Well Red: Red Lipstick Swatches

Since overcoming my fear of all things lipstick a few years ago, I’ve amassed quite a collection of lip products – mostly lipsticks, a few lip stains, and three very neglected lip glosses.

At the heart of my collection are the high-contrast reds which, apparently, I can’t get enough of, because my current wishlist is filled with them.

Clockwise from 12 o’clock: Giorgio Armani Rouge d’Armani 400, Beauté Liqui-Gel Stain in Fever (review here), Laura Mercier Stickgloss in Poppy, Guerlain Rouge Automatique in Samsara, Suqqu Creamy Glow Lipstick #17 Ichijiku (review here), Lipstick Queen Medieval, Lavshuca Dramatic Memory Rouge in RD-2 (review here), MAC Viva Glam I.

Here I’ve added a swatch of Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Pur Couture Glossy Stain in #10 Rouge Philtre (review here) on the far right, because I left it out of the earlier shots (on purpose. obviously.) even though it counts as a red.

So, as a reminder, these swatches (and the paper swatches) are, from left to right:

  1. Guerlain Rouge Automatique in Samsara: a berry red
  2. Suqqu Creamy Glow Lipstick #17 Ichijiku: a dark, vampy, brick red
  3. MAC Viva Glam I: another dark brick red
  4. Lipstick Queen Medieval: a sheer but buildable cherry red
  5. Lavshuca Dramatic Memory Rouge RD-2: a sheer red that’s slightly warmer.
  6. Armani Rouge d’Armani 400: a classic true red
  7. Laura Mercier Stickgloss in Poppy: a sheer tomato red
  8. Beauté Liqui-Gel Stain in Fever: a vivid red to sheer rose pink depending on how sheer it’s applied.
  9. Yves Saint Laurent Glossy Stain #10 Rouge Philtre: another vivid classic red, that can be sheered out to a rose stain.

Can’t get enough red?

What’s your favourite shade of red lipstick? And are there any you’re lusting after at the moment? I’m in love with Guerlain’s new Rouge G l’Extrait in Luxure, and I can’t wait to actually get it.


Making My Unofficial Hiatus Official (but not for much longer!)

Hi everyone!

Dain’s comment about graduation on the post below reminded me that I need to tell you guys what’s going on, and why I’ve been AWOL for a while. It’s my final term of uni and exams and mini-dissertations (but the big dissertation is done – woo!) are looming, so I’ve been focusing on those for the past couple of months. I’m itching to return to blogging – I have so many post ideas – but it’s a big commitment that I can’t really make at the moment. As the infinitely wise Ron Swanson from Parks & Rec says:

“Never half-ass two things. Whole-ass one thing.”

Thanks Ron.

So I am going to whole-ass uni for a little bit longer (exams end mid-June) and then I can finally get back to blogging (frankly I can’t wait) and I’ll hit you with posts that will blow your socks off and we’ll all weep tears of joy and stuff.

In beauty news I am still obsessed with the YSL Glossy Stains, I’ve been wearing #10 pretty much every day, and every time I look in a mirror I’m still surprised at how long the colour lasts. I really love these! I guess the hype about them in the beauty world has probably died down by now (I’ve forcibly removed myself from beauty sites as well so I’m not sure :( ) but I’m still in love with this product.

I hope you’re all well, I can’t wait to get back to blogging again, and back to reading blogs! I’ll end with another piece of sage advice from Mr. Swanson.


(from here)


Suqqu Creamy Glow Lipstick #17 Ichijiku

Suqqu is a high-end Japanese department store brand. Suqqu has counters nationwide, and in Thailand and the UK. Suqqu products are actually cheaper in the UK than they are in Japan. These lipsticks retail for £27 and can be bought internationally from DollyLeo.

For a review of the Creamy Glow formula itself, I want to direct you to two reviews: Jess’ (Ohh…Pretty!) and Kate’s (Drivel about Frivol). They sum up the lipsticks perfectly, and I’d just end up repeating them if I wrote a full review.

Now for my personal impressions…

Things I like

  • Pigment: I have never known a lipstick to be Suqqu Creamy Glowso pigmented, the swatch below is just one, soft swipe from the bullet – it is insane.
  • Lasting Power: You guys know how I like my lip stains, and the lasting power of the Suqqu Creamy Glow Lipstick rivals that of a stain. As you’ll see, this colour is pretty full on, but often I’ll just dab it on my lips to give them some colour that lasts all day.
  • Formula: It’s just so…smooth! I love it, it glides onto lips and although it’s very opaque it’s still forgiving.

Things I don’t like so much

  • If you want the full colour of Ichijiku (ie. you’re not just dabbing it on as a stain), you have to use a lip brush. This isn’t a big deal for most people, in fact I think it’s more of a personal issue: first: my precision is terrible, so so terrible – I CANNOT COLOUR WITHIN THE LINES! Second: my lips are so unpigmented that I can’t actually tell where my lip line ends and skin begins. Seriously.

The shade

Ichijiku – 無花果 – FigSuqqu Ichijiku 17

Ichijiku is a warm, brick red.

Here it is applied for full effect with a lip brush.

Suqqu Ichijiku Full

My lips tend to pull things blue, so when I usually apply Ichijiku it’s more of a true red. Here I’ve tried to apply more so it’s truer to its bullet colour.

