Sunday, October 27, 2013
|Top Row L-R: Hollow, Tough as Taupe, Bronzing Primer, Hoola, Taupe|
Bottom Row L-R: Delicata, Shade & Illuminate I, RCMA (top 2 shades), At Goldcombe Bay
Maybelline Eye Studio Color Tattoo Eyeshadow in "Tough As Taupe" ($6.99 at Ulta): At the risk of sounding like a broken record, these Color Tattoos are such a great drugstore beauty product. The formula of this particular shade is a little thicker and drier than the others in the collection. It reminds me a lot of clay. Once I started using this to contour, I rarely use it on my eyes. It's extremely cool-toned and has a fair amount of purple in it, so I recommend using it sparingly, but it does create a great shadowy-effect, particularly on lighter skin tones. It lasts all day and has never broken me out. I prefer to apply it with my fingers and blend out with a dense face brush.
Bourjois Bronzing Primer ($11.57 on ASOS): I really loved this initially and were it not for the fact that it breaks me out, I still would. I'm still coming to terms with the fact that my skin hates silicone-based face products... such is life. That said, I think this is a good product. It's more similar in tone to Tom Ford's Shade & Illuminate and even though it's on the warmer side, when used lightly, it still is able to create the illusion of shadow. As the name would suggest, it also is a great cream bronzer.
Benefit Cosmetics "Hoola" Bronzer ($28 from Sephora): This is cool-toned for a bronzer, but not as a stand-alone product. Especially if you compare it to some of the other products in this post. Still, I love it. It's quite a dry powder but it packs a good amount of pigmentation and gets the job done. I think this was the first product I bought with the intent of contouring and it's one that I frequently return to. I almost always use this to set Shade & Illuminate which makes it last longer and also makes S & I less warm-toned.
Rouge Bunny Rouge blush in "Delicata" ($28 on Beauty Habit): Technically, a blush but it doesn't add any pink color to me. It's described as a nude/beige/rose. I find it far more nude/beige than rosy. It actually does a great job at creating a very subtle contour. There's a small amount of pearl in it, and it just makes my skin glow. Not an attribute you'd associate with a contour product but somehow it creates a shadow yet keeps skin looking luminous. Easily one of my favorites.
Tom Ford Shade & Illuminate in "Intensity 1" ($75 at Saks): This was a little bit of a hassle to get ahold of. They were sold out or backordered from every retailer I could find online and there aren't any counters near me. I called a few in neighboring states but they were sold out as well. On a whim, I called the counter at the flagship Saks Fifth Avenue in New York and they quickly had it sent out to me the following day and even included some amazing samples. Despite what some of the reviews said, this is actually quite warm-toned. Still, if I use it sparingly it does a great job of creating shadows. I also really enjoy using this as a bronzer. I will say that this doesn't last all day unless I set it with powder. A great product, but for the price, I think it should preform better. Again, I prefer to apply it with my fingers and blend out with a dense face brush.
RCMA Highlight & Contouring Palette ($30 from RCMA): This great cream palette would be perfect for a makeup artist kit as it has colors that would work on a multitude of skin tones. I personally prefer the lighter of the two contouring shades, which is essentially a cream version of Benefit's "Hoola" Bronzer. This lasts longer than Shade & Illuminate but not quite as long as the Color Tattoo.
Rouge Bunny Rouge Bronzing Glow Powder in "At Goldcombe Bay" ($39 on Beauty Habit): Very accurately described as a "satin finish natural beige brown with goldfish pearls". They also recommend it as an eyeshadow or highlighter (for darker complexions, I'm guessing). Natalie from Flowerbomb31 on YouTube recommended this as one of her Rouge Bunny Rouge must-have products and compared it the the Tom Ford Bronzer (which I've been eyeballing). I asked her which she preferred and she said this, so of course I had to pick it up. The first ingredient in this is talc and I think that's pretty evident in it's texture. It's a dry powder, pigmented, but slightly dry. I like it but it's not my favorite formulation.
