Saturday, 16 March 2013

Mascara Review: Fasio Full Dynamic Volume BR300

My current favourite Japanese mascara is Fasio's Ultra Curl Lock Volume formula [reviewed here], so of course I ordered their latest release as soon as it showed up on adambeauty. Er... and  Hyper Stay Mascara Volume Plus to boot [review to follow] because if lighting's going to strike twice, it might strike thrice? Cosmic law of busses or something.

Fasio mascara Full Dynamic Volume Ultra Curl Lock Hyper Stay Magne
Ultra Curl Lock and Hyper-Stay Magne-Plus also come in lengthening formulas, but there's only one Full Dynamic Volume. suggested by its distinctly stumpier packaging
Fasio mascara Full Dynamic Volume Ultra Curl Lock Hyper Stay Magne

Full Dynamic Volume comes with a traditional straight bristle-brush wand, while the other two are curved plastic combs (dual-sided for Ultra Curl Lock):
Fasio mascara Full Dynamic Volume Ultra Curl Lock Hyper Stay Magne

In the whirl of mascara purchase frenzy, I may have chosen the brown shade of Full Dynamic Volume mascara (BR300) by mistake XD But! This worked out quite nicely, as it's a very good dark and balanced cool brown without the strong red tones that can make my eyes look rabbitty/serial-killery/serial-rabitt-killery or any permutation thereof.

In fact, I've been actively enjoying pairing it with soft, springy shades for extra bambiliciousness.

Today's rediscoveries
Lunasol Three Dimensional Eyes 03 Mysterious Beige (one of the very first things I drivelled about! Still v. fond; only Lunasol quad I've kept this long)
Burberry Bright Plum Lip Cover depot (one of my all-time favourite lip shades)
and Dainty Doll 001 Hippy Hippy Shake blush (repressed into an empty 26mm pan after the unfortunate accident mentioned in my review)

Before mascara

One coat of Fasio Full Dynamic Volume mascara BR300 softly volumised, yet separated and fluttery lashes without obnoxious lengthening fibres, and is even usable on my lower lashes (where I absolutely loathe any extra length). The formula is a good balance of wet enough to be effortlessly clump-free in brushing through, and quick-drying enough to hold a curl for days. I do mean quick-drying -- if you want to layer/build substantially, work fast, and on one eye at a time, because this dries extremely dry -- classically crispy in fact -- and is highly unforgiving of a further layer once set (see my sad left eye in Look 1 here for proof).

This is the least lengthing Japanese formula I've ever tried, which perhaps exaggerates its just above-average volumising effect; it's a better fit for my preferences than most -- not quite as dramatic as Ultra Curl Lock Volume, but more girly-fluttery, and also much quicker/easier to slick on in the morning. Like Ultra Curl Lock Volume, it wears like iron and does require a separate mascara remover (my stand-by is still Heroine Make) in addition to cleansing oil to minimise friction/time-wastage/swearing.

Full-face context

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Suqqu EX-12 Hisuidama Looks II: Long and Short

Because I am all contrary-like, one of my first impulses on being presented with a soft, pastel, dusty quad is to try and go all graphic with it.
Blah blah poor lighting disclaimers.

The blue-white, green and brown laid across the eye in long sideways 'v' shapes [articulate!], with minimal blending. Pink popped under the brow, in imitation of my favourite Suqqu ad from Spring 2009. I used just the one brush, wiping it off into a soft muslin cloth between colours: Shu Natural 10 brush.

Blush: the pink from Hisuidama, again
Lips: Fresh Sugar Rosé [I'd intended to go for a stronger pastel pink with Becca Lychee, but chapped lips prevented it]

NB: Maaaaajor mascara fail on left eye due to my ordering a brown one by mistake, failing to notice until I'd applied it, then attempting to layer a black over its apocalypse-proof Japanese stiffness. -____-

2. Short
This shape was meant to be round, but I think this combination of highlighter and crease placement just leaves my eyes looking....shorter rather than anything else.
Green over the lid and lower lashline, brown smudged above lashline, pink in the socket, blue-white at inner and outer corners -- this shade is seriously pigmented, so shapes more than it highlights when used on a small, dense brush (No7 Smokey Eyeliner).

