Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Belly Linting

I haven't done one of these introspective posts in a while.  I think I've come to uneasy terms with spending and being of the uber-consumer mindset for makeup.  Let's pivot on our heels and talk about blogging.  How 'bout that?

I am pretty much amazed that Wondegondigo is actually still chugging along and I am enjoying the more leisurely pace of posting.  Have to admit that I am slightly sad that statistical pageviews are lower since I've stopped the frenetic (for me) pace of posting, but this pace fits a bit more closely into the time and energy constraints I have.

Here are some thoughts I have been wrestling with related to blogging.  I like being transparent about things like that on this blog.

"I don't belong here."

Lately, I've been feeling this more strongly.  My part in the beauty blogosphere is relatively short & very small, but even in the little time I've been in it, there has been a bigger and bigger shift in the nature of beauty blogs out there.  I'm not even talking about the shift to video as the preferred medium for having a beauty media presence.  I am amazed at the savvy and slickness (sleekness?) of the blogs out there.  I am equally dazzled and simultaneously dismayed.  Dazzled because of how incredibly polished they are but I feel dismayed that I feel more out of place with the sleek blogs.

I do think there is room and reason for a dinky, personal and niche blogs like mine.  Dinky beauty bloggers of the world, UNITE! :)

I actually think it's my own ego and relentless striving that wants my blog to be the most specialeriest blog ever.  I'm trying to reconcile my happiness in having a dinky blog operation with the opposing desire to have a more amazing blog.  I want to take over the world, but I don't think I have that capability frankly.

"Maybe I should shoehorn myself into there?"

I've been doing lots of small things over time to increase the quality of this lemonaide stand: upgraded camera, research into lighting and general photography equipment, downloading a trial version of Lightroom.  I am pondering a new template for the blog to snazz it up, new lens, et cetera.  I am winded just thinking about all this stuff.

Consider products a bit less niche to get teh moar bigger stats?

Start a Youtube channel?  <----bwhahahahahah!

"What the hell do I know about makeup to have a blog?"

Anyone can have a beauty blog.  Anyone.  This is a truth and often cited.

I came by my "expertise" <-----bwhahahahahah by paying for it.  I don't work in the industry.  I don't apply makeup better than anyone else.  I have what I have by paying ooooodles of money for it.

...not to say that my love of beauty is not authentic.  It seems like a weird way to have and maintain a blog by just paying loads of money for it.  Why?  WHY CAN'T GOOD THINGS BE FREE?!

"Am I going to be a 50 year-old woman putting selfies on a blog?!"

This is not a dis on all the great blogs for older women out there. 

But because of all my vanity, which I have tons of by the way, just like I have tons of forehead, I feel like it would be weird (?  right word?) to put my face out there and documenting aging.

And for some reason, it seems unseemly (again, wrong word?) for me to be putting selfies out as I age.  This feels like a very controversial statement to me.  Taking self portraits to post on some social media seems to be very much a younger person's activity and I really don't feel part of that generation.  I lived in a world before internet!  (I used to go to the library to research topics.  Now I just say, "Siri, what is the name of that Tim Curry character in that movie?"  All this new technology... so weird.  I digress, but I mean nothing wrong is with aging.  Maybe something wrong with aging while posting selfies on a beauty blog.  I'm not sure.  I need to work through this thought noodle even further.

"Why do my favorite blogs disappear?"

This one makes me sad.  There's been blogs I've loved and been fans of that have POOFed!  Many of those were by bloggers closer to my demographic and with a personal sensibility I admired and related closely with.

Why do these blogs disappear?  Makes it seem inevitable that mine will one day poof as well.  The song of my peoples... it is a song of POOF!

Til next time, faithful or occasional readers of this dinky operation!

We now return to our regular scheduled, makeup-fueled but not all that frequent posting...

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Look Featuring SUQQU Eyeliner Creamy in EX-03 Ruby Navy

This post features products (*) provided by the brand/PR.
It's hard to find enough pockets of time to do mega posts with multiple looks, so I hope these little posts suffice.  I've been using the new limited edition color of the SUQQU eyeliner and trying to see all the different variations I can achieve using this product.

I mentioned on the detailed product post that this product sets.  I mean it really really sets to the point where a simple wipe with micellar water will not budge it.  Due to this really tenacious nature of the liner formula, there's some limitations in usage for more than a simple clean line for me.  For instance, while it would be possible to use the product as the most complex and beautiful navy shade upon which to build additional product onto, it would be very difficult to blend and shape as it pretty much sets immediately upon application.

I thought I would show you my attempt at a graphic, but softened line featuring Ruby Navy.  One eye at a time is key, as would be super speediness!  The underside of the wing is sharp and clean, while I attempted to soften and smudge the upper part with my Shu Uemura 5R brush.  The stiff kolinsky hairs are handy for working with non-powdered products.
It is really humid and hot and I am sweating into ladylike glow in these pictures.  :)  No highlighting luminizers needed!  I glow naturally!

