From the category archives:

2009 Spring

Kanebo Sensai Eye Shadow Palette ES 02 Kaede Momiji 1

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In most countries outside Asia, the Sensai line would be the only line available under the Kanebo brand. Last month, I reviewed Sensai’s Cellular Performance Mask and Hydrachange Mask. Sensai also carries base and point makeup items (as well as bodycare and haircare products), and, today, I am featuring the line’s Eye Shadow Palette in ES 02 Kaede Momiji.

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Kanebo Sensai Eye Shadow Palette 1(image from www.sensai-cosmetics.com)

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Sensai’s Eye Shadow Palette range was launched in February 2009 as part of the line’s revamped point makeup collection. (See my post on this back in 2008.) The range currently includes four variations. ES 02 Kaede Momiji is the warmer one of the two neutral palettes.

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First of all, I know that some of you have been waiting for this review for quite a while. I am sorry for the delay, and I hope you will enjoy reading this review.

Lavshuca Finish Powder was released in February this year and it is meant to replace Face Powder. It is available in two shades, Lucent and High Cover. I wasn’t sure which shade to get, since I really liked Face Powder in Lucent and I was also curious about High Cover. In the end I decided to get both.

When I saw the packaging in person, I actually liked it more than I thought I would. Obviously it is not as princessy as the more ornate Face Powder, but I still think it is quite pretty. The center of the lid is gently raised, which I think is a nice touch.

The case is smaller than that of Face Powder. The Face Powder case measures 7.7 cm in diameter (at the widest part) while the Finish Powder case measures 6.4 cm in diameter. Face Powder has 16g of powder while Finish Powder in Lucent has 9.8g of powder and High Cover has 6.8g. (I find the difference quite interesting. The two cases seem to contain roughly the same amount of powder and I think the difference is down to the ingredients, which I will touch upon later.)

The powder puff still has the cute bow, but the puff itself is smaller than the one included in Face Powder to fit the smaller case.

(Lavshuca Finish Powder in Lucent)


Now onto the powder itself. If you like Face Powder in Lucent, you shouldn’t be disappointed with Finish Powder in Lucent, which is quite similar. It is a predominantly matte setting powder with a hint of fine shimmer and with a very light coverage. It has a good pore coverage and does well in oil control. The fine powder feels soft on the skin.

I was surprised to find that High Cover doesn’t have more coverage than Lucent. (It won’t be able to replace a foundation.) Finish-wise, it is more matte than Lucent and it has no visible shimmer. In terms of ingredients, High Cover has kaolin, which is second on the ingredient list. (Lucent doesn’t have kaolin but has mica, which High Cover doesn’t have.) I do find that High Cover does a slightly (only slightly) better job in shine control, and this is probably down to the absorbent quality of kaolin. (I think the differences in the ingredients might explain why Lucent weighs more than High Cover even though the two cases have more or less the same amount of powder.)

(I didn’t include a photo of High Cover in this post mainly because Lucent and High Cover look similar in color. High Cover looks slightly lighter and slightly less yellow-toned than Lucent. Both are relatively sheer so there is virtually no difference in color when they are worn on the skin.)

Even though High Cover does slightly better in shine control, I personally prefer Lucent. First of all, I like Lucent’s soft-focus finish. It disguises the look of pores well and it gives the face a polished look. High Cover is nicely matte (not chalky matte) but it doesn’t do as well in pore coverage. Secondly, I personally don’t like kaolin in foundations. It does help absorb sebum but it can also absorb moisture, which can potentially dry out the skin.

Overall, I think Lucent should suit most skin types and should please those who go for an almost-matte finish with a touch of shimmer. If you would like a shimmer-less loose powder and if you have no issue with kaolin, then High Cover might be a good choice as well.

Related posts:

SUQQU Loose Powder in Natural
(if you want more shimmer)

Crème de la Mer The Powder in Translucent
(another shimmery loose powder)

Kiss Mat Chiffon Powder
(another great loose powder for an almost-matte polished finish)

Coffret D’Or Makeup Powder
(an ultra-natural loose powder)

Japanese Base Makeup Week

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I have received Coffret D’Or’s Color Mixing Eyes in 04 Lavender-Purple Mix (for summer 2009) and both Lucent and High Cover of Lavshuca’s Finish Powder (for spring/summer 2009). I will start trying them out very soon and I will post the reviews later on!

