I am so excited I’m literally bouncing off the walls to be able to bring you today’s post! SUQQU Blend Color Eyeshadow EX-20 Natsubotan was the highly-coveted Summer 2014 offering from the Japanese brand, and was sold out in Japan and Selfridges within hours of launch. I had actually wanted to pass on this beauty, because I thought… well, pink and brown (but as it turns out, it’s not brown!)……hmm. But when a dear friend made a trip to Bangkok last week, and this was in stock, I couldn’t resist.
Natsubotan (loosely translated: Summer Peony) is a true lady’s palette. From its special limited edition white casing, to the shades in the palette, it all spells femininity. And perhaps for that reason, I did not quite fall head over heels with it based on promo pictures. I need some zing in my palettes….
It was only when I finally laid hands on my own, and swatched it that the magic came alive…
The swatches from left to right, correspond to shades on palette in clockwise direction starting from bottom left:
Even on the most uninspired of days, Natsubotan creates some mesmerizing eyes…
Here’s a close-up on the eye….
I applied the pale beige pink all over as base, followed by the chocolate plum along the lash line taken midway up the lid. Applied more of the chocolate plum along the outer half of the eye and in the crease. Then patted the pink on the inner 3/4 of the lid, focusing on the center. Finally, finished by adding a dab of frosty pearl pink to the inner corner. Lined lower lash line with chocolate plum followed by mascara to complete.
Since Natsubotan was so elusive, I thought I would compare some pinks and plums for posterity’s sake.
This was really an exercise for my own purpose, because at first sight, the bottom left shade in Natsubotan looked distinctly brown, yet clearly it turned plum when swatched. And the swatch comparison above clearly illustrates this metamorphosis. When stacked against other similar palettes with reddish browns – YSL Pivoine Crush and Chanel Charming, neither were good dupes. Instead, the true purples were better matches – in particular THREE Star Guitar if applied with a light hand.
As we had earlier established that the pink shade in Natsubotan is special due to its sheer quality, it is almost futile looking for dupes. But I am optimistic that with a light hand and perhaps a loose squirrel brush, we can achieve the same effect. In the course of this exercise, I surprised myself by how many pinks I own. Clearly YSL Ballet Russes is not a good match here, but somebody had asked and so here it is. Surprisingly, Chanel Rose Des Vents was a close enough match despite looking much darker and more red in the pot. But the closest in terms of color and finish had to be another Japanese palette from Shiseido – Maquillage PK732.
SUQQU Blend Color Eyeshadow EX-20 Natsubotan is a beautifully curated palette that is a breeze to blend, and lends instant glamour to an otherwise everyday ladylike look. This is still available at the SUQQU counter in Bangkok, Thailand; and elsewhere online for a premium. Alternatively, I hope the above has convinced you that there are workable dupes residing amongst your stash, and we can just let Natsubotan rest.