Products used:
Base: Ladylike sweat de Belly, Chantecaille Future Skin foundation in Chamomile to match my recent beach tan, SUQQU Nuancing Loose Powder in Natural.
Eyes: SUQQU Eyeliner Creamy in EX-03 Ruby Navy*, the shimmery hot pink in the split pan of SUQQU Benichagasane palette (EX-16), the pale yellow in SUQQU Sumiredama palette (EX-11), SUQQU Brow pen in Moss Green, Guerlain Cils D'enfer WP mascara.
Cheeks: Edward Bess Blush Extraordinaire in Bed of Roses.
Lips: SUQQU Creamy Glow Moist in EX-15 Benikiseki*
Drawing that Navy Line:
I drew a very thick line extended into a wing using Ruby Navy with my Chikuhodo Artist Red 6-1 brush.  I needed precision of a small brush head, but with enough surface area to quickly apply product in a larger area than a fine line.  I then immediately used my Shu Uemura 5R brush to blend on the upper portion of that graphic line in an attempt to soften the upper contours of that line.  Not so successfully, I think.

Adding some contrasting fun color:
I used my SUQQU eye shadow brush M to apply the pink shade while blending it slightly into the blue line.

A little brightness:
I used my Chikuhodo Artist Z-10 to apply the pale yellow on my lower lash line and then finished the whole thing off with mascara.
Everything in context on my face:
Happy to report ~11 hours into application, my eye makeup is completely intact despite my sweating all over it.

What goodies from SUQQU's new collection do you have coming in?  Have you tried these SUQQU liners before?  Are you also getting similar performance from it as I do?

>>disclosure: this post contains product (*) that has been provided without charge by the brand/PR.  My opinions are my own.  Do check out my full disclosure statement here<<

Saturday, August 23, 2014

SUQQU Eyeliner Creamy in EX-03 Ruby Navy

Disclosure: This post contains product provided by the brand/PR.
SUQQU was kind to offer several items from the new releases from AW 2014.  Today I will be featuring the new limited edition Eyeliner Creamy in EX-03 Ruby Navy, but will be showcasing one of the trios as well as the new limited edition Creamy Glow Moist over the next few days.  

And look, how nice of the sun to cooperate for a scant few moments to allow for some good photo taking.

These potted eyeliners come with a small brush included, which is great because my very old Bobbi Brown Ultrafine Eyeliner brush is looking frayed and chewed up for any good use.
By placing the cap on the bottom of the brush extends the brush head into a miniature, but perfectly usable eyeliner brush with a fine tip.
I prefer pencil eyeliners on most days, but some while back, I was very much a Bobbi Brown and Shu Uemura addict for gel liners.  I was keen on trying out the SUQQU version in the limited edition color offering.

As I mentioned from the press release, this AW collection is inspired by the luminous and glowing tones of jewelry.  EX-03 Ruby Navy is a deep rich navy blue that is full of very fine multi colored shimmer.
The liner is very soft, much softer in texture than my Shu Uemura and Bobbi Brown liners and easy to pick up product with a brush.  While a cream product certainly, it has a certain powder feel when applied while retaining the precision of a cream liner.  It feels smooth and not at all gritty despite the shimmer and lovely being applied.
While it can be layered on into the full intensity of pigmentation you see in the swatch below, the initial swipe of the brush on the skin is soft.  I can create both the precise lined look that a good gel liner can achieve or apply softly and blend quickly to achieve a softer look.  
It sets quickly and becomes cemented on to my skin.  I was crazy surprised that a normal swabbing of my Bioderma barely dented the swipe while a Bobbi Brown swatch I had originally applied next to it easily wiped off.  I had to really rub and rub hard after a few seconds of a cotton pad soaked in the micellar water applied over the line.  Ack!  Look how I've rubbed my skin red to finally clean the swatch off my arm.
Wear time is excellent remaining precise and sharp!  I've only applied over my normal Nars Pro Prime, and with only minimal fading in my inner corner, the line stayed completely intact.  It did clean off well with cleansing oil.

I will be showing the new liner in a few looks in upcoming posts, along with posts on the lipstick and the new trio.  I hope the sun feels cooperative and allow me to take some pictures while I get my indoor lighting situation figured out.
Utterly gorgeous color and could definitely get me into potted eyeliners again.

SUQQU is available at Fenwick London Bond Street and Selfridges London, Birmingham and Manchester in the UK.  Outside of the UK, you can order by reaching the counters directly or online through the Selfridges website (here).  For pieces of the AW collection, I recommend calling the counters directly as inventory on line is notoriously spotty.  You can read my post on where to buy SUQQU here for telephone numbers.  International shipping prices are very expensive.

What are some of your favorite products and colors for eyeliners?

>> This post contains product provided by the brand/PR.  My opinions are my own.  Do check out my full disclosure statement here<<

Thursday, August 14, 2014

SUQQU Autumn Winter 2014 Collection

There's very little beauty wise that get me as excited as fall collections and even less that get me as excited as the new releases from SUQQU.  This AW 2014 collection has some true eye catching beauties and I am excited to ramble on and parse through the press information today.

