Friday, March 27, 2015

Review: Jo Malone Geranium and Verbena Cologne

I am such a sucker for limited edition Jo Malones.  They are, on the whole, fragrances to which it is hard to object, at worst - and at best they are absolutely wonderful.  That said, I have not been utterly wowed by the most recent limited edition offerings, so was a little warier than usual of the new Rock the Ages collection.  I was swayed by the pretty packaging, however, and wound up ordering a pair of them.  Today I am reviewing Geranium and Verbena Cologne.  Like most of the permanent line, this one is pretty true to its name.  The top notes are utterly lemon verbena and utterly geranium leaf - quite soapy at times and not the most innovative combination, but very pleasant.  It really reminds me of a kitchen garden on a sunny day. The drydown is a bit more interesting, but in a way I'm not entirely sure I feel good about.  There is a dry, almost sharp vetiver note that emerges that really turns this from a unisex fragrance to something more masculine.  It's not overwhelming, so you might be able to ignore it if you want, but when I give my wrist a good, close whiff, it does make me recoil slightly. I'm torn on this note because I think it does give an otherwise unremarkable perfume an interesting twist, but at the same time, may make that perfume unwearable for me.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Review: Suqqu EX-21 Eyeshadow Palette

This is a limited edition Suqqu palette but can still be found at "regular" Suqqu prices on ebay and perhaps some retailers.  I adore this palette.  The fact that each compartment contains 2 shades, which can be worn alone or layered to create new colors, is genius to me.  Add to that the fact that the eyeshadows are silky and beautifully wearable, and for me we have a winner.  I can wear the darker shades as a liner, and the lightest shade as a highlighter, also, which adds to the palette's versatility and value.
Here you have swatches of each shade layered with its twin:

And here you have them individually:

My only complaint with Suqqu is that for the price point, I expect more luxe packaging.  Yes, black is sleek and elegant, but the compact is rather flimsy in feel and I think could use some more thoughtful touches.


Please forgive the slower rate of posts in the last ten days or so...I've been in Brazil!  Here are a few of my favorite photos from the journey.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Review: Giorgio Armani Master Corrector in Peach

I cannot count how many undereye concealers I've been through and found wanting.  To get a concealer to get rid of my dark circles, I need to apply an amount that inevitably ends up settling into fine lines I didn't know I had, and I'm left with a conundrum: would I rather look tired or aging?  I really wish I had discovered correctors sooner.  Because correctors use pigment to basically cancel out the color you wish to conceal, you only need a tiny amount of them.  I find this Armani Corrector utterly magical.  It is a very thin fluid and I dab a small, small dot under each eye and then blend where I have blue circles.  The peach color erases the blue and disappears into my skin.  (Hint: this works if you have redness, too - get yourself a green corrector and let the pigment work its magic.) Just be careful to apply sparingly and only blend where you have color to correct - as you can see in the swatch below, it doesn't exactly blend in with my natural, unblemished skin.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Review: Suqqu Eyeshadow Quad in 02 Kokedama

What features of a beauty item are guaranteed to make you lust after it unreasonably?  Item 1: limited edition.  This quad, fortunately, is permanent.  But it does feature item 2: only available in x country that is not where I live.  Suqqu, as far as I know, can only be found in the UK and Japan.  It is also ridiculously expensive and raved about on pretty much every makeup forum on the planet.  Ergo, it was only a matter of time before I caved and bought some.  I procured mine on ebay, at obnoxious markup.  Kokedama is very much in the same vein as Tom Ford Sahara Haze, with which I recently fell in love; subtle green tints in neutrals.  I'd say this palette is cooler-toned than Sahara Haze and more subtle.  It has a bright matte white intended as a base shade, one khaki matte, one greener shimmery shade, and a light green shimmery shade.  My first impression of the texture of these shadows was instant infatuation.  They are SO silky to swatch - I could not wait to get them on the eyes.  Unfortunately, there was no depth of color or longevity once applied.  I found the colors ran into each other too easily and just looked muddy and uniform.  The lasting power, even with primer, was unimpressive.  I expected more from a $90 quad, but the good news is I should be able to unload it pretty easily.  And the other good news is, the other Suqqu quad I purchased exceeded my expectations (review forthcoming!).

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Review: Tom Ford Sahara Haze

Sahara Haze is not the most vibrant of Tom Ford's eyeshadow quads, but it is a bit of a sleeping hit for me.  There are 3 shades in subtle green - a nice twist on neutrals - and one popping silver glitter. They are pretty unremarkable in the pan, even more so swatched - but on the eyes, layered, they are so very flattering and beautiful.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Review: Marc Jacobs Style Eye-Con No 3 in The Supreme

I'm not big on the Marc Jacobs beauty line but something about the color combo in this palette spoke to me. They're neutral and nearly all grays but for some very subtle green tinting in each shade.  Like the other MJ shadows I've tried, these swatch very nicely - smooth, nice pigmentation.  What tends to go wrong for me - and these were no exception - is application.  I find they get very muddy on my lids; the colors blend too well. They also lose their special green tinge and just look very meh and gray once applied.  So, this trio went back to Sephora and I have once more sworn off MJ products.