Saturday, May 30, 2009

Inspiration - Amuro Namie

Amuro Namie is undoubtedly one of sexiest pop stars in the Japanese entertainment industry. I love her MV for "Do Me More" (although it sounds sketchy), including her two makeup looks and outfits. Unfortunately, I couldn't get a high resolution screenshot of her makeup from "Do Me More", but the makeup on her in the following picture is also stunning. I just love how her makeup here looks sexy but with a hint of innocence. I wish I could get lavender eyeshadow to show up sheer but pigmented on my lids like in the picture.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Inspiration - Sawajiri Erika

Despite her attitude problems, I still admire Sawajiri Erika as a cosmetics spokesmodel even if only for her looks =P However, unlike Shibasaki Kou, her Coffret D'or looks could be hits or misses. I've definitely seen really weird makeup (and expressions) on her as a model for Coffret D'or. However, the following picture shows a look that I really like on her.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Inspiration - Shibasaki Kou

My favorite spokesmodel for Coffret D'or has to be Shibasaki Kou. There is rarely a makeup look that I don't like on her, and I became interested in the Coffret D'or line after I saw this picture of Shibasaki at a department store in Asia. I even wanted to buy this palette (3D Lighting in 03 Silver Variation) because of how good it looked on Shibasaki. However, in the end, I restrained myself since I have similar eyeshadow colors already, and I'm actually not that into the color combination of this palette.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Inspiration - Faye from FIR

Just before I move on to the Coffret D'or models, I want to mention that I really love Faye's makeup looks. My favorite so far is actually her look in the FIR MV for Crescent Moon Bay, but I couldn't find a good resolution picture for it. Nonetheless, the following picture of her is also beautiful, though she does look like she's blanking out or something. A commonality among all of Faye's looks is that I can't pull them off =P Faye's features are much more deepset and Caucasian-looking than mine, so I would never be able to wear this red eyeshadow look or her multicolor peacock look in the Crescent Moon Bay MV. Sad >.<

Monday, May 18, 2009

Inspiration - Ito Misaki

Although Ito Misaki was also a Maquillage spokesmodel, a look that I really liked on her is actually from a picture I found online of her 2008 calendar. This is the typical brown smoky eyes that I like to do on myself since browns work the best with my skin. And here, Ito Misaki is just smoldering with her smoky eyes and nude lips ^^

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Comparison Swatches - Greens and Blues

Admittedly, I'm not a big greens and blues person when it comes to eyeshadows, so my collection here is very small.

Let's start with the greens:

I think Shiseido's Green Exotique looks more vibrant in real life, I just had a hard time capturing it's brightness. The Shu Mika Rose color 7 and the L'Oreal HiP Gunmetal color 1 are very similar olive greens. The only difference is that Shu's olive green is more gold, whereas the Gunmetal olive green is more gray/black. Also, even though Gunmetal color 2 looks pretty black on my arm, it usually looks a little more forest green when applied on my lids because of the shimmer.

And these are the blues:

Shiseido's Aqua Shimmer looks pretty similar to L'Oreal HiP Magnetic color 1, except the prior slightly flashes green and the latter appears more silvery. Again, the color 2 for L'Oreal HiP Magnetic looks black, but is actually more navy on my lids.

For reference, all pictures were taken under natural light. All of the Shiseido swatches are of Hydro-Powder Cream Eye Shadows. The MJ swatch is from a Trick On Majolook and the Lavshuca swatches are from Eye Color Select quads. The Shu Uemura swatches are from the LE Holiday 2008 Secret Luscious Rose palette. Finally, the L'Oreal HiP swatches are from Metallic Shadow Duos.

Inspiration - Ueno Juri

The last of my favorite Shiseido makeup looks is the Maquillage spring 2009 look for Ueno Juri. Too bad the palette doesn't look like that on me =P

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Comparison Swatches - Grays, Silvers, and Blacks

I never realized how many beige/brown eyeshadows I have until I started doing these comparison swatches. Compared to the five pictures I took for the browns, there are only two pictures for the grays/blacks. Of course, I included the taupes with the browns so that made a difference, but even then, I still have twice as many brown shadows as blacks.

Here are the highlighting/base shades:

Most of the colors except for the L'Oreal HiP shade look very similar. In fact, most of them are the same except for the texture. Shiseido Whitelights and Coffret D'or's color D are more sparkly, MJ's color A is more shimmery, and Coffret D'or's color A and L'Oreal's color 1 are more pearl/satin. The only shade that has a slightly different color is Kate BR-1 color A, which is slightly more beige and pink. So even though this color looked white when swatched with the real beiges (see swatch post for beiges, golds, and browns), it still belongs to the beige family.

