suqqu ss2018: eyes

February 23, 2018  |  Product Reviews, SUQQU  |  No Comments

This is the second of two review posts I’ve put together about SUQQU’s Spring Summer 2018 collection. The very lengthy first one, featuring cheek and lip products, is here. This one will be shorter because SUQQU eyeshadow palettes are (in my opinion) unique to the point of being pointless to attempt to dupe. I mean, if there was a standout shade in question then maybe, but the true appeal of SUQQU palettes have always been in their colour combinations more so than in their individual colours. The whole, as they say, being greater than the sum of its parts.

The two palettes in this collection certainly fall into that category, though Designing Colour Eyes 09 Ryougetsu takes the cake for being most reminiscent of the original SUQQU Blend Colour Eyeshadow palettes. To me, it’s closer than any of the Designing Colour Eyes palettes have come before.

SUQQU Designing Colour Eyes 09 Ryougetsu 1

SUQQU Designing Colour Eyes 09 Ryougetsu 2

I was ever so slightly skeptical of this quad at first. Icy pastel blue, silver, gold taupe and green-grey aren’t my go-to colours, and they appeared to be a bit plain on their own. But like the best SUQQU quads, they were downright magical when layered! You can see from the 2 last swatches that they almost had a duochrome effect when mixed together.

More of this please, SUQQU. I so miss these unusual and slightly clashing colour combos that layer to create beautiful hidden shades.

suqqu 09 ryougetsu

The next quad I tested was Designing Colour Eyes in 114 Hanaakari, a rosy-bronze-brown quad with a truly magnificent hot pink glitter shade. I mean…

SUQQU Designing Colour Eyes 114 Hanaakari

SUQQU Designing Colour Eyes 114 Hanaakari 2

That glitter shadow is unlike anything SUQQU has released before. It’s straight-up glitter that’s rough to the touch, but somehow swatched smoothly without fallout, and went on THIS evenly without primer. I’m not sure what kind of sorcery this is, but I was blown away by how well this (and the silver shade from 09 Ryougetsu) adhered to my skin. It reminded me of a grown-up vesion of Urban Decay’s Moondust shadows.

suqqu 114 hanaakari2

The “hidden colours” of this palette are less surprising than 09′s, but no less pretty. I love that this palette can so easily swing from neutral to fun to rock-star-dramatic. It’s exactly what I’d take on my travels because of its versatility – I can see myself wearing A, C and D regularly and B whenever I get bored and start to crave drama or bling.

Next on the docket are SUQQU products I’ve actually never tried before: SUQQU Gel Eyeliner Pencils. Just to clarify, they’ve been used on me by makeup artists during SUQQU counter makeovers, but I’ve never actually thought to pick any up before. That was obviously before I swatched them on my arm and discovered they wear like iron…now I want them in every colour!

The two here are 05/Grey (which pairs perfectly with Designing Colour Eyes 09 Ryougetsu) and 101/Purple, a limited edition shade with ultra-fine sparkles. The eyeliners conveniently come with sponge tips on their other ends, so you can smudge them out for a softer, more diffused look.


Last but not least is an entire limited edition line: SUQQU Deep Nuance Eyes, a gel-like cream eyeshadow formula that debuted in 2016. I talked about my previous experiences with it here and here. Clock-wise from the top, the colours are 103 Akakage, 102 Maizakura and 104 Sukashiaoi.

Let me just say that I’m incredibly biased towards that last colour because it was a gift from a friend who chose it for its similarity to the lavender shade in Awafujisukashi…which she remembered as being my most-favourite-ever SUQQU quad. How incredibly thoughtful is that? I am so humbled. Thank you Lisa!

SUQQU Deep Nuance Eyes

Sheer and sparkly, these SUQQU Deep Nuance Eyes tie in perfectly with the season’s Kindami (gilt-work) theme. 102 Maizakura is a pale, warm pink in the pot but actually has a completely clear base with fine pink and gold shimmer particles suspended in it. 103 Akakage has a metallic bronze base with larger silver and gold reflective particles, that give the dramatic effect of foiled eyeshadow without the effort. 104 Sukashiaoi has a sheer periwinkle-blue base with fine blue and pink shimmer particles that combine to create a lavender flash when it catches the light.

suqqu deep nuance eyes

Their effect in real life is beautiful, but super tricky to capture accurately in photos. I took a couple of shots with my phone on different angles to try to show off the sparkles – still not perfect, but hopefully this and the descriptions give you a better idea of what to expect if you’re ordering online.

