Friday, 24 April 2015

Addiction Base Makeup Video by Ayako

Addiction Creative Director Ayako demonstrates their Glow Powder Foundation Pure, Porcelain Skin Foundation (cream compact) and Dewy Glow Foundation (liquid) on model/DJ Leigh Lezark. It's nice to finally hear Ayako speak in person. It's puzzling why despite the success of Michelle Phan and Lisa Eldridge in this Youtube age, there are still few makeup brands investing in video tutorials which are immensely more helpful for consumers instead of celebrity models and glossy ad visuals that have been airbrushed to death.

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Paul & Joe Gel Foundation Review and FOTD with Suqqu Blend Color Eyeshadow EX25 Haruhinata

Newly launched this spring, Paul & Joe's new Gel Foundation SPF25 PA++ is described as a unique 'jelly-like' foundation composed of 80% water, that provides maximum moisture and superior coverage for a glowing fresh and flawless finish. Plumped up with marine collagen, it supposedly feels like a cool drink of water for the skin, leaving it looking bright, firm and hydrated. Intrigued by the gel formula, I purchased this from B-Glowing with the help of a 15% discount code. It retails at US$32 for the foundation refill and US$18 for the case.

The pale rose gold metal case embossed with the brand's signature chrysanthemum motif is solidly constructed and but still lightweight enough to be conveniently portable.

The foundation refill comes in a white plastic case and can be easily popped out from the lower plastic layer. It has a rubber rim to help it fit securely into the foundation case. Pressing the refill pan into the case was pretty easy as well, although one has to take care not to touch the surface of the foundation, which has no protective seal. If you are not using the foundation for an extended period of time, it is advised that you keep the foundation in the screw-top plastic case instead.

The inner tray for holding the sponge is a thoughtful hygienic feature but it does not close securely whereas most Korean cushion foundation cases have inner trays/covers that lock in to prevent the loss of moisture.

The foundation has a faint mesh pattern on the surface, so it's easy to tell if it has been used.

The ingredients list reveals a multitude of skin-beneficial ingredients such as camellia sinensis leaf extract, hydrolyzed conchiolin protein, oyster extract, sanguisorba officinalis (burnet) root extract, soluble collagen, tocopherol and zostera marina extract. It does contain methylparaben, fragrance and alcohol but as these are all pretty far down the list, they are in relatively minor quantities.

Of the 5 shades available, I picked #10, which is the lightest shade and suitable for my MAC NC20 skintone. There is indeed a cool, refreshing feeling on the skin when applied, which makes this good for hot summer days. I wasn't too impressed with the finish the first time I tried it, applied with the included sponge over NARS makeup primer, as it showed a tendency towards patchiness. My second try (shown in these pics) was more successful, when I skipped primer and applied this over skin that had only Dr Dennis Gross Ferulic Acid Plus Retinol Brightening Solution on it.

First, below is a pic of my bare skin so you can see the difference with the finished look.

The level of coverage is light to medium, with decent coverage of skin redness and some smoothening out of the pores. The gel formula does not seem to lend itself well to layering, so a light hand is necessary otherwise it tends to look cakey and patchy. I tried to apply this with Becca's The One Perfecting Brush, but the brush could not pick up the foundation well, so I ended up using it to buff the foundation after applying it with the sponge, giving it a more flawless finish. On my combination skin, it requires blotting of the T-zone after about three hours. I did not notice any oxidisation. The soft matte finish does feel lightweight, without looking artificially mask-like. Overall, I don't regret purchasing this but I wouldn't say it's Holy Grail material as it takes some work and experimenting to make this look good.

For this look, I'm wearing Suqqu Blend Color Eyeshadow EX25 Haruhinata, the only limited edition palette out of the three eyeshadow quads released for Spring 2015. All of the four shades apply on the sheer side without any complexity, so it's not terribly exciting. It's fine if you like light, translucent pastels with refined, subtle shimmer and it's easy to see how this would appeal to Japanese ladies who prefer a more understated look, but it's not worth going out of your way to hunt this down simply for the LE or Suqqu factor. You can see swatches on Wondegondigo and Color Me Loud.

