Friday 31 October 2008

Lunasol Spring '09

Voce's blog offers a sneak peek at Lunasol's Spring '09 collection. Inspired by flowers such as sakura (cherry blossoms), magnolia, wisteria, azalea and plum blossoms, the collection features elegant shimmery shades that Lunasol is known for.

The theme sounds promising but I'm hoping for brighter, more colorful palettes than the two shown in the pics, which look like washed-out versions of Jill Stuart's palettes.

Wednesday 29 October 2008

Esprique Precious Spring '09

Esprique Precious will launch its Spring '09 collection on 1 December in Japan. The collection, which is surprisingly small for a spring collection, includes four True Impact Eyes quads (in brown, blue, purple and beige variations), two Dress On Moist Rouge and two Rouge Stylish (Liquid Type).

Shiseido Perfect Rouge

Shiseido will launch a new line of lipsticks and lipliners on 1 January in Japan, as its first step towards becoming a global player in the fiercely competitive international makeup market. This line will be retailed at Shiseido counters in 69 countries. Designed by Dick Page, the Perfect Rouge lipstick (3675yen) will be available in 20 shades that reportedly includes a mix of staple "wardrobe colors" and more fun "surprising colors".

The spokesmodel is Australian model Christina Carey in an ad shot by Nick Knight.

Coffret D'Or Spring '09

Here's another pic of Coffret D'Or's upcoming Spring '09 collection which will debut on 16 December in japan. The theme of the collection is "Happy Mind Colors".

This looks much less impressive than Coffret D'Or's earlier eyeshadow palette releases. Sigh, I miss T'estimo.

Jill Stuart Bath & Body

The Jill Stuart website has finally been updated with the new Bath & Body collection. There is also an English version of the website here.

The white floral aroma which is mixed from various relaxing aroma oils that is characteristic of the line has top notes of bergamot, lemon, orange, mandarin, lime, grapefruit, peach, strawberry, blackcurrant, raspberry and 'leafy green'; middle notes of lily, jasmine, rose, ylang ylang, orange flower, geranium, ginger, basil, rosemary; and bottom notes of musk, vetiver, woody, amber, cedarwood. I have no idea how anyone will be able to smell all those notes!

Saturday 25 October 2008

Shu Uemura Website Update

The Shu Uemura website has been updated with the Christmas collection by Mika Ninagawa. The collection will be released on 1 November in Japan.

I've got my eye on the Adorned Marguerite palette which features a very colorful mix of shades. The photo from below shows that there are actually 7 powder shadows and what looks like a cream liner shade (at the extreme right side) in each palette. Hopefully these will reach Singapore's shores soon!

Starting 1 November, Shu Uemura will also be giving away a red 2009 slim diary.

If anyone has seen the eyeshadow palettes in real life, please let me know your impressions in the comments! Thank you!

Jill Stuart Shimmering Body Powder

Pic of Jill Stuart's Shimmering Body Powder (3990yen) which will be released on 7 November in Japan. The gold and silver pearl powder is made with moisturising ingredients such as squalene oil and extracts of madonna lily, peony, rose and has a white floral scent.

The puff looks really pretty but unfortunately, I don't have any use for a shimmery body powder. I actually have a similar powder-in-puff from Kiss that I got as part of a "lucky bag" set a couple of years ago but I've only used it once. With the yen at a high against the S$ now, the Jill Stuart version costs about S$63, which for me is just too much for something that I will not use. The fact that it's limited edition means that it will probably sell out in a flash anyway.

A much cheaper alternative this holiday season is Majolica Majorca's Majolumina Powder in Puff which costs only 1365yen and comes in 2 variations.

Friday 24 October 2008

Giorgio Armani Crystal Collection 2008

Giorgio Armani's will release its Crystal Collection 2008 on 31 December in Japan.

It includes:
1. Crystal Palette: 4 powder eyeshadows and a face powder with sheer shimmer in a compact studded with Swarovski crystals (12,600yen)

2. Maestro Mascara Shine Black (4410yen)

3. Grey Sparkling Top Coat (4410yen)

4. Maestro Eyeshadow in #37 Satin White and #38 Matte Dark Grey (3990yen)

5. Crystal Couture Kit: Includes a Black Shimmer Puff with silver and gold shimmer powder, plus your choice of any Armani Silk lipstick (include the limited edition holiday shades), choice of either Mascara Top Coat or one of the mascaras, and a cyrstal clutch bag (H155×W125×D60m). The price ranges between ¥14,190 to ¥15,960 depending on which products you choose.

