Monday 30 April 2012

Suqqu Blend Color Eyeshadow #11 Himesango and Nuancing Cheeks EX03 Akanemizu

From the Suqqu Spring 2012 collection, I picked up the Blend Color Eyeshadow #11 Himesango (£45) and Nuancing Cheeks EX03 Akanemizu (£38) at Selfridges during my last trip to London.

Himesango is my second Suqqu eyeshadow palette after EX02 Fuyubara from the Holiday 2010 coffret. It looked like a good palette for daywear, with five well-coordinated shades instead of the usual four in earlier Blend Color Eyeshadow palettes. It comes with a dual-ended sponge applicator and brush applicator, which work decently but I often prefer to use my own brushes for blending.

Many often wax lyrical about the finely milled and dreamy texture of Suqqu's eyeshadows. Suqqu does excel at producing matte shades that have none of the powdery dryness that is common amongst mattes. Their shimmery shades also have a velvety smooth quality without any glittery fallout.

Most of the shades in Himesango have good color payoff except for the peach pink which was disappointing as it virtually disappears on my skin.

The white shade has a bit of a sheen that is visible under a spotlight, but it applies matte without any visible sparkle. Used with a good primer like Too Faced Shadow Insurance, the eyeshadows last all day without any creasing or fading.

While Himesango is a good, safe choice for everyday wear, it has not displaced Lunasol Ocean Scene Eyes EX01 Shelly Ocean (which has a fabulous dirty bronzed brown) as my favourite brown-themed palette of all time. The shade combination of Himesango is probably also easy to re-create if you own one of Urban Decay's Naked palettes or their plethora of knockoffs.

In comparison, I found Nuancing Cheeks EX03 Akanemizu to be more special and worthy of the hefty price tag. It's a lovely combination of a sweet rosy pink and a coral pink.

Under a spot light, the fine shimmer particles are more visible but I did not notice any silver sparkles on my cheeks after applying both blushes. These warm up the complexion very nicely, giving the cheeks a rosy color with just a few quick strokes of the included brush. They also last quite well although there is some fading after eight hours of wear.

The brush is of top-notch quality and easily one of the best I've ever come across as part of a palette. The Guerlain blue Pucci brush in the Terra Azzurra summer collection feels much scratchier against the skin in comparison. After using the Suqqu brush more than ten times, it has yet to shed a single bristle. I also like the sleek black lacquer-like packaging. You can see swatches of all three blush duos in the spring collection on Drivel About Frivol.

In the pic below, I used both Himesango and the coral pink shade from Akanemizu.

For the second look, I used the rosy pink shade from Akanemizu. You can read more reviews on Himesango on Front Row Beauty and Drivel About Frivol and also here (fabulous comparison swatches of all three palettes from the spring collection with other brands).

List of ingredients for Himesango.

And Akanemizu.

Sunday 29 April 2012

By Terry Aqualip Jelly Tint 101 Dancefloor Flirt

Here's the newly released By Terry Aquachic collection for summer.

The By Terry website has a few video tutorials showcasing this collection that are well worth checking out.

My eye was immediately drawn to the fluorescent orange Aqualip Jelly Tint 101 Dancefloor Flirt (€25/£22/US$35). Described as being between a temporary tattoo and a color infusion, it is supposed to be hydrating with a barely there feel.

In the tube, it looks similar to Tangerine Tango which is Pantone's Color of the Year for 2012 as showcased in this collaboration with Sephora. However, it actually applies as a wash of translucent pink, like how it looks on the plastic part of the wand applicator.

I found the Aqualip Jelly Tint to be easy to apply and layer without any obvious streaks or feathering into the lip lines. The pink tint builds up nicely from the first layer. I found it easier to achieve an even application than Stila's Lip & Cheek Stains in Acai Crush. The shade should suit a wide variety of skin tones. It's not really a your-lips-but-better shade for me, as it is much pinker than my natural lip color, but it is a nice color for everyday wear. After it sets, it does not rub off at all when I press my fingertip to my lip.

It did not feel overtly drying or sticky on my lips, but I still prefer to layer either lip balm or a gloss on top for a more comfortable feeling, as my lips are prone to dryness. Below are comparison swatches with Benefit Benetint and Stila Acai Crush. The Benetint is very watery and spread out spontaneously on my skin unlike the Aqualip Jelly Tint and Acai Crush.

