Thursday, April 3rd, 2008

This is your chance to ask any questions you may have that you want me to answer! I will try to answer whatever you may ask, and if I don’t have an answer, I’ll at least do my best to point you in the right direction. I’d love to answer your beauty-related questions, but I will take non-beauty questions, too. As always, if you have a question you’d like to ask that’s private, just drop me an email!

So, not sure whether you should get Rollickin’ paint pot when you already have Aquadisiac eyeshadow? Need to know where to buy a product? Ask anything, and ask away! (And feel free to chime in with answers to other readers’ questions–the more the merrier!)

**THIS POST IS CLOSED** Please look for the most recent “Ask Temptation Session” to ask your question!

(I will periodically do posts like these where I will take as many questions as I get to answer.)

Discussion and debate are highly encouraged, and we expect community members to participate respectfully. When asking a question, please check the FAQ section (above) for information about purchasing, price, dupes, and the like. If you have general feedback or need technical support, please contact us.

Comments that include advertisements, self-promotion, insults, etc. may be in violation of our comment policy and subject to deletion. Please see our comment policy for more information.

217 thoughts on “Ask Temptalia Session 001

  1. Tatiana

    your in the bay right? SO my question is LA zoo sucks is yours better?

  2. Tatiana

    another 1, WHAT I MEANT to say is that if you live in San Diego and if your Zoo is better lol..

  3. Tanya

    WOW I sooooooooooooooo love this new feature :) and let me tell you…I have questions!!!

    1. How do you think I would look with pink hair?

    2. Are there any brands of hairspray that dont smell like hairspray? I detest the smell of the stuff, but it is needed once in a while.

    3. How do I figure out if I am a warm tone or a cool tone or any of those other weird terms people describe themself as ie winter tones, summer tones blah blah?

    4. I have given up on MAC for a very lightweight and sheer foundation, I have tried every single items sold by them in an NC15 and I havent liked any of them. What is another GOOD quality brand that sells a very light weight, sheer and geared towards ultra sensitive skin foundation? HyperReal was the closest I came to a foundation I liked but they don’t make it in NC15.

    5. What is the proper way to apply UDPP? how thick of a layer do I apply? do I rub it in? help!

    6. What IS the meaning of life?

    7. Can I only wear pink blush and lippies if I dye my hair pink?

    8. I find it almost impossible to apply mascara to my bottom lashes without it looking messy and getting it all over my lower lash line skin. What am I doing wrong, or what can I do to prevent this?

    9. How do I know if I am blending my shadows properly? do you blend for like 5 sec or a min? It seems like when I blend it just ends up looking like everything is just one color :( oh and its not always the darker color of the two.

    10. When I apply shadow to my lid it seems to always end up migrating (there is still color on the lid but now suddenly there is also color above my lid) to the area above my lid…whats up with that?

    Ok I think thats enough questions for today :)

    IF ANY READERS HAVE ANSWERS OR SUGGESTIONS PLEASE ADD THEM :) I really value any help and input from the wonderful ladie readers of Temptalia!!

    • Tekoa

      For question 10) That was a normal occurance for me until I started wearing an eyeshadow primer. For me Paint Pots eliminate that transference. Also experimenting with Urban Decay Primer Potion.

    • Amy

      For #3:

      I’ve always heard you’re “cool” toned if you look good in silvers and have bluish looking veins on the underside of your forearm. “Warm” toned people look good in golds and have more of a greenish tint to the veins on the underside of their arms.

      Hope that helps!

      No idea about the seasonal thing though!

    • Hey Tanya! Here goes!

      1.) I think you could really rock the pink hair, Tanya!

      2.) I’ve found that “higher end” hair sprays smell less like hair spray, especially organic brands. I don’t have any particular recommendations as I rarely use it, so I don’t remember any off hand!

