Friday, May 18, 2012

Suqqu L brush +

For a much awaited review on what I got in the mail seen here...I got some pretty makeup brushes that I've tested for a bit. The most common questions I get among my readers is about brushes, believe it or not. How does "x" brush compare to "z" brush. I don't even own that many brushes (I think...). 

a bit of a back story:  
My brush stash has definitely evolved over a span of 14 years. My first brush being an Estee Lauder lip brush (which was amazing, I wish a brand would make an exact replica of it). Then of course I got into MAC brushes, then weened out of those when I discovered Shu Uemura, and then I learned about Chikuhodo and Suqqu. Of course I've tried/tested/returned/exchanged/gifted other brands brushes along the way. Now I'm at a point where I'm almost satisfied with what I own...of course there's a few more I'd like to purchase, but those items aren't really necessary. 

So for those who think what I own is a result of like 2 years of buying...that is definitely not the case. If anything it's the items I buy the least often since I really must have the desire to buy it for a long time before I consider purchasing it. 

i'd like to thank the awesome individual(s) that help me getting Suqqu on a semi consistent basis. you know who you are. seriously, it warms my heart to know that there are people who go out of their way to help me. :)

right...back to my Suqqu L brush...

Hair: I honestly don't know. The Suqqu site doesn't state the hairs used, but it feels like my grey squirrel brush (Chikuhodo). It could be blue squirrel for all I know. Considering Chikuhodo manufactures Suqqu brushes, and they use grey squirrel guess is grey squirrel.  

Ferrule and handle: it's black, short, and on the thin side. It's not as thin as Shu brushes, but they're not as thick as the Chikuhodo Z series brushes. Some people may be surprised at how "short" the brush is, as I was when I got my Chikuhodo brushes. I'm used to longer handles since I've used Shu brushes for a long time. I didn't know what to think about shorter brushes, but I actually love them after using them for a while. The benefit is that they're easier to carry in a bag for traveling. The ferrule is black, which gives is a sleek, minimalistic look. You know me, I'm all about the minimalist aesthetic.

Application: It's a blending brush, so the hairs are long and the only brush I have that's similar in primary function is the MAC 224. For blending I do use my Shu 10, but the 10's primary purpose isn't blending, but rather a laydown brush for powder, cream, and liquid eye products. I've tried the L brush with powders and the effect is so seamless. Even when I overapply a certain shade, this brush definitely blends it out to the desired effect I like. Not to mention how insanely soft it feels when the hairs touch my eyes, definitely not scratchy feeling at all. I'm seriously thrilled to own this brush. It's a staple in my brush stash now since I have a brush just for blending. It's truly worth owning if you ask me.

Something to keep in mind when it comes to high quality brushes is that you don't experience hairs falling out in masses, or losing their shape after washing them. I'll let the photos speak for themselves.

The one small caveat is that it doesn't work well with my Armani Eyes to Kill Intense eyeshadows, as in blending two ETKI shades together, the L brush doesn't blend it as nicely as I'd like. It's definitely unfair to judge the L brush with those eyeshadows, especially since the ETKI aren't the typical powder formula. I'd figure it's of mention to those who were wondering how it works with the non-standard powder formula. For the ETKI, I now know to stick with my Shu Natural 10. 

Another thing to keep in mind is that due to the size of the brush, it may be too large for those with small lid space, or just small eyes in general. Due to the long hairs and density, if you think the hairs of the MAC 224 are too long, then you may find the L brush a bit too big too. Check out the comparison photos to see for yourself. 

Price: £48 (not including shipping), which is about $76. It's sold at Selfridges (a department store in the UK). To those who do choose to buy online elsewhere, ichibankao has them too, but the prices are a lot higher (as a FYI). 

Worth having?: YES. I didn't know how I lived without this brush. It's full of awesome! 

Onto the photos:

L to R: Shu 10, Shu 11, Shu 8HR, Suqqu L, MAC 224
L to R: Shu 10, Shu 11, Shu 8HR, Suqqu L, MAC 224
L to R: Chikuhodo Z5, Suqqu L

L to R: Suqqu L, MAC 224  [ sorry for having semi dirty brushes D; ]

L to R: Suqqu L (side pic, see how flat it is on its side?), MAC 224

Thursday, May 17, 2012

a bit about me and my reviews +

so some people ask what items I like and why? as in favorite formulas, why i like "x" formula but not "y" formula. 

