suqqu holiday 2017

November 14, 2017  |  Product Reviews, SUQQU  |  No Comments

You’ll have to excuse the delay in all my holiday posts this year. Ever since most of the collections launched about a month back, Adam and I have been in the process of finalizing the sale of our LA house – no small feat when you’re also simultaneously trying to weed, pack and coordinate an international shipment of all your possessions to a forwarding address you haven’t quiiiiiite locked down yet. It’s fine though, because our stuff will be at sea for a month or so and that should give us plenty of time to look for a new home in a country we have visited maybe three times in total. What could possibly go wrong? (Note to self: maybe start a separate vlog about the things that do go wrong)

Anyway enough about my life, and on to the good stuff!

In the last few years, SUQQU has cleverly been handing the design reigns over to makeup artist Jorge Balzaretti for special collections, and this holiday season is no different. Jorge’s limited edition eyeshadow quads have always been more inspired than the workhorse permanents, but the gap has widened even more since SUQQU’s switch from Blend Colour Eyeshadows to Designing Colour Eyes – the latter are quite uniformly shimmery and many SUQQU fans (myself included) have lamented over the loss of textural and finish variation within each quad.

While SUQQU has yet to factor this feedback into their permanent line, Jorge addressed this in his Summer 2017 collection, much my delight. I was so excited to see distinct matte and glitter shades again! The holiday 2017 collection continues down the same multi-textural path, so anyone who enjoyed the summer collection for the same reasons I did is pretty much guaranteed to love this one as well.

First up, let’s look at SUQQU Designing Colour Eyes in 113 Hikarisango:

L1060193

It contains a very pigmented off-white frost, a satin peach, a shimmery rich copper and a very interesting slightly-purplish brown. I’d describe it as a satin-matte in base with multi-coloured sparkles mixed in.

L1060191

Of the two quads I received to test, this is my favourite. I wasn’t expecting it to be, because as much as I like warm orange shades, peach itself has never been a go-to colour for me. I suppose it’s because it’s so close to the actual colour of my skin when I’ve rubbed it raw or something; I’ve never thought it looked great around my eyes. Turns out, I just hadn’t met the right peach yet!

Or perhaps I hadn’t met the right peach in the right context. Take a look at how beautifully it combines with the other shades in this palette to create a rosy-taupe-brown and a dusty rose. It helps that all the shades in this quad are very pigmented and punchy – with very little effort on my part, I ended up with a flattering halo eye rather than the pale wash of shimmery peach I’d initially feared would be the result.

Suqqu holiday 20172

Next up, SUQQU Designing Colour Eyes in 110 Kohakuyoi:

L1060202

Is anyone else getting Matsukasa vibes here?

When I first opened this up, I was so glad to finally see a basic warm brown quad since even the permanent line lacks one. And then I swatched it and realized this quad was anything but basic. In fact, it was a puzzle at first because in the pan, the two shades in the left column look pretty similar and I couldn’t for the life of me figure out how to use it.

But let’s just have another look at the beautiful shimmers in the sunlight before I go on about my Kohakuyoi revelation.

L1060204

It baffled me even as I swatched it. The first shade was just…sheer glitter? Um, what now?

The three other shades made sense to me: a matte nude shade for a base layer and blending work, a copper brown with gold sparkles, and a cool dark brown with multi-coloured glitter flecks. None of them wowed me on their own until I thought to mix them, and then BAM.

Even in swatches, it’s easy to see that this was made for layering a la old-school SUQQU quads. The two darker shades combined perfectly into rich metallics without muddying, and that sheer glitter that initially stumped me? Well, it adhered itself like a magnet to the base shades and just brought them to life in the most holiday-appropriate way. How a sheer powder glitter can stick to a regular powder base that well is beyond me, but I’ll chalk it up to SUQQU magic. Like I said, not so basic at all.

Suqqu holiday 2017

Speaking of pleasant surprises, here’s SUQQU Pure Colour Blush in 105 Tankouka:

L1060225

It’s a warm pink that fades into a nude gold, and surprise! Appears completely transformed in the light.

Look at that beautiful shimmer finish. I admit to being daunted by it initially, because shimmery blush isn’t always the kindest to skin texture, but I was silly to have worried. SUQQU is not the kind of brand to make unflattering blush! What was I thinking?

