Friday, 22 June 2012

Beauty Base Zero Products

Being the stuff what I use to fake human.

Incidentally, for the ...three? of you who don't know: 'Beauty Base Zero' comes from The Hunger Games trilogy and describes a perfected but pre-styled 'bare face'. Ultra-natural, like.

We all know that depending on season, sleep-deprivation and skin-nightmarishness (not to mention all the other bad things beginning with 's'), 'zero' can take a lot more work than seems fair. I personally also find it, like skincare, basically just a dull necessity, so my approach involves spending a lot of time testing aaaall the products to find the ones that take no time at all to apply, and do all the work themselves (since they go on before the coffee's kicked in), and do it reliably day after day after day.

Current favourites, in order of application:
  • base: Kiss Mat Chiffon UV Base Moist 01
  • undereye concealer: Burberry Sheer Luminous Concealer 01 Light Beige
  • spot concealer: Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer SX-01 (depot)
Kiss (not to be confused with Kiss Me Heroine Make) is a girly Japanese drugstore brand owned by Isehan (who, okay, also own KMHM as well as Sunkiller, Sudahafit, Elizabeth and Heavy Rotation). They're most famous for their Mat Chiffon range of primers and powders, which which have ranked highly on @cosme for years.

The UV Moist Base released in 2011 is a matte-but-moisturising [actually satiny], very sheerly tinted primer which promises major pore-coverage and to prolong the wear-time of makeup. It contains hyaluronic acid, no fragrance or alcohol, and has an SPF26 PA++ rating. There are two shades, and I estimate the cut-off point to be ≤NC20 // ≥NC25.
¥1680 for 37g in a sanitary plastic pump bottle, made in Japan. (For oilier skins, there's UV Whitening Base N.)

One pump of UV Moist Base 01 looks scarily dark at first...

...but with blending (which is easy, it's a lovely light gel-cream texture with lots of slip)...

....pretty invisible, right?

Scary macro face close-up (the after also features Burberry concealer under eyes):
The base's peachy tone is great at evening out redness in particular, and the high-silicone content is magic on pores. It sets to a satiny but perfectly skin-like finish, remains exactly so through a 16-hour day in 30ºC and high humidity. In extreme close-up you can see 'texture' around my nose but believe me, this is as good as any product looks there, such is my skin. I live with a tradeoff between redness or textural issues.

The close-up should also illustrate the magical texture of the Burberry concealer pen, applied under my eye all the way to the patch of redness at the outer corner and patted in with a finger. Sheer Luminous Concealer (2.5ml for £26) while containing no sparkle/shimmer does bounce the light away effectively from my fine lines and chicken skin. In fact, it's the only concealer I've tried that not only doesn't make my skin texture look worse, but actively makes it look better. It's unique in combining impressive moisturising* properties (more moisturising than Ellis Faas, ByTerry, YSL) with a sets-to-nothing creaseless finish that's most comparable to Armani's cult High Precision Retouch (sadly too drying for me) or Lunasol's Under Eyes Base (just unworkably dark).
*I actually bought it after a Burberry MA applied it to my drier-than-the-desert lips as an eraser... and it looked and felt as nice as a weightless Japanese lipbalm.

The Burberry pen replaces these products in my wardrobe:
  • Lunasol Under Eyes Base 00 (review/swatch)
  • Ellis Faas concealer S201 (my constantly-repurchased favourite for the last few years)
  • Bobbi Brown corrector in Light Bisque

A bonus is that the Burberry brush and click-mechanism are both far superior to those on the Ellis Faas pen. The Burberry brush is finer overall and also in terms of the individual hairs; it's almost impossible to get this to streak even when I deliberately attempted (it should actually be evident in the swatch the EF and Lunasol stripes are slightly less even than the Burberry). One click always dispenses the same amount, and dispenses it neatly and immediately.

While ostensibly offering less coverage (light) than Ellis Faas' medium+, The Burberry shade incorporates the right salmon tones to work like an inbuilt corrector for my (current) circles, boosting the coverage in practice up to medium. 
It's basically what you'd get by layering Ellis Faas' cool yellow over Bobbi Brown's bisque:

Shadewise, I've found through trial and error always to opt for an undereye concealer that's darker than my skintone (within reason: half a shade up to a shade darker, let's not stray too far from our beauty-base-zero concept....) which also means less product for more coverage. And therefore, no need for setting, less potential for creasing and as close as we can get to uniting minimal effect with minimal effort.

