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.

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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!

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Cosme Decorte AQ Shadow Supreme 019 Eyeshadow Palette

Cosme Decorte is a Japanese high-end brand owned by Kosé.
This palette retails for 6825 Yen (£56.16/$88.72).

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I love the packaging of Cosme Decorte’s AQ (Absolute Quality) Line; the description of the line – ‘to the level of art’ – is rather apt, I think. Sure, it’s not new to have pretty packaging – and Japan is home to some of the prettiest you’ll find – but for some reason the graphic elegance of this line particularly appeals to me.

Sadly I’ve have had to accept that, while the art deco packaging is divine, the eyeshadows themselves are not.

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I was taken in by the purples straight away, especially the darkest (bottom left) shade: it’s less red than most other purples I’ve seen, and there is a grey tint to that makes it slightly smoky.  P1000989

However in terms of workability, these eyeshadows are really disappointing.

Their texture lacks the powdery creaminess I expect in high quality eyeshadows, and instead the shadows are hard and resistant to all but the most forceful of swipes. Pigment just doesn’t transfer easily from pan to brush. And when you do manage to get enough on your brush/finger, it stubbornly stays there as you try to apply it on your eyelid. As a result even the darkest shade, when it finally settles on the lid, is reduced to a disappointingly insipid, milky purple.

Natural Light

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Flash

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The swatches show that, in the palette’s defence, you can build up colours gradually to get the pigment that you want.

However:

  • It took a lot of building-up to get to that level. Not just a few brush swipes in the palette and then on the arm, but a dig into the palette with a brush (I resorted to the sponge tip because I didn’t want to hurt my proper brushes), and a scrape across the arm. Repeat x 7 (ish).
  • I expect more from such an expensive palette: I’m willing to put some elbow grease in for the sake of a beautiful eyeshadow colour, but I don’t expect to when the palette cost me £56. I’ve found better eyeshadows for a little less than that (Suqqu), and better eyeshadows for a lot less than that (Visee), so I don’t think my expectations are too high.

The Bottom Line:

The palette itself is gorgeous – I want to pry off the lid and stick it on my wall, but the eyeshadows are a big let down in terms of texture and colour pay-off. If you’re willing to work for results, then by all means buy it; you can create some pretty looks with the shades if you have the drive.

Sonia Rykiel Quatre Eyeshadow Collection #9 Swatches

This is another palette I love. I haven’t used it enough for me to write a full review, so I thought I’d whet your appetites with some swatches.

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If you’d like to see some more swatches and a review of Sonia Rykiel Palettes, click here and here.