Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Sonia Rykiel Sublime Lipstick swatches part 2

Click to Part 1 for requisite drivel, now straight on to the swatches!

Shade descriptions: as before, shimmery shades are marked with an asterisk. This usually just means that the shade is not completely shimmer-free -- the effect on the lips is dimensional, and the micro-glitter particles are not visible once applied, except in extremely bright direct light.
In this batch there were however a few extremely shimmery frosts, which are double-asterixed.

All shades are two swipes each unless otherwise indicated.

natural light

bright store lighting
21** warm brown rose (3 swipes)
22* bright coral
23** brown with pink and red shimmer (3 swipes)
24 cool mauve rose
25* VERY sheer candy pink glaze with silver shimmer (7! swipes)
26* VERY sheer milky lavender glaze with iridescent shimmer (also 7 swipes)
27* cool bright fuchsia
28* soft pinky peach
30 cool tangerine
31 warm salmon
natural light
bright store lighting
32 warm orange coral, warmer and brighter than 31
33* peachy pink
34 soft peachy beige
35 bright pinky coral pinker than 31 but softer and more orange than 22
36 soft peachy rose
37 ditto, brighter and warmer than 36
38* bright peachy pink with more peach and 'pop' than 33
39* soft mauve rose more muted than 24 

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Addiction by Ayako blush swatches and another simple FOTD

Apologies for being all "ooh, shiny eyeshadows" and neglecting to swatch the three blushes that also formed part of my Addiction haul. Those who frequent MUA will know I am head-over-heels in love with these and have been wearing them almost exclusively for the last three weeks.

I reviewed the cheek stick earlier, and those giddy these-are-like-soooo-awesome rantings still hold true. In the interests of Beauty Science and fitting into-my-jeans-again, I have recently been going up to seven whole hours at a time between meals, and can now report that both shades wear indelibly with no fading or movement for at least that long. The silicone content has a very flattering plumping effect on my vertical lip-lines, and I do not need to layer balm on top as I do with Beauté stains or Becca Beach Tints after a while.

The powder blush is the smoothest, creamiest matte texture I've ever encountered, far superior to Shu Uemura, Nars, Illamasqua, MUFE, etc. It feels like a Burberry or Rouge Bunny Rouge, but is much more pigmented than the former, and less sheeny than the latter (it seems easier to create buttery-feeling powders with the addition of some shimmer). Despite the bold pigment, the powder is also extremely blendable and looks smooth even on my dry cheeks, with no patchy fading or dryness even after 14 hours of wear.

Amazing cheekstick blended and unblended (one swipe)
Revenge cheekstick blended and unblended (one swipe)
Revenge powder blush applied with brush (two layers) and sponge applicator (one swipe)

natural light, direct sun
Sorry for reiterating the one-swipiness but hey check out that pigment in just one swipe! You can of course sheer these out much further, but I a) don't trust my camera to pick up subtlety and b) am of the go bold or go home bordello school of blush application anyway.

You may have noticed that Revenge powder is slightly lighter and pinker than its namesake cheekstick. This subtle yet exquisite nuance was of course the reason I bought both. It was a highly considered decision which had nothing to do with an inability to resist red blush.

As far as I can remember, the only other shimmer-free shades in the range are Good Girl and Amazing powders, and Rose Bar and Suspicious cheeksticks; all four of those are currently at the top of my makeup wishlist / letter to Santa. Dear Ayako, more please!

Another simple look built around a cheekstick, this time Amazing rather than Revenge, on both lips and cheeks.

Other products:
Shu Uemura Stage Performer Instant Glow
Chantecaille Total Concealer Alabaster under eyes
Kevyn Aucoin SSE SX01 on blemishes
Suqqu EX-05 Usumomokurumi -- pale pink and grey shades only
Majolica Majorca LEFP
KATE brow powder BK-05

Friday, 25 November 2011

Emptied or Expelled

Hopefully the first in a series: some scattershot, scatterbrained reviews of some products I've recently finished, and a few I've given up on.