Here they are compared with my face concealer, Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer SX-01, which is as exact a match [absolutely NO going darker or heaven forfend! lighter with face concealer] as I've ever found ready-made, though a little yellower than my face -- just a little, enough to deal with reddened blemishes without looking like jaundiced dots.

Like the Burberry pen, I love the Kevyn Aucoin concealer not only for its shade but for its uniquely effective texture: like rich whipped cream. Other products that provide this level of hardcore coverage are either aridly dry (all pigment, no base) or so claggy-creamy (lots of pigment AND lots of base) they often require a lot of work and expertise to even get out of the jar let alone blend to skinlike invisibility -- far more than I can manage on a good day, let alone a bad one. This stuff, I can just dab on, press in with a warm finger tip or damp beautyblender, and let it set on its own in the next minute or so. (Oilier skins may need to set with powder -- push&roll, don't buff&sweep.)

Magical texture, magical finish: somehow, this deliciously rich, blendable concoction never looks creamy on the skin -- really, who wants to oil up and shine a spotlight on a blemish? -- or like anything, but, well, skin. Based on raves from makeupalley (where this cult product has retained an unflaggingly high rating in ten years since its launch), it seems to work for a wide range of skintypes, so if you are combo/oily, please don't be scared off by my overuse of the word 'creamy'.

[Please note KA SSE has a somewhat powdery floral fragrance but its main scent is the 'creaminess' of the ingredients.]

So that's my current Beauty Base Zero stash, with somethings new, and something old (but definitely of cult status). Next post: many things borrowed and a few things blue.

Kiss Me Mat Chiffon UV Base Moist (my translation):
Cyclomethicone, water, zinc oxide, polymethyl methylacrylate, diglycerol, dipropylene glycol, PEG-9 dimethicone, dimethicone, distearylammonium hectorite, chamomile extract, sodium hyaluronate, rice bran oil, water-soluble collagen, rice bran sphingoglycolipid, sodium citrate, triethylhexanoin, phytosteryl/octyldodecyl lauroyl glutamate, aluminium hydroxide, methicone, trimethylsiloxy silicic acid, stearic acid, (Dimethicone / vinyl dimethicone) cross polymer, butylene glycol, Polyquaternium -51, glycerin, polyglyceryl-10 diisostearate, capric/caprylic triglyceride, lecithin, titanium dioxide, talc, iron oxide

Burberry Concealer

Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer (via
Mineral Oil, Polybutene, Diethylhexyl Succinate, Polyethylene, Quaternium-18 Hectorite, Calcium Carbonate, Dextrin Palmitate, Honey, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Tocopherol, Beeswax, Butylene Glycol, Cholesterol, Lecithin, Talc, Triethylhexanoin, Methylparaben, Fragrance (Parfum). May Contain (+/-): Iron Oxides (CI 77491), Iron Oxides (CI 77492), Iron Oxides (CI 77499), Mica, Titanium Dioxide (CI 77491).

Monday, 18 June 2012

My Minimalism : Looks

It's been opined that I am basically a living, breathing cartoon character. If I buy myself an ice cream cone to cheer a particularly dismal day, it will set off a freakish chain of events that ends with the perfectly rounded scoop of ice cream going plop onto my big toe after one lick. (I opt for cups now. But I don't like it.) Comically large and globular raindrops will land on the tip of my nose, right in front of the entire bus queue. Witnessing me try to covey peas to my mouth? Choking hazard for all dining companions.

Obviously my minimalist 'week' would monstrously expand into two. Obviously my final post would keep burgeoning (yes, burgeoning) so that it itself had to be split into two. I hope this is the penultimate post, but who knows. Mitosis may continue forever, projected deathbed scene: "must final...tiny minor point....about....minimalism. *deathrattle*"

Key to my kind of minimalism:

texture without colour: Rouge Bunny Rouge Eye Gloss Angel's Play
colour without texture: Becca Beach Tint Watermelon [Beauté and Hourglass stains are also wonderful]
white-out: crayon from Shu Uemura Tricolour Energy Flow
strategic high-contrast colour: YSL Mascara Singulier WP #5 Vibrant Blue, Chanel Rouge Allure Genial, Illamasqua Intense Gloss Follow, Barry M Liquid Eyeliner Electric Blue

A few looks, all built up from my beauty base zero. In the most practical terms, my 'minimal' look chose ONE of mascara, liner or eyeshadow. For these I chose TWO.