Not to further complicate your lives, but I can't pick an absolute favorite. My top three picks would be "Hollow", RCMA's lighter contouring shade, and "Delicata". If I want a more dramatic and long-wearing product, I reach for "Tough as Taupe". During the summer, I use "At Goldcombe Bay" and "Hoola" the most. And of course, if I'm in the mood for a good skin break out, I grab the Bourjois Bronzing Primer.
Saturday, October 12, 2013
|(L-R: WH 14, YCQ 12S, YWQ 9, YWQ 7)|
OverviewTanseido is a brand that's relatively new to me. They're hand crafted in Japan and are a little bit of a hassle to get ahold of outside of Japan... but totally worth it. The pricing is fairly comparable to Hakuhodo but there isn't nearly as large of product range. From what I've gathered, most Tanseido brushes aren't particularly dense but they're incrdibly soft and efficient. These brushes are easily some of the softest and most flexible goat hair I've used yet. Of the brushes I purchased, all are made of goat hair excpet for YCQ 12S (which is made of squirrel). I really appreciate the longer handle length (a relatively unusual feature in Japanese brushes). Additionally, most brushes allow you to choose the color of the handle (red, blue, or black). Tanseido also offers the option of customizing your brushes with an enscription of your choice. As with many Japanese brushes, these don't have the name of the brush anywhere on them so I usually opt to make my own with a label-maker.
WH14: This is the only face brush I purchased but I couldn't have been more impressed. My thoughts upon first touching it was that it was too soft lacked the density needed to pack on product. I was so wrong. I don't know how this brush does it, but it's able to build up however much intensity I want. I prefer this to apply powder contour, but it's able to essentially do so much more.
YCQ 12S: Again, amazing soft and shockingly efficient. It's not a densely packed brush but it is able to really pack on color. Perhaps not quite as much as the MAC 239 but it is infinitely softer and with just a little more work, can get you equal color intensity. In my opinion, it's far superior to any other similar brushes I own. I've also had good luck using this to blend, applying shadow to the brow bone, smudging liner, and placing shadow near the lower lash line.
YWQ 9: This brush is strikingly similar to the Hakuhodo 242G. I like both brushes, but I don't know why I felt the need to get a near duplicate for a brush I don't use very frequently. That said, this brush is also great for packing on color, smudging, and more detailed work.
YWQ 7: Aside from the hair, this one is very similar to the Hakuhodo K005 (Weasel). I mostly use the K005 for tight-lining with gel liners but I prefer to use the YWQ 7 for when I use cake/powder liner along the lash line. While you can use this for cream-based products (Ex. gel liner), goat hair isn't quite as "tough" as weasel. It's much softer than the K005 and slightly longer. A nice brush to have, but not necessarily a must-have for me. However, if you prefer to use powder liners, this might be perfect for you.
How I Purchased
Admittedly, this can be a little bit of a hassle to get ahold of but it was totally worth it and I look forward to doing it again. There are a few ways to go about getting Japanese products but the easiest way (in my opinion) is to use a private forwarding service. I used Tommy of http://bringblingjp.blogspot.jp who can pretty much connect you to almost any Japanese brand. You email her a list of what you're interested in and she quickly responds with what it will cost you.
After I sent my PayPal payment she ordered the items. Once she had received my items she sent a picture to ensure everything was correct. She charges a percentage of your order total ranging from 5-10%. This percentage depends on how much your order is and whether it was an online or in-store purchase. She ships everything EMS with tracking so I received my order 3 days after they were shipped from Japan. The whole process is dangerously easy and Tommy was such a pleasure to work with... I highly recommend her! I'm in the process of getting a Chikuhodo and Addiction order together.
Sunday, October 6, 2013
The Hourglass eyeshadow formula is another one of my favorites. It has everything I want in a powder shadow-- buttery, opaque, creamy, blendable, pigmented, and luxurious. This applies evenly and easily with brushes or fingers, lasts all day, and doesn't crease (I use a primer, as always). I can use one duo for my whole eye look... I'm in love! I really wish there was a bigger shade range as this was really the only duo that I felt I would get daily use out of although both "Suede" and "Exhibition" look tempting. Hourglass does have a larger, 6-shade palette (5 matte, 1 shimmer) for sale at SpaceNK and Barneys for $58, making it a much better value, however, I'm only a fan of the lighter shades. If you want to see an amazing post on it, check out this mini review on SweetMakeupTemptations (one of my favorite blogs).
