Monday, September 15, 2014

THREE Shimmering Glow Duo in 01

What are your thoughts on highlighting products?  I love highlighters, but don't wear them as much as I could or should.  I tend to reserve them for special occasions or when I have oodles of time for applying makeup.  Basically, almost never.  I have been thinking that it would be nice to try another cream highlighter because hey, something new from a brand whose cream shadows I really love, and wheee!  The THREE Shimmering Glow Duo is a cream to powder formulation and with the most incredible fine finish that is very flattering on my skin.  I think I can put this into more frequent rotation.  I can do it.  I can do it.  I will forget it in 3 weeks.
The Shimmering Glow Duo comes in two shades and I chose 01.  The dual pans come in the same plastic cases as the 4D eye shadow palettes, but slightly smaller, with the THREE logo in a dark grey color.
Because of the reflective nature of the pans, tilting it this way and that way will shift the color lighter and darker.  The picture below is very accurate in terms of the actual color.  The left side is  a warm russet tone and the right side is a light amber.
Here are the pans tilted to catch the light some more.  Click on the picture of the pans below.  You can see some very fine shimmer.
There is dimethicone way down on the ingredient list (full listing on the bottom of the post), but a good bulk of the ingredients are various botanical oils.  It doesn't have the dry slip feel of very silicone heavy products, and when I use a finger to pick up the product, I can feel a little bit of grippy resistance as the product catches on my fingertip.  Oddly, as a rub my finger back and forth on the pan, I can feel the product forming tiny clumps.
On the skin though (certainly on my face, and definitely on my swatching arm!), the application is smooth and the product is incredibly easy to blend.  While a lot of other highlighting products benefit from a good brush to apply and blend, I prefer my fingers with the THREE.  The heat of my fingers warm up the oils in the product and really help it meld into my skin, looking gorgeously supple.  Once blended into the skin, it turns into a powder, but with all the subtle richness of a cream product.
The swatches of each pan are applied heavily, but even in extreme closeup below, you can see that though you can make out individual shimmer particles, the overall look is a glow not a disco.
I do have a few other highlighting products of course.  So here they are lined up together and compared for color and finish comparison purposes.
The Rouge Bunny Rouge liquids are beautiful things!  The shimmer in these is slightly more sparse than the THREE shades, and color wise Sea of Showers is more golden and Sea of Tranquility slightly pinker.  Cruel Gardenia is definitely pink and has a strongly frosted appearance with the heavy finger swipe.  Dior's Nude Shimmer (this one was free of charge) is much more yellow and also quite frosty.
I think this shows the finishes a bit more accurately.
Here's a recent look featuring the Shimmering Glow Duo and just lots of skin.  Don't get too excited, face skin, not boob skin.
Products used:
I'm wearing the AmorePacific CC (here) compact as my foundation.  Ellis Faas concealer under my eyes and nose.  No powder so I can emphasize the glowing skin.
Suqqu brow powder in moss green.  I used the light tan shade in the brow compact to contour the side of my nose.
Guerlain Cils D'Enfer Maxi Lash wp mascara.
Hourglass 1.5mm gel pencil to tighline upper lashes.
THREE Shimmering Glow Duo (01) dark shade was used on my eyelids as a subtle shadow, and also used the dark shade as a blush.  I used the lighter shade to highlight the tops of my cheeks, down the center of my nose and the center of my chin.
Serge Luten Bois de Levres 01 was used on my lips, the orange red shade was blotted on with my fingertips.

Duo on eyes

Close up of the glow on my cheeks.  You can definitely see my pores, but I don't think it's bigger or more emphasized.  This is certainly the least frosty and the most natural glow I have among my highlighters.  I have been wearing this often and I love the versatility of the darker shade and it's multi-purpose use for blush and eye shadow, but hot damn!  The lighter shade is a a gorgeous light ambery glow that is exquisitely natural on my skin.
While my skin tends to eat up cream products in a jiffy, I find this lasts reasonably well on me and much longer than the RMS highlighter and the Tom Ford Shade and Illuminate (compared here).  The various oils feel wonderful on my skin and feels particularly lovely on my dehydrated cheeks.

