2008 Summer

As many of you might already know, I don’t buy products from MAC very often. The main reason is that makeup products from Japanese brands appeal to me a lot more. But, once in a while, some items do attract my attention.

MAC’s Mineralize Eye Shadow Duo in Odd Couple was from the Electro Flash collection back in July 2008. As far as I know, the Mineralize Eye Shadow Duos in this collection were limited editions in the US. But they seem to be regular items in the UK.

I was back and forth about Odd Couple for quite a while. I swatched the colors at the counter for several times since a few months ago, and I was speculating that the warm gold might be too bronze for me. Plus the violet was very similar to the one in Shiseido Maquillage’s Forming Shiny Eyes in 52. The lilac veins in the warm gold were what made me decide to get it in the end, as they created an interesting lilac undertone.

I was surprised at how understated the warm gold turned out to be. It is not too warm, too bronze, or too vibrant. It goes on sheer in the beginning but it can be layered. I do think the lilac veins tone down the bronze quite nicely, and the lilac undertone does show up on the eyes.

I like wearing the violet close to the lashlines as a lining color. The shade is warmer and more purple than how it looks in the photo above, and it is less shimmery than the warm gold. The vibrancy of the shade lasts well.

I am glad that I did go for it. The warm gold with lilac veins is a shade I didn’t have, and it turned out to be more wearable than how I expected it to be. I certainly think I will be paying a little more attention to future Mineralize Eye Shadow releases in the future.

Related posts:

Alexander McQueen for MAC Eye Shadow in Haunting

Fafi for MAC

A Splash of Color: More Lilting Lilac


(continued from Part 1 and 2)

3. Dior

(Dior’s summer 2008 makeup collection)
(from Biteki, June 2008, p. 138)

Dior’s summer 2008 lineup has a very coherent look, as warm hues dominate the collection. Even though I am not particularly fond of very warm neutrals, I generally like collections with a strong identity.

I decided to get the Golden Dior Makeup Jewel (in Lamé Pink), which looks as good as it appears on all the magazine pages.

The look of the 5-Color Eyeshadow palette in 589 (the lower one in the photo above), but the finish of almost all the shades is too metallic for my liking. If you like metallic finishes, many of Dior’s recent eye palettes would be must-sees. But I do hope Dior would cut back on intense shimmer just a little bit and go back to the more satiny and softly shimmery finishes.

2. Lavshuca

(Summer Gradually Compact in Windy Aqua Beach)
(image from www.kanebo-cosmetics.jp/lavshuca)

(Summer Gradually Compact in Shiny Sandy Beach)
(image from www.kanebo-cosmetics.jp/lavshuca)

With two very nicely packaged six-color eye palettes for summer 2008, Lavshuca consolidated its position as a drugstore-brand princess for me. (The collection also features two new shades of Rouge Essence Bar.)

Some of you were surprised (and rightly so) that I went for the neutral Shiny Sandy Beach rather than the cool-toned Windy Aqua Beach. (Hmm…some of you seem to know my makeup likes and dislikes very well…) I was in a short neutral phase earlier (which is gradually coming to an end now), and I did need to add more medium neutrals to my collection.

I was very happy with this palette, since I like soft medium neutrals that are not overly pigmented (or overly warm). I particularly like the shades second and third from the right. (Please check out the link above for my review.)

1. Lunasol

(image from www.nikkei.co.jp)

To me, in the last few seasons, Lunasol’s makeup collections appear to be invincible. Superb quality, stunning colors, and a clear story behind every collection.

Lunasol’s Summer 2008 collection continues the “Color Purification” theme with inspiration from colorful corals of the sea. The shades look bouncy and vibrant but still wearable. The collection features the Bronze Coral palette, but it is not ruled by neutrals.

I have the Sheer Contrast Eyes in Lavender Coral from the spring 2008 lineup, which I adore, and I don’t plan to pick up palettes from this collection. But I am quite interested in the Full Glamour Gloss in EX-01 (fourth from the bottom in the photo above, a limited edition). But I will have to act fast if I do decide to get it, since Lunasol’s limited-edition items for summer do tend to sell out.

You can see reviews of items from this collection on Autumn Masquerade and Lotus Palace. For swatches, please check out this post.

My summer top 10 brands’ fall 2008 offerings:



Twany Glamacy

Cosme Decorte AQ


(continued from Part 1)

6. Twany Glamacy

(image from www.kanebo-cosmetics.jp/twany)

Kanebo’s Twany Glamacy is about classic basics, and this summer 2008 lineup is the line’s launch collection. Within the basic shades, I like the way the line gets into the specifics. Among the pale shades for the eye area, Eyecolor UB (Under-Brow) is for highlighting the brow bone while Eyecolor UE (Under-Eye) is for the inner corner of the eye and the immediate under-eye area. It is all about getting the everyday look right, and I enjoy the brand’s sense of precision and the attention to detail.

