Wednesday, May 20, 2015

SUQQU Blend Color Eye Shadow Akanezora 13

AHA!  Not everything beautiful is a brand spanking new limited edition release!  I find it so perfectly wonderful that I can go through old releases from SUQQU and find things that are completely pee-in-pants exciting.  Of course, I tend to feature neutral products over and over again, because if anything causes bladder muscle weakness for me, it's neutral eye shadows.  <__<

Akanezora was released a while back and I'm pretty sure I originally had zero interest in it because of the cream shade and the fact that this quad is heavy on the rosy pink tones.  I was pretty sure pink eyes was never going to work for me and mixing creamy things in a powder palette spells death, DON'T IT THOUGH?

Wrong on both counts, BELLY!  WRONG!  I have no shame admitting to being wrong on many things and learn lessons all the time.  First of all, depending on the pinks, I can wear them.  And because the cream in SUQQU Yukiichigo was so marvelous and easy to apply, I said what the heck I get this one too buy all the SUQQU things because NEED.  
I do worry about the cream drying out, so lately I am on a huge run of wearing THREE eye shadow palettes and these SUQQU cream based palettes.  Because fear of desiccated death to creams.
Since being thoroughly immersed in the multi-colored micro shimmer-gasm of all the new SUQQU releases, I actually find myself a teeny bit ho-hum about the lack of complex shimmer in Akanezora.  Do you know what I mean?  But it turns out the things I enjoy the most about Akanezora is the harmony of textures and complimentary tonal match of the pinks and the brown.
I initially thought that Akanezora would have some similarities in color to Sakurakaba, but just lining up the pans together shows that the amber tones of Sakurakaba (here) doesn't exist at all in Akanezora.

But there is something else!

Even with the big differences between the two, I found some similarities once applied on my eyes between Akanezora and Yukiichigo.  Of course, Akanezora doesn't have the incredible sparkle-sauce cream shade of Yukiicigo, and on many days, that is not a bad thing at all.
Some swatches of each palette to show you.  :)  Mainly just showing off the pretty palettes.  Yukiichigo on the left and Akanezora on the right.
It doesn't have the marshmallow candy confection look of Yukiichigo, but does have a rosy beautiful look applied.  I love how the pinks layered over the brown cream creates all the shading and variation depth even though it was applied in a very straightforward manner (layered on),
I have Akanezora on the eyes, and also SUQQU creamy liner in Jet Bordeaux.  Chanel JC in Narcisse for blush.  I also topped all the high points of my face with Rouge Bunny Rouge liquid highlighter in Sea of Tranquility.  On my lips, I am wearing SUQQU Bright Up in 02 Hanabeni.
About as blank and empty in the brain as this picture would rightly indicate.
I love a beautiful neutral palette, don't you!

I've been thinking lately about closing down shop here permanently.  A lot of the joy and fun I have with this blog has been maximized and I found myself a little... bored?  Is that the right word?  I think as far as a personal-type blog goes, I spent a fair amount of time, money and effort going all out and wonder if I've gone as far as I can.  I really have no intent on monetizing and I wouldn't ever do something like this full time.

I find that the longer I blog and the longer I explore my own makeup preferences, I've become even more narrow in scope and interest.  I've always been kind of niche with the stuff I like, but I've become a level of ridiculously narrow that it feels even more indulgent than I can stand!  I think I will hopefully love the Rouge Bunny Rouge and SUQQUs for a long time to come and my true affection for certain brands live on, but finding intellectually interesting and/or challenging ways to share my thoughts come by much harder now.  :)  After all, how many more Snow Woman - Zombie - Peony - Gopher posts can I possibly do?

I'm also thinking about deleting this blog completely.  What's all this porn traffic coming into my blog all the time, man?!  D:  I hope there's no sites with the Snow Woman in compromising positions somewhere out there on the interwebz!

I think it would be nice to free up my brains from all the makeup-related and blog-related thoughts.  Who knows!  Maybe then I will have the mental capacity to go out and do some more productive things.

