Suqqu SS14 Collection: Review, Swatches, and a FOTD

Posted by Lipglossiping On March - 10 - 2014

I’m not the world’s biggest Spring/Summer collections fan, I have the kind of complexion that needs contrast… it needs bold colour, the kind that you’re more likely to find in collections released toward the end of the year rather than the beginning.  That being said, I’m nothing if not a total sucker for palettes with a delicate amount of sparkle to brighten and highlight.

The Suqqu Spring/Summer 2014 Collection* is is my first experience of Suqqu’s colour makeup, it’s not a brand that’s stocked within 80-miles of where I live and when it comes to flying-visits to Selfridges in London, I’ve only ever peeked with curiosity at the much-lauded brush range that the Japanese brand are famous for producing.

It’s with this in mind that I’m approaching my post by placing more emphasis on the overall impression of the products, their textures… their longevity and blendability, than I am the colours that come and go depending on seasonal releases.  I hope this is ok, I’ve included plenty of photos to show this year’s Spring Summer shades but my curiosity was mostly centred-upon trying to work out for myself whether or not the legendary SUQQU quality lives up to my inflated expectations.

Suqqu SS14 Collection

The pieces I received* from the Suqqu SS14 Collection are shown in the photo above, from left to right: Smoothing Face Color, Sirakoucha EX05 Nail Polish, Mitsucha 15 Eyeshadow Quad, Usubeni EX-03 Creamy Glow Moist Lipstick, and Momoshuiro 01 Balancing Cheeks Blusher.

I’ll start by focusing on the Balancing Cheeks Blusher (£38.00) below, and will say outright that for me… it was my favourite item in the collection.

Suqqu SS14 Collection Balancing Cheeks Blusher

Suqqu SS14 Collection Balancing Cheeks Blusher Swatch

Looking at both the product in the pan, and the swatches on the back of my hand… I was sure that I’d struggle to get the colour to show up on my pale but prone-to-ruddiness cheeks.  I was wrong.  When I’m reviewing something that may end up in someone spending £38 on a blusher, you can be sure that I take my responsibility seriously… and that extends to doing something I might not ordinarily do.  I used the cheek brush that comes with the product.  Interestingly, so should you.

The textures of the blushers are incredibly soft and they kick up a lot of dust… the powder needs the touch of a whisper-light brush, and one is thankfully included in the pan.  Infact, despite owning some beautiful, and rather expensive blush brushes… the one that comes included with this duo is softer than anything else in my collection.  The colour glides on beautifully.  I ended up using the warmer and paler of the two shades in the traditional blusher “stripe” configuration before blending the slightly sparklier pink (pan on the right) into the apples of my cheeks and drawing upwards as you would use a highlighter.

Longevity is day-long.  I just can’t give any complaints about this product… except to say that it’s more money than I’ve ever spent on a blusher before and I’m just not sure I could bring myself to part with almost £40 for 4g of product.  If you could, then you should give the range a once-over on counter.

Suqqu SS14 Collection Mitsucha 15 Eyeshadow Palette

Suqqu SS14 Collection Mitsucha 15 Eyeshadow Palette Swatches

The next item under scrutiny is the Eyeshadow Quad, Mitsucha 15 (£45.00) - a warm-toned palette with an incredible luster and grown-up sparkle.  The depth of pigmentation is perfect here, no matter which shade my brush picked up… I felt that I had – as if by voodoo – managed to transfer just the right amount of product from pan to brush each and every time!  The only occasion I returned to the palette was at the end of my application just to add a little more of the gold (top left) shade to the centre of my lid after blending the crease.

SUQQU SS14 FOTD (3)

Overall, the shades in Mitsucha 15 wouldn’t be my first choice but this is a personal opinion on what suits me.  The texture, quality and luminosity delivered by the palette is second-to-none.  This is grown-up stuff for those of us who aren’t willing to give up on sparkle and highlight but appreciate that our eyelids are a little too mature for the same heavy glitters or metallics that we used to favour.

The formula reminds me a little of how the Clarins eyeshadows suit my personal tastes, but with an undeniable added refinement brought about by the fact that with no primer applied, these shades didn’t move a centimetre in over 9-hours of wear.  For the perfect quad of shades, I would be willing to part with the £45.00 required to get my hot little hands on the product.

SUQQU SS14 Nail Polish Sirakoucha EX05

I hope you don’t mind but I’ll be covering the SUQQU polish in another post, I’d just freshly painted my nails the day before taking these swatch shots and I couldn’t give up an hours-old manicure just yet!

SUQQU SS14 Smoothing Face Color (2)

SUQQU SS14 Smoothing Face Color

The Smoothing Face Color (£50.00) is an interesting concept, featuring a trio of shades that combine together to deliver a three-in-one solution to help beat complexion imperfections.  The white powder on the right contains green pearls to create a “photography reflector effect” diffusing light and blurring imperfections.  The larger, central beige powder is a finely-milled, non-pearlescent powder that helps create “smooth-looking skin without visible pores”.  Finally, the pinker shade on the left aims to correct uneven skintone and discoloration.

