Showing posts with label Eyeshadow. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Eyeshadow. Show all posts

Monday, May 16, 2016

Suqqu Summer 2016 - Creamy Glow Lipstick EX-20 and EX-21 and Blend Color Eyeshadow EX-31


I was thrilled to be able to finally try a few items from the Japanese beauty line called Suqqu. It's a brand that's been on my radar for years but it's not easily accessible to those in the US. I was sent a few pieces from the Summer 2016 Collection to try and literally could not contain my excitement while swatching these items. The collection is a UK exclusive that you can find online and in stores at Selfridges. I have 3 items to feature here, but for reference Sweet Makeup Temptations has the entire collection reviewed and swatched on her blog in case you are curious about the other items.


I was able to test out the following:

Blend Color Eyeshadow EX-31 Gyoukou £45 for 0.16 oz/4.6 g - this is an eyeshadow quad with some of the softest silkiest eyeshadows I've ever tried. The palette has a mix of different textures including a shimmering yellow, sheer matte white, matte burnt orange and satiny cool brown shade. All the colors are extremely easy to blend and layer together - the white is very soft and while I swatched it with a heavy hand on the arm to show the color, on the lids it's almost translucent when you blend it out. The shades come in a mirrored compact with some of the best compact brushes I've ever tried and are made with excellent craftsmanship (most compacts come with applicators that are completely worthless). I have mixed feelings about this quad due to the colors. Quality, pigment, application and lasting power are all top of the line, but the colors are very warm and quite outside my comfort zone. I know they are designed for a more colorful summer look, but I tried these several different ways and yellow/orange really aren't my colors. Based on my testing I do think the quality, design and pigment are excellent. Now that I've been able to see for myself how good these are I am going to do some investigating on other colors and try to order a few (if you have any recs please let me know!).

Creamy Moist Lipstick in EX-20 Hyaku Daidai £27 for 0.13 oz/3.8 g - this is a richly pigmented creamy lipstick and just as the name implies, very moist. Both of the shades I tried are full-coverage colors with an insanely luxuriously creamy texture. I love coral-like shades and usually wear softer peaches but EX-20 is really quite striking even though it's orange. It has a fun summery vibe. There is a tiny bit of shimmer in this one - it's visible in the tube and on the lips but not in an overly frosted way. Lasting power is very good and the color stays put as long as you don't touch your lips.

Creamy Moist Lipstick in EX-21 Senka £27 for 0.13 oz/3.8 g - this is a bright raspberry pink. It's medium-deep and bright all at the same time. On me it pulls neutral-cool but still has enough warmth in the base that it doesn't look blueish. If you like lots of bold color this is really quite pretty.

Swatches of all three, first with flash:


Without flash:


A closer look at each item:



Eye look of all four shades layered and blended, you may not be able to detect any of the white, but it was used as the last step to blend out any harsh edges:






After years of reading so many wonderful reviews on the brand I'm thrilled to finally have been able to try a few items. The quality is top notch - I'm so impressed with the texture of everything. The eyeshadows are unbelievably soft - almost pillow soft to the touch. They blend beautifully but the colors in EX-31 just really aren't my kind of colors. The Creamy Glow Lipsticks are everything everyone has raved about - creamy, glowy, moist with full and flawless coverage. The neutral lip lover in me is dying to try some of the more neutral shades - if you have any recommendations on where to start please let me know in the comments.

I do believe the items in the summer collection are limited-edition (I'll update once I confirm), currently available at Selfridges. I'm still in the spring mindset for colors (although I do love a good bronzer year round) but the lip items will be perfect for warmer months when brighter colors feel more in season (at least for me).



Have you tried anything from Suqqu before?

Many thanks to Suqqu for sending a few items for me to play with.