5. Sonia Rykiel

(Divines Vacances:
Sonia Rykiel’s summer 2008 collection)
(image from www.soniarykiel-cosmetics.com)

Sonia Rykiel‘s beauty line is sold in Asia and has been doing well over the years. Its colorful summer 2008 collection includes eyeshadow trios, cream eyeliners, and nail colors (all limited editions). Some of these vibrant shades do stand out among the neutrals for this season.

The eyeshadow trios are very petite and should be the same size as their Mono Eyeshadows, and they are great for travelling light. (Divine indeed……)

4. Magie Deco

(image from www.cosmedecorte.com/magiedeco)

Besides Twany Glamacy’s debut collection, Magie Deco‘s summer 2008 lineup is also quite extensive, with eye palettes, cream eyeshadows, lipsticks, lip glosses, eyeliners, mascaras, and nail colors. (Please check out the latter link above for more information and to see the seasonal makeup look.)

Two new palettes join the Shadow Brilliance lineup, one warmer and one cooler:

(image from www.cosmedecorte.com/magiedeco)

So far, I have been liking the color combinations of Magie Deco’s Shadow Brilliance palettes. The line has stayed away from tone-on-tone palettes that many Japanese makeup lines constantly come up with, which does give the line an edge. Even though I do like nice tone-on-tone palettes, it is great to see some originality.

Please check back later for my thoughts on the top three!

Related Posts:

Other summer 2008 collections:

Jill Stuart


Majolica Majorca


To me, it feels as if the spring collections just came out and we were expecting more summer makeup news. But, as many of the fall 2008 collections have been unveiled, it is time for me to look back and present you with my summer 2008 top ten makeup collections. (Part 2 and 3 will be up later this week.)

10. Albion Excia AL

(Albion Excia AL Eye Color Impression)
(image from www.albion.co.jp)

(Albion Excia AL Rouge Impression)
(image from www.albion.co.jp)

Available at Albion counters in Japan, Excia AL is a top-end skincare and makeup line that aims to create timeless and confident beauty. This season sees a new range of eye palettes, Eye Impression, and three new shades of Rouge Impression (as well as new liquid eyeliners and eyebrow pencils). Perhaps not the most eye-catching collection, it did grab my attention with its understated simplicity.

9. Anna Sui

(Anna Sui Mini Rouge W)
(image from www.annasui-cosmetics.com)

Anna Sui’s summer 2008 collection shows us again that the brand still does cute and princessy very well. I am sure some people who are collecting the Mini Rouge in black (released last fall) would love to take home these limited editions in white. The collection also includes hair and body products which are equally nicely packaged.

8. Giorgio Armani

(Eye Mania in 11 (top), 12 (left), and 13 (right))
(image from www.isetan.co.jp)

I have been interested in the Giorgio Armani Beauty line for a while, and I almost always stop by its counter when I am in London’s Selfridges or Harvey Nichols. (In the UK, Giorgio Armani Beauty is also available in Selfridges Birmingham and Heathrow Airport Terminal 3. The link above takes you to the Giorgio Armani Beauty UK online store.)

The three beautiful Eye Mania palettes above, however, appear to be exclusive to the Japanese market. I particularly like #12 and #13. #12 seems to be a wearable blue-grey palette, possibly even for people who find blue hard to wear. #13 looks like a nice neutral palette and the shades don’t look overly warm or bronze.

(If you are interested, please head over to Autumn Masquerade for a great brand profile on Giorgio Armani Beauty and for a look at the brand’s past Bronze Mania collections.)

7. Cosme Decorte AQ

(Pure Grace Lipstick in RD432
and Pure Grace Eyeshadow in 032)
(image from www.biteki.com)

There are not a lot of lilacs for summer 2008, and this beautiful palette with soft lilac and muted cool teal attracted my attention. I think these two shades are well-coordinated, as the muted teal complements rather than overshadows the lilac. (Please check out my previous post on Cosme Decorte AQ‘s summer 2008 collection to see the fresh tropical eye makeup look created with this palette.)

This is the last AQ eye palette released in the current packaging, as the brand’s point makeup line will be revamped in time for the release of the fall 2008 collection.

The top-ten countdown continues tomorrow.