Here are the shading or liner colors:

I remarked in the review for L'Oreal Sterling color 2 that this color is slightly blue-toned, which is why it's hard for me to pull it off. Here, you can see how it looks bluish when compared to the other grays.

For reference, all pictures were taken under natural light. The Shiseido swatch is for a hydro-powder cream shadow shade. The Coffret D'or swatches are from a Trance Deep Eyes palette. The Kate swatches are all from Deep Trap Eyes quints, the Lavshuca swatch is from a Eye Color Select quad, and the MJ swatch is from a Trick On Majolook. The L'Oreal swatches are from a Wear Infinite Duo and the L'Oreal HiP swatches are from a Metallic Shadow Duo.

Inspiration - Anna Tsuchiya

I love the spring 2009 look Maquillage created for new spokesmodel Anna Tsuchiya. This is another look I have a hard time pulling off since blues and greens just don't work well with my complexion when they are applied over such a large area (versus just in the crease or as a liner). Unfortunately, I'm afraid that the perfection of this look might be due to advance air brushing techniques since I saw a short video of Anna Tsuchiya at a Maquillage press conference and her real complexion doesn't seem to work well with this palette. She is actually darker and looks a lot older than she does here. I was surprised since even though she's in her mid-20s, she looked so much older than Ebihara Yuri (another Maquillage spokesmodel) who is in her late-20s.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Comparison Swatches - Beiges, Golds, and Browns

To honor my collection of makeup, I decided to do some comparison swatches. However, since just swatching the brown-ish neutrals took some time, I also decided that I should stop for now and finish the rest some other time =P

Let's start with the bases and the highlighters:

You can see how the L'Oreal single eyeshadow becomes really dull when placed next to the shimmery Japanese eyeshadows =P Even though Kate BR-1's color E looks rather taupey in the photo, it actually pink-ish in real life when swatched next to these colors. If there is any confusion as to which product each label refers to, please read the paragraph at the end of the post for an explanation of the labels.

Here is the swatch of the taupey shades:

This is the swatch of the warmer brown shading colors:

And finally, the liner color swatch:

It's amazing what difference it makes to do a comparison swatch versus just one for each palette. I could've sworn when I swatched color D of Kate's BR-1 with the rest of BR-1's colors that it was straight up brown. But here, it almost looks like black with a hint of maroon. Also, although color C of MJ's BR742 looks almost gray-ish in the swatch, it is definitely just a very cool-toned brown. Color 2 of L'Oreal HiP's Gilded is the only color here that has a straight up black base. In addition, in terms of the texture of the shadows, Kate's liner color was the one that swatched the smoothest and appeared darkest upon first swipe, a nod to its very high pigmentation. L'Oreal HiP's Gilded refused to be cooperative here and was very gritty when swatched, which is why it looks so uneven.

For reference, all of the pictures were taken under natural light. All of the Kate swatches are from Deep Trap Eyes quints, all of the Lavshuca swatches are from Eye Color Select quads, and all of the MJ Majolook swatches are from Trick On Majolooks. Those MJ swatches labeled as "single" are from the Shadow Customize singles (Note: 16 is discontinued). The Shu Uemura swatches are from the LE Holiday 2008 Secret Luscious Rose palette (I wrote Mika Rose since it's the Rose palette from the Ninagawa Mika collection). The shades are numbered from the left (i.e., the first shade from the left is Color 1, and so on). The Dior swatch is from a 5-Couleur Iridescent quint. The Shiseido swatch is of one of the Hydro-Powder Eyeshadows, and it is also the ONLY cream eyeshadow in the swatches. The L'Oreal HiP swatches are of Metallic Shadow Duos, and I've named the lighter color as 1 and the darker color as 2.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

EOTD - Maquillage Eyes Creator (3D) VI367

Maquillage Eyes Creator (3D) VI367

(A) White line
(B) Purple line
(C) Brown line
(D) Lavender line
(E) Black line

1) Apply A with light patting motions all over lid, including brow bones
2) Apply B in the crease
3) Apply C to the lower half of the crease and to either end of the top lid, leaving a gap in the middle over the center of your eye
4) Pat D onto the center of the eye where the gap was left in step 3 and blend the color out so there are no obvious color blocks
5) Line the top lashline and the outer 2/3 of the lower lashline with E, extending the line out a little beyond the outer corner of the top lashline
5) Apply B to the inner 1/3 of the lower lashline
6) Apply C to the outer 2/3 of the lower lashline, overlapping slightly with B
7) Curl lashes

You can see from the pictures that this eye look is extremely light. Despite everything that I've done outlined in the above directions, it appears like I haven't applied much on my eye. You can also see how the gel/cream liner doesn't really show up well with the brush included. I had to apply 3-4 layers to get the color to look dark on my top lashline, and since I only applied 1 layer of the liner on my bottom lashline, you can't really see it in the pictures. This palette is great for work as well as going out during the day if you don't like to look too makeupy. However for an office look, I would suggest that you only apply the white cream base in the crease (as opposed to over the entire lid) since it is very obviously sparkly.