When, you ask?  I'm not sure.  Have a few more post ideas rattling around at the moment.  After that?  Who knows?

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

SUQQU Eye Color Palette (Trio) in EX-02 Yosaizora

>> This post features product provided without charge by the brand/pr for consideration <<
I was so excited when this arrived recently!  It probably wouldn't have been the limited edition trio from Summer 2015 that I would have selected for myself.  Why?  Because blue that's why.  Maybe you also struggle with blue eye shadows like me?  If so, let's take a good look at Yosaizora because this one blue really kills it!
The trio format from SUQQU has two colored pans and a glitter top coat.
I like this plain white case for this series of summer limited edition items.  (well, no matter really, because... depot)
At first glance, there's a LOT of alarming things about this palette.  For instance:
  • blue, first of all.  Many blue eye shadows turn green on me.  I suspect the natural strong yellow tones in my skin interact with any translucent blue shadows and turn then green.  Nice.
  • ruddy looking middle shade.  Sometimes, these neutral shades that look easy end up not easy.  Either they clash in undertone (i.e., too cool for my yellow), or have weird depth that end up looking like a smudge of discolored skin.  Nice.
  • GLITTER!  I love shimmer and glitter, actually.  But this one is particularly blingly compared to my love Toutouseki (here).  The glitter in Toutouseki is fairy sparkle.  This one looks quite frosty in the pan.  *slight fearful shivering*
More ruminating on these colors and swatches:
  • Let's put a little more "color" on that blue.  It's beautiful.  I can see on the first swipe of this color on my skin that it hit all the points that make it work on my skin.  Blue certainly, but this is a glorious indigo that reminds me of dark indigo-dyed denim.  It has a more satin finish than a true shimmer one.  I can spot some pale aqua, pink and silvery white shimmer in the color, but the most perfect part about this shade is really this gorgeous indigo color itself.  The deep shade has the right depth to contrast nicely with my skin, too.  Did I say I really love this color?  I dooooo!
  • The warm brown is a bit less stunning, in my opinion than that spectacular indigo, but its inclusion makes for a particularly useful format.  It's a nice neutral shade for creating the underpinning for a basic and easy to wear look and using the indigo to create a nice accent if desired.  It is slightly red, slightly more shimmery in finish than the indigo and has a golden undertone to it, with strong silvery shimmer bits.  As with the indigo shade, it is beautiful pigmented.
  • The glitter pan is of icy frost and sparkle in a little pan.  It adheres nicely to the skin.  I use my finger to pat this shade on as a final touch.  Contrary to Aoruri and Toutouseki which is fairy glitter on a mostly clear base, the white base in the Yosaizora glitter pan is most definitely white.  While not exactly opaque, applying a lot of this shade will "frost" up a final look with discrete white shimmer.

Obligatory layers, if you will.  OOPS, I mislabeled stuff.  What is labelled as 1+3 is actually 1+2 and 1+2 is actually 1+3.
Sure, very pretty, but didn't 100% blow me away when I layered it.  I think the micro shimmer is less varied in color than in other SUQQU trios and quads so that lessens the wow for me.  But befitting the Fireworks theme of this little Summer collection, the white glitter and micro shimmer really do shine bright when the shades are layered.
Some comparisons for ya.  First up is Aoruri 03 (here) that was released last year.  This is a permanent palette and also has a blue/purple theme.  This one was very tough for me to carry off.
Very different palette as you can see clearly in the swatches.  The whitened blue has a very muddy tone and is much lighter than the indigo of Yosaizora.
I am not without blues, indigos and blurples in my SUQQU hoard!
Some swatches so that you can triangulate your wish list based on other similar(ish) shades from SUQQU.  Yum, look at Yosaizora doing is beautiful thing of clarity!
Gratuitous picture, because I love how they sit on my skin (my eyelids, specifically!)!!
Allow me to share how I've recently worn it.  (you can also check out my intagram feed, in which I've featured some different placements of these colors).
I've used a sort of a modified tulip placement in this look.  Tulip places one color in the inner and outer portions of the lid with a second color in the middle.  I ended up running the indigo in the crease as well.  The "base" of this look was that warm brown.  I patted the glitter shade with my finger on the top lid.  And added a little punch with the SUQQU creamy liner in Jet Bordeux on the lower and upper lash lines, as well as on the lower waterline.

