A story of weird textures | FaceFront Tokyo Future Cyber Gel review, part one

Friday, January 27, 2012

The product: Facefront Tokyo Future Cyber Gel Cream Eye Liner + Color Base in Weekend Warrior and White Rice

Oh, FaceFront. Why do you have to do this to me on such a frequent basis? I feel like you’re creating innovative new torture methods, just for beauty bloggers, and I’m your sample size of 1.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves, yeah? I’m going to start with the good stuff, then work our way to the bad.

The shades

Weekend Warrior (Pewter Finish) is a gorgeous deep purple, with strong blue undertones but red microshimmer – a violet-lover’s dream. It’s even prettier in real life than it is on camera, and is up and down a “true violet” if I’ve ever seen one. I think it’s due to that perfect blue-and-red mix; it’s hard to make a violet that’s really violet both on film and in person, but FaceFront nailed it with this shade.

White Rice (Pewter Finish, and don’t even get me started on that name) is described by FaceFront as being “a slightly metallic and very bright classic white,” but I have to disagree. It’s definitely bright, but I’d describe it more as “packed with microshimmer” than “metallic”, and it’s more of a light silver than a classic white.

Either way, it’s gorgeous. Whites and off-whites can get boring pretty fast, but this one has me rapt!

Swatches of Weekend Warrior and White Rice. Incandescent lighting + colour correction (sorry.)

Smudged with a light tough, after being given twenty minutes to set (and stubbornly refusing to do so).

The wear

Aaaand here’s where things start going downhill. As pretty as these two shades are, they just don’t cut it when it comes to wear – neither really “sets,” so even if you manage to get them perfectly even (easy to do with White Rice, obscenely difficult with Weekend Warrior), the results won’t last long.

I wanted to talk about wear with some lid swatches, so I’m afraid I’ll have to leave you hanging for a bit. I should have part two of this review ready by tonight or tomorrow, but I’ll keep going and give these a verdict for now! Wear will be discussed extensively in the next part; for now, all you need to know is that it was (very much) not impressive.

The big issue

There are a handful of reasons why I typically go for products that are “mass-produced,” rather than mixing things up at three in the morning to meet my specifications exactly. One of those is time, sure, and another is a lack of a chemist’s lab in my office, but the big one is consistency. When you buy from a brand, you can expect a general level of consistency from shade to shade of a formula… right?

(I’m sorry, I think I need to take a breather to laugh hysterically.)

(But seriously, what beauty blogger hasn’t mixed up a shadow or lip product or blusher or five? God, we’re all just junkies scrambling for our next [colour] fix.)

Right, so back to expecting consistency. Which is to say: not so, in the case of the Cyber Gel line!

Using just these two as an example, White Rice is has the texture of frozen butter, if that makes any sense –  solid, but it “melts” smoothly onto your fingertip or brush. (Which is a good thing, in case that wasn’t clear. I don’t think that was clear.) And then there’s Weekend Warrior. Completely unlike White Rice, it’s solid and dry, rather than solid and buttery, and it’s a pain in the arse to work with.

The verdict?

Skip on these, if you know what’s good for you. The shades are absolutely gorgeous, but are still very much not worth the hassle – there are a ton of other great (or even just “better”) cream formulas out there, and these just aren’t up to snuff.

I hate to give such a negative review for these, because FaceFront do some of the most unusual, breathtaking colours, but sometimes (read: right now), I feel like they should stick to powder products until they figure out the perfect creme formula.

Which they’ve yet to do.

Ingredients & more »

The poor girl’s NARS Outremer | FaceFront Tokyo Future shade comparisons

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Alright, so it’s a few days late, but here are a handful of Tokyo Future comparison swatches. I’ve been running about attending far more courses than is generally advisable in order to sort out my schedule, so I apologize for the artificial lighting – by the time I get home, the sun’s already set. (Incidentally, it is likely that this will continue for the remainder of the season. My pre-emptive apologies; looks like photo-taking is going to be reserved for the weekends!)

