Saturday, February 25, 2017

Chicca Mesmeric Lipstick in 06 Lucent Red

Excuse me while I repeat myself (for the 268th time) that I have gotten this thing for Kanebo lipsticks (okay, I love the shape of their bullet). One thing that keeps my exploration going is that, when I jump from  lower price range to a higher one, I actually notice a parallel improvement of quality in the shade design, wear and packaging.

When I thought I have tried their best with Suqqu, the brand underwent a packaging revamp, from sleek minimalist to plastic black and gold(Take it easy. Hufflepuff.) that I just can't...Not even for science. Where should I look when I want my dose of overpriced Japanese lipsticks?

The answer is CHICCA.

When Kanebo debuted Chicca (key-ka) back in spring 2008, it was a brand aimed directly at mature women in their 50s and 60s. Through out the years, the line has ditched their silver packaging, switched to a more youthful color scheme and their silver haired Yazemeenah Rossi (Chicca's first spoke model)had since been replaced by white girls in their late teens to early twenties. I guess youth sells, eh?

Mesmeric Lipsticks (3800 yen) was released in 2014, as a replacement for the Enticing Lipstick (5000 yen) that they discontinued. There were originally six shades and new ones have been added each season. Right now they are on number 32 and 33. The range boasts a 2/5 pigment that enhances each wearer's beauty, as it creates an unique shade (as with any sheer lipstick?). That is not the reason I bought it.

It's the tube. I mean, look at it!
Back in my review for Kyoganoko, I declared the glossy black SUQQU to be my favorite high end packaging. Well, scoot(ku) over Suqqu, you are sharing the throne with your sister! Actually, I am going full-on Steve Harvey this time, Chicca deserves the crown.

Where should I start? Mesmeric Lipstick has the same dimension as Lunasol and RMK but has a weightier feel on the hand (it's still lighter than YSL and Bobbi Brown Luxe). One thing that sets it apart from other Kanebo sisters is that, thanks to the light colored paint, it won't collect your fingerprints like a border agent.

Instead of being square, Chicca corners are further sectioned off (do it enough times you will get a round tube, differential calculus yo), creating a distinct geometric design. The subtly glossy tube is adorned with a little rhinestone (much better cut than one on Jill Stuart) and has silver glimmer painted over, in multiple ultra fine layers. As a result, you get this crystal clear look that's hard to capture even with my formidable photography skill.

Guys, I didn't get a ticket to the sold out Vienna Phil concert tonight so let me blow my own horn. According to the live broadcast, I just missed out a brilliant pianist. SAD! The symphony was meh and the final Bartok playing right now makes me o_O

The lipstick has a secure friction fit, with no click. I would love to include a dozen more pictures but it was cold and my feet were getting numb.
The shade I picked is 06 Lucent Red, a best selling shade that's one of the original six. It appears to be a clear warm red that looks light and brightening. 
I did actually have an arm swatch of several high end sheer reds, I forgot which one was which so here is a picture of my bare lips instead.
Chicca Mesmeric lipstick has a glossy and lightly hydrating finish. It goes on lips in a very light layer that feels undetectable on the mouth. It doesn't plump away lines like those thicker jelly formula but the gentle hug is no less pleasant. Wear time isn't great but it does fade into an even tint. Lucent Red is a youthful shade that's suitable for the grown up. I wouldn't necessarily call it better than other sheer reds in the market, it's different and distinct. At the same price point, I favor it over the sheer formula of Chanel and YSL. 

Currently Chicca is only available in Japan so procurement isn't easy. There is always Ichibankao and other custom purchase services around so be prepared to pay 10 extra bucks a piece to the Markup God. I think it's worth it.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

MAC Matte Lipstick in Relentlessly Red

It has been way too long since I last purchased anything from MAC. From my foggy memory, their products are around the same quality as the drugstore gems circa 2010s and since I could no longer keep track of their limited releases, I just gave up alltogether.

Back in 2015, I entered a very short phase for matte lipsticks thanks to a persuasive blogger (who apparently has skintone and preference polar opposite from mine, it took me two lipsticks to reach that conclusion). MAC Relentlessly Red was one of the two, purchased two springs back. I got sick of the matte trend before I even touched it...
Relentlessly Red A warm bright pink with a bit of red lean. It's one of those curious shades that lies between red, pink and coral, oftenly called Mexican rose. 

The matte formula from MAC actually isn't bad at all. It's a little dry and draggy but it applies evenly without any slippery or gunky texture. It takes some slow layering to build up and both a softly stained tint or near opacity can be achieved.  It's not a moisturizing formula but it certainly didn't multiply my lip lines by 10 times. 
While the matte formula is pleasant enough. Oh boy this color looks horrendous on me. It's a color that not only screams "I AM HERE" but also brings out all the sallowness and imperfections from my skin.

