Thursday, August 14, 2014

SUQQU Autumn Winter 2014 Collection

There's very little beauty wise that get me as excited as fall collections and even less that get me as excited as the new releases from SUQQU.  This AW 2014 collection has some true eye catching beauties and I am excited to ramble on and parse through the press information today.

Inspiration for this collection is jewelry, and many of the products will have that richness, translucency and vibrancy.  My jewelry collection tends to be cast off kids' plastic Hello Kitty things given out as favors in goody bags at birthday parties, but I suspect other grown up women will be pleased to see reflections of rich tones in SUQQU's collection.

Eye shadows:
Limited edition 4-pan (but sneaky OCTET!) EX-21 Murasakisuishou
Ridiculously pretty, is it not?  Surely this is the star of the collection and being limited edition, I would hazard a guess that this will be in high demand.  All the colors have a depth and translucency that allows for some artful layering and the eight color format is a natural for mixing and matching.  One thing that I saw in the press information was that there are two preset combinations that might work easily for those of us that are creativity challenged, 4 colors from the outside or 4 colors from the inside.   (or let your creativity run wild with your own preference for mixing and layering)

All the shades are pearl finish, so likely very similar in texture to the releases from this past Spring.

Eye Color Palettes (Trios):
Trios!  A format even more better suited for my utterly uncreative mind and skills!  Like the limited edition quad, all the colors in these trios are pearl finish shades and especially formulated to bring a "wet look." This kind of blows my mind thinking about the edginess of a wet look but made with the typical sophistication of this brand.  Sounds pretty amazing, if it executes on the lids the way described, no?
01 Toutouseki - Pink & Beige, 02 Kinshiseki - Yellow & Purple, 03 Aoruri - Glow White & Deep Turquoise

This seems to be quite the departure from the normal eye shadow finish of the norm, so this will be something I have my eye on.  I hope these are not glitter bombs.

The lipsticks being offered are new shades of the Creamy Glow Moist formula.  I really like these balmy lipsticks.  While the pigmentation is very sheer on majority of the colors, they feel very cushy on the lips and super easy to wear.

The new introduction however, is a new finish in the Creamy Glow Moist of Veil Glow.  Veil Glows are semi-matte shades.  Doesn't glow & veil together seem a bit oxymoronic?  Well, I guess proof will be in the pudding? or pie?  or cake?  Looking forward to seeing what these new Veil Glows look like.
Veil Glows-
07 Sangoseki is described as a dense, red coral.
08 Tougyoku is an intense pink.
EX-15 Benikiseki (LE) is a red.

07 Sangoseki

08 Tougyoku

EX-15 Benikiseki

Regular Glows-
09 Zakuroseki is described as an opaque radiant rose pink shade.
09 Zakuroseki
Nail Colors:
Two limited edition shades are being offered with the AW collection and can be used alone or layered.

EX-07 Nanairoseki - Lamé.  This seems to me like the SUQQU version of the glitter top coat.  It can be worn alone or applied over other shades.

EX-08 Kouseki - Ruby Pink.

I never really paid attention to SUQQU nail polishes before, but their description of the formula sounds nice with the right viscosity and ultra smoothness for application.  It also contains squalene for moisturizing properties.

Creamy Eye Liner:

Creamy Eye liner in EX-03 Ruby Navy is a limited edition pearly navy.  This smooth cream formula has a deep navy with red tones in it.  I haven't used gel liners since using up a few pots of Bobbi Brown.  I like the smudgier lines of pencils, but this does look like a beautiful color.

SUQQU's new Autumn Winter collection is in stores on August 21st at Selfridges and August 28th at Fenwicks.  It is already in stores in Japan.  They are also available on-line at Ichibankao (the quad appears to have sold out here).

What are the chances of the full collection hitting you think for more than a blink of an eye?

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Butterflies & Clams

I must have truly missed out in my younger years living in such an urban setting.  There are many pleasures in city living but the pleasures of living closer to nature is pretty incredible.  While I may whine about the deer pooping all over my lawn, the weird giant rodent things eating every one of my flowering plants (killing my beloved peony!), the birds chirping at 4 in the morning, seeing incredible things up close and personal is delighting me. <---run-on sentence, IN ACTION, LIVE on WONDEGONDIGO!

