Friday, 22 March 2013

Stash Consolidation: Fyrinnae

Since falling down the sparkly rabbithole in 2011, I've owned every single shade of eyeshadow made by Fyrinnae at some point (generous makeup buddies conspiring to spoil me with minis or samples during eyeshadow no-buys).

Since pressing my plethora of minis, I've been reaching for them much more frequently, especially since last year's Fyrinnae week (parts one, two, three, four) -- so frequently, that I've finished many a sample, and gained a clear idea of which shades I wanted to repurchase (in full sizes or further mini form) and which I really didn't use often enough to keep.

And now I present my final* forty Fyrinnae, pressed into Yaby 15mm pans, and housed in a neat Yaby 40-well palette (both from The Makeup Artist Boutique).
*subject to change at any time due to discontinuations, new releases or personal fickleness

Top Row Left to Right: AM Electric Stardust // Aye, Captain // OMGWTF // Bitey Tyrannosaur // Dragon's Wing // Ethereal Eire // Enchanting Otters // Mystic

Row 2: AM Futuristic Glamrock // Anemone // Dapper Mr Shark // Lorem Ipsum // AM Faerie Glamour // Jaguar // Boytoy // AM Madame&Eve's

Row 3:  Herbivore // When I Grow Up // AM Sequinned Master // Meerkat // Cuddlefish // Parental Advisory // AM Mystical Hedgehog // Wicked

Row 4: Space Kitty // Cupcake Frosting // Superstar // Picture It: Sicily // Scarlet Macaw // AM Sultry Samhain // Bonfire Spirits // Ravishing Red Wolf

Bottom Row: Nijiro // Bifrost // Lucky Charmed // Dressed To Kill // Newcastle // Sake & Sashimi // Dinosaur Plushie // Immortality

Pictures get deliberately increasingly fuzzy, to try and capture some of the complexity.

Swatches will follow when the weather (*impotent fist-shake*) allows.

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Midweek, Midmuffin

i.e. two filled muffin recipes for a midweek treat.
For inquiring minds, I like a balance of fluff and cakishness in mine and follow The Muffin Method. Feel free to adapt to your own preferences.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Filled Cupcakes with Streusel Topping (adapted from lemonsugar)
makes 20 (overstuffed and portly) or 24 moderate cupcakes

Beat together 200g full-fat cream cheese (i.e. a regular tub of Philly) with 140g of icing sugar and a squeeze of lemon juice to taste (I like quite a hit of tartness, to cut through all the cream and spice) until smooth and fluffyish. Cover and refrigerate.

Streusel Topping:
Crumble together 80g plain flour; 70g demerara sugar; 70g unsalted butter chilled and diced; and 1 tsp each ground cinnamon and nutmeg. I do this in a food processor because I tend to laziness and it tends to clumpiness, but you can of course rub everything together by hand. Refrigerate if necessary.

Preheat oven to 180ºC.
Beat together wet ingredients: 4 eggs, 400g caster sugar, 295ml vegetable oil and 1 can of pumpkin puree (425g) until smooth. Bring up to room temperature.
In a separate bowl, whisk dry ingredients together: 375g plain flour, 1tsp each ground cinnamon and nutmeg, 1/2 tsp salt and 2 tsp baking powder.

Check to see if your oven's ready and get everything together:

Add wet ingredients to dry and fold in until just combined (as with all muffins, do not overmix or they'll turn out all rubbery and sad D: I stick to under a dozen stirs.)

Fill each muffin case 1/3 full of batter, add a teaspoon of cold filling, then pour over more batter to fill the cup about to about 3/4 full.
my rather overfilled muffins -- this is the 2nd tray, so I ended up with 20 vs 24. 
Sprinkle a dessert-spoonfull (2tsp) of topping over each muffin. Bake for 20-25mins or until toothpick comes out crumbless.

Allow to cool before eating so that the filling can set and get all unctuously cheescakey, unless you like primordially oozy filling (hey, I'm not judging....)

Matcha Adzuki Muffins
makes 12
A basic fluffy muffin with interest from a classic combination of Japanese green tea (matcha) and sweetened adzuki paste.