Here it is applied as a stain (I dab the bullet once in the centre of my lips, then pat it out with my finger.)

Suqqu Ichijiku Sheer

As you can see, not much brick-tone here because I’ve sheered it out so much.


Swatches Suqqu

L-R: Sheered out Suqqu Ichijiku (achieved by swiping the remainders from the lip-brush), one swipe (!) of Suqqu Ichijiku, MAC Viva Glam I

CSI Glossed in Translation

L-R: Suqqu Ichijiku, MAC Viva Glam I

Things to note:

  • Can you see opaque just one swipe of Suqqu Ichijiku is?!
  • By chance, I found out that Ichijiku is very similar to MAC Viva Glam I (in terms of  colour, in terms of formula they are night and day – the MAC is like a crayon in comparison!). Ichijiku is a tad warmer, and also, somehow, more vibrant? It seems redder than the MAC VG.

For swatches of all the Creamy Glow Lipsticks, check out Cinnamongal’s post.

The Bottom Line

The Suqqu Creamy Glow formula is amazing; I have yet to read a bad review about it, and the consensus of most reviews is that it is the best lipstick formula ever. As for the shade, Ichijiku is lovely; I wear it a lot because it’s so versatile: a light stain one morning, a more definite the red the next, and full-on glamour the next. Yes, MAC Viva Glam I is very similar, but the formulas are so so different that it could never be considered a dupe…ever. However, if you are ordering online it might be helpful to take a look at the MAC as a colour guide…

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Yves Saint Laurent Glossy Stains (#4 and #10): too much for my brain to handle

Hello all! Thanks for being patient during my week off!

I am a special snowflake

If you were to ask me my least favourite make-up product, I would say lip gloss. I’ve just never really liked it. I have a collection of about 30 lipsticks (and I still want more) and 3 lip glosses (and I think it’s too much). It’s not that I’m against their juicy sheen, they’re just so high maintenance – they hardly last, and if they do last a while they’re too sticky, and they’re messy. No thank you.


Glossy SpoonsI love lip stains. To me the two are the complete opposite: you put minimal effort into a lip stain, and get so much out of it – pigment, long-wear and reliability; in comparison lip gloss is kind of labour intensive.


My little mind is blown by the idea of the glossy stain, and when I saw the promotional pictures I pretty much assumed it would be terrible.

Good things

YSL Glossy Stain 04But actually, the YSL Glossy Stains are the perfect balance of lip stain and lip gloss, the liger of lip products, if you will (I don’t actually know if ligers are cool, wikipedia is down because of the SOPA thing so I just have to assume that they are awesome). The YSL Glossy Stains combine the insane lasting power and layerability of a lip stain with the sheen of a gloss. And the sheen lasts almost as long as the stain.

Nuts and Bolts

  • Because Kate wears and likes these, I’ll assume they’re non-drying (my lips don’t really dry out so I can’t tell).
  • They do have a scent – I believe it’s rose – and it’s quite nice, but quite strong so if you’re sensitive to smells that may be an issue.

Bad things

I love that Glossy Stains layer so beautifully – not only does the coverage build up, but pigment layers so well that it’s like having three or four shades in one product (see how #10 is a candy pink when sheer, but a cool vibrant red when built up). However, Glossy Stains layer so well that if I reapply after a meal, the bits that haven’t faded (ie. the outer edges – parts that haven’t come in contact with food) build up to that vibrant dark colour, while the bits that haven’t stay one or two steps sheerer. It looks…patchy. It’s not a huge deal – it just takes a minute or two to sort out, but be aware.

The Applicator

I actually like the applicator a lot, but I invert it when I use it. That is, I believe you’re meant to use the side on the outside of the curve to apply, whereas I use the inner side (so that the applicator fits to my lip).

The Magic Wand

The Myspace Angles

4 and 10


Kate has paper swatches of the whole range (apart from 19) here.

Number 4 (Mauve Pigmente) Paper Swatches

4 Paper swatches

Number 10 (Rouge Philtre) Paper Swatches

I can make swatches cute

Number 4 Arm Swatches (sorry goosebumps etc. etc.)

Goosebumps by RL Stain

Number 10 Arm Swatches

YSL Glossy Stain 10

In Action

Number 4 Sheerly Applied


Number 4 Heavily Applied


Number 10 Sheerly Applied (Sorry the light was terrible on the day of Number 10 Lip Swatches, so I had to use flash. I colour corrected to get accurate colours though. Also I was lazy and didn’t do a full face, just Shu Stage Performer, Concealer, Blush and Eyeliner)

YSL Glossy Stain 10 Sheer

Number 10 Heavily Applied

YSL Glossy Stain 10 Layered

Lasting Power

And now, an exciting timeline of the Glossy Stain’s life. It features multiple outfit changes, much like an awards ceremony, but sexier because I get out the dressing gown. Meow. The lighting on these pictures gets progressively worse, so don’t scrutinise them too closely for colour accuracy. (Also, that’s not perspective, the cup is really as big as my head)

Glossy Stain Lasting Power

  • Time of Full Fade: 18.59
  • Wear time: 7 and a half hours – no touch ups
  • Cause of Full Fade: 3 cups of tea, a sandwich, two biscuits, supper

Verdict: These are truly amazing, get one.

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


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.