From my stash, I found that Digital Dragon (the shade I unexpectedly fell a bit in love with) had the most dupes out of this bunch – nothing perfect, and nothing quite as densely molten-metal, but the Ellis Faas 303 Light would give the same effect. Something like Illamasqua Liquid Metal in Solstice might be close, too; if not in shade than at least pigment density and finish.

Secret Samurai reminded me a bit of ULTA Mystique and MAC Satin Taupe, but it’s a bit darker than the former and lighter than the latter. It also has quite a bit more red in the base – I thought it leaned just slightly red, but when compared to other taupes, the difference is more obvious. If you find taupes tend to lean too yellow on you, don’t miss this one.

I didn’t even bother looking for Lost in Nishitama dupes (maybe, like, MAC Spicy Smoke?), and the closest I had to the semi-matte Shallow Depth was Annabelle Lagoon – limited edition a while back, though, and not as much of an intense, straight-up blue. Shallow Depth is the low-budget NARS Outremer, in my head, though I do think the FaceFront pigment is more muted; darker. Perhaps more similar to something like Inglot #388?

Products featured in this post

(Click on the brand name to link to reviews/swatches on theNotice!)

More photos behind the cut »

FaceFront Tokyo Future Artistic Pigments

Friday, January 13, 2012

The product: FaceFront Tokyo Future Artistic Pigments

» Digital Dragon, Secret Samurai, Lost in Nishitama, and Shallow Depth.

I’m slowly amassing a frightful Artistic Pigment stash, and yet… I cannot find it in myself to care. (Does that make me a terrible minimalist? I’m pretty sure that makes me a terrible minimalist.)

Here’s the thing, though. I have my qualms with some of the line’s other products (their cream formulas come to mind — more on that next week), but their pigments? Damn. When it’s straight-up colour, FaceFront never fails to impress. They just come up with these really vibrant, unexpected, actually unique shades, and I’m always just really stunned by how gorgeous they are. It’s so refreshing to be surprised by a shade; to not already own a dupe of it in some way, shape, or form.

The details: Each Artistic Pigment retails for $10.50 USD and contains 5g of product. These multipurpose products are vegan-approved, made in the US, and paraben-, silicone-, & cruelty-free. The four Tokyo Future shades are all limited edition for Winter 2011.

See Shallow Depth in this violet and blue look and the full collection details here.

As an aside, I’d like to note the fact that I’m not a fan of Orientalism, and I don’t believe in capitalizing upon other cultures. That said, I’m not going to launch into a tirade about it, and I don’t think FaceFront has done anything specifically offensive in regard to this collection – I feel like it focuses more on the “future Tokyo” popularized in science fiction, rather than any given situation in the real world.

Anyhow, the point I was trying to make: feel free to discuss this in the comments, but please be respectful of your fellow commenters!

The shades

(Section alternately titled: Guys. Guys. I have so many feelings about Shallow Depth; I don’t even know.)

FaceFront describes Digital Dragon (Ultra-Steel Finish) as a subtle metallic golden brown infused with bright, rustic bronze refleks; Secret Samurai (Steel Finish) as a highly complex and shimmery taupe with subtle red hue; Lost in Nishitama (Steel Finish) as a vivacious and shimmery cranberry with subtle reflecks of red and silver; and Shallow Depth (Semi-Matte) as a dark, true oceanic matte blue.

I would describe them as…

  • Digital Dragon: an intense metallic bronze that honestly ought to be the sleeper hit of this collection;
  • Secret Samurai: a soft taupe with red undertones (the foiled swatch, behind the cut, displays the colour best);
  • Lost in Nishitama: a burnt red with visible silver shimmer, which is insanely pretty, not to mention really unexpected; and finally,
  • Shallow Depth:the poor girl’s NARS Outremer, though FaceFront’s Semi-Mattes feature microshimmer, which I’m not sure Outremer does.