6. Crema Nera Serum (26,250yen, 75ml)

Majolica Majorca launch in Singapore

The Majolica Majorca counter was finally launched in the Watsons store in Ngee Ann City today after much anticipation. I was quite surprised to see the display which is wider than the usual display in Japanese drugstores. In addition, like some of the Watsons stores in Malaysia, there is an additional dresser display with testers of all the products.

There were also about 5 or 6 MM SAs around today to give makeovers and advice on the products. I doubt there will be so many SAs stationed there permanently but still it's good to see that Watsons/Shiseido is giving MM the promotional push that it deserves.

The line-up does not yet include the fall collection so items such as the new Lash Gorgeous Wing mascara and two Majolook (Trick On) palettes GR750 and BR751 are not in stock yet. The palettes and mascaras are priced at S$25.90 each while the single eyeshadows are S$9.90. I highly recommend the single eyeshadows in SV821, BL724, SV830, all of the GR shades as well as BR665 and BE286. MM's single eyeshadow line-up used to have up to 32 shades but these have been gradually cut back as the Majolook line was expanded. It's quite a pity as the single eyeshadows have a richer, more shimmery texture than the Majolook palettes, especially the Metallics.

Happy shopping, everyone!

Ebihara Yuri x CanCam

Fans of Maquillage are probably familiar with Japanese model, Ebihara Yuri, who is one of the spokesmodels for the brand. Ebihara, popularly known as Ebi-chan in Japan, is also well-known as an exclusive model for a Japanese ladies' magazine, CanCam. As CanCam is targeted as ladies in their early 20s and the university crowd, it was decided that the December issue of CanCam would feature the "graduation" of Ebi-chan from the magazine as she is already 29 years old.

There is an interesting video of Ebi-chan's last shoot for CanCam on CanCam's website, which saw a group of CanCam readers (all female of course) watching the shoot and squealing incessantly "KAWAII!" (cute/adorable) or "CHO KAWAII!" (super cute) at each pose that Ebi-chan strikes.

It's almost an art form that Ebi-chan has got down pat, namely how to look and act cute even as she nears the age of 30. For me, watching the Japanese women in the video is almost like watching an alien species. Personally, I just cannot identify with why any adult woman would choose to act so incredibly childish and artificial.

This is not an attack on Ebi-chan, whom I also think is very pretty and a great model. What I dislike is the fake-ness of that doll-like look and cutesy poses that I see in Japanese magazines and also in various Chinese blogs. You know that whole long flowing digital-permed dyed locks, chin down and eyes super-wide open with an act-innocent expression look?


Suqqu Holiday '08

Check out the new website for Suqqu's Christmas collection, Wishing on a Star, here! The website also has downloadable wallpapers and a screensaver.

I like how the covers of the two palettes can be aligned to form the whimsical pattern above.

Thursday 23 October 2008

Estee Lauder Cathedral Square

If money was no object, what would you most desire from the holiday collections?

I'm actually not lemming anything from the holiday collections. Currently, the only items that are on my shopping list are the Paul & Joe holiday stuff. But what really caught my eye and made me go, wow, was this Estee Lauder Cathedral Square Compact filled with a Sensuous solid perfume.

It brings back memories of the best school trip I took when I was seventeen with my classmates to Russia and Eastern Europe. The night that we visited the Red Square in Moscow, it was snowing lightly and the atmosphere was just magical. The compact retails for a whopping US$300 so that's way out of my reach. But I've read that Estee Lauder's holiday perfume compacts are actually very collectible and even appreciate in value over the years so they can be an investment of sorts. That is, if you can bear to part with them!

Beaute de Kose Christmas Coffret

Pic of Beaute de Kose's Christmas coffret which will be released on 21 November in Japan.

Pic from

Anna Sui Holiday '08

Anna Sui has updated its website with the new Christmas collection. There will actually be two releases, the first will launch on 6 November in Japan and the second will launch on 4 December.

The first collection can be seen on the website now and it includes three Eye Color Accent S, four Color Powders and two Nail Color kits.

The second collection is the Rouge Collection 2008 which features two lip kits that each include a Mini Rouge with an attached charm, a Ring Rouge (lip color in a ring) and a jewellery box. Each set will retail for 6300yen.