The pictures in this post were taken under natural light.


Please read the review here.

Friday, May 8, 2009

EOTD - Kate Deep Trap Eyes BR-1

Kate Deep Trap Eyes BR-1

(A) White line
(B) Reddish brown line
(C) Brown line
(D) Black line
(E) Yellow line

1) Use D to line the upper lashline
2) Apply C in the bottom half of the crease, smudging out D a little
3) Apply B in the crease above C, overlapping slightly with C
4) Apply A on the top lid above the crease and on the browbone, overlapping slightly with B
5) Pat E gently on to the center of the top lid
6) Apply E in the inner corner of the lower lashline
7) Apply A slightly below E on the lower lashline, extending to cover the inner 1/3 of the lower lashline
8) Apply D to the outer corner of the lower lashline
9) Apply C slightly below D on the lower lashline, extending to cover the outer 2/3 of the lower lashline
10) Fill in the triangle at the outer corner of the lower lashline with B
11) Curl lashes

This is a very simple gradated neutral look. Very office appropriate, but this palette can also be easily upgraded to a smoky eye look for the night with some black liner and more shimmer. As usual, all pictures were taken under sunlight.


Please read the review here.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Finally! Maquillage Eyes Creator (3D) VI367

I've been eyeing this quint since it was released late last year in Asia, and after months of mental debate, I've finally decided to squander my savings on it =P It didn't help that this palette looked so great on Ueno Juri, who was the spokesmodel for this particular color in Maquillage's (MQ) 2009 spring lineup.

Let's start with the packaging. I'm pretty happy with its appearance, which is very simple and classy. However, the size of the palette is huge, especially compared to my thin Shu Uemura Secret Luscious Rose palette which actually contains three more eyeshadows than this palette. To give you an idea, this quint is probably about twice the size of my Kate, Lavshuca, and MJ palettes, and it's not because the eyeshadows in the MQ palette are bigger. From looking at the quint, it seems that a lot of space is taken up by the pans that hold each eyeshadow in the palette. Because the line was designed to allow the eyeshadows in the palette to be interchanged with other individually sold eyeshadows, the makers probably had to design a thicker edge for the eyeshadow pans for durability and a slightly wider gap between the pans so they could be taken out easily. Overall, the size is not a big factor in my opinion since I don't bring my eyeshadow palettes with me for touch ups, but if you do, then that's definitely something to consider before purchasing.

One of the little details I like about this palette is how the plastic sheet that separates the mirror from the eyeshadows cling to the mirror when I open up the palette. This way, I don't have to remove the plastic sheet before I start applying the eyeshadows, though this design detail may be a nuisance to people who use the mirror in the palette. Another great thing about the plastic sheet is that it tells you which applicator to use with which eyeshadow/liner so that you won't get confused by the multitude of shadows and applicators.

The applicators themselves are also pretty good. The sponge tips and brushes are all soft and most everything work really well. The applicator for the cream base is especially notable since its texture is a little different from normal sponge tip applicators. With this texture, the cream base is able to spread easily on my skin without the bulk of the base clinging to the applicator itself, which is what usually happens if you try to apply a cream eyeshadow with a sponge tip applicator. I consider this applicator the highlight of the palette ^^ On the other hand, although I was at first amazed by the very fine line the liner brush is able to draw, it actually doesn't work well in real life. The line that it draws is too fine and the hairs are too soft so that it has a hard time picking up enough color and creating a noticeable line. To produce a dark-enough line, you have to be really violent, meaning you must stab at the liner shade with the brush to pick up enough product.

Now on to the actual shadows/liners themselves. The textures of the shadows all differ a little so I will talk in more detail about the texture when I describe the colors. Just in general, though, the powder of the shadows are very fine and blendable, and the cream base and liner both spread easily. The lasting power of the powder shadows are fine if applied solely over UDPP. However, if I use the cream base over UDPP before applying the eyeshadows , the shadows crease within a 3-4 hours.

