New Armani Melting Colour Balm Shade 52 and Suqqu Blush Collection Update

I planned to make this post over three months ago, but I did not anticipate Suqqu discontinuing their line of Melting Powder Blushes! It’s barely a year since they were first launched and there was supposed to be a permanent range, not just the limited edition shades. According to the brand, they were having too much trouble sourcing the raw materials. Whatever is already in production for 2023 is still coming out, but there will not be more after this year. It’s quite a shame because the Armani and Suqqu blushes are among my favorite cream to powder formulas for blush. I guess this post also serves as a shade comparison guide for those who want the Suqqu colors but are unable to get them in time and would like a potential alternative.

In-depth review of the formula and photos demonstrating the Suqqu shades 06 Yuubae and 07 Yoiurushi can be found here.

In-depth formula and performance review with photos demonstrating the Armani blush shades 30 Warm Coral and 60 Warm Plum can be found here.

Let’s start with the Armani blushes because I want to not only feature the newest addition to the line, but also comment on the texture differences among the various shades and information on the batches.

Armani Neo Nude Melting Color Balm in 52 Neutral Pink

When I purchased the newest shade at the end of last year, I also bought a second version of 60 Warm Plum. One of my only gripes with the Melting Color Balm line is that I absolutely love the creamy and soft texture of shade 30 Warm Coral, but that might be the only one that feels that way. Shade 60 Warm Plum was extremely hard and also difficult to pick up the product and apply it to the cheeks. I thought perhaps it was defective and wanted to wait long enough to eventually repurchase it. When I got the new shade 52 Neutral Pink, I pressed my thumb very hard in the pan and it left an imprint. It’s still nowhere near as soft as 30, but it’s at least better than 60. I still wish it was a little creamier, but it’s at least good enough for me to recommend. As for my new shade 60, I pressed ridiculously hard and could barely make an imprint on the surface. Despite purchasing it a year and a half since the initial launch, the Armani US site is/was still selling the original hard pressed batch, as seen by the identical batch codes.

Shade 30 came out first in the initial launch, and even though 60 was supposed to be part of it, it was not available for purchase anywhere until about four months later. Both of them still have the same black sticker, which I believe indicates that “first” release. The brand new addition to the line, 52 has a whitish color sticker, so that seems to be a safe sign in knowing it wasn’t intended to be part of the initial launch and is truly new. But, as seen below, both shade 60s have the 78U14K batch code and are identical in their dried out super hard texture.

I love the color of 60, but it’s such a pain to use. On the bright side though, I realized that with enough uses, it does eventually soften up. I guess one could call it breaking the top layer, but if that’s the case it’s a far and deep layer. It never gets to the softness level of 30, but it gets closer to being like 52.

As for how shade 52 wears on me, it applies nicely with a brush and is okay with fingers. I haven’t tried a sponge this time, but in my previous review using a sponge was the quickest way to get use out of shade 60, so I’m sure it works fine. Of all my brushes, I like to use my Sonia G Mini Base brush with it the most. The blushes have a decent wear time if a significant amount is applied (and will certainly last longer if set with powder). Because of the creamy consistency though, it’s more prone to transfer.

Shade 52 looks a bit prettier now than when I initially bought it. It might be too light for me when summer comes, but my preferred usage for it is to mix it with shade 30 anyway to create what I consider an actual coral color. Shade 30 is described as warm coral, but I consider it to be a terracotta. Adding the pink from 52 is my favorite combination! I’ve also mixed 52 and 60 together, and that makes for a pretty mauve. It’s just more difficult trying to mix those two together when they’re on the drier side than trying to mix with the creamy 30.

So, even though I love these and do recommend them, I have to point out that they aren’t perfect across the board and the different shades may be easier or harder to use than others. These aren’t hyped up, but they tend to get extremely positive reviews from those that own them (and for good reason).

Suqqu Melting Powder Blushes in 02 Haruoto and 101 Hoteriiro.

