Tuesday, February 9, 2016

SUQQU Creamy Glow Lipstick in 02 Kyoganoko

I would say this post is less of a product review and more of a word stew on the color pink.

I find mid-tone pinks like this not easy to wear.  Other kinds of colors, as with the bravado of a very dark vampy shade, or an extremely warm or cool red lipstick is more easily worn than a pink like the SUQQU Creamy Glow Kyoganoko.  Very distinctive shades like a vamp or a red act like accessories that can stand on its own and doesn't require a bunch of complementary shades on the cheeks or eyes to come together.  (or so I think)

I find mid-tone pinks so touch-and-go that this is the second time I've purchased this one particular shade of the UK exclusive Creamy Glow lipstick in Kyoganoko.  Not because I finished it the first time, but because I got rid of one soon after purchasing it.  A warm toned pink such as this would seem like an easy color, but takes a lot more effort in application and coordination with other makeup than I would like.
For a pink shade, part of the trouble is that once you don't rely on the drama (and distraction) that a vamp or a red can do, the pink must rely fully on its own perfection and its harmony to the face of the wearer!  

I think there are so many things that can go wrong, or fall into a quick downward spiral... like with the flush of the toilet.  One is that an odd pairing of my skin's undertone and the undertone of the pink lipstick can do no pretty pink (or my face) a favor.  

The other thing is color clarity.  Grace London (whose blog is no longer.  *SOB*) had a wonderful post several years back about how two very similar shades (in depth & temperature) can have vastly different effect on the wearer by virtue of being clear or white-based.  Yah!  I don't have the right powers of description to explain as clearly as she wonderfully did, but I do much better with clear colors than white based ones.  It's not necessarily opacity, even though white based shades are easily more opaque than clear ones.  I have sheer colors that are white based.  Are you confused yet?  Because I am confused myself!  
SUQQU Kyoganoko to my eye, is a warm bright pink.  This Creamy Glow formula is high on slip, but very high in pigment.  One swipe will give a fully opaque coverage on my lips and will completely cover my lip color.  I find this to be more white-based than I like, which makes it challenging to wear.  What I really do like is that it has a slight warmth that kind of sort of is complementary to my skin tone.
It has a nice brightening effect on the skin, but has an interesting way of amplifying the other features on my face.  So in that way, I had to think about what blush, what eye shadow, etc etc.  What a pain to have to think about anything!  I love brainless makeup application.

I am wearing SUQQU old quad in Gokushi (swatches here), Sisley Phyto Blush in Pinky Berry (previewed here) for the main color components of my makeup.  On an unrelated note, I am oddly pleased with my accidental purchase of the NON waterproof version of the Lancome Hypnose Drama mascara.  The waterproof version is a long time mainstay, but this regular version is doing some freaky awesome lengthening for me, although it comes with the price of flaking.

It is actually a really beautiful pink, just not quite the swipe and go kind of colors I'm mostly drawn to... because of the LAZY and LACK OF BRAINZES.

Do you also find pinks difficult to wear?

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Rescue Beauty Lounge Nail Polish in Jane

Many sad tales to be told in this post.  Most sad part would be that Rescue Beauty Lounge is no more.  I wasn't ever really into any nail polish brands except for this one.  While I never attempted to collect every single one, many of the colors in her collections did catch my eye.  Once I got wind that her brand was going to go the way of the dodo bird, I finally picked up the shade Jane.
Jane is not a very pretty shade.  Indeed, even among neutral shades, it's rather the oddball, looking like dirty concrete.  It is a light grey, with a hint of yellow.  Jane does have a feature that is something of a regular occurrence in these Recue Beauty Lounge shades: "The Secret Shimmer."
In the bottle the shimmer is most easily seen.  What first appeared to be a light colored concrete, is loaded with very fine shimmer in champagne, pale orange and aqua.  The infuriating thing about these shimmers is that it is near impossible to see once you apply the polish on the nails.

The application on most RBL polishes is very easy and the formula is gorgeously even.  Same for Jane, except it is slightly thick.  It is nearly opaque in one coat, and completely perfect in two.

Here I'm wearing with the brand's top coat (also a dear favorite).  (That's the other sad part of this tale.  I am going to be so sad when I am done with the Top Coat and the Base Coat!)
There's something weird about this shade that it brings out the redness in my skin BUT just stays on the right side of Lobster Hands.  Ever wear a nail polish (usually a lighter neutral shade) that has the most unholy clash with your skin tone and makes every hang nail & raggedy cuticle look as if suffering from a case of gangrene?  Jane almost goes to the very edge of Lobster Hands, but doesn't cross that line.
It's a rather unattractive shade if considered from a conventional perspective of prettiness.  It's kind of a dull shade.  Could be the name, could be that super secret shimmer.  Could be because it was the last Rescue Beauty Lounge nail polish I purchased.  Truth be told, I do rather like Jane.

Did you have any last purchase hurrahs when the brand was closing shop?  Which shades are some of your favorites from the brand?