Sunday, September 29, 2013
|Indoors (No Flash)|
"Wakagi" is even more beautiful when layered and I've had a lot of fun experimenting with it. This palette is even more shimmery than "Ryoushun" so I prefer to mix this with some of my matte shades for a complete eye look. For that reason, I definitely reach for "Ryoushun" more but I really like them both. They both wear >8 hours with a primer without creasing (which makes Suqqu one of the longest-lasting shadow lines I've used).
Shade I: A shimmery, sheer, slightly blue-tinged white.
Shade II: With Suqqu, the second shade almost always seems to be the most complex and it's true again. In the pan, this looks like your standard silver. In the sun or with flash though, it transforms into a very green-tinged/taupe/silver shimmer. It's also the most opaque from the quad and the a shade I frequently reach for as an allover lid color.
Shade III: This dark shade has a staining effect and will last all day. In the pan, it looks like a semi matte navy but when swatched in direct light you can see a fair amount of almost holographic shimmer and a slight green tinge.
Shade IV: It's my understanding that this is supposed to be a "base" shadow. It's a sheer color that to me, is very similar to the first shade, except for it doesn't have quite the same blue undertone.
I really like the formula of Suqqu's eyeshadows and wouldn't hesitate to purchase more in the future. The complexity of some of their shades is second to none and I completely understand why many people consider the formula Holy Grail (HG). Ultimately though, my favorite shadows are opaque, buttery, and largely matte. I find that I'm happiest with Suqqu's shadows when I only use them on the lid and inner corner than bring matte shades from other brands to complete the look.
Saturday, September 28, 2013
|Swatched Clockwise from Top Left|
Suqqu is the one of many brands that I've heard so many good things about but never tried. The brand gets a lot of attention for their impossibly soft makeup brushes as well as their cosmetics. Lisa Eldridge also seems to be a huge fan of the brand-- she uses their eyebrow pen in nearly every video. I've read time and time again how Suqqu's eyeshadow formulas among blogger's favorite but hadn't really been able to understand why.
Unfortunately, Suqqu is not easily available in the United States. However, muablogsales came through again and connected me with someone who had over a dozen quads for sale. I had such a hard time deciding which palette to purchase, especially because not many reviews are in English and Google Chrome's translation feature (while nice) isn't able to keep up and a lot of things are lost in translation. I ended up choosing "Ryoushun" & "Wakagi" and I have been completely blown away.
Suqqu described "Ryoushun" as a collection of warm browns and lilac. According to Nutsaboutmakeup, this palette came out in 2010 as a limited edition anniversary release specifically for the UK. While shopping, I wasn't able to find any swatches of the "Ryoushun" palette so I ordered it in good faith. I've mentioned before how I prefer shadows that are buttery, pigmented, and creamy feeling. While that hasn't changed, I do have a deeper appreciation for more subtle eyeshadow formulas like Suqqu. Unlike my experience with Koh Gen Do, these shadows blend beautifully without becoming a muddy mess or just completely lost.
Suqqu has managed to make shimmer look sophisticated and I can imagine wearing this just as often 20 years from now. Not only do the colors coordinate well together but they were designed to be layered, which is definitely a new concept for me. Granted, you can layer other shadows on top of each other but the results are usually pretty disappointing and a garbled mess. I always wear some sort of primer which does intensify the color slightly. Also, I don't notice any fading or creasing throughout the day, like I do with many shadows (even with a primer). I'm betting that's largely because of the light formula. The texture is unbelievably silky, to the point where your eyelids feel softer with the shadows on-- which is amazing! It's rare to come across a formula that's so hard to compare to anything else.
Shade I: I think this is a pearlescent very slightly pink color rather than "lilac" as Suqqu's description would suggest. Compared to the stock photo, it is much less pink.