These aren’t the newest additions to the line, but they are the most recent ones I’ve purchased.
As was the case with Armani 52, this 02 shade from Suqqu looks better on me while I’m at my lightest, but it is definitely not a flattering shade on me when I’m darker (particularly because of the cool tone). I don’t think I will end up keeping this one in my collection, especially if there’s someone on Mercari who might want this after it’s officially discontinued. It’s something I’ll consider when I’m back home or I might just give it to a friend. I’ve considered the idea of mixing it with one of the darker shades, like I did with the Armani ones, but considering how many Suqqu blushes I own in total, I would rather dedicate my focus on getting more use out of the ones that work for me on their own.

Shade 101 is sheerer than I expected and more shimmery as well. It’s objectively pretty, but not my preference. I feel like it emphasizes the kind of orange tone my foundation can lean, which is not what I want. So, I may rehome this as well. It might make a pretty blush topper, so I will at least try that first sometime before deciding to keep it or not. However, when I want this kind of shiny orange, I could always reach for the orange blush from Hourglass that was in the Tiger Palette. That one even has more pigment.

Comparison Swatches Between Armani and Suqqu

None of these colors are dupes for one another even though I always pictured them being similar in my mind. I think it’s understandable considering I own a pink, orange, and red for both. If anyone else is curious to see how they compare, I hope this will bring some clarity.

Newest Blush Releases from Armani and Suqqu

The handwritten numbers were my attempt to figure out which shades from the promo pic that attracted me to the Armani blushes coincides with the brand’s swatches. It’s not easy to figure out considering these are not widely available at the time I’m writing this.

Armani is releasing Luminous Silk Glow Blushes and Suqqu has two Pure Color Blushes coming in the Pre-Summer Collection and two Melting Powder Highlighters in the actual Summer Collection. I was very much interested in the Armani ones until I watched a review that had me questioning whether the colors I want will look the same way in person as they do online, or if they will even show up on me with their level of sheerness. So, it’s unknown whether I will pick one up or not. I’m leaning towards skipping until there’s a big sale.

For Suqqu, I had the 138 Blush in the Pre-Summer collection shipped home to the US. As for the Summer collection, I’ve gone back and forth on this, but I might just pick up one of the Melting Powder Highlighters. Although I suspect it will have silver shimmer, and I hate silver in highlighters, the other colors within the swirl of the orange/brown swirl one might make it something I like. It being limited edition makes it difficult to “wait and see,” and I certainly don’t want to miss out.

That’s everything I have for today!



Suqqu Autumn/Winter 2022 Collection Review

In my previous and fairly recent Suqqu post, I praised the brand for taking some risks with adding more colorful options as well as deeper toned ones. They finally released quads that are my type of color stories, although I typically purchase formulas with stronger pigmentation and sparkle. I also was thrilled to see one of their ombre blushes in a tone that would easily work for me. For that reason, I couldn’t be any more selective when narrowing down what to buy.

I placed the Suqqu order when it launched from Selfridges, and the package arrived on July 25th. I normally test out products for much longer, but considering several items are limited edition, I wanted to make sure I posted this review while most products are still available. At this time, a few lipsticks and two of the three eyeliner shades have sold out.

Suqqu Signature Color Eyes Palettes in 09 Kaorikaze and 117 Akiurei

As usual, my swatches are done with a finger on bare skin. This time, however, I built up 1-3 swipes of each eyeshadow. The left photo was taken without flash and the right photo has flash on.

There are four quads in the collection and I purchased the two most colorful options. Akiurei is the only one listed as limited edition. This is my first time experiencing Suqqu eyeshadows and I am so impressed by how easy the mattes are to use! No matter what brush I used or which primer, I was able to get the soft blended look I wanted. However, if I had to choose a preference on which primer to use, it would be the MAC Paint Pot because its texture aids the ability to spread the shadows across the eyes. It is hard to tell how pigmented the mattes are based on color #4 being so close to my skin tone from the Akiurei palette, but it’s more apparent with the deep green matte from Kaorikaze that the mattes have a decent amount of pigment and opacity to them.