In terms of color payoff, Aqualip Jelly Tint is slightly more intense than Benetint but not as intense as Acai Crush. It is pricey but you do get a fairly generous amount of product (7ml), versus 2.4ml for Acai Crush and 12ml for Benetint. I think this would work well for a day out at the beach or a workout when you don't want to wear lipgloss or lipstick but still want some color on your lips, that will last through a swim.

List of ingredients.

Rimmel Kate Lasting Finish Lipstick #16, #26 and #10

The Rimmel Lasting Finish by Kate Lipsticks in #10, #16 and #26 are the newest additions to my collection. I ordered #16 and #26 for £5.49 each from, which offers free international shipping from the UK. They arrived in less than two weeks.

#16 and #26 are from the new Spring 2012 collection, while #10 was released last year. Different countries seem to get a different selection of shades. For example, Monoprix in France only had #19, #20 and #22 in the spring collection display. That only makes me even more curious to see the missing shades like 17, 18, 21, 23-25. If you have seen them, do let me know in the comments.

#16 is a bright candy pink with a touch of peach, quite appropriate for springtime.

#26 is a muted nude beige that didn't work well for me as it washes me out.

#10 is a vivid carnation pink-toned red that brightens up the complexion nicely. All three shades are intensely pigmented with opaque coverage and a creamy, semi-matte texture. It can drag a little against the lips if applying straight from the tube as there isn't much slip. It can feel a tad drying but this is easily alleviated by applying some lip balm beforehand. Using a lip brush helps immensely to control the color intensity and achieve a precise application.

The Lasting Finish by Kate line is my favourite lipstick range by a drugstore brand as they offer a diverse range of flattering shades at a very affordable price. These are made in the UK.

The new shades for spring 2012. has six of the original shades in stock (but not the spring 2012 collection) plus free international shipping.

Sentimental Circus haul from Modes4U

My first order from arrived about two weeks from Hong Kong after I placed the order. I was delighted to discover this e-tailer which stocks Japanese character goods, stationery, fabrics and accessories, including my favourite Sentimental Circus.

This plush Leo was the main reason for placing the order. Modes4u's prices are quite reasonable for the most part. They are a bit higher than Japan naturally, but Modes4U offers free shipping for orders above 60€ / US$78 / £54. My order was sent by registered airmail in a string and button envelope that was not strangely not sealed with any tape or glue but just closed with the string looped around the paper buttons. My order did not qualify for free shipping but postage was just €4.10.

The Sentimental Circus stickers are €2.90 each for a pack of 60 (with 12 designs), versus 231yen in Japan.

I also picked up a roll of washi (traditional Japanese paper) tape. The Hello Kitty tape is a freebie that was included in my order.

Berry Puppy band aids.

If you're looking for Japanese stationery and character goods, Modes4U is definitely worth checking out. I miss having access to Kinokuniya and NBC in Singapore, so this is the next best thing!

Saturday 28 April 2012

Catrice Revoltaire Collection: Swatches

Revoltaire is the funky new limited edition collection for April by Catrice, dominated by an unusual combination of toxic acid green and coral pink.

Velvet Matte Lip Color in 01 Colour Bomb, 02 Nude Alarm and 03 Bloody Red boasted good color payoff for a drugstore brand.

Ultimate Nail Lacquer in 01 Innocent Toxin, 02 Attracting Camouflage, 03 Colour Bomb, 04 Colour Of Honor and 05 Mission Lilac.

Colour Blush 01 Colour Bomb is a gradient blush with baby pink to rosy pink tones. This has a slightly glowy finish.

The cases of the Smoky Eyes Palettes reminded me of MAC's holiday palettes from a few years ago. Each palette contains three powder eyeshadows and a cake eyeliner shade. These felt slightly dry to touch and some of the shades, in particular the cake liners, swatched poorly. after swatching them, I didn't quite feel that they were must-haves although the shades looked more complex than what one usually expects from a drugstore brand.

01 Toxic Combination

02 Explosive Combination

The Colour Blush is swatched on the left side of the pics below.

You can view the whole collection on the Catrice website. After Revoltaire, Catrice will be releasing Cruise Couture in May, followed by Coolibri in June.