      3.) You’re cool toned if your veins appear blue; you’re warm toned if your veins appear green. Tanya, from meeting you, I would say you’re cool-toned. Look at the underside of your arm – that’s usually the best indicator. You can also think of if you’re warm toned, you look really great in golds, oranges, etc. Cooler tones work well in blues or pinks. Just generalizations, not rules to adhere to!

      4.) Did you try Select Tint or Select Cover (something like that) by MAC? I also find that I dilute foundation by putting it in with my moisturizer for an ultra lightweight formula. Clinique Almost Makeup is a sheer and fairly lightweight formula, as is Stila Sheer Color Tinted Moisturizer.

      5.) I always applied it with a flat eye brush (like the 249), but I know a lot of people get some on using the wand and then smoothing it out with their fingers. You only need a thin layer, and be sure to let it dry. You only want to blend it out so it looks even and not goopy or thick in any one area.

      6.) Love & lipgloss! 😉

      7.) NO! You can definitely still wear what you want. You will probably find that you feel like you look better in certain shades, but I’ve seen people rock all sorts of makeup, bright or neutral, with pink hair.

      8.) I usually wiggle my brush sideways to coat my bottom lashes. It may help to get a separate mascara that has a very skinny wand. I was testing Kanebo’s 38C mascara, and it has one of the tiniest wands I’ve used–which made the lower lashes a breeze to coat. I also try to look up a bit, and this seems to help.

      9.) It shouldn’t take you very long, definitely not a minute! The blending should only occur on the space where the two colors meet, and you just need a gentle swishing motion to blend the two together. The more you do it, the more likely you are to muddy or get just one color.

      10.) Your shadow should stay put if you use a base that works for you. What’s happening is called creasing or migration, where color deposits into your crease as oil from your lids breaks down the makeup and moves it around. If you use UDPP, this shouldn’t happen in most instances. If it does, I totally recommend trying MAC paints or paint pots as another choice.

      • Tanya

        ok I have a couple follow up comments and questions :)

        WOW thanks everyone :)

        Yes, I have blue veins and therefore think I must be a cool tone. When you suggested that cools look better in blues and pinks did you mean for clothing or make-up? or both?

        On the migration or creasing…I am using a base and its not a creasing problem because the color is not ending up in my crease. The color is actually “skipping” my crease and ending up in the area above the crease. Its kinda like when you apply mascara and you get those little dots of mascara on the top of your eye. Does that make better sense? Its sorta like the shadow itself is not sticking to the primer and is “falling off” my lid onto the upper part of my eye…even though things dont fall upward. Does that explination make more sense?

        Groovy on the rest of the answers and I cant wait to make millions telling people I know the meaning of life :) LOL you rock Christine as do the readers of this board…its such a HUGE help to be able to ask these questions knowing I will get thought out answers and advice from everyone.

        • Just in general, so it can apply to makeup or clothes!

          Okay, I think I get the problem now! That’s an odd one – I can’t say I’ve experienced on myself. It does sound like a primer issue, though! What primer do you use, how are you applying it? (I know you mentioned UDPP, but I wasn’t sure if this is the one you use!) Are you waiting for the primer to dry? Applying shadow too soon will negate the benefits of a base sometimes!

          Happy to be of service :)

          How is Fafi doing?

          • Tanya

            I am really digging the cool vs warm thing and think I might get rid of a few things in my closet and focus on buying clothing that are more “cool”, also going to take a peak into my train case to do the same.

            Ok so back to the primer issue. I own paint pots, paints and recently bought UDPP. Right now I am mostly working with UDPP since it seems to be everyones HG and I really wanted to see what all the fuss was about. I apply it with the wand and then smooth it out with my finger, I tried with a brush once as well but it just seemed like more work so I mostly just do the finger thing. I “thought” I was waiting to let the UDPP dry…but maybe not. Not really sure about that one. Another thing that I have noticed is that the problem really just happens when I just apply shadow to my lid, like a bright pop of color just on the lid. Should I be pulling the primer all the way to my brow, or at least pretty close? It almost feels to me like the shadow is not sticking properly to the primer…kinda like I didnt “push” the shadow into the primer so instead the shadow just lays on top of the primer and because it doesnt have anything to stick too it just “flies” all over the place.