Monday, May 9, 2016

NARS Summer 2016 Color Collection - My Picks


The NARS Summer Collection for 2016 launched a few weeks ago and it features some of the prettiest soft natural colors for a summer theme and the neutral-beauty lover in me is beyond thrilled. I received a few press samples and also purchased a couple items to review. The colors I picked out for the most part are very different from the traditional bright, bold or bronze shades we see for summer collections, but they are shades you can wear year round. The colors are easy to wear and can be mixed with bolder brighter shades. Colors featured above include:
  • Dual Intensity Blush in Sexual Content $45 (c/o) has a soft peach and light mauve pink shimmer, I feel like I've been searching for a blush combo like this for my whole life, it has a very natural looking shimmer and I am a bit bummed it's limited-edition, I will be buying a backup of this one, it's a nude pink/peach on the cheeks that shows up on my medium skin, pigment is really rich but in a natural way
  • Dual Intensity Blush in Liberation $45 (c/o) is a shimmering light pink and medium rose with warm tones, the shimmer is a bit more visible on this one compared to the lighter summer option, but it's not overly frosted, this one pulls a bit warmer on my skin but doesn't turn orangey, finish is smooth and doesn't emphasize pores
  • Dual Intensity Eyeshadow in Topless $29 (c/o) is a light seashell pink with a very natural sheen, it has smooth pigment and is easy to blend, I would say pigment is medium but can be sheered out, shimmer is visible but it has a natural looking shimmer
  • Lip Cover in Get Dirty $28 is a new formula which is like a liquid lipstick, these are full coverage creamy lip colors that have a soft sheen in the finish, but have a velvety feel, Get Dirty is a medium warm rose, it almost looks peachy on me
  • Lip Cover in Overheated $28 is a full coverage dusty rose, it's cooler-toned than Get Dirty, the color looks darker swatched on the arm compared to the way it looks once on my lips, but it's still a medium toned neutral

A closer look at the shades plus swatch comparisons:


Comparison Set 1:




Comparison Set 2:

NARS Velvet Shadow Stick in Goddess (review here
NARS Dual Intensity Eyeshadows in Andromeda and Europa (review here)





Comparison Set 3:

NARS Audacious Lipstick in Barbara (lip swatch here)
MAC Lipglass in Lust


A quick look per request with the warmer shades, Becca Aqualuminous in Beige is on the skin, for color it's NARS Topless Dual Intensity Eyeshadow, Urban Decay Naked2 Palette (mix of colors), NARS Dual Intensity Blush in Liberation both shades mixed and blended, NARS Lip Cover in Get Dirty.


All the colors are shades I want to wear everyday. I think the Dual Intensity Blush in Sexual Content is one of the prettiest neutrals for blush that I've ever seen. I am thrilled it's on the nude side but still shows up on the skin. Liberation is also a very pretty combination that is wearable. It has a softer feel compared to Fervor. For those new to the Dual Intensity formula - they are really very unique, it's like a hybrid powder and cream with a smooth texture that adheres well to the skin. They glide on like creams but aren't really like traditional emollient creams. Most of the items for eyes and cheeks are all shimmery - but there are varying degrees of shimmer. The colors in the summer collection have a softer shimmer compared to some other shades. Lasting power is excellent for my normal/combination skin and the shades don't emphasize pores.

For the Dual Intensity Eyeshadow in Topless, I though it would be almost identical to Andromeda or Europa, but it has enough shimmer and a different base to justify owning if you already have the other two. Tom Ford Opale by comparison is similar, but NARS Topless has a bit more pink.

For the lips I really like the new Lip Cover formula but it is extremely opaque so if your lips have any dry flakes or patches they will show up with this one, but it would be the case with any full coverage opaque lipstick. The colors are full coverage but not heavy feeling and they stayed with impressive lasting power. I would have preferred a clear packaging for the base like the Lip Gloss formulas so I can see the color inside rather than having to look at the labels but it's not a deal breaker. I love both colors but if I had to pick just one, I would say I have a slight preference for Overheated.

I am really happy with all the items I've tried. I feel both blushes are back-up worthy because I haven't found colors with the same color, quality and shimmer - to me they are both very unique and absolutely perfect.

You can find the NARS Summer Collection now at all NARS counters and stores. The entire collection is limited-edition so I do recommend ordering sooner than later. Available online at NARS, Nordstrom, Sephora, Saks Fifth Avenue, Barneys New York and all other NARS retailers.