(apologies for 'artistic' lighting)

REN Moroccan Rose Otto Body Cream £26 for 200ml
Very light-textured cream that sinks in immediately without stickiness. However, it was only just moisturising enough for me in extremely hot and humid weather, and the bottle lasted me just under a month, making it too rich for my blood. The scent is more thin and synthetic than that of shower gel from the same line, which I still love.

DHC Mild Touch Cleansing Oil $14 for 150ml. Ingredients.
The original DHC cleansing oil is too drying for me; I much preferred this version. Unscented, odd thickish texture, and it wasn't as efficient as my usual Fancl at removing heavy makeup. However, you can use it on wet skin, so awesome for those days when you forget to slap some oil on BEFORE jumping in the shower.

Naruko Magnolia Brightening and Firming Serum HK$200 for 30ml. Ingredients.
No brightening that I could see, but it did visibly help reduce facial puffiness and impending double-chindom (dam you, salty snacks, why must you be so delicious?) -- perhaps purely cosmetic as the v-line again went u-wards as soon as I stopped using it. Layered well with my other skincare and I enjoyed the medicinal floral scent -- may repurchase in preparation for Christmas boozefests / January comfort-eating. Two pumps daily = two months' use.

Juju Aquamoist Hyaluronic Acid Essence HK$145 for 30ml
Ingredients: Water, Sodium Hyaluronate, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben.
Great, basic hydrating serum for all skintypes -- totally weightless and actually too light for my dry skin except in extreme heat/humidity. Four pumps daily means that a bottle barely lasts a month. Will not repurchase, as I prefer the more cost-effective Mandom Beauty serum. 

Skinfree UV Mild Milk SPF38 PA+++ HK$75 for 30ml at adambeauty. Ingredients.
The best all-physical sunscreen I've tried thus far. I use it over the very thin, sensitive skin on my neck and chest and sometimes layer it over Ducray on my face to take down the shine on exceptionally hot days. It has a spreadable, light gel-cream texture which I find easier to work with than the very liquidy Japanese 'milk' sunscreens, and it's not as flat matte or drying as Sunkiller Baby Milk SPF38 PA+++, also from Kiss Me. No white cast on my admittedly pasty self. Already repurchased.

Sun Bears Cool S SPF50+ PA+++ HK$38 for 30ml at adambeauty. Ingredients.
I bought this because it was cheap and the red 'Super S' version (which has been my body sunscreen all summer since glossedintranslation introduced us) was out of stock that day. It does feel cooling and minty-fresh upon application, which is weird, but kind of enjoyable when reapplying on a sweltering day. Sets immediately to a silky, powdery finish with some white cast -- the powder has a slight tendency to rub off onto clothes/bags. Sensitives: bear in mind it does contain fragrance and menthol (but no alcohol).

Ducray Melascreen Emulsion SPF50+ €10.90 for 40ml at Ingredients.
Blah blah holy grail blah. The only high-PPD avo-free sunscreen I can stand. In winter, I switch to the cream version. I use 5 pumps daily and a tube lasts about 4 weeks. 

MAC Face and Body Foundation White £25.50 for 120ml at MAC Pro stores. 
It's been over three years, but I finally did it! :D One of my staple mixers, it works best with liquid foundations and other water-based formulations (like Lunasol Water Cream and the Sonia Rykiel cream foundation). Just a note: my bottle of this oil-and-water emulsion ostensibly separated years ago, but it worked just fine until the last drop. Shake vigorously before use and don't examine the goo too closely until you've done so.


Neosporin Lip Health Daily Hydration Therapy SPF20 $5 for 10ml.
Thin, white lotion that leaves a clear, slightly oily but unsticky film on lips. It does no more for my lips than any other okay drugstore lip balm -- keeps them hydrated for a few hours, sinks in quickly for wear under lipsticks. BUT the scent/taste is truly revolting (synthetic and bitter) and it wears off my very dry lips far too quickly.

Korres Yoghurt Moisturising Cream £19 for 40ml.
I was recommended this for the humid Hong Kong weather but it's not remotely rich enough for my dry skin. It also did not layer well with other lotions/serums/fifty layers of crap I like to slap on daily.