Of course there are so many different options when it comes to makeup  --

thin vs. thicker texture
luminous vs. matte
sheer vs. opaque
lipsticks: I am a die hard fan of opaque, LONG LASTING, matte (non shimmery) formulas (Armani RdAs fit the bill for this, plus their shades are awesome). I adore NARS Pure Mattes too since they're matte without being super drying. Over time I've embraced sheer, glossy formulas, even some with some shimmer...and although I do like sheer and glossy, it's not my ultimate favorite unless it's super hydrating. If I want something sheer, I can opt for a lipgloss. I hate super creamy formulas (Edward Bess, YSL RVs, some Hourglass lipsticks) because it's just either too thick, sticky, or just slide all over the lips. Not a good look for me personally. I'm generally not a fan of scented lipsticks, since the smells that lipsticks have are migraine inducing. Some smell doesn't bother me, but a strong scent -- heck to the no.

lipglosses: There's more options for me when it comes to gloss formulas, since I do like a shimmer, but I also enjoy a non shimmer formula too. It's harder to find a gloss with no shimmer (in my experience), which explains why I have a special affection for some Gloss d'Armanis. I do like a pearl finish with glosses, but I don't tend to buy those often. My ultimate favorite gloss formula are hands down my Le Metier de Beaute Lip Cremes (it makes sense since they're a hybrid lipstick and gloss). I personally don't mind a thicker gloss formula (ie: By Terry Gloss Delectation), but keep in mind I don't like sticky glosses at all. With most glosses, their scents don't bother me. I also hate gritty formulas too. I'm looking at you YSL golden glosses -- smell of death and grittier than sandpaper. 

eyeshadows and blushes: this tends to fall in the same category for me -- as in anything goes. I like matte, satin, and shimmery eyeshadows. The biggest thing for me when it comes to shadows are their consistency. I tend to prefer creamier feeling formulas (Suqqu, Burberry), but I like a semi dry formula like Le Metier de Beaute (they aren't dry, but they're aren't as moist feeling as Burberrys). I don't like chunky glitter either and the color has to give a smooth, no chalky effect, and provide even color payoff with one swipe of my finger. That's a general rule. I like both sheer and opaque shades. 

With blushes -- there's an extra feature that I look for: how natural it looks on the skin. Asian lines tend to have really finely milled powder blushes so when applied, it doesn't look like blush, but rather a glow from within. 

Foundations and Concealers: When I first started blogging, I was more keen towards matte finish foundations due to my skintype and being photographed. I've embraced over time a more luminous finish, but not overly luminous. I'm very big when it comes to how the foundation feels against my fingers, in part because I love a velvety texture. To those who own the discontinued By Terry Lumiere Veloutee, you know exactly what I mean. I tend to favor foundations that can be easily applied with fingers. I'm always running out the door and never have the time to use a foundation brush. As for concealers -- I love high coverage concealers, but ones that are easy to apply with a finger. I've been asked more than once why I don't care for Kevyn Aucoin's SSE -- it's too much work to get the right consistency.

I like a consistency that's not too runny (like Chanel VA), but I'm no fan of a thick/creamy consistency foundations (like cream compacts). I'm not a fan of CdP foundations since it's too thick for me as well. I will make an exception for Shu Nobara Stick foundation since it's really lovely. The thickest I like is Chantecaille Future Skin.

Some of my favorites are Ellis Faas (Skin Veil and the concealer), By Terry Lumiere Veloutee (discontinued) and her Cover Expert foundation. I also adore her concealers -- Touche Veloutee and VIP Touch Expert. If the United States carried lighter shades of Guerlain foundations, I'd be all over them too.

face powders (bronzers, finishing powders): I prefer a matte finish on both accounts, especially with bronzers since I can use it as a contour. Finishing powders I'm such a picky person -- I've tried La Mer's, Chantecaille, T. LeClerc, Shus, Laura Mercier's to give a few more well known powders. My favorite is By Terrys, in Rose and Peach. There's no visible shimmer and it's just full of awesome (downside is that it has talc for those who are sensitive to that ingredient). 