Press samples include the Dual Intensity color items. Lip products purchased by me.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Viseart Theory Palettes: Minx, Chroma and Cashmere


Viseart launched three new eyeshadow palettes called Theory Palettes ($45 each for 0.42 oz, available at Muse Beauty Pro and Sephora). I was able to get a preview of these at The Makeup Show back in March. I had high hopes that I could purchase them at the show but they only had testers to play with so I pre-ordered them and was excited when they finally arrived for me to play with. There are three color options and I ordered all three. Each option comes in a compact cardboard flip top packaging with a magnetic closure. Each palette has 6 colors (3 matte finish, 3 shimmers) with removable magnetic pans. Shown below from left to right:
  • Chroma is the cool-toned option with a pale sheer white, medium-dark charcoal, deep matte black, shimmering cool silver-taupe, shimmering cool steel, shimmering gunmetal
  • Cashmere is the neutral palette with a light-medium cream beige, medium coffee brown, deep matte brown, shimmering champagne, shimmering soft neutral-cool tan, shimmering medium cool-taupe
  • Minx is the warmest option with a matte camel, warm sienna brown, warm deep reddish brown matte, shimmering golden sand, shimmering orange, shimmering plum red

All three have extremely good pigment. Finishes and textures are similar to that of the shadows in the 12 Pan Palettes (Neutral Matte and Sultry Muse reviewed here). The mattes are on the hard side but apply smoothly and blend easily. The shimmers are buttery soft and powdery but blend with incredible ease. All the colors are easy to work with and layer together - you can mix shades between palettes or for convenience stick with the shades in a single palette.

A quick look at the packaging - at the show, Viseart founder Anastasia Van Dusen demonstrated how the packaging is designed with certain folds and closures so you can hold them in your hand like an artists palette (as shown in the top photograph) which I found quite clever. Below the new Theory Palettes next to the 12 Pan Palettes.


A closer look at the palettes plus a few comparison swatches. First a look at the palettes in different lighting, first is without flash but in direct sunlight:


 In natural indoor light:


Chroma is the cool-toned option perfect for that traditional gunmetal smokey eye look.



Swatched below next to Tom Ford Titanium Smoke which I find similar in color. I've found Titanium Smoke to be a staple as far as traditional smokey eye palettes go. For my coloring I find it hard to wear cool-toned whites, greys and silvers all over the eye because they end up looking ashy on my skin. Viseart Chroma has a more conservative feel while the shades in Tom Ford's have more glitz (two of the shades are very sparkly/almost glitters).

Chroma works on my skin as long as I use the two lightest shades with a light hand. I prefer a warmer base for the lighter colors and like to work the darker cool-tones on top. Chroma performs really well - I just can't wear cool-tones easily. Out of the two, I can't pick a favorite.


Cashmere is the neutral option, but on my skintone it actually pulls more cool-toned. Many neutral palettes look simply that - neutral on most skintones, but when I apply them on mine they pull cool. Out of the three this is my favorite option.



Below compared to Urban Decay Naked Basics (one of my top 2 matte palettes, the other being Naked2 Basics) and Tom Ford Nude Dip (one of my top picks for neutral shimmers). My heart still belongs to both the UD and TF ones - they work perfectly with my coloring and as you can see they really pull more neutral on my skintone while the Viseart Cashmere pulls a bit more cool-toned in the swatches.

Although Cashmere may seem like a repeat of other shades, I do think if there's any out of the three I would call a must, Cashmere would be it. It offers the best of both worlds in terms of mattes and shimmers. It has enough color to show up on the lids and there is enough difference in the colors that they won't all look the same if you apply all 6 on the eyes.


Minx is the most stunning option out of the three - the colors are absolutely breathtaking. I'm learning to wear orange shadows so this one has taken me a bit of work to learn how to use. I really like it so far though.



Below compared to Tom Ford Honeymoon and Charlotte Tilbury The Dolce Vita. By comparing all three, there are 2 shades in Viseart Minx that are almost identical to Tom Ford Honeymoon. I think Viseart Minx is very different from the Charlotte Tilbury Dolce Vita but the overall color theme seems to have a similar vibe.