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It has been over a year since my last Foundation Face-Off, and I hope you will enjoy this long overdue addition. Today I am taking you through two spring/summer 2009 releases: Dior’s Snow Whitening UV Compact (White Reveal UV Shield Makeup) and Beauté de Kosé Esprique Precious’ Dramatical Stay Pact UV EX. The two trial samples are from the April and May 2009 issues of Biteki.

(I have oily skin that is prone to slight redness. I prefer powder foundations that control shine well, offer at least medium coverage and have decent pore coverage. I don’t usually wear a primer or a concealer. I have a light-to-medium complexion and ZA Two-Way Foundation in 22 is one of my ideal shades. (I haven’t used MAC foundations for a very long time so I don’t know which shade is currently the closest to my complexion.))


Basics

- Dior Snow Whitening UV Compact (White Reveal UV Shield Makeup): SPF 30, PA +++, 6 shades (shade tested: 020)
- Beauté de Kosé Esprique Precious Dramatical Stay Pact UV EX: SPF 25, PA ++, 7 shades (shade tested: OC-410)

Both shades are lighter than ZA Two-Way Foundation in 22.

Finish

The two differ quite a lot in finish. Dior has a luminous and glowy finish, while Esprique Precious has a soft matte finish which is only very subtly luminous. Neither has visible shimmer.

Texture

Dior has a soft velvety texture, while EP has a slightly drier feel (which is far from chalky). Both go on evenly and smoothly.

Coverage

Both have a light-to-medium coverage, but Dior has marginally more coverage. With Dior, I feel that the coverage is more based on the luminous semi-transparent light-reflective powder than on opaque pigment. One thing I don’t like about this is that, as I have applied the powder evenly and then look straight at the mirror, the coverage looks sufficient on the forehead, chin and top of the cheeks (wherever the light hits straight on and creates the coverage) but the sides of my nose and the sides of my face (where the light bounces off sideways from where I can see) seem to get almost no coverage.

Even though this type of coverage creates more dimension for the face and should please some people (as the powder emulates a shading effect), I prefer EP’s soft-focus and even-looking coverage.

Pore Coverage

Dior’s luminous and glowy powder can exaggerate the look of pores. On the other hand, EP has a decent pore coverage.

Shine Control

Again, Dior’s glowy finish can make shine more pronounced overtime. EP has a fairly good shine control.

Staying Power

Dior does have a reasonably good staying power (with all the blotting), but I am more impressed with EP’s lasting ability. It can be a little hard to tell how the coverage and finish last since they are on the natural side, but, after a whole day, there is no patchiness and my skin tone still looks very even.

Overall, Dior reminds me of Primavista’s Powder Foundation Moist Touch and Esprique Precious reminds me of Coffret D’Or’s Beauty Lasting Pact UV. (Coffret D’Or has slightly better shine control). For me, between Dior and Esprique Precious, Esprique Precious is the obvious winner. If it had more coverage, it would definitely be a product I’d consider buying.

You can read my friend Betsy’s review of Esprique Precious Dramatical Stay Pact UV EX on Autumn Masquerade.

Related posts:

Japanese Base Makeup Week

RMK Powder Foundation EX

Foundation Face-Off (1) – Chanel vs. SUQQU

Foundation Face-Off (2) – Lunasol vs. Coffret D’Or

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Coffret D’Or‘s Shine Accent Eyes is part of the brand’s spring 2009 collection and the brand’s third series of eye palettes. Having good experiences with the previous two, I decided to try one palette from the new series. Of course I went for the one with lilac.

02 Pink Variation includes:

Top: very sheer white with soft fine shimmer
Left: sheer light pink with pearly shimmer
Right: moderately-pigmented medium lilac with a pink-plum undertone and pearly shimmer
Middle: a gel-cream liner with off-white sparkles

As with other Coffret D’Or eye palettes, the powder is soft and very easy to blend. The colors have a good staying power.

The pink is on the sheer side and it shows up less on my eyes than on the back of my hand, which is slightly lighter than my face. It should show up more on a fair skin tone than on my light-to-medium skin tone. (It is still more pigmented than the off-white pinks in Lunasol’s Sheer Contrast Eyes in Lavender Coral and Coffret D’Or’s Trance Deep Eyes in Rose Variation.)

The lilac is a soft shading color that goes on warmer than it looks in the pan as it has a pronounced soft muted pinkish (but not reddish) plum undertone. It is warmer than the main lilac in Lunasol’s Layer Bloom Eyes in Purple Gradation.

The gel-cream liner has a dense consistency. According to the eye chart on the back of the outer packaging, it is applied along the lower lashline. The shimmery flecks are larger than the shimmery particles in the other three shades, and the finish is quite sparkly.

This palette creates a soft daytime look with a beautiful shimmery finish. (But I would go easy on the gel-cream liner for daytime.) Compared with the previous Coffret D’Or releases, the overall finish (of the three powder shades) is slightly more shimmery than 3D Lighting Eyes (between pearly and shimmery) and less so than the Trance Deep Eyes (quite sparkly). I also like the pinkish lilac, which is different from the (many) ones I have.

However, because there is no dark lining shade, I personally feel that this palette is less versatile than those from the previous series. Also, I would prefer the pink to be slightly more pigmented so that I could create more looks.

(I have been using the deep violet from 3D Lighting Eyes’ Purple Variation as an eyeliner to go with this palette.)

I think I have more or less formed the habit of trying Coffret D’Or’s new eye palette series, and I am looking forward to the upcoming Color Mixing Eyes, out next month.

Betsy at Autumn Masquerade has reviewed Shine Accent Eyes in 04 Blue Variation. Do have a look!

Other posts on Coffret D’Or:

3D Lighting Eyes in Gold Variation

Trance Deep Eyes in Grey Variation

Makeup Powder (loose powder)

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Another season, another lilac palette joining my collection

Lunasol‘s Layer Bloom Eyes* palettes are part of Lunasol’s spring 2009 Floral Purification collection. 03 Purple Gradation is inspired by wisteria (fuji) and includes (anti-clock-wise from top-left):

- sheer white with multi-colored sparkles
- medium lilac with a soft pearly finish (moderately pigmented)
- predominantly matte cool-toned dark grey with sparse shimmer (well-pigmented)
- light lilac with a mildly shimmery finish (moderately pigmented)

All the shades are very soft and easy to apply, and the finish lasts well.

According to the eye chart that comes with the palette, the sheer white is used as a base, the medium lilac is used as a shadowing shade, and the dark grey is for the upper lashline and the outer 1/3 of the lower lashline. The light lilac is applied on the inner 2/3 of the lower lashline.

I really like how the two lilacs work together. The medium lilac has an exceptionally soft texture, and blending is effortless. I can go as sheer or intense as I want with this shade. When applied on the lower lashline, the light lilac seems to look more intense (slightly darker) than it does in the pan. It has a delicate iridescence and brightens the eyes very effectively without creating a stark look.

What I also like about the two lilacs is that the beautiful color seems very long-lasting. After 12 hours of wear, it is not uncommon for some lilacs to take on a very mild bluey-grey hue as the color starts to fade (and I don’t usually take this to be an indication of inferior quality). But the two lilacs here are able to stay fresh almost throughout the day, which impresses me.

Compared with Lunasol’s Lavender Coral palette from spring 2008, I think Purple Gradation is a lot more elegant and understated. The colors are less sparkly and the overall finish is more pearly than shimmery. (Between the two main lilac shades, the one in Purple Gradation is slightly warmer than that in Lavender Coral. I like both equally.) On the whole, Purple Gradation is more similar to Scent Form Eyes in 02 but it is marginally more vibrant due to the mild iridescence. (Scent Form Eyes in 02 is certainly the most low-key of the three.)

Overall, this is a beautiful lilac palette which is very easy to wear, in terms of both the colors and the superb texture of the powder. If you are looking for something as vibrant as the Sheer Contrast Eyes and the Geminate Eyes series, then this palette might not be for you. But if you want a sophisticated eye palette that is not overly shimmery, then the Layer Bloom Eyes series is a must-see.

(It appears that, since the fall 2008 Red Purification collection, Lunasol’s eye palettes are returning to the elegant and understated finish that the brand started off with. It would be interesting to see whether the trend will shift again.)

You can read my friend Betsy’s review of this palette here on Autumn Masquerade.

* Though this palette series is officially called Layer Bloom Eyes, the English name on the outer boxes of palettes sold outside Japan is Blooming Eyes. Check out the photo on this post for the difference.

Related posts:

Lunasol Fall 2009 Collection

Lunasol Summer 2009 Collection
(more Layer Bloom Eyes palettes)

My Personal Take on Lunasol

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Dazzle Dusts are probably the most popular products from Barry M Cosmetics, and, for spring 2009, six new shades have joined the lineup. Today I am reviewing three of the six additions.

The most interesting shade among the three is 93 Block Blue (bottom left in the photo), as it is the first ever matte Dazzle Dust. It is a matte aqua blue that looks quite vibrant and dramatic. 96 Gold is a rich molten gold with very fine multi-colored shimmer, and 98 Petrol Black is a dark cool-grey with cool-toned shimmer (blue, turquoise, and purple). All the shades are very pigmented.

The powder has a good adherence to the skin, but this means blending has to be very swift. (Among the three, Block Blue has the least movement during application and blending can be rather difficult.) Once set, the color and finish of these shades are very long-lasting and don’t fade overtime.

Dazzle Dusts are known for their intensity, and each shade here certainly looks intense in its own way. The matte Block Blue is opaque and creates a bold (and somewhat retro) look for the eyes. Gold imparts a dazzling shimmer that doesn’t look frosty or flat, and I think it should really suit those with a darker skin tone. Petrol Black combines rich pigment and sparkling shimmer. It works well as an eyelining shade, and, with its cool-toned shimmer, it goes well with blue, purple and cool-green eyeshadows.

Overall, these are very good shades to go for if you would like to create a dramatic makeup look for the evening. Also, if you want very pigmented eyeshadows, you will probably be quite happy with Dazzle Dusts.

The other three new shades for spring 2009 are 94 Teal, 95 Parrot Green, and 97 Dark Chocolate.

Barry M is available in Superdrug, Boots, and the Barry M website.

Related posts:

Makeup Review: Barry M

Barry M Deluxe Eyeshadow Kit

Alexander McQueen for MAC Eye Shadow in Haunting

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(continued from Part 1 and Part 2)

3. Coffret D’Or

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

Just a year after the launch, Coffret D’Or has become one of my favorite makeup lines. Among the spring 2009 collection, the new palette range, Shine Accent Eyes, includes another array of pretty and wearable colors. The palettes don’t have an intense eyelining shade, but I can do without it for my daytime makeup. I am planning to getting 02 Pink Variation, and I look forward to sharing my thoughts with you.

2. Dior

(image from www.dior.com)


For me, the star of Dior’s spring 2009 collection is obviously the Lady Dior palette. However, the collection has other gorgeous items, including some soft milky neutrals. Both 5-Color Eyeshadow in Elégante and 5-Color Iridescent Eyeshadow in Parisian Lights are beautiful and very covetable. This is a collection that shows that neutrals don’t have to be dull.

1. Lunasol

(image from www.nikkei.co.jp)

(Lunasol Layer Bloom Eyes palettes)
(image from www.kanebo-cosmetics.jp/lunasol)

Lunasol has always been a front runner for me among the spring 2009 collections. Since the Red Purification collection in fall 2008, Lunasol has gone full circle and returned to the more sophisticated look that Lunasol started off with in 1999. The spring 2009 Floral Purification collection is less shimmery than the Brilliance Purification collection in fall 2007 (featuring Geminate Eyes palettes) and less vibrant than the Color Purification collection in spring 2008 (featuring Sheer Contrast Eyes palettes). While some of those who fell in love with Lunasol in the last couple of years might not find this collection as appealing, I do think this is one of Lunasol’s finest seasonal collections.

The Purple Variation palette is now on my way, and I will be posting my thoughts later on.

Related posts:

Lunasol Summer 2009 Collection

Lunasol Sheer Contrast Eyes in Lavender Coral

Coffret D’Or 3D Lighting Eyes in Purple Variation (spring 2008)

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(continued from Part 1)

6. Max Factor

(image from www.maxfactor.jp)

Many of the Max Factor releases in Asia are very different from those in the west. In the case of the spring 2009 collection, these colorful palettes have a particularly Japanese feel and look very much like the tone-on-tone palettes that have constantly been brought out by Japanese brands. (The purple-toned palette reminds me of my Lunasol Lavender Coral.)

Do check this post for a great review of the green-toned palette (with swatches of all the palettes). The writer pointed out the improvement in the powder’s pigmentation level and lasting power. (The low pigmentation level from previous releases was mentioned by one reader under my initial post on this collection.)

5. Lavshuca

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

“Cute” is still the best word to describe Lavshuca‘s makeup, but I do like the fact that the brand doesn’t try to be overly girlie. (The plum cases look quite elegant.) The spring 2009 collection includes a new range of lipsticks and eye palettes. I nearly decided to get Grade Color Eyes in PU-1 (top right in the photo above), but the colors are a little too pale and don’t seem warm enough for me. On the other hand, I am still interested in trying the new Finish Powder.

4. Aube Couture

(Aube Couture Designing Eyes)
(image from www.sofina.co.jp/aube)

I wasn’t really a big fan of Aube’s last few collections, but the new Aube Couture‘s debut collection got my attention. A lot of design went into some of the items to make them as user-friendly as possible. (Please see this post for examples and more discussion.) I’d think that the packaging was still kept very simple so that it wouldn’t overtake the actual design features, and Aube Couture certainly gets extra points from making makeup application a little bit easier for us.

The countdown continues in Part 3.

Related posts:

Aube Couture Summer 2009 Collection

Lavshuca Summer 2009 Collection

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Spring makeup collections tend to be my favorites as compared with collections from the rest of the year, since the colors are usually soft, fresh, and wearable. This week, I will be counting down my top ten spring 2009 makeup collections.

10. Maquillage

(Maquillage Eyes Creators 3D)
(image from www.shiseido.co.jp/mq)

(Maquillage Face Creators 3D)
(image from www.shiseido.co.jp/mq)

Maquillage rolled out a large collection for spring 2009, changed a few of the brand ambassadors, and modified the packaging. The collection focuses on creating dimension for the face and the facial features. The Face Creator 3D includes highlighters, contourers and a blusher and aims to create depth for the face and a delicate jawline.

9. RMK

(image from www.rmkrmk.com)

RMK‘s spring 2009 collection, Spring Translucence, is full of soft ethereal hues. The idea is to use moderately pigmented shades with a gently luminous finish to enhance the lucidity of the complexion (rather than to cover the face with opaque colors). The star item is the Translucent Cheeks & Eyes, with one warmer and one cooler variation. The other items in the collection are also well-balanced and features both warmer and cooler shades.

8. Elégance

(Elégance EyeShadows)
(image from www.elegance-cosmetics.com)

(Elégance Radiance Quartet)
(image from www.elegance-cosmetics.com)

Like Sonia Rykiel and Paul & Joe, Elégance is a French fashion line with its beauty range mainly available in Asia. I particularly like the glamorous and opulent golden cases for many of its products. (Please see my profile of the brand here.) For spring 2009, the four new Eyeshadow palettes reflect all the main seasonal color trends (pinks, purples, and neutrals). The new Radiance Quartet is among the three cheek items from Elégance that I really want to check out in person.

7. Esprique Precious

(Esprique Precious True Impact Eyes)
(image from ep-bko.com)

Usually, spring is when most Japanese brands bring out the largest point makeup collection, but Kosé’s Esprique Precious‘ spring 2009 collection is very concise and consists of four eye palettes, two lipsticks and two lip glosses. The purple eye palette (True Impact Eyes in T-3) is featured as the main item of the collection. (Please see the ad image here.) I am still a little tempted to try this palette, as the purple seems to have the right tone for my complexion.

The countdown continues in Part 2 and Part 3.

Related posts:

Spring 2009 Makeup Trend Report

Maquillage Clean Contrast Eyes 2 in SV844

Maquillage Forming Shiny Eyes in 52

RMK Water Colors Eyes in 02 Lavender

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