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Thursday, June 19th, 2008

Since the opening of the first Beauty Boutique in Tokyo in 1983, each year a limited edition Boutique Birthday Collection of the season’s most festive beauty items is created in celebration.  This year, to mark the 25th anniversary, Mr. Uemura created the most special and unique collection yet, one which truly embodies shu uemura’s core values of nature, science and art.  Three 100% natural origin fragrances formulated with Despea Water and spectacular makeup products packaged in the designs of Tokyo-based artist Gwenael Nicolas.

Today, Mr. Uemura would have celebrated his 80th birthday.  To celebrate, for summer 2008, shu uemura introduces a limited edition collection called HANA-BI, which means fireworks, to celebrate the season full of energy, excitement, and festivals.  The HANA-BI collection is inspired by three fundamental elements of nature:  terre (earth), rose (flower), and source (water).  Each element has its own fragrance ($85.00), and each element also has its own limited edition palette ($65.00).  You can view the full collection here.

Thursday, June 19th, 2008

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Thursday, June 19th, 2008

If you were using MAC’s Black Ore solar bits?, what look would you create with it? What shadows would you use? What would you use on cheeks? Anything added to the lips?

Create a look using whatever you want, as long as you include Black Ore! Feel free to share links to photos of your look(s) using it in the comments.

Thursday, June 19th, 2008

The Lip Scrub by Sara Happ ($20.00) was one of the first lip exfoliators to really penetrate the beauty realm. Aside from its utterly adorable packaging (comes in this little gift box tied with a ribbon), it is a great exfoliant for your lips. I tried the Vanilla Bean flavor/scent, which definitely has plenty of vanilla flavoring and scent to it, along with the sugar bits.

This differs a lot from my staple Peter Thomas Roth lip exfoliator, which is lemon flavored/scented, and it has gritter crystals. Sara Happ’s Lip Scrub has finer sugar crystals for softer, gentler exfoliation. I think I may prefer the smaller grit to the larger grit when it comes to my lips. I still find these lip exfoliants essential for my beauty routine, because my lips often get itchy/allergenic for one reason or another (seriously, no idea why) at random times. It occurs often enough that Cortisone doesn’t always do the trick. If I exfoliate, it often helps take the edge off of the itch/burn and return my lips to their normalty.

I know some of you will look at the pricetag and go, “What?!” A little goes a long way. You won’t be re-buying this scrub every month. I imagine this 1 oz. pot will last me at least six-months of regular (two to three times weekly) use. I also really like the ingredients that are found in the Lip Scrub, from the petrolatum (yay, my nightly staple) to the Jojoba and Grape Seed oils for added moisture and suppleness.

Plus, these make great gifts. They’re petite, but so utterly cute. They come in six flavors: Almond Creme, brown Sugar, Cinnamon Sugar, Cocoa, Peppermint, and Vanilla Bean.

Learn more at www.thelipscrub.com.

Thursday, June 19th, 2008

sukicolor is a branch of sukipure, which is a natural skincare brand (which I have good luck with in the past, so I was eager to try out their makeup line!). sukicolor fills in an area often overlooked by mineral makeup lines, which is cream-based makeup. sukicolor is “fresh finish mineral cream makeup.”

Some products I enjoyed:

Tinted Active Moisturizer SPF ($45.95) comes in two colors (Natural and Bronze), which means it may be limiting for some skintones. However, I’m medium-toned, and Bronze worked out for me. Because it is a tinted moisturizer, the color itself is still rather sheer and blendable, so you don’t end up getting a super dark foundation color or anything, if you don’t need it. suki recommends adding two pumps of this to your moisturizer, blending together before applying, for lighter skin tones.

Triple Cream Eye Definer ($41.95) has seven shades to choose from, and iti s a 3-in-1 product. These creamy balms can be used to highlight, liner, shadow, or as brow fillers. I personally used the Amber shade, and I preferred it as a liner or brow filler over other ways (only because I prefer powder shadows).

Pure Cream Stain ($40.15) also comes in seven shades ranging from the lightest (Sandstone) to the deepest (Vermillion). The shade I tried was Dahlia, a creamy reddish-brown blush/lip stain. Even being one of the darkest shades, it is still just a tint, so don’t let it scare you! I loved how creamy it was, and I liked that it didn’t go on super pigmented, because I could build it up and blend it out without worrying I needed to defuse the clown-effect of more pigmented cream blushes. (Hey, if you’ve ever worn cream blush, you know you need to get it perfect before it dries–which isn’t that much time–so buildable is preferrable over ultra pigmented.) I think I’d love to try Opal, Nectar, and Vermillion in the future. What I also like about this stain is that it is suitable and advocated to use on both the lips and cheeks, which means it does double-duty AND you can match, if that’s your thing (and it IS my thing, ha!).

Other products you may be interested in: Liquid Formula Concealer ($41.95), Rich Pigment Mascara ($33.95), & various brushes (varies).

What could they improve on? Price. There are a plethora of mineral makeup brands, albeit most of them focus on powder versus cream/liquid, but very few of them reach the price point of sukicolor. I’m completely satisfied with sukicolor quality and packaging, but I do feel that the price will put a lot of potential customers off.

Learn more at www.sukicolor.com.

Have you tried any of sukicolor’s products?  What do you think?