Bobbi Brown EXTRA Eye Repair Cream £38 for 15ml.
Perfectly adequate moisturising eye cream, which was not enough for my very dry undereyes and also did nothing for puffiness and dark circles.

Ipsa Metabolizer ME Superior W2 HK$680 for 175ml.
I tried this expensive cult product based on the passionate raves and ethereally glowing skin from some people I trust, and don't get the fuss. It's just okay. Moisturises nicely, doesn't irritate. Possibly because I apply with fingers rather than doing the recommended massage with cotton pads (my skin doesn't like so much physical agitation).

Cure Natural Aqua Gel HK$220 for 250g. Ingredients.
Another fairly pricey (it's technically drugstore -- yikes) cult product that was an epic fail on me. Did nothing for my existing flakes, and gave me more, as well as leaving my face red and tight, despite my following the instructions to the letter and applying a hard-core moisturising sheet mask immediately afterwards. Patch-testing confirmed that my skin is just far too dry and sensitive for this stuff.

I am not affiliated with any of the sites linked to, nor will I profit in any way if you click through. (I only linked to ingredients lists of the more obscure stuff, the others are available on the brands' own sites or easily googleable.)
All products were either purchased by me, or received as personal gifts from friends.
All opinions are my own and based on my own experiences of these products; I am not a dermatologist / medical professional and have no professional training in this area.

Thursday, 24 November 2011

By Terry Foundation comparision swatches -- paler shades

Those who frequent makeupalley might know that earlier this year, I embarked on a slightly deranged scheme to swatch the paler shades of foundation from as many brands as I can get my hands on. Here is a belated comparison of the two new foundations from ByTerry (Cover Expert and Sheer Expert) with the rest of the line.

Patter summary (in case those links threw you into a where's-my-big-red-pen tailspin): Both foundations retail for £44 for a 35ml squeeze-tube and are imbued with "the futuristic I.M.C® Technology (Intensive Mimetic Camouflage)," hyaluronic acid and other unspecified "regenerating active ingredients." Both promise a 'velvet' matte-yet-light-diffusing finish with shine control and moisturisation suitable for all skintypes. Cover Expert offers more coverage.

My first impressions: the scent is very strong and very sweet rose with a hefty dose of powder. (If you're familiar with the ByTerry line, it is the powdery roses of the Blush Velouté rather than the cleaner tea roses of the skincare.) Both foundations had a great deal of silicone-y slip and texture-wise are somewhere between Armani Face Fabric foundations and Becca Beach Tints; both set completely matte on my dry skin.

I can't comment further because the shade range starts off too dark -- much darker than that of the recently-discontinued Lumiere Veloutée, which provided my only near-match in the line.

natural light
foundation swatch By Terry ByTerry Cover Expert 1 Fair Beige Cover Expert 2 Neutral Beige Sheer Expert 1 Fair Beige Sheer Expert 2 Neutral Beige Teint Délectation 1 Milky Vanilla Touche Veloutée concealer pen 1 Porcelain Light Expert foundation brush 101 Beige Light Light Expert foundation brush 1 Rosy Light

Left to Right:
Chantecaille Future Skin Porcelain (as a reference, because Chante was the next counter over)
The rest are all ByTerry:
Cover Expert 1 Fair Beige
Cover Expert 2 Neutral Beige
Sheer Expert 1 Fair Beige
Sheer Expert 2 Neutral Beige
Teint Délectation 1 Milky Vanilla
Touche Veloutée concealer pen 1 Porcelain
Light Expert foundation brush 101 Beige Light
Light Expert foundation brush 1 Rosy Light

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Dior Holiday 2011 Asian collection swatches

Based on the shoddiest of anecdotal evidence, Dior has always seemed to me to be more popular in East Asia than in Europe or America. The releases are (correspondingly?) bigger; the holiday 2011 collection in Hong Kong consists of two eyeshadow quints (to one in the EU/US) and eight lipsticks rather than four. The four nail polishes are the same.

Karla has swatches of the US range; here are the Asia-exlusive quint 544 Golden Pastels and all eight Rouge Diors, two swipes each.