            Anyways I am going to try experimenting with it a bit in the directions that have been suggested.

            Fafi is super wonderful, right now she is napping by my feet :)

            • Hey Tanya!

              Hmm, I know a common mistake is just putting too much primer on and not letting it dry. Let me know how your experimentation goes, so we can try to get to the bottom of the problem! I do apply primer above the lid, not just the lid, and maybe you need to pass your brush back and forth over the lid to make sure the color grabs onto the primer.

              Good to hear about Fafi! Seems like she adjusted so quickly and well :)

        • Carrie

          hey Tanya, I’ve had that same color transfer issue! Maybe you could try blending off all excess loose shadow so more of the color is adhered to your lid. After I apply my eyes, I gently go over it all with a big soft mop brush to do a final blend and cleanup. seems to help ?

      • Sarah

        Aveda Air Control is the most amazing hairspray ever. It smells kind of like cinnamon (in a good way!), it’s a dry spray (which means your face and everything else won’t get sticky), and it’s an enviroment-friendly aerosol.

        The other Aveda hairsprays are good, but Air Control is my favorite.

        Since it’s a dry spray, I’ll spray a little over my makeup to set it because it won’t make it sticky.. It works!!

    • Stacey

      To question #1.. Pink hair is awesome! My best friend has bright pink, orange and purple and she wears all colour lippies and blush and it looks fine :)

  4. Tekoa

    This one goes out to everyone. How long does your foundation look fresh for? From the time you put it on how long can you wear it?

    For me I think it looks good for about 4 hours and then I need to either reapply or use some blot powder. 8 hours is my max wear time.

    • Carrie

      Same for me too! About 4 hours and then, pbbt.

    • Amy

      In the fall, winter, and early spring, my foundation can last quite a while. Cheap brands/lighter versions–usually about 4-6 hours –more expensive, better stuff–upwards of 8-12. But in the summer–wow, definitely gone in a few hours, no matter what!

    • The less oily you are, the longer your foundation will probably work it for you, from my experience. I’m generally normal-to-dry, but whenever I get oily, I notice my foundation can slip up.

      If I use a primer/mattifying powder, I can easily get 8 hours of good wear time.

      Best recipe for maximum wear = moisturizer + SPF + face primer + foundation (liquid lasts longer for me, based on experience) + setting powder.

      • I think this is one surefire way of keeping your face “on”, but they’re predicting m/u free, ot atleast nearly m/u free face for the summer, does that mean we have to look like our real selves?? gaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!
        I’m looking for a summer light weight foundation – I may go for the Maybelline mousse thingie (based on PJ’s review on atouchofblusher)

        • If you’re going to go into the water, probably makeup free is the way to be. If you’re merely going outdoors, you could still wear some makeup, just be conscious of it and be ready to do some touch-ups if you’re in a more humid climate. :)

    • Samantha

      this makes me feel much better about my foundation! i blot after like 4 hours and re-apply powder… if i go out after work, i take everything off and reapply (ideally if i have the time!). nice to hear i’m not alone.

  5. Simone

    So I have just started experimenting with the idea of wearing blush(I previously hated it) and I like the look of a bronzy kind of blush. So how do you determine what color blush looks good on you and can you use a bronzer like blush instead?

    I know that was long but thanks!

    • Hi Simone!

      If you’re paler (e.g. NC/NW15-20), you’ll want something soft and likely relatively sheer. Since you’re just getting into blush, you should pick products that are subtle and easy to wear.

      You can use bronzers as blushes, for sure! I’m NC30, and I regularly wear Margin blush, which is a bronzy coral-pink kind of color.

      If you just like the idea of slightly deepening your skin tone, you may want to opt for a bronzer or something like MAC’s MSF natural.