Paul & Joe has updated its website with the upcoming Midnight Sangria collection for summer 2015, which is launching in May.

B-Glowing is currently offering this cute kitty tote with any Paul & Joe purchase while has a blue floral pouch with $50 purchase. I love both retailers for their excellent customer service, fast shipping, abundant GWP offers and best of all, no sales tax for Illinois (it's 9% where I live).

Monday, 20 April 2015

Shu Uemura Skin:Fit Cosmetic Water Foundation

Shu Uemura will launch this Skin:Fit Cosmetic Water Foundation SPF30 PA+++ (5200yen, 30ml) on 1 June in Japan. Inspired by Japan's traditional liquid face powders, it is an oil-free, water-based formula designed to provide a longlasting natural bare look. It also contains mint for a refreshing feel. Pics below from Tokila. See more pics from the press preview here.

Sofina Primavista Liquid Foundation UV CM

Here's the TV commercial for Sofina Primavista's new Liquid Foundation UV SPF25 PA++ (3200yen, 30ml), which promises longlasting wear and flawless coverage as well as making skin appear 5 years younger. This has been generating positive reviews on (click here for swatches), with an average rating of 5.5 stars out of 7.

Voce x Kyojin Face Pack

The June 2015 issue of Voce magazine comes with a Kyojin Face Pack, based on the popular manga Shingeki no Kyojin. Formulated with hyaluronic acid and Vitamin C, this is definitely one for scaring the kids/postman/small animals! Voce is also encouraging people to share photos of themselves using this mask on social media as part of a contest.

Three x Gallarda Galante Travel Set

Fashion brand Gallarda Galante will be launching a limited edition Three travel kit (8500yen) at its stores in Japan on 24 April. The kit includes a clutch bag in either brown or beige, one nail polish (red for the kit with the brown bag and mint green for the kit with the beige bag), Scalp & Hair Cleansing Oil AC, Balancing Shampoo, Balancing Conditioner and Full Body Wash AC 48ml.

Friday, 17 April 2015

Benefit Roller Lash Mascara and FOTD with Suqqu Blend Color Eyeshadow 19 Awafujisukashi

This sample size Benefit Roller Lash mascara was a freebie with my recent order. When I first read about Roller Lash and its "hook'n'roll" brush that supposedly catches, lifts and curls the lashes thus doing away with the need for an eyelash curler, I put it down to Benefit's usual over-the-top marketing tactics. While their bestselling They're Real mascara (earlier review here) did work well for me, the claims for Roller Lash seemed too good to be true, especially when it comes to stubbornly straight and weak Asian lashes.

The slightly curved brush has a row of shorter bristles on one side, which is not that revolutionary. The mascara formula strikes a good balance between not being too stiff/gunky and not being too wet/gloopy. After testing this out for a week, I have to say that I'm truly impressed at its lifting power. I've used this several times without curling my lashes in advance, and each time, Roller Lash adds noticeable curl to my lashes and lifts them up from their usual downward pointing position. Both looks below were done without using an eyelash curler.

With its jet black formula, Roller Lash provides good definition, lengthening and volumising effects, although it does start to clump if over-layered. I also liked how easy it was to use on my extremely sparse lower lashes. My lashes stayed curled for the whole day without any flaking or smearing. It was easy to remove with my current Neutrogena eye makeup remover, although there was one incident in which five lashes came off on the cotton pad and caused a minor panic. I haven't noticed any other lash loss since then, so it could just be a one-off thing.

Overall, I'm still sufficiently impressed to consider purchasing this once my sample dries up although I probably will not as I still have a massive stash of mascara samples to work my way through. Like virtually any mascara, this generates a serious division of views as reflected in the MakeupAlley reviews so your mileage may vary (but that is pretty much the case for any cosmetic product).