When it comes to the shimmers, that’s where the struggle occurred. I fully expected them to be soft and for the sparkle to not be very reflective, but I was unprepared for the trouble getting the shadows to stick to my eyes. It’s especially strange since my eyelids tend to be oily, so I don’t usually get that problem. Shadow #1 from Kaorikaze was the most difficult of the bunch and would not stick to my eyes, even if I wet my brush, unless I used Nyx Glitter Primer. Shadow #1 from Akiurei had better sticking power on the center of the lid, but still needed the Nyx product for the inner corners. With the majority of shimmer shadows in my collection, using my finger to apply a shadow or using a damp brush is enough to make a lid shade pop. However, the Nyx Glitter Primer was the only thing that successfully intensified the looks of these shadows and increased the longevity on my eyes.

Going back to the topic of wetting my brush, when I tried to build up shade #2 in the Akiurei quad and dipped back into the pan to add layers and intensify the look I was creating, it left a dark splotch in the pan that made me concerned about ruining that satin duochrome and turning the shadow muddy. I was already having issues with the brown being so dominant and the subtle green flecks only appearing at the perfect angle in the light. So, I scraped off the top layer to salvage it. This also occurred with the sparkling duochrome lilac pink shade from the other quad, so I decided to just never use Suqqu eye shadows wet again.

In order to draw more attention to the duochromatic nature of Akiurei #2, I like putting the sparkly pink shimmer in the center of the lid because that catches the eye first, and then I notice the green flip right next to it.

Shadows #2 and #3 from Kaorikaze are the most pigmented of the shimmers. They are coincidentally the only ones I don’t feel forced to use with Nyx Glitter Primer. As I mentioned before, I do like intense eyeshadows, but I was fully prepared for these to be almost like a wash of color. Technically the pigment level is satisfactory to me, but the inability for most of them to stick to my lids is how they end up blending away and appearing far more subtle than I prefer. So, using them with the tacky primer is how I feel they should normally look. This is especially the case with Shade #3 from Akiurei that has less of a sticking issue than some of the others, but it has a problem with the pretty sage green dulling down tremendously and losing all shine very quickly unless it has help from the primer.

There are a few additional points I have left to make regarding the quads. One is that the applicators and brushes included in the compact actually work well. I usually get rid of them, but decided to try these for the sake of the review and was quite surprised to see how useful they were for getting in the inner corners, building up color precisely, and blending. I’m actually planning to keep them in case I travel with one of the Suqqu palettes. Second, is the fact that these compacts are sturdier than the single blushes and feel more like Suqqu’s 6 pan blush/highlighter compacts. It’s still lightweight, but about twice the thickness of the individual blush compacts.
The third thing I discovered is that there are holes in the back of the quad that make it easy to pop out the eyeshadow pans. I did not test out whether the pans are magnetic or if they are capable of sticking to the palette on their own. What I can say, is that they come glued down, but every pan was wobbling when I rubbed my finger in them to do swatches. The glue in both of my quads were like a super sticky version of Vaseline. I wish I knew what this type of glue is called and whether it’s supposed to be so easy to remove and feel so creamy. When I took them out, they were not straight off the truck and hadn’t been anywhere near sunlight. It was probably two days after being delivered. While it’s true that we’re in the thick of Florida’s Summer heat, I doubt my bedroom is hot enough to melt solidified glue. So, I can only assume this is a special kind.

This feature made it easy for me to be able to swap the matte shades between the quads. The moment I saw them, I thought to myself that it was such a shame that the green matte wasn’t with the green leaning quad that I needed more depth from, and that the brown wasn’t with the colorful quad to be able to help ground it. I can see the reasons why they were chosen for each quad, but I preferred to have them swapped, and I am much happier with how I’ve rearranged them now!

Eye looks using the rearranged mattes over MAC Paint Pot and Nyx Glitter Primer on the lids for both.

Swapping the mattes now gives me the complete Granny Smith Apple Orchard color story I wanted and the Changing Leaves Full Autumnal quad I was going for. The brown paired with the leafy shades makes the most sense to me because, where I live, if our leaves ever change colors it goes from green to brown. We don’t get the gorgeous yellows, reds, and oranges.

