Friday, 28 February 2014

Addiction Summer 2014

It's always interesting to see what Addiction creator Ayako has up her sleeve for each season, given the brand's fiercely indie spirit that does not conform to the sea of bland brainwashed beiges that other Japanese beauty brands are adrift in. Voce's staff blog has the scoop on the Ibiza-inspired Summer 2014 collection, which is set for release on 2 May in Japan. The collection includes:

1. Tint Lip Protector SPF20 in 8 shades: Contains rosehip oil and organic olive oil (2500yen)

2. Ready To Wear Eye Palette in 1 new variation (6200yen)

3. Cheek Stick in 3 new shades (2800yen)

4. Nail Polish in 5 new shades (1800yen)

5. Crystal Body Oil: Contains fine champagne gold pearl and scented with juniper berry and geranium rose (50ml, 4200yen, limited edition)

6. Body Scrub: Dual layer scrub with salt and an oil gel. (3000yen, 200g, limited edition)

See more pics here.

Thursday, 27 February 2014

Shiseido Eye Color Bar with L'Oreal Infaillible 24H Foundation

Sometime before last Christmas, the Shiseido Eye Color Bar finally landed at the Shiseido counter here in Geneva. I wasn't planning on purchasing it as the online swatches didn't seem that special. However, it looked more appealing in person, plus there was an attractive gift with purchase on offer to facilitate this piece of holiday retail therapy. It ended up sitting on my desk for the next two months as I didn't wear makeup regularly until I went back to work. Having a four month old son brings endless joys but it usually means very little time for myself, hence the erratic blog posts and even rarer product reviews. I've lost count of the number of times I had to stop to attend to him tonight while trying to write this but hey, I'm not complaining because I'd rather carry him for the umpteenth time around the house than, well, pretty much anything else!

Based on my previous experience with Shiseido's Luminizing Satin Eye Color Trios, I was expecting the shades to be of the sheer and luminous variety. I was pleasantly surprised by the good color payoff of Parfait Amour (purple) and Liquorice (black), which required very little layering to achieve the shades as seen in the pan. They have a soft satiny sheen and glide onto the skin with no loud frostiness or messy glitter.

For this look, I used Too Faced Shadow Insurance as the base and applied Parfait Amour from the lashline to the crease, Liquorice in the outer corner, Menthe (pale green) along the lower lashline and shaded into the crease, and Champagne (pearly golden white) over the browbone area and inner corners. I used Pixi Endless Silky Eye Pen in Black Tulip along the upper lashline and Oyster Glow along the lower lashline.

Under brighter indoor lighting, the lovely glowy sparkles of Champagne and the full attraction of this Color Bar become more visible. Champagne and its pink-tinged cousin, Soda, are useful shades for layering over other eyeshadows to add some tonal complexity.

Having used only four out of the nine shades in the Color Eye Bar, this cannot be a definitive review but I'm delighted with the Eye Color Bar so far. After 8 hours of wear, there was no creasing or fading at all, which was impressive. It retailed for US$50 in the US, versus S$80 in Singapore, which is a reasonable price for the quality and the generous amount of product (9g, 0.31oz). The cardboard packaging (with magnetic closure) lacks the sleek chicness of the Luminizing Satin Eye Color Trios, but it's much more compact than Urban Decay's Naked palettes or Too Faced's palettes.

It is likely sold out in most locations by now although there were still a few pieces remaining at my local counter last week. On the off chance that you come across it, it is worth a look as it is office-friendly and yet versatile enough to offer a variety of creative looks, thanks to the genius talent of Shiseido Artistic Director Dick Page. Shiseido also rarely releases a large eyeshadow palette which makes this quite a collectible for fans of the brand.

Other products used for this look include L'Oreal's new Infaillible 24H foundation #130 True Beige and Tarte Lipsurgence Lip Tint in Moody, a lovely deep plum red. The Infaillible foundation is supposed to be a high coverage longwear foundation that hides the appearance of fatigue and blemishes, formulated with a Hydrating Hyaluron Complex. I didn't wear it for 24 hours but it held up pretty well for the 8 hours that I wore it, requiring only occasional blotting of the T-zone. It's more medium coverage rather than full coverage and does not feel heavy on the skin. The lightest shade available in Switzerland is #130 True Beige, which is a good match for me, but in the UK, there is a wider range of 8 shades that does not include True Beige.

You can read more reviews with swatches of the Eye Color Bar on Drivel about Frivol, Wondegondigo and Beauty Reflections.

Saturday, 22 February 2014

Suqqu Blend Color Eyeshadow 16 Hanashoubu & 17 Yomogiiro

Thanks to Bellyhead of Wondegondigo alerting that Selfridges had the new Suqqu eyeshadow quads for spring in stock, I swiftly placed an order on 12 February and it arrived by DHL on 19 February. Shopping online at Selfridges has become dangerously easy since they lowered their shipping cost for Switzerland from £25 to £15. As Selfridges also deducts the VAT for non-EU countries, I paid only £37.50 for each Suqqu palette, instead of the UK retail price of £45. This basically means that the amount I saved on VAT paid for the shipping cost. I also ordered some pieces from the RMK and Armani spring collections but I haven't had time yet to play with them. The RMK Kaleidoscope Nuance Powder was just £26.67 (about S$57) after VAT deduction versus S$79 in Singapore and 5040yen (about S$62.50) in Japan.

Of the three new quads, I purchased #16 Hanashoubu and #17 Yomogiiro, giving #15 Mitsucha a pass as it's a pretty basic brown and pale yellow combination. Unlike the past few seasonal collections, these quads are all permanent. Selfridges does not have them listed at the moment, but my guess based on past experience is that they should come back in stock at some point although that could take weeks, if not months.