Ultimately, it doesn’t leave me tempted.  It’s a lovely, lightweight powder that delivers the “smoothing” finish it promises but I just couldn’t justify the price difference between this and some of my other luminosity-delivering finishing powders in my collection.  I’m already a huge fan of Guerlain’s meteorites range and Clarin’s regular releases of LE face powders (not the “blush” ones).

SUQQU SS14 Usubeni EX-03 Lipstick Creamy Glow Moist

The final piece from the SS14 collection I’m reviewing today is the Usubeni EX-03 Creamy Glow Moist Lipstick (£27.00) with its sheer, balm-like formula.  Again, this isn’t one that would tempt me into a purchase, I simply need more pigmentation than this lipstick provides, but if you’re a fan of balms and want a polished-look from a fuss-free formula that genuinely leaves lips feeling better conditioned at the end of the day… I’d make it another one to check out on counter.

And finally, a couple of shots showing how the products look once applied.  Combined, they achieve a Spring look that is understated but fresh and luminous.

SUQQU-SS14-FOTD

SUQQU-SS14-FOTD-(2)

I haven’t been disappointed by my introduction to Suqqu.  The quality is evident from the first touch… not just in the sleek packaging but in the high-tech textures and long-lasting formulas.  The introduction has made me question just how much of my own cash I’d be willing to part with to pay for the kind of quality that a range like this provides… and how much more discerning I’d force myself to be when faced with the prospect of spending £50 on a face powder.

Ultimately, it’s a range that is more than worthy of the hype that surrounds it, particularly when it comes to the kind of products that would benefit from technologically-advanced, lighter textures.  Next time I’m in London, I’ll be checking out the base products.

The Suqqu Spring/Summer 2014 range is available to buy on-counter in Selfridges and online at selfridges.com

* press samples


Smashbox Full Exposure Eyeshadow Palette (photo heavy)

Posted by Lipglossiping On February - 26 - 2014

Smashbox’s answer to the Urban Decay Naked franchise is finally here, and for anyone who can’t get enough of these nude eyeshadow compendiums, prepare to have your head turned by another claimant to the throne.

The Smashbox Full Exposure Palette features a full set of complementary shimmer and matte shades.  Complementary in the sense that they pair up beautifully… you’re not really looking at a full palette of fourteen-different shades, it’s less convoluted than that.  Consider it more like a palette of seven daily-use shades that give you a choice between two textures.

The housing is pretty substantial in a I’m-not-very-portable kinda way.  If you don’t mind the chunkiness of the UD palettes, then this won’t bother you but if you prefer something a little more streamlined, take a look at the recent Clinique offering as an alternative.  The front of the Smashbox palette features some too-gorgeous-for-words holographic lettering that made me go a little weak at the knees.  I’m not ashamed to admit that my head gets turned by such frivolity… it’s beautiful.

Smashbox Full Exposure Palette 04

Once inside, there’s a large mirror, the fourteen eyeshadow pans, and a high quality, double-ended brush.  The brush is worth a particular mention as it’s been designed to work in partnership with the textures in this palette.  One end should be used for applying the matte shades and one for the shimmers.  It’s a nice touch.  There’s also a mini mascara included.

Smashbox Full Exposure Palette 06

Onto the shades themselves, this is, afterall… the heart of the palette.

I would have prefered to see the mattes along the top row here… they are, after all, the workhorse part of the palette.  The mattes are beautiful, non-chalky and rich in colour.  They apply with great pigmentation and blend smoothly… a reason in themselves to pick up this palette.  The seven shades offer the full-spectrum from palest to darkest along the neutral line and I can’t really fault them.

Smashbox Full Exposure Palette 05

I can’t say the same for the shimmers.

The top row of the palette will confound you.  How can the mattes be so uncomplicated and these beautiful shimmers so… high-maintenance?  The easiest way to give you an idea of how they apply is to remind you of the “notorious” glitters from Urban Decay, the likes of Midnight Cowboy… such a beautiful shade but so finickity.  With the Smashbox Full Exposure Palette, you’re basically getting a set of seven of these along the top row.

Are they unworkable?  No.  Are they useless?  No.  But you have to learn to love them if you don’t want to cast the whole thing out the window.  The learning curve for this isn’t steep but for many, it will be an ask too far.

Smashbox Full Exposure Palette 07

Smashbox-Full-Exposure-Palette-Swatches

The base of the shimmers is only lightly pigmented, meaning that you’re going to need a primer for these shades to display anything more than a pretty scattering of glitter across your lids.  This isn’t a problem and I recommend using something like the Fyrinnae Pixie Epoxy which still works better for adhering glitters to your eyelids than anything else I’ve tried.