Wondering mysteries of BLOO.  Why you so difficult to find a good one, BLOO?
I'm wearing the base products mentioned in yesterdays post, including the Face Protector Brightup (here).  Blush in SUQQU blush in 04 Mizuhanamoya and the lipstick is Dior Addict Extreme in Lucky.
SUQQU has a very limited distribution, but is available at counters in Japan, Bangkok and in the UK.  Selfridges currently has this palette available on line (here) as does Ichibankao, whose prices include shipping (here).  It is currently also available on line at Harrods (here).  Many thanks to SUQQU for letting me find a blue I can actually pull off!  Woohoo!
Have you checked out SUQQU's new summer releases?  Would love to hear what you picked out!
Disclosure: this post features a product that was sent free of charge by the brand/PR for consideration. However, all my opinions are my own! Yes indeed! Please check out my full disclosure policy statement here. 

Monday, May 18, 2015

SUQQU Face Protector Brightup

>> this post features product that was provided free of charge for consideration<<
Sun protection is my normal daily routine now.  I don't even think about whether or not I am going outside.  I just put it on every day.  Aside from protecting from UVA and UVB rays, I like how many of the various products I've used over the years functions nicely as an extra smoothing layer for foundations.  Many of the Japanese ones I've tried have a very high silicone content and works to really smooth out the skin while some others have had some good oil controlling properties that really mattifies the skin.
SUQQU has other sun protectors in their lineup, but this one was particularly interesting because of the luminizing aspect of it!  This limited edition item has a high level of physical (Zinc Oxide) and chemical (Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate - aka, Octinoxate, and also Diethylamino Hydroxybenzoyl Hexyl Benzoate - aka, Uvinol A Plus) protectors in it, providing an SPF of 50 and a UVA protection of ++++.

Here's a good blob of it on the back of my hand.  This is about the size I use to cover my face.  I tend to be very generous with application when I use sun protection products.  It is a pale warm pink that has a pearlized tone to it.  It is not liquid, but has a gel consistency and very easy to apply.  The high alcohol content gives a cooling sensation and gets the product to absorb and set very quickly on my skin.  I am not very sensitive to alcohol, but it is the second ingredient of this product, so is definitely something to note.  There's a lot of humectants and emollients in the SUQQU Face Protector Brightup, so it further enhances the shimmery gleam on the skin.
When blended out, you can see that the product really shows its golden shimmer.  Kind of odd to swatch a sun protection product, but the golden shimmer is pretty strong!
When applied on the face in an even layer, it definitely provides some glowing enhancement to the skin.  Depending on how glow phobic or philic you are, you might enjoy this quite a bit.  In the below picture, I am wearing nothing on the left (your left) and the SUQQU Face Protector Brightup on the right (your right).
I wore this as the only base-type product one day and I had a nice even glow tone on my skin.  It has an elegant texture that sinks right into my skin and also works nicely with my foundation. 
I thought also, how does this work with all the other recent glowing offerings from the brand?
(L, nothing on; R, Face Protector Brightup)
Here's a few picks from the brand I've been using very consistently.  The Loose Glow Powder (here) and the new limited edition Lighting Liquid round out my assortment of SUQQU glow-enhancing products.
1) Full Face loaded up with the Face Protector Brightup:
I'm not sure you can tell much from that half-half face, so here I am wearing it all over my face.  Very nice sheen from human-normal distance, but if you get very close the golden shimmer is apparent.

2) Loaded up with the Face Protector Brightup, a layer of MAC F&B and highlighted the tops of cheeks with SUQQU Lighting Liquid

I am particularly happy with the way the foundation looks applied over the sun screen.  The all over glow is still nice and natural looking.  And I love the Lighting Liquid.  I am making myself not buy a back up because I never finish anything, but the subtle targeted glow of the Lighting Liquid is right up my alley!