Friday, February 5, 2016

Wabbit Hunting on Japan Yahoo Auctions

I didn't want to include this information on the last post on the original SUQQU quads because it was already wordy enough.  :)  Maybe you're the type to just enjoy photos of pretty makeup, versus one to actually go through the laborious (and expensive) activity of tracking old discontinued things down.

I have feelings about used makeup.  I conduct blog sales and also buy every once in a while from them so obviously I'm fine with used makeup.  I wouldn't buy used mascara or anything, but things easily disinfected pose no serious icks for me.  I often buy from the blog sales of people I know (from blogging or from makeup board communities).

But there's used makeup and then there's USED makeup.  These old SUQQU quads are many years old, so though you find things every once in a while that's brand new and in original packaging, most of the times they come lightly used or even obliterated and gross beyond repair.  Like so:
LIKE EWWWWW...  This is my First Sakuragi.  I have a second better one.
Funny thing is that you can end up with gross items even after peering at photos carefully and carefully reading the seller's product description.

"That's not ENGLISH (or other native language) at all!  How do I buy this stuff?"
That out of the way, I've bought majority of my old items on Yahoo Auctions Japan.  There isn't an eBay. Yahoo Auctions Japan is the giant equivalent auction site.  Just like eBay, people list things to sell and buyers bid and things get sold at the highest price or get sold if there is a Buy it Now option.

Yahoo Auctions Japan isn't a site I can use on my own.  I don't read or know Japanese and the site is not navigable for a foreigner.  Much of the payment is done bank transfer and I can barely figure out how to transfer money to a person in the US from a US bank.  I've heard that most sellers will not do business with an international buyer, but I couldn't confirm since I can't even communicate with sellers.

"Buyer Proxy Services"
In digging around, by which I mean cranking up the good ol' search engine, I found there are services that you can use to bid for you and then forward the goods on to you.  I've only used this one service Jauce.  Please note, I am not affiliated and can't vouch for them in any way.  I can only share what I experienced.  Joining the site is free, giving your mailing information.  (Zenmarket is another option, but I haven't tried it.  It seems like their selling point is that they are less expensive to use than Jauce.)

Jauce can be navigated in English, French and Russian.  And the item descriptions can be translated into all the Google Translate languages.

Jauce works very similarly to the way eBay works in terms of user experience, except that in order to bid on an item, you transfer money into an account.  With the funds in reserve, you can search, watch and then bid on products.

Based on your email preference settings, you get notifications of successful bids and outbids, as well as notification when goods are delivered to Jauce's facilities.

Once goods are delivered to Jauce, you have the options to having shipped to you in the original packaging the seller shipped, or unpacked and then repackaged together.  I've always used the second method because I would buy several items and the consolidate into one more efficient packed box.

Jauce does a very good job individually bubble wrapping each item with this option and then securely packaged into a cardboard box.

You can pick among several shipping options  (I think I always use EMS, as I do for most other things I order from Japan).

"Crap!  HOW much money for this service?!"
The fees.  They are real.  And they are plenty.

  1. Funding fee (transfer money into your Jauce account) = 3.9% + 40JPY (variable fee)
  2. Item Transaction fee  = 800 JPY + 8% (if you win another auction with 24 hours of first one, then the fee for next transaction is 400 JPY + 8%) (variable fee)
  3. Banking fee per transaction = 300 JPY
  4. Domestic Mail (from Seller to Jauce) = depends on what the seller charges (variable fee)
  5. International Delivery Fee = depends on service you select and how big/heavy your box(es) are (variable fee)
So theoretically, if I win (I winnnn at liiiiiife!) an item for 5,000 JPY here's what a potential amount of fees could look like.  First lets say I transferred 10,000 JPY from PayPal to Jauce so I can bid on stuff.  I've already then paid 390 + 40 JPY = 430 to transfer funds (1).

5,000 JPY (price of winning bid)
+ 800 + 400 = 1200 JPY (2) Item transaction fee
+ 300 JPY (3) Banking fee
+ 200  JPY (4) this seller charged this for domestic mail
+ 2220 JPY (5) international delivery fee for a 900g EMS shipping option
= 8920 JPY TOTAL

That's a LOT of fees.

"Well, THAT was a (bad) surprise..."
Just like eBay, just like real life, there are unsavory sellers out there.  I haven't disputed anything because I don't want the hassle of disputing with someone abroad.  And I'm not sure Jauce will do anything on your behalf.  Just like my Sakuragi looked like a mouse had been nibbling on the pans, there's totally a reasonable chance you'd get some crap coming to you.
  1. Very carefully read the product description and condition.  Photos are very important, but those can be posed to make the usage look better than they are.  In the detailed description, if the seller states "about 10% left," they are serious.
  2. READ carefully!  I saw that the product description header won't translate automatically into English.  After cutting and pasting text directly into Google Translate, I saw what looked like the SUQQU S brush (!!!) was actually an overpriced SUQQU S Eye Brow brush.
  3. Jauce will not mark "Gift" or "Free sample" or "No Value" on the customs forms.  Be fully aware of your country's import regulations and duty rates.
  4. These fees add the hell up.  Also remember that certain sellers are actually shops and you will need to pay an incremental tax on your product.
  5. Jauce has a time limit (60 days) to transfer unused funds back to your PayPal account.  Don't forget about your money hanging out there!
Hope this was helpful.  I wrote this post in the context of tracking down old SUQQU quads, but of course you can track down new SUQQU quads, or other makeup or other brushes... or...  Why are you tapping me on the shoulder?  You say you can buy other things than makeup at online auctions?  Get out of town!