Alternatively, you can just go with it and ride this palette bareback.  Embrace a dusting of complementary light (and lack of colour) across the matte base that you’ve applied from lower portion of the palette.  That is after all, I’m assuming… the reason why these shades work so nicely paired as you look at them from top-to-bottom in the pans.  Just be sure to do your eye-makeup before your foundation routine to work around any fall-out issues.

Basically, this palette, beautiful though it is… has its pitfalls.  There’s room for post-purchase disappointment if you don’t know what you’re getting from it… so do go and check it out on the counter with an open but cautious mind about whether it would fit in with your beauty routine.

A final special mention goes to the rather nifty eye-shape chart that the brand have included.  It features mini-tutorials on how to use the palette to suit a variety of eye-shapes from almond to round, downturned to monolid, and even includes some tips and techniques for hooded eyes.

Smashbox Full Exposure Palette 03

Have you tried this palette?  What are your thoughts?

The Smashbox Full Exposure Eyeshadow Palette is priced at £36.00 and is available to buy instore and online from boots.com or smashbox.co.uk

* press sample

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Clinique 16 Shades of Beige Collection (photo heavy)

Posted by Lipglossiping On January - 21 - 2014

If you ever had reason to think that beige is boring, think again.  Clinique have recently released a lovely, understated collection of nail polishes that range from the palest skin-suiting shade right up to the darkest.  In addition to these eight new limited-edition nail polishes, there’s also an eye shadow palette featuring another eight complimentary neutrals.

Clinique 16 Shades of Beige Collection

Focusing first on the eyeshadow palette, the limited edition All About Shadow Neutral Territory 2 Palette (£32.00/€39.00) includes an essential wardrobe of work-friendly neutrals, from the softest sparkling white right through to the smokiest dark brown.  The textures are soft and blendable with a creaminess that belies their powder form.

Clinique All About Shadow Neutral Territory 2

The first five shades in the palette (from left-to-right) contain a very subtle shimmer that reflects a luminosity rather than a glitter but the final three, darker shades, are the ones that will carry your look from day into night, featuring a (slightly) more prominent sparkle.

Clinique All About Shadow Neutral Territory 2 Palette

Clinique All About Shadow Neutral Territory 2 Palette Close

The palette contains a large mirror and applicator with a sponge tip on one end and a blending brush on the other.  As much as I take issue with sponge tips, I won’t deny that the addition of a brush on the other end does ensure that you can get a decent application without carrying your own arsenal of tools around with you.

One thing that I haven’t mentioned yet is the size of the palette.  As much as I love my Urban Decay Naked Palettes, I find them far too big to offer any kind of portability.  This one is small enough to pop in a handbag with ease.  Most interestingly, despite its minute size, each pan contains more product (gram for gram) than the Naked Palette, although the Naked palette offers a total of twelve pans to Clinique’s eight.

Clinique All About Shadow Neutral Territory 2 Palette Swatches

Now, onto the new, limited edition A Different Nail Enamel (£12.00/€16.00) shades…

I’ve got two of the eight shades to show you, so naturally, I swatched one shade on each hand!  The colours that I received are almost similar enough in shade depth to get away without anyone noticing I’m sporting completely different polishes on each hand!

Clinique Nude Nail Polish Beige

First up is the lighter of the two: Peek A Boo, I See You which is described as a nude peach.  I’m not sure I’d agree with that description… in my experience, peaches tend to be a lot warmer in tone and this one isn’t quite warm enough to qualify in my opinion.  Having said that, for me, this is no bad thing as it complements my pale skin-tone beautifully.  It gives a soft, clean finish that’s effortlessly chic and lengthens my fingers.

Clinique Peek A Boo Nail Polish

Following this is the next tone darker in the collection: Birthday Suit.  It’s a slightly deeper version of the above with just the tiniest hint of a mocha hue.  Both polishes took three coats for a smooth application, but each covered easily without pooling in the cuticles or any other application issues.

Clinique Birthday Suit Nail Polish

What do you think?  Does the collection offer enough interest for you to be tempted or are you of the opinion that beige really is boring?

The Clinique 16 Shades of Beige Collection is available to buy online from clinique.co.uk now.  Alternatively, the collection will roll out across Clinique counters nationwide from the 7th February.  I imagine the eyeshadow palette might sell out pretty quickly though!

* press sample

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FOTD with the Limited Edition Benefit The Rich Is Back Kit

Posted by Lipglossiping On July - 10 - 2013

The 1970s were responsible for many a wonder. Star Wars, the MRI scan, the first black model on cover of a major fashion mag, the Krankies…

Oh.

Wee Jimmy Krankie aside though, let’s face it… the 70s were something to celebrate. Unless you had a box of FAB ice lollies in the freezer during one of the decade’s infamous rolling power cuts. But forgetting all the political shenanigans of the time, what about the D.I.S.C.O? The glitz and glamour of the real Boogie Wonderland?