The five colors included in this palette are a cream base with large silvery white sparkles (A), a matte pale lilac with some medium-sized gold sparkles (B), a purple-toned shimmery medium brown with some medium-sized iridescent sparkles (C), a white highlight with pale lavender shimmer (D), and a dark eggplant liner with purple shimmer (E). The color payoff are all medium to low, and any color you see for A is due to the sparkles in the cream, not the actual color of the cream. The most opaque shade is, not surprisingly, the liner, followed by C and D, then B, and finally the very transparent A.

As you can deduce from the descriptions, all of the colors are shimmery/sparkly to some extent, and each has a slightly different combination of shimmers and sparkles. However, the topmost layer of each product looks more shimmery/sparkly than the product actually is due to a layer of sparkle/shimmer overlay. This fact is especially apparent with E since I couldn't pick up any color in the liner until I dug past the very top layer of shimmer. Although I am a big fan of shimmery/sparkly eyeshadows, I dislike how the sparkles from color A tend to fall all over my face when I'm applying the eyeshadows. I have encountered a similar problem with Lavshuca's Eye Color Select, but because the sparkle shade is applied on top of everything else, I can make sure to pat gently to reduce the amount of fallout and not touch my eyes after I've applied the sparkle shade. However, the fallout is unavoidable with the cream shade here since it's applied below everything else.

The overall look of this palette is feminine with some understated elegance. Comparing all of my lilac-toned palettes, I would describe MQ's VI367 as spring, Coffret D'or's Trance Deep Eyes 04 as summer, and Lavshuca's Eye Color Select PU-2 as autumn. I've included here the directions for using the palette that's on the back of the box. Even though everything is Japanese, you can still refer to the diagrams on the left, as they are pretty clear even without explanations in text. Please excuse my reflection in the picture; there wasn't an angle where I could take a clear picture of the directions without the box reflecting me.

All pictures in this post were taken under natural light.

In short: I like this palette, though it is behind Coffret D'or, MJ, and Kate in terms of how much I like it. For one thing, people who are looking for high color payoff, matte to low shimmer shadows, and/or portability in their palettes should definitely stay away. If you are looking for a Japanese departments store lilac palette, I would suggest getting Coffret D'or's Trance Deep Eyes 04 Grey Variation because of its better color payoff, no sparkle fallout, and cheaper price.

Kate Deep Trap Eyes BR-1

Originally I was thinking of buying a Glam Trick quint for my second Kate purchase, but since the texture of the Glam Trick line is more glittery and party appropriate, it is not something that I need right now. I decided to buy another color of Kate's Deep Trap Eyes due to my great experience with GY-1 and the more understated satin texture of this line that is versatile and works well for the office. Because GY-1 is a cool-toned neutral palette, I decided to get a warm-toned palette for contrast. Here is my new Kate (right) with my old Kate...

The texture and lasting power of BR-1 is the same as GY-1, which I've already written a review on, so I won't discuss that here. Please refer back to my other review to read about those characteristics if interested (link at the end of the post).

The colors in this quint are an off-white (A), a warm medium brown (B), a neutral medium brown (C), a dark brown (D), and a silvery taupe (E). All of the colors are shimmery, the most shimmery being E, followed by A, then B and C, and finally D (basically in the order the colors were swatched). The finished look of this palette is very natural but pulled-together. If I have to describe my small collection of BR palettes with one word each, Kate would be natural, MJ BR751 would be lively, and MJ BR742 would be mischievous. So although this purchase brings my collection of Japanese BR palettes to three, the color combinations of these brown palettes are all different and there is little to no overlap in the individual colors, either.

All of the photos in this post were taken under natural light.

In short: A basic neutral quad with no surprises, pleasant or unpleasant.


Please click here to read the review on Kate Deep Trap Eyes GY-1.

Friday, May 1, 2009

All That Shimmer

I had some time today so I took flash pictures of my palette collection to show you the shimmery-ness of these babies. As such, this will predominantly be a picture post with very little text. Please refer back to my reviews to read more about each of these palettes.

MJ Trick On Majolooks BR742 + BR751

Kate Deep Trap Eyes GY-1

Lavshuca Eye Color Select PK-1 + BU-1 + PU-2

Coffret D'or Trance Deep Eyes 04 Grey Variation

Shu Uemura Winter 2008 LE Palette (Ninagawa Mika Collection) Secret Luscious Rose


As a preview, here are some flash pictures of my small birthday haul...

Kate Deep Trap Eyes BR-1

Maquillage Eyes Creator (3D) VI367

Can't wait to try these!