Well. To be fair, a lot of pink-red-coral have that effect on me (from Revlon to Shiseido and Chanel) but Relentlessly Red takes the cake being the most neon bright hence the most unflattering one. It's definitely a lipstick I want to wipe off as soon as possible. 

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

ColourPop Mama's Apple Pie Eyeshadow Set

I would like to think that I am quite immune to fads and trends, maybe I just get into things when the fad wear out already. Colourpop is a brand with an immense popularity in the blogging world, snatching popular e-figures left and right (more like they got popular by snatching up popular Vloggers) and coming up with new collaboration every other week or so. 

I first heard about the brand from Jenn Im, someone I have been following for years and now I only watch out of habit. I love her (face) and am very happy for her accomplishments. It's just that the more I have grown up, the less relateble to me her particular style has become. I let Jenn's ColourPop collection pass and never felt a tinge of regret.
 A few months later, something finally plucked my heart string and made me go Eeeeeee. It was Hello Kitty, the mouthless cat that called for my wallet. 

While one can be too old for 90s grunge and SoCal Street style, no one is too old for Hello Kitty. 
To be honest, I don't see what does this collection has to do with HK (aside from those stereotypical names like Konichiwa and Bento Box etc) but it didn't matter. I will buy whatever crap with Kitty printed on. 
Mama's Apple Pie is a quad with four shades that doesn't look like they would go together (and they don't, at least not on me). I bought it when it was on holiday sale for around 15 dollars (I also used a first-timer coupon). The shades were made available individually, with two additional ones. 
The little compacts  have half kitty head! That's enough to convince me. 
All four shades of Mama's Apple Pie swatched. Color is skewed by the sunset but the texture of each shade was well-represented. 

In case you haven't heard about the texture, these are half cream half powder kind of smooth gel. Most similar to Aritaum Shine Fix Eyes and Elf longlasting lustrous eyeshadow. All shades are easy to apply and blend with fingertips. There is no fallout. The shadow lasted well on my dry (during winter) lid and can be sheered out for a clear finish.
Rainbow is a clear white glitter. There is a bit of dimension with the different sized glitter but I found the shade not wearable. I guess I should try it undereye as the innocent trail of eye boogers?
Friendship File is lovely beige rose in an metallic finish. I love this kind of shade as it both brightens, defines and makes your eyeballs twinkle. From what I have seen, Colourpop makes a lot of rosy neutral metallic similar to this. 
Look at the complex shimmer! 
Small Gift is a lightly shimmery satin coral. It's warm but rather wearable. 
School Bus is a Satin (but has the effect of a sheer matte most of the time/unless you are looking for the glimmer). It's harder to build up and also blends out to a sheer blue smudge. 
I was most impressed by the multi colored shimmer on all these shades. 

While I like the two warm shades and the formula they come in, ColourPop doesn't offer anything new to my stash. Whatever it has to offer, I already have L'Oreal Infallible (and Aritaum Shine Fix Eyes), they occupy less space and are less prone to drying out. 

To all veteran collectors, these won't be that impressive (but if you miss out all those wonderful LE shades of L'Oreal, some of these shades might console you a little). I do enjoy wearing these at night (since they aren't necessarily work friendly). 

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Lunasol Geminate Eyes in Cat Eyes

Lunasol Geminate Eyes, just like Skin Modelling Eyes in Beige Beige, is another one of their classics with a  never ending popularity. Unlike its work-friendly and subtly enhancing satin cousin Beige Beige, Geminate Eyes is all about the bling. 

Since it's debut in 2011, only two shades (Cat Eyes and Ruby) remain from original line up (which consists of the two mentioned plus Alexandrite, Diamond and Sapphire). Today, I will show you the warm toned Cat Eyes. 
The top two shades are golden yellow and a coppery orange. Both clear and sparkly but the coppery shade has a brushed metallic finish.
The bottom contains a brownish warm red and a satin medium brown. The palette is topped by a clear green sparkly top wash to imitate the chatoyancy (which just sounds so much cooler than cat's eye effect). 

The whole palette is very sparkly (which I don't mind) and very warm. I don't mind warm colors most of the time but sometimes, those kind of shade with some neutral base (but not too neutral) and turn downright yellow on me. This is what happens with Cat Eyes. It's a little warm for me in the middle of summer (and during winter it's just not wearable at all). 
I think I just mixed everthing together and try not to extent it too far away from the crease. I do love the clear glossy finish it maintains, while giving a lot of color intensity. The color and gloss really brightens up the eyes and gives a sharp cat lik
(Not crying here, I had a bad case of eye strain right after work). The texture of Cat Eyes is a little dry (thanks to all the glitters) but there wasn't too crazy of fall out as it was being blended. I prefer not wearing any primer for my eyeshadow, mainly to preserve the clear glossy finish. This one is hopeless against the summer heat/all the sweating that was going on. 

I still love it though.
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