One final look at the palette packaging:


I think all three are solid performers. The colors are well coordinated for an easy look depending on your color preferences, cool, neutral or warm. I like that they each offer a wide range from light to medium to deep colors and especially like the fact they each have 3 mattes and 3 shimmers. It makes it very convenient to create a wide range of looks without being overwhelming like palettes with more than 6 shades can be. Out of all the Viseart Palettes I've tried (which is 5 to date), I still think Sultry Muse has the most special place in my heart. As mentioned in my previous review, if you have been wanting to try Viseart Palettes but get overwhelmed with eyeshadow palettes that have more than 6 shades, these are the perfect way to start.

I've been playing with the shades in each of the palettes - sticking to combinations within each palette. I've found that they work best when layered over a creamy base like Laura Mercier Caviar Sticks or Edward Bess Illuminating Eye Base. They work well with a dry or slightly damp brush on the eyes. Lasting power is excellent - they last all day without fall out or fading. As with most powder shadows there will be a tiny bit of fall out when you apply them - but it's easy to clean up.

As shown above in the comparison swatches you may find similar shades in your collection (even if you don't have the palettes shown) so you may want to shop your stash. I hope the swatches and reviews help you make your ordering decisions since at this time I think you can only find these online. Even though I have dupes I have no regrets buying any. If I had to do it over again, I would have skipped Chroma, but I knew after swatching it at The Makeup Show there would be a really good chance it would pull very cool-toned on my skin.

You can find the Viseart Theory Palettes online now exclusively at Muse Beauty Pro and Sephora. I hope they will be available at more locations soon.

Have you tried these yet? If so what did you think?

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Viseart Eyeshadow Palettes in Neutral Matte and Sultry Muse


I've been curious about Viseart Eyeshadow Palettes ($80 each for 24 g/0.84 oz, made in France) for quite some time (probably for a few years now) and finally splurged on my first in Sultry Muse and Neutral Matte two last month at The Makeup Show from the Muse Beauty Pro booth (haul + recap of the 2016 show in this post here). I purchased mine at a discount (most booths offer some kind of discount at these shows) and have been thrilled with both. Each palette has 12 eyeshadows which are extremely pigmented and smooth in finish. For quick reference you can find these palettes at a number of retailers online, the main ones I've shopped from include Beautylish, Sephora and Muse Beauty.Pro.

It took me a long time to splurge on these because of a few factors. I didn't have in person access to these and although there are a number of excellent reviews online I wanted to test in person before splurging. I played with them for the first time at IMATS earlier this year but decided to wait and think about them. To date my favorite eyeshadow palettes are the Urban Decay Naked Eyeshadow Palettes for color, pigment and convenience - they have my favorite easy to wear neutrals and I feel they are priced reasonably. The Viseart Eyeshadow Palettes by comparison are a lot more expensive and the color palettes seem to be more for professional use for the pro makeup artist rather than for an everyday consumer like myself. The colors are beautiful but there are a few of the warmer tones I was hesitant about wearing. I decided to give these a chance and have no regrets. They are really quite amazing.


Up first is Viseart Neutral Matte. This has all matte neutrals with the exception of one burnt orange shade. I'm not one to wear anything orange makeup-wise but this particular color does amazing things when layered. I've learned from using a few of the Le Metier de Beaute Kaleidoscopes that the colors I consider odd look really amazing when layered over other shades. The shadows in the Netural Matte palette have a slightly harder texture than most other shadows I use but the pigment is excellent and they apply smoothly on the skin and blend flawlessly. By comparison the Urban Decay Naked Basics and Naked2 Basics are a lot softer in texture and are more on the neutral-cool side while the Viseart Neutral Matte. A look at the palette in two different light settings:

In direct sun, no flash:


Indoor natural light:


Descriptions by row, Top Row:

Medium caramel beige
Medium vanilla cream
Light beige with a slight pink tone
Pale white

Middle Row:

Cool bark brown
Burnt sienna orange
Medium warm brown
Neutral cool brown

Bottom Row:

