SUQQU Eyelash Mascara and Eyelash Base Review

Caution: Holy Grail alert here! SUQQU semi-recently released a new mascara: both regular, waterproof and a mascara base. I was kindly sent these items for consideration, so far I’ve been testing the Base and the regular Eyelash Mascara. I’ve loved SUQQU for years but I haven’t much ventured to the mascara territory, so I was delighted to try these! What do you think, should I do a brand overview now that I’ve tried most from the line?

*Mascaras kindly gifted for consideration.

SUQQU Eyelash Mascara and SUQQU Eyelash Base Review | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog @laurantaina
SUQQU Eyelash Mascara and SUQQU Eyelash Base Review | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog @laurantaina

About SUQQU Eyelash Mascara and Eyelash Mascara Base

SUQQU has named these mascaras simply, the brand often uses depicting titles without unnecessary marketing talk. Eyelash Mascara and its versions have replaced other mascaras in the line. Eyelash Mascara promises to combine “shine, density and long-lasting curl power” - I assume the density means volume in this case, shine making the lash looking healthy and wispy. The mascara comes in black, black waterproof and the Base clear/semi-transparent. Mascaras retail £29 and the Base £23.

Using SUQQU Eyelash Mascara and Eyelash Base

Not sure where to start, it’s been a while since a mascara product has blown me away (maybe Monsieur Big - review). For my medium lashes this Base is epic. It gives me everything: long-lasting volume, curl and separation. Some length of course, but I think this Base exceeds when it comes to giving the lashes thickness and volume, making them easy to separate and “style” before the Base sets.

The SUQQU Eyelash Mascara applies well on primed lashes, but I do recommend paying attention on application (roots, short or odd pokey lashes) as the semi-transparent finish is noticeable if you miss a spot. Once you’ve coated the lashes you can expect them to wear beautifully for the rest of the day. The lashes don’t grab together from the ends, no flaking or smudging during the day. I’d say the result is semi-waterproof, you do need cleanser to get everything off.

Alone the Eyelash Mascara gives beautifully long and deep black lashes, but some of lash tips may stick together if you’re not careful. Nothing a little combing can’t fix, but I think it’s worth mentioning. The mascara wears well, but the Base does improve keeping the curl and longevity. I’ve tested the Base with other mascaras and the best effect is with the accompanying SUQQU mascara.

I very much enjoy the Eyelash Mascara wand, which is cone shaped, doesn’t pick up too much product (not too wet) and fits perfectly near my inner and outer corners where I have shorter lashes. I wish the Mascara Base had the a similar wand, I often need a second pump to get enough product for one eye. I presume I will run out of the Base quicker than the mascara, but as it’s cheaper I don’t really mind.

In the pictures below my eyelashes are curled with *Tweezerman Lash Curlers (the best!).

SUQQU Eyelash Mascara and SUQQU Eyelash Base Review | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog @laurantaina
SUQQU Eyelash Mascara and SUQQU Eyelash Base Review | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog @laurantaina
SUQQU Eyelash Mascara and SUQQU Eyelash Base Review | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog @laurantaina

Eyelash Base and Eyelash Mascara worn another day (pic below)

SUQQU Eyelash Mascara and SUQQU Eyelash Base Review | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog @laurantaina

Final Thoughts

The Eyelash Mascara Base and SUQQU Eyelash Mascara combo is a Holy Grail, top shelf, favorite quality. I will definitely purchase the Base once I run out, I have a feeling the mascara will last me longer and I am also testing its Waterproof version. Used alone the Eyelash Mascara might need some precision when applied, but not a bad choice if you like high end mascaras. It doesn’t beat my drug store favorite, Heroine Make, but I wouldn’t pass on the Base!

Have you tried SUQQU?

