SUQQU Spring Summer 2017 Collection
>> this post features products provided without charge by the brand / pr for my consideration<<
I'd been staring long and hard at the various promotional images and sneak peeks we'd been seeing on line. After all, a new SUQQU collection is something to be interested in. At the same time, with the re-vamped lipstick and blush lines from last Fall, the brand is looking very different. The internal struggle was trying to reconcile my own way of identifying SUQQU (a little moody, elegant, subdued, surprising, urban) to what I'm seeing now (a bit girly feminine and cheerful).
I'm going to share all the requisite product images and swatches. And for the eye shadow quads, I'll also dig a bit into how they were and how they are now. But at the end of the day, I think it's best considering the products on their own merits. They are beautiful products, but I think something about the essence of the brand has been evolving for a while and I think this incarnation is something very different than what I've been crushing on for a few years. I think I've made peace with it! (Probably because I own everything I can possibly want from the old releases!) It even seems helpful for me to think of this as a whole other brand.
Lots of text, so please feel free to just scroll and look at the (many!) photos.
This color collection is inspired by the flowers of Japan and all their inherent contrasts. Bright blooms with the subtlest scents, the strength and resilience of their beauty against the harshness of weather and climate.
Designing Color Eyes
The new eye shadow quad is called the Designing Color Eyes. It seems to be just the perfect evolution from the all shimmer-based quads of the recent lightly pigmented Blend Color Eyeshadow palettes (like 22 Kikyoutsubomi, EX-28 Kinshasasuna or EX-29 Kokiouri, etc) to this robustly pigmented shimmery new formats.
You can see that the cases now are in line with the blushes that were recently introduced with the bicolor black and gold cases. They are slightly bulkier than the old cases, but no matter to me. The back reveals little pinholes in which to poke and depot!
I have the permanent quad 02 Hikaritouka to share with you today. This quad is inspired by the ranunculus Japonicus.
I believe this is the quad that was on the model in the launch promo images and looks both fresh and sultry on here. These orange shades a not easy for my skin tone, unfortunately! But it looks very spring-appropriate.
Here are swatches and shade descriptions. I've also layered all the four shades together, but I don't feel you get anything magical and the shade is what I would expect layering a brown & orange dominant quad- a brownish orange color! All the shades have shimmer with out any of the complex multi-colored ones we may have seen in older quads. The ones here matches in tone to the shade color itself.
- Pale warm cream with lighter champagne shimmer.
- Pale warm grey , with a rosy undertone and pale warm pewter shimmer.
- Deep warm reddish brown that pulls burgundy with very fine golden shimmer.
- Lively coral with pale golden shimmer.
These are beautiful shadows, with very soft and super smooth textures. It's very easy to pick up the shadow on a brush and brushed on softly for a very subtle application, or using a patting motion to get stronger color payoff. I had some slight fall out, on the coral, when applying but once on the lid, it adheres exceptionally well. Over my Nars Pro Prime eye shadow primer, I've had excellent (10+ hours) of wear with minimal fading. The only shade I thought was a bit iffy in performance was the grey shade, which while casting color where applied, remained very subtle and and showed mostly the shimmery texture.
I would say compared to the older releases of the Blend Color Eye Shadows, the new Designing Color Eyes are much more pigmented and easier to increase in intensity. The product is very easy to blend and gradate without blending away into muck. As I mentioned before, these the textures of these four shades are so uniform, the interesting layering of textures (and not just colors) that I was able to achieve in the old quads isn't something I can achieve with this quad.
That said, the Designing Color Eyes palette in 02 Hikaritouka has some of nicest textures I've recently experienced. It is more softer than the quint in my recent Kanebo post and with the kind of richer pigmentation that would appeal to a wider array of people (say a western market). With an interesting combination of colors, excellent textures and very easy application and blend-ability, I think this is a great palette with wide appeal.