Matte cool toned black
Dove blue grey
Cool grey
Cool-toned taupe

Swatches:


Texture and blendability are excellent - there are a lot of colors to choose from. I've been playing with this using 4-5 shades max at any given time. Long time readers know I'm not a fan of matte eyeshadows in general but these perform really well. I've found they work well over the Laura Mercier Caviar Eye Sticks (I love Rose Gold) or Edward Bess Illuminating Eyeshadow Base. They aren't the kind I can use on a bare eye - there has to be some kind of prep or dewy primer to help the colors adhere but that is usually the case with any matte eyeshadow for me. Lasting power is excellent - they stay put from morning to late evening without fading or fall out.

Next up is Sultry Muse. This one has all shimmer eyeshadows - some are a tiny bit glittery while others are more of a frost. There were a few plum and warm pink tones I didn't think I could pull off but when they are are layered with the other cooler tones the result is really quite pretty. Layering can create a wide range of looks. A look at the palette + descriptions and a quick eye look.

In direct sun + flash you can see the sparkle and glow:


Indoor natural light, no flash you can see the base and undertone better:



Top Row:
Shimmering white pearl
Shimmering medium tan beige
Pale champagne beige with tiny silver glitters
Sandy gold champagne with gold flecks

Middle Row:

Warm pink shimmer
Bronze shimmer
Shimmering orange
Warm plum rose shimmer

Bottom Row:

Sparkling cool silver
Shimmering soft rose
Gunmetal black shimmer
Shimmering soft yellow gold

Since some of these these have complex shimmers - colors can look different depending on how the light reflects. This palette looks different in so many different review posts - I think this shows how incredibly versatile it is because it works with a wide range of skintones to create truly unique looks. I have swatches with flash and without to show the complexity.

With flash:


No flash, natural light:


Quick eye look, no flash, in natural light. Shades used include the four shades in the middle row and the two middle shades from the top row to blend:


I give both of these a thumbs up and even though they have that professional makeup artist feel they are still wearable for everyday. That being said if you find 12 colors in a palette overwhelming or find any of the combinations have a few colors you might not wear at all, you might want to consider trying out the new Viseart Theory Palettes ($45 each) instead (online now at Muse Beauty.Pro, coming soon to Sephora). They have 6-pans each with 3 mattes and 3 shimmers, they come in a slightly different packaging, and the color themes make them more wearable for everyday. I just received mine that I pre-ordered at The Makeup Show and will have a review in the next week or so, but the texture is phenomenal, colors are on point, and they perform really well - but if you want to know right now if I prefer the 6 pan or the 12 pans, I will say right now that I prefer the packaging style of the 12 pans, but for the color selection if I had to pick, I prefer the 6 pans. I still think Sultry Muse is excellent though.

For application I tested a number of brushes and found natural hair brushes work the best, at least for me. Synthetics work on the shimmers if you dip the brush and pat on the lids, but if you apply in sweeping motions the natural hair brushes pick up pigment the best. Ones I really like include the MAC 239, Wayne Goss 18, Wayne Goss 6 and Wayne Goss 30.

Both the Sultry Muse and Neutral Matte offer a good mix of colors to create a wide variety of wearable looks for day or night. If you're looking for a palette of eyeshadows that aren't too neutral but at the same time aren't too bold, these offer a good in-between option. Each offers a good mix of warm and cool shades which I think makes these extremely versatile to wear with a number of lip and cheek combinations. If I had to pick one I would say since I prefer shimmer eyeshadows Sultry Muse wins as my favorite.

You can find the Viseart Eyeshadow Palettes for $80 each at a number of retailers online, including Beautylish, Sephora and Muse Beauty.Pro. Have you tried Viseart Eyeshadow Palettes before? If so which ones have you tried and what did you think?

