Suqqu Limited Edition Hankyu/Selfridges Exclusive Palette – EX-08 Hanamari Swatches

 

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Geez my post titles are getting longer than Japanese mascara names (almost.).

So this Suqqu palette was originally exclusive to Hankyu department store in Umeda, Japan. A limited number of units went on sale in Selfridges on the 22nd of November, and I snapped one up as soon as I saw it. I haven’t had a chance to fully experiment with looks yet, but rest assured that this is most likely going to be the only eyeshadow palette I’ll be wearing this week.

For now, I give you pictures and swatches.

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hana – 花 – flower

mari – 毬 – ball

The Palette

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The palette is made up of 4 shades, and unlike most other Suqqu palettes, it is missing the white/off-white shade that is used as a base. Hanamari has a sheer sparkly shade at the top left that goes over the other shadows to jazz them up, a dark warm brown to act as an accent or liner shade, and then the pink and the green as versatile mid-tones.

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I mostly bought this palette because of the fantastic green, it’s a kind of khaki with gold undertones, but then it also has these grey silver overtones (is that a thing?) that make it very unique. I was wary about the pink, but it layers so fantastically with the other shades to produce another two shades that I’m completely in love with.

Swatches

Without Flash

From left to right:

Top left sparkle shade, green shade, brown, pink, layered green and pink, layered green and brown, layered pink and brown

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With Flash

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The layering is one of my favourite things about this palette, the pink mixed with the brown (far right) and the pink layered over the green (3rd from right) make such beautiful shades. When buying this palette I had a suspicion it might be a little limiting mostly because of the pink shade, but because of the way the colours play together it’s actually one of the most versatile quads I own.

Adventures in Minimalism: Purging the Taupes a.k.a. insert taupe pun here

Taupe on a rope? Taupal eclipse? The audacity of taupe? Please submit your taupe puns in the comments section – we will have a pun-off.

Ok so some of you may have seen my stash photo on twitter:

Stash full

(Incidentally Adobe Photoshop’s panorama stitching is wizardry – apart from a dodgy Shu eyeshadow, you’d never tell this was two photos stitched together)

Now by some people’s standards this is just a little pygmy stash, but the size doesn’t bother me too much, it’s more the huge waste – there are so many products here that I just don’t use!

So now I’m embarking on a minimalist adventure, purging anything that, in the words of William Morris, I ‘do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful’ (smart man, also do you know you can get William Morris tablecloths – what did this guy NOT do?).

To start with, let’s have a look at all my taupes.

And with labels:

A LOT of Asian eyeshadows here, and almost half are drugstore, which is nice. Most brands you will have heard of before, Dodo may be new to some folks – I don’t know a whole lot about the brand actually, I think it’s Korean and I know it’s quite reasonably priced; I bought this eyeshadow in a Japanese drugstore for about £4.

First we have: Visee Glam Nude Eyes N-5 (reviewed here), Suqqu Keshizumi, Addiction Flashback, Sonia Rykiel Quatre Eyeshadow Collection 09, Dodo P20, Lancôme Erika F.

It seems in my absence I’ve forgotten how to take good photos of swatches, so bear with me.

Lancôme Erika F (far right) pushes the definition of taupe, and as you can see, my skin pulls out the grey and green in it. In reviews of it by other bloggers, it often looks like a much closer relative to the taupe family than it does on me.

My favourites from this group are the Sonia Rykiel (3rd from the right) and the Suqqu (2nd from the left). I love how purple and cool the Sonia Rykiel is, and the coolness of the Suqqu makes it so wearable. Both textures are amazing. My least favourite is the Dodo (2nd from right), the texture of the eyeshadow isn’t great – a little hard – and it’s a little too warm. Flashback and Visee are…ok. I like them a lot on their own, but when I compare them to my other taupes, I see others that I prefer.

Next we have: Kate Wide Edge Eyes PU-1, Maquillage Eyeshadow N in GY835, Bobbi Brown Stone, Too Faced Like a Virgin, Suqqu Ginbudou.

Don’t you LOVE that Maquillage (2nd from left) eyeshadow? I really haven’t used this eyeshadow enough; I bought it just as I arrived in Japan, and never really got acquainted with it because then I bought about…100 other things in a fit of shopping that experts are calling: WHEEE JAPAN! (I am the expert. It is me calling it that. You can call it that too if you like.)

Anyway, mmm yummy to that Maquillage. Its texture is lovely as well. The Kate (far left) is also rather nice, not too red. The palette itself is stellar, I’m surprised I haven’t reviewed it yet. The Suqqu (far right), like Erika F, pushes the boundaries of taupe so it’s a bit strange to compare it to the rest. I love it though, regardless of taupicity.

While the Too Faced (the matte, 2nd from right) doesn’t exactly excite me, I do see it as a very useful shade; it’s my only matte taupe, and it’s very versatile. The only loser in this bunch is the Bobbi Brown. It’s a little warm, and if I wasn’t so overwhelmed with taupes I’d probably keep it, but this eyeshadow is middle-of-the-road in terms of both texture and shade, so it’s not really necessary for me to keep it.