And that concludes my review of SUQQU’s 2018 Spring-Summer collection, but I’ll be updating the blog soon with FOTDs.

suqqu deep nuance eyes 102 103 104


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 ss2018 1/2: lips and cheeks

February 23, 2018  |  Product Reviews, SUQQU  |  1 Comment

I’m splitting a mega-post into two different ones (lips and cheeks in this post, eye shadows here), because SUQQU really outdid themselves this season with lots of new textures and formulas that warrant in-depth review. The central theme of their Spring/Summer 2018 collection is Kindami, the art of gilding. In this case, it refers specifically to the gilt-work of a kimono – those fine touches of gold that twinkle as the wearer moves, designed to catch the light in an enchanting, slightly mysterious way.

The collection’s reflectivity materializes in the use of both glitter and gloss, the latter a completely new line of products: SUQQU Flawless Lip Gloss. Since I’m sure everyone is most curious about these (I know I was), I’ll start with them, but don’t forget to check back for the second review post as we’ll be looking at SUQQU’s take on chunky glitter eyeshadow and you really don’t want to miss that!

One last thing to mention before we delve into this: please note that on Selfridge’s and Harrod’s websites the lip products aren’t numbered, but are instead listed by their English colour-descriptive names.


The Flawless Lip Gloss range includes 10 permanent tinted shades (6 of which I have here) as well as two clear, sparkly limited edition ones. In SUQQU’s words, the goal of these glosses is to create a “refined lustre” that enhances the volume lips with clear, pure colours. Hence the glosses being very delicately tinted for a restrained, elegant effect – even the ones that looked glittery in their tubes were like gossamer on the lips.

The full shade range is as follows, with their official product names / online names. No, I don’t know why they did this. Yes, I am as confused as you are.

01 Amecha / Milk Tea Beige
02 Akachakou / Ladyish Beige
03 Sakurazome / Innocent Pink
04 Kirabeni / Golden Strawberry
05 Benisango / Tender Coral
06 Irobara / Dusty Rose
07 Akashion / Dark Berry
08 Akamitsu / Bloody Red
09 Shizukubotan / Juicy Pink
10 Tsuyuanzu / Milky Apricot
101 Tsuyabudou / Radiant Purple
102 Tsuyaremon / Radiant Yellow

suqqu flawless lip gloss swatches

In terms of texture, these are very similar to my beloved YSL Tint-in-Oils as they feel light, moisturizing and slippery rather than sticky. They are unscented as well, which is no doubt going to be a big plus for lots of people. Their applicators were especially pleasant to use as the doe-foot is straight and thin for precise application, and seemed to pick up the perfect amount of gloss per coat. I didn’t have to deal with trying to evenly spread out a big glob of gloss or keep dipping to pick up more product.

You’ll notice that these are very uniform in pigmentation (save for the clear limited edition ones), which I really like about them. It takes the guesswork out of shopping online: you know you won’t accidentally end up with something that turns out to be bolder than expected, and their sheerness pretty much guarantees that none of them are going to look truly objectionable on anyone.

Here are the SUQQU glosses compared to other lip glosses in my collection. Mostly this features Chanel Rouge Coco Gloss, with a Too Faced Sweet Peach Gloss, a Surratt Lip Lustre, and a Bite Beauty Creme Lip Gloss. I matched them as closely as I possible could save for the last one, which was just…yeah I had nothing else.

suqqu flawless lip gloss comparison

They looked a lot more similar in their tubes than they did in swatches, but it was an interesting experiment to see how they stacked up against other glosses I already own and love. In every instance they were lighter in terms of pigmentation and had finer glitter particles than the alternative.

suqqu flawlessl lip gloss2

The other lip products in this collection were a surprise to me as well: 14 Mizukajitsu / Tomato Red that looks like a muted coral on me, 15 Yoinijimi / Deep Brown which was fairly true to its description, and 109 Kindami / Sparkling Gold, a clear balmy base with gold glitter that can be worn on its own or layered over other colours. I must apologize for the following photo – I mixed the order up so they appear here in the order of 15, 14 and 109.

suqqu kindami extra glow lipstick 14 15 109

Though the warm pink of 14 Mizukajitsu/Tomato Red is well within the brand’s wheelhouse, the other two shades caught me completely off guard. I mean, we’ve all seen nudes and clear balms from SUQQU, but I don’t think anyone was expecting a 90′s brown and a glittery lipstick topper. Colour me intrigued!

