palette. Woe.)

The top two (silk smooth) shades are identical, but the other three eyeshadows are substantially different. Texturally, the Europe/Asia version of Smoky Velvet is symmetrical to Prestigious Bordeaux; the North American version replaces one satin shade (middle left) with another glitter. [In my opinion, the blush pans (bottom right) differ very slightly, with the North American version being a hair warmer and more red-toned. This was admittedly so minimal my camera couldn't capture what I thought I could see, and might be attributable to batch variation.]

All pictures taken in natural light without flash; only the angle and extent of focus/fuzz varies.

Middle Left
The European/Asian version has a light grey satin with a gunmetal base and silver sheen (respectively visible at different angles). The North American version features a holographic white creamy-feeling powder glitter -- i.e. a smaller pan of Glitter White Rainbow in the core line, swatched on the far right.

Middle Right
The textures of these were identical this time, so only the colours differ: Europe/Asia got a silvered turquoise, North America a soft spring green.

Bottom Left 
Again, both are the newest kind of Shu Uemura glitter -- beautiful, if ridiculously sparkly, sheer topcoats, best pressed onto the eye with a fingertip. The European/Asian palette has a cool white gold and the North American a yellow-toned old gold with sparse flecks of warmer copper and red.

Which version do you prefer? And why do you think Shu chose to release two versions of the 'same' limited edition palette, without fanfare?

Monday, 28 January 2013

Two Looks with Guerlain Coup de Foudre

As mentioned in my review/swatch post, this is my new favourite toy and I have already amassed a hefty backlog of looks, some more successful than others. In an attempt to structure the blog a bit better this year, I'll be posting them in slightly tenuously connected pairs -- today's theme is spring vs winter(ish), and both looks incorporate all four shades from Coup de Foudre.

Mint all over lid and lower lashline, grey to shade outer v, olive-bronze to line upper lashline and outer third of lower lashline. Coral blended through socket and pulled slightly up and out.

The coral from Coup de Foudre again, used as blush (this is sufficiently pigmented and blendable to work beautifully as blush and reads as satinny with no visible gold microshimmer on my cheeks -- woot!) And paired with my favourite lip product from spring thus far, YSL Glossy Stain 27 Pêche Cerra-Cola (this is 2 coats):

Better look at how Coup de Foudre's coral shade works as blush:

If the Spring look showcases how well the coral plays with the green tones in this quad this one illustrates how un-green, un-spring, Coup de Foudre can be.
Coral in the centre of the lid, grey to darker outer corner and mixed with the mint to blend inner socket. Mint layered with olive-bronze on the lower lashline. More of a rounded shape, following the natural contours of my eye, rather than the elongation of the Spring look.

Lip and cheek choices motivated more by "I wanna play with my other new shinies" than ye higher aesthetic considerations: Dolce&Gabanna Nude blush and Bite Beauty Scarlet chubby pencil. 
(After some strategic covering up of various bits of these pictures, I think the blush is to blame for this look's lack of tonal cohesion. I'll try to show it off to better advantage in its own forthcoming review post.)

Suggestions for tweaking these looks, and ideas for future looks / pairings would be very welcome too :)

In both looks: L'Oreal Telescopic False Lash WP macara, Shu Uemura Stone Grey eyebrow pencil, Shu Uemura UV Under Base Cream Pink as base, Rouge Bunny Rouge Sea of Tranquility to highlight, Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer SX-01 to spot conceal and Burbery Sheer Luminous concealer 01 under eyes.

Friday, 25 January 2013

Guerlain Coup de Foudre Quad Swatches and Comparisons

Guerlain's limited edition Coup de Foudre quad is one of my first spring collection purchases this year. And based on Sonia's latest sweet makeup temptation, it definitely won't be my last.

But in the meantime, in line with my "one in, one out" policy, it's time to say goodbye to Shiseido Jungle and Addiction Thriller. Both of which I do like (I like everything I own) but Coup de Foudre turned out to be just too aptly named to resist.
Guerlain Coup de Foudre, Shiseido Jungle, Addiction Thriller

Love at first swatch, anyone?
I had read some complaints in early reviews (from American bloggers like Messy Wands) that the grey shade was hard and lacked pigment, but mine was buttery and dense; the olive-bronze was the pan which gave me a little trouble at first, but after a few uses, it softened up beautifully. Overall I thought all four shades had excellent pigmentation (these are one-swipe swatches made with a sponge applicator) and superior textures (more buttery and blendable) to the permanent Guerlain quads.
Guerlain Coup de Foudre swatch
natural light
Under bright lights / certain angles, the textural nuances come through: the coral is a refined satin, the mint a shimmer with very subtle duochrome metallic flash (alternately gold and silver, depending on angle) and the gunmetal and olive-bronze both imbed microshimmer in satin and metallic bases, respectively.
Guerlain Coup de Foudre swatch

Comparison swatches
The coral with Illamasqua Rude cream blush, Fyrinnae Picture It: Sicily and Catrice Dalai Drama

The mint with Addiction Silent Scream, Fyrinnae Ethereal Eire, and a mixture of Rouge Bunny Rouge Resplendent Quetzal and Periwinkle Cardinal 

The grey with Shu Uemura ME 471 (2nd gen, discontinued) and Addiction Thriller

The olive-bronze with RBR Abyssinian Catbird, Sue Devitt Golden Triangle Eye Intensifier Pencil and the olive from Shiseido Jungle

The olive-bronze and coral had unusually balanced undertones which turned out to be difficult to duplicate; even for a green and grey eyeshadow addict like me, the mint and gunmetal proved to be surprisingly tricky too. In combination, the most similar palette I own is Suqqu 07 Komorebi, and I've swatched the three main shades from that (skipping the bottom left primer/base pan), as well as Shiseido Jungle trio, to show how Coup de Foudre differs.
Guerlain Coup de Foudre swatch comparison with Suqqu Komorebi and Shiseido Jungle

Overall, in mood and with its fusion of bold contrasts with soft freshness, Coup de Foudre has become my go-to palette for this transitional season, when I need colours with enough heft to withstand the January blahs but crave the lightness 'n' brightness of spring. Expect lots of face spam over the coming weeks. :)

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Two Looks with Kiko Water Eyeshadows and Long-Lasting Stick Eyeshadows

My choices of jewelled shades of Water Eyeshadow (swatch/review) seemed to pair naturally with the warmer metallics from the Long-Lasting Eyeshadow Sticks (swatch/review), so here are two looks highlighting each aspect.

1. Kiko Long-Lasting Eyeshadow Stick in 04 Golden Brown taken up to the socket and 06 Golden Chocolate to line upper lashline and outer third of lower lashline, smoked outwards. Water Eyeshadow 225 Indigo Blue, used dry, over the inner two-thirds of the eye. RBR Eye Kohl in Salome to line, Fasio Ultra Curl Lock Volume mascara.

Paired with unobtrusive blush and gloss: Rouge Bunny Rouge Gracilis and Korres Cherry Oil Natural Purple.

2. Kiko Water Eyeshadow 225 Indigo Blue foiled (used wet) over the lid, and 223 Eggplant Purple (also used wet) blended onto the outer third of the lid and to line to outer third of the lower lashline. Eyeshadow Stick 06 Golden Brown to accent lower lashline. Slight flick with KATE Super Sharp Liquid Liner S in BK-1.

Again with the understated cheeks and lips; Gracilis again, but the lips taken down a notch to counterbalance the metallic eye: Addiction Day Trip, a sheer jelly peach.