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Natasha Denona Eyeshadow Palette 28 Green-Brown

I discovered Natasha Denona's beauty line earlier this year thanks to Beautylish. I've been incorporating parts of her Glowing Skin System into my weekly beauty routine and am a huge fan of her All Over Face and Body Shimmers (full review + swatches in this post here). Her full line was available for preview at IMATS Los Angeles earlier this year with select items available for purchase before the official launch online at Beautylish. Ever since seeing the sneak peek many of you have been asking for a review and swatches of her eyeshadows. You've also been wondering when these will launch online at Beautylish. I have a preview of the Natasha Denona Eyeshadow Palette 28 Green-Brown to share today. This palette launches online at Beautylish Thursday February 25th if you sign up for early access here, and on Friday February 26th for everyone else. The rest of her collection (blushes, eyeshadows, lipsticks, glosses etc.) is slated to be available for purchase from Beautylish in early March.


I was kindly gifted the Eyeshadow Palette 28 Green-Brown and it's the most glorious palette I have ever seen. It's an impressive size and comes in a glossy leather compact with a large mirror. There is a mix of greens, browns, champagnes, golds, teals. Several of the colors are brighter greens that are outside of my comfort zone - but they layer amazingly well with the neutrals for a more wearable look. The pigment is very rich in color - some of the best I've ever tried. Some shades are very sparkly and prone to fallout when you apply them on the eyes. You will most likely have to clean up under the eye after you apply but once they are on the eyes they stay put and don't budge.

The actual colors in the palette are not labeled, but they do have labels on the back of the box packaging. Here's what the palette looks like:



Color labels from the box:

Ingredients:

The shimmers are heavenly and the matte shades have a satiny finish:


A closer look, swatches plus two eye looks, below is the left half:


Right half:




_____________

Swatches done by row, from top to bottom. First Set is Row 1 with:

20M true gold
14M antique olive
10M aluminum
15M bottle green
16M emerald green
58V suede
28P satin tan


_____________ 

Below is Row 2 with:

43P smoky quartz
18M glam greem
45M industrial
21S cream
57V flamingo
64V shell
78M umber


_____________
Row 3 shown below with:

44M indian gold
08V tropic
17M cloudy blue
86P golden aquamarine
85P pininja
59M moonstone
75S skin


_____________
Row 4 shown below:

61P ochre
50M sienna
68M golden flesh
31M cool bronze
62S terracotta
88V arizona
90V sandstorm


_____________

Two quick eye looks for a more conservative/neutral look, you can brighten the look or add more drama by adding the more colorful shades. I like to blend a lot so everything has a more natural washed look.

Look 1 has a mix of Moonstone, Skin, Umber, Shell and Flamingo

Look 2 has a mix of Arizona, Indian Gold, Bottle Green and Glam Green

I believe the Natasha Denona Eyeshadow Palette 28 retails for $239 and the total weight of each shadow is 2.5g/0.08 oz. (I will double check tomorrow when it officially launches to confirm pricing.) It comes at a very steep price tag, but if you were to buy 28 eye shadows individually, it would cost you a lot more in total (her shadows individually are priced at around $25-$29 each). 

When it comes to palettes my personal rule of thumb for deciding whether or not to splurge is to assess if I can see myself using the vast majority of the colors (as in 75% or more) otherwise the palette often ends up sitting in a drawer unused until I rediscover it and gift it away. For this Green-Brown Palette, there are 3 shades I know that are definitely not me (those three green colors in the third row). That factor combined with the steep price would be enough to prevent me from splurging. I don't mind spending a lot on skincare or perfumes these days, but for makeup it's still hard for me to justify spending a lot on a single item. That being said, the texture and pigment of the colors in this palette are very good. Every single color performs well in terms of texture, color payoff and lasting power. Overall performance is excellent as long as you don't mind cleaning up a bit of fallout after application (but I find that's the case with all powder shadows in general for me). I think this is a solid palette that will allow you to create a wide range of looks. If you have the budget to splurge on this, the overall value is very good and if you break down the price of the total per shade, it's actually very reasonable (about $8.50ish per shade).

Bottom line solid.

You can now find the the Natasha Denona Eyeshadow Palette 28 in Green-Brown online at Beautylish. If you snagged one during IMATS or the early access preview, let me know if you have checked this one out yet. I'd be curious to hear your thoughts!

The Natasha Denona Palette was generously gifted free of charge. As always, all opinions my own.

 

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