These eyeshadow compacts from Suqqu are thankfully not at the Tom Ford or Guerlain price point, but the converted price is similar to Charlotte Tilbury quads, which are still expensive in my eyes. For that reason, I can’t fully recommend these because they are only really working for me while I’m in my current “subtle-isn’t-so-bad” phase. Needing to use these with two primers to suit me better and the inconsistent longevity issues are fairly big cons. The soft, fine, eyeshadow texture that will be especially flattering for those with lined/mature eyes is quite the pro in Suqqu’s favor though. All I can say is that finding fixes (for the most-part) to get what I wanted from these quads is why I am happy to have them, but I don’t foresee myself purchasing anymore in the future. I wanted to experience what Suqqu shadows were like, and now I have.

Suqqu Pure Color Blush in 132 Momijigari

I don’t believe every Pure Color Blush has a satin-matte side paired with the shimmer on the right side of the compact, but mine turned out to be that way. I am so enthralled by the tone of red of this blush. The overall appearance gives me Pink Lady/Gala Apple vibes that puts me in the Fall spirit, which isn’t easy to do for this Floridian.

I love the red side, and I had assumed the shimmery portion that can be used as highlighter would match the yellow of my skin tone and be a great pairing. However, the yellow color is lighter than it appears in the pan and has a whitish base to it, which makes it look super contrasting on my skin. I cannot use it alone. Instead, I mix some of the yellow with the red edge that connects the two shades and it essentially turns into a pink. When that mix is applied over the blush, it creates a subtle gradient where the pink meets the red blush. And because the combination removes most of the ashy tone from the yellow, it allows the highlighting effect to come from the sparkle and not the stark base. Granted, the shimmer itself is still white/silver, so it’s not as flattering on me as a yellow gold tone would be. However, I think I can pull it off when using this technique. It’s not too crazy and I’m happy that it’s at least wearable. I have the option to use it if I want.

As it stands, Suqqu’s blushes continue to be my favorite products from the brand and I absolutely recommend them! The Pure Color Blushes and Melting Powder Blushes are soft, easy to use, blend effortlessly into the skin, and are decently pigmented at the start but can be built up several notches more. They’re also long lasting on my skin and don’t look powdery or dry. There are still great quality blushes on the market for a lower price. These aren’t infinitely better than my other favorites, but they are among my top favorites and it’s at least nice to know that a luxury product isn’t just desirable for the packaging and that it has a great formula to go along with it.

Some interesting last minute things I want to add is that the Pure Color Blush came in this plastic piece inside the unicarton, which I believe is intended to keep it secure during the shipping process. The Melting Powder Blushes didn’t have that.

Also, the components are the same size and weight, but the Melting blushes have a magnetic closure and the Pure Color blushes come with a click to open button that snaps back into place when closed.

That’s all for today! I was in a rush to post this at my regularly scheduled time, so I hope I included all the important information I intended to share. If I think of anything else, I will update this post.

Thank you for reading!


Suqqu Melting Powder Blushes, Highlighter, and More

*DISCLAIMER: All products in this post were purchased by me with my own money. Links in bold blue font (Example) are standard links. Links in bold black font with a light blue background (Example) are affiliate links. Affiliate links allow me to get a commission if purchases are made directly using my links. The price of the product is not affected by these links, and anyone who uses them would be supporting this blog. Whether you click to shop through them or not, I appreciate you visiting and I hope you find the information I’ve provided helpful!

Suqqu is a Japanese cosmetics brand that I’ve always been curious about, but as is common with most luxury products, the color stories are often not suited for my skin tone and/or don’t match my makeup preferences. For that reason, there hasn’t been much I’ve been able to use until this year, as it appears that Suqqu is now offering more variety in their launches as their product demand continues to increase globally. Today, I’ll be sharing my opinions of the few Suqqu items I added to my collection.