You can be virtuous and make your own by soaking dried adzuki beans overnight and then boiling for a few hours until soft before adding sugar....or buy the perfectly nice canned stuff [check the ingredients list -- it should ideally just contain adzuki beans, sugar and maybe one preservative]. Mashing is optional and I play it by ear -- sometimes a silky sieved cream is just what I want, especially in a topping or for swirling, and sometimes I like the texture of the tinned version as is, half silky smooth, half the beans left whole.

Preheat oven to 200ºC.

Beat together wet ingredients until very smooth: 2 large eggs, 85g caster sugar, 100ml vegetable oil, 240ml milk. Bring to room temperature.

In separate bowl, whisk together dry ingredients: 300g plain flour, 3 tsp baking powder, 1-3 Tbsp matcha powder (to taste), 1/2 tsp salt.

Dump wet ingredients into dry and mix roughly; a few lumps are fine.

Fill muffin cups to 1/3 with batter; add 1 tsp of sweetened adzuki bean paste (here it's straight out of the tin); add more batter to fill cups to 3/4.

Bake for 30 minutes until well risen and toothpick comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.

sorry, all my pics came out fuzzy -- low blood sugar no doubt :P 

This recipe doesn't use up a whole tin of adzuki bean paste, so just clingfilm over your leftovers and put it in the fridge where it should keep for a few days. I like spreading some on a warm brioche for breakfast, spooning over ice cream (especially matcha ice cream, or if wanting to go all trad, grilling up a Japanese rice cake or two to pair with it.

Monday, 18 March 2013

Suqqu EX-11 Sumiredama Swatch, Review, Comparison

EX-11 Sumiredama (菫珠, violet pearl) is the second quad I acquired from Suqqu's limited edition spring-2013-and-tenth-anniversary- collection. Unlike EX-12 Hisuidama, which stole my heart [and in whose review I blahblah about packaging and the new pearlescent texture], this was more of a mixed bag -- unlike the majority of the raving blogosphere, I only love one shade in this quad, like a second, find the third negligible and the fourth ultimately not worth the trouble. This is partly due to my unusually pale skintone -- the peach/pink shade widely described as a highlighter by more tanned bloggers is too dark to highlight on me, but lacks the heft to really work as anything else -- but my freakishly specific textural preferences also play a part.

Let's start with the positive: the colour combination

*Top left: warm peach-pink frost with soft gold reflect, sheer-medium
*Top right: neutral taupe shimmer with cooler aqua duochcome, pigmented
*Bottom left: warm red-purple shimmer with aqua duochrome, very pigmented
Bottom right: cool lemon frost, very sheer
The starred shades are duochromes: the effect strongest in the magenta, also strong in the taupe and very subtle in the peach -- as you can tell from the product pics, there isn't a single angle at which the purple doesn't flash aqua, while the peach just shifts from warmer to cooler versions of itself. In finish, all four shades are frosts, mainly differing in terms of opacity -- the sheerest lemon yellow appearing least solid/opaque only because its shimmer is less tightly packed, and vice versa for the purple.

For me, the textural variety in EX-12 Hisuidama is far preferable, but I think again Suqqu's clever naming intimates more than you might think -- the identical finishes in Violet Pearl, worn all together, do evoke something of dusty/velvety violet petals as well as the blandly smooth surfaces of pearls. 

ONE swipe with sponge applicators
natural light, shade

TWO swipes of the peach and yellow
natural light, sunny

THREE swipes of the peach and yellow
natural light, sunny
The first picture illustrates how sheer the lighter two shades are; the last picture, with both built up to stand alongside the darker two, shows how closely we're edging to wall-of-frost territory if all four colours are worn as colours -- terrible news for a frost-hater like me, who fell for the idea of this palette because of the combination of all four shades together. :(

Mixed Swatches
The monotextural meh is exacerbated by the fact that the the taupe sits on a yellow-brown base which blends out very similarly to the lemon yellow, while the purple shade blends out into a warm reddened plum which likes to eat up the warm pink-peach. Which combines to make this quad a further disappointment, once layered.
No real new shades or even particularly fresh nuances; certainly nothing as dramatic as the genuine duochrome flashes you can create by layering Hisuidama.