What I'm much less impressed by are the trio of palettes released by Suqqu for Spring 2015, which I ordered from Selfridges. These looked so beautiful in the pan with glorious shimmer but when applied, the color payoff of some shades is completely sub-par. Take for example, the periwinkle blue in #19 Awafujisukashi which pretty much fades to a muddy, washed out grey, regardless of the base. #18 Sakuraori is the best of the lot but its orange shade can be a tad hard to pull off. EX25 Haruhinata was also disappointing in its sheer level of pigmentation. Both Wondegondigo and Color Me Loud have more positive reviews of the quads, if you're considering them. Sara of Color Me Loud has also posted swatches of the new summer trios on Instagram and they look really promising.

Below is a second look done with Awafujisukashi. For this look, I'm also wearing Ellis Faas Skin Veil S102, which has received rave reviews from some of my favourite bloggers. I received samples of this in four shades with my last B-Glowing order (another e-tailer that I highly recommend). I can see why this is so beloved, as it blends effortlessly, with good coverage and does not show up dry patches or look mask-like.

This is the first FOTD post I've done in over a year, so I hope it's helpful! I would like to resume posting product reviews but can't promise that I can do so with any regularity. We've been in Illinois for about a month now, but we are going home for the summer and then moving to another apartment after we return here. I'm looking forward to finally settling into a more permanent (and nicer) place, and getting all of my stuff out of boxes. Right now, I'm mainly focusing on using up stuff, burning through all my candles (which have gone around the world with me only to end up back in the country that they originated from), taking Lush baths every other day and also trashing all the products that have expired. I should do a no-buy but that never lasts for long.

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Lunasol Sheer Breeze Collection

The Lunasol website has been updated with the Sheer Breeze Collection, due out on 15 May in Japan.

Check out their four makeup and fashion style suggestions here.

Canmake Perfect Multi Eyes and new Cream Cheek

Canmake will launch this Perfect Multi Eyes (780yen) on 7 May in Japan. These can also be used on the brows and as eyeliner.

Another new shade of Canmake's popular Cream Cheek was just released on 10 April. This is #14 Apple Cream Red, described as a red tone akin to baby cheeks. See swatches on Beauty in Translation.

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Suqqu Lustrous Glowing Skin Video Tutorial

Here's a makeup tutorial by Suqqu makeup artist Noriyuki Yanaka on how to create lustrous glowing skin using their new Lighting Liquid under their Frame Fix Liquid Foundation N and finished off with the Glow Loose Powder.

Below are the official visuals of the Eye Color Palettes EX-01 紅掛空(Benikakesora) and EX-02 夜彩空(Yosaizora) to be launched on 2 May in Japan.

On 5 June comes this Base Makeup Kit (8500yen) which includes your choice of any Suqqu foundation, Chiffon Feel Loose Powder (4g), Make Fix Mist R (15ml) and a pouch.

HABA Summer 2015

HABA will launch its summer collection on 29 May in Japan. It includes:

1. Long Fit Powder (Lucent Pink): Contains sebum-absorbing powders (2484yen)

2. Liquid Eyeliner in black: Resistant against sweat, sebum and water but easily removed with warm water. (1404yen)

3. Silky Eye Color: Marshmallow-like cream that transforms into a powder when applied. (2 shades, 1620yen)

4. VC90 White Stick (3456yen, 3.6g)

HABA seems to have filled the preservative-free beauty niche vacated by FANCL in Singapore. Its products are free of parabens, mineral oil, artificial flavours, petrochemical surfactants and chemically synthesized tar colorings.

Friday, 10 April 2015

Coffret D'Or Summer 2015

Coffret D'Or will release its Summer 2015 color makeup collection on 2 June in Japan. It includes four Soft Glamorous Eyes palettes (3500yen) and 8 new shades of Premium Stay Rouge (2500yen). This is the second phase of Coffret D'Or's ongoing rebranding effort, which started in March 2015 with its new base makeup line.

Each palette contains a cream eyeliner shade (marked as "3" in the diagram), which contains black pearl pigments. "1" is the highlight color, "2" is the medium color, "4" is the blending color and "5" is the nuance color.