Friday, 30 May 2014

Experimenting with Shiseido Luminizing Satin Eye Color Trio - Opera GD804

I've been wanting to purge this eyeshadow trio in the longest time because the colours do not flatter me as much as my other eyeshadows. When I first bought this eyeshadow palette, I applied the colours liberally all over my eyelid and turned to my mum to show her how it looked. I'll never forget her slightly awkward and frozen expression as she looked back at my muddy eyeshadow application. 

Well, for sentimental reasons, I haven't been able to get rid of it. I used to work near the Paris Garnier opera house that inspired the colours in this palette, and owning this palette reminds me of the period of time when I lived in Paris. 


Aren't the colours just perfect? Ok, let's see how they translate onto my skin. This was taken in overcast lighting, hence the darkness of my arm: 

I have the most trouble with the blue and olive shades. Experience informs me that clear colours are most easy to wear on my skin, and that pastels also do not work well on me. 

As with all Shiseido eyeshadows, they are pigmented but not opaque, so the colour of the eyeshadow will change when applied on the eyelids. This is part of the problem, as the powdery sky blue can make my neutral-warm, olive skin look a bit washed out when applied too liberally. 

This is the look I decided to go for in the end: 

Laneige Snow BB, MGPIN cream highlighter, Guerlain Meteorites Teint Rose and Lanolips lip ointment in Sunshine

Main points from this look: 
  • Following a rounded (or 'tulip') eyeshadow placement, I contoured my eyes with the olive shade and avoided applying it to the centre of the eyes. My inner corners do not naturally have very prominent contouring, so instead I focused more of the dark shadow on the outer corners and the crease. 
  • I used some of the gold shade to lightly pat over the centre of the lid and added a concentrated dab in the inner corners. 
  • The light blue was added all across the lower lashline for a brightening effect. I really like how this part turned out! 
Here are some creepy eye close-ups for you:

There was also a failed attempt at layering - I initially applied a layer of Chanel Stylo Eyeshadow in 47 Blue bay on my mobile lid and layered the blue shade over the top. This turned out to be pointless because the layering couldn't be seen at all. The blue eyeshadow grabbed onto Blue bay a little too well. Also, Blue bay did not blend out quickly enough, so its placement was just restricted to my mobile lid. If you squint hard enough, you may be able to see a hint of blue on the mobile lid in the photos, but it's really not very noticeable. 

The eyeshadows look surprisingly neutral on my eyes, and I adore the powdery blue shade too much to let the palette go. But I'm still not entirely convinced that I should keep this. Perhaps the placement is a little too low. Hmmm. What do you think? :)

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Jungsaemmool inspired eyeliner

I'm sure many of you have heard of the Korean celebrity makeup artist, Jungsaemmool. Her technique is wonderfully delicate and nuanced, and she is especially gentle on the skin - think the direct opposite of Mary Greenwell. :) 

Her technique reflects the epitome of current Asian makeup aesthetics, and I appreciate how she can create completely different moods in makeup without reverting to obvious tricks such as bold lipstick colours or strong contouring. I also love her mastery of eyeliner. 

The photo below is actually not the finished look from her tutorial, but I simply had to screenshot the video at this point. Today, I was inspired by the screenshot below (meaning I tried to imitate it and it went wrong, so now my look is loosely inspired by it).

Here is my attempt: 

Apologies for the foundation mismatch :D

Where JSM used a gel eyeliner and square eyeliner brush, I used a scraggly KATE liquid liner and a small oblong sable eyeshadow brush. 

After endless amounts of targeted application, blending (where blending actually resulted in accidentally removing flakes of eyeliner), and re-application, this was the final look:

The right side technically has a gap between the upper and lower lashline, but a flake of eyeliner got in the way! Boo. 

Though JSM leaves an intentional gap between the upper and lower lashline, the gap is still softly shadowed. To imitate this, I tried to blend out the eyeliner and also used the black shade from Shiseido Luminizing Satin Eye Color in OR302 Fire.

I tried to keep the centre of the upper and lower lashline light - only smudging existing eyeliner to faintly connect the darker edges, and drawing small triangles at the upper and lower outer lashlines. 

It was interesting to note that the dark eyeliner triangles end before the lashline, creating a more lifted and angular look. I only managed this on one eye, haha. 

To add dimension and luminosity to the eye, I added the peach shimmery shade from SUQQU Konruri to the lower lashline and the inner half of the upper lid.

