This Fall, SUQQU has departed from its usual classical looks, and brought us something completely different. Firstly, if you thought their quint-in-a-quad (for example EX-17) palettes were interesting, SUQQU has managed to one-up us with an oct (octuple? octet?)!
In a simple compact that would normally have housed 4-5 shades, EX-21 gives us 8 whopping shades in a variety of colors! And more importantly, SUQQU departs from its usual reserved aesthetics to give us really blinging jewel tones! The amount of shimmers vary from sparse to packed multi-tonal… but all really fine and more than wearable. Here are a couple of off-focused shots to bring out the shimmers.
As you can see, the bottom left pair of shades have the most amazing multi-tonal shimmers… I see green, yellow, pink, gold, purple! The top left pair also have some pretty shimmers although the contrast is not as distinctive… still very pretty regardless!
The top right pair also contain some sparse shimmer… still multi-colored and fine so they wouldn’t be flat if worn on their own. Even the bottom right pair are not completely without shimmers although they are all completely whited out by the sun in the photos above. They are very soft and due to the pale nature of the color they almost appear frosty as you can see in the close-up swatches below.
And is the complete set of swatches, left to right corresponding to shades on palette clockwise from top left:
The shades are:
I think I ran out of adjectives for those shimmers… after awhile of staring my eyes went color-blind. But the point remains the same – EX-21 is a highly shimmery palette. You will be relieved to know though, that SUQQU has maintained its taste level with very fine unobtrusive shimmers. So pack away with them without fear of turning your eyes into disco balls!
If staring at the 4 split pans as they are arranged is making you feel kind of stumped like I am, it helps to think of them in the way SUQQU has prescribed, i.e as 2 separate quads comprising of shades in the “outer” versus “inner” ring.
There is also the possibility of wearing the entire palette as a quad by mixing up each duo split pan, in which case this would be the resultant set of swatches:
The thing to note though, is that these shades are all somewhat sheer… each shade has been swiped numerous times for the swatches to show above. And this is perhaps a more important characteristic to note than the unusual design, because the only way to get any color to show up is to (1) use a good primer, (2) really pile them on, and/or (3) layer. If you, like me, were expecting a pretty pink and navy, or orange and brown eye look when I first laid eyes on EX-21, you may be left disappointed.
Notwithstanding the above, once you get used to the whole idea behind EX-21, it is possible to create some pretty looks!
I first applied the blackened navy close to my lash line, smudging it past my folds. Then I added medium cool-toned brown over it , taking it to mid-lid. Next I dabbed pink on the inner half of my lid, really packing it in. Finally, I dabbed the orange/copper on the outer half, and blended the crease with the pale shimmery beige. Despite all the heavy packing, the overall look is still soft, almost glimmery… which fits the jewel theme of this season. The look has a shimmery element to it, which unfortunately cant be completely captured by camera, but it is certainly there when you look closely.
Due to the small size of the shades, it is very important to use the right brushes. When I first started using this palette, I used my usual fluffy brushes, and it was simply impossible to pick up enough pigments, and the whole process proved to be rather frustrating. After many tries, I finally decided that a flat narrow brush like Hakuhodo J004G (reviewed here) or a pencil like brush would be really the best for packing on the colors. Basically something small enough to fit in the slivers of color, and dense enough to pick up sufficient pigment. The enclosed brushes are perfect actually.
SUQQU Blend Color Eyeshadow EX-21 Murasakisuishou is certainly a unique offering, and veers somewhat away from what we have seen from the brand to date. For SUQQU lovers, the lack of pigmentation may be a little alarming at first, although I believe it is by design. I love SUQQU shimmers which was what made me fall in love with this palette to begin with. But it sure takes some getting used to, and despite the pink and orange, EX-21 invariably ends up looking rather neutral on me. The eye look above is the most “colorful” I could achieve (will update here if I manage more), and somehow it reminds me of Guerlain’s Holiday 2013 palette (reviewed here).