Comparison swatches later today! (Though I don’t have the NARS; sorry, ladies.)

Swatched L-R: Digital Dragon, Secret Samurai, Lost in Nitshitama, Secret Samurai, Shallow Depth

Individual product photos, ingredients, & more »

A smokey violet and blue FOTD | ft. MAC, FaceFront, and tokidoki

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

I had wanted to create a (darkly) colourful smokey eye for you today, and I was really happy with how it turned out… with one (huge) exception: I kind of forgot to put mascara on (or curl, for that matter) the lashes on my left side. And I didn’t notice until I had already finished taking this photo set and the sun began to go down.


But anyways! Here’s a bold blue-and-violet smokey eye to start the week. Just, um, try not to look too closely at the full-face shots, mmkay?

{see the teaser!}

Keep reading! More photos & products used »

No need to rush for these Tokyo Future Cream Illuminators | FaceFront Gold Rush, Rising Sun reviews

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The product: FaceFront Cream Illuminator in Rising Sun and Gold Rush

I was a bit iffy about these illuminators from the get-go, but I gave them a try nonetheless. No matter how I wore them, though – sparingly or sheerly, high on the cheekbones or mixed into my cheek colour, – I just couldn’t get the an appropriate effect out of either shade.

I’m not crazy about the formula of these Cream Illuminators; on one hand, they feel a little greasy when being applied, but on the other, they somehow seem too “solid” to blend out easily. Which – I mean, hello, physics. Aren’t greasy things supposed to have more slip?

If I was behind the formula (which I’m not) and I had to guess the problem (which I don’t), I’d say that it’s probably an issue of a a slightly skewed silicone-to-carnauba ratio. Actually, I’d probably recommend taking out the carnauba altogether. Maybe blending in some organic coconut oil; include it in a summer collection and really play up the coconut appeal. Y’know. If someone asked. (Which they didn’t.)

Gold Rush

Rising Sun

Gold Rush, described as a “super pearled white gold cream with bright 24K-colored refleks [sic],” runs a too green to impart a believable luminosity. Rising Sun, on the other hand, is supposed to be a “warm peachy-gold withs subtle golden reflecks,” but I feel like it got sidetracked in transit, missing the turnoff for Peachtown and ending up in Copperville. Perhaps running over a wild Subtlemon on its way.

In other news, I am starting to doubt FaceFront’s ability to discern what is gold and what is not. These, as you may have guessed, are definitely not.

The large flecks of glitter (in both, but particularly in Gold Rush) transfer and migrate throughout the day, and are easily identifiable even without a 20x magnifying mirror or direct sunlight. Perhaps on someone with strong olive undertones, a medium-dark skintone, and tiny, perfect pores, they would work… but I am none of those things, and quite frankly, neither are most human beings.

FaceFront Tokyo Future swatches: Gold Rush

FaceFront Tokyo Future swatches: Rising Sun

The verdict?

Though they’re just $11 each, I can’t find a single thing I like about either of these illuminators. (Well, I guess, the formula is scent- and paraben-free. That’s good, right?) They’re just extremely disappointing, in general, but the fact that they’re FaceFront (who have created some of my absolute favourite shades in the past) makes it even worse.

It’s sort of like – well, okay. Let’s say that you read about a new lipgloss that was coming out in three months. And you got all excited, and you waited, and you waited, and you checked out the promo photos and went yes, this is the one, and it was supposed to be a really lovely sheer plummy-rose with just a subtle, ethereal gold sheen to it.

And then it came out, and you bought it online, and you waited, and you waited, and you waited some more, and finally, at long last! it arrived on your doorstep and you unboxed it AND IT WAS GREEN WITH SPARKLES AND THE TEXTURE OF ROSIN.

This? This feels feels a bit like that.

Ingredients and additional photos »

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