Maquillage Crystalizing Lip Compacts

I dig into my makeup stash in this dark, cloudy December day, trying to find some inspiration of what to blog. With a dearth of natural lighting (and a poor indoor lighting as well), I need to find a subject that I can blog without swatching. I always admire makeup bloggers out there who produce beautiful photography, blog post after blog post, even under artificial lighting. I need to learn some more in this subject for sure.

I came across these lip palette from Maquillage, a Japanese brand under Shiseido. I've almost forgotten how much I love them. I got them during one of my trip to Asia a few years back, and I am still using these palettes, as evident from the abuses they take.

In the world of makeup, Japanese brands are the purple unicorn of the cosmetics world: hard to get, but highly desirable. I read somewhere that the standard for cosmetic products in Japan is very strict, even more strict than those in the U.S. and the E.U. In addition, the colors are universally flattering, even for those who are not Asian. Note the pink palette above, ever so dusky, just a touch of beige and enough pink that won't make the lips look dead. Finally, the texture, shimmer, sparkle, etc. (you name it), are said to be superlative. Notice the rightmost well on the picture above -- it puts Bobbi Brown's Brightening Lip glosses to shame.

In these particular lip palettes, the four wells consist of (from L to R): lip balm base, lipstick, non-shimmery lip gloss, and shimmery lip gloss. The textures of all of them are excellent: they are moisturizing, comfortable to wear, and the glosses are non-sticky. So comfortable and moisturizing, I wear these when my lips are chapped and the lips end up better after I wear them. The only down side is the sheer pigmentation, which I think is the aim of these palettes. I initially bought the middle one, a pinky-beige color. I love it so much, I went back to the store the next day to buy two more of the palettes, one in nude beige on the left, and pinky rose on the bottom.

My katakana reading is quite rusty, but I think it says "Maquillage Crystalizing Lip Compact"
Despite of the "age" of these palettes, the product hasn't gone bad yet, thank goodness! If so, I don't know where and how I can get a replacement of any of these (and I don't think these are still in production).

Each palette comes with a very functional dual-ended lip brush: the short-bristled end for applying the waxier products, the long-bristled end for applying the glosses. These lip brush are very well made, not the wimpy-kind that you'd toss right away. I found this to be the case with most of Japanese makeup.

With BabyLorp approaching toddlerhood, it is quite impossible for us to do any type of traveling anytime soon, but someday, when we can go to Japan, no doubt I'll be depleting his college fund by stocking up on some these cosmetics.

Obviously, if you are already familiar with Japanese cosmetics, this post is a moot point. But for those who are not familiar with this genre, yet, I hope I've provided you with an enticing amuse-bouche. What are some of your favorite Japanese makeup brand? And where do you get them (if you don't live in Asia)? I read that there are a couple of online stockists but they usually don't carry the full line and the mark-up is significant.

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