I don't have a lot of orangey shades among my eye shadow collection, but here's from recent Blend Color Eye Shadow palette in 18 Sakuraori (reviewed here), with another unexpected combination of orange, pink, brown and a color shifting white.
Orange in the Sakuraori is darker and warmer. I think the combination with the pink is a bit more offbeat (and probably more challenging for me to wear!).
And if you are not familiar with the older SUQQU quads and wondering what the hell I'm talking about with the Blend Color Eye Shadow palettes, here's a view of my collection of the quads 01-08, minus 02 Kokedama. (01-06 are UK exclusives, that are now on the very precipice of disappearing forever. Might want to spring for them now, if you were ever planning to.) They have a format of a sheer, white toned matte base shade that is used as a priming shade that evens out texture and helps make blending easier. A dark matte shade, and two shimmer shades- with one being using a bit more shimmery and the other being a bit more satin. There's an even older generation of quads which is different still (here)!
Pure Color Blush
Along with the two permanent shades that I have here (06 Harusumire and 07 Tsuyasatsuki), a limited edition shade 101 Kasaneyamabuki were released.
These were introduced last fall, along with the revamped lipsticks. I received 05 Yawakouki then, which is very softly pigmented and something I'd consider a highlighter more than a blush. I had been meaning to try some of the other shades, but they never came back into stock at Selfridges. (errrg!) Receiving these two have been a more meaningful try at these gradient blushes.
I'm still echoing what I thought when I tried Yawakouki. These are incredibly finely milled and very soft. They are less hard packed than the old Balancing Cheeks or Nuancing Cheeks and much more pigmented than those old discontinued ones. I do feel that they remain a little powdery when applied on the cheeks compared to the older ones. I think it looks fine. I think because my skin has been so dry this aspect is a little more noticeable to me.
Here are swatches.
- 06 Harusumire is a very pale and cool toned pink with a very pale (violet white) side. This is less pigmented, probably more suitable for those with paler complexions. There appears to be some infinitesimally fine shimmer, but applied on the skin, it just takes the flatness of the color away.
- 07 Tsuyasatsuki is a raspberry pink with a gradient that transitions into a lighter warm pink. This would be flattering on many skin tones, with great medium pigmentation.
Extra Glow Lipstick
Three permanent and two limited edition shades were released for Spring Summer 2017. From my experience, if you want a more opaque lipstick, stick with the permanent ones. I received permanent shade 11 Hanautsugi. I was thinking it would be a bland nude from the bullet, but it turns out to be a pale peachy beige with enough peachiness to make the color very flattering for me!
I'm wearing the Extra Glow Lipstick 11 Hanautsugi and the Designing Color Eyes 02 Hikaritouka in both looks.
Look 1 - Quad 02 Hikaritouka, Pure Color Blush 07 Tsuyasatusuki, Extra Glow Lipstick 11 Hanautsugi
Look 2 - Quad 02 Hikaritouka, Pure Color Blush 06 Harusumire, Extra Glow Lipstick 11 Hanautsugi
I see lots of coverage by Asian bloggers who have had time to play with this release a few weeks longer than us, but I'd love you to take a look at Emily Loke who has covered this release (here, here and here). Honestly, Emily can post a paper bag and I'd still love to buy it! She's darn gorgeous. And also check out Laura, who posted here.
Overall, excellent release. I'm wiping away any preconceived notions of SUQQU as a brand and admiring it in its current incarnation by its own merits. It is very beautiful. However, you can pry my old SUQQU out of my cold dead hands.
I'm excited to try out a piece here or there, so I'm going to be hunkering down for the long, dark wait waiting for that website-that-won't-be-named to restock their inventory. What about you? I'd love to know if you are also thinking about the brand differently than before. It's not just me, right? Aside from packaging changes, it really does feel different, right? Will be you making any purchases? For old time sake, name your favorite old quad and your favorite old lipstick!
Disclosure: this post features product that was sent free of charge by the brand/PR for consideration. However, all my opinions are my own! Yes indeed! Please check out my full disclosure policy statement here.