What's J-Beauty? - a Beginner's Guide to Japanese Beauty

I’ve been meaning to write more articles on Japanese beauty, but there has been so many products I’ve wanted to review I easily forget to get back to basics. Today I’m doing an (updated) introduction post to Japanese beauty, makeup and skincare. Please notice that this is not from a viewpoint of a Japanese woman, but observations of a Finnish girl who used to live in Japan and travel there every ~2 years. I regularly get my updates from Japanese YouTube channels, ranking sites and magazines when I can get my hands on them. Anything you want to share, please leave them in comments!! x

What's J-Beauty? - a Beginner's Guide to Japanese Beauty | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

Origin of cuteness, or kawaii

Everyone and their Great Aunt knows about K-beauty, especially through quirky, even oddly packaged brands. But the “kawaii” (可愛い cute, loveable, adorable) trend originates from Japan. Kawaii could be a blog topic on its own, as it’s a big part of the Japanese DNA and aesthetic from popular culture to entertainment, clothing, mannerism etc. Today I’m talking about kawaii only briefly, from the viewpoint of beauty aesthetic.

When it comes to Japanese beauty ideals, the most popular is fresh, cute, youthful and conservative: big eyes, silky skin and flushed cheeks for example. Some may describe this as childlike, I’d say youthful or perhaps ageless trend. Where as Korean glass skin has trended recently, “mochi” (soft and silky sticky rice cake) skin has been popular in Japan for ages.

The cuteness trend is very prevalent in the packaging: the drugstore brands may feature anime characters, but even high end cosmetics like to make their appearance feminine, glowing and soft. This may be the use of custom decorative packaging (Paul&Joe, Anna Sui) or perhaps floral imprints in the pan. But don’t overlook the cute, cartoon items as a lot of drug store makeup is very nice quality and owned by bigger brands such as Shiseido or Kanebo.

What's J-Beauty? - a Beginner's Guide to Japanese Beauty | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

What is “whitening” in Japanese Skincare?

Bihaku (美白) or “beautifully white” is very prevalent in Japanese skincare. Where as in the history white skin free of blemishes was to display someone’s status, today I find this is mainly a word for evening out the skin tone. Obviously this depends on the person, but many Japanese tan or get sun spots very easily thanks to the hot sunshine. Clean pores, evening out age spots, melasma, acne marks etc. is very prominent in order to achieve the ideal, even complexion. Where as Europeans are very considered about wrinkles, I think in Japan “clear” skin is even more important.

The popular use of bihaku in skincare is to inhibit the production of melanin with ingredients like arbutin or kojic acid. The Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare may label functional skincare as ‘quasi drug’ (医薬部外品) if they use safe and effective ingredients for preventing or improving hyperpigmentation. When using “lightening” or “whitening” skincare, you don’t need to worry about using dangerous substances (bleach, lead, mercury etc) on your face. They do not whiten your skins appearance or turn you lighter than your natural skin tone.

What's J-Beauty? - a Beginner's Guide to Japanese Beauty | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

Bathing and Massage

If kawaii and bihaku are Japanese beauty ideals, then bathing and facial massage are essence when it comes to daily routines. Of course a busy Japanese woman (or man) doesn’t have the time for daily facial massages, but majority of Japanese people bathe every single day. In Japan there’s rarely a greater bliss than soaking in hot water after a long day at work or doing house chores.

If you don’t have a nice bath at home, you can visit public bath houses (銭湯, sentou) or even onsen (温泉, hot spring spa). Bathing is deeply rooted into Japanese culture. While Westerns like their bath bombs and bubbles, the Japanese most often enjoy plain very hot water. In sentou or a public bath house, and women have separate sides and you wash yourself before taking a dip into the hot water. You can bring a small towel to the bath to wipe off sweat from your forehead - as long as you don’t dip it into the water. There is no jumping, splashing or swimming in bath houses, only relaxation.

Facial massages are sometimes performed with massage tools such as face rollers, but usually just with your hands. During the massage session, pressure is applied with your fingers or your knuckles, usually starting from the centre of your face and finish draining your lymph nodes on your neck. When I’ve had a facial massage done in Japan they used quite a lot of pressure, which had some discomfort yet the final result was relaxing. This massage routine feels advanced to me, so I often perform the parts of it when my eyes or cheeks feel puffy or drooping.

Important Japanese Skincare Steps

In Japanese skincare routine, there are two very important steps in my opinion: double cleansing and applying a toner. The double cleansing is usually performed first with a cleansing oil (such as Shu Uemura, DHC, THREE, Hadalabo being popular brands for example), followed by a cleansing milk or a foam depending on your skin type. The Japanese are very particular about having their pores clean, so after removing makeup it’s essential to clean the skin.