Well, Benefit are bringing it back thanks to a collaboration with eminent fashion designer, Matthew Williamson.. himself, a child of the 70s. Ladies and… (probably) ladies, I present to you The Rich is Back!*

Benefit The Rich Is Back_01

Benefit The Rich Is Back_02

Of the kit, Matthew Williamson says:

“This is high-octane glam makeup for dressing up to look fabulous & dance the night away!”

Well, not really… is it? I mean, it’s a nice-enough kit… and probably far more sellable as it is than if it were high-octane glam makeup but c’mon Matthew Williamson… in what world would you describe a bunch of neutrals livened up with a teal… a sheer pink lipgloss and nude blush “high-octane”.

It’s not. It’s not really very 70s night-time glamour at all. But then, you’re not really Donna Summer either are you?

So perhaps we should just be thankful that this kit is a bit more wearable than the looks the girls would have been rocking down at Studio 54. Let’s see what you get for your money….

Benefit The Rich Is Back_05

Perhaps, infact… the most glam thing about this set is the packaging itself which can be repurposed as a jewellery case once you take away the makeup tray. I do love brands that do clever stuffs like that, talk about upcycling!

As for the contents, well you get:

  • eyeshadow palette 4 x 0.8g Net wt.
  • they’re real! mascara, 4.0g Net wt.
  • gimme fever cheek powder with brush. 2.0g Net wt.
  • lip gloss in inferno 6.5 mL / 0.22 US fl. oz

The eyeshadows are pretty sparkly, as one might expect from a kit dedicated to this era. The champagne shade (Disco Dust) is a really wearable highlight that doesn’t attract any attention in an unflattering way… it simply adds a touch of luminosity rather than any ageing frostiness. Solid Gold is a regular gold, a little sheerer than many but infused with some delicate sparkle that makes this a nice shade to wear all over the lid anytime of the day. Get Down Brown is a bolder choice considering the sheerness of the other shades, this one packs a lot more pigment. Finally, Feel So Teal although lovely to look at does that crappy thing of blending out to grey like many other teals.

Pretty they are, high-octane… they ain’t.

Benefit The Rich Is Back_03

Alongside the eyeshadow selection, you also get a mini They’re Real! mascara… you don’t need to be reminded of my love for this product, but incase you do – the seach box is up there! ^^^

The lipgloss in shade Inferno… is more of a match-strike really. A pretty sheer red infused with plenty of non-gritty glitter but “inferno” might be pusing the trade description act somewhat. Texture of the gloss is nice, non sticky and long-lasting. Trust me, that’s a real compliment coming from this bonafide lipgloss hater.

Benefit The Rich Is Back_04

The final product included in the kit is a Gimme Fever cheek powder with a brush. I’m not sure why they included a brush when there’s no eyeshadow applicators but include one they did. Gimme Fever is probably my favourite item in the kit, it’s a buildable blush-cum-highlighter that will suit a variety of skintones thanks to its neutral tone. On medium and darker skins this will sing as a cheek highlight and for lighter skintones like mine, it will show some of that pigment as a nude blush (again, with sparkle).

I wore it very lightly in my FOTD as I wanted to contour instead and use Gimme Fever to reflect the light.

Benefit The Rich Is Back_swatches

Here’s how the kit looks when all the products are used together… who says you need to fear the seventies? Embrace the decade!

Benefit The Rich Is Back_08

Benefit The Rich Is Back_07

Benefit The Rich Is Back_09

Benefit The Rich Is Back_06

All in all, it’s a nice kit. I’d say that the packaging belies the contents… it’s a little schizophrenic. Infact, considering the daytime makeup trend in the 70s was pretty understated, I’d say that the light, natural-looking aesthetic (with added sparkle) fits really well within the era. It just doesn’t quite fit with the disco-esque, glammed up sexy night-time packaging and leaves me a little confused as to the designer’s intentions and whether he actually saw the contents of the kit before bestowing those wickedly vibrant prints on the casing.

If you want to get your hands on this one, be quick… it’s a limited edition.

Benefit The Rich is Back Kit is priced at £26.50 and is available to buy instore and online at debenhams.com

* press sample

A Friday FOTD with Boots No7 Purple Haze Eyeshadow Quad

Posted by Lipglossiping On June - 14 - 2013

Pow pow purple! Coming from Boots No7, I didn’t expect *quite* so much pigment in these little pans. The No7 Stay Perfect Quad Eyeshadow Palette (£10.50) delivers a real punch of colour from all four of its shades which blend effortlessly across the eyelid thanks to a soft, almost creamy texture.

