Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Suqqu Bright Up Lipstick

Since swatching the Suqqu Bright Up Lipstick 08 澄橙 (Sumidaidai) and 09 薊映 (Azamibae) at the Mitsukoshi Ginza, I can't say I haven't been tempted. Gals and guys haven't stopped talking about Suqqu and of course I'm curious.

But the steep price tag was keeping me away. I did indulge in an eye shadow palette here and there but have managed to refrain from all the lipsticks. A 3,000yen Lunasol or Maquillage lipstick was already quite expensive for me. I adore Coffret D'Or Premium Stay Rouge, and it's cheaper than both Lunasol and Maquillage at 2,500yen a piece. I doubt Suqqu can really double Coffret D'Or's performance to be commensurate with the roughly doubled price. I truly believe that after a certain price point, I'm paying for the packaging and not the formula. 

Then hubby and I moved home from Tokyo. All the mid-range drugstore brands like Coffret D'Or and Maquillage are now out of reach, that is, unless I pay the crazy markup that would toss them right up there with all the department store brands! Nope. No way. No, thanks. Don't think so.

The irony is with Suqqu, available outside of Japan via Suqqu UK. Thanks to Brexit, the dollar is gaining steadily on the pound. Consider these retails taken from Selfridges UK, subtracting VAT for international orders:
- Blend Color Eyeshadow: GBP37.70 (~$46.50) vs. 6,800yen before tax (~$58). A Lunasol palette is 5,000yen (~$42.75).
- Eye Color Palette: GBP29.37 (~$36) vs. 4,800yen (~$41).
- Creamy Glow/Bright Up Lipstick: GBP22.62 (~$27.75) vs. 5,000yen (~$42.75). A Lunasol lipstick is 3,000yen (~$25.75).
- Extra Glow Lipstick: GBP19.44 (~$24) vs. 4,000yen (~$34.25).

Holy hell, folks, Suqqu's officially more affordable than Lunasol! Guess what, time to sample myself some Suqqu, and I'll start with the Bright Up Lipstick 09 薊映 (Azamibae).

All pictures taken in natural light without flash.

Ah hah, the packaging! Yup, with the Japanese retail I'm definitely paying for this epitome of perfect packaging that wastes zero space (what a steal with the UK retail, no? ^.^). Just look how slim and sleek this black tube is! I'm not certain if it's metal, sure feels like it though--cold, weighty, and substantial in my hand, not some bulky, clunky, but cheap and light plastic crap (ahem, Jill Stuart!).

Here's a packaging comparison between four different department store brands, from left to right: Paul & Joe, Suqqu, Lunasol, and Jill Stuart. Paul & Joe is about an average sized round tube of lipstick, same size as Lipstick Queen, and Suqqu is longer but almost half the width. On the other hand, Jill Stuart is the biggest, about twice the girth of Suqqu and yet looks tackiest and feels crappiest out of all four, probably most poorly made too. Urgh.

I've only swatched 08 澄橙 (Sumidaidai) and 09 薊映 (Azamibae) in store, and I've only tried the latter. I'll have to pick a couple other Bright Ups to compare as it's not uncommon for a Japanese lipstick to have an entirely different formula and texture as the rest in the same line. So far, 09 薊映 (Azamibae) feels like a jelly formula with a texture similar to Lunasol Full Glamour Lips 02 Cherry Red, smooth and balmy, moisturizing with a nice shine. 

- 09 薊映 (Azamibae): a shimmer free transparent medium pink. In natural light, it looks warmer on the back of my hand but turns brighter and cooler on my lips, true to how it appears in the tube. The color lasted well through an entire afternoon of sipping tea and snacking.

More to come for sure!


kuri said...

Oh no, I may need to try a Suqqu lipstick, breaking my no-buy (unless I can use up a lippie before then, haha). I'll wait for all of your reviews first

Citrine said...

That's a lot of red (I will never have the gut to try karakurenai given I know how the formula is like) ...But I won't mind picking up some creamy glow at that price.

My complaint is just that all the happy bright colors are in the extra glow packaging...It almost feels like Kanebo did it so that people will buy KANEBO (their global brand that debuted last fall) instead...

D. said...

Hi Claire,

I do think Suqqu makes excellent lipsticks. At least I love all the ones I've got so far. Then again, if it weren't for the favorable exchanges I wouldn't have gone near any of them.

More reviews to come very soon!


D. said...

Hey Mina,

I do think you'll enjoy the Creamy Glow Moists--I LOVE them, and I love them more now that they're cheaper than marked-up Lunasol xD By the way, if you're interested in pursuing Suqqu you should subscribe to Selfridges Plus Global. For an annual fee of GBP35 (~$42.50), you'll get free express shipping to the USA for a whole year! It's totally worth it in my humble opinion. Take the RMK lipstick you reviewed recently, it's available via Selfridges UK for GBP17.86 exclusing VAT--that's ~$21.75, cheaper than marked up Coffret D'Or!

From what I've seen so far, I think the Kanebo global brand is, umm, boring :( So I do wish Kanebo would bring Lunasol to the international market instead. Imagine Lunasol available from Selfridges UK! Woot!


Citrine said...

Thanks! I heard about it from Belly's wondigondigo(?) Instagram but I don't think I will be fangirl enough to need it. I don't mind paying markup on those because I would only get the shade I reach for instead hoarding a bunch to even out shipping cost.

I think I have gotten all the shades I wanted from the creamy glow and creamy glow moist (and will skip the extra glow because I can't handle the big gold-black tube)...

Coffret Dor has a new range of lipstick out this March and I like one of the hot pinks (saw it on maquia magazine's Instagram).

D. said...

Hey Mina,

Yeah I saw those new CD lippies too, although the tubes look positively huge, may be bigger than the current PSR even! I'm looking forward for the swatches to surface!


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