L1060222

Sure enough, the swatches proved that the formula was silken and the shimmer perfectly refined. I have long loved Hourglass Ambient Light Blushes for their flattering, subtly illuminating glow that other products have so far fallen short of emulating. This blush, however, does all the things Hourglass ones do and more: it lets you control the amount of sheen you get by deciding how you want to mix the hues.

The pink on its own has a fair bit of reflect to it, but you can really amp it up by mixing it with the gold highlight shade. Not to the point of shine, but a solid, healthy glow. Here are some swatches in the shade and sunlight, so you can see the extent of the shimmer. As you can see, the mixed shade, when it catches the light, has got a gorgeous warm opalescence to it.

Suqqu Blush 105 Tankouka

Suqqu Blush 105 Tankouka2

Last but not least, the jewel of this year’s collection – SUQQU Extra Glow Lipstick 107 Yoibudou:

SUQQU rarely does vamp shades, so this year’s release of not one or two but THREE dark shades is quite something! 106, 107 and 108 are red, purple and brown-based respectively. As per the “glow” part of their name, the formula of these lipsticks are sheer and glossy. They’re also pigmented while being quite slippery, so it’s a credit to the brand that they don’t streak or go on patchy, or at least that was my experience with 107 Yoibudou. Personally I’d recommend using a lip-liner with these shades if you’re planning on wearing them at full application strength since you might see a bit of edge bleed due to their wetness.

Suqqu 107 Yoibudou

Note: at the time of this posting, some of these beauties were still available on Harrods’ site, but I fear they are fast disappearing. For international orders, you could try enquiring suqquuk@eqpuk.com or if you’re in the UK, heading down to a SUQQU counter in person since the physical stores usually seem to have more stock on hand.

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.

chanel fw2017

November 8, 2017  |  Chanel, Product Reviews  |  No Comments

Ah Chanel. What an easy win this was for you, designing a fall-winter makeup collection around the colours of LA, my second home. It hits me right in the feels because we’re actually in the process of selling our house here, and very soon this beautiful collection will be a vivid reminder of the city I loved and left. I know that sounds a little sad, but I actually can’t think of a sweeter way to remember a place than by painting myself in its colours.

So let’s talk colours.

LA is famous for its dusty desert hues, gorgeous pink sunsets, and – let’s be real – smog. I love that the colours of this collection are brutally honest about the many shades of grey we see every day on the horizon. The best-named item in this collection has got to be New Dawn, a taupe nail polish that absolutely nails (see what I did there) the colour of the sky at daybreak.

chanel new dawn nail polish

I’m not the best at painting my own nails, but here are some swatches of the colour as-is, and then with dabs of rose gold glitter to…ahem…camouflage mistakes.

chanel new dawn

Another win in this collection is the Les 4 Ombres City Lights quad, made up of pigmented taupe-browns. The colours are mostly neutral in tone but lean ever so slightly cool on my skin. City Lights may not present the most innovative colour combo but of all my non-warm quads, this is definitely the easiest one to wear and I have been reaching for it a lot lately.

chanel fw017 city lights 2

chanel fw017 city lights 1

chanel city lights

Not part of the Califoria collection but also new to the Les 4 Ombres family is Tisse Merveilleux – another cool quad that’s lately had me uncharacteristically turning my back on red and orange shadows. I’m sure you can understand why though. The colour combination here is merveilleux indeed!

chanel les ombres tisse merveilleux 1

chanel les ombres tisse merveilleux 2

chanel tisse merveilleux

Bonus trivia: it should look familiar to SUQQU fans, specifically owners of Awafujisukashi. Just for fun, I did some comparison swatches. Awafujisukashi’s white-pink duochrome is extremely compelling, but I have to say that the icy lavender of Tisse Merveilleux is much more magical than the former’s equivalent shade. What do you think?

suqqu vs chanel

The collection’s Ombre Premiere Cream eyeshadows in Urban (dark blue) and Memory (golden bronze) were both beautiful, but my pick was Pourpre Profund, a rich and complex burgundy brown. It’s both amazing on its own and as a deepening base for smokier eye looks, and pairs really well with City Lights.

