From the sheer amount of Chinese-language resources I have gathered online, Suqqu seems to be insanely popular/hyped to death in mainland China (if you wonder why you can never get a hold of this or that palette on Selfridges, this is why). Beside the backing of some major and non-affiliated bloggers, the brand's eyeshadow have been winning over people's hearts (and bank accounts) through their sheer wearablity, refined texture and (most importantly) those poetic names that fulfill every hipster-wannabe's fantasy. Well, botanical terms make me feel more cultured than names like...Super Orgasm?
I jumped into the bandwagon last year (for the sake of research) and of course I picked up their Blend Color Eyeshadow 05 Sakurakaba, which is the most popular Suqqu Palette among it's mainland Chinese fan base. It's described as a gentle palette that's versatile (both for age ranges and occasions), flattering and not overly sweet.
The warm color theme reminds me the rose gold tone of Lunasol Pink Beige Collection so I thought another one in the same color scheme would always welcomed, (they are not even close, it turns out but they hit the same sweet spot) especially it comes with a meltier formula.
There isn't a direct translation of Sakurakaba but it breaks down into Cherry and Birch. This mostly monotonal palette captures the warmth and richness of the autumn leaves/birch, and is topped with luminous shimmer that reminds me of the warm sun.
Shade Break down from bottom-right going counterclockwise
1. Matte creamy peach base/highlighter that gets slightly more pinkish on my skin. This usually creates a smooth base and clean edges for other colors, I think it's a little more powdery than the white primer in Ginbudou and less smoothing than the one in Kakistubata. So urgh, it's a little chalky.
2. Satin bronzed rose, the main shading color. It's more subtle and a tad pinker than Nars Hammamet (which I have swatched and decided that I don't need) and works well brightening up the lid and creating soft definition.
The formula is firmly pressed and more clear/sheer than it is full-on. The included squirrel-blend double sided brush is pretty good at poking the color out. Right now, I find the color a little too warm on me so it's not as flattering as I would like.
3. Soft peach with obvious silver shimmer/small glitter, the arrange color (to blend out the main shade). I don't care for this type of glitter (I only like ones that gives a mirror-like sheen) but this one isn't particularly tacky so I don't mind.
4. Matte plummy brown eyeliner. Liner pan in a palette is usually the one I use very sparingly or avoid altogether (not that it's any different with this). The matte plummy brown (with a touch of wine red undertone) seems like the magic shade: When applied closed to lashline, it instantly brightens up my eyes. It's still flattering (not muddy) when use as a base for the main shade but given my tendency to over blend/overload, I play it safe and keep the area small.
Swatches of Lunasol Pink Beige Collection and Suqqu Sakurakaba. It's kind of interesting to see how my skin makes the main bronze rose so orangey but the other three look cooler than they are in the pan.
Sakurakaba - Cream vanilla peach as base, bronze rose as lid shade, soft peach to blend then finished with plummy liner. Due to the warmth in the main shade, I find the palette more flattering under yellow light. Maybe that will change after my summer tan.
I really enjoy using Sakurakaba and it's the only Suqqu palette I have worn for more than 5 times (the other are more like tried-thrice and stashed for later) . It gives a brightening and polish look, similar Lunasol Pink Beige Collection but in a more elegant and understated way. Of course I am not ditching Lunasol since it generally feels much more youthful and fun, despite the (comparativly) frostier finish.
I guess there might be a point in my life when I will appreciate Suqqu's texture, finish, general aesthetic and favor it over all other brands. But for now, I am wearing all the crazy sparkle flyaway while I can.