Boots No7 Purple Haze Eyeshadow Quad

Boots No7 Purple Haze Eyeshadow Quad2

If anything, the vibrant purple in the palette* does overshadow the more subtle shades contained, and on my hooded lids turned the taupe (that I’d placed in the crease) a lot more violet than I’d intended once I’d worn it in for an hour… but as a huge purple fan, I can live with this.  In the inner-corners, I used the pinky-violet shade and on the upper lashline, the deep purple powder (as an eyeliner).

I suppose if I take away my love for that single purple shade… the palette as a whole probably doesn’t work too well.  I’m here describing my placement of all four shades in the palette but the subtleties of them are completely bowled over by the gorgeous bottom left pan.  You need to find a way to either quieten that one shade down (I think I’d perhaps use it only along the lower lash line next time) or give it up to an all-out purple fest.

Boots-No7-Purple-Haze-Eyeshadow-Quad3

I completed the look with a sweep of Dainty Doll powder blush in 002 My Girl, and Urban Decay Iconic Lipstick in Naked (one of my favourite ever nudes, now sadly discontinued).

What’s your favourite purple eyeshadow?

* press sample

Got a spare £240? No, me neither.

Posted by Lipglossiping On May - 2 - 2013

Yesterday, I talked about recession-proofing your makeup with a bargainous £6 eyeshadow and today, well… you’ll see…

We’re living through some seriously tough financial times… upon this, I think we can all agree.  Yet, out of this seemingly never-ending recession, beauty brands really haven’t done too badly.

You see, in times of “austerity” (oh, how I loathe that word and all it stands for), life’s luxuries have to take a back seat… there are bills to pay, food to buy, and children to clothe.  And of course, all of these things are far more important than the need to satisfy any aspirations for a more extravagant lifestyle.  Except that, quite understandably, it’s precisely now more than ever that we genuinely need those fluffy distractions and escape from reality that life’s superficial offerings can deliver.

And so, instead of spending our pennies on designer clothes, handbags and expensive holidays… we’ve turned our attentions to slightly less flahoolick things such as shiny lipsticks, nail polishes, and Groupon-funded spa treatments.

In the midst of all this… it’s quite clear that some brands didn’t get the memo.

247_eyelinervaultThe Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil Vault exclusively at Debenhams.com

Launching today, exclusively at Debenhams.com is this rather spectacular and horribly-priced coffret, The Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil Vault… yours for just £240.  Now I could go on about what a ridiculous waste of money it is… but the truth is, if I could afford one… I’d be at least somewhat tempted.  After-all – and as much as I genuinely hate to call this a “bargain” – I can’t argue with the fact that this 40-shade set represents a saving of £320 compared to buying each eyeliner individually.

I could argue the toss that unless you’re a regularly-employed makeup artist, you have no bloody need for or business owning that many eyeliners.  But then, I’d be a bit of a spoil-sport wouldn’t I?  I’d also have to hide my ridiculous eyeliner stash under the bed and try very, very hard to keep a serious face whilst doing so.  And let’s not even talk about how much eyeliner you’d have to apply daily to use them up before the recommended eyeliner “use by” allocation of one year.

To put it plainly, that’s some serious investment right there.

However, I know that in all honesty, you care not one jot.  Because look at it.  It’s fucking amazing.  Lend us a tenner?

Will you be buying it?  Would you, if you had the spare change?  There are only 40 “vaults” available and the U.S stores sold out in 9 hours… you’d better be quick if you’re going to nab one!

The Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil Vault is available online now, from debenhams.com, priced at £240

BareMinerals READY Eyeshadow Quad in A List

Posted by Lipglossiping On March - 12 - 2013

I remember the first time I visited the Bare Escentuals store in Covent Garden. It hadn’t been open very long and at the time, I think I referred to it as “the candy shop”.  You see, for a makeup lover, there’s something about being surrounded by so many mini pots of jewel-toned pigments that makes it quite easy to lose your sense of decorum.  I emerged from the store, so completely covered in swatches, it looked like I’d had my own private Holi festival.

Obviously, pigments and powders is where it all started with Bare Escentuals and when the brand announced a range of pressed-powder products, I was excited for the convenience that this brings, but also wary that the same kind of vibrancy and pigment quality wouldn’t, nay perhaps couldn’t translate itself so well from the confines of a pressed pan.

Well, I worried needlessly.

BareMinerals READY Eyeshadow Quad in A List

My first experience of the new(ish) BareMinerals READY Eyeshadows comes in the form of one of their quads: A List*.  On paper, it’s got my name written all over it, I’m a sucker for a purple-toned palette.  I’d heard about the “incredible” texture of the new READY eyeshadows and I had the highest of expectations as a result.

First thing to note about this particular eyeshadow quad is indeed, the texture which is truly buttery.  You can tell that this product comes from a brand who know their way around a pigment or two because the powders are so softly textured, they feel almost creamy.  There’s a hint of roughness to the purple shade (Swanky) but you have to expect that from the glitter particles.

