Saturday, November 21, 2015

SUQQU Blend Color Eyeshadow in Ginbudou

Finally getting to my first Suqqu quad, which I purchased back in August. Ginbudou was one of the six Blend Color Eyeshadow released back in Fall 2010, as a part of the brand revamp. The six quads released then have since been discontinued in Japan but still available in UK. Beside the scarcity factor, I find that the colors combination of the 01-06 core quads has a very distinct identity from other Japanese brands. It's very muted and boring grown-up but in no way does it remind me of a grandma (or my cranky middle aged neighbor). 

The quintessential Suqqu woman is mature but in an ageless way (Nowadays it seems that their target customers are just younger women with expensive taste?). If Lunasol is somebody I wanted to grow up into. SUQQU circa 2010 is more like, "I wish I can be that cool when I am her age". 

Normally, I stick around with a theme when I pick out my palette. I heavily favor rosy or purple-toned neutral, lilac or wearable pastel. I found it silly to get (pay the jacked up price for) another boring workhorse when I already have a few I like in my rotation. In this case, I picked the most clash-y one of the bunch. 
Unlike many other poetic names of Suqqu, which often left me feeling privileged (I can pronounce and remember them with ease. Ha!) and illiterate (most of them are name after something botanic or classic way to call a certain tone) 06 Ginbudou is the one of the most straight forward ones, as it means Silvery Grapes. I probably picked it because it's named after something edible. 

Technically Matsusaka is also edible, but I am no squirrel.
One of my main criteria when it comes to high end (or any) cosmetics is the packaging: It has to be substantial and well-designed. No matter how nice the actual product it, I don't pick something up and use it if the packaging is an eyesore. Of course, designer Yoshioka Tokujin nailed it:  The whole range is sleek, substantial without being bulky and it's a nice weight to hold. In a way, it reminds me of the glossy finish of a piano.

Suqqu compacts seem to utilize the same type of plastic (or they use the fancily named plastic/resin?) as older generation Anna Sui mirror, which is glossy, tough and not easily scratched. Each of their compact products comes with a black dust bag, which turns into a dust magnet the moment it's exposed to air.
  In retrospect, I should have brought it with me to the photoshoot to wipe off the dust...Maybe it would make things worse.

 The sponge applicators are with quality but I prefer the puffier and smoother ones from Shiseido's drugstore brands (maybe it's in my head, I think the ones in Lunasol are a tad better as well). The double sided brush seems to be a squirrel-blend as it's silky but with a body/firmness to be directional and grabby. Both applicators are highly functional to work well with the eyeshadow formula.
Finally to the actual palette. As I mentioned earlier, I picked Ginbudou because it looks like a strange combo. There are three colors that I love wearing as clothes (minus the soft gold) but not necessarily as eyeshadow. I thought the kind of combo would only appear in those luxury fashion house brands (and there is no way I will be able to wear them comfortably).

"Surprise me, SUQQU".
The bottom right shade is a matte white that works as a base and subtle highlight. It's very finely milled that it literally dissapears into skin, leaving an even and smooth canvas. I really like this pan as it works when my lids are oily or dry.

The top left (what Suqqu calls the arrange shade) is a very soft gold with a subtly pearly finish. It has a soft, misty quality that imparts a soft tint and a bit of pink flash.
Upper right is the main shading pan(the gin in Ginbudou). The medium deep charcoal is hardly silver to my eyes. I would even call it a sooty black with a hint of khaki.

Lastly, here comes the grape. The lower left is a matte plummy purple which isn't particularly warm or cool. It looks reddish in this picture(taken during sunset)but gets more eggplant on my skin. While blotchy by itself, it's maleable and smooth on top of the matte white and with the two satin-pearl. It's highly effective as a cake liner and can also be extended then layered with other two pearly shades to impart an allover purple tint.
A tiny finger swipe swatch of Ginbudou on wrist. The texture of the palette is very tightly packed (but not lacking in pigments) that you don't get a whole lot of powder with each dip/swipe. It took me a few tries to just get used to the dense texture, as the normal gradation (starting with the lightest going to the liner shade in layers) doesn't work with Ginbudou. 