3) Loaded up with the Face Protector Brightup, a layer of MAC F&B, highlighted the tops of cheeks with SUQQU Lighting Liquid, and then dusted the whole thing with SUQQU Loose Glow Powder.

The lighting is off here and inconsistent with the other photos, but this is not a good workable look for me, especially in warm weather.  I don't know if it's because it's cakey AND glowy at the same time or what.  The Glow powder is wonderful over a matte finish foundation, but on top of all the other sheen and glow building products, it's a bit much.  Ugh, Belly.  Why take a good thing (glow) and then go overboard and ruin it?

I do wish that the new limited edition Face Protector Brightup wasn't limited edition!  I get very dull in the skin in the colder months and I would be a nice addition for me then.  However, I think with a little less exuberant application of so many other brightening and glowifying products, I will happily use this right now.

What do you think of a one step skin protector that illuminates at the same time? 

A full ingredient listing:

Water (Aqua), Alcohol, Zinc Oxide(nano), Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Isocetyl Myristate,
Dipropylene Glycol, Diethylamino Hydroxybenzoyl Hexyl Benzoate, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Mica,
Sodium Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Isohexadecane, Triethoxycaprylylsilane,
Silica, Methicone, Polysorbate 80, Fragrance (Parfum), Nylon-12, Xanthan Gum, Disodium EDTA, Stearyl
Glycyrrhetinate, BHT, Soluble Collagen, Alanine, Averrhoa Carambola Leaf Extract, Glycine, Sodium
Hyaluronate, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Phenoxyethanol, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, Benzyl Salicylate,
Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Hexyl Cinnamal, Hydroxyisohexyl 3-Cyclohexene Carboxaldehyde, Linalool,
Red 4 (CI 14700), Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891)

*this post features a product provided by the brand/pr free of charge for my consideration.  Please do check out my detailed disclosure policy here to find out more.  As with everything, I try my best to honestly share my wibbly thoughts and illustrate with photos that represent my feels most accurately.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

SOQQU Blend Color Eye Shadow in Horinezumizonbikaou EX-666

>> This post features product provided free of charge for my consideration, from my own stash<<

When I got my hands on this exclusive, limited edition and one-of-a-kind eye shadow quad, I may have shivered a bit.  It has an unexpected combination of shades, both delicate and deep with a combination of finishes that make me delight in holding its white limited edition case.

Say hello to Horinezumizonbikaou.  She is a magnificent beauty.  It has so many surprising elements that I was unsure if the application on the eyes would somehow disappoint me because the actual quad shades were so elegant.  I didn't even mind the white shade that came in this quad.  Why, it made me nostalgic for every generation two quad out there.
SOQQU Horinezumizonbikaou, I love you.

 Let me show you the swatches, because I've never been more excited to share anything else with you before.  Honestly, they take my breath away on every single front.

 Swatches are clockwise from the upper left.

  • pale, but pigmented shimmery pink.  delicate and floral, with just the most understated but balanced golden sheen.
  • an earthy green, satin in finish, providing just the right contrast to the aforementioned pink.
  • that SOQQU staple white base shade that smoothes the lids and provides a beautiful canvas for all the other shades. (You apply this one first, with a fluffy brush)  The subtlety of the slight warm pink tinge was unexpected, and yet SO EXPECTED because SOQQU!
  • a deep, matte and very pigmented shade.  Shall I call it plum brown grey?  Because that is what it is.  A perfect definer shade.

"But Belly," you say, "finger swatches are all very good, but the real test is on the eyes, no?"  Why of course it is.  Allow me to ply you with pictures of Horinezumizonbikaou on my face to further make you weep that this quad is no widely available.