Toner may also be called a lotion or an essence or some sort of combination. The word lotion/treatment lotion/first treatment essence is very often used instead of toner, but this is what you put on your skin first after cleansing: to soften the skin and prepare it for other products. Essences, milks, creams etc. are followed after. You start from the lightest in texture and move to heavier. Layering is key when it comes to skincare!

Here are two example routines. Skincare enthusiasts may also apply an essence while some might skip the milk or cream depending on the skin type.

Japanese PM Skincare Routine

Oil cleanser
Gel or foam cleanser
Lotion (aka toner)
Sheet Mask
Serum
Moisturizing Milk
Cream/Moisturizer

Japanese AM Skincare Routine

Cleanse (milk, gel)
Lotion (aka toner)
Serum
Moisturizing Milk
Cream/moisturizer
Sunscreen or makeup base with SPF

What's J-Beauty? - a Beginner's Guide to Japanese Beauty | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

Key Points in Makeup

Japanese women tend to put a lot of effort in their makeup, but the end result should be like you’re not wearing anything. Conservative, natural, fresh. Base products are very popular in Japan because of the high humidity, also they often have added SPF protection. After a makeup base comes foundation and I think that powder foundations are pretty common while I rarely see them in Europe (except mineral eco foundations). Blush is applied sheer, eyeshadow often a gradient with glitter. Eyeliner is popular, but very natural and slim line along the lash line. Japanese lashes are often short and straight, so most mascaras add just length, definition and above all last long. Japanese waterproof mascaras are honestly waterproof!

I find that Japanese brands don’t advertise their products with “exotic Asian traditions” (such as Tatcha) as widely, but there are some that honor the traditions (say, Kyoto brand Yojiya). Brands that have Japanese ingredients (SK-II’s famous Pitera was found from sake making) often base their claims on science.

What's J-Beauty? - a Beginner's Guide to Japanese Beauty | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

Japanese Brands To Check Out

There is a vast amount of Japanese beauty brands, many owned by same parent companies. Drug stores are filled with smaller brands that might be devoted to just mascaras or eye products. I’m listing here some brands to check out, perhaps in the future I’ll do another introduction post.

If you like kawaii brands you should check out Anna Sui, Paul and Joe, Les Merveilleuses LADURÉE as they’re very famous and distinguishable with their over the top cute packaging. If you’re into more simplistic sleek look, check out SUQQU, ADDICTION and THREE for example. These high end brands have been featured on my blog several times. Their style and philosophy are different, but quality overall excellent.

For luxury lover there is brands like Cle de Peau, Cosme Decorte and Lunasol that offer excellent quality makeup. If skincare is your main focus, perhaps check out the legendary SK-II. Yojiya follows the trend of Kyoto geishas and maikos, their products are very simplistic, but make a great souvenir from Japan. Their aburatorigami (あぶらとり紙) aka blotting papers, hand creams, lip balms and paper soaps are very popular.

From the drug store I try any liners and mascaras with anime characters (Sailor Moon, Rose of Versailles) – so far everything has performed so well! I also like Visée’s shadows and a variety of products from KATE. If you struggle to choose from drug store products, check out the “Top1” or similar stickers by magazines (iVoce, MAQUIA) or online rating sites (Cosme). Often the popular items are worth the hype.

Final word

Thank you for reading, I have soo much to talk about when it comes to Japanese beauty! I didn’t even touch hair trends or go deep into traditions or routines. What would you like to read more about? Do you like J-beauty? Also, a huge thanks to my friend Iida from Iida in Translation blog for the beautiful pictures!! If you can read Finnish or simply love beautiful Japan travel photography, check her out!

xx Laura

SUQQU Urban Prism Eyeshadow Compact Review and Swatches

I think this is the second time SUQQU UK releases a limited edition 8-pan palette. The colors of the previous one from holidays 1 or 2 years ago didn’t speak to me, but my jaw dropped when I saw the teaser pictures of the new UK exclusive Urban Prism compact. The looks SUQQU’s makeup artists Jorge Balzaretti and Paul Holmberg have created using this are stunning, blended, chic and airy yet packed some punch with color choices. I was so excited for the reds and pinks so I marked my calendar with the release date.

