One of the highlights on my annual beauty calendar is the big reveal of Jorge Balzaretti’s SUQQU collections. Of all the eyeshadow palettes the brand has released – especially since their overhaul – his tend to be the most outstanding for their spot-on mix of textures and on-trend colours.
The UK-exclusive summer 2018 collection is an excellent example. I mean, seriously, how beautiful is all this? The theme for the collection is “Gradation Couture”, which I think is pretty evident in its execution.
To quote the brand, “The inspiration for this collection comes from the gradation of colours in a beautiful summery landscape. The burnt sand and glossy skies, and rosy tones in the sea with a purple mist in the air, encapsulating the essence of Japan’s spontaneous and chic spirit.” The pieces are named as follows (L-R per the above image):
1. Extra Glow Lipstick in 111 Koihanabi “Fireworks”
2. Designing Colour Eyes 117 Natsukasumi “Summer Mist”
3. Pure Colour Blush 107 Hoteribeni “Flushed Cheeks”
4. Designing Colour Eyes 116 Shakuyousa “Burning Sand”
5. Extra Glow Lipstick 110 Kouki “Summer Light”
The first thing that caught my eye was obvious the ombre shades in the eyeshadow palettes. Whoa! Obviously we’ve all seen split pans before, but an actual ombre shadow is a really cool first for SUQQU. Though the Pure Colour Blush was less immediately unique, its description in my PR kit gave me pause. According to Jorge, “it is meant to be used right underneath the lower eyelid continuing towards the cheeks“. How interesting! I love this type of editorial blush placement and am itching to follow these directions to a T, but at the same time I’m dying to see how SUQQU makeup artists interpret this for more conservative customers at the counters during the launch.
I was very kindly sent a few items from this collection to test and review. Under any other circumstances I would consider this collection too pretty to use, but since that’s incredibly unhelpful I gritted my teeth (literally) and dove in.
First up, here’s Designing Colour Eyes 117 Natsukasumi “Summer Mist”. Per the brand, it’s described as “Shimmering rose pink with a hint of silver. Soft gold blends well and the two violet hues are matte to design softly defined eyes“. Some quick notes: to me, the shades read more as 3 satins and a glittery gold. I’m not sure I’d describe the lighter shade in the ombre pan as silver, but it definitely has a bright white-based frost when applied/swatched on its own. The deeper purple that looks red-based here actually has a slight blue flash to it on certain angles.
During swatches and application, I was most impressed with the pigmentation and buttery smoothness of the darkest purple shade. The lighter purple and pink ombre were sheer and beautiful in the way the best SUQQU shadows are – I could immediately tell they would layer beautifully and create all kinds of pretty colour mixes. The gold shadow felt stiffer than the other 3 and I had a bit of trouble picking enough up on my finger for a clear swatch (as you can see here).
That said, it layered over and under the other colours quite well. Mixed with the ombre shade it turned visibly rose gold, and made the dark purple look noticeably warmer when layered over top of it. I have a feeling I’ll have better luck picking it up with a brush, especially now that I’ve rubbed the top layer off, but I will update you in my next (FOTD) post.
Overall this quad is gorgeous and gets me super excited, because I’ve been waiting for pinks and purples to be a thing and it seems their moment has finally arrived!
Next up: Pure Colour Blush 107 Hoteribeni “Flushed Cheeks”, which is “a blusher with gradation effect, from deep berry to soft coral pink.” It’s also described as having “a hint of rose gold”, which I found to mean a soft, slightly warm sheen carried mostly in the coral shade. If you use a small brush and are careful to just pick up from the far right of the pan, I’d wager you could use it as a highlighter.
In the pan, this looked like quite a deep berry, but I was happy to find it very wearable on my fair skin. It showed up as vibrant pink, but not intense to the point where I’d need to worry about over-applying. I’ve yet to meet a SUQQU blush I didn’t love so I’m sure I sound like a broken record at this point, but the texture is flawless and felt like silk on my skin. As passionate as I am about SUQQU eyeshadows, I have to say they really do have one of the best blush formulas on the market.
The last item I tested was the Extra Glow Lipstick 110 Kouki “Summer Light”, described quite accurately by SUQQU as “soft peach.” I don’t have many peach lipsticks so this was a fun colour to test. I found it to be just about as versatile as a nude, but a lot more brightening and youthful. This was perfectly conceived as an easy-to-wear, goes-with-everything summer staple.
Like the rest of the Extra Glow Lipstick line, it’s hydrating without being slippery. I always think of these as being a really forgiving formula that is luxurious but not intimidating, sort of like a grown up version of tinted balm. I love that you can just swipe these on without worrying about precise application, and know you won’t end up looking like a hot mess!
I’ll be posting a FOTD with this collection next and will update this post with the appropriate links once the collection launches online. Speaking of which, the pre-order forms are unfortunately closed so the best chance of nabbing anything from the line is to either be at one of their UK counters or stalk the appropriate websites on the launch dates. Here’s what to circle in your calendar:
26th April at Selfridges counters in London, Manchester and Birmingham
26th April on Selfridges.com
10th May at Harrods and Fenwick of Bond Street counters
10th May at Harrods.com
This post features products that were provided as press samples, however all opinions and observations are my own and not influenced by the brand or its PR team.