All items are limited edition. The quint retails for HK$480, the lipsticks for HK$245 each.

544 Golden Pastels
Textures/layout are similar to Couture Golds: four shimmers (Dior's typical soft, fine, frosty formula) surrounding a holographic glitter shade.

Note: this looks much better (and more visible) on darker skintones than mine, such as the NC25ish Dior SA who was wearing it when I swatched.

natural light

artificial light+flash

Rouge Dior -- all shades have golden shimmer so look warmer once applied
527 Versailles
217 Or Etoilé
346 Invitation
451 Cinderella
654 Favorite
777 Fantastique
851 Aimée
961 Nocturne

natural light

natural light+flash (to hopefully capture the shimmer)

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Makeover with Shu Uemura Wong Kar Wai collection

Recently, for my sins radiant beauty okay, can I have "hauling prowess" then?, I was offered a complimentary makeover at a Shu Uemura boutique. It's always interesting to see what someone else will do with your face and while I didn't like all my makeup artist's choices, I also picked up some useful tips, and had a fun hour chatting about makeup (offline! zomg).

The finished look (all pics in artificial light+flash)

The process
Preliminary chat established that I have dry skin, am not afraid of colour but hate shimmery lipsticks, and that she would otherwise have carte blanche.

I already wearing moisturiser and sunscreen, so skin was just spritzed lightly with Phyto-black Lift Radiance Boosting Lotion.

Face Architect Smooth Fit foundation 584 mixed 1:1 with UV Underbase Fluid Pink and patted on using a pentagon sponge. New Point Cealer in 7 Light under eyes, blended in with a synthetic 10 brush.

Wong Kar Wai Drowning in Flame palette: top two shades (the two leftmost shades in my swatch) layered over the lid and taken under the eyes, with more of the lighter purple concentrated in the centre of the upper lid. White-gold shimmer used to blend out the edges into the socket. All done using natural 10.
Colour Atelier Eyeshadow IR911 used to highlight inner corner, inner half of lower lashline and browbone -- applied using natural 12.
Liquid Eyeliner Pen for thin flicked line; Drawing Pencil M Black 01 to rim both waterlines.
Lashes curled with the legendary Shu eyelash curler and two coats of Ultimate Expression Mascara applied first to the topside of the lashes, then from underneath.
H9 Brow Pencil Seal Brown used to define brows -- she chose this to harmonise with the warm tones in the palette but recommended Stone Grey for cooler or neutral looks.

Radically different placements to balance out my very asymmetrical eyes:
natural light + flash

Monday, 21 November 2011

Sonia Rykiel Sublime Lipstick swatches part 1

Finally, a Japanese brand that a) makes only one line of lipsticks and b) did not saddle it with a fifty-syllable name.

Sonia Rykiel Sublime Lipsticks are balmy, lightweight, rose-scented and moisturising beauties which layer effortlessly to give a more opaque (but still glossy and somewhat translucent) look. They last surprisingly long (at least 4 hours of wear) and the brighter/darker shades leave a stain. Think of them as Dior Addicts but with actual moisturising properties, much smoother textures and better pigment.

The narrow design of the bullet makes mirror-less, straight-from-the-tube application easy, even for a lipbrush fiend like me.

30 permanent shades; each tube contains 4g and retails for HK$180 or ¥3465.

All swatches are two swipes each, pictures taken in bright store lighting. Some shades are shot through with microshimmer, which I've asterisked below.

closer looks

1* neutral orange
2 cool cherry pink-red
3 bright neutral pink
4 cool pink with slightly more purple in the base than 5
5* slightly lighter than 4, with silvery micro-shimmer
6* neutral soft pink
7 warm pinky coral

6 and 7 again
9 cool rosy peach
10* warm peachy pink (with the emphasis on pink)
12 browned rose
13* browned rose with micro-shimmer, warmer and with more red than 12
14 pinky peach (with the emphasis on peach), warmer and brighter than 7 or 9

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Sonia Rykiel Quatre Eyeshadow swatches

So, remember how Sonia Rykiel was my newest addiction before my newest Addiction? (sorry, Laura!) I've been adding to my collection on the sly and everything has been a delight, so expect more reviews in the future.