Are highlighters something you use occasionally or something for every day?  What gives your skin the most perfect glow?  (Let's keep this PG-13 rated, eh?)

Cetyl ethylhexanoate, methyl methacrylate crosspolymer, mica, Toriechiruhekisanoin, triisostearate polyglyceryl-2, microcrystalline wax, polyethylene, sesquiisostearate sorbitan, tea seed oil, Alga near spinosa kernel oil *, sesame oil *, shea fat *, silk, jojoba seed oil *, rosehip oil *, evening primrose oil *, carnauba wax, beeswax *, safflower red, dimethicone, tocopherol, crystalline cellulose, silica, methylparaben, + / -: borosilicate (Ca / Al), titanium oxide, iron oxide, synthetic phlogopite, carmine
*certified organic raw materials

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Sunday and What There Was to Stew

Yes, I know today is normally fried chicken and chocolate cake day, but Pan knows, one can not live by cake and chicken alone.  Or ... I'm getting confused.  Of course you can live on that alone!

In any case, I just want you to know that despite what the pictures below suggest, this post is not sponsored by Goya (oh boya!) though several products from that brand makes this a particularly simple recipe to make at home.

Ropa Vieja is a long cooked dish of shredded beef in a savory sauce.  I know it to be a Cuban dish, but wikipedia tells me otherwise.  Apparently, it has its origins in 12th century Sephardic Jewish community in Spain.  Its name Ropa Vieja translates as old clothes, because the shreds of meet looks like old rags.
Regarding the beef, I see various recipes using flank steak and such, but I don't think it requires an expensive cut.  For what you see in this post, I'm using chuck (about 3 pounds).

While the oven is being pre-heated to 350 degrees (F), pound out the beef with a meat mallet until about an inch thick.  Sprinkle with salt, ground pepper and onion powder.  In a heavy bottomed wide pot (oven proof, please!), brown the beef pieces in olive oil.  Remove the beef and reserve.
Drain the pot of excess fat and add 1/2 cup of sofrito.  I make a giant batch at home and freeze portions, but you can also buy ready made sofrito.  Sofrito is an aromatic seasoning mixture of onions, peppers (I use cubanelle, and bell peppers), tomatoes, garlic, cilantro and culantro.  I can't ever find culantro in my market, so I use extra cilantro.  Recipe here.

In the pot, add the sofrito and add a 1/4 teaspoon of cumin.  Or more.  I like the taste of cumin.  Stir around in the pot and scrape up all the brown bits clinging on the bottom of your pot and mix into the sofrito and cumin.
Once that mixture is well incorporated, I add in 1/2 cup of pitted salad olives (green olives and pimentos).  2 8oz cans of tomato sauce and about 2 cups of water is added into the pot.  Toss in a few bay leaves and add in your reserved browned beef.
Once the pot comes back up to boil, cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid and put into the oven to slowly cook for about 2 to 2.5 hours until the beef is tender and falling apart.  Like so:
Remove the meat and shred the beef.  You can allow it to cool slightly enough to handle, or use forks to shred the meat up.
Add the shredded meat back into the sauce and add diced carrots (3-4 carrots) and celery (2-3 stalks).  Cook on the stove top until the vegetables are just tender.  Then add a cup or so of frozen peas.  It will cook through very quickly.
I serve it with yellow rice, with a little garnish of fresh cilantro.
Ropa Vieja freezes really well.  It also tastes even better when reheated and served the next day.  I am using a recipe from Daisy Cooks!, which is a really awesome cookbook.

Burp.  What are you cooking up this Sunday evening?

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Trinket from Quotidienne

My friend runs a beautiful online shop of an edited selection of clothing and accessories called Quotidienne.  The shop features brands and designers with a clean and minimalist esthetic as well as a manufacturing process that leans towards the well crafted, often small scale.  Through her shop, I've been introduced to many designers and of those I treasure my once stolen and then returned wallet from Ellen Truijen as well as a few handbags.  A while back, I purchased an interesting bracelet from Ilsa Loves Rick from the shop.  You may have seen glimpses of it in all my recent swatches on the blog.  I love the heck out of it.