SUQQU Melting Powder Blush in 06 Yuubae and 07 Yoiurushi

The Melting Powder formula is a new one introduced from the brand in 2022. I am extremely pleased with the shade variety, as there are a few that could work for me, but 07 is what I was drawn to the most. It reminds me a bit of Pat Mcgrath’s Paradise Venus, but leaning even more red. That being said, I still ended up purchasing 06 shortly before this review was scheduled to post. It’s incredibly difficult for me to resist buying another blush shade in a formula that I like.

A photo showing #07 applied more heavily is in the highlighter section.

This is a buildable yet pigmented formula that feels smooth to the touch, like a cream, without leaving a tacky feeling to the skin. It sets into place on the cheeks enough to where it won’t transfer/move as easily as when first applied, but it doesn’t dry per say. The formula that is intended to feel and look creamy and satin-like on the skin will continue to have that same quality when the cheek is touched, but it doesn’t feel wet. I do have dry skin though, so I don’t know if setting it with powder would be necessary for those with oily skin.

These blushes remain looking pigmented all day and I love how seamlessly they meld with my skin. It’s like taking the best quality of creams and putting it in a form that those who prefer powder blushes may enjoy too. It’s advertised as becoming, “one with the skin,” which is a claim I believe is true.

It comes with a brush. I normally don’t use the brushes and other types of applicators that come with makeup, but this one actually applies the product nicely. The bristles are synthetic though, which I figured I should mention since the natural hair brushes from Suqqu were quite famous in the fude world (all Suqqu brushes are now synthetic) and I want to make it clear that these aren’t as special as those, but still decent for a free mini brush. However, if given the option, I still prefer using my own full sized brushes with this blush. Also, because of the emollient ingredients contained in the blush, I recommend using the same type of brushes with this as you would a cream product (undyed goat hair and/or other resilient natural bristle brushes and synthetic brushes).
I have used 07 once with a lightly damp sponge and it increased the opacity and amount of pigment that was deposited on the cheeks. I can also get a natural flushed look when using my fingers with these blushes, but I still prefer a brush application the most.

I believe that the eight original shades that launched before Spring are part of Suqqu’s permanent line, but they also have two limited edition shades that were released as part of their Summer Collection. Suqqu is not easily accessible in the US without ordering online, though it still has a fairly large following here, especially among fans of luxury makeup. I still have the Selfridges+ shipping subscription active on my account, so I purchased mine from Selfridges. Some really insightful information about the brand, their products over the last seven years, and the different places to purchase Suqqu products is available in this video I found just before posting this review.

SUQQU Melting Powder Highlighter 101 Kagerou

This particular shade of highlighter is limited edition and part of the Suqqu Summer Collection for 2022, but I can only assume a permanent range will eventually be released. I also assume the permanent line will not have the cake-marble pattern, but I guess we’ll have to wait and see!

I mentioned before how impressed I was with the color variety from Suqqu this year, and I have to give the brand credit for doing something very few others are willing to do. Any time I’ve seen a brand release a single highlighter, a single blush, single bronzer, etc., it’s intended for those with light skin tones. I wouldn’t even say pale/fair tones or medium tones, but it will almost always work on someone light. Suqqu surprised me by being the first I’ve ever seen to release a single product that is in a medium-tan tone. The color choice is, as stated by Selfridges, “Inspired by the hazy heat of balmy evenings and vibrant colours of spectacular sunsets…[that] complements your hard-earned golden glow.” That sounds like the shade was chosen specifically because it’s a Summer collection, but the end result is that I finally know what it’s like to be able to use a product that only comes in one shade! Granted, I still believe brands should release a minimum of two since it’s still not a great feeling to be left out of a collection, though I have seen people across a wide range of skin tones, including fair, be able to enjoy this product. Some examples of this highlighter on those of different skin tones are: Lexi Jong, Sofia Sees Beauty, Alicia Archer, Charlotte Holdcroft, and daps_makeup.