Meanwhile, I swatched the permanent quads I don't own (...yet) in hopes that they'll be useful.

Each quad contains 3.2g and retails for HK$320 in Hong Kong or ¥5250 in Japan.
All swatches are one swipe each, all pictures taken in bright store lighting.

Quatre Eyeshadow 01
Quatre Eyeshadow 02

Quatre Eyeshadow 07

Quatre Eyeshadow 11

Swatches of 09 and 10 (my first two, which are home in London) will come when I'm reunited with them. Glossedintranslation's swatch of 09 can be seen here.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Shiseido Luminizing Satin Face Colour swatches

Shiseido is a brand that is finally gaining some recognition among beauty junkies, but whose makeup still flies very much under the radar, if my usually somewhat forlorn counters are any indication. That is a crying shame, because while the makeup has always of good quality, the textures and colour combinations have been consistently exquisite and inspirational since Dick Page took over as artistic director.

These powder blushes and highlighters come in at a generous 6.5g each, with a usable portable brush and sleek black plastic compact. The shade selection is a tightly-edited line-up of wearable, elegant shades (no candied lavenders or flourescent oranges here), which err on the warm/muted side, and all shades are imbued with an extremely fine, pearly sheen.Texture-wise, they are so finely milled so as to feel like creams (and are some of the few powder blushes that are tolerable on my dry skin in winter) but my oily-skinned friends also report that these wear on them without fading or oxidising. Basically, they're bigger, better versions of Shu Uemura Glow Ons.

Not all shades are available in all markets. (If you ask me, not enough shades are available, full stop. I NEED MORE.) HK retail is $260 each.
Here are the shades at my counter, two swipes each.
BE206 Soft Beam Gold
GD809 Shell
OR308 Starfish
RS302 Tea Rose
RD401 Orchid
RD103 Petal
PK304 Carnation
PK107 Medusa

natural light
swatch Shiseido Luminizing Satin Face Color BE206 Soft Beam Gold GD809 Shell OR308 Starfish RS302 Tea Rose RD401 Orchid RD103 Petal PK304 Carnation PK107 Medusa

artificial light+flash (this is as shimmery as they can possibly look)
swatch Shiseido Luminizing Satin Face Color BE206 Soft Beam Gold GD809 Shell OR308 Starfish RS302 Tea Rose RD401 Orchid RD103 Petal PK304 Carnation PK107 Medusa

I'm sorry the Medusa swatch is barely visible on me -- I like to use it layered over other blushes to add an oysterish pink sheen. For a glimpse of its true beauty on someone darker, please check out temptalia's glowing (harhar) review.
Shiseido's WT905 High Beam White (swatched/blogged here) makes a better highlighter for me.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Esprique Mellow Forming Rouge Colour swatches

One of these click-pen lipsticks was my first purchase on this Hong Kong trip, and I remain a fan of the balmy, moisturising and pigmented formula. As their other fans seem to include the beauty editors of every glossy magazine I've flicked through as well as Asian youtuber Fuzkittie among many others, it's taken me a few weeks to find a counter that had been restocked with all the shades.

Today I've swatched the permanent shades in the more pigmented 'Colour' line -- two light swipes each. Swatches of the 'Glow' range (sheerer, with far more shimmer) are still to come.

Each lipstick is 1.8g and retails for HK$220.

artificial lighting
swatch Esprique Mellow Forming Rouge Color BE320, BE321, RD420, RD421, RD422, RD423, RO620, RO621, RO622, PK820

Full names:
BE320, BE321, RD420, RD421, RD422, RD423, RO620, RO621, RO622, PK820

Two new permanent shades, BE322 and PK821, were released today in Japan with the Winter 2011 collection, and should make it to Hong Kong eventually.

For my first impression review and FOTD with BE321 click here. In about six weeks I've used up about a third of this soft lipstick, so do bear the small size in mind.

