I am a sucker for foundations. I think it has to do with the fact that I don’t have perfect skin and it is always a struggle (or a shopping opportunity!) to try and find the product that will make me look the way I feel – in control!
Yes, we know that great skin starts with a great skincare routine. Makeup is what follows. We also know that even though we take good care of our skin, it might still not look flawless. There are so many factors; external and internal that decide how our skin will behave.
I need to use primers, I have to do some light colour correcting and I must use foundation or at least a BB cream to feel comfortable going outside the door. It is not about what other might think, it is about me loving makeup so much that I think it is sad to put on eyeshadow and lipstick without first tending to the base-canvas of the face.
For a quick recap, this is what my base products have to face (no pun intended):
- Dry and dehydrated skin with sensitive areas and small breakouts
- Hyperpigmentation en masse
- Enlarged pores around my nose
- Olive to dark skin tone with a yellow undertone that can make products go ashy or very pink on me, if I apply the wrong shade.
- With long wear follows some oil in the centre of my forehead
With all of these perimeters I’m always happy when brands are releasing something new to address the issues! I am not a fan of the whole cushion-trend and I need good coverage but still something that let my skin shine through and breath. I can work with compact foundations, stick versions and fluids. Creamy, rich or sheer – it all depends on the look I wish to achieve but lately I try to avoid the matte foundations as they sounds good in theory but don’t sit nicely on my skin in real daylight.
There is no secret that I love Japanese skincare and makeup brand SUQQU. They very rarely disappoint me! However, I had never before used any of their foundations as it is a bit scary to order online without having a chance to patch-test them and often the shade range has seem to be a bit fair for my skin.
When SUQQU UK generously sent me their new Duo system, consisting of a primer and a new foundation (and the new dual-ended brush) I almost screamed of joy! Finally I had the chance to dive in, and do it properly step by step. Let me talk you through the experience!
First of all, all about that base. SUQQU have released the Treatment Primer SPF20. According to their own communication, this new system targets more mature skin and as I’m 34 years young I might be borderline to the audience. Anyhow, I need a good primer for my dehydration (no one wants the foundation to show it off) and to minimise the look of those enlarged pores. If the primer can also treat my skin while prep it, I’m all in!
The Treatment Primer comes in the regular black cardboard box and house in a sleek, pink squees tube, easy to travel with. It is larger than other primers on the market but still small and handy. A little goes a long way with this product as the texture is almost like a serum.
Ones you squees out the liquid it is bright pink. At first look, that scared me a bit but when it is applied over the skin, it looks translucent even though some pink pearly particles assist with the fatigue look of my skin. It looks much more fresh and awake. The undertone of my complexion is not radically changed, but there is a nuance to it of freshness and life. It plays with my dark spots and I can see that I don’t need as much color correction as usual.
It holds SPF20 which is not enough for sunlight but to be fair it prevents your face from going white if you’re being photographed with flash. As happens a lot.
This little gemstone is indeed a treatment for my skin as it holds 4 different moisture and skincare properties:
- Camellia Seed Oil – known for being rich in Oleic Acid which heals and protects the skin, it helps to prevent the skin from ageing. Oleic acid is rich in antioxidants, but it is used to make products heavier to seal in moisture. Some claim that it is fantastic for dry skin, but not to be confused with Linoleic Acid which works the opposite way to sheer out the product. All products with Oleic acid can be a challenge for heavily acne prone skin, so if you are in that category you should test the product on a smaller area before applying all over the face. For me, with sensitive jawline where I tend to get spots, I avoid to apply the primer. I need it more on my cheeks, forehead and around the nose to address other issues.
- Evening Prime Rose oil – one of the oils that is well known for being super concentrated with antioxidants makes my skin sing with joy. With this urban lifestyle that include sun, sand, pollution and other challenges, my skin need all the antioxidants it can find!
- Apricot Kernel oil – a very light weight oil that I assume gives the primer is serum-like texture. It is almost runny and sheer, gives the skin a great moisture boost and works amazing even on the oily parts of the face, in my case, the forehead. It holds sebum controlling properties to keep the unwelcome shine at bay.
- Sunflower oil – filled with Linoleic acid! It is a polyunsaturated omega-6 fatty acid; an essential fatty acid for the body. It is light and used to sheer out products as well as making them quick-absorbing. It holds great inti-inflammatory properties which helps the primer to treat acne, unclog those pores (yay!) and speed up cell regeneration. When applied topically on the skin, it provides the product with great moisture retentive properties.
My personal conclusion after using this (under several brands of foundation) is that it works beautifully for my skin. It holds the base-product stable, it makes my skin feel more alive and plumped. The pink hue addresses my dark spots in a gentle way and it makes sure that the foundation doesn’t clog my pores. I enjoy it specially on my chin and around my nose. It treats and moisturises.
Over to what you’ve been waiting for: the SUQQU Extra Rich Cream Foundation SPF30+ PA++.
