"The most beautiful makeup for a woman is passion, but cosmetics are easier to buy."
                                                                                              —Yves Saint Laurent

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· Beauty Notes: ADDICTION by Ayako in Sandbar, Flash Back, Baghdad Cafe, and Safari Mode

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Beauty Notes: ADDICTION by Ayako in Sandbar, Flash Back, Baghdad Cafe, and Safari Mode
by Dain

Here's the second quartet of Addiction shadows for your perusal. These were in my hands briefly for swatching purposes. However, since these are not mine, I cannot describe with the same degree of detail how they wear: they never went on my eyes. Still, a picture is worth something, especially if you buy blind.

Browntones tend to go queer on my skin. This image, of all four swatched side by side, is the most accurate I could manage.

I'm not sure Addiction is really the brand to shop for browntones, though I am not of course a reliable judge. Nice though these are, tasteful neutrals are not hard to find. Even Rouge Bunny Rouge is more accessible, especially now that Beauty Habit carries the line. Addiction is really more a brand about color and glitter. Ayako trained with François Nars (some of the promotional images for NARS collections have been her handiwork) and inherited his sense of play in makeup.

Here you've got an olive with a subtly golden shimmer that elevates it from the flat, matte khaki of Guerlain Les Verts (the most troublesome shade in that quad). I find, however, it compares poorly against the dimensionality of Shiseido Opera, which has a smoky depth running beneath that leafy green shimmer. Considering how much easier it is to get Shiseido than Addiction, you can guess where my recommendation would lie.

I remember when the first glitter shadows came out. Urban Decay led the way, followed closely by NARS. Ever since, I think the makeup community has had a love-hate relationship with glitter: looks fabulous, but oh, the awful textures! I don't know what magic has been performed at Kanebo's factories, but Baghdad Cafe, at least, is a glitter shadow without fallout. Check my swatch above, on unprimed skin, you can see for yourself how well it adheres. Of course, it is grittier, choppier than a metallic would be, but surely this is an advancement for sparkle-lovers everywhere.

I cannot do a taupe eyeshadow justice. But both Pink Sith and Café Makeup compare Flash Back favorably to Shu 945, which is high praise indeed. To my eye, it's got mauve undertones and a high-reflection that is rendered tasteful by an incredible complexity of shimmer particles: all shapes and sizes and hues. It looks like expensive pigment.

I came close to getting Sandbar for myself. A peachy beige satin like so many others, ever so slightly mauve on my skin (not even noticeable in the first swatch), more golden on Drivel About Frivol's much paler complexion. Though basic, Sandbar seems to capture some of the complexity of human skin, which any painter can tell you, is a challenge to recreate out of pigment. Ultimately, I decided against it because it is an awkward medium depth on my NW18ish skin: not quite dark enough to contour, like Dior Aurora or Stila Latte, and yet not quite light enough to highlight, as with my mainstay Laura Mercier Stellar. It might be used to beautiful effect on NC25 or above, as on So Lonely In Gorgeous.

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