Makeup Brushes: This can be an entry in of itself -- long story short, I like natural haired brushes, of the finest quality. Hands down my favorite are Shu Uemura for eyeshadow, Chikuhodo for face brushes. Suqqu brushes are great as well, if you can't get your hands on Chikuhodo. After all, Chikuhodo makes Suqqu brushes. Synthetics I am less familiar with, but I do adore my Hourglass, and have yet to try Illamasqua.

Burberry Pink Heather Lip Mist (210) [edited]

So I had to make my rounds the other day to check out the Burberry summer collection. Saw the face powder, swatched it a few times on my face with a brush (with and without foundation) and honestly didn't see the appeal. I was about to walk away from the counter altogether...until i saw the lipsticks next to the powder as I was putting back the powder in its appropriate place.

Then I swatched them on my arm, and from swatches I liked the pink shades. So then I cleaned of the pinks looked kinda bad due to the shimmer. Then, there she was in all of her glory...Pink Heather lip mist. Applied that bad girl on...and I walked out with that.

Considering I've been wearing Pink Heather for a bit and really liking the shade, it took me a while to think/process what I like/dont like for some reason. Sorry for being semi-late to the review.

Packaging: Not a fan of the Burberry "check" pattern, nor the square tube packaging. Aside from that, it's a weighty lipstick, which I personally like. Another small tidbit that I'm not too keen on the weak magnet that holds the lipstick cover to the base. In a situation that you apply the lipstick on and place the lid on, sometimes it doesn't snap shut since the magnet has to be on a specific side. Does that make any sense? So if I put it on the "wrong" way, I have to swivel the lid until you feel the magnet clicks into place. I like to apply my lipstick and as soon as I put the lid on, that's it. nothing else. Ah well maybe it's just me.
Formula and Texture: The lip mists are creamy with a slight balm feel. The formula doesn't settle into lip lines, or accent flaky patches. If you're a fan of Chantecaille Lip Chics or RBR Succulence of Dew formulas, then you'd really like the Lip Mists. The coverage isn't that sheer considering the balmy formula. There's a smell to the lip mists too -- like powdery almost fig like smell? I can't describe it. It's definitely present when you apply the lipstick, but on the lips alone, I don't smell it (after a few mins). The lasting power is only about 2.5-3 hours on my lips, like most hydrating/balmy lipsticks. For longer lasting formula, check out their lip covers.

edit: an aspect that i like about the lip mist is that they dry down to a matte finish, without drying your lips. generally with formulas that are not full on opaque, they tend to be glossy, but this isn't.

Color: It's a soft, cool pink. It's definitely a "my lips but better" range of pink with no shimmer at all. I like this shade since it's a bit lighter than my natural lip color. Why I like it is that I can wear it by itself (with no/minimal eyeshadow) and it doesn't look like concealer lips. The shade is in the same vein as Armani Rouge d'Armani 103, but 103 is definitely more beige in undertone (and the formula is completely different). The difference is definitely more stark when it's on the lips.

Size and Price: 3.5 grams or 0.12 oz for $30

onto the photos :D

L to R: GA RdA 103, Burberry Heather Pink lip mist

L to R: Burberry Pink Heather, GA RdA 103 (no flash)

L to R: Burberry Pink Heather, GA RdA 103 (with flash)

ingredient list

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Addiction Blush in Amazing (04) +

Due to a special request from one of my readers, I've decided to review a blush. You know what? I never really review blush to begin with. It's not something I wear often...I'm a light foundation, mascara, and lipstick kinda chick. It's kinda odd since I own so many blush brushes, and some blush...but I never wear it as often as I could/should.

Moving along, I guess since I don't own many blushes, the few I do have are ones I really do like. Maybe it's because I don't get that easily won over by a blush's color, texture, has to be something special to me in order for me to have it in my stash. I've bought blushes and given them away or return them if I don't think it's special...

so with that being said...

One of the blushes in my stash is Addiction's Amazing. 