Good luck and happy wabbit hunting!  If you've used other methods for tracking old and discontinued products do share with me and every one in the comments!

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

SUQQU Old Generation Quads

I know my posts tend to be either too wordy or too full of pictures.  Or even worse, full of both too many words and too many photos!  I am a terrible editor!  

I will tell you a little something.  When my blog was offline, I found that my general interest in makeup didn't wane all that much, but rather took on a more obsessive quality altogether.  Sometime during this period, I can say I went out on a hunt and I hunted not for wabbits, but rather I hunted for the really old SUQQU quads.

Look how I did (and already tidily depotted into a most elegant free-form palette):
The "OG" Original Good SUQQU Palettes
From Left to Right: 01 Souryoku, 02 Gokushi, 03 Saisei, 10 Sakuragi, EX06 Maiyuki
I was first calling these first generation eye shadows, but in reality the brand also offered singles as well.  Anyway, this generation was replaced by what is now the UK-exclusive color range 01-06 (I have posts of all of those on the blog).

On the whole, this old generation of quads are very pigmented.  It does make my eye twitch to see them not aligned so symmetrically in the Z-Palette because of the small pan.  *twitch*  Most of these are almost so pigmented that I need to really be careful and light handed about application.

I took it upon myself to swatch all of these, in case you have an insane desire to spend all your free time and all your fun money tracking them down, too.

  • 01 Souryoku is a very green palette.  Applied, I prefer this much to the current UK quad 02 Kokedama.  Souryoku has its cool silvery sage shade (2nd from left, on the swatches below), but both the deep and medium greens have a warm brown tone that makes it very wearable.  SUQQU was once fabled for being amazing with greens, and I can see why when I use this palette.  This is gorgeous.

  • 02 Gokushi is that looks the most appealing to me in the pan, but in reality a little bit more challenging to wear.  The warm brown and dark cool purple are both similar in depth and slightly boggles my pea brain on a placement that makes good use of both shades.  The light gray is a very balanced grey that doesn't turn blue when applied on me.  That's pretty rare for gray shadows.  The "little" pan isn't really a base shade, but more of a pigmented highlighting shade which is full of white shimmer.

  • A blue on blue palette isn't my usual thing, especially when paler blues are in the mix.  Leave it to SUQQU to make it completely wearable.  The deep blue is very useful for creating more depth and shading on the lash line or crease (when used lightly).  And surprisingly, that very bright blue doesn't clash with my yellow skin.  It's easy to create a very sophisticated gradation with the three blues and then add a bright accent with the little pan, which brings a very icy look.  That's probably the one shade that can be misused to turn the look completely 80's (and not in a cool way).

Here they are lined up.

  • 04 Shunboku turned out to be a surprising favorite.  Extremely smooth, giving a rich application with no heaviness.  That manilla envelop yellow pan turns out to be an incredible skin toned base shade on my lids!  The first and third shades appear green toned in the pan, but are in actuality a rich silver and a very dark grey.  The second shade has a lot of stark contrast on my skin.  This quad doesn't look nearly as good in the pan than when applied.

Ugh.  This one really broke my heart.  The texture on this one was so dry and hard that is was extremely difficult getting any color to transfer on my skin on the dark shade.  Sakuragi!
  • 10 Sakuragi has an inspired concept of the colors of a cherry tree.  The texture on this quad was very difficult to work with.  The dark brown shade (3rd swatch here) was so unpigmented, dry and applied very patchy.  The lighter shades really had no contrast or variation in depth that this quad wasn't nearly has functional as I would have liked.

  • EX-06 Maiyuki has little silver snowflakes on the case.  But since I am a serial depotter, I've put all those cases deep deep away.  This one is very pretty and has a rich metallic quality to it. The top two shades are a warm taupe and a cool pink.  The dark brown is satin with sparse red shimmer.   The pale little pan is a lovely cool satiny beige.
And a little group photo of those three quads in swatches.

I hope you enjoyed this giant dump of photos. :)  I am actually in the midst of cataloguing all my SUQQU palettes.  Oddly enough, I find my own blog to be a good personal resource.  I use it to jog my brain of names of products/color names, remember why I purged things, and also importantly to not buy duplicates of what I own.

I hunt these down using a service that buys from Yahoo Auctions in Japan.   If you are interested in more information, do let me know in the comments.  Any questions are all welcome, too.   More information on how to track these down in this post here.

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