1. Mascara + Gloss
YSL Singulier WP #5 Vibrant Blue, RBR eye gloss all over lid and cheekbones, Illamasqua Intense Gloss Follow 

2. Mascara + Eyeshadow
Shu Uemura Energy Flow white crayon to 'white-out' eye. Chanel Genial on cheeks and lips. Lancome Hypnôse Drama WP mascara.

3. Eyeshadow + Liner
Wheaty gold from Lavshuca Melting Eyes BR-1 as an anti-contour. Barry M Liquid Eyeliner Electric Blue. Becca Watermelon Beach Tint.
Because dear friend D. demanded. Now you know why I don't smile to camera.

3a. + more liner :P
TEH WHOLE IDEA: Pat McGrath for Anna Sui AW2012

These went from from least questionably to most questionably 'minimalist' but yeah, even the last Anna Sui one qualifies as such to me. I do plan to ramble about my personal fuzzy category definitions soon [ETA: here!] but in the meantime, I would love to hear whether any of these qualify as 'minimalist' to you. 

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Bare // Bare Minimum // Minimal

Pretty self-explanatory.

Here's my bare face (well, bare of makeup. There's about 5 layers of unguents and lotions and sunscreen.)

I'va actually done a similar post before, but skin changes and so do girly insecurities so I've switched up the routine since.

Current woesomes:

  • remanants of hormonal/stress cysts on cheeks, chin, and nose (I rarely break out but it's been a crazy year. Being pale and prone to hyperpigmentation, I'll be covering these scars for at least eight more months)
  • undereye circles (much improved -- more on that later) but still an issue
  • uneven patches of sallowness especially around mouth and eyes (what is this?! Some kind of vitamin deficiency? 'Scurvy' has already been suggested. Actually helpful ideas much welcomed -- please to leave comment)
  • sadly moulting left eyebrow (right in pic) -- why can't it be more like its sister, huh?! aigoo.
  • patchy mauvey lips -- see why I'm such a lipstick addict?

Bare Minimum Look
i.e. current security blanket routine, can be achieved in 2 minutes

Mainly focusing on eyes, in order of (psychological) importance:
curler: MAC // concealer: Burberry Sheer Touch 01 // brows: Shu Hard 9 pencil Stone grey
With remaining minute, dab Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer SX-01 over particularly egregious bits with a Hakuhodo 5531. 
o hai thurr
Pat concealer in with finger / Beautyblender sponge if easily locatable, slick on lipbalm (preferably tinted) while running out the door and done.

Minimal Look
Adds to my Beauty Base Zero face above: some kind of base (foundation or colour-correcting primer) a lip and cheek tint and EITHER a neutral eyeshadow smudged along the lashline for definition OR mascara OR tightlining. Takes an additional minute or two -- improves my mood exponentially. 
This time, it was Shu Uemura UV Underbase Brightening Mousse Pink/Purple, Becca Guava, and Rouge Bunny Rouge Trumpeter Koel.

Tomorrow: minimalism. And, blogsale.

Friday, 15 June 2012

Three Months' Makeup

In keeping with this week's minimalism theme at the House o' Drivel, and also with the editing mood currently resonating with so many on the beautynets, here's the makeup I brought for this three-month E.Asia trip to demonstrate my latest 'edit'. (Italics+scarequotes because I'm pretty sure it will be much larger than the actual unedited makeup collections of many legit beauty-lovers as is, and please let's no-one invoke the dreaded Average Woman....)

This is not a collection of my 'favourites' or 'capsule wardrobe' necessities; it's a mix of humidity-friendly and/or yay-I-can-wear-this-formula-now-my-skin's-not-desiccated-by-winter products, various socially-appropriate-mask elements, some of my current preoccupations (colourful liner, cool-toned lips, matte lips) and a few bits I felt guilty for not blogging about earlier.

To spare my blushes, we'll start with the bit that actually keeps faith with the true 'capsule' spirit:

Shu Uemura UV Under Base Brightening Mousse: a primer with sufficient evening-out and texture-refining powers to replace foundation for everyday wear.
MAC Face&Body White decant, in case I do want to wear foundation, which would be Shu Uemura Nobara stick 784, a beautiful formula which holds up exceptionally well in high heat and humidity, no setting required. Doubles as concealer and portable enough for touch-ups.
Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer SX-01 for spot-concealer for major boo-boo's -- this stuff is so incredibly pigmented this tiny jar (smallest I had to hand) holds at least a year's supply. I'm two months into my stay and haven't even made a dip. I need a separate undereye concealer to sit well on the extremely thin, dry skin I have there, and Burberry Sheer Concealer 01 Light Beige is my current favourite -- a neutral beige about a shade darker than my skintone, with the right salmony tones to obviate the need for a separate corrector.