Instead, I do the opposite with this. First I smooth the matte white all over the lid. Then I apply the matte plum close to the lash line. The charcoal is layered on top to shade and to blend out the plum (if the area of overlap is big, the result color is a bullet-silver dusty purple). Finally, the look is finished off with the pinkish golden mist. Technically you can go back and use the plum liner for further definition, I don't because it would take up most of my below-fold lid space.

While the two mattes are easy to apply with any brush, it seems that I need to use finger tip to grab enough of and deposit the satin pearl shades. 
I got a little heavy handed on the lower lashline. At least you/I can make out each color? This shoddily applied look is more to illustrate the delicate finish of the shadow. 
  I shouldn't have over-blended the plum in outter corner. One thing about Ginbudou that I really enjoy is how it's smokey but not heavy. Even though it's not something I reach for when I go out (I prefer no-brainer neutrals I can just slap on), I never wanted to remove it whenever I had it on. So, I wore this sharp silver-bullet look to grocery and library a few times already(completed with hoodies and sweatpants).
Overall: Ginbudou is like a fancy dress I buy for special occasions. While it's never something I reach for by default, as the formula is hard to maneuver and the look is too deep for my daily wear. It doesn't fail to make me feel pretty whenever I have it on so it will occupy a special place in my heart/mini palette drawer.

There is no point to hunt it down specifically but if you like this kind of color and have decided to get it, you won't regret your choice either. Oh, I forgot to mention the 01-06 core quad all contain 6.5 grams of product, which is (60% more than Lunasol quads/Suqqu's current palettes) quite a deal/will last you for years.
More palette shots. Because shiny.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Lipstick Queen Jean Queen

Two months ago I was browsing at Spacenk, one of the few physical stores that carry  Lipstick Queen(it's no longer available from Urban Outfitters), I was mainly look for another Saint to bring home. Of course, I got distracted by the pretty rosy hue of Jean Queen.

I didn't get to buy it that day, as it was already sold out (and there was only one lipgloss left). Well, I waited for less than an hour to just buy it from Amazon.

As a one of Lipstick Queen's standalone shades, Jean Queen has a shiny tube that's not rubberized (phew) and there is an inner sleeve inside the cap from making that squeeching sound.
Jean Queen is described as an neutral rose that's as easy to throw on as your favorite pair of jeans. The pretty rose is housed in a plush jelly formula that's glossier and more melty than Medieval.
Lipstick Queen Pink Saint, Jean Queen and Butter London Axis Rose (it's a tinted balm but why is it matte?)
Jean Queen feels very light and moisturizing (not in a balmy or thick way)on the lips. The brand probably makes my favorite lipstick formula, there is always a little something I don't love (either in packaging or color). Just like many sheer lip colors, Jean Queen turns significantly pinker on me. Within 30 minutes, it settles into a bright mauve pink that I don't hate (but I really don't need more of those). 

Anyway, I think I will show my battered (the paint just doesn't stay on)tube of Medieval some love.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Shiseido Luminizing Satin Eye Color Trio in Pink Sand

Well,my neutral experience with Shiseido Lumining Satin Eye Color Trio (I like how it looks but I get very little use from the two deep purple) obviously didn't stop me from having another one. 

Actually, I bought the two around the same time so there wasn't that much reaction/reflection time. Out of their colorful, daring (either too bright, too neutral or too pastel) range, RD711 Pink Sand stood out as a fairly unique and wearable combo. The colors are not so deep so I knew I can at least wear them sheerly.
The light-weight square compact is actually quite sleek (for the price range). It's a deep purple with the Shiseido camelia stamped on lower right. The sponge applicator is simply craptastic, which is strange as I really like the pillowy sponge applicators from Shiseido's drugstore brands.
Pink Sand contains a bright medium pink, (a very unique) pink tinged silvery taupe and a soft peach. All three shades have luminous finish but the pink is (pigmented) clearer while the taupe is softly metallic. Texture is soft and very easy to work with. It seems that after a while on the lid, the colors warm up and melt into a very subtly glowing finish.

