Bourjois

Happy New Year + Favourites of 2016

Happy new year everyone! 2016 just flew by didn’t it? 2017 will be about ‘Change’ for me. There’s the obvious big move coming, with it means new job, home and everything else. Am excited and anxious at the same time ;^__^

Beauty and makeup-wise I see a definite swing back into a focus on skincare. The makeup releases in 2016 didn’t really excite me much, even Suqqu failed to perk my interest. I *will* however, have better access to Japanese and Korean skincare/makeup with my move, so who knows what will happen in 2017. I do hope to get more pans in 2017 but failing that I hope to reduce my stash. I’ve also realized I buy a lot of lipsticks but I really don’t wear them much. Hopefully with the blog sale I’ll be able to downsize the stash.

Looking back I don’t really have a lot of new favourites in 2016. None of them are LE items (apart from the Lighting liquid). These are things that work for me and that I’ve reached for consistently this year:

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Suqqu Lighting Liquid
This is the best liquid highlight I’ve ever used. I believe Suqqu released a pinker version of this sometime last year so perhaps they might do it again in 2017. This was also in my favourites of 2015 post. (more…)

Favourites of 2015

I debated whether to make this post because it risks being irrelevant. Posting was also delayed because I was on holidays and couldn’t take pictures of the items mentioned. But I’m going ahead anyway, because while some specific products were LE it’s a general indication of the relevant brand’s quality etc. So hopefully it’s still useful 🙂

Suqqu
I think this is my favourite/kryptonite high-end eye shadow brand. I bought 2 LE palettes in 2015 (summer and holiday) and the summer one especially is easily a HG palette. That’s a no-brainer fave in 2015.

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Holiday on the left, summer on the right

I wrote briefly about their Spring collection here.
They of course, also sell the most coveted cheek brush… perhaps one day.
I’ve only tried a few skincare items (from GWP and sets) like the face wash, lotion, SPF and enjoyed using every single one of them. I’m not sure, however, if they’re worth the high price tag for the moment.

There’s also this beauty:

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Lighting Liquid

The most amazing liquid highlighter. Words fail to describe how beautiful this is. It can be a really natural and subtle glow that makes itself visible only when the light hits, or as glowy as you wish for a look with more drama, highlight & contour. It is of course also very versatile, mixing it in with foundations and so on. This was a LE summer release IIRC, if they do release it again don’t hesitate!

[21 Jan: I just checked on selfridges.com and both of these palettes are still available when they were previously sold out. So who knows?]

KIKO

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from KIKO website, the full range of the On-the-Go Minis

From favourite high-end to favourite bargain brand. KIKO consistently amazes me with their quality. My favourite purchases from them this year were their on-the-go minis range. The made myself choose only one Colour Veil blush and decided on 06 Mauve, which a quick search on google tells me is very similar to MAC’s Warm Soul. It’s not mauve at all, more like a bronzey rose. It’s smooth and blends beautifully.My picture kind of makes it look coral-ish but it’s not. (more…)

On the Radar

These are some of the products I’m looking forward to checking out in 2016! A lot of them are spanking new Spring collections but there are some permanent items tucked in here as well. I guess I could have named this post my lemmings 🙂

NARS Spring Collection – Hammamet duo

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from NARS website

This duo reminds me of the St Paul de Vence last Spring. I’m curious as to how the bronze rose translates onto the eyes. I probably won’t buy it because of …..

Suqqu Spring

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Suqqu Spring campaign image

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LE palette model above is using

As mentioned before I’m a little obsessed with Suqqu shadows at the moment. Controllable obsession though, since the closest Suqqu counter is over the pond … or a click away on selfridges. 😛 The Spring collection “Tokyo Spring Colours” has me intrigued. I’m not sure what I’ll buy but swatches have started trickling in and they’re not helping my wallet.

The pictured quad is EX28 Kinshasuna which is so ethereal and luminous. The other quad 22 Kikyoutsubomi is a permanent item. But I’ll probably end up getting the trio EX 06 Hanamizuki (and EX28???)

Chicca Mesmeric lipstick
This is something I hope to try this year. I’ve read many wonderful things about it. It’s supposed to be very moisturizing and forgiving on the lips. It’s designed to be sheer though, so that your natural colour comes through and make the lipstick your own.
Chicca is a brand targeted at the older age group. I feel that it’s like Aerin. It’s not Suqqu level luxe but it’s still luxe. Obviously prices varies within a brand depending on the particular formula, but just to give you a general idea: The Mesmeric lipstick is 4100 yen. A lipstick from Suqqu is 5400 yen, and one from Lunasol is 3240 yen. Chanel is 4104 yen (all prices with tax included). This link will take you to the official site and page, you can see there are 3 new shades coming in January!
Another item I hope to try from them is their blush.