Brushes / Tools
For face: a Beautyblender sponge for foundation and to 'set' concealer by pressing it into the skin
1. Hakuhodo 5531, a synthetic eyeliner brush I use for pin-point concealing
2. Illamasqua Blending Brush #1, my favourite synthetic blender for undereye concealer
3. Chikuhodo Z-2, grey squirrel multi-purpose candle brush, but especially excellent for highlighter and contour
4. Suqqu Cheek Brush, my favourite blush/highlighter/powder/blending grey squirrel brush -- I much prefer this to any of the Chikuhodo blush brushes
5. Illamasqua Highlighter brush: a round, soft synthetic for creams and stains
6. Hakuhodo Large Pointed Yachiyo, stiffer goat hair for stippling on very pigmented blush formulas (I prefer to blend out using the Suqqu Cheek)

For eyes, a selection evenly split between tiny precision instruments and bigger brushes for laydown and blending.
For smudgy lining, and lining with powders (which is what I favour most days) though these all handle creams and gels just as well:
   1. Boots No. 7 Smokey Eyeliner Brush does what it says on the handle
   2. Chikuhodo Artist 6-1, an infinitely better version of MAC's 231, in tightly bundled-kolinsky
   3. Hakuhodo 162, the best angled brush out there, end of
For more precise lining:
   4. Hakuhodo 007 blows every other 'superfine' liner brush out of the water. Since 'discovering' this last November, I now have three.
   5. KATE gel eyeliner brush, deceptively similar to the Maybelline one, it just performs and holds up better. I love it for lining the waterline or pretending I'm Jung Saem Mool (thus, a bargain at about £1)
For eyeshadow washes and blending:
   6. Suqqu Eyeshadow Brush L manages to apply even the most problematic shadows evenly
   9. and 10. MAC 217 and 286 which work perfectly for the cream formulas I favour
For errythang:
  7. and 8. Suqqu Eyeshadow Brush S and Shu Uemura Natural 10, my true holy-grail brushes

If we're getting down to brass tacks, an eyelash curler is my one beauty essential. A perennial makeupalley poll asks what your "argh, I need to be out the door in five minutes" makeup routine consists of; even if I'm running two hours late, I will bloody make time to curl my lashes on my way out. My beloved Chanel curler ist kaputt: this is MAC's filling in the gap in the meantime.
A metal comb for further lash-primping.
And a Hakuhodo Misako Portable lipbrush, which I quickly realised was about three too few because I use a lipbrush with everything.

In which I fling all pretentions to minimalism aside. With great force.
Large Z-palette filled with:
Suqqu eyeshadows wear unfailingly in the sweltering heat and their thoughtful combinations (of texture as well as colour) save me a lot of time in the mornings. 01 Kakitsubata and 02 Kokedama are here in full, supplemented by three shades from the limited edition EX-07 Lilac Allure palette, the clear gold sparkle from 06 Ginbudou and the pink and purple shades from 08 Mizuaoi.
Rounded out by some eyeshadow singles: Shiseido Ghost, Yaby Sunny OceanDragonling and Highlighted, and Rouge Bunny Rouge Fire-Tailed Sunbird and Abyssinian Catbird [I prefer to save most of my RBR shades for winter, when I can't wear most other powders].
For blushes: Illamasqua Lover (the perfect peach) and Laduree Pressed Cheek Colour 11 (raspberry-rose) are both a bit too dry for me to wear comfortably back home; I'm enjoying them a lot more in the heat. MAC Strada for a warmer summer contour [now supplanted by Burberry, but  this was my original reasoning] and Shiseido High Beam White for a powder highlighter (in winter, I stick to my Rouge Bunny Rouge liquid illuminators).
Shu Hard 9 eyebrow pencil Stone Grey fits perfectly into that gap at the bottom.