      • I dont think I’ll ever (in my whole life!) find the right blush, or the right way of applying blush. I dont know what bronzer would suit me – I’m a C03 (atleast that’s what it says on the back of the MAC studio Fix pressed powder I have). COnfession – that is the only MAC product I have, I’ve also never entered the MAC store in my city)

        • Hi hun! I think you can and will. You will probably just need a light hand (C3 is light from what I know). You can also go for something like the MSF natural in the lightest shade for a bronzer that’s natural.

    • Julia

      I just bought a new blush that I LOVE. It’s MAC (of course) and it’s sort of a lighter-than-bronzer blush. It’s called Trace Gold. I love it!!

      • kat

        yes!! trace gold is fabulous. it’s deeper than a beauty powder yet not as heavy as a bronzer! it’s gorgeous. and a plus is that it doesn’t give you that orange-like tinge!

  6. Amy

    i’m an nc20 in the winter, and i go up to about nc50ish in the summer. is there a contour colour (by mac) that i could use all year-round? if so, which shade? and if not, which shade should i get for the winter, and which for the summer?

    • Wow, talk about a dramatic color difference!

      The best thing to do is buy two foundations. Is the time you go from NC20 to NC50 really short, or is it gradual?

      I definitely suggest picking up your normal NC20 shade as well as NC50. Regardless of whether you gradually darken or instantly, you can mix NC20 & NC50 together as you darken up. This is what a lot of makeup artists do; they carry the lightest, medium, and darkest of foundation types so they don’t have to carry an entire range. Then they mix and match to find the perfect shade.

      • Amy

        thanks :) that’s actually what i’ve been doing for the past few years.
        i was wondering more about the sculpting powders from mac and if there was one that would show up on nc50 as well as not look too dark or muddy on nc20?
        sorry if i wasn’t clear enough in my original question.

        • For NC20, you’ll find Sculpt probably works best. I’m not sure if you have access to PRO or just normal MAC. If just normal MAC, the Accentuate/Sculpt duo is good at NC20. Warm Light/Definitive may work for you at NC50. The difference between NC20 to NC50 is just SO wide that I don’t know if you could find a color that’s universal. You could try Warm Light/Definitive, though, and just be sure to use a VERY light hand when you’re paler!

  7. Amy

    Hi, I need some blush help. There will probably be several questions in this next little paragraph!

    How in the world do you do blush so it doesn’t look like you have blush on? I am fairly pale and try to do a bit of “contouring” using a light bronzer, then I use a lighter blush on the upper part of my cheekbone (right below my eyes, about an inch or so) then I do a darker one kind of “swept” in a swirly application from mid-cheek to my temples, blending as I go. Is there a better way to do this? I often end up blending a TON and often it ends up way too heavy so I take some off with a cotton ball. But I definitely need to do it, as I have chubby cheeks and need the definition on the cheekbone.

    I haven’t ever used a blush fan, either–how do I use that?

    Anyone with ideas please help!

    • Stacey

      I’m really pale too, and no matter how much of a light hand I use, I end up looking a little clownish so I just buff it heaps with a 182 brush and it looks nice :)

    • Hi Amy!

      Try this method: swirl your blush brush on the blush itself, then tap the brush over the sink to get rid of excess color. Then lightyl tap onto the apples of your cheek (smile really big, you’ll see them). Sweep upwards/outwards to your temples. If you tap, you’ll deposit color slowly so you can determine the intensity. When all else fails, use a buffer brush to reduce the intensity and even it out.

      It’s probably not necessary for you to go for a darker second pass if you want it to look ultra natural. You may also need a different shade of blush – something less intense or more like the color of a light “flush.”

      Fan brush – I don’t really use this, I’ve found it is best for removing eyeshadow or powder fall out.

