Sunday, September 29, 2013

Suqqu (11) Wakagi 若樹 Review & Swatches

Indoors (No Flash)
Outdoors/With Flash
The swatches on this blog pushed me to buy "Wakagi" and I couldn't be happier. For the life of me though, I haven't been able replicate the colors she created through layering. In terms of formula, everything I said in this post, remains true. The colors are sheer yet pigmented, silky, buildable, blendable, and unique. The lasting power of Suqqu's formula is really impressive as well.

"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

Suqqu (Ex-07) Ryoushun 涼春 Review & Swatches

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.
As 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

Wayne Goss Brush Review: 03 & 04

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
I haven't mentioned it much (I think only once, here) but I absolutely love makeup brushes, particularly ones made in Japan. The craftsmanship really is truly outstanding and uncomparable to any other brushes I've tried. Some of my favorite brands include the following: Koyudo, Chikuhodo, Tanseido, Tom Ford, Houkodou, and Hakuhodo. So when I heard Wayne Goss of YouTube was releasing a brush line hand-crafted in Japan, I started stalking him on various social media sites for updates. Finally, this week they were released for individual sale in the USA via Beautylish (or Love Make Up for the rest of the world). Sadly, work interferes with my shopping habits and by the time I was able to go online to purchase, brushes 02 & 06 had already sold out... thankfully I was able to purchase 03 & 04.
They'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 Review
03 ($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 Thoughts
At 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

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Review: Hourglass Femme Nude Lip Stylo in "Nude No. 6"

Price: $30 from Sephora

First of all, I really love Hourglass. Some of their offerings are definitely in my short list of holy grail products. So when I heard about their summer launch of nude lipsticks, I was definitely interested. The Femme Nude Lip Stylo's claim to be full-coverage, satin lipsticks with a "nude for every mood" and skin-tone.

There are six shades in the range with the basic principal of "the darker the shade, the darker the skin-tone". Many of the reviews on Sephora recommended that everyone (even those with fair skin) should go for the darker shades to avoid looking dead. So, I decided to pick the darkest of the lot--which I can now admit was a stupid choice. No. 6 is described as a "deep mauve nude". I found it to be quite a brown mauve which I'm sure would look good on someone, but that person just isn't me. I would describe it as an unflattering "my lips but browner" shade that makes my teeth look yellow. But again, I definitely picked the wrong shade.

In terms of the formula, it's alright. I totally agree that it has a satin finish, lasts for about 4 hours, isn't drying or especially hydrating, and doesn't overly emphasize lines or textural problems on the lips. What I really can't stand is the smell. It smells like expired/cheap lipstick. I have a few Estee Lauder lipsticks that I've kept for sentimental reasons, which were a hand-me-down from my mom (circa 1997) that smell the exact same. I don't believe there's any added fragrance in the Hourglass lipstick, but it's just so off-putting it totally negates the expensive-feeling packaging.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Eyeshadow Pencil SmackDown: MAC "Painterly" Paint Pot's $4 Dupe?

(Before Rubbing & Water Test) Left: "Continuous Almond", Right: "Painterly"
(After Rubbing & Water Test) Left: "Continuous Almond", Right: "Painterly"
MAC Paint Pot in "Painterly" vs. Jordana 12HR Made to Last Eyeshadow Pencil in "04 Continuous Almond"

MAC Paint Pot in "Painterly" ($20 from MAC): I've never done a dedicated review of "Painterly" because the web is full of them and I didn't think that there was anything left to be said about it. It's a great makeup staple and I love it. However, I hate that by the end of the day there's a faint amount of creasing. At the price point, I think it's fair to expect better. I also thought that shadow didn't cling to it as well as with other bases... so in summary, it's good but there's definitely room for improvement.

Jordana 12HR Made to Last Eyeshadow Pencil in "04 Continuous Almond"($3.99 on Jordana/Walgreens): This is far more yellow-toned and is a closer dupe for the Paint Pot in "Soft Ochre" which I don't own. I think that "Painterly" is a much closer match to my skin color but ultimately it doesn't matter much when you're only using it as a shadow base. The texture of the MAC and the Jordana is identical as far as I can tell. "Continuous Almond" takes a little longer to set (around a minute). While you wait for it to set I recommend keeping your eyes closed as it can cause your lid and stick together. "Continuous Almond" was a little more resistant to rubbing and water but didn't wear off as evenly. Both are matte and I'm tempted to say that "Continuious Almond" is actually a little more pigmented. Both "Continuous Almond" and "Painterly" allowed shadows to be more vibrant and true-to-color and wear longer. 
Ultimately, the test came down to how these two wore. "Painterly" does a better job of getting eyeshadows to stick but it does crease on me after only a few hours. "Continuous Almond" resisted creasing for about 6 hours but the shadow faded after only a few hours. 