Shade II: This is a shimmery, golden tan. It's still a complex shade with flecks that reflect, pink, blue and green. It almost gives a glowing effect. I love this shade so much. I've used the most amount of this out of the whole quad as it compliments so many different looks.
Shade III: Definitely the most pigmented in the quad, I like this for the outer v and upper/lower lash lines. It's has a fair amount of complex shimmer running through it without being unwearable. I really like the color as well. I'd describe it as a warm, shimmery brown with burgundy undertones. I found that it was more purple/brown than the stock image portrays and almost leaves behind a stain.
Shade IV: It's my understanding that this is supposed to be a "base" shadow with the faintest of yellow undertones. While I understand the concept, this is too sheer to even out your lid color. Mostly, it just adds a subtle shimmer which I like in the inner corner and inner lid. In terms of texture, it's silky, light, and gorgeous.
SummaryAs much as I can appreciate the uniqueness of the formula and the complexity of some of the colors I wouldn't say that it's my favorite eyeshadow formula. I prefer more opaque, buttery shadows... it's all a matter of preference I suppose. Suqqu is a brand I would love to spend more time experimenting with and learning about. I've been on somewhat of a makeup brush bender lately and at some point I'd love to try out Suqqu's brushes as well.
Friday, September 27, 2013
|Top to Bottom: Wayne Goss 04, Wayne Goss 03, Hakuhodo G5527, Hakuhodo J5523|
|Left to Right: Hakuhodo J5523, Wayne Goss 03, Wayne Goss 04, Hakuhodo G5527|
|Shadow Deposited w/ Brushes|
GeneralizationsThey're both really nice brushes and soft enough to use comfortably on my eye. I'd say they're softer than my Hakuhodo J5523 but not as soft as the Hakuhodo G5527. Still, there's more to brushes than the softness, some of my softest brushes aren't necessarily my favorite as I feel they deposit all the color on the first place you touch down and often times struggle to blend effectively. The handles are about the same length as my MAC eye brushes which is somewhat hard to come by in Japanese brushes (usually they're much shorter). They hair on the brushes is fairly long and flexible and of medium density. In the second picture you can kind of see there are a few hairs that kind splay out a little, especially when compared to the perfection of the G5527.
Still, they did a good job of blending. I thought it was interesting that the hair color on the 04 brush is more brown than the 03. As far as I can tell, they're both equally soft and appear to be made of the same hair but the color variance makes me wonder. In terms of weight, Goss brushes are really light (compared to the the Hakuhodo's I have pictured).
Individual Review03 ($32 on Beautylish): I'd say I have a medium-sized crease and this fits perfectly. It doesn't blend as strongly as a MAC 217 but sometimes that's not what I'm after. It's soft enough to push directly on your eyelid without feeling any scratchiness or the individual bristles. It's more dense and fluffy than 04 and so I prefer it for bleding. Wayne also recommended using it for the following: Applying lid color, applying crease color, blending eyeshadow, highlighting, and nose contouring. Although, I feel it really excels at applying and blending eyeshadow through the crease.
04 ($28 on Beautylish): Kind of similar to 03 but allows for more precision. It's not as fluffy but also has the same longer hair length that allows for a good amount of flexibility (still not as much as the grey squirrel brushes from Koyudo). I like this for doing more detailed crease work although it does a good job of depositing color (I'd say it does so more effectively than the 04). Wayne recommended using this brush for crease work on hooded eyes, covering under-eye circles with powder, and for pretty much everything that the 03 brush can do.
Final ThoughtsAt this point, I see myself getting more use out of the 03 but I need to spend more time with both and I'll update this post accordingly. In my honest opinion. these aren't mind-blowingly soft when compared to some other brushes (like those listed at the beginning) but they're comfortable to use, effective, multipurpose, and worth the price. I will definitely be purchasing more from the line when they become available.
Did you get any of the brushes from his line? I'd love to hear your thoughts. Thanks for stopping by!
Tags: Goss brush review 03, Wayne Goss brush review, makeup brush review, goss makeup brush review, Goss brush review 04, goss #4, goss #3