Inspiration for this collection is jewelry, and many of the products will have that richness, translucency and vibrancy.  My jewelry collection tends to be cast off kids' plastic Hello Kitty things given out as favors in goody bags at birthday parties, but I suspect other grown up women will be pleased to see reflections of rich tones in SUQQU's collection.

Eye shadows:
Limited edition 4-pan (but sneaky OCTET!) EX-21 Murasakisuishou
Ridiculously pretty, is it not?  Surely this is the star of the collection and being limited edition, I would hazard a guess that this will be in high demand.  All the colors have a depth and translucency that allows for some artful layering and the eight color format is a natural for mixing and matching.  One thing that I saw in the press information was that there are two preset combinations that might work easily for those of us that are creativity challenged, 4 colors from the outside or 4 colors from the inside.   (or let your creativity run wild with your own preference for mixing and layering)

All the shades are pearl finish, so likely very similar in texture to the releases from this past Spring.

Eye Color Palettes (Trios):
Trios!  A format even more better suited for my utterly uncreative mind and skills!  Like the limited edition quad, all the colors in these trios are pearl finish shades and especially formulated to bring a "wet look." This kind of blows my mind thinking about the edginess of a wet look but made with the typical sophistication of this brand.  Sounds pretty amazing, if it executes on the lids the way described, no?
01 Toutouseki - Pink & Beige, 02 Kinshiseki - Yellow & Purple, 03 Aoruri - Glow White & Deep Turquoise

This seems to be quite the departure from the normal eye shadow finish of the norm, so this will be something I have my eye on.  I hope these are not glitter bombs.

The lipsticks being offered are new shades of the Creamy Glow Moist formula.  I really like these balmy lipsticks.  While the pigmentation is very sheer on majority of the colors, they feel very cushy on the lips and super easy to wear.

The new introduction however, is a new finish in the Creamy Glow Moist of Veil Glow.  Veil Glows are semi-matte shades.  Doesn't glow & veil together seem a bit oxymoronic?  Well, I guess proof will be in the pudding? or pie?  or cake?  Looking forward to seeing what these new Veil Glows look like.
Veil Glows-
07 Sangoseki is described as a dense, red coral.
08 Tougyoku is an intense pink.
EX-15 Benikiseki (LE) is a red.

07 Sangoseki

08 Tougyoku

EX-15 Benikiseki

Regular Glows-
09 Zakuroseki is described as an opaque radiant rose pink shade.
09 Zakuroseki
Nail Colors:
Two limited edition shades are being offered with the AW collection and can be used alone or layered.

EX-07 Nanairoseki - Lamé.  This seems to me like the SUQQU version of the glitter top coat.  It can be worn alone or applied over other shades.

EX-08 Kouseki - Ruby Pink.

I never really paid attention to SUQQU nail polishes before, but their description of the formula sounds nice with the right viscosity and ultra smoothness for application.  It also contains squalene for moisturizing properties.

Creamy Eye Liner:

Creamy Eye liner in EX-03 Ruby Navy is a limited edition pearly navy.  This smooth cream formula has a deep navy with red tones in it.  I haven't used gel liners since using up a few pots of Bobbi Brown.  I like the smudgier lines of pencils, but this does look like a beautiful color.

SUQQU's new Autumn Winter collection is in stores on August 21st at Selfridges and August 28th at Fenwicks.  It is already in stores in Japan.  They are also available on-line at Ichibankao (the quad appears to have sold out here).

What are the chances of the full collection hitting you think for more than a blink of an eye?

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Butterflies & Clams

I must have truly missed out in my younger years living in such an urban setting.  There are many pleasures in city living but the pleasures of living closer to nature is pretty incredible.  While I may whine about the deer pooping all over my lawn, the weird giant rodent things eating every one of my flowering plants (killing my beloved peony!), the birds chirping at 4 in the morning, seeing incredible things up close and personal is delighting me. <---run-on sentence, IN ACTION, LIVE on WONDEGONDIGO!

I went out to pick some flat leaf parsley during the weekend and saw many of these gorgeous caterpillars serenely hanging out among the stems.  Upon research I found that these are Eastern Black Swallowtails and they exclusively feed on plants in the carrot family (parsley being one).
I think they will go off elsewhere to cocoon to develop into the beautiful butterflies with the black wings, but I will enjoy their company for a short while.  My parsley is looking a bit sad and brown, and so I'm very glad they are being enjoyed by these insects.

source: here
Pretty butterflies!  And the vibrant green on the caterpillars blend expertly into the parsley plants.
Not that I am a huge bug lover or anything.  I have recently discovered a hive of angry yellow jackets under my deck!
Speaking of recent pleasures, after first trying this in New Haven, CT many years ago, I ate this delectable white clam pizza.  It was so salty but full of garlic-y and ocean flavors on top of a very well cooked and charred crust.
I think next time, this pizza will also require the accompaniment of bacon.  Yah?

Any recent simple pleasures you want to share?  Makeup pleasure is also good and always welcome!
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