(If Used Alone) Winner: 
Jordana 12HR Made to Last Eyeshadow Pencil in "02 Continuous Almond" 

(As a Base) Winner:
MAC Paint Pot in "Painterly"

Monday, September 2, 2013

Big Talkers: IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Redness (Neutralizing Correcting Cream)

Left Half: Bare Skin, Right Half: Spot Concealed with B.B.R. (No Other Face Makeup)
IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Redness (Neutralizing Correcting Cream) ($32 from Birchbox)

What it Claims: Based on the names, IT Cosmetics has a lot of faith in their products. Like the Brow Power Pencil, this too claims to be a universal shade. In addition, it's supposedly full of skin care ingredients like peptides and collagen that with continued use, should reduce redness even when you're not wearing this product. This also claims to hydrate and to last all day.

What it Does: Basically, this is a pigmented, creamy concealer that would work for most light/medium skin tones. It's slightly more beige/yellow-toned than my other face makeup but somehow manages to blend in well. When I apply it to parts of my face that are lighter (like my neck), I can see that it doesn't match. For that reason, I wouldn't recommend it for those with fair skin (NW/NC 10-15). I don't find it hydrating or drying but it has enough initial slip to blend evenly and easily. It kind of clings to dryness, however still less so than other high-coverage products. It sets to a matte finish in under a minute and lasts about 8 hours before it starts to fade. 

Bottom Line: I genuinely do enjoy it and would definitely repurchase. I feel it does a better job at hiding redness than my concealers and it only takes a rice-sized amount to spot cover any trouble areas.

For Reference: I'm an NW25 in MAC & "Rose Ivory" in Laura Mercier

Eyeshadow Pencil SmackDown: NYX vs. Jordana

Left: NYX "Milk", Right: Jordana "Eternal White"
(Before Rubbing & Water Test) Left: "Milk", Right: "Eternal White"
(After Rubbing & Water Test) Left: "Milk", Right: "Eternal White"
MAC "Club" Eyeshadow from L-R: No Base, "Milk", "Eternal White"
MAC "Club" Eyeshadow from L-R: No Base, "Milk", "Eternal White" 
(After Wash/Rub Test) MAC "Club" Eyeshadow from L-R: No Base, "Milk", "Eternal White"
 NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil in "Milk" vs. Jordana 12HR Made to Last Eyeshadow Pencil in "01 Eternal White"

The NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil in "Milk" ($4.49 at Ulta): This is somewhat of a blogger classic and for the last year, it's been one of my favorites as well. I did a post comparing it to several other eyeshadow primers and it performed better than some that are actually marketed as a primer. No matter how long you wait for "Milk" to set, it will smear as soon as you run your finger over it. As much as I love the "Milk" pencil, it does crease and fade throughout the day so I mostly just reserve it for lightening the brow bone, cupids bow, and inner corner.

Jordana 12HR Made to Last Eyeshadow Pencil in "01 Eternal White" ($3.99 on Jordana/Walgreens): Jordana launched this line last month. Unlike with NYX, these claim to be long-lasting and water resistant as well as matte and highly pigmented. I found that it was less tacky/sticky than "Milk" and after it sets, it becomes matte. "Eternal White" sets in a little under a minute and then becomes budge-proof. Both "Milk" and "Eternal White" extended wear time and allowed shadows to be more vibrant and true-to-color but I think that NYX did a better job at keeping the shadow more bright. Jordana's pencil is more water-resistant but initially slightly less pigmented and doesn't hold on to shadows as well as "Milk" or other primers however it only shows faint signs of creasing after wearing for 7+ hours. "Milk" on the other hand, creases after a few hours.

(If Used Alone) Winner: 
Jordana 12HR Made to Last Eyeshadow Pencil in "01 Eternal White" 

(As a Base) Winner:
The NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil in "Milk"