SUQQU Konruri peach eyeshadow on the lid

Some tips that worked for me: 
  1. The natural oils on my eyelids provided a great emollient base to take away any eyeliner mistakes during application. By the same logic, I didn't apply any eyeshadow on the lids until after I finished the liner.
  2. I have what people call 'inner corner hooded lids', where my inner corner is much more hooded than the outer corner. It eats up lots of eyeliner, so don't underestimate the amount of inner corner lining that's required.
I hope you liked this recreation! In hindsight, I probably should've used gel eyeliner and applied mascara. Regardless I really like the way this turned out and I'll definitely try variations of it in future.

Here are some of my other favourite tutorials from Jungsaemmool:

Thanks for reading! :) 


Monday, 26 May 2014

Taupey fun: layering Shu Uemura ME856 with KATE Metallic Jewelry Eyes BK-1

Given my recent appreciation of taupes, as well as my current obsession for layering eyeshadows, it won't come as a surprise to you that today I decided to indulge in some taupey layering. 

In my last post, I had mentioned that I was intending to purge my Shu ME856 because it creases on me. Today I decided to give it another go, and as an afterthought, I patted some of this beautiful KATE Metallic Jewelry Eyes in BK-1 over the top. I was somehow hoping that the additional eyeshadow would somehow prevent creasing? Hmm, I shall have to report back. 

Shu Uemura ME856 // KATE Metallic Jewelry Eyes BK-1
The KATE looks surprisingly similar to Chanel's Illusion d'Ombre in this photo, however in reality the two are quite dissimilar. If it weren't for my Mirifique drying out on me, I would have included a comparison photo here. 

Anyway, the KATE doesn't have too strong a colour pigment; its monochromatic, metallic glitters set in a sheer grey base. There are no special flashes of colour, just buildable levels of shine. 

Below are swatches of how the shadows look separately and layered together. I actually used a very light touch to pick up the KATE eyeshadow. It has a cool, wet-but-dry touch to the fingers - sounds strange, but this is the best way I can describe it. 

ME856 has a warm metallic satin sheen on my skin, and when paired together with the cool tones of the KATE, it creates a beautiful neutral shimmer. I love how this turned out! Neither of the shades look that special on their own, but layering the two makes both of them shine (pun not intended but intentionally not edited :P). 

L-R: Shu ME856 // KATE Metallic Jewelry Eyes BK1 // KATE layered over Shu
I'll include a quick FOTD using the eyeshadows today. I am wearing KATE Art Dial mascara and Chanel Espiegle as blush, over Shu Nobara stick foundation in 564 and Guerlain Meteorites Teint Rose.

See why I included swatches? This photo could not do the eyeshadows justice :)

Thanks for reading! I have a feeling the next few looks I create will still involve lots of taupey layering. I am thinking of layering some with the pink and blue shades from SUQQU Mizuaoi. We shall see!

Thursday, 22 May 2014

My taupe collection

While I love bright colours (as evidenced by the new banner photo above ^^ and my previous post), there is always a place in my heart for shimmery taupes. Over the past few years, I've unwittingly built up a small collection of taupes, so this comparison is equally for my benefit as it is for yours!

I forgot to include a picture of Shu Uemura ME856, though I did swatch it later; in truth I don't like it that much anymore. It is pretty, but texturally it does not flatter my eyelids and it also creases much more easily than my other eyeshadows.

Here is my (current) taupe family:

clockwise from top left: Shiseido Alchemy RD709 // SUQQU Konruri // SUQQU Himesango // KATE Deep Trap Eyes BR-1 // Dior Incognito // KATE Deep Shiny Eyes BU-1 // SUQQU Sumiredama

The first two shadows on the left are the taupes from SUQQU Himesango and Konruri respectively. Texturally, they are very similar, however the Himesango taupe is a touch cooler than the one in Konruri, which looks positively bronze on my skin. Also is it just me, or does Himesango also look more red than Konruri? 

I dunno whether it's worth prematurely concluding that one of the two must necessarily be more flattering on my eyes. Both have their roles to play in my stash. :D

Much to my surprise, the Shiseido swatches rose gold on my skin. That explains why it often makes me look a bit swollen and bruisey when I use it as a 'wash' over the eyes. :) I was also taken aback by how soft and shimmery the Sumiredama taupe (furthest right) looks. I normally use it layered with the rest of the Sumiredama eyeshadows, but after seeing how it swatches, I am definitely going to wear it on its own sometime.