For rougedeluxe's recent review and FOTD with RO620, click here.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Addiction by Ayako Aurora Reflection Eyeshadows

Belated swatches of all the shadows released in the Autumn 2011 collection, none of which I could resist after seeing them in real life. Hopefully you'll be able to see why...

Some product shots as an experiment; I'm not experienced in or skilled at taking photographs but as these are just that pretty in the pan.

052P Horizon -- dusty mauve with pale blue, gold and silver glitter

053P Poetic -- mint green with white and blue iridescence

054P Deep Forest -- forest green/teal duochrome with emerald green shimmer

055P Blue Moon -- bright cornflower blue with lighter blue and white sparkle

056P Pink Python -- blackened green with lime, pink and blue sparkle

057P Ice Storm -- icy blue with iridescent white and blue glitter

058P Silent Scream -- vivid grass green metallic with intense yellow-gold and pink shimmer

Each eyeshadow retails for ¥2100, all of these shades will join the core collection.
natural light
swatch Addiction eyeshadow 052P Horizon, 053P Poetic, 055P Blue Moon, 054P Deep Forest, 055P Blue Moon, 058P Silent Scream Aurora Reflection

natural light, sunny
swatch Addiction eyeshadow 052P Horizon, 053P Poetic, 055P Blue Moon, 054P Deep Forest, 055P Blue Moon, 058P Silent Scream Aurora Reflection

And some notes, because what are pictures without ALL TEH THOUSANDS OF WORDS? Poetic and Ice Storm are much sheerer than the others, and make pretty transparent veils alone or to add complexity patted over a more pigmented shadow (or cream base, or pencil).
Horizon and Ice Storm feature the largest shimmer particles, but they don't feel gritty or look unrefined at all. Ice Storm in particular, applies like a 'flakie' nail polish. I experience fallout with Horizon, but with none of the others in this collection.

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Sunday Scary to Simple

Not much gets me out of bed and into makeup during daylight hours on a Sunday, but dimsum happens to be top of that list. And as I helpfully woke up with a lunch date, a week's worth of sleep-deprivation showing around my eyes AND a derptastic O_o expression, I thought I'd traumatise you all with some before and afters featuring my new Lunasol concealers.

Product pics with some other base makeup

Swatches in natural light
(The Lunasol undereye concealer is layered heavily here -- it's not so dark once blended out.)

Kevyn Aucoin's Sensual Skin Enhancer is my holy grail face/blemish concealer. Full-coverage, creamy enough to blend but dry and long-lasting once set and an excellent match for my skintone in depth terms, while being slightly yellower (a cool yellow) to help cut redness. Only a miniscule amount is needed, which is why I packed a tiny decant instead of the full pot.

Because of the very dry skin under my eyes, and my dark circles and redness (partly genetic but also aggravated by insomnia and allergies), I need a separate concealer for that area. Chantecaille Total Concealer kind of fit the bill -- it's blendable, offers good (but not opaque) coverage, is yellow-based with some peachy warmth and a shade darker than my skintone -- I find going darker offers better coverage, mimics the natural shadow under the eyes and avoids both the reverse-panda look of too-pale concealer, and the unnaturally flat look of an exact match. Unfortunately as Hong Kong gets cooler, it's starting to look cakey and emphasise my fine dehydration lines throughout the day.

Lunasol is famous for their base makeup, and as they recently expanded the shade range of their concealers in my direction, I thought those'd be worth a shot.

Scary naked face

Scary close-up of eyes

With Lunasol Eyelid Base N 02 over upper lid

Lunasol Eyelid Base N (¥2940 for 2.5g) ROCKS. It's sheer and so creamy so that it blends out to invisibility using a fingertip and you think it can't possibly be doing anything until you step back and realise you look human all of a sudden. Unlike most eyelid primers/bases, it doesn't promise to control oil or mattify but emphasises hydration, correcting dark pigmentation, and helping eyeshadows to blend and last on ALL lids, not just oily ones. Shade 01 (the original) is better for shades NC20 and above.