You’d expect a buttery-textured eyeshadow would blend with ease, and in my opinion, they do.  Infact, above all else, I’d put weight on this being their best selling-point.  It’s not always easy to blend smooth gradients from shadow to shadow, getting that perfectly refined edge to soften to the point of invisibility is a well-honed skill, and anything that makes lighter work of it is a marvel.  On this score, the BareMinerals READY Eyeshadow Quad in A List, is, a marvel.

BareMinerals READY Eyeshadow Quad in A List

Where I think some of these palettes could do with a little work is with their combination of colours.  I feel that A List doesn’t quite give me the eye palette that I want to work with.  The highlighting shade (Icebreaker) is very pale, very shimmery, and very…. highlighter-y.  Unfortunately, I feel that the next shade up in the quad, the pink (Fashionably Late), is also playing the same role… albeit in a more vibrant way.

For definition, I need a solid crease colour, and unless I go black, my only option is the glittery Swanky.  The jump between Fashionably Late (on the lid) and Swanky (in the crease) is quite large and on my skintone at least, the palette is not quite there in terms of shade combining.  I would have liked to have seen these pink/violet hues without both extreme ends of the spectrum (white/black) incorporated in the 4-pan palette.  Perhaps something like The Dream Sequence is closer to what I’m looking for.

BareMinerals READY Eyeshadow Quad in A List

I had one other, minor, issue with the palette.  In the photo below, I’ve highlighted where one of the pans is raised above the level of the palette.  It’s not quite enough to cause any problems with the closure mechanism but… and perhaps I’m being a touch fussy… it’s not something I expect from a £29 (on counter) eyeshadow palette.  It looks untidy but is hopefully a one-off.  Really not interesting in a sponge-tipped applicator when I’m paying nearly £30 either.

BareMinerals READY Eyeshadow Quad in A List

These grumbles aside, I really can’t fault the colour payoff and texture of the included shades.  Black Tie Optional makes a great liner close to the lashline, or smoked out at the edges to deepen and intensify the overall look.  Both Icebreaker and Fashionably Late offer something a little more frosty but both will work as highlighters, although FL is a little saturated to blend too high up the browbone.  Swanky is a really nice purple that’s blue-enough not to deliver the bruised/consumptive look, the added sparkle is a nice touch.

BareMinerals READY Eyeshadow Quad in A List

BareMinerals READY Eyeshadow Quad in A List

BareMinerals READY Eyeshadow Quad in A List is available to buy online from beautybay.com, priced at a very reasonable £23.49

* press sample

** come back later today for a FOTD with the above palette

Gettin’ Flirty with Urban Decay The Feminine Palette

Posted by Lipglossiping On December - 13 - 2012

Well known for their bold colours, high pigmentation and shimmering shadows, Urban Decay have gone for a softer look this time around with the limited edition Feminine Palette*. If you’ve already read my review on The Fun Palette, you’ll be familliar with the zipped-up case that doubles up as a little clutch bag should you wish to mix makeup and fashion in this way. The packaging is cute as hell, with a metallic purple outer featuring a delicate lace design.

Urban Decay The Feminine Palette

Just as with the other palettes in this limited edition range, the housing is sturdy enough to cope with general wear and tear from daily use. It’s a great portable option for a pared-down selection of eyeshadows. The palette contains six shades that lean towards the softer tones in the spectrum, they’re slightly greyed in comparison to some of Urban Decay’s bolder colours making them a great choice for this style of palette.

Urban Decay The Feminine Palette

All six shades are shimmery and smooth-textured, I could do with a matte in there (as a personal preference) but have been enjoying using these as soft lid shades, more as a wash than building them up to any kind of intensity. Though, as you can appreciate (being from UD), these will build up to full pigmentation very easily if required. Both AC/DC and Hijack in particular employ some extra depth with some pretty irridescence that adds some real sparkle without adding any glitter. I imagine that these two shades in particular would look amazing over a sticky black base for a high-voltage look.

Urban Decay The Feminine Palette

Those of us who have been around a while will remember Urban Decay’s previous Feminine Palette which was released a couple of years ago. While this (re)incarnation contains different actual shades, the feel is very similar with the inclusion of a teal and a purple among the staple neutrals. If you missed out last time, this is definitely worth a look. The palette also comes complete with a lipgloss in Wallflower – a creamy neutral that keeps everything looking pared down and soft.

Urban Decay The Feminine Palette

For a quick demonstration, I recreated a simple look that I’ve been wearing with this palette. I played up to its name and went for a really sheer, see-through interpretation… for which, I needed no primer. I used the shades more as a wash of colour, and find that they blend easily together without muddying. In the image below, I’m wearing Bordello on the lid, AC/DC on the lower lashline, and Hijack along the crease. I skipped lining my upper lashline but took the mascara right into the roots instead to ensure that I gave my lashes as much depth as possible.