The central theme running through this collection is elegant browns that are easily wearable. They are even touted as helping to conceal signs of aging such as wrinkles and skin dullness without the need for any special techniques. Unlike previous Suqqu palettes which usually contain a white matte base shade, all the shades in Hanashoubu and Yomogiiro feature some pearl shimmer. These look wonderfully lustrous in the pan while on the skin, they are more subdued and subtle, offering just a hint of a glow. The bottom right shade is supposed to be a "moisture wet powder" that corrects skin unevenness and gives moisture care while bringing you a natural luster.

My apologies in advance for not doing swatches, which you can find on Color Me Loud and Erica's blog.

Below is the look that I did with Hanashoubu, with the purple shade along the upper lashline and the brown shade in the outer crease. The pale yellow shade was used as the base while the light pink shade was used over the browbone area and along the lower lashline.

The combination has a gentle glimmer and zero frostiness. I find the texture to be more flattering and forgiving compared to Sleek's metallic shades. There was no shower of glitter bits descending on the under-eye area and cheeks, although there was a bit of powdery kick-up with the two pale shades when touched with the included brush applicator.

I also used Pixi Endless Silky Eye Pen in Iridescent Iris to line the upper lashline.

Like Hanashoubu, Yomogiiro is very easy to wear even if you are not used to green eyeshadows.

For the first look, I applied the brown shade from the upper lashline to the crease and the green shade in the outer half of the crease. The light yellow shade was used as the base and also dusted on top of the green and brown shades, while the light pink shade was applied over the browbone area and along the lower lashline.

For the second look, I swopped the placement of the brown and green shades, with the green shade along the upper lashline and the brown in the crease. Both the brown and green shades are nicely pigmented and glide onto the skin with ease, requiring very littler layering.

Both Hanashoubu and Yomogiiro wore very well on me without fading or creasing for more than eight hours, using Too Faced Shadow Insurance as the primer. They would make good solid additions to any working woman's makeup wardrobe as the shades are so easy to work with and require very little blending and layering. I'm glad that Suqqu has done away with the matte base shades as those usually just disappear into my skin and were pretty much a waste of space for me.

Friday, 21 February 2014

Ettusais Pore Smooth Veil

Ettusais will launch a limited edition Pore Smooth Veil (1260yen, 20g) on 27 March in Japan. The pale pink semi-translucent gel primer helps to conceal pores and uneven skin texture without feeling heavy on the skin. It also provides oil control through a sebum-absorbing powder.

Coffret D'Or New Base Makeup

Coffret D'Or has a new spokesmodel, Japanese actress Kato Ai, who is featured in the ads for their new Premium Silk Skin Pact UV foundation SPF27 PA++ (3990yen, 7 shades) and Makeup Base (2 types).  Both products supposedly help to conceal pores.  Due out on 1 March in Japan, there will also be a limited edition foundation case.

Suqqu Frame Fix Lasting Pact Foundation N

Suqqu will release a new Frame Fix Lasting Pact Foundation N SPF30 PA+++ (6825yen for refill and 2100yen for the case, 12g) on 7 March in Japan. Available in six shades, it helps to create the look of flawless, translucent skin without any white cast and contains a "stretch up polymer" to help combat signs of aging.

Visee Shape Modelling Foundation Kit

Visee will release their Shape Modelling Foundation SPF24 PA++ (2520yen, 3 shades) packaged with a limited edition floral print case on 16 March in Japan. The fragrance-free foundation comprises two tones for creating a natural contoured look and has a semi-matte finish.

Esprique Sakura Project

Esprique will release a limited edition Sakura Blossom Loose Cheek (2300yen, 5g) in two floral-scented shades PK800 and PK801 on 16 March as part of the Fukushima Sakura Project to support the reconstruction efforts in Fukushima. See real-life pics of the two shades on Beautist.

Below is the new TV commercial for their new powder foundation and Beautiful Stay Makeup Base SPF50+ PA+++ featuring Namie Amuro looking as impossibly youthful as ever.

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Jill Stuart Summer 2014 Vibrant Mood

Winter isn't even over but various brands are already gearing up for their summer collections. Jill Stuart will launch its Vibrant Mood summer collection on 18 April.

It includes:
Jewel Crystal Eyes N: 2 variations (LE, 5000yen)

Mix Blush Compact N: 2 variations (LE, 4500yen)

Diamond Dew Eyelid Liner: 2 shades (LE, 2200yen)

Compact Mirror II (Crystal Pink) (LE, 2500yen)

Lip Blossom: 3 shades including #13 Native Rosella (LE, 2800yen)

Jelly Lip Gloss N: 2 shades including #12 Little Fairy (LE, 2200yen)

Press images from Fashion Press. Prices do not include Japan's sales tax, which will be increased from 5% to 8% in April.

Below is a video of the Jill Stuart Fall/Winter fashion collection which was presented earlier this week in New York.

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Integrate Spring 2014 Love Nude

Integrate will release its Love Nude collection for spring on 21 February in Japan.

1. Pure Big Eyes #4 Nudey Beige

2. Sweet Trick Eyes #2 Nudey Pastel (LE)

3. Lip Forming Liner

4. Mineral Glow Pressed Powder SPF12 PA++ : Natural peach-toned highlighting powder. Free of parabens and formulated with sebum-absorbing mineral powder.

5. Mineral Watery Foundation N SPF25 PA++: This paraben-free, fragrance-free light textured foundation contains micro mineral pearl powders and beauty capsule moisturising ingredients. It offers five functions: toner, beauty emulsion, sunblock, makeup base and foundation. Available in four shades.