With Lunasol Underyes Concealer 00 below eyes and on outer corner
Lunasol Undereyes Concealer (¥3150 for 6.5g, doefoot applicator) is... also very good. The best thing about it is the texture -- if you've ever tried Lunasol's cult classic Water Cream foundation, this shares its incredible spreadability, natural finish, and ability to keep skin looking plump and hydrated throughout the day. This shade (00) is a good, yellow-peachy colour that minimises the worst of my redness and bruisey-ness. It doesn't provide enough coverage for 'flawless' looks, but for simple day-to-day ones, I'm satisfied. There are two darker shades (01 and 02) and two colour-correctors too (yellow and orange).

You can purchase both Lunasol concealers from adambeauty.

To complete the look: curled lashes, a coat of good old Majolica Majorca Lash Expander Frame Plus mascara and a slick of Addiction Cheek Stick in Revenge onto cheeks and lips.

Blended out, Kevyn Aucoin SSE on areas that needed it (the concealer-after-blush tip is from Lisa Eldrige) and brow powder added.

Probably not to everyone's taste, but I can only go so minimalist on the eyes without wanting to smear red blush all over mah face. Only tools used: Chanel curler, Shu 4R sable (to blend concealer), Illamasqua Highlighter brush (to blend cream blush). 

Lips were blended out with a pinkie finger because that's how glorious these Addiction cheeksticks are. As lipsticks, they are not at all drying while being matte and opaque in one coat -- the downside is that you will need to touch up after a meal, but they are normal-lipstick-sized so easy to bring along. Addiction officially kicks Lipstick Queen, Becca and Illamasqua's arses in the multi-purpose lip-and-cheek product contest. If you know of any other contenders though, please do share in the comments :)

Saturday, 12 November 2011

More Holiday 2011 Swatches: Suqqu, Jill Stuart, Chanel

SUQQU Christmas Collection (already out)
This is the only brand where the words "limited edition" cause me to reach for my diary (to draw little hearts around the release date of whatever-it-is) rather than roll my eyes and raise the cynicalest of eyebrows (my left, if you're wondering).

This year, they cruelly bundled two glorious taupe-based eyeshadow quads with SKINCARE. No mascara like last year, or delicate pigment like the year before. I raved, and fumed, and pre-ordered both anyway. And have no regrets. Both are delicately balanced on the cooler and warmer sides of neutral and should flatter a wide variety of skintones without being too predictable (ahem, Lunasol.) The textures are, as expected, perfection -- pigmented, smoother than silk, long-lasting and, used together, the subtle yet complex interplay of shades and levels of shimmer remind me again why Suqqu makes my favourite eyeshadows out there.

All swatches are one-swipe only.

Each set retails for £55 in the UK, ¥8400 in Japan. English site has full details.

Set A EX-05 Usumomokurumi
natural light with flash

ditto, angled to show the complexity of micro-shimmer lurking within

Set B EX-06 Usuchaori
natural light, no flash

I couldn't get a fuzzy shimmer shot of these, so reapplied and shook my hand violently in the bathroom. Artificial light+flash

Jill Stuart Fairy Garden Collection (already out) HK$620 or ¥7875 for the coffret.
I only swatched the eyeshadow palette (full details of the coffret on the JS Hong Kong site) as the gloss and powder were just shimmer on me. The colour combo is unusual and the SAs had pulled some lovely looks from it but the quad is typical Jill Stuart texture and quality -- strictly for fans of dry, sheerish and extremely glittery (and this is coming from me!) shadows. We will not speak of the perfume sachets. In fairness, the JS site design gives a better idea of their effect than any notes list could.

104 Fairy Opal. Three swipes each to build up colour and achieve even coverage.
natural light, no flash

 natural light, angled. Nope, still no flash.

Chanel Les Scintillances de Chanel
Lip products only, and only because I missed Triomphal last time. Hong Kong did not get Discretion Extrait de Gloss but everything else is here.
Fellow shimmerphobes: it breaks my Allure-loving heart but this collection is an utter disappointment. Everything is PACKED with shimmer, er, scintillance, that is visible on the lips even in foggy daylight (even if it's not always obvious in these pictures).

Empire is one swipe, Famous and Triomphal are two swipes each, Envirée and the glossimers needed three.

natural light

natural light, some weak sun