Packaging: Sleek, shiny black packaging. It seems pretty sturdy, and something to take away is that it's not bulky at all. Addiction is written on the lid, and the bottom of the lid has a hole, which makes it seem easy to depot. The blush itself seems larger than the 2nd generation Shu blushes (as you'll see in the photos below).

Color: in the pan it's a vibrant, matte, neon pink. it looks like a neon strawberry pink. It's not a fuschia shade either. my first thought is..."whoa, this is definitely not going to stay in the stash". It's not as warm or as reddish as RBR orpheline. Of course when applied it's not as insane (vibrant) as it appears. I can't think of a color it looks similar to, but I'm not the best person to ask since I don't have as many blushes.

Texture and finish: I'm sure some of you have heard about their eyeshadows and their awesome textures...and this definitely is no different. It's smooth, buttery, and glides on the skin so easily. It's a drier formula than Burberry eyeshadows, but how it just looks on your skin is nothing short of beautiful. It's a matte finish, but not chalky whatsoever.

Price and Size: ¥4050 on ichibankao (which is approximately $51, not including shipping). I don't recall paying for shipping though. I think. I don't remember. Size is 3.9 grams.

Worth having?: I think so, because it's not a common shade of pink. Plus finding a powder matte texture that blends easily and not looking chalky isn't that easy to come by. 

photo time :)

L to R: NARS Gaiety, Shu RD 14 (d/c), Addiction Amazing, Shu P Wine 25 (d/c). (taken without flash)

L to R: NARS Gaiety, Shu RD 14 (d/c), Addiction Amazing, Shu P wine 25 (d/c). (taken with slight flash)

L to R: NARS Gaiety, Addiction Amazing, Shu RD 14 (d/c: bottom L corner) , Shu P wine 25 (d/c: upper R corner).


L to R: Addiction Amazing, RBR Orpheline

Friday, May 4, 2012

random things i'm loving at the moment ++

I've been a bit of a youtube stalker viewer/subscriber as of late, and watching all of the beautiful ladies and their "Favorites of March, April 2012" videos has made me wonder what I've been wearing often and what I've been enjoying. Who knows? Maybe someone is interested in what I like/use often.

Thank you to my twitter followers for recommending me some awesome people to watch. 

So here are some of my favorites of the moment: 

top row:

Natura Bisse Glyco Extreme Peel: I just started my 2nd bottle of this a couple of weeks ago or so, and it pains my wallet to shell out the cash for this product, but it seriously has made my skin texture more even, exfoliates my skin so well, and in conjunction with sunscreen, it prevents my hyperpigmentation spots from getting darker. My skin is smoother, moisturizers apply better, and I look so much better. It's $245 + tax, but if you think of the price of professional glycolic peels (one session being about the same price as the bottle), I think the price isn't THAT scary (ok, maybe that's just my justification for buying it). The benefit of the Natura Bisse Glyco Extreme Peel, you do get the same professional results, but at the comfort of your own home. I would write a review, but I never took pictures of my skins progress with this item, sad to say. If you'd like to read about my experience with glycolic products, let me know. 

Trilogy Rosehip Oil and CoQ10 booster serum: I always apply these products immediately after doing the glyco extreme peel (once a week), and the rosehip oil every night before I go to bed. With my combo skin, it doesn't break me out and gives me extra hydration. This allergy season has been drying my skin out, and it's been a life saver.

Rouge Bunny Rouge Milk Aquarelle in Chestnut Milk Parfait: I like this product a lot and bought it on a whim. By itself it's a light-almost medium coverage foundation and it covers my natural redness pretty well by itself. It reminds me of a lighter/sheerer version of Ellis Faas Skin Veil. As much as I love Skin Veil, I only wear it when I'm out at night since it's a bit heavier than what I'd like for daytime wear. Chestnut is a bit too light for me now, but mixed with Chantecaille Future Skin in Nude (a bit off in undertone) it gives an almost perfect match. When I run out of Chestnut, I'll purchase the next shade up (darker).

Becca Beach Tint in Watermelon: A true watermelon shade for the cheeks, and it's so easy to take in my bag. No need to really explain the product since it speaks for itself. To get more information about Becca's Beach Tints, check out this review.