Palette Comparisons
Time for a wee compare'n'contrast with some other palettes I own. I already mentioned that I love the idea of Sumiredama's colour combination, right? Because it seems that I have some overlapping palettes already: THREE 04 Art of Parties (purples, yellow, yellow-brown), EST Emotional Aura Eyes 03 (dc) (yellow, pink, taupe, plum), and Hourglass Exhibition duo (taupe, plum).
The EST 03 quad illustrates the kind of balance between four shades (all well pigmented, though of different finishes) I'd been hoping for from Sumiredama. The Suqqu quad is overall warmest, and softest -- THREE Art of Parties the most varied. I kind of threw Hourglass Exhibition in the mix to suggest just how unusual Suqqu's 'taupe' and 'plum' are to the shades we tend to think of when those words are used -- definitely neutrals with a twist.

Despite ousting 04 Keshizumi [review] to make room for Sumiredama, I still have a goodly collection of Suqqu quads which overlap with it: 08 Mizuaoi (pink/purple), 06 Ginbudou (gold/purple), EX-05 Usumomokurumi (LE Christmas 2011) (pink, warm taupe) and 10 Sakuragi (dc) (yellow, warm taupe, plum).
While not technically the most 'neutral', Sumiredama is the most low-contrast of any of these quads. The closest analogue is Sakuragi, but while that quad (inspired by the tones of sakura tree bark) coalesces austere grey tones, Suremidama's shades are all lit by a warm yellow/peach glow -- two very different springtime moods.

Individual comparisons
Top left peach-pink with Rouge Bunny Rouge Sleeping Under a Mandarin Tree and Eaten All the Cherries pigments, and Angelic Cockatiels and Fire-Tailed Sunbird pressed shadows; the top right orange from Suqqu 07 Komorebi and the top right pink from Suqqu 08 Mizuaoi.
Sumiredama's peachy-pink is sheer, and most similar to Fire-Tailed Sunbird, albeit with a weaker duochrome, and lacking the RBR shade's clear vibrancy.

Top right taupe duochrome with:
Rouge Bunny Rouge Solstice Halcyon layered with Periwinkle Cardinal
Fyrinnae Damn Paladins (now known as Work Safe Blue)
the top right taupe from Suqqu EX-05 Usumomokurumi
all four shades of Suqqu EX-12 Hisuidama layered
clearer angle for the flash
Fyrinnae Damn Paladins/Work Safe Blue has the most similar (yellowed-taupe) base, but its duochrome is paler and much stronger, almost obscuring the base altogether. RBR Periwinkle Cardinal has the right mix of blue/green to mimic Sumiredama's aqua flash, and its grey tones help pull the more mauve-based Solstice Halcyon into neutral territory. Contrast Sumiredama's taupe base with the definite mauve tones of Usumomokurumi's taupe, next to it. Hisuidama pretty, pretty princess. *sigh* 

Bottom left plum duochrome with Catrice C'Mon Chameleon; Fyrinnae Conjuror; the darker shade of Hourglass Exhibition; the bottom left purple from Suqqu 08 Mizuaoi; the top left purple silk smooth from Shu Uemura Prestigious Bordeaux; Pixi Black Tulip pencil; THREE Eye Belong pencil.
Sumiredama's plum has a base whose mutedness and warmth only really comes through when contrasted against cooler, clearer purples from Mizuaoi, Pixi and THREE. This warmth is distinctly red-toned, rather than Prestigious Bordeaux's scattered pink-and-gold complexity, or Exhibition's brown notes. It is in fact, pretty much what you'd get by mixing Catrice's C'Mon Chameleon (the better version of MAC Club) with Fyrinnae Conjuror and subtracting a good dose of glitter.

Bottom right lemon yellow with the leftmost gold in KATE Deep Trap Eyes GR-1 (dc); the top left shade from EST 03; the top left warm gold from Suqqu 06 Ginbudou; the bottom right glitter from THREE 04 Art of Parties; and Rouge Bunny Rouge Unforgettable Oriole.
Again, Sumiredama's gold likes to disappear, even in a heavy fingertip swatch. As you can see, I have no problem getting either paler (KATE/EST) shades or more delicately diffuse textures (Ginbudou, THREE) to show up on my skin. WHAT IS THIS CRUEL WITCHCRAFT.

(I will post a few looks with Sumiredama over the week, but may as well admit now that it's gone straight back 'out' again. Please don't burn the heretic.)

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.