Guerlain 2 Place Vendôme for wheaty greyellow neutrals
A cool-ish selection from Addiction: Pink Python for a complex sparkly 'black', lilac-grey Concrete Jungle for a neutral, pastel cornflower Blue Moon and shimmery teal/hunter duochrome Deep Forest for pops of colour (sorry). Bright pink Amazing to round out my powder blushes.

other eye bits
Bright liners: liquids in red (Kryolan Skinliner 31), blue and pink (Barry M Electric Blue and Pink) and a yellow gel from Shu Uemura (Citrine).
Pencil liners/bases: two (or five) from Shu: Tri-Colour Pencil Energy Flow and the dual-ended Misty Brown/Earthy Brown pencil from this spring's collection. And two purples from GOSH (Purple Stain: rich amethyst pearl) and Make Up Store (Go Wild: lilac satin).
Cream eyeshadows which function as bases and liners too: a sparsely-sparkly black (Shiseido BK912) and blingtastic complex purple (Sonia Rykiel 04 -- swatched here).
Basics: a white kohl (GOSH), a black liquid liner (Rose of Versailles), a glossy topcoat/moisturising primer/mixer (Rouge Bunny Rouge Angel's Play), black mascara (Lancome Hypnôse Drama Waterproof).

Finally, lips/cheeks
These coalesced into pretty obvious colour families:
Red: Illamasqua Follow (neon pinky-red), Shu Uemura RD178M (matte deep brickish red), Addiction Revenge cheekstick (bright clear corally red).
Coral: always a summer staple, amplified this year by my love affair with orange. Ellis Faas L307 (juicy cantaloupe gloss), Hourglass Muse (bright retro orangey coral), Chanel Genial (even brighter, more pink-based coral), Becca Guava Beach Tint (paler peachy-pink).
Rosy platonic my-lips/cheeks-but-better (because my actual lip colour is far more corpsical and I also blush a feverish pink-red): Guerlain Chamade and Becca Watermelon Beach Tint are easy-to-wear warm bright roses.
I don't normally care to stray too far to either side of neutral but this year I've been experimenting with more cool-toned lips: Burberry Bright Plum lipstick, Becca Raspberry stain and Addiction Miss You More gloss.
I also think I can pull off nude lips better with a bit of a summer 'tan' (maybe it's just the quality of light or maybe I made it all up in my head): Fresh Sugar tinted lipbalm Honey and Lunasol Full Glamour Liquid Lips EX-01 Clear Beige are both pigmented and peachy enough to offset the cool pinky-mauve of my natural lipcolour. Both Gorgeous formulas which DON'T collect in my vertical liplines.
Finally, some depots I chucked in because I had just enough room for them: from left to right YSL Rouge Pur Couture 17 Rose Dahlia (bright pink-coral), two Lancome mattes (corally Corset and rosy Stylista) and orange-red Revlon classic, Fire&Ice.

For three months. Too much? Too little? As usual, a bit of both. Two months in, I've already decided to let go of quite a few of these and replace them with other things. And of course I've learned yet more lessons for next time; this is only my second time -- I know how to pack for a weekend, a fortnight, or a year+, still working out the kinks on this awkward three-month-stint thing.

As always, I'd love to hear your thoughts, advice, anecdotes, mockery, staged interventions etc. Or just say 'hi' if you made it this far for an e-cookie.

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Modern Minimalism with Burberry

The nice thing about being a maximalist is that minimalism is just another mode I get to dabble in when the mood strikes....

My Burberry selections sparked off this particular phase, but really the brand in general peddles just this kind of minimalist pretty which as any beauty addict knows, often takes a lot more work and product than an unsubtle bright look: minimalism =/= minimal. Following: a few looks showcasing Burberry Midnight Brown eyeshadow, Earthy blush and Hibiscus lipstick, application going from light to heavy. With black/white-based outfits.

And all in suitably minimal lighting D: Sorry, the weather here has been frankly apocalyptic.

1. Light: Minimal and minimalist. Midnight Brown gradation-with-itself with a Suqqu Eyeshadow S brush, Earthy very lightly on edge of cheekbone with Suqqu Cheek brush, Hibiscus patted on with fingers as a barely-there stain.

Midnight Brown -- so very taupey on me
shirt: COS // skirt: custom // sandals: Repetto

2a. Medium -- Mostly Contour. Midnight Brown smudged around lashline with Suqqu S brush, Earthy to contour forehead, nose and cheeks using the included brush (okay for laydown, not good at blending), Hibiscus feathered out from the centre of lips and lightly on cheeks.
shirt: James Perse // skinnies: Uniqlo // sandals: Repetto // earrings: etsy