As long as I take it easy on the pink(actually there is enough pink in the taupe already), I get a very wearable but not boring silvery pink eyes. The pink works well as an accent on lower lash line or layered on top the two neutrals.
I actually went overboard with the pink because it was Saturday morning (hence the bloating). I think beside the unique taupe, the other reason I really like Pink Sand is that there isn't a deep liner/contour shade in the palette(which I usually only dab a tiny bit each time). I just appreciate compositions that ensure even usage. 

So, I really like this one and will keep an eye Shiseido release any new shades (that I can wear) in the future.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Oranges Revisited - Monday Lippie Rambling

It seems that autumn is coming to an end (with many trees in my neighborhood finally bald). So let's remember the good time where all my backdrops were pretty in pink. Yeah, this is the new tube of Tutti Frutti lip butter (discontinued and not resurrected as Almay Butter Lipstick).

This morning, I was toying with a newly acquired Suqqu Creamy Glow (curiosity kills the bank account). Without leaving much spolier to upcoming review/bitch-fest, I will just say that I have been taking the Lip Butter for granted all these years. To think of it, they might very well be my allaround Holy Grail, when I take the colors (how easy they are to wear and how flattering), comfort, packaging and finish into consideration.
Tutti Frutti was the very first lip butter I purchased (because I can never have enough orange, on my lips or in my tummy) and it was all sorts of underwhelming.  It was slippery, greasy, wobbly and not at all moisturizing. None of that magic buttery smoothness bloggers (well, the group of ladies who can land great careers if they work for the shopping channel)raved about.

After a bit of play time - I slowly learned to appreciate it for what it is: A (face and teeth)brightening color in a sheer(blends in with your lips/not sitting on top of it) formula. For the price (I always waited for sales to get them so they were at most 5 bucks), it was a great bargain and looks no less nice compared to more expensive brands.

Funnily, I think I am going through the same phase with Suqqu lipstick right now (spoiler: The Creamy Glow sits and slips like NYX round lipstick on me), except there will be no serial repurchase thanks to the price tag.
Coral Reef was released in summer 2010(a little earlier than the lip butter), as a part of the beautifully curated Daydreamer Collection. This was not only a glorious victory on Revlon that made me (and a bunch of other people) want to hoard-them all (of course I did), Revlon's seasonal collections also became so covetable. 
The Super Lustrous also happens to be one of the best lip gloss formula I have tried: Smoothing, creamy, highly pigmented and reasonably long-wearing. It's strange (or maybe pretty common) to see Revlon revamped the whole line into something much runnier (of course they can market it as light-weight and juicy), with worse quality packaging and tube that contains half as much product. It's all too similar to the Breyer's Ice Cream transformation: From larger sizes to smaller tub, from ice cream to frozen dairy dessert (they market the new formulation light and fluffy). Do they really think that we don't notice this kind of changes?

While reducing a great deal of production cost, Revlon successfully drove me away from the brand to mid-range to more expensive lines (ok, it's not just this but a combinational effort of their distasteful marketing, poorer formula and uninspiring new shades). 
Enough rant for now, here is another summer time revisit(swatches done in cold seasons are usually lip-line galore)of a very nice one from Kiko. The Glossy Lip Stylo has that glossy finish without being sticky or slippery. The only down side would be the black (slightly) textured tube, which builds a layer of patina after a while...

Anyway, it seems that now there is a position opened for my new HG lipstick (now that almost own all the lip butters I would wear). Maybelline no longer carries a sheer formula, Suqqu is downright overpriced. Lipstick Queen(especially Saint formula), while being the best texture I have tried so far, the gummy tube starts to get tacky after the 8-months mark...What sheer lipstick should I try next that has pretty tube? (Maybe I should just focus on finishing up those Fresh minis I have).
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