L-R: SUQQU Himesango taupe // SUQQU Konruri taupe // Shiseido RD709 // SUQQU Sumiredama taupe

In this next set, the one furthest to the left is Dior Incognito. I don't know if the pictures can adequately showcase the beautiful texture of this eyeshadow; it truly feels buttery to apply and blend. Lisa Eldridge once mentioned that she had had the Dior quint eyeshadows tested in a laboratory and that these shadows owe their texture to how well they stay in their 'fatty lipid' form. Once swatched, this shade is more of a grey on my skin. For a truer taupe, I like to blend it with the bronze-brown in the same Incognito palette. 

The three shades on the right are all from the now discontinued quint, KATE Deep Trap Eyes in BR1 (minus the highlight and liner colours). Upon closer inspection, none of these read as taupe on my skin, save for perhaps the darkest one, which is a cool brown with a flash of grey. The lid colour leans red again (meh), while the glittery highlight shade has a beautiful icy greyish-mauve tone. They did look more taupe in the pan, right?!

L-R: grey-taupe from Dior Incognito // three shades from KATE Deep Trap eyes (crease, lid and glitter shades)
Finally, I swatched Shu Uemura ME856 against the two taupes from the KATE trio in BU1.

ME856 (left) really does not appeal to me anymore; in terms of colour/texture/complexity, I find it rather bland. Its metallic sheen is not so flattering on my eyelids when used as a wash, plus it is ever so slightly red-toned, so I will have to purge it. My colouring makes it trickier to wear red, murky tones, and I prefer to avoid them where possible and stick to clear/neutral colours.

L-R: Shu ME856 (added as an afterthought) // darkest shade from KATE Deep Shiny Eyes BU-1 // lightest shade from KATE Deep Shiny Eyes BU-1

The two on the right are from KATE Deep Shiny Eyes trio in BU-1. These, along with KATE Deep Trap Eyes, are some of my favourite Asian drugstore eyeshadows. They are also sadly discontinued, though I think they're still available online in some places. 

The lightest shade (right) appears clearer (and less red - yay!) than all the other taupes in my collection, and for that reason I love it. It reminds me a little of Chanel Moon River, though it's much less shimmery. When I use all three shades in Deep Shiny Eyes BU-1, it gives me the epitome of neutral, subtly sparkly OL makeup. 

So, conclusions? 

My favourite shades are probably the SUQQU Sumiredama, Dior Incognito and the lightest from KATE Deep Shiny Eyes BU-1. These are all clear and neutral enough for me to wear all over the lid without a problem. The others would need a more restricted placement, and while it's definitely not a bad thing, it does make them a bit more finicky to work with. The comparatively less complex KATE Deep Trap Eye taupes are not standouts on their own, but I like them when layered together, especially with the glitter shade over the centre of the lid. 

What do you think, could I do better, in terms of texture/colour/anything else? Am I crazy for purging Shu ME856? :D

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Holiday makeup: swatches, FOTDs and Austria pictures

Hi everyone! I've just come back from a week-long trip to Austria with my family. We spent two days in Vienna, then two days in Salzburg (where we also went across the German border into Bavaria), finally returning to spend our last four days in Vienna. It was glorious. We ate lots of 'wiener wursts' (snicker), I tried local beer and actually liked it, and my rusty German didn't get us lost even once during our trip. I consider that a win!

I didn't actually haul anything makeup-related, but I thought I'd share some photos of what I brought and wore on my trip.

my holiday makeup :)
I had such a great time in Austria. I'll share a couple of photos here, more at the end of the post. 

Schonbrunn Palace, Vienna
Leopoldskron Palace, Salzburg, where the boating scene from The Sound of Music was filmed

In my opinion, one of the most exciting parts of going on holiday is actually packing for it. Want to know my shameful secret? First and foremost, I strategise and agonise over what makeup to pack. Once that's done, the rest of the packing takes no time at all. My boyfriend once asked me if I had packed for a trip, and I replied sheepishly/optimistically, "Erm, I packed my makeup...?"

In the past month or two, I've managed to step out from my comfort zone of cool-to-warm pink blush tones into achingly bright and subtle shimmery shades. \o/ Just looking at this picture makes me happy.

L-R: SUQQU Gradation Cheeks EX-02 Mizumomo, Chanel Le Blush Crème de Chanel in Chamade, Chanel Joues Contraste in Espiègle
L-R: Chanel Chamade swatched, blended out // SUQQU Mizumomo separately, layered // Chanel Espiègle
For eye makeup, I wanted to strike a balance between simplicity, complexity and ease of application. Why? Because I is lazy, but want to play with colour at the same time. :D

I chose the Maybelline Color Tattoo in Bad to the Bronze as a base, because it imparts the perfect MLBB tone on my lids. The metallic sheen is flattering on my eyelids and it blends wonderfully with fingers.