Urban Decay The Feminine Palette

Urban Decay The Feminine Palette is priced at £25 and avaialble for a limited time from BeautyBay.com, Debenhams (£22.50 at the time of writing), and House of Fraser.

* press sample

Beauty Zipped Up: Urban Decay The Fun Palette

Posted by Lipglossiping On November - 12 - 2012

Urban Decay have released three palettes, in the clutch-style format you might remember from The Midnight Emergency Kit.  The three palettes each contain six eyeshadows and a complementing mini Lip Junkie lip gloss.

The palettes are well-constructed and tote-worthy enough to be able to throw them in your handbag in advance of a night out.  Don’t tend to reapply your eyeshadow halfway through an evening, me neither… so did you know that you can remove the platform on which the eyeshadows sit and transform the packaging into a proper evening clutch?  Yeah!

Urban Decay The Fun Palette Review, Swatches and FOTD

Urban Decay The Fun Palette Review, Swatches and FOTD

Urban Decay The Fun Palette Review, Swatches and FOTD

The Fun palette is my favourite from the new trio on looks alone (I’ll be showing you the others soon)… I mean, turquoise glitter encrusted packaging?  It’s flippin’ gorgeous.

Enough about the clutch, it’s clear I’m smitten… how about the actual contents?

Urban Decay’s The Fun Palette claims to offer shades that are perfect for those who like to experiment with colour.  I like colour, and I like experimenting with it… but I don’t tend to actually leave the house in huge amounts of colour, mostly because I’m a big wimp.  Let’s take a look at them…

Urban Decay The Fun Palette Review, Swatches and FOTD

Urban Decay The Fun Palette Review, Swatches and FOTD

Of the six shades included, only one of them is a brand new shade… meaning that if you’re Urban Decay’s #1 fan, you may already have these shades at your disposal from within other palettes.  The shades included are:

Maui Wowie – Metallic golden beige with silver glitter
Deep End* – Bright teal shimmer
Sellout – Pinky champagne
Fishnet – Bright pink with purple shift
Stray Dog – Cool metallic ash brown
Freakshow – Deep royal purple pearl

* new shade (not new shade, Bicky recognised it from the 15th Anniversary palette)

The fact is that there’s enough neutrality going on here to suit scaredy cats like me (sellout, maui wowie and stray dog make a beautiful natural eye on their own) whilst injecting enough colour to tempt me into showing a little bravery on occasion.

Urban Decay The Fun Palette Review, Swatches and FOTD

Swatched with no primer.

And a quick FOTD using Fishnet on the lids, Freakshow dragged outward from the corners, Deep End as an accent under the eye, and Sellout as a highlighter.  I’m also wearing the Lip Junkie lipgloss included, which is Midnight Cowboy, a sheer nude sparkle.  It’s very sticky and not my cup of tea at all.

Urban Decay The Fun Palette Review, Swatches and FOTD

Urban Decay’s The Fun Palette is a sweet offering from the brand that is sure to tempt many new UD-ites into occasionally swapping out their beloved Naked Palettes for something a little brighter.  For old-skool UD junkies, there may not be enough here to warrant another purchase, but it’s a good reminder of the brand’s founding ethos towards colour and expermentation.

The Fun Palette is priced at £25 (€ 34) and available from Debenhams and House of Fraser stores or online at debenhams.com, houseoffraser.com and beautybay.com.

* press sample

M&S Limited Collection – That Owl-Inspired Eye Shadow Set!

Posted by Lipglossiping On September - 4 - 2012

I don’t have quite the owl fascination that I know many people share but I can’t fail to appreciate a pretty design when I see one and this owl-inspired eyeshadow set is sure to get many of you hooting (groan – sorry).

The eyeshadow palette from the M&S Limited Collection features five neutral shades, and one flash of bold colour in the form of a jewel-toned blue.  All shades are shimmery, but is it a case of style over content when it comes to usability and value for money?  Or should you be owl over it before it flies from the shelves? (sorry, SORRY!)

The packaging is lovely, a substantial cardboard design reminiscent of many popular palettes featuring some extremely cute owl motifs on the front.  There’s no obvious mention of M&S as a brand, the packaging alludes simply to the Limited Collection rather than the shop where you buy your comfiest knickers.

Under the lid sits a generous, distortion-free mirror and six eyeshadow pans, each featuring a cut-out owl design.  These cutouts prove to be a little tricky when it comes to accessing the eyeshadow and I imagine that the sharp edges will begin to look fairly worn shortly after the initial use.  The palette comes complete with a sponge applicator… an actual brush wouldn’t have gone amiss when you have six shades to work from.