I went out to pick some flat leaf parsley during the weekend and saw many of these gorgeous caterpillars serenely hanging out among the stems.  Upon research I found that these are Eastern Black Swallowtails and they exclusively feed on plants in the carrot family (parsley being one).
I think they will go off elsewhere to cocoon to develop into the beautiful butterflies with the black wings, but I will enjoy their company for a short while.  My parsley is looking a bit sad and brown, and so I'm very glad they are being enjoyed by these insects.

source: here
Pretty butterflies!  And the vibrant green on the caterpillars blend expertly into the parsley plants.
Not that I am a huge bug lover or anything.  I have recently discovered a hive of angry yellow jackets under my deck!
Speaking of recent pleasures, after first trying this in New Haven, CT many years ago, I ate this delectable white clam pizza.  It was so salty but full of garlic-y and ocean flavors on top of a very well cooked and charred crust.
I think next time, this pizza will also require the accompaniment of bacon.  Yah?

Any recent simple pleasures you want to share?  Makeup pleasure is also good and always welcome!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Tom Ford Fall 14 Collection - Some Swatches

I am pretty sure that a burger and bloody mary fueled rampage through Barney's and Bergdorf Goodman ranks pretty high among makeuppy pleasures.  Everything is better with a good burp and a smear (of makeup), yes?

I was pleased to see that Tom Ford's Fall 14 was available at the counter at Bergdorf ready to be scrutinized and further poked upon.  There were some folks getting a makeover so I didn't get to swatch the lipsticks, but I did get to look at what are the stars in the collection: the new quad and the new blush/highlighter duos (Contouring Cheek Color Duo).  Other various products, mascara, foundation, concealer, et cetra are also part of the line, but generally the powder products are the ones I am most keen on checking out.

All in-store lighting, so not ideal.
Duo in Soft Core, Nude Dip quad, Duo in Stroked, on bottom, Extreme Mascara in Mocha Rush
I have Stroked on the top of my hand (highlighter, blush) and then Soft Core (highlighter, blush).  I think in theory, for really shaping the cheeks, the duos are a great idea.  After all, using the very shimmery highlighter, I would be able to get some excellent brightness and be able to use the darker blush shade to add some more definition.  But the darker colored shades are very shiny in finish, and reminds me a fair bit of the sheen of Wicked blush.  I think for those that are really into glowy finishes, these would work better than on me.  I also suspect that those with textural issues on their cheeks might experience more pronounced look to their pores.
Of course, it's the quads that always catch my eye!  Nude Dip has some beautiful shades, but similar to my thoughts on the blush/highlighting duos, the finish is very uniformly frosty and shiny.  The darker shade is more satin, but you can definitely see a lot of visible shimmer still.

Also the three lighter shades are very close in depth that I would likely over-blend and muddy up any look.  The colors are exceptionally pretty and the quality of the shades feel wonderful!  These shades can be used wet or dry and my finger swatches were dry of course.  I can only imagine how much richer the wet shades would look.
 Unfortunately for me, these uniformly shiny textures would not work well for me. 
Tom Ford fall is available on pre-order at many places, including Bergdorf Goodman.  Winnie, the counter manager is wonderfully helpful.  You can give her a call at (212) 872-2813.

Have you pre-ordered anything from Tom Ford's fall collection?

Thursday, August 7, 2014

KIKO Infinity Eye Shadows in 237, 239, 240 and 217

Ahoy, me makeup mateys!  I mentioned a trip I made to the KIKO shop in the Garden State Plaza the other week and among the picks, I chose four matte eye shadows from the enormous Infinity eye shadow range.  By enormous, I mean taking up a huge section of display area with dozens and dozens of colorful eye shadows in a whole host of finishes.
in Stewwwwwwwdio lighting
I said to myself, "Self, go crazy.  Pick the craziest colors you can find in the most blingy of all finishes."  How did I do?