Related Posts:

Spring 2008 Makeup Top 10
(Part 1, 2, and 3)

Loving Japanese Brand – Anna Sui


(Mini Rouge W)
(image from www.annasui-cosmetics.com)

On June 5th in Japan, there will be more items from Anna Sui‘s summer 2008 collection being released. They include:

Mini Rouge W (limited-edition, 3 shades, seen above)

Bath & Body Primary Kit: The set includes a pouch with Hair Shampoo, Conditioner, and Body Shampoo, each in a travel-size 60ml bottle.

(Bath & Body Primary Kit)
(image from www.annasui-cosmetics.com)

Hair Spray G: A hair-conditioning product (not a styling product).

UV Body Spray G: SPF 30/ PA+++

(Left: Anna Sui UV Body Spray G
Right: Anna Sui Hair Spray G)
(image from www.annasui-cosmetics.com)

These items join the currently available eyeliner pencils, mascaras, and nail colors as the full lineup of the Anna Sui summer 2008 collection.

Mini Rouge, released last fall (packaged in black cases), has been very popular, so I am sure these three white limited-edition ones will be equally coveted. (As far as I know, the black Mini Rouge shades are not limited-edition items.)

Related Posts:

Anna Sui Lip & Eye Luxury Palettes

Loving Japanese Brands – Anna Sui

My Latest Foundation Cases

(featuring Anna Sui and Jill Stuart)


(part of CHICCA’s summer 2008 collection)

CHICCA has updated its website to include full information on the summer 2008 collection: Love Island – Golden Sun.

Please see my previous post for quick details of the collection. For a brief brand profile, please have a look at this post.

Some of you have e-mailed me and told me that you would be travelling to Japan in the coming summer. (By the way, I envy you…) If you are planning to travel to Japan in the near future and are interested in testing out or purchasing some top-end beauty items, CHICCA is one of the brands you might be interested in.

The brand in under the Kanebo group, so the pedigree is there. I have not seen the items in person, but I’d think the quality should be similar to that of SUQQU (also under the Kanebo group), most of whose makeup items are outstanding.

CHICCA is currently only sold in two department stores in Japan: Isetan Shinjuku in Tokyo and Hankyu Umeda in Osaka.

More upcoming collections:

Coffret D’Or Early Fall Collection

Sofina Aube Early Fall Collection


(Lavshuca Summer Gradually Compact in Shiny Sandy Beach)

After teasing you with a photo of Lavshuca‘s Summer Gradually Compact two weeks ago, I have been trying on the colors. Today I am sharing my thoughts with you.

First let’s look more closely at the shades:

From left to right:
A pale yellow gold with pale gold sparkles (sheer; sparkling)
B medium bronze gold (well-pigmented; very shimmery)
C off-white with very pale champagne gold undertone (sheer; shimmery)
D light-to-medium taupe-brown (moderately pigmented; shimmery)
E medium brown (moderately pigmented; subtly shimmery)
F light beige (very sheer; satiny matte)

(All shades, except F, have very fine multi-colored micro-shimmer.)

(image from www.kanebo-cosmetics.jp/lavshuca)

You can see the instructions on Lavshuca’s website above, and the same instructions are printed on the back of the outer packaging.

In this palette (as well as the other one, Windy Aqua Beach), C, D, and E are the main shades. C is used as a base, D is the main shading color, and E is the eye-lining shade. The matte F is used to accentuate and add depth to the crease and the inner corner of the brow bone. (A tops up the sparkles, and B adds warmth where you want it.)

Here are some of my thoughts:

– The three main shades work very well for me. I don’t like neutral colors to be too warm, and D and E have a coloration very suitable for me. (I have a light-to-medium skin tone.)

– What I love the most about this palette is the soft watery-shimmer effect, which is great for summer. If the shades were too pigmented, the finish would be overly metallic, which I rarely like. (Only B (bronze gold) is very pigmented, while the others are either moderately pigmented or sheer.)

– The eye-lining shade E is only about a shade darker than the main shading color D. For me, E works well as a subtle daytime eyeliner and it blends seamlessly with D. But some people will probably want to use a separate eyeliner for extra depth.

– Both the colors and the shimmer stay on very well, and there is virtually no powder/shimmer fallout.

– I do have two slight complaints. The bronze gold (B) is a little bit too warm for my liking. Also, the shade-enhancing color (F) is very sheer and doesn’t show up on me very much.

Overall I am very happy with the palette. It is a great summer item for a soft and casual look. The soft shimmer does remind me of a glistening sandy beach under the afternoon sun. It might not be the most versatile palette due to the lack of a very dark shade, but for me it is wonderfully wearable.