SUQQU UK Urban Prism Eyeshadow Compact Review | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

About SUQQU Urban Prism Eyeshadow Compact

The inspiration for this collection was a kaleidoscope, contrasting textures and colors to create wearable looks: natural and elegant, chic and smoky, trendy and edgy. The other items from this collection were a powder highlighter, bronzer, highlighting crayon and two lip crayons. As I’m typing this the SUQQU Urban Prism Eyeshadow Compact is still available on Selfridges and Harrods. It sold out quickly during the first launch, but I’ve noticed Selfridges tends to restock their site from time to time. £59 for 12.4g of product, 8 pans of eyeshadow and two small applicators. Made in Japan.

SUQQU UK Urban Prism Eyeshadow Compact Review | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

Wearing SUQQU Urban Prism Eyeshadow Compact

I refer to this palette as the Urban Prism although the packaging says ‘Eyeshadow Compact 101’. I think this is one of the most fun, unique yet wearable palettes SUQQU has come out with since they revamped to Designing Color Eyes formula. This palette doesn’t have holes on the backside, so it’s not meant to be depotted. I hope the glue is strong enough to hold the shadows, it felt little loose when finger swatching.

I’ve been looking for a palette to do more colorful looks: either a has-it-all palette with neutrals for contouring the eyes or a full blown colorful palette. Sadly, these types palettes are difficult to put together shade range and formula-wise, which is the reason I have been putting off purchasing a Natasha Denona palette for example. They are often very cool or warm, not enough color variety (just 1 pop of color) or just hideously expensive. Not that £59 is cheap by any means, but SUQQU combines warms with more neutral shades of brown, cool pink, blue and yellow. Thanks to the careful color selection and mattes I can wear this palette on its own without reaching for brown neutrals.

I’m really happy to report that SUQQU is consistent with their quality. Only one or two quads have had a more chalky black, but overall you can feel safe when getting a SUQQU palette online. The shadows are smooth, buildable, finely milled and silky texture. The colors don’t skip on the eyelids and blend evenly. There’s some variety in textures with more mattes to satins and shimmers, but they all perform very well.

I’d like to call these SUQQU shadows nicely pigmented, but they’re certainly more on the buildable side vs many US based brands that put an emphasis on high pigmentatiod when swatches. SUQQU shadows give a nice veil of color without being sheer or see-thorough, you can layer and mix them as you wish without the result turning muddy. With my NARS Pro Prime eyeshadow primer these shadows wear ~8h on my hooded lids.

SUQQU UK Urban Prism Eyeshadow Compact Review | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

SUQQU Urban Prism Eyeshadow Compact Swatches

Orange leaning peach with golden shimmer

Red tomato matte

Dark khaki with slightly greenish undertone

Champagne shimmer with glitter bits

Purple leaning pink shimmer

Orange tomato matte

Dark navy blue with black undertones

Matte yellow with a greenish hue

Look with SUQQU Urban Prism

SUQQU UK Urban Prism Eyeshadow Compact Review | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

I was inspired by this look by Jorge Balzaretti. I had a lighter hand compared to the editorial pictures, but in real life the pinks and reds still popped out beautifully. I love the yellow in the inner corner, makes the look more interesting and playful in my opinion. I used MILK makeup’s gel liner in CEO on my waterline to get similar intensity to the look, but it’s not too visible as I’m looking down.

SUQQU UK Urban Prism Eyeshadow Compact Review | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog
SUQQU UK Urban Prism Eyeshadow Compact Review | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

Final thoughts

If you’re very color-shy I think you’re better off with 01 Yuushakuyaku (review) or other more muted SUQQU quad, but if you like to experiment - even with 1-2 shades at the time, I think Urban Prism is an excellent choice. I personally love this palette and have reached for it a ton. I think it’s going to be my go-to palette this summer thanks to the elegant vibrancy and wearing possibilities. Big recommendation!