Chantecaille Lip Chic in Bourbon Rose: It's a lovely light pink lipstick, glossy in finish and super hydrating given allergy season. I'm thinking about doing a review of this in the near future, but check out my review of Tea Rose (oddly enough I just realized this morning Tea Rose is missing -- I need to buy another one TODAY). I'm that attached to my lip chics that knowing it's missing, I feel incomplete. 

By Terry Rose Contour lipliner: This lipliner was limited edition for this past spring. This lipliner formula is nothing short of magical. I can wear it alone and it's not drying at all. It glides out without tugging the lips, and it's a soft rose shade. I'm not too fond of Terry's current line of lipliners, because the formula isn't really unique. Terry, PLEASE make these new lipliners current! As of late I've been lightly lining/defining my lips with this shade. It's really a gorgeous shade.  

Suqqu F, M, and L brushes: my newest brushes which I still haven't really played around with yet. I need to play with them some more before I can give a comprehensive review. I've been too busy working and catching up on sleep, but I just had to show them since I get really excited when I buy new brushes (which isn't often at all).

What are some of the things that you're loving lately? Any thoughts on stuff I should review soon? Or do you have any questions for me in general?

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Giorgio Armani Gloss d'Armani in 509, 510, 511, 512

Well, I'm sure most of you have probably seen swatches and reviews on the new Armani Eyes to Kill Intense eyeshadows for the Summer 2012 collection. I have 3 out of the 4 shades and although they are lovely, but what I really fell hard for were the glosses.

I'm no fan of the coral and gold lip shades for the summer, maybe because it's just so redundant. Or maybe probably they're just not my "go to" shades. So it's a nice surprise to see something different in terms of lipcolors. You would think these shades belong to a fall/winter collection, oddly enough.

I picked up 509 first since it's the shade that got my attention first. I've been wearing this shade every day since I've purchased it, and that says something since I own so many lip products.

509: it's the lightest shade of the bunch, and in the tube it's a cool, dusky pink with some purple undertone, with silver shimmer. When applied, it's more of a neutral pinky nude, and the silver shimmer doesn't show up on my lips. I can wear this alone and it doesn't wash my face out. It definitely isnt a sheer gloss, which is even better for me :D

510: this shade is a deep raspberry (not bright) with a hint of silver shimmer too. It's less opaque than 509. When applied on the lips, it's my lips but better shade. I feel like this shade will be the hardest for me to describe only because my lips are really pigmented, and how it looks on me will be different than how it looks on other people. I would suspect this shade to be a brighter pink on others. It's a definite win for me since I can carry this one in my bag and throw it on and it will go with anything, since it enhances my natural lip color.

511: This is the plummiest shade of the bunch, and it's gorgeous alone, and it's pretty opaque. It's great because it's not too purple (grape purple) for me, which is what I tend to steer from. I cant see a shimmer in this color, so that's a win for those who don't like shimmer in glosses. I suck at purple descriptions. :| I'll let the pics do the explaining for me.

512: It's warmer and more red than 511. This one is a hairline less opaque than 511, but more opaque than 510. It's almost like a wine colored lipgloss shade, but not too dark. For those with semi pigmented lips, it will be that shade that will be a nice red, but not being too bright or overpowering. I honestly don't have a dupe for this one, so it's a win for me too (hahahaha).

Formula and texture: it's a semi thick gel like consistency, but it's not sticky and the lasting power is so awesome. I get about 3.5 hours of wear on these. My main concern when I first purchased the Gloss d'Armani is that with the odd texture, I would get the deathly white ring around my lips (like I get with MACs plushglasses), but I don't have that at all. 

I wasn't won over by the formula when they were first released, but it's slowly winning me over because it does last, and it's so nice to have some glosses without a crazy sparkle/shimmer. Although there is sparkle in some of the shades, but it's definitely not apparent, unless you look REALLY close.

Price and Size: $28, for 6.5 mL or 0.22 fl. oz.

Onto the photos: 

L to R: 509, 510, 511, 512

top: 509, bottom: 510

top: 511, bottom: 512

for color accuracy (L to R): 509, 510, 511, 512

to see the shimmer -- L to R (overexposed pic): 509, 510, 511, 512

to see the shimmer -- L to R (cooler lighting pic): 509, 510, 511, 512