Please see this post for swatches and the shades worn on the eyes. (Notice that Kate’s Gel Eye Liner in BR-1 is used in the photos.)

If you are also interested in the other palette, Windy Aqua Beach, please head over to Autumn Masquerade to see photos and a review.

Updated on May 26th, 2008:

If you are interested, please head over to My Women Stuff for another review of Shiny Sandy Beach.

Related Posts:

Coffret D’Or 3D Lighting Eyes in Gold Variation

(The gold in this palette is more wearable for me.)

Golden Dior Luminizing Makeup Jewel
(More gold!)

Lunasol Summer 2008 Collection
(another great-looking summer collection)


(Jill Stuart Seductive Eyes in 05)
(image from www.iswii.net)

Jill Stuart will be releasing a limited-edition Seductive Eyes palette (#05) and two limited-edition Lip Lusters (#20 & #21) for summer 2008.

(Lip Luster in #20 Marguerite Glow)
(image from www.iswii.net)

The new Seductive Eyes palette, with a purple and a beige gold, should appeal to me, as I have been loving these two colors and I don’t have a palette with both shades.

However, the purple here looks a bit too warm for my liking. Also, perhaps more importantly, compared with most of my other eyeshadow singles and palettes, there is more glitter fallout (experienced by many, it seems) from the Brilliance Eyes series from 2007. It seems that things haven’t improved with the Seductive Eyes palettes this year, so it is hard for me to feel the heat from this new addition…

The collection will be in store in Taiwan on June 1st. At the moment I don’t have the information on the release date in Japan. But I will get my June issue of Biteki later this week, and I will then update this post with more information.

Related Posts:

Jill Stuart Breaks Record

Jill Stuart Moist Silk Liquid Foundation

Jill Stuart Birthstone Nail Collection

Loving Japanese Brands – Jill Stuart


(part of the Coffret D’Or late summer/ early fall collection)
(image from www.kanebo-cosmetics.jp/coffretdor/)

Coffret D’Or has updated its website with information on the late summer/ early fall collection. (Please see my previous post for some quick detail and a link to swatches.) It is another beautiful collection, with lipsticks, eyeliners, and eyebrow pencils, but my eyes have been drawn to the new Trance Deep Eyes palettes.

First, let’s remind ourselves of 3D Lighting Eyes, released in December 2007:

(Coffret D’Or 3D Lighting Eyes)
(image from www.kanebo-cosmetics.jp/coffretdor/)

01 Pink Variation
02 Blue Green Variation
03 Silver Variation
04 Purple Variation
05 Gold Variation

Now check out the new variations:

(Coffret D’Or Trance Deep Eyes)
(image from www.kanebo-cosmetics.jp/coffretdor/)

01 Rose Variation
02 Blue Variation
03 Khaki Green Variation
04 Grey Variation
05 Beige Variation

I think I am definitely going to try the new palette series, but the question is which one I want. Or, to be precise, which ONES?

This time, no single palette is jumping out at me, and I am liking three at the moment. After looking at the swatches, I have been lured by Rose, Grey, and Beige Variations. Here are my initial thoughts:

Rose Variation: The top-right shading color looks similar to the cool dusty pink in my Purple Variation, which is one of my recent favorite eyeshadow shades. I would love to try the new palette to see how everything works.

Grey Variation: My first reaction is that it looks similar to my Maquillage Clean Contrast Eyes in SV844, which I like. But there are differences. Maquillage SV844 has a medium grey, which Grey Variation doesn’t have. Also, from the swatches, it seems that the lilac is very slightly warmer than that in SV844. This could be my next lilac palette!

Beige Variation: I am happy with my Gold Variation and my Summer Gradually Compact from Lavshuca, but the top-right soft taupe seems lovely and far from plain. The bottom-left peach gold is not usually one of my favorite colors, but I think it will be on the sheer side and can work well with the cool taupe.

At the moment, my favorite is Rose Variation. But I can’t let go of the soft lilac, and I am still in my mini neutral phase.

Will I be getting all three? You will have to find out later!

Which one is appealing to you at the moment?

Related Posts:

Sofina Aube Early Fall Collection

Chanel Fall & Holiday Collections

A Splash of Color – Lilting Lilac

(I am sensing a Part Two might be coming up…)


Coffret D’Or‘s late summer/ early fall collection will be launched in mid-June, but testers are already out in Japan and pre-ordering has started.

My post on this collection has been updated with a link to exciting photos of all the new palettes and their swatches. I am enjoying them at the moment!

There is a good chance that I will pick up one of them. (The blogger praises the superb quality of the powder, and she is usually spot-on.) I just need to decide which one to go for……