Bourjois Rouge Edition Souffle de Velvet
New liquid matte lipstick from Bourjois! This is so exciting and I can’t wait to test them out. Bourjois posted swatches of these on their instagram account so go check those out if you’re interested!

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taken from Bourjois instagram

Tom Ford Spring
I haven’t yet purchased any Cream Color for Eyes and this Spring seems to be a good time as the brand is re-releasing some older shades (platinum/spice from what I can see) and some new ones. They will be permanent apparently! There’s also a new quad called Honeymoon that looks promising. I just found swatches here on this site.
The packaging for the Patent Finish Color looks suspiciously like the ones from ellis faas. I didn’t enjoy using them at all despite loving the colour so I’m not sure if it’s going to be the same deal with the TF ones. In anycase it’s not a product I’m interested in.

Dior Spring
I actually quite like the look of the quad Rose Garden #451
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They also have duo pencil with shadow on one end and a liner on the other. I’m sure something like this exists already but I can’t think of anything off the top of my head. It’s a good idea though!

RMK Spring
I’ve got my eyes on the Ingenious Powder Cheek blushes in Hot Red and Hot Pink:
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Addiction blushes
Hard-to-get items. While I’m at it the eye shadows are worthy of a gander as well. Here’s the official site.

Summer Loves

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I reached a lot for these products this summer, and without intending to a lot of them happens to be 2015 releases. However only a couple of them (if that) are limited releases so you shouldn’t have much trouble hunting them down.

Starting with the Suqqu trio in Yosaizora (夜彩空) EX02, one of two limited edition palettes Suqqu released for summer.  Here’s an official image of both palettes:suqqu2015summer-off

Yasaizora is more my style and is easier to wear and more flattering on me. Benikakesora looks really pretty but it would require more thought/work to coordinate a look that might be a bit too feminine for my comfort. And oddly enough I can find closer dupes to Benikakesora with the stash at home than Yosaizora. If you can find Yosaizora at a reasonable price, go for it! The quality is there. I have read comments on pigmentation (not as good as the quads/harder, drier/not impressive etc) and find them not to be true.

I also reasoned if I’m spending that much money on a palette I should get one I know I would get more use out of. Even if it’s always tempting to get the more unique one!

Guerlain Terracotta Sun Sun Protection Compact is a cream foundation that dries to a matte powder finish on the skin. This is also a limited edition product but it can still be found easily as of writing. The main reason I reached for this during summer is to make my foundation work, or have my face match the neck. The finish is natural and it never looked orange-y. You don’t need to get this particular compact to achieve the same results, any ol’ bronzer will do. I bought this mostly because I wanted a bronzer/foundation in a cream formula.

About the packaging, the pearlish white compact is a nice change from the usual black while still looking classy. It’s also got a big mirror and I (more…)

MAC Viva Glam Miley Cyrus

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pic from MAC website

Never thought I’d pick this up because
1. Really not a fan of the spokesperson
2. It’s not really my kind of colour

Yet I still picked it up because
1. Admitted spokesperson has nothing to do with the product
2. I’m trying to broaden my lip colour palette
3. It’s for a good cause
4. I missed out the Viva Glam Cyndi and I ended up buying one on evilbay only to find out that it’s a fake. Don’t want that to happen again

MAC’s Viva Glam Miley Cyrus (henceforth referred to as VGMC) is an Amplified lipstick. I’m not well-versed in MAC’s formula and don’t think I have tried an Amplified before. In any case it is pigmented and creamy, comfortable to wear. The shade is a bright fuchsia (or hot pink, as it’s described on the site) that’s surprisingly easy to wear. I think no matter what skin tone, almost everybody can pull this shade off. If you’re like me and have always wanted to wear a bright fun lip, this is a good choice. When in doubt you can always blot to tone it down before you’re 100% comfortable.

I pulled the only other ‘crazy’ bright lippies I have at home to compare:

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Bourjois Fuschia Graffiti, MAC Viva Glam Miley Cyrus, NARS Jardin des Plantes

As you can see they look nothing alike. VGMC is blue-based but it looks downright warm when swatched alongside the Bourjois:

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The two thinner lines are NARS; Top thick line is Bourjois, then MAC

Bourjois ‘Fuchsia Graffiti’ (again, the first of the thick lines) is very bright and very blue. I’m still unsure of this one. There seems to be too much contrast once it’s on my lips, risks making me look sallow. Now that I have VGMC I think I’ll reach for that before I go with ‘Fuchsia Graffiti’. The Rouge Velvet formula is beautiful though!

