Friday, September 12, 2014

Suqqu EX-21 Murasakisuishou quad
03 Aoruri trio
01 Momoshuiro Balancing Cheeks

Suqqu is easily one of my Top 3 favorite Japanese cosmetics brands when it comes to point makeup, especially their eyeshadow quads. It's difficult to say what the Western counterpart of Suqqu is, since I feel that this brand is truly in a class of its own. Simple yet elegant in terms of packaging, Suqqu prides itself on sophistication and luxury.

I first heard of Suqqu about two years ago, but since it was such an exclusive line at the time, it fell off the radar until Imomoko started carrying the brand. Price-wise, I would say that as a whole, Suqqu rivals that of By Terry. In fact, when it comes to eye quads alone, it makes the Tom Ford quads seem mid-range, thus explaining my paced additions turned hoarding to my collection.

When I first saw promo images of the autumn/winter collection, I knew the limited edition "quad" in EX-21 Murasakisuishou would be mine. It is just as hot of a commodity as the Tom Ford Nude Dip quad for understandable reasons.

This is essentially an octet, since each pan is divided into two sections. Like all Suqqu shadows, these are softly pigmented and buttery smooth. They also blend easily and last all day on my lids over primer. All eight shades are what I would deem 'adult shimmer' shadows. From the most shimmery-metallic to the shimmer-satin finishes, I can see this palette working across all age groups, although one would need to add a matte transition color to the mix.

One minor drawback to this palette is the two pans with the horizontal division. It is rather difficult to dip a larger and fluffier brush into the individual shades without picking up the adjacent one but still doable with a flat shader. My favorite ways to wear them is to actually layer both shades as Suqqu shadows do so beautifully!

I cannot sing enough praises for this palette. From daytime appropriate looks to the smokiest of smokey eyes, this palette is incredibly versatile. I have seen it being sold anywhere from $94 to $115+ at the moment, but this is a palette that I guarantee you will want to have in your arsenal of palettes.

Suqqu also released trios for the first time along with their a/w 2014 collection. However, they are permanent. Does that make me hold off on purchasing them at a later time? Absolutely not. I had no intention of picking up any of the trios, let alone this palette because let's face it: I can't recall the last time I sported a blue eyeshadow. However, late night (read: 2AM) surfing on Enablergram led me to place an impromptu order, and I am now the owner of 03 Aoruri.

To be honest, I'm on the fence on Aoruri, as I feel that it's not quite up to par as the quads. The top shade is patchy and is somewhat of a glitterbomb. The middle is reflective of the quality and blendability of Suqqu shadows that I've come to love. And the last is just sheer and not as smooth in texture, however, it makes for a great liner since it does give subtle definition when applied across the lash line layered over the middle taupe.

Unlike the quads, I do see slight creasing and even fading with these shadows after I had put them through the sweat test at the gymnasium. I can't say that the other two trios are like this, but I can't say that I will be rushing to pick them up either after seeing the quality of this one. A trio runs anywhere from $63 to $71+ from Ichibankao and Bon Bon Cosmetics, respectively.

Suqqu shadows are not for everyone. If you're expecting Urban Decay in-your-face-pigmentation-in-a-swipe, then these are not for you. If, however, you prefer more subtle, everyday wearable palettes, then you may want to give the Suqqu quads a go. If I were to describe the shadows, I'd say they have the dimension of Dior with the depth of Chanel.

Suqqu Balancing Cheeks in 01 Momoshuiro is my first and certainly not last blush from them (assuming they release more unique color combinations.) Like the eyeshadows, the blushes blend effortlessly and have an incredible staying power when applied. The blush pans are small though, so a smaller cheek brush is necessary here. Or you can use the included brush -- which has to be the softest brush I have ever felt that comes with a cheek product. Think along the lines of Chikuhodo Z-4.

Admittedly, I was attracted to Momoshuiro because it looked similar to two of my Top 3 blushes of all time: MAC Cream Soda (LE) and Giorgio Armani Sheer Blush #10 (discontinued.) Not only would this serve as a back-up for both blushes, but it is super convenient for traveling. See how I justified that? But, I soon discovered that they are completely different. Close, but different.

The left pan is much lighter than Cream Soda. In fact, it barely shows up on my NC25 skin tone. The right pan is more rosy and more mauvey than GA #10. Suqqu's way of utilizing both shades is to first sweep the right shade across the cheeks (and concentrating more towards the back) while applying the left shade strictly on the apples and blending it toward the right shade. I have been wearing Momoshuiro in such a manner. Together, it leaves my cheeks with the perfect healthy glow of peachy-pink.

This was released as part of the Spring 2014 collection but have now joined Suqqu's permanent line. I would recommend this for folks up to medium skin tones, as it won't translate too well on deeper skin tones. A blush ranges anywhere from $84 to $103+, so I can't wholeheartedly place this under the must-have category, but rather in the 'nice-to-have' group.

Have you checked out any Suqqu beauty products? I'd love to know what your favorites are!