Hmm... yes.  You know us beauty bloggers.  We share items that are nigh-impossible to buy due to it's exclusivity, price point or general availability.  *small snivelly weeping*
 I'm surprised how predominantly green this quad is.  Next few times I wear this quad, I think I will go heavier and more based on that delicate peony pink.
Texture is sublime.  It pretty much applied and blended itself because it did.  Because expensive makeup does that and that is what makes it "worth it."
I am wearing Edward Bess Blush Extraordinaire in Bed of Roses to tie into the fresh pink of the quad.  And wearing surratt Lipslique in Peccadille, a shade slightly deepened with decay.  So elegant a contrast and pairing to Horizenumizonbikaou.

Are you sad now?  It is sold out world wide of course.   But it was too beautiful not to prominently feature on the blog.
Hmm.  Wait a minute, I smell something rotten.  Do you?

Why, Hori...horinezumi.  GOPHER?

Zonbi.  Zonbi?  ZOMBI?

Kaou?  Like peony?

"What in tarnation is going on?" you demand to know.  You are raising your pitch fork because Paypal doesn't want you to pay for this quad.

CLAM DOWN every one.  Let me share you the story of SOQQU Blend Color Eye Shadow in Horinezumizonbikaou.  So I tuck you into your bed, give you a sip of water and tell you a bedtime story.  There are zombies in this story.

Long, long time ago, in a village far, far away (but not that far since Belly works in the city).  Belly was struggling to figure out how to pay for her favorite flowers at the florist.  Peonies were her favorite, and yet the amount of money required to buy a large bouquet of them in the quantity she felt she deserved was so much.  Like SOQQU quad much.  Is there a way to make these flowers cheaper to own?!  Is there?

So with an excess of Belly Gazing as she is apt to do, she had an idea.  She thought that instead of buying them, why she will become ace gardner and grow them herself.  She imagined being overridden with lush peonies every spring.  Apparent from planting to flowering, it takes several years, but Belly is nothing if not patient and cheap.
 And so, Belly spent a back-breaking several hours digging rock-hard soil and planted cutting all around her house.  Why it was such hard work, she was pooped out.  Very pooped.
 And yet, all her tear-stained cheeks, rubbed with dirt, were worth it when that spring and the following year the plants grew and became adorned with shiny dark green leaves.  Why, this made Belly so excited.  She imagined SO MUCH PEONIES, IT WAS SO MUCH!
 As a former-City Snow Woman, Belly was uneducated in the enemies that lurk and prowl in the woodland and in the suburbs.

A large and ferocious gopher lived next door which would visit from time to time.  It was bidding its time patiently until the peony bushes grew large and bushy with rich green leaves.
Gopher bides its time for Peony.
 Maybe you can imagine what comes next, because it wasn't pretty.  Let's say the plants were... it's a little graphic.  In a few short hours all the lush plants were reduced to barely a stump on the ground.

Let's also say that Belly knows a whole host of ugly swear words with which to address this gopher.  This is a family blog, but the words "FUCKING ASSHOLE SHITHEAD GOPHER" was prominently featured.

And so, bereft and angry, mourning her dead peony plants and regretting all the labor of planting those things.  In time, most of the anger faded and she was mostly left with a haze of distant fury.  She would never plant peonies again.  But, is this the end of our story for our Belly heroine?  Is it?

Because in the very recent days, among the blossoming cherry trees, and among all the weeds that Belly always neglects to pull, this is what she saw.

Motherfucking Gopher Zombi Peony, that's what.
So my friends, let's leave Belly to further anticipate blooms perhaps next year.  She needs to erect some fences, but due to her laziness, we can anticipate further mow down by Gopher.  We leave Belly, in her happy, horrified haze while she ponders the meaning of Horinezumozonbikaou.

One last mystery remains unsolved.  How did this SOQQU limited edition quad come to be?  Maybe the majestic horror of the zombi peony rising, the gory pillaging of the gopher made resonant creative vibes which reached the creative teams of SOQQU and so, this quad was composed?


P.S.  The first to guess which actual SUQQU quads each of these shades come from gets a special prize from me.
P.P.S.  One more important thing, I truly thank my lovely friends Anonymous Meow and Driveller Kate for continuing to inspire (and I think, encourage my silly lunacy).
P.P.P.S.  One of the actual Zombie Peony plants, because this post was inspired by real life. :)

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