Blush: a slightly stronger but still pastel pink with the two sides of Suqqu EX-02 Mizumomo, mixed (LE Autumn 2012)
Lips: sticking with Suqqu: Creamy Glow 1 Saebana

Both: Vapour Atmosphere Luminous foundation 090 mixed with Suki CC whitening cream as base, Burberry Sheer concealer 01 under eyes, Maybelline Rocket WP mascara, Shu Uemura H9 brow pencil Seal Brown and Suqqu brown pen 02 Brown.

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Suqqu EX-12 Hisuidama Looks I: Clear and Cloudy

As mentioned in my review (er....somewhere in there), Hisuidama's jade-like shifts between cloudiness and clarity was an aspect that caught my imagination from the get-go. Echoed by the insane weather here: springy midteens one day, snowing subzero the next and consequently, the lighting -- it varies, I am sorry!

1. Clear
A similar kind of discrete placement to the third look in this Coup de Foudre diary post, but Hisuidama's inbuild-pastelliness makes the addition of white as a negative-space element unnecessary.
Pink all over the lid, brown to line and lifted in a soft/smudgy flick, blue-white as highlight on inner halves of socket and lower lashline, green on the outer halves.

Base: Vapour Atmosphere Luminous Foundation 090 mixed with Suki whitening CC cream
Lip and cheek: Givenchy Le Rouge Rose Taffetas
Prematurely celebrating spring with a bucolic blouse....

2. Cloudy
(technically gale-force-windy-and-snowy-wtf)
I wanted to show off this quad layered, so pink as a base all over lid into socket, brown blended up from lashline over it, blue-white dabbed into very centre above it all. On the bottom lashline, I layered the green over the brown, with a dot of the blue at the inner corner and lined my waterline with Suqqu Eyeliner Creamy 05 Green Blue.
artificial light, sorry
I left a little of the pink on its own peeking out at the edge of the brown -- hopefully you can see it better in this pic:

Trying to capture a little of the textural variation that made this look not-uglee IRL -____-
bright artificial light

Base: mix of RCMA foundation in Porcelain and Ivory [so, so dry!]
Cheeks: the pink shade from Hisuidama -- doesn't it make a pretty blush? :D
Lips: Chanel Fatale Extrait de Gloss

Constants: Suqqu Makeup Base Creamy, Burberry Sheer Concealer 01, Maybelline Rocket WP mascara, Shu Uemura H9 brow pencil in Seal Brown and Suqqu Brow Pen in 02 Brown.

Saturday, 9 March 2013

Suqqu EX-12 Hisuidama Review, Swatch and Comparison

For me, Blend Eyeshadow quad EX-12 Hisuidama (翡翠珠, jade pearlis the standout product of Suqqu's tenth anniversary "Vintage Pearl" spring collection. As with all Suqqu products, the EX- prefix indicates 'limited edition'; like the core quads, this retails for £45 in the UK.

For this collection, Suqqu has changed to frosted iridescent white casing and debuted a new pearlescent eyeshadow formula and I am a huge fan of both, because no fingerprints woot! and the new formula feels incredible, respectively. It differs from the dry, tightly-packed silk of the core quads 01-06, from the gossamer sparkle of 07/08 and from the denser, molten-creamy feel of the later metallics in quads 09 onwards; instead it is silk so smoothed and lustrous it feels almost literally fluid -- weightlessly liquid, like a dry-oil.
angled to suggest the cases' iridescence
All three spring quads: EX-11 Sumiredama, EX-12 Hisuidama, EX-13 Ginsudama

While all three quads feature the same new eyeshadow texture/formula (feel) they differ in terms of finish and pigmentation (looks). Which is why it isn't EX-11 Sumiredama (which has been making the biggest waves online) but EX-12 Hisuidama which has my heart. [More specific drivel about Sumiredama will follow in its own review post. While also shown here, I did not acquire EX-13 Ginsudama for myself -- a friend let me photograph hers.] Admittedly, skintone is a factor -- Hisuidama is likelier to please the paler/cooler, just as Ginsudama the warmer/darker, while Sumiredama is balanced in between.