First of all, the packaging. I love it and I hate it! The love comes from the look and feel of it: a heavy glass jar where the frosted glass makes the product inside look smooth and lyxyrious. The golden lid (formed in a wave shape) with it’s embossed SUQQU logo speaks to my sense of style. It sits so nicely in the hand and on the shelf. The hate part (or no, that’s a strong word, it’s more a problematic part) is the usage: I’m not a fan of foundations without a pump. I’m too messy for it, the product tend to go all over the place and I don’t consider it very hygienic as well. It is easy to accidentally dig out more product than you actually need and it is a no no for me to dip a brush into an open jar and then apply it onto the face. There is supposed to be a spatula in the packaging, although mine was missing. It is not a big deal at all, as I’ve got many of them that came with different eye-creams. I take up some product with the spatula, add it on to a makeup mirror and then proceed with apply it on the face. This is not the foundation I would travel with and frankly that’s too bad since the product is ah-mazing!
First I need to say this: when the senior MUA of SUQQU has got one picture of your face and manage to send you the perfect shade match then you know he’s GOOD. I think I was in chock the first time I applied the foundation, because it is my skin – only better. Fantastic shade and undertone.
I have the shade #004. The foundation comes in seven alternatives with three different undertones: ochre (10X), pink ochre (20X) and beige ochre (00X). Clearly you can see that I am in the last category and with quite a deep shade. I was very excited to try this product, but also a bit ambivalent as the claims provided versus the inci-list made me confused.
SUQQU describe the foundation almost like with a fragrance, where these is three stages of how it evolves on the skin using intelligent and advanced technology. To make it simple: the Top phase is the first stage that you get. It provides the skin with a smooth, glowing and dewy effect where the skin shall appear more youthful and alive. As the day goes by, the Mid phase kicks in, where warm pearly powder gives the skin a deeper glow, a warmer undertone and radiance from within. The final stage, the Base phase works sebum controlling as it is a long-wear foundation that shall last you a full day and night.
I don’t know exactly how many hours the different phases are suppose to last but I can definitely see that the foundation is working my skin during the day. I want to emphasise though that yes, the skin glows warmer and my sallowness is gone, but this is NOT the same as the product oxidising on me. To the contrary, I didn’t experience any oxidisation which is quite rare for me as many foundations turns pink or makes me orange after five hours of wear. Not what I wish for.
It is claimed to be a full coverage, dewy foundation and I totally agree. You don’t need much to cover your whole face and for me, with hyperpigmentation, it works so beautifully. Yes, you can sheer it out or build it up as you like but even sheer it still manage to cover a whole lot. I think it is perfect for evening wear and even though it’s been humid here in Dubai, the dewy texture works together with the air, not against it. It is long-wear and doesn’t settle in amy lines or on my dry patches (wish I guess is due to the wonderful primer). My first reaction is that I really like the look and feel of the performance. My skin looks healthy and smooth and even.
This is where it gets tricky for me. The second listed ingredient is Mineral oil which I don’t even understand why they would choose in such a high-end and costly product? To me, it doesn’t make sense at all. It also hods Vaseline and as I’ve been working in the oil- and gas industry too long not to understand what Vaseline is and what it does to our skin, it is in line with the Mineral oil. A huge question mark for me. I really don’t get it at all and frankly speaking it disappoint me a little bit. I feel lucky that I’ve laid the ground work with the fabulous and clean primer, so that my skin doesn’t get full contact with these ingredients. The foundation also comes with Talc, which might be an irritant if you suffer from acne prone skin. It can clog your pores and it counteracts the great work that the primer has done to unclog them.
The positive part of the INCI-list however, is this:
Featuring 12 naturally-derived ingredients, all sourced in Japan and well known for their caring properties, the lineup is pretty unique. My favourites among these are Olive leaf Extract, Cherry Tree leaf extract, Camellia seed oil, Apple extract (great enzymes) and Phyto Hyaluronic Acid. I firmly believe that these are what makes the foundation to look and feel as spectacular as it does.
This is why it confuses me a bit. I would be lying to you if I said that some of the ingredients bothers me, but I can’t deny the fact that the foundation makes my skin look amazing and stay that way for a long day running around. It is full coverage but never goes thick or cakey on me, I feel that other products, like blush, powder and highlighter sits so naturally and blends in together with the formula of the foundation and I ave not been needing to touch up my face with additional concealer during the day! I look good, airbrushed even and I’ve gotten positive comments about the tone and radiance to my skin. Always a pleasure for someone who constantly chase after the perfect base!
Released together with the new foundation is this Dual-ended SUQQU foundation brush. I am in LOVE. First of all and this is important: it is very fairly priced with being a SUQQU brush! I love their brushes for their exquisite quality and the way they lay on my hands. This one is no different. Made out of synthetic hair (as we all want brushes used for liquids to be) it has a unique tapered and slender shape that helps the application to go on seamlessly. The company recommends that you first apply dots of the foundation to five point of your face, then use the brush going from the middle and upwards.
If you look closely on the bristles you’ll see that they have small waves on them. This help the brush to dispense an even amount of product not to overdo the look. You can find the same technique in some of MUFEs brushes.
The other end of the brush holds a soft, round sponge-tip, almost like a small beauty blender. It is great to staple both foundation and concealer on to the areas around your nose and under the eyes where you don’t want to stretch and pull on your delicate skin.
A small detail, but such a winning one: the brush comes on a hygienic silicone case, easy to clean and it will keep your kit fresh while traveling or allow you to carry it with you even in your handbag for touch ups!
All of the three products are finally launched in the UK as of September, 22nd 2016. For information on where to find a counter to test out the foundation, get samples or meet with the prominent SUQQU MUA Team, contact Selfridges London or visit @SUQQU_UK on Instagram.
I believe that you are going to enjoy these products very much.