Keep

  • Sonia Rykiel 09
  • Suqqu Keshizumi
  • Maquillage GY835
  • Kate PU-1
  • Too Faced Like A Virgin

Ponder

  • Visee N-5 (but probably keep because the palette is really solid and versatile)
  • Addiction Flashback

Purge

  • Dodo P20
  • Bobbi Brown Stone

Taupe Imposters (Intertaupers!)

  • Lancôme Erika F
  • Suqqu Ginbudou


Are any of you reading-people mid-purge? Or planning one? Are you shocked by the amount of stuff I have – or laughing at my piddly collection? Which taupe is your favourite? Do you like questions? What did you have for lunch? I had pasta and homemade pesto? Because I’m cool like that? My basil plant has grown really big, how do I stop it? Maybe I’ll buy a sheep to graze on it? Do sheep eat basil? Italian sheep maybe?

POST YOUR TAUPE PUNS. ESPECIALLY YOU, KATE.

Top 10 of 2011

Oops, I completely missed the ‘11 of 11’ idea; I am not on the ball! I mean…uh, I totally knew about it I’m just eschewing convention…

Anyway these are my favourite things from 2011. It was difficult to narrow everything down, but these are products that have transformed my beauty routine completely, and products that I would buy over and over. Every time I use these (especially the make-up products), I fall in love with them all over again. It’s clichéd but true, and that’s why these are my favourites.

If I’ve reviewed a product, the product’s name will link to the review.

My 5 favourite make-up products of the year

Suqqu, Shu Uemura x 3, Beaute

Shu Uemura Stage Perfomer – I’m pretty sure that this is the closest we’ll ever get to airbrush in a bottle (or tube, in this case).

I’m going to write a full review of this soon, but basically it’s a product that moisturises a bit, smoothes out pores, makes skin glow, and has a very faint tint that evens out skin tone and covers a few imperfections. I hesitate to call it a primer because: it has a tint, it’s technically meant to go under your sunscreen (ie. not the final step before foundation – but most people I know use it after sunscreen), and most of the time it negates the need for foundation. Anyway, this product has completely revolutionised my make-up, I hardly ever wear foundation over it – only when I really want to look flawless. It makes me look healthy because of the glow, and it gets rid of most of my red areas.

Shu Uemura Nobara Cream Cover Stick – I’ve said just about everything in my review/love letter. It is still my go-to foundation, and I love it to pieces.

M Soft Mauve 225Shu Uemura Glow On – M Soft Mauve 225 – On first look, this blush looks scary. I mean, that is one mauve blush. On the skin, it looks amazing. Not editorial, edgy amazing, but natural amazing. The blush wears like an angelic pink, and the purple tone in it brightens up my entire face. Never has a blush given me such a glow.

Beaute Liqui-gel Stain – Fever – I have tried a lot of stains this year, I still find that this one is better than any other. It never leaves my bag, even if I’m wearing another blush or lipstick that day, I’ll have this on hand for touch-ups because it’s so easy to use. Its handiness is just a perk of the product, even when I’m at home and I have free reign over my whole make-up collection, I reach for this one the most.

Suqqu Ginbudou 06

Suqqu Blend Colour Eyeshadow – 06 Ginbudou – I have such a soft spot for this palette. Like I said in my review for Keshizumi, I know that Keshizumi suits me better, but I love the opulence of Ginbudou. Also, it was with this palette that I realised purples suit me – and that my eyes were more green than blue!

My top 5 skin care products of the year

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Coconut Oil – My love for this is still going strong; Coconut oil is doing wonders for my hair, I use it before every wash and on the ends afterwards. Recently I’ve been using tiny amounts to calm frizz. It’s still my sole body moisturiser, I like to use it a day or two after shaving to restore my skin. My only issue is that in this cold winter I have to microwave it for 30 seconds, otherwise it’s rock solid!

Paula’s Choice 2% Beta Hydroxy Acid Liquid – I’ve been using this since around March and it has really helped my skin. My blemishes weren’t horrible beforehand, but they were pretty bad. My skin has cleared up a lot since I started using this every night, and my sebaceous filaments appear smaller. Now I’ve switched to every other night and I use it to spot treat as well.

Mandom Barrier Repair Concentrate – this serum saved my skin when I was in Japan, and I’ve been recommending it to people with dehydrated skin ever since. I know a lot of people who use it and love it, and it’s especially useful in these winter months to combat all the dry air from central heating etc. I mix it with my usual antioxidant serum every other night to ward off winter skin. If my skin’s a little dry or angry, I’ll just put this on the area and it rights itself. This is really amazing stuff.