Closer Look

angled to capture the duochrome/reflects
*Top left: icy blue-white pearlescent duochrome with tonal sparkle, pigmented
*Top right: soft sage shimmer with rose-gold reflect, pigmented
*Bottom left: cool brown satin base with subtle green duochrome and blue, green and pink microshimmer, pigmented
Bottom right: cool cherry-blossom pink matte base with sparse silver sparkle, medium pigmentation

The three starred shades are duochromes, but in a subtle way, much less pronounced than the blue shift in the taupe and purple shades of EX-11 Sumiredama. But what what I find uniquely interesting is this quad is the shift in opacity which makes all four shades look alternately icy (transparent) and soft (milky) in different lighting or at different angles; just like jade, in fact. In my opinion it's not the green shade Hisuidama/Jade Pearl is named for, but this cloudy/jewelled aspect of all four colours.
I'll let the menny menny pictures which follow illustrate this -- if you have a neater way of explaining it, please leave me a comment!

One swipe with the included sponge applicators onto bare arm, various spammy angles because I couldn't capture the flashes/textures of all four stripes at once :/
natural light, overcast
angled, sunny
even more angled, still sunny
dark + flash, deliberately fuzzy
I still wasn't happy with how the brown shade photographed -- its green duochrome flash is subtle, but definitely there, and distinct from the flashes from its pink, blue and green shimmer -- so took some more pics -- can you see the base flashing green at the very centre of the swatch?

Mixed Swatches
Suqqu textures have traditionally been a joy to layer and mix, and it's something I've really missed doing with the denser textures and more uniform finishes of the more recent palettes (09 onwards -- none of which I've liked enough to keep :P). So I'm thrilled that the lightweight dry-oil feel of these quads again make mixing an unadulterated pleasaure -- Hisuidama in particular, with its four distinct finishes (vs four pearlescents in Sumiredama), is a dream to layer.
I've only done basic two-shade mixes, but you can absolutely meld all four shades together with a visible increase in complexity each time and zero muddiness. As the individual swatches showed, each of these shades already contain microshimmer that echoes another shade or two in the quad, so in effect you're just amping up a particular flash whose potential was already there.
different angle to show the duochrome/flash effect of layering these

Palette Comparisons
Does it surprise anyone that I have a weakness for springy icecreamy combinations? The most comparable ready-made palettes in my stash are THREE 4D Eyeshadow Palette 06 Tranquil Oasis and Sonia Rykiel Quatre Eyeshadow 10 [also swatched here].

Drab lighting aside, Hisuidama is noticeably softer, both tonally and texturally. THREE Tranquil Oasis isn't really photographing as clearly as I'd like, but it mixes two glitter topcoats (top left and bottom right), a pigmented metallic cream (top right) and a sage green satin with pink glitter (bottom left) -- as if the top right sage green in Hisuidama with its warm pink flash had the contrast turned way up.

The Suqqu palettes I own which overlap with Hisuidama are 07 Komorebi (brown/green), 08 Mizuaoi (pink/blue), and 02 Koedama (sage green).

Skipping the bottom right primer shade in these, I swatched them next to Hisuidama on the gloomiest day ever (sorry.)

Individual Comparisons
Top left blue-white with the blue (top right) from Suqqu 08 Mizuaoi, Addiction Ice Storm, the blue (bottom right) from Sonia Rykiel 09, the blue glitter (bottom right) from THREE 06 Tranquil Oasis, Shu Uemura P 610 (first gen, disc.)

Top right sage green with Rouge Bunny Rouge Periwinkle Cardinal, the top two shades from Suqqu 02 Kokedama (individually and mixed together), the starred shades from KATE Deep Trap Eyes GR-1, Kiko Super Color Eyeliner 113 Olive Green and Addiction Eye Lacquer WP Swimming Pool.
Yes, I may have a bit of an addiction to sage green shadows.... but hey, no real dupes! The closest I can get is from mixing the top two shades of Kokedama, which is coincidentally the 'out' that allows Hisuidama in.

Bottom left cool brown with Suqqu single EX-22 Nibidama (disc.), Rouge Bunny Rouge Eclipse Eagle and Blackpepper Jay. Hisuidama's brown has a noticeably unique green flash in comparison to the more usual purple- or grey-tinged cool browns.

