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.

fotd: luminous golden taupe

February 8, 2018  |  Face of the Day  |  No Comments

Finally, some new blog content!

With all the traveling we’ve been doing, content generation has been really, really tough. Sure, we have travel photos galore, but beauty blogging is a real challenge when you’re on the road with only a tiny bag of basic makeup. But I’m back (for now) and happily reunited with my stash (again), and finally in possession of enough time and energy to crank out looks that require more than 3 minutes of slap-dash finger painting.

Admittedly there WAS some finger-painting involved in the eyeshadow application here, but it was done very carefully…if for now other reason that the fact that I legitimately terrible at applying/blending out cream eyeshadow with my fingers. Thankfully I am more adept at blending out mistakes with powder shadows and a good brush or three, so I ended up with an eye look I really, really liked – a golden taupe that just glowed.

golden taupe 2

I won’t lie. This is an effect I’ve only ever achieved once or twice from happy accidents – you know, the kind that always happen when you randomly and indecisively layer on 40 shadows and have no way of recreating the end result? – but have never been able to nail it down to a few key products for easy replication.

Until now! Would you believe this was created with only 3 products?

golden taupe 4

The product that this look hinges on is a newly-discovered favourite: Stila Shimmer & Shine liquid eyeshadow in Grace, which was one of six mini shadows in the Eye for Elegance set released I bought during Christmas 2017. It’s no longer at Sephora/Ulta and only available as a full-size tube via Stila’s actual website now, but in my opinion it’s worth stepping out of your shopping comfort zone for. It’s the perfect shimmery tan – a little darker than my skin tone and soooooo unbelievably glowy without a sparkle particle in sight. It’s magical. You must own it.

The other two products I used for this eye look are powders: the medium and dark brown shades in the Rouge Bunny Rouge Raw Garden Eyeshadow Palette in Antigo to blend out the edges and deepen the crease slightly, and MAC Eyeshadow in Mystery (sadly discontinued, but any dark taupey brown will do) to further deepen the inner and outer corners. Ok so technically that’s 4 products in total, but it’s still a very doable and easy-to-recreate look.

I tested it again today to be sure, and to my delight I was able to achieve the same luminous look again. I’ll be putting this into regular rotation for sure!

golden taupe 3

PS: If you’re interested in any of the Rouge Bunny Rouge products mentioned in this post, feel free to use my Friends & Family code
RBR-EMILYLOKE20 for a 20% discount. I do not make a commission when you use this code.

Face: Cle de Peau Concealer in Ivory, Koh Gen Do Loose Powder // Cheeks: Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit Palette // Eyes: Stila Shimmer & Shine eyeshadow in Grace, Rouge Bunny Rouge Raw Garden Eyeshadow Palette in Antigo, MAC Eyeshadow in Mystery, Urban Decay Perversion Mascara // Brows: Make Up For Ever Tinted Brow Gel in #45 // Lips: YSL Beaty Volupté Tint-in-Oil #22

This post contains affiliate links.