These individual pans click into the Clics palette system which comes in three, nine and twenty-four pan configurations.  The pans are not magnetized since they click into the palettes.  I just picked up the pans because I can always apply a metal sticker and use my preferred Z Palettes.  The Clic system and eye shadow pans remind me of the Urban Decay system.

I've actually been highly coveting the Viseart matte palettes but have been holding off because some of those shades might not be ones I would actually use.  Also these matte KIKO shades I selected greatly expands my matte eye shadow collection and...cheeep and cheeeeeerful at $8 a pop.
swatches in UNNATURAL lighting
  • 237 is a ight slightly pinky beige shade.  I've been using this to blend out edges, but I think it is too cool for me for that function.
  • 239 is a light putty beige shade.  GAH!  Lately, I am really struggling with color descriptions!
  • 240 is a medium cool grey brown.
  • 217 is a medium warm brown.
When I was playing with them in the store, they swatched really nicely.  Each are moderately pigmented, but the swatches above are two layers (with fingertip) so by no means highly pigmented.  

I've become unfortunately picky about eye shadow textures recently where perfectly loved textures from brands no longer performed the way they used to.  Is this AGE?!!!  I was really pleasantly surprised at how nicely these matte shadows looks on my lids.  They are very smooth and apply really nicely with a brush, and kick up very minimal dust.  They blend really easily and don't get all muddy and chalky on my eyelids.  

Lasting prowess:
I always apply all eye makeup over Nars Pro Prime.  They are not bullet proof, because I saw some noticeable fading at the end of a long day but they held up well into that day.

A brand I often cite as my standard for beautiful mattes is Rouge Bunny Rouge.  They have some of the dreamiest and smoothest formulas around.  They have a very teeny offering of shades, and I wish they would expand it!  I would gobble those up.

lighting up with HOT FIRES OF HELL lighting
Here are my new KIKOs compared to my Rouge Bunny Rouge standard bearers: Chestnut Napped Apalis, Go Grey Away Lourie, and Black Pepper Jay.

I think you can see some quality differences right away, especially for CNA and GGAL which are much more richly pigmented and smoother in application.  One swipe!  Black Pepper Jay is just a tab patchy with one swipe.
in studio lighting
While not as rich and pigmented as my Rouge Bunny Rouge mattes, the KIKO Infinity mattes add some welcome variation in tones to my matte singles.  They are a wonderful value as well.

I think the next time I am at the shop, I would like a warmer version of 237.  Any suggestions on a color to fit the bill?

Do you notice that the pictures are kind of weird?  I recently purchased a inside lighting situation so I'm giving that equipment a try.  The foam board I have been using recently has gotten filthy so I purchased this display board that can be wiped down.  I also got some new studio lighting which is giving me some grief in being able to white balance correctly.  I think the pictures above look a bit weird (but close).  I think changing my lighting set up completely made me unable to take pictures!  I have a giant load of blurry pictures in the trash.  Oy, time to read up on the manual again.  I also purchased a light tent that is so comically large that I think I can put my whole makeup stash in there!  Ha!  Hopefully you can bear with me while I figure this situation out.

KIKO currently has US shops in the Woodbridge shopping center and Garden State Plaza, both in New Jersey.  There is no telephone order and no webshop available.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

All My Cleansers and Die, Bastard! Die! and Cake

Please excuse the post title, but I really mean it.  DIE, BASTARD!  DIE!
Okay.  Look, by the time it takes two YEARS to finish a product, you want it to die and die faster.  DIE MORE FASTER YOU BASTARD; DIEEEEE!

I would say over the course of testing it over the very short two years, that I can confidently say, I really do not like this cleanser.

As a stand-alone cleanser, I found it didn't work well enough to break down my usual sunscreens and foundation and definitely couldn't handle my eye makeup.  I used it when I double cleansed when I accidentally got my hands and face a little wet prior to an oil cleanse (so hence poor emulsion) or if I used coconut oil to cleanse.  Towards the end, I was using GOBS of it just so I can finish it.  In addition to not being that effective when used alone, it also dried my skin out gradually as lots of cleansers do.

Will I buy this again?  *using my inside voice*  NOOOOOO!