Silk Naturals Super Serum (the tiny bottle) – I’ve only just finished my second sample bottle of this – they lasted me 2 months! This serum is so effective – it has lightened my freckles and it’s got rid of almost all the tiny bumps that were around my chin. It also brightens my skin. I have to dilute this serum (with hada labo gokujyun hyaluronic acid lotion) when I apply it every morning because it’s very strong, but even using just 2 or 3 drops gets results.

Rosehip Oil – I can’t be without rosehip oil; it’s the last thing I apply at night before I go to bed and I wake up with such soft skin. I feel like this oil is so nourishing for my skin, especially because as well as sealing in moisture, rosehip oil also contains a little bit of vitamin c and retinol.

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Visee Glam Glow Eyes Gr-4: My Ultimate Green Palette

Visee is a cheap, widely-available Japanese drugstore brand.
these palettes retail for 1680 yen (£13.87/$21.61).

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I’ve already established my love for Visee in a previous post, and this lovely green palette only strengthens Visee’s position as one of my favourite brands.

Quality

P1000895Like the Glam Nude Eyes, this palette’s quality is fantastic. In fact, the textures in the Glam Glow Eyes Palettes are even more buttery than those of the Glam Nude Eyes.

The palette is pretty light, but it doesn’t feel flimsy. It’s been travelling with me a lot recently and is still completely intact.

Shades

For a non-neutral palette, it’s very wearable.

The two lighter green shades are, in my opinion, more versatile alternatives to the spring greens on trend in 2012 (like in Dior’s Garden Party Collection).

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A while ago, because I’m a palette junkie, I decided I couldn’t buy palettes with shades I wouldn’t use. The palest green shade (second from the left) isn’t one I would wear on its own.

BUT…

Here it is layered over the medium green shade (below, far left), and then the darker green (below, centre):

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This creates a gorgeous antique gold and a bronzey green – colours that I would use frequently. (And in fact, I use those layered shades the most).

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The Bottom Line

Another great quality palette from Visee. Layering the colours creates a multitude of looks, and I’ve hardly been reaching for my single green eyeshadows since I bought it.

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Suqqu Blend Colour Eyeshadow 04 Keshizumi

keshizumi – 滅墨 – faded/ruined ink*

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This is one of my most recent purchases, but I’ve been testing it thoroughly over the past couple of weeks, and I feel like I’m qualified to review it now.

In terms of eyeshadow quality and texture, I’ll direct you to my post about another palette in the series.

The Shades

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(The colour on the far left is the silver shade (top left of the palette) layered over the taupe shade (top right of the palette))

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Suqqu has, once again, succeeded in creating a very usable palette – no eyeshadow left behind etc.. The darkest shade (the greyed purple/blue) is very flattering: it doesn’t have a strong red undertone – like many purples – and so it doesn’t accentuate any redness in my eyes but it still brings out the green in them. The mid-tone shade is not as dark as other shades typically designed to be a wash of eyelid colour, so it doesn’t overpower my eyes and make them look smaller (while most conventional mid-tones do). The silver is good to use in the middle of the lid to give dimension to the eyes, and I like to layer it over the mid-tone taupe to cool it down a bit more.

Ginbudou vs. Keshizumi

The shades of Keshizumi are much less intense than those in Ginbudou and even though I prefer the drama of the latter, I think Keshizumi suits me a lot more because of the differences in shade that I mentioned above.

I get the impression that when Suqqu creates palettes, they really put a lot of thought not only into the colours, but also the mood of each palette. Ginbudou is filled with rich, sumptuous shades. It would probably be worn best by some dramatic aristocratic daughter – used to the finer things in life, probably in love with two people, and she has a horse. Keshizumi is similar in terms of drama, but it’s much moodier and troubled. Its fictional wearer would be more typical of a Gormenghast kind of aristocracy: melancholy, passionate, and a little unhinged.

Anyway, here are a few looks I did with Keshizumi. I’m not very happy with any of the photos as they tend to wash the eyeshadow out, but I’ve been trying to capture it properly every day for a week, and for now I’m going to settle for these.

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Dark shade as liner and then smudged all over lid, and in the outer bottom corner of eye. Silver highlight below brow.

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Dark shade in outer corner and as liner (upper and lower outer corner), mid-tone in crease and as under-eye liner, white on lid, silver highlight in inner corner.

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Mid-tone all over lid, dark shade as liner, silver highlight in the centre of lid, white as base. Mid-tone as liner under-eye. (Click for big).

Rest of face: Colour make-up: Addiction blush in Revenge, Lavshuca Dramatic Memory Rouge lipstick in RD-2

Other: Shu Uemura Face Architect Smooth Fit Foundation (375), Bobbi Brown Corrector in Porcelain Bisque, Ben Nye Neutral Set Powder, Shu Uemura Hard 9 Eyebrow pencil in Walnut Brown, Clinique Lash Power Mascara


*My translation for Keshizumi is not as neat as for Ginbudou; I don’t want to bog down the post with how I came to my conclusion, but if you’re curious, please email me. If anyone wants to submit a better one, please please do!