SUQQU extra glow lipstick

I’ll be posting some FOTDs soon to give you a better idea of how all this looks on the face. For now let me just stress that the texture of all these lipsticks is smooth and balmy – yes, even 109, despite the fact that it’s shimmery. I know the glitter is pretty obvious in this very enlarged swatch photo, but the particles are extremely fine in real life and I could barely detect them visually let alone feel them on my lips. The effect at a normal distance is a pretty, subtle sheer frost with the occasional glint of gold.

Moving up the face, SUQQU’s has also released 3 new Pure Colour Blush shades for the season: 08 Momodaidai, 09 Ayakagerou and 106 Hanairoka. The first two shades are permanent while the third is limited edition.

08 Momodaidai is described as being “apricot orange” on the left and “coral” on the right, but I’d personally describe the shades as being more like coral pink/golden beige.

SUQQU pure colour blush 08 Momodaidai 2

SUQQU pure colour blush 08 Momodaidai

SUQQU blush 08 momodaidai

It blends together to form a golden coral that’s very illuminating and pretty in that “everyone would look good in this” way, and in that regard initially reminded me of NARS Orgasm. Swatched together however, you can see that 08 Momodaidai is far more refined in terms of sheen and represents sort of a middle-ground between my other coral blushes.

suqqu pure colour blush dupe
Suqqu Pure Colour Blush in 08 Momodaidai, Make Up For Ever Blush in B302, Becca Mineral Blush in Flowerchild, NARS Blush in Orgasm

Next up we have 09 Ayakagerou, which is described as being “light brown” on the left and “sheer beige” on the right. This is fairly accurate to what it looks like in real life, though in the interest of accuracy I should add that the brown has a bit of a rosiness to it and the sheer beige is actually a sheer pale golden beige.

SUQQU pure colour blush 09 Ayakagerou

SUQQU pure colour blush 09 Ayakagerou 2

So far it’s the most neutral, non-blush blush SUQQU has released. This is exactly the kind colour I reach for when I’m wearing bold eyes and lips and need something that won’t compete, but at the same time will add enough dimension to my cheek area to ensure it doesn’t look like I’ve just forgotten about it. I’d say it’s more a blush you can subtly sculpt with rather than an actual contour colour. With regards to application, I suggest not swirling the two shades together but layering them instead, starting with the brown and then finishing it off with the gold to highlight. In my opinion, the luminosity overwhelms the depth when mixed in the pan.

suqqu pure colour blush 09 Ayakagerou swatches

I love nude blushes, so it surprised me when I spent 10 minutes swatching my whole collection of them and found that even my three closest shades were actually not that close after all. This is truly a unique colour in my collection, and I’m really glad it’s permanent because now I can recommend it to other nude blush lovers and not worry about it being limited edition and sold out everywhere!

suqqu pure colour blush dupe 2
SUQQU Pure Colour Blush in 09 Ayakagerou, NARS Dual Intensity Blush in Craving, Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Mood Exposure, Cle de Peau Beauté Cream Blush in 04 Perfect Peach

Speaking of limited editions, say hello to 106 Hanairoka. It’s described by the brand as a “soft red” and “creamy pink”. I see it more as being cool red/warm pale pink.

SUQQU pure colour blush 106 Hanairoka

SUQQU pure colour blush 106 Hanairoka 2

Though this looks like a very intimidating colour to attempt, true to the brand’s tasteful aesthetic it goes on vibrant but sheer, making it easy to wear and hard to overdo. As you can see from the swatch on the far right, it reads as a cheerful bright pink on my skin.

suqqu pure colour blush 106 106 Hanairoka

Since it is unfortunately limited edition and probably quite a nuisance to track down, you’ll be happy to know that it has a close sibling shade in the permanent range – Pure Colour Blush in 03 Sumiasyake. It’s not an exact dupe, but if you’re having trouble finding 106 it’s definitely close enough (on top of being a beautiful colour on its own).