The cuff is an abstract snake hammered into a thin golden band with all the organic feel of hammered metal.
I never get complimented on my makeup in real life, but I get compliments all the time on this bracelet and many requests to know where I purchased it.

If you fancy such pretty trinkets, you can purchase it here.  It is currently out of stock but is expected to be back in stock shortly, so keep watch!  (fyi, I've no affiliation other than fan-level affiliation with the shop or with the brand.  :D )

Have you shopped from Quotidienne before?  Any jewelry that become your favored signature pieces?

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

SUQQU Creamy Glow Moist in EX-15 Benikiseki - Veil Glow

This post features product that was provided free of charge by PR/brand.
The limited edition lip color that was released along with the Autumn Winter 2014 SUQQU collection is Benikiseki EX-15.  It is a Creamy Glow Moist formula, but is also representative to their new Veil Glow finish, which is a soft matte.

SUQQU periodically releases a bright red in their seasonal collections, but in the sheerer formulations.  I was generally most interested in checking out the finish of this new formula.
The incredibly bright orange red of the bullet suggests a bright shade on the lips, but when swatched, you can see just how soft and wearable the color is.  I've swirled the bullet a few times to build up to the warm soft red you see on my arm.
I've also compared it to another similar limited edition Creamy Glow Moist lipstick from SUQQU.  This is Beniaka EX-13 from last Fall, swatched on the right.  The colors are nearly identical, but the finish is different.  You might be able to tell that Beniaka on the right has a more squishy appearance.
Angling my arm a bit differently, the colors reflect the light very differently as well, with EX-15 Benikiseki reflecting the light in a diffused and soft manner, and Beniaka EX-13 practically gleaming brightly.
Like many things from SUQQU, lots of their products are small differences in things like finish (as is the case of these lipsticks shown above), or combinations of shades in the micro shimmer.  Likely, if you are a sheer red lipstick kind of a fan (like me), you will have close dupes of this color.  I am finding this pretty subtle red a very flattering and easy shade to wear.
SUQQU offers several different formulas in its lipstick offering and I thought you'd like to see how they compare to one another.
Here's a little round up for y'all:
From left to right:
  • SUQQU Creamy Glow Moist in EX-15 Benikiseki.  The Veil Moist finish of this lipstick is very sheerly pigmented and allows a lot of your lip color to show through.  While not truly matte, it does have a soft muted finish to it.  Similar to the regular CGM formula, it glides on beautifully, but due to its sheer pigmentation, it doesn't last very long.
  • SUQQU Creamy Glow Moist in EX-13 Beniaka (here).  This is the shiny regular finish of the the CGM.  Similar to the Veil Glow above, it is very sheer and imparts subtle color. 
  • SUQQU Bright Up in 03 Barairo (swatch set here) is a creamy medium pigmented lipstick.  It's very flattering on my textured lips and feels very cushiony.  The colors, contrary to the product name, in this range are very pretty subtle shades - a la MLBBs.
  • SUQQU Creamy Glow in 17 Ichijiku - discontinued (here).  This formula is ultra pigmented where one swipe will impart full coverage.  It is feather light (much lighter than the Bright Ups) and has a thin slippy texture.  Selected colors are still available in the UK as UK exclusives.
You've already seen me wear Benikiseki here featuring the new limited edition creamy eyeliner in Ruby Navy and I've put a sizeable dent into the bullet already!  As you can see, the warm red transforms into a rosier shade when applied on my lips.  The sheerness of the color allows my cool mauve natural lipcolor to show through.

Thanks to SUQQU for letting me check out this new finish from one of my most favorite lipstick formulas.  I'm glad to add such a wearable and pretty color into my pile of lipsticks!

What are some of your favorites for sheer and easy colors?

SUQQU is available in Japan, Bangkok and UK.  It is available internationally online through the Selfridges as well as by calling the counters.  Check out my post here on how to purchase SUQQU.  UK customers can also purchase this brand at Fenwick.  (Lucky bastards! >:( )

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.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

A Slow Dog Head Tilt

An Introduction and a Non-Kitty
Have you experienced a moment when it feels like your little world tilts slightly off its axis and ends altering something essential in you?  Don't worry!  We're talking makeup so I'm not mulling over anything deep.  (Although, there was that time when I learned Hello Kitty wasn't a cat...