Bottom right pink with Shiseido PK305 Peony, Shu Uemura G135 and ME126 (both current Colour Atelier shades), the pink (top left) from Suqqu EX-05 Usumomokurumi (LE Christmas 2011)pink (bottom left) from EST Emotional Aura Eyes 03 (disc.), pink (bottom left) from Sonia Rykiel 10, and Rouge Bunny Rouge Capricious Nightingale.
Hisuidama's pink fills the satin-pastel niche in my pink collection, perfect for the 'modern '60s' trend bandwagon I'm currently hitching a ride on.

Thursday, 7 March 2013

World Book Day 2013

So.... I don't seem to have kept my pledge to blog more books....

But my intentions, they were so very intent! I took pics and highlighted quotes in preparation and all. ....and shall continue to pretend that I will eventually work those up into future blogposts. So in the meantime, some short notes about shorts:

i.e. recent short story kick:
Richard Adams, The Iron Wolf -- retellings of various folk 'n' fairytales from various traditions, that really flag up the meta telling process bit. Which can be a bit jarring when the (usually fairly arch and consciously old-fashioned) narratorial tone clashes with the kind of story that needs more ingenuity to sell. One story features a spectacularly bad mockney narrator. I was doomed to disappointment anyway, having so much of Watership Down (especially the El-ahrairah myths) by heart.
Diana Athill, Midsummer Night in the Workhouse --my first fictional Athill and definitely not my last. Uneven like all short story collections, but her prose is gorgeously limpid and unpretentious and her insights no less pointed for being gentle.
Sarah Hall, The Beautiful Indifference -- pretty much maintained my 50:50 experience with SH's novels. Half the stories left me cold (like The Electric Michaelangelo), the other half (including the title story) is still haunting me (like The Carhullan Army); she is never boring.
Stella Gibbons, Christmas at Cold Comfort Farm -- like pretty much every non-Cold Comfort Gibbons I've read, fun and readable enough but fairly forgettable. The title story is of course the highlight, and it's got a few genuinely LOL gems -- truer to the spirit than Conference at Cold Comfort Farm, at any rate [which I also quite enjoyed, unlike the majority of the fandom :P]
Edith Wharton, Roman Fever and Other Stories -- I love Wharton and shorts show off her strengths (stings) to best advantage.
Giles Gordon and David Hughes ed., The Minerva Book of Short Stories I and Angela Carter ed., Wayward Girls and Wicked Women both collect stories from women writers. I much preferred Angela Carter's collection, dancing around the ideas of feminine subversion from about a hundred years mid C19th-mid C20th. There are a range of styles and genres but my favourite stories were all on the witchier/fabulist side: AC's own 'The Loves of Lady Purple', Leonora Carrington's 'The Debutante', Suniti Najimoshi's 'Three Feminist Fables' and Djuna Barnes' 'The Earth'. [Also, go check out Barnes' Book of Repulsive Women if unfamiliar :D]

More shorts, a play and some poems
Robin Robertson, The Wrecking Light -- technically brilliant and conceptually meaty but a bit relentlessly austere like so much good modern poetry. Any recommendations?
Richard Bean, England People Very Nice -- revisiting a play I barely sat through a few years back. Turns out? Still dreck.
Good Evening Mrs Craven, The Wartime Stories of Mollie Panter Downes -- I can't help liking MPD despite her oh so cushy middle class cosiness. These were nice; her journalism offers a bit more kick.
Katherine Mansfield, The Garden Party and Other Stories -- more kick still, and overall my favourite of all these collections. Read it online here.

Longer but still short stories
Muriel Spark, The Ballad of Peckham Rye -- predictably snide but surprisingly unmalicious for Spark. Also not terribly funny -- maybe her kind of wit needs that spark of cruelty to work.
Julia Strachey, Cheerful Weather for the Wedding -- one of those slight but HIGHLY PORTENSHUS volumes that reinforce all my emperor's new clothes biases about literary fiction.

Random Recommendation
Firebrand, by Ankaret Wells is a frivolous romp of an adventure-romance (with airships!), set in the Brontë's deliciously lurid fantasyland of Angria. Like Wells' earlier science fantasies (Requite series), its clever, knowing games with gender and genre leave this geeky feminist at least with a helpless, utterly charmed grin on my face.... 
Buy it with 20% off from lulu with code SPARK until March 8th or from amazon (.com or