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Beauty Notes: Second Thoughts
by Dain

Estée Lauder Arctic Sky // Chanel Lavande (disc) // Suqqu 08 Mizuaoi

I keep a tight watch on my stash. So, when I caved into one or two of Estée Lauder's Cyber Metallics, Arctic Sky posed a problem: it hits the same sweet spot as Suqqu Mizuaoi. One of them has to go. My idea of a dupe is more metaphysical ('sweet spot') than concrete, so these are not dupes in the true sense of the word. There's a watercolor-like delicacy that characterizes Mizuaoi; it's not designed for impact, like the neo-metallic Arctic Sky.

My problem? That exquisite sparkly pink in Mizuaoi. It's the perfect textural and warm-toned (relatively speaking) accent against many of my cool-toned pigments.

I'm guessing this is probably Pink Sands, not Mizuaoi. Memory dims, this being an experiment that was never intended to see the light of day. Nevertheless, it will serve as an illustration of what I mean by 'accent'. Z-axis highlighting, i.e. the browbone and inner corner, are best suited to people with more prominent bone structure. For me, optimal highlighting is centralized, to lift and open up the eye. It's a technique I've been working on since I got Shiseido Opera; the olive-bronze is tricky on the sallowness around my eyes without another color to balance it. The pink in Mizuaoi excels as this kind of accent. Since most of my eyeshadows lack any red or brown tones, it's almost always guaranteed to contrast.

It brightens a neutral look. With Addiction Arabian Ruby (smoky plum brown) and Concrete Jungle (lavender grey), they approximate a taupe eye, when a true taupe would look dirty and tired against my skin tone.

It serves as the ideal counterpoint to the fresh, spring-y green in Guerlain Les Verts. I usually add a flick, always an easy way to punctuate dramatic combinations.

My safety net of blue liner, here Addiction Midnight Oasis, and grey shadow, the original Stila Diamond Lil.

What should I do? I cannot swap or sell a quad with one shade missing, after all, and yet this pink, with its scattered microsparkle, is a finish Suqqu (and other high-end Asian brands) do well, but is rarely seen on the American market. Pretty though it is, I think it will have to go.

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