Aube Couture

As reported earlier, the Aube brand will be discontinued and revamped as Aube Couture on 6 December in Japan. In response to common complaints by ladies that it is difficult to know how to apply eyeshadow, find a flattering lipstick shade or draw their own brows, Aube Couture has designed its products to be very easy to use and to bring out the individual beauty of each lady. The addition of the word "Couture" to the brand name is to give the image of makeup products that are tailored to each individual's needs.

The Designing Eyes palettes have an easy-to-understand layout to help user know at one glance which shade should be applied on which part of the eye.

By selecting shades that are very similar in terms of tone and illuminance, the new palettes help to create a more natural gradational effect as shown in the picture on the left, compared to the picture on the right in which the gradational effect is more artificial.

The Designing Rouge lipsticks have been chosen such that they are flattering on most skintones, to take the guesswork out of trying to pick the most suitable shade. The lipsticks are formulated with a "Harmonious Pearl Gold" that is said to be especially flattering and natural on Japanese skintones.

The picture on the left features the Aube Couture lipstick with Harmonious Pearl as compared to another Aube lipstick without the Harmonious Pearl on the right.

This shows the contrast between a model wearing an unflattering shade (on the left) versus her wearing a more flattering and natural shade (on the right).

The spokesmodels are actresses Kanno Miho and Aibu Saki. The packaging is a soft metallic pink and carbon silver.

The product line-up is as follows:

1. Designing Rouge lipstick (16 shades, 3360yen)
2. Designing Eyes (5 palettes, 3885yen)
3. Designing Cheeks (4 shades, 2310yen)
4. Designing Cheeks case (1050yen)
5. Designing Double Mascara (2 shades, 3150yen)
6. Designing Eyeliner (2 shades, 3150yen)
7. Designing Eyeliner Pencil Cartridge (1050yen)
8. Designing Eyebrow (3 shades, 3150yen)
9. Designing Eyebrow Pencil Cartridge (3 shades, 1050yen)
10. Designing Eyebrow Powder Cartridge (3 shades, 1365yen)
11. Perfect Point Makeup Remover (1575yen)

The mascara bristles are designed with a hook shaped tip to catch each eyelash and lift them firmly as liquid is applied on the lash roots.

While I think it's great that Aube has designed its products to be even more easy to use, the packaging looks boring and not appealing to me at all. Maybe that is supposed to go with the brand image of being simple and functional, but I like my makeup products to be fun, glamorous and feminine, not boring and safe! Aube Couture looks like the staid older sister of Aube, as epitomised by its choice of spokesmodels, neither of whom look particularly glamorous.

Jill Stuart and Paul & Joe at Centrair

Jill Stuart, Paul & Joe and Sonia Rykiel will be opening in the duty-free section of Centrair Airport on 29 October. Centrair serves the Chubu region of Japan, including cities such as Nagoya. The three brands will be sold at prices less the usual 5% Japan sales tax.

The counters will be located in the cosmetics section on the third level.

This is the first that I've heard of Jill Stuart and P&J opening counters in Japan's airports. Hopefully, they'll open up counters in Narita and Kansai airports in the future too!

Voce Dec '08

The December issue of Voce magazine comes with the annual feature on the Christmas collections, two Albion Exage Total Saturation beauty fluid sample sachets, makeup looks by 8 top Japanese makeup artists, several articles on skincare including an in-depth look at sheet masks.

Also check out the December issue of Maquia magazine here! It comes with a booklet of the Chrismas collections from 83 brands.

Biteki Dec '08

The December issue of Biteki comes with a DejaVu Power Box that includes either a full-size DejaVu Smooth Eyeliner Lasting Fine or Fibrewig Classical Wine mascara. It's worth getting the mag just for the Dejavu freebie alone as the mascara usually retails for 1260yen alone, compared to the 550yen that you pay for the mag. In Singapore, I think the mascara costs over S$20 at Watsons while the mag usually runs about S$13 at Kinokuniya.

The mag also features the Christmas collections, skincare tips for winter, "Power" makeup-tips for after work etc. Do check out this page to see all the Christmas coffrets that Biteki is giving away to its readers.

Wednesday 22 October 2008

Chantecaille Holiday '08

Chantecaille will release a Starlight Gold Collection kit (27,300yen) on 31 October in Japan. It includes a lipgloss, an eyeshadow, a face powder and a gold case. Chantecaille is currently available exclusively at Isetan's store in Shinjuku, Tokyo.

If the price tag is a bit of a shocker, well it's nothing compared to the new Nano Gold Energizing Cream (50ml) which will retail for 64,050yen starting 31 October. I guess if they're making it, someone is buying it!