chanel ombre premiere Pourpre Profund 2

chanel ombre premiere Pourpre Profund 3

I’ve also recently had the pleasure of sampling a couple of Ombre Premiere powder eyeshadows that Chanel introduced earlier this year. My picks were Talpa, a truly elegant “one and done” shade, and Titane which is so buttery and pigmented that I was legitimately shocked when I first swatched it. All the metallics of this line are scene-stealers though. If you’re into golds, I highlight recommend Poudre D’Or as well…I’m thinking about going back for it myself!

chanel ombre premiere talpa

chanel ombre premiere titane

Here are some swatches of Talpa, Titane and Pourpre Profund:

CHANEL ombre premiere eyeshadow swatch

Last but not least, here are some of the lovely lip products I sampled from the FW collection: Rouge Allure Lip Inks in Lost (a warm nude) and Highway (a white-based light coral). I have to admit that while Lost is slightly easier to wear, I’ve found that finishing an otherwise neutral look with Highway is very rewarding as it adds a pop of unexpected colour without looking jarring – on me, it’s worked with both cool and warm eyeshadow looks.

chanel lost highway allure ink

From the permanent line, I tested some other 2017 additions to the Chanel lip lineup: Le Rouge Crayon de Couleur in Fuchsia, Rose Violine, and Cassis. If you’re a fan of fuss-free comfortable lipstick, these are great. They twist up (no sharpener required!) and are creamy yet pigmented. Because the formula is a little slippery, I generally prefer to sheer Cassis out rather than wearing it at full pigmentation though I do go full-on with the other two shades.

Chanel Le Rouge Crayon de Couleur 1

Chanel Le Rouge Crayon de Couleur 2

Here are some swatches of all the lip products mentioned above:

Chanel rouge allure ink crayon

 

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. This post contains affiliate links.

suqqu aw17

October 21, 2017  |  Product Reviews, SUQQU  |  No Comments

Man, this review was a couple months in the making. The long of it is…long, but the short of it is that the products got bounced around in the mail for months and went from the UK to Singapore, then back to the UK, and finally to me here in LA earlier this week. You have my sincerest apologies for this review being so late – the SUQQU team and I tried our best to corral them, but these little beauties just wanted to see the world!

So without any further ado, I present these highlights from SUQQU’s AW17 collection: Designing Colour Eyes in #107 Horeaka, Pure Colour Blush in #104 Beniazuki and Moisture Rich Lipsticks in #06 Senkenka and #102 Hyouka.

I’ll start with the eyeshadows, because SUQQU quads have a special place in my heart and are always where my eyes go first. The colours of #107 Horeaka are described by the brand as being “Garnet & Foggy Pink…evoking the familiar warmth of winter sunset.”

SUQQU 107 Horeaka 2

My first thought when I opened Horeaka was that it reminded me of Tom Ford’s Honeymoon quad, though Horeaka is more interesting and varied in terms of textures. Yup, you read that right: no uniform shimmer in this quad – there are distinctly different finishes! But I’ll get back to that in a moment. First, let’s appreciate the beauty of the complex shadows in their pans:

SUQQU 107 Horeaka 3

On the top we have a shimmery golden khaki (L) and an subtle duochrome shade that has a pale pink base with a frosty-bordering-on-glittery gold finish (R). On the bottom there’s a shimmery red with fine pink flecks (L) and a satin plum-brown.

SUQQU 107 Horeaka 1

The absolute worst thing I can say about this quad is that the golden khaki awed me the least by swatching exactly how it appeared in the pan – that’s how great the quad is on a whole. It’s not the most exciting shade, but serves as a much-needed base colour to build the others around and is a very elegant “one and done” shade for those days you want a subtle wash of colour and nothing else. It reminds me of a more shimmery version of Burberry’s Pale Barley in that sense.

The pinky gold almost-duochrome (it counts as one to me, but the pink base is so light it’s hard to visually isolate it when the gold flashes) was drier than the rest of the shadows but not difficult to work with. I didn’t have trouble with fallout or notice that it kicked up excessively when I used a brush, but it looked best when patted on with a finger. I imagine it would be stunning foiled on as well! So far this is the most dramatic glitter shadow I’ve encountered from SUQQU.