NARS Jardin des Plantes is the darkest of the three. Funny how the two strokes look so different in the photo because of lighting/shadow. The first/top stroke is closest to how it looks in real life. On the lips it give a almost frosty looking finish. It feels lighter and less creamy than the other two formula, but not at all drying. It’s very pigmented and soft – I hardly have to apply pressure when drawing it on and it goes on opaque. If we look at all three together I’d classify the NARS as more of a magenta. This particular shade is a NARS stand-alone boutique/website exclusive.

All of these lipsticks leave a stain behind.

Here’s one last look, just Bourjois ‘Fuchsia Graffiti’ and VGMC:

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I cropped to do away with the slightly fuzzy strokes. The lighting is not the same as the first photo either but I think this picture gives a better idea as to how bright VGMC is, and that it is still in the fuchsia family. The other photo seemed to have tamed that aspect down.

MAC lippies are now 19 euros (!) in France – when did the prices go up?? Last time I bought one it was 17.50 IIRC. Anyway, if you find a unique shade that you love I suppose I can recommend you to go for it. I’m not really fond of their chemical vanilla scent though. As for VGMC, I’m pretty sure it’s a dupe-able shade. I made an exception this time because it’s Viva Glam – so hey, I donated 19 euros to the AIDS Fund yay!

Dupe – Revlon Snow Peach

Sometime last year Revlon released something called ‘The Legacy Collection’, a set of five iconic lipsticks in the super lustrous formula. This collection never made it to France AFAIK (at least I never saw it) and I wanted Snow Peach so badly I resorted to evilbay. I paid what I would have paid in retail if the lipsticks were available in France, so it wasn’t so bad. Anyway!

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Snow Peach on the right

This post is for those who missed this collection or need a replacement or just looking for a dupe. And I like dupes when they are from a similar tier (or lower), because it’s just not as fun to buy a LE MAC lippie dupe when said dupe is a Guerlain Rouge G.

The dupe I found for Snow Peach is Bourjois Rouge Edition in ‘Fraise Remix’. These usually go for 12.99 euros each in France. Sephora (France) is currently having a promotion on all Bourjois lip products (-30%) until 15th March.

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Here are the swatches, different lighting:

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Top: Snow Peach, Bottom: Fraise Remix

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As above; added another stroke of colour to make the lines more even

The finish of the lipsticks is similar. The Bourjois Rouge Edition is more emollient and hence is a teeny bit shinier than the Revlon Super Lustrous formula. ‘Fraise Remix’ is a hair pinker/cooler than ‘Snow Peach’. On the lips however, they look identical – I did a half and half (left lip and right), and the two just melded together and I couldn’t tell them apart.

Makeup Hits and Misses of 2014 – The Hits

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I think I did quite well last year resisting beauty releases (especially those of the limited kind) and impulse buys. As such my 2014 Hits won’t be exclusively on products that are released this year but include things that I’ve (re)discovered, have impressed me and constantly reached for. I’ve made a top ten post back in August and the items mentioned in that post are still very relevant. Think of this as more of a Favourites / Most-used of 2014 post.

1. Urban Decay Pulp Fiction eye palette
One of the LE collections this year I fell for. Love this palette even if I do wish the packaging is a little more travel-friendly – tested its portability on a short trip and found it to be a real PITA to pack. It just takes up so much room! I’m not sure if I’ll take it with me on trips again but being a neutral palette it really makes life easy and goes with everything. The texture and quality is amazing. Reviewed here.

2. Tom Ford Orchid Haze
If I could only bring one quad with me on a trip this will be it. It pulls quite neutral and by controling the darkest shade you can adapt it to any day/night look. This is my favourite palette out of everything at the moment (HG?). Also featured in the mid-year top 10 post.

3. Urban Decay Naked 3
I picked this up early in the year 2014 when Sephora France had it back in stock (and it was promptly sold out again). This is my first palette in the Naked series and really my first go at Urban Decay eyeshadows. I resisted 1 & 2 but something about the pink and rose called to me. I have enough browns at home already and thought 3 would be a nice change. I admit I was worried the pinks wouldn’t look good on me (rabbit eye/cried-all-night) but it’s surprisingly easy to wear and versatile. I’m used to quads and at most quints so the size and choices are overwhelming. I’m still on the learning curve with this but it’s been nothing but pleasure each time I reach for it. (more…)