To make room for creative eyeshadow combinations, I brought all three of my Shu Uemura glitter topcoats with me for layering on top of the Maybelline. Shu ME 575 (right) was only included because I didn't want the palette to look empty, but it actually ended up being pretty useful and worked as a nice accent on the lower lashline.

G White Rainbow // G Blue 646 // G Orange 251 // ME 575

Here are some better photos of the glitter eyeshadows on their own. More (and much better) swatches can be found on Kate the Enabler's blog here:

Shu Uemura glitter topcoats layered over Maybelline Bad to the Bronze:

During my trip, I found myself only layering G Orange 251 or G White Rainbow over the Maybelline. The others looked a tad murky, so instead I used the blue one over copious amounts of G White Rainbow. The murkiness of the ME 575 layered over BTTB worked perfectly when used to add depth in my outer 'v' since it still provided interest but didn't add any unnecessary shimmer. 

Okay, now time for lipsticks! 

L-R: Missha Signature Glam Art Rouge in SPK102, Chanel Rouge Allure Luminous Intense in Pirate, Dior Fluid Sticks in 551 Aventure

I am so sorry that these are not in the right order! >.<

As you can see, they are all very different in terms of texture, colour and pigmentation. The Missha is the least pigmented, and has more of a balmy texture with medium-low buildable pigmentation. Chanel Pirate is much more intense with a single swipe, and has a satiny finish which looks luminous and glowy on my lips, especially when first applied. It does dry down into a matte finish after a couple of hours. Aventure is the warmest lipstick in my collection. I love playing with the opacity of this lipstick - when applied sheerly, it takes on a beautiful orangey-pink tone. When applied liberally, it takes on a warmer, more orange tone as seen in the swatch below.

L-R: Dior Aventure, Chanel Pirate and Missha SPK102
Here are some photos of the makeup I wore my trip. They're not the best lighting as they're from my iPad. I pretty much overslept every morning, my apologies for the lack of eyeshadow close-ups! They wouldn't have looked good anyway, as my current KATE Art Dial mascara leaves horrible wet mascara marks on my eyelids every time I apply it. I can't wait to finish it up and go back to my HG L'Oreal Telescopic again.

1) I love how Aventure looks in this photo. I find it looks the most flattering when I apply it sheerly. When it's applied over my natural lip colour, it looks decently pigmented and almost jelly-like and translucent at the same time. LOVE.

Maybelline Bad to the Bronze with Shu ME lined on the lower lashline, Chanel Chamade and Dior Fluid Stick Aventure 551

2) For this FOTD, I layered the blue and white Shu topcoats together and applied mascara for more emphasis on the eyes and lashes.

Somehow I couldn't resist going back to add lipstick to this look and ended up applying the Missha SPK102 lipstick before I left the house. I didn't take pictures of the look with the Missha since I was already running late, but you can see it in action in the next photo.

Shu Uemura G White Rainbow mixed with G Blue 646 and Chanel Espiègle
3) This is Missha Signature Glam Art Rouge SPK102 on my lips. See what I mean about buildable colour? It doesn't feel sticky at all. 
SUQQU Mizumomo, Missha SPK102, Shu Uemura G White Rainbow
4) This last one is perhaps one of my favourites from the trip. The red is so brightening and flattering on my colouring. I wanted this ever since I saw it on the beautiful Anne from Rushing Glam. Perhaps it's the lighting but the lipstick seems to look pinker on me? Hmmm. Nevertheless, I quite like it.

SUQQU Mizumomo, Chanel Pirate and Maybelline BTTB & Shu Uemura G White Rainbow

Bonus holiday pictures:

The Salzach river
inside the Vienna State Opera
Belvedere Palace

Schonbrunn Palace

Unsurprisingly, I ate way, way too much meat during this trip. So much so that I bloated up like a pufferfish and had to resort to a sloppy version of a gankin massage to drain out toxins in my face. I dunno whether my meat-eating escapades contributed to the lovely spots around my chin, but you can see them in the pictures above, hehe. It's all worth it though. For SCIENCE! And posterity.

Amazing ribs: 3 flavour combination & a house special flavour
Apfelstrudel <3

a Sichuan restaurant in Vienna by the old Danube river

If you've made it to the end, I'm hugely impressed. Thanks for looking! :)