I do have need in my cleansing rotation for a very gentle foaming cleanser, so a few weeks back, I purchased the Chantecaille Rice and Geranimum Foaming Cleanser.  Let me also show you all the other cleansers I have been using.

(L to R) 1) purity (die!), 2) CervaVe Hydrating Cleanser, 3) Chantecaille Rice and Geranium Foaming Cleanser, 4) Eve Lom Morning Time Cleanser, 5) Eve Lom Cleanser 6) Coconut Oil masquerading as an Eve Lom Cleanser 5) MUJI cleansing oil 6) Bioderma Sensibio Micellar Water.

Here are my brief takes on each:

  1. Philosophy Purity - see above for my deep and unending feelings about this JUG.
  2. CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser - is a very gentle non-foaming cleanser and seems close to the Cetaphil one.  This doesn't have the effectiveness to power off all the clown makeup and sunscreen I wear on a daily basis but is nice and soothing for a gentle cleanse in the morning.  I sometimes use this after using a cleansing oil.
  3. Chantecaille Rice and Geranium Foaming Cleanser - I don't generally like foaming cleansers which often dry my skin, but as I mentioned before, I need to have one around.  This sucker is very expensive, but a very small amount produces an embarrassing profusion of foam.  It is also slightly exfoliating but gentle.  So far no issues with it drying me out.  
  4. Eve Lom Morning Time Cleanser - is the "lite" version of the classic balm cleanser.  Has a slightly less gritty and a tad lighter consistency.  For some reason, it doesn't seem to work well at makeup removal, but as a morning cleanser it is super gentle and refreshing on my skin.  It is very scented and the weird smell takes some getting used to.  I love how there is no stripping and how incredibly soft my skin is after using this, all perfectly prepped for my morning slather of the clown face.
  5. Eve Lom Cleanser - is a balm type cleanser that is massaged onto dry skin and then emulsified with some water and wiped off with a muslin cloth.  I love the whole ritual of cleansing with this balm as well as the gentle physical exfoliation from the muslin cloth.  It does take time, so I tend to reserve this for the weekends or when I am wearing heavier than usual makeup.  It takes everything off very effectively and I never feel the need to cleanse again after this.
  6. Coconut Oil - I bought a large bottle of organic cold pressed coconut oil from Whole Foods.  My skin seems to really get along with coconut oil thankfully, and I love the scent.  The solid white oil very quickly melts into a clear liquid in my hands and on my skin and really melts all the makeup off.  It does leave an oily residue after being wiped off, so this is when a foaming cleanser is necessary for me.
  7. MUJI cleansing oil - YUCK!  I am determined to finish this thing.  There are two versions and I think this is the gentle version.  It's slightly thicker than my old discontinued Shu Uemura Premium A/O cleansing oil (green one).  I'm not sure if it is rancid or what, but has an off smell.  It never seems to emulsify well enough and I always need to double cleanse after this.
  8. Bioderma Sensibio Micellar Solution - another classic, but I find I don't use this very often.  I use this when I swatch for the blog to take all the swatches off my arm.  On occasion, I use this is an easy cleanser in the morning.  I have many backups of this!  Maybe too many.
Speaking of too many, holy crap!  Why do I have so many cleansers?  I am definitely in need of some streamlining here.

Annnnnd speaking of too much of too much, how does a cake with four sticks of butter in it sound to you?  Over the weekend, I reattempted making the Brooklyn Blackout Cake that I showed a while ago (here).  I took some corrective action from the last time I made it (lower oven with shorter cooking time, thicker pudding texture).  This time the cake came out as well as I could have hoped for.
It is chocolate (4 different kinds: semi-sweet, bittersweet, unsweetened and dutch process cocoa powder) on chocolate on chocolate.  Seems practice (and some crying) makes perfect, just like makeup application.  It looks rather like a shaggy dog with the crumb layer on top and it's hard to see the three layers of the pudding filling inside.
I am so skipping meals to justify eating this cake all week long.  It is a thing of beauty... chocolate wise.

Ever take on a recipe with blood sweat and tears and just KILL IT?  What did you make?  Share some recipes with me?
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