A recent New Yorker cartoon in this very serious and heady topic:


The Events That Were a Trigger
Very recently my sister Liz from So Lonely in Gorgeous stuffed a box full of makeup (and assorted delicious things) and sent it to me from Japan.  I was keen in filling out my collection of THREE eye shadow quads as well as get grabby with the new SUQQU palette EX-21 Murasakisuishou.  (All thanks be to Liz for yums and makeups!)
from my Twitter account.
And of course it's been a week of deliriously slathering on all the things on my face.  Of course.  Lately I've acquired quite a tidy amount of new things and while I'm okay with the expense associated it, I was noticing a distinct hrmmppphhppffpppttt feeling.

For instance, when I opened up the new SUQQU palette, I was awash in zingy feelings of teh happy at how pretty the colors were.  But as I played with it, layering this and that combination, I wasn't truly moved.  (Of course we're talking about makeup.  Makeup moves in a way the makeup "moves" which is make me swoon about the shades, the shimmer, the complexity, blah blah)

Tried one placement and then another (washed out phone camera pictures):

 There are 8 shades in that sucker.  I suspect I can be wearing this in different combinations for the rest of my life.

A Realization:
The rest of my life.

Then it struck me, as I thought about this octet and about all my recent purchases (and past purchases) which are all variations on neutrals in every shade, texture and combination of shade and texture.  I have enough already.

As a person purporting to run a beauty blog for personal purposes (ha!  such a bad bad sentence!), I can't possibly buy yet another neutral eye shadow for these supposed personal purposes.  Can I?  *insert dog head tilt here*  I will do a fuller post shortly on the SUQQU EX-21, because it is very beautiful and deserves a post with nice pictures, wordy text, et cetera.  However, as I started formulating thoughts on what I wanted to write in that post, I realized I can say things like:
  • "this is a great palette for someone building a collection of beautiful shimmery neutrals"
  • "add a few neutral mattes and you are set for life"
  • "it's Hammer Time."
Made my inner dog tilt its head and made me ponder why a person like me (with GOBS of makeup, mostly neutrals) needed to add this particular pretty into my collection.

I think I am at a point in my personal collection where I'm looking for the really infinitesimally small aspects that make a particular beauty product more special than others.  (darling, your mileage my vary as we all have different preferences in pigmentation, texture, pricepoints, blabby blabby)  Also, based on my preferences, I've culled back and edited and purged a ton, including beautiful Burberry and Addiction eye shadows.

And lately my hunt for new things tend to me things even more rarified (also tends to be more expensive) than what I already own.  I have recently been hovering at the Serge Lutens counter again, pretty sure I was going to buy eye shadows and the vampy lip color palette.  But none of those felt exceptional to me (certainly not for the prices!).
Serge Lutens vamps!

Have I truly and completely maximum overload in neutrals, fancy lipsticks?

If I gaze deeply into myself and into this blog (again makeup, not life!), a personally motivated blogger does not need one more eye shadow and probably one more anything else.  I can continue down the rabbit hole looking for the most perfect things like:
  • best foundation color match ever.
  • best lipstick formula in a perfect vamp color (I can see this going on for years!)
  • more skincare experiments because my skin keeps changing and being all a pain in the ass
  • the very enticing hunt for more fancy Japanese brushes.
  • other luxury brands to fall in love with.
  • and on and on
Whew!  That all looks really tiring and tiresome.  Since I am at the point where, for me, I have mostly what are the "best" of everything, obtaining any small measure of improvement over what I already use/own/featured on the blog, would be a very dull exercise indeed.

What Does This All Mean?!  Is There a Cheat Sheet for This?
It's like my blog is telling me it can't go on!  I'm very good at ignoring voices in my head though.

Other option can be to say blog for blogging sake and feature all the new releases, the new formula breakthroughs in whatever and keep at it!  I think that would fundamentally change the nature of this "dinky" operation though.  I can see how other bloggers have quit.

Damn it, the blog is experiencing an existential crisis!  Feh!

I'm going to lie down and think long and hard about this.
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