The textures are quite hard and sadly, I achieved little to no pigment from the top left shade, which on paper, was easily my favourite.  Taupe anyone?  The other shades deliver better results, some only marginally.  Swatches coming right up…

As previously stated, the top left shade is no bueno – don’t buy the palette because you think you’ve fallen in love with a new pretty taupe, you’ll be disappointed.  The remaining two shades on the top row are also a bit of a let-down.  They’re patchy and unpigmented for such strong colours (the swatch shows two swipes for each) – workable, but they make you graft to get a result.

The bottom row, however, tells a different tale.  All three shadows sitting across the lower half of the palette are quite delightful.  Rich in colour, smooth to apply and softly shimmering without any chunks of glitter.  The highlighter on the bottom right in particular is a very pretty warm champagne which will open up the eye area beautifully.

Ultimately?  Unless you absolutely must have it because you’re batshit crazy about owls, you don’t need this palette.  The shades are infinitely dupable in better formulas on the high street and because of the underwhelming performance of those top three shades, it just doesn’t offer value for money.

If you are a bit of an owl-obsessive, who cares what the shadows are like because let’s face it – you’re probably just going to stroke the box anyway.

M&S Limited Collection Shadow is available to buy instore and online at M&S, priced at £7.50

* press sample

So, I bought some cheap eBay palettes…

Posted by Lipglossiping On July - 5 - 2012

(long before my no-buy, don’t worry) and I’ve started to dismantle them. It’s not the most interesting post in the world but I thought it might help someone out there who’s considering doing the same thing.

You see, I like freestyle palettes. Those of Z-Palette, Yaby, and MUFE fame. I don’t like their price tags though, at least… not in the quantity that I want to buy.  And so instead, I dropped about £6 (including postage) on these three simple alternatives on eBay.  I decided that I’d have a play with them and see how they fared in my mission to depot my stash, thus getting more use out of some of the lovely things I’ve bought over the years.  The palettes come from China (what doesn’t?) and they’re horrifically cheap-looking. The stuff of nightmares.

That being said, they’re pretty well-constructed and if you can stand the aesthetics (or be arsed to somehow disguise it), you could be on to a winner.

The ones I bought come with 15 pans included, the pans are non-magnetic and bend when I blow on them.  I can’t see myself using these for pigment pressing, they’re just so flimsy.  Upon opening the lid, I was pleased to discover that the material which separates the individual pans, was not plastic… but glued foam.  This meant that I could remove and discard the innards without any fuss at all just by pulling it off carefully.

I’ve also bought some magnetic sheets and will cut them to size next weekend in preparation for phase 2.  If you’re thinking of following along in my quest to transform el-shitty palettes into makeup cases of beauty and wonderment (I’m exaggerating), don’t buy thin magnetic sheets… take it from someone who’s already wasted a fiver.  You need something with more strength – I ended up with 0.9mm sheets which, so far, seem to be heavy duty enough.

I bought my palettes from here, and my sheets from here.

Wanna play palettes?

Stila In the Light Eyeshadow Palette review, swatches and a FOTD!

Posted by Lipglossiping On May - 9 - 2012

All-in-one neutral palettes have never been more popular, they’re a quick solution to the eternal morning dilemma of eyeshadow selection when all you really want is an extra five-minutes in bed.  Stepping firmly on the bandwagon with their latest palette release is U.S. brand, Stila in the form of their In the Light eye shadow palette*.

A cardboard palette, lightweight and without a mirror makes this a slightly more portable (if flimsy) choice than the Urban Decay Naked franchise.  The palette contains 10 pans of colour, both a mix of shimmer and matte shades.  Each pan provides 1.4g of product, around the same quantity per pan as the Urban Decay offering, but two less pans in total.  The stock images that you will see online of the palette don’t reflect the true shades within, both bliss and sunset do not swatch pink as described in the official colours and shown in the stock photo.  All shades can be used both wet and dry.

The ten shades vary in pigmentation and texture, some feel quite soft and creamy whilst others are more firmly-textured and require building up to achieve rich colour.  None feel chalky and they all share excellent blendability.  There are four matte shades in total: Bare, Bliss, Sandstone and Ebony allowing you to create a fully matte look with a range of neutral shades if you so wish.

I like this option a lot… it allows me to create a fully matte eye look as my base before adding in a ‘pop’ of something more shimmery without going into disco territory.

 

The shades are mostly warm-toned with the exception of Night Sky and Luster.  Also included in the palette is a 0.28g black, retractable eye pencil (smudge stick) which provides rich colour with a smudgable but long-lasting formula.

A quick FOTD showing Bare, Bliss and Sandstone with a pop of the inimitable Kitten on the inner corner to brighten the eye area.  Kitten has long been one of Stila’s most cult shades, and I can see why, it’s a very pretty champagne highlight that opens up and lifts the eye area when used as a highlight.

The Stila In the Light eyeshadow palette is available to buy instore at SpaceNK, online at BeautyBay and Escentual.  It’s also available at Stila’s freshly-launched website: stila.co.uk – priced at £25.00

* press sample

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