2b. Medium: Eyes and Lips. Midnight Brown blended out in the outer half of eye with Rouge Bunny Rouge Capricious Nightingale on the inner (Shu Uemura Natural 10). Earthy kept just under cheekbones with Hakuhodo Small Pointed Yachiyo with Hibiscus as cream blush. On lips, one layer of Hibiscus applied with a Hakuhodo Misako lipbrush then blotted.
with flash
top: Kitterick // skirt: DIY // sandals: Repetto (can you tell these are my shiny new babies?) // necklace: etsy

3. Heavy: Midnight Brown packed over lid with Shu Uemura N10, and blended out with Earthy on Suqqu S. Waterline rimmed with MUFE Aqua Eyes 0LEarthy more heavily under the cheekbone only with Hakuhodo SPY (my camera probably flattened the differences but IRL this was pretty drag). Hibiscus applied with Hakuhodo Misako lipbrush.
Actually this (bar the lips) is a great example of "makeup wot I do not like and wot makes me thankful the nineties/reign of Bobbi's version of 'natural' are over" -- lots of it, but all brown. If going maximal, I prefer to go maximalist too....
overdress: Kitterick // maxi: Pure&Good // sandals: Clarks // necklace: indie HK designer
In the last look, full-coverage matte face courtesy of Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer SX-01 mixed with Shu Uemura Stage Performer Instant Glow. In the othes I'm wearing Shu Uemura UV Mousse Pink/Purple only.
In all looks: Burberry Sheer Luminous Concealer 01 under eyes, Shu Uemura H9 brow pencil Stone Grey, Lancome Hypnôse Drama WP mascara.

To come: more of my minimalism, without Burberry. Because even when on a paring-down kick, I am incapable of using the same few colour products every day for a week. *shudders violently* (I couldn't even manage 3 looks in a row, hence the cheating with one wee new RBR arrival...)

Burberry Hibiscus, Midnight Brown and Earthy -- Swatches and Review

It's been a while since my hard-won Burberry haul, time enough to give everything a thorough going-over and decide whether it was worth it....

Swatches + Blahblahs

Bright Plum [which I already owned] and Hibiscus Lip Covers are moisturising, saturated, cream-finish lipsticks, both cool-toned -- Bright Plum is a bright-yet-deep raspberry rose, Hibiscus a vivid cerise. Swatches are both one-swipe.

Midnight Brown is a grey-and-yellow-based brown on my arm, with fine micro-shimmer in predominantly silver and green with occasional gold and red. (On my lids, it applies as a complex neutral taupe.) Smoothly pigmented (this is one swipe with the sponge applicator) and a breeze to blend and place, this shade and Pale Barley are a great improvement on the older Burberry eyeshadow formula.

Earthy makes such a good summer/warm weather contour because while still dusty and properly shadowy it doesn't rely as heavily on grey tones for coolness as most traditional shading colours do. Instead, like Midnight Brown, it employs a big whack of yellow alongside grey and pink to mimic the warmer shadows cast by the brighter, more golden light of summer/warmer climates. For winter/my usual lemony English sunlight, I turn to a cooler grey&pale-pink-based shade like Illamasqua Primal but in tropical ambery light that can appear artificially ashy, so I'm pleased this option from Burberry fills that gap. (....Prrrrrobably not a gap that exists for anyone else. Yes, I'm insanely persnickity.)

Hibiscus looked neutral next to Bright Plum, but its pinky coolness and brightness are much more evident swatched next to a warmer deep red like Shu Uemura RD178M.

See what I mean about Earthy's summery-earthiness contrasted against a more traditionally grey-pink-brown like MAC's classic contour shade Strada? (If not, that's okay, because I've terribly helpfully switched the labels. XD) These are artifically heavy swatches of course -- blended out on the skin the difference is far subtler and I can swing both with a light hand. Which is easier to achieve with Burberry because its texture blows MAC's out of the water.
***MISLABELLED! Top is Earthy, bottom is Strada.***

Midnight Brown between the bronze from Suqqu Blend Eyeshadow 01 Kakitsubata quad (with which it shares a yellow base) and Rouge Bunny Rouge Bohemian Waxwing (which is also a sneaky taupe one me, albeit more mauve-based). The Suqqu is the smoothest and most metallic (but a delicate, sparkly metallic); Midnight Brown has a very similar texture to the new RBR iridescents.

For the scent-sensitive:
Burberry lipsticks are rose-scented, about as strongly as Chanel Rouge Allures, milder than Guerlain Rouge Automatiques.
Blushes also have a light sweet rose scent, fainter and less powdery than Chanel Joues Contrastes.
Eyeshadows, fortunately, are unscented :P

I posted three 'minimalist' looks with these Burberry purchases here.