This is actually a mini review of Etude House’s Play 101 Pencils, which were a very recent discovery of mine. The colour range of the line alone was impressive, but what really intrigued me was the versatility of these pencils. I used them just on my eyes here, but they can actually be used all over your face as liner, shadow, blush, lipstick, highlight…anything!
I picked up a whole bunch of them last week to play with, to varying degrees of success.
#40, the olive shade on my top lid was a dream to work with. The formulation was smooth, and I was able to easily and comfortably glide it over my lid and blend it out with my fingers. Layering was a breeze too.
My favourite shade, #63 (a rich copper), was unfortunately the worst of the bunch. It felt dry and hard, and as a result was very difficult to work with. Swatching it on the back of my hand was fine because I could put enough pressure on it, but trying to get enough pigment on my eyelid was tortre. It was just so…stabby. Also due to dryness, it refused to layer and went on frustratingly patchy. I used it on my lower lash line here and had to salvage it with Inglot AMC Pigment in #63 patted over top to even it out.
I’m hoping it’s just bad luck, because the copper colour is so beautiful I’m seriously considering going back and repurchasing it, just in case this one was a dud!
I’m also wearing #53 (a glittery rose gold) on the centre of my upper lid, #30 (a burgundy) on my lower lash line and #73 (shimmery nude) on the inner corners. All performed beautifully, though #73 was a tiny bit less creamy than the others.
Overall these pencils get the thumbs up from me, since on a whole they were pigmented, smooth, and easy to work with. They’re inexpensive enough that I’m not too upset over the ones that under-performed, but it’s something to bear in mind if you’re thinking about picking some up for yourself.
Face: It Cosmetics CC Cream in Fair, NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Chantilly, Koh Gen Do Loose Powder // Cheeks: Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Mood Exposure, Kevyn Aucoin The Sculpting Powder in Medium // Eyes: Etude House Play 101 Pencils in #40, #63, #73, #53 and #30, Inglot AMC Pure Pigment Eyeshadow in #63, Stila Stay All Day Liquid Eyeliner, Lancome Hypnose Drama Mascara // Brows: Make Up For Ever Pro Sculpting Brow in #40 // Lips: NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in Copenhagen
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My testing experience with SUQQU Deep Nuance Eye in EX-05 Yakou was a bit of an adventure. I’ll get to that in a second, but here’s what you need to know: this is not your typical cream shadow that sets into a powder. Per the PR literature, it contains “a delicate balance of light oil and spherical powder” and “forms a flexible veil over the eyelids that moves with skin”. Reading that made me nervous because I have supremely oily eyelids and pretty much all cream shadows crease on me, but this review wasn’t going to write itself!
First, here’s Yakou in its pristine state. It comes in a little glass pot with a small brush that I found perfect for thick smudgy liner application, but not ideal for full lid coverage.
Yakou is described as a “glittering grey” and it certainly lives up to its name. I had the hardest time trying to photograph it to show its multi-coloured holographic rainbow shimmer, but it was totally worth it because Yakou is a stunner.
I mean, just look at it.
Even better – that sparkle shows up on skin as well. I used the included brush for the heavy liner swatch on the far left and equally heavy but more blended swatch in the middle. You can tell by my single finger swipe on the far right that Yakou is pretty sheer and needs building up if you want more than the barest wash of colour and sparkle (not that that’s a bad thing).
20 minutes after application however, the shadow still had not fully dried down. As you can see, the single layer finger swatch held its own, but anything thicker than that remained very emollient.
On my face, it gave me a grungy, slept-in smokey eye look that I loved. Here’s a darker, more editorial-esque shot to show you the effect, and let’s go ahead and pretend that my frizzy, dishevelled hair was intentional.
I’m not gonna lie: application of this effortless-looking rocker look was not actually effortless. It took several rounds of dabbing to build up a suitably smokey wash of grey on my lids, and when I was finally satisfied enough to move on to my brows, I realised the smokiness was fading at an alarming rate. It was as though my skin was just absorbing the pigment.
In my regular lighting conditions, you can see how sheer and light the colour is. It’s still a cool look, and very daytime appropriate.
I fixed the fading with another layer of Yakou which I then set with translucent powder. But by the time I was done with the rest of my makeup, I noticed tiny creases starting to appear. Cue yet another layer of Yakou, this time followed by a very light layer of Make Up For Ever eyeshadow in M106 (Slate) on top. Thankfully, Slate didn’t dull the pretty sparkles or alter the colour much.
Even with primer underneath and powder shadow on top, this look did crease quite noticeably by the end of the day. I’m not necessarily disappointed, since my expectations for the performance of ALL cream shadows on my uber-oily eyelids are low to begin with, but Yakou is such a gorgeous colour that I genuinely wish it were easier to work with.
I tested Yakou again the next day and did a lot better with the following, less complex application methods:
Left – a single sheer layer applied with my finger and set with translucent powder. As per the swatches at the top of this post, a thin layer seems to be the best way to wear this colour all-over since it sets a lot better than a thick coat.
Right – a smudgy liner applied with the supplied brush, which is probably my favourite way to wear this shadow. I’ve got it over bare lids in these photos, but I have high hopes for it as part of a more polished look with powder shadow underneath.
Knowing SUQQU’s propensity for sheer shimmers, I have a feeling these last two attempts are perfect examples how Deep Nuance Eyes were actually designed to be worn. I’ll be revisiting the liner look for sure, as I think the concentration from brush application really brings out Yakou’s sophisticated sparkle…even if it’s not particularly evident in these photos thanks to an overcast sky. As always I’ll check back in with updated thoughts and findings when I can, but in the meantime if you have any of the Deep Nuance Eye colours, I’d love to hear your tried-and-true way of wearing them.
Pricing and Availability: SUQQU Deep Nuance Eye cream shadows are priced at £22, is currently available at Selfridges, and from August 25th at Fenwicks of Bond St and Harrods.
These products were provided as press samples, however all opinions and observations are my own and not influenced by the brand or its PR team. This post contains affiliate links.
For those of you who asked about my eye make up at the Make Up For Ever Artist Rouge launch party, here’s a breakdown of what I was wearing. Surprise surprise: it’s almost all Make Up For Ever because I figured since it was their party I was attending, my face should be um…dressed appropriately?
Also I was getting ready in a hurry so this eyeshadow look wasn’t quite as smoothly executed as I’d have liked, but I figured the venue was going to be pretty dark so it didn’t matter!
I started with M646 (Latte) all over the lid as a base, and then slowly built up a concentrated layer of M846 (Morello Cherry) in the crease, taking the colour in a rainbow shape all the way from my outer Vs to my inner Vs. Then I dabbed M928 Eggplant in both corners and blended it out with more M846 (Morello Cherry), careful to leave a “bald spot” in the centre of my mobile lid.
Once I had built up enough depth, I coloured over the “bald spot” with Make Up For Ever Aqua Liner in ME-42, and patted with a finger to blend the edges out. I set that with I662 Amber Brown, and finished with a tiny bit of Stila Magnificent Metals Foil Finish Eye Shadow in Kitten, which is still my favourite thing ever for that extra pop of sparkle. The bling factor of this look is a little lost in this muted light, but at the club it was a lot more dramatic.
I finished up with mascara, thin winged liner (so as not to cover up too much of the gold) and some lashes. Hope this is helpful to anyone who wanted to recreate this. I’m really feeling the burgundy/red thing for fall, so you’ll no doubt be seeing more iterations of this soon!
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