The red almost scared me with its pigmentation. One swipe was all it took for the swatch below, so you can imagine how striking of a look you could create with this shade, and quite effortlessly too (for better or worse)! There’s a dimensionality to this shade that makes it more unique than just a regular shimmer red, which on the eye really gives the impression of your having done more blending/layering work than you actually did.

Finally, the plummy brown was a surprise to me as well. I was sure it was going to be shimmery too but it ended up being a rich, pigmented satin that applied smoothly and blended well. It was the perfect foil to the rest of the shades, and a possible indication that SUQQU may be moving in a direction to give us die-hard fans the textural variety we have been missing from the discontinued Blend Colour Eyeshadow quads.

SUQQU eyeshadow 107 Horeaka

Because this is a very harmonious palette, layering the shadows doesn’t really yield more than variations of browns and burgundies but it is interesting to note that all the mixed shades felt a lot cooler to me than the originals.

And speaking of warm-cool switcheroos, let’s have a look at Pure Colour Blush in #104 Beniazuki – a bright pink powder blush with stripes of icy lavender and golden tangerine:

SUQQU Blush 104 Beniazuki 2

The lavender and orange are shimmery while the bright pink is not, so there really are a lot of different combinations you can make with this 3-in-1 blush depending on how you swirl your brush in it. I discovered that the included brush is actually the perfect size for playing around with combos; my regular blush brush was too large to pick up say, the orange and pink but not the lavender.

SUQQU Blush 104 Beniazuki 1

The swatches (taken first in natural light and then in my bathroom to better show the shimmer) are pretty self explanatory – you can wear this blush warmer or cooler, and more matte or more shimmery depending on what the rest of your makeup calls for, which makes it extremely versatile.

Considering how sleek the case is and that it also contains a mirror and excellent blush brush, this is probably the most useful travel powder blush I own right now. I can also see myself reaching it on days when I’m being lazy and need a cool or warm blush but don’t want to mentally run through every blush I own and figure out which is which. I mean, why go through the trouble of swatching your collection to find the perfect shade when you can just mix it up on the spot?

Bascially, if I had to pick just one SUQQU blush to own…I think this would be it.

suqqu blush 104 beniazuki

suqqu blush 104 beniazuki2

And last but not least, the sheer and hydrating Moisture Rich Lipsticks. SUQQU kindly sent me two shades to try, a cool bright pink which was right up my alley and…a baby blue. I know. I wasn’t expecting that either.

But let me back it up a little and talk about the new packaging we’re seeing here: SUQQU has gone from sleek, skinny black tubes to square black tubes with gold bases to these newer, heftier tubes that are full-on luxe. Although it’s probably a pain for anyone who loved the portability of the original lightweight packaging, there’s no denying that the weight and gold-heavy design of these lipsticks is more on-par with other luxury brands’ offerings.

suqqu moisture rich lipsticks 1

suqqu moisture rich lipsticks 2

Anywho, on to the swatches. As I mentioned, #06 Senkenka aka Fucsia Pink is just so me. Why? Because I’m lazy and a balmy, brightening pink that not only wakes my face up but can be used to hydrate my lips when they get dry (which is often) is exactly the kind of thing I reach for on an almost-daily basis. It appeals to me as a sheer version of my favourite SUQQU lipstick to date: Creamy Glow Moist in Ex-21 Senka.

The blue shade, #102 Hyouka, was a touch more perplexing. It’s purportedly tinted in a way that “cools and tones down redness of lips”, but on my skin and lips it looked pretty much clear. Or did it? I still can’t quite figure out if I can make out the barest tint of coolness, or if it’s just my imagination. In any case, the moisturizing formula made it an excellent lip balm though, and – thanks to its hue and packaging – a very unique one to own.

SUQQU Moisture Rich Lipstick

Phew, that was a long post! If you’ve made it this far, congratulations on your stellar focus and thank you so much for reading. I can only assume you’re a SUQQU fanatic as well, and I hope that my photos and opinions were helpful to you. I’ll be posting some FOTDs with these products next, so do check back if you’re interested in seeing how these worked as a full look.

 

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. This post contains affiliate links.