This shade is on the warm side, which is a great fit for me considering my undertone. I thought it would be a little more golden-yellow because of the base color underneath the swirl, but it’s more of a light peach that is mixed with the coppery and bronze colored shimmer marble/swirl. The texture feels exactly like the Melting Powder blushes and blends beautifully onto the skin, but I’ve had different results depending on the brushes used. If I’m wearing foundation, I can use any brush except my Too Faced Diamond Light Highlighter brush to get the kind of application I like. If I’m barefaced and I decide I want to add a little glow to my face without any other makeup, I can only use my absolute favorite highlighter brush (in the past twelve months), the Bisyodo CH-HC Highlight Cheek Brush. With this brush, I can get it to look smooth, but the main issue with it being on my bare face is that it looks super shimmery (especially with the other brushes) and doesn’t melt into my skin the way it does if I’m wearing foundation. The highlighters and blushes, even though they feel the exact same, don’t have the same formula from what I can see on the ingredient lists. This is possibly why it doesn’t perform the same way on my bare skin as the blushes do. This isn’t a big issue for me though, since it’s rare that I wear highlighter in strategic spots and nothing else on my face. 95% of the time that I wear highlighter, it’s going to be with foundation. So, 95% of the time this highlighter is going to look exactly how I want it to, but I thought I should mention it anyway for any makeup minimalists who may be reading this. I hope I explained that clearly enough. The highlighter is smooth and melts into foundation, but looks glittery if I put it on my bare dry skin.

Lastly, I have to comment on the fact that I’m amazed how sleek and luxurious the packaging of the blush and highlighter are despite being so lightweight and compact in size. It’s slightly more than half the thickness of the Pat Mcgrath blushes! I like how thin they are without feeling flimsy. Also, these Melting Powder products attach in one magnetic spot when stacked on top of each other. It’s not enough to be able to stick together if one is lifted, but enough to keep them secure in a drawer.

The highlighter is currently sold out at Selfridges and Fude Japan, was still available at Cult Beauty until a week ago, and I have not seen a product page for it at the Harrods site, so I’m not sure where else it can be purchased.

SUQQU Powder Blush Compact 101

This was actually the first Suqqu product I bought and the only one I had for a long time. It was released in the latter half of 2020, but I wasn’t confident that enough of the shades would work for me to be worth the $60 palette price plus $30 shipping. So, I patiently waited for an untouched or barely used one to be put on Mercari, which between a coupon and seller credit I was able to get this for well below retail!

There have been three 6-pan palettes released so far and they are all limited edition, so only the 103 version is still available on retail websites.

These blushes are in the Pure Color Powder formula, which is still immensely soft, even if it isn’t to the creamy level of the Melting Powder blushes, but they blend well and don’t look powdery on the skin. There are four matte blushes and two highlighters, but the blushes still impart a natural sheen to them that’s not quite satin but not a flat matte either.

Pan #1 is like a mauve-brown and Pan #2 is magenta. I’m not the biggest fan of those shades used on their own, but I really like the way it looks when I mix the first two of them together on my cheeks. Pan #3 is a pink highlighter with a silver reflect that is unavoidably icy on me. Pan #4 is a subdued terracotta orange-brown that has a little more of a bronzing effect on me and looks less like a blush. Pan #5 is my favorite as a medium toned coral-orange that isn’t very vibrant on my cheeks, though I don’t mind that. Pan #6 is like a taupe-champagne highlighter that again reflects silver. Essentially, I only use this palette three ways: mixing shades 1 and 2 together, using #4 on its own, and using #5 on its own. The highlighters don’t look nice on me, but because I can still use this in three ways, I still reach for this product periodically. I enjoy the Pure Color formula enough that I would be likely to get another version in the future if at least one highlighter and three blushes out of the six pans are my style. I also plan on getting at least one of Suqqu’s ombre patterned Pure Color blush compacts. ChicProfileOfficial on Instagram posted a sneak peek of Suqqu’s upcoming Fall Collection, so I plan on getting #132 if possible.

As for the packaging of the 6-pan cheek compact, it’s still lightweight but it’s a decent size in proportion to the products inside. It’s basically not bigger than it needs to be.

That’s all for today! Thank you for reading and I hope to review more from Suqqu in the future!