If you’ve made it this far, thank you for reading and I hope the swatches have been helpful. That’s it for the lip and cheek portion of my review, but I’ll be back with a post on the eye products – liners, cream and powder shadows – next, so do check back soon!

suqqu pure colour blush dupe 3
SUQQU Pure Colour Blush in 106 Hanairoka, Hourglass Ambient Light Blush in Luminous Flush, SUQQU Pure Colour Blush in 03 Sumiasayake, Cle de Peau Beauté Cream Blush in 02 Pale Fig


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..

best red lipsticks for chinese new year

February 12, 2018  |  Product Reviews  |  3 Comments

Best Red Lipstick for Chinese New Year

Every year I leave it to the very last minute to pick out the perfect red lipstick for Chinese/Lunar New Year (assuring myself I own just the one for the job) and every year the lipstick I was sure would match totally doesn’t, and I’m left scrambling and cursing my bad memory, frantically swatching every red I own minutes before I need to be out the door.

But not this year. I got a jump on things by picking out 8 of the best reds for the season, based on not only color but formula as well. I can’t deal with drying lipsticks and am a klutz at applying bold colors and keeping them from getting on my teeth/chin/clothing, so there were a lot of points to consider when I was making this list. I swatched my arm and lips raw!

It was totally worth it though, because now I know exactly what I’ll be wearing this year. The only thing left to do is figure out how to rotate through 8 lipsticks in a day…

Best CNY Lipsticks

1. Best Bright Red:
For me, the shade of red that best represents Lunar New Year is an orange-red so bright it borders on neon – a red so striking and cheerful, one feels happier just looking at it. If you love that quintessential CNY red as much as I do, you must check out NARS Powermatte Lip Pigment in Light My Fire. It’s absolutely gorgeous, and so festive for this season.
CNY Red Lipstick NARS Powermatte Light My Fire

2. Best Raspberry Red:
As much as I love orange reds, there’s also special place in my heart for deep, pink-based shades like Urban Decay Vice Lipstick in Sheer Plaid. It reminds me of cockscomb flowers – pots of which we buy each year for decorating the house – and is perfect if you want to wear red but aren’t exactly a warm red person, know what I mean?
CNY Red Lipstick Urban Decay Sheer Plaid

3. Best True Red:
Who can argue with the luckiness of a true ang-bao red? In my head, a perfect true red is rich and opaque, and skirts that fine line between bright and dark. It’s a bit of a unicorn shade in that sense, but when you see one you just know. For me, that was Make Up For Ever Artist Matte Liquid Lipstick in 401 and it was true-red love at first swipe.
CNY Red Lipstick Make Up For Ever Artist Matte 401

4. Best Burgundy Red:
Lunar New Year isn’t just about down-home family time, it’s also about gatherings with friends. So it makes sense to have a deeper, vampier red on hand for all those evening parties that run late into the night. Tom Ford Lips and Boys in Nicholas is my pick for being the perfect balance between seasonally-appropriate and dramatic, and bonus: it’s clutch-sized!
CNY Red Lipstick Tom Ford Lips and Boys Nicholas

5. Best Universally Flattering Red:
There’s got to be some lucky symbolism behind a beautiful red that flatters everyone who wears it, right? Fenty’s Stunna Lip Paint is that to a T – up till now I hadn’t encountered a red that I could honestly recommend to anyone and everyone, but here it is. If you’re blind-buying one thing off this list for the new year, this is going to be your best bet.
CNY Red Lipstick Fenty Lip Paint Stunna

6. Best Bullet Listick:
If you’re looking for an all-in-one crowd pleaser as a symbolic gift for someone or a treat for yourself, Cle de Peau Beauté Lipstick in Dragon Red is the red for you. It’s got an auspicious name, a stunning red hue, and is super comfortable on the lips. Seriously, what else could anyone ask for in a Lunar New Year lipstick?
CNY Red Lipstick Cle de Peau Lipstick Dragon Red

7. Best Matte Liquid Lipstick:
A lightweight, ultra-comfortable (read: non-drying) liquid lipstick with an unique applicator that makes precision application a cinch? Yes please. The opaque formula of YSL Tatouage Couture Matte Stain in 01 Rouge Tatouage dries down to a budge-proof finish that, true to its name, fades to a graceful stain rather than wearing off unevenly.
CNY Red Lipstick YSL Tatouage Couture Matte Stain

8. Best Lip Gloss:
Not comfortable in bold opaque brights? You can still get in on the action with a sheer, girlish red tint in a forgiving gloss formula like Chanel Rouge Coco Gloss in 784 Romance. It’s shiny and cheerful enough to give you all those fun festive vibes, but soft enough to pull off easily. Plus, it’s non-sticky which makes it perfect for all the eating and drinking you’ll undoubtedly be doing!
CNY Red Lipstick Chanel Coco Gloss 784 Romance

This post contains affiliate links.