    • Samantha

      I’m pale too… I usually use my contour color first, then apply the regular blush color, then use my highlighter. after all that, i take a lighter MSF or beauty powder and sweep it over it all, blending everything together. if i find the contour color is still too dark or defined at the bottom edge, i pick up a light powder and blend it at the edge.

  8. plee

    I have a lot of makeup (most from sets, not like single shadows). I just don’t know where to begin. I’m a HS student, so I don’t want anything too outrageous. Where should I start?

    And when is makeup on… too much? I don’t want t overdo it. And how do you blend that well? Do you just apply the two shadows (for ex), then use a try different brush to just blend?

    Off makeup topic question: How does this website make money? Just curious. It’s great, I love it. I want to support it

    • Hi Plee,

      1.) If you don’t want anything outrageous, go for soft washes of color, which is when you take one color and apply it all over your lid. Think of a color that’s similar to your skin tone, but maybe a shade or two lighter. You can define the look by adding a deeper shade in your crease. If you want to spice things up, but not outrageously so, you can try colored liner or putting a touch of color in the outer crease or outer lid.

      2.) Usually “too much” makeup is the result of poorly applied foundation. Foundation that looks cakey, uneven, thick, or the dreaded face lines(where your face is one color, and neck is another!). Otherwise, it can be a matter of opinion. My grandma would call wearing colored eyeshadow too much.

      2a.) Blending requires practice, honestly. You can even just practice blending on the back of your hand so you can really see what you’re doing. It’s about taking one color and making it fade into the next. I always recommend starting with neutrals or browns, because they are easier to blend. I definitely would say start with similar colors – don’t go trying pink and green right off the bat, you might not like your results!

      3.) There are some ads running on the website that help offset costs. However, the way you can support the blog is if you shop through our affiliates – for instance, I’ll do a product review and provide a link to Nordstrom’s. If you click on that link, Nordstrom’s knows you came from us, and if you buy anything from Nordstrom’s during that visit, the blog gets commission for it. The blog is set up with other retailers like,,, and Thank you for wanting to support the blog! :)

      Feel free to ask follow-up questions!

  9. My question is.. I have the plummy blush from Moonbathe but have hardly used it, what colour shadows/lipstick/gloss go with a plum blusher? I can’t wear purple on my eyes or lips.. just looks wrong, but the blush looks ok. I’ve hardly used it because I am so stuck!

    • Is this Afterdusk, Stacey? I want to say that’s the one! If so, I actually LOVE this color. I like pinks with plummy shades of blush, personally, though it will depend on the eyes.

      I do tend to do purple/pink eyes when I wear plum or mauve blushes, and then I pair pink or plum lips with it. Usually if I go plum lip, it’s a deep wine or berry or a pink with just a purple tint.

      Try a pastel pink lip, I think it will work out for you!

      • Yes, it’s Afterdusk! I was at work and couldn’t, for the life of me, remember the name. I really appreciate you taking the time to answer my question :) I might try it with purple shadow as well as Tanya’s smokey suggestion. Only just started delving into purple though! It’s very hard for me to get it to look like my eyes aren’t bruised, lol.

        • My pleasure, Stacey!

          LOL, you know, it’s just a practice thing. Seriously, I never thought I would be able to do pink eyes, because my mom would say I had been crying, but I think I got the hang of it!

    • Tanya

      Stacey, just an idea but could you do a smokey eye with the blush? that way you dont have to worry about matching and your lips would be nude or just glossed so again there would be no worries about wearing purple besides on your cheeks. I have no idea how it would look but its just a suggestion.

  10. Sovann

    Hi Christine!

    1. How do I make my powder blush last longer?

    2. What colors in MACs permanent line closest to Heatherette e/s trios?

    3. Favorite face moisterizer? (Expensive and Inexpensive)

    4. Favorite Suncreen for face?

    5. Favorite suncreen for hands?

    Thank you Christine!!!

    • Hey Sovann!

      1.) Wearing liquid foundation has significantly increased my blush wear time. Also, buffing the blush color helps it set better or