From the category archives:

-Albion

Nars Fall 2012 Makeup Trend 1(combining two trends: Nars Trio Eyeshadow in High Society)
(image from beautyplus.iswii.net)
(images from www.cosme.net unless otherwise noted)

.

Purple and green have emerged as the dominant colors for fall 2012. Continuing from the spring 2012 makeup trend, green is still a key player. On the other hand, I am glad that purple is back on trend.

[Click to continue reading…]

{ 0 comments }

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

{ 6 comments }

(continued from Part 1)


6th: Clinique

(Clinique spring 2008 collection)
(from Voce February 2008
Spring 2008 Makeup Catalog, p. 14 – 15)


I did surprise myself initially by liking this collection. But as the Color Surge Trios have been looking lovely for the past few weeks, I’ve decided to include Clinique‘s spring 2008 collection in my top ten.

(Clinique Color Surge Trios)
(from Voce February 2008
Spring 2008 Makeup Catalog, p. 14)


With brands like Chanel and Givenchy featuring dark and ashy blues for spring, which don’t really appeal to me, Clinique’s soft and cheerful pastels are unexpectedly welcoming. The color combinations are straightforward and wearable, and the lilac and pink look especially dreamy. As someone who doesn’t wear green very much, I actually find the green palette very tempting too.

5th: Eprise

(part of the Albion Eprise spring 2008 collection)
(image from www.albion.co.jp)

Eprise‘ spring 2008 collection is not hugely extensive but still includes items for eyes, cheeks, lips, and nails. Most of the shades have a gentle and girlie feel. Like Clinique, Eprise’ Creamy Eye Colors also feature pastel blue, green, and lilac.

(Eprise spring 2008 collection)
(image from www.albion.co.jp)

What instantly attracted my attention upon seeing this collection was the Water Face Color, which is a range of liquid blushers. I picked up the shade in 100, a very natural pink. Easy to use and long-lasting, it is definitely a great makeup purchase for this season.

4th: EST

(image from www.kao.co.jp/est)

The EST debut color makeup collection was launched on November 24th, 2007. But Biteki’s spring 2008 makeup catalog (March 2008 issue) includes this collection, so I am counting it as a spring 2008 release.
(EST Emotional Aura Eyes palettes)
(image from www.kao.co.jp/est)

As should a debut color collection, it includes all the basics. I think the highlights of the collection are the Emotional Aura Eyes (above) and Emotional Aura Pack (featured in the ad image above), which is a selection of highlighters for different parts of the eye area. (Please see my brand profile on EST for more on this item.)

Overall, this is a triumphant debut collection with a very feminine and sophisticated feel. I look forward to seeing how this color makeup line evolves.

Do come back for Part 3!

Other spring 2008 collections worth checking out:

Lavshuca Spring 2008 Collection

Kate Spring 2008 Collection

{ 8 comments }

(Loving Japanese makeup)

As a fan of Japanese cosmetics, apart from all the colorful products available, I am also interested in knowing more about the history behind the various brands and companies. So I was delighted to come across a time-line featuring the launches of many major Japanese cosmetics companies in Biteki‘s January 2008 issue. Let’s have a look:

1872 Shiseido

1887 Kao

1929 Pola

1936 Kanebo

1946 Kosé

1956 Albion

1959 Menard

1967 Shu Uemura

1972 DHC

1981 Fancl

1987 IPSA

1991 Ettusais

1995 AYURA

1996 Equipe (which now owns RMK and SUQQU)

(Biteki, January 2008, p. 102-125)

It is interesting that, like many western cosmetics brands, some of the recent major Japanese cosmetics companies in the last couple of decades have also been acquired by more established ones. For example, IPSA, Ettusais, and AYURA were acquired by Shiseido. Kanebo now owns Equipe, while Kosé owns Albion. Also, in early 2006, Kanebo was sold to Kao.

I will be equally interested in these slightly more corporate and behind-the-scene developments and in all the shiny new releases from these brands…

Related Posts:

All About Japanese Cosmetics

(consolidating my passion)

“Loving Japanese Brands” Series
(my favorite seven)

Japanese Brands in the UK
(featuring where to get them from outside the UK)

{ 0 comments }

(Albion Eprise Water Face Color in 100)

Before talking about my first ever Albion purchase, I’d like to briefly mention the brand itself.

Albion is one of the largest cosmetics brands in Japan. I have also occasionally come across passing mentions of Albion as a brand favored by the Japanese royalty. Few can really be sure of this, but it is true that Albion has always had a very upmarket image. [The Albion website is for information only and doesn't offer on-line ordering.]

Albion’s most popular products are mainly skincare and foundation items. The Essential Skin Conditioner and Exage powder foundations are almost permanent fixtures on most best-selling and magazine readers’ favorite product lists.

One unique aspect of all Albion’s various skincare ranges is a creamy skin-softening emulsion that is applied in circular motion with a cotton pad before the toner and the moisturizer. The Albion sales assistants often remind customers that this moisturizer-like emulsion is not a moisturizer and that it is used to help the absorption of all the subsequent skincare products.

I have tried samples from Albion’s skincare routines but I personally didn’t enjoy using the skin-softening emulsions. They felt quite filmy on the skin and I didn’t feel like using any other product afterwards. Plus the circular motion during the application left my skin slightly red, not to mention that most of them had alcohol. (So do many of the toners.) But I am aware that some people swear by Albion’s unique skincare routines and can’t image using anything else.

So, with Albion, their makeup ranges are much more suitable for me to get a taste of the brand. I had long been interested in trying out Eprise, one of Albion’s makeup ranges. (Albion’s website is completely in Flash, so do click on the Albion link above to find the Eprise line.) As someone that loves blushers, when I saw Water Face Color from the spring 2008 collection, I almost instantly decided that this would be my first-ever Albion purchase.

(Eprise Water Face Color)
(image from www.albion.co.jp)

This item still features alcohol, which is third on the ingredient list (after water and cyclomethicone (a kind of silicone) and before talc). But, since this is applied after my toner and daytime mosturizer/sunscreen (occasionally after a makeup base and/or a liquid foundation as well), it doesn’t irritate my skin.

The bottle is shaken before application. The blusher liquid has a watery consistency and glides with ease. (But this is not a cheek stain and has a slightly milkier consistency than a typical water-based cheek stain.) It is very easy to blend and layers well for more intensity. The finish is softly luminous and non-greasy, without any visible shimmer. After the blending is done, it almost feels as if the color came from within the skin.

#100 is quite a natural pink for me. It has a bouncy feel but doesn’t make my cheeks look overly flushed.

Another aspect that impresses me is that the color is very long-lasting. I usually use a powder foundation so this liquid blusher would go underneath it. There were twice when I had it on for about 12 hours, and the fading was very minimal and barely noticeable. I was initially slightly worried that, like a couple of cheek/lip staining items I tested, the color wouldn’t easily come off with a cleanser, but it came off swiftly and effortlessly with my RMK Cleansing Oil.

Overall, this is a very good blusher for me. A little goes a long way, so this 10ml liquid blusher will last a long time and create a lot of long-lasting rosy cheeks. I have a feeling that it won’t be long before I am interested in trying another makeup item from Albion.

Related Posts:

Chanel Irréelle Blush in Tea Rose
(one of my absolute favorites)

Boots No. 7 Cheek Colours
(home favorites)


Budget Princess: Majolica Majorca
(featuring two blushers from the line)

{ 16 comments }

I am planning to visit Japan again. It won’t be happening very soon, but my shopping list has been growing longer and longer already!

Apart from some of my favorite Japanese brands (such as Ayura, Sofina, Lavshuca), there are some specific items of my favorite brands and other very interesting lines I want to look at.

Here is just a little sneak peek of my shopping list!


1. Jill Stuart

(photo from www.jillstuart-beauty.com)

My ultimate cosmetics shopping trip in Japan will undoubtedly start with Jill Stuart (despite the risk of spending all my savings on the first day). I want to sample everything! I have several Jill Stuart items but I have always wanted more. I will definitely test the Blush Powder (loose powder blusher, second from left) and pick a shade I like.


2. Lunasol

(photo from www.kanebo-cosmetics.jp/lunasol/)


I absolutely love all the Lunasol items I have, but I have not yet had any of their beautiful eyeshadow palettes. They are quite expensive but…when in Japan…!

3. Elégance

(photo from www.elegance-cosmetics.com)


I absolutely love this brand but I haven’t really talked about it on my blog. El
égance is a French fashion label that has a cosmetics line in a couple of Asian countries. It is very high-end but the quality is great. I love the simple but opulent gold packaging as well. I am interested in their pressed powder blusher and the new cream blusher.

4. Eprise

( photo from www.albion.co.jp)

Eprise is the makeup line from Albion, a major cosmetics brand in Japan. Albion has some extremely popular skincare and foundation products. The makeup line Eprise is relatively low-key but has an elegant look that really appeals to me.

5. ettusais

(photo from www.ettusais.co.jp)


I have used many ettusais foundation and skincare products and have thought highly of them. The ettusais makeup line has recently been re-packaged. Well, it doesn’t particularly look very exciting, but I would like to have a look at the new blusher (yes, I can’t have enough blushers…), which features a sponge puff attached to the bottom of the container.


6. Sonia Rykiel

(photo from www.isetan.co.jp)

Sonia Rykiel is another French fashion label that has a cosmetics line in Asia. Known for some great foundation formulations and a couple of skincare products, Sonia Rykiel Cosmetics has an exquisite quality. Currently, the makeup packaging is inspired by Sonia Rykiel’s famous stripy patterns:

(photo from www.isetan.co.jp)


7. Watosa

(photo from www.isetan.co.jp)

Watosa is a quirky brand with a colorful look. Like Stila, paper is used for some of the product packaging. I bought a Watosa lipstick in Hong Kong many years ago and this is a brand I want to try more products from.

8. Kiss

(photo from www.kiss-cosmetics.com)


Kiss is a drugstore line that has been immensely popular in Japan. The packaging is very girlie, although I don’t think the overall look is as dreamy and princessy as Lavshuca. But like Lavshuca, their products are very affordable and I won’t leave Japan without a couple of their goodies.

9. Love Clover

(photo from www.loveclover.jp)

Love Clover, like Makemania (which carries Curvy Lip Silicone) is part of SONY. It has also been a popular drugstore brand and has a rather similar feel to Kiss. The PonPonCheek N (above) looks so adorable!

10: Anuenue


(photo from www.ar-anuenue.com)

Anuenue is another drugstore line from SONY. It recently launched some skincare products, including Hand Balm and Lip Balm seen above.

The list goes on and on, as there are many other brands and products I am interested in. But I’d better stop here before I get carried away (and book my flight to Tokyo tomorrow)!

Notes:

1. In the UK, we have Shiseido International, Kanebo International, Paul & Joe, RMK, and SUQQU. (We used to have Anna Sui and Chic Choc, but they left a few years ago.)

2. Some of the brands above are available outside Japan. But Japan is the only country where all of them are available…

Related posts:

Read about my favorite Japanese brands:
Ayura
Anna Sui
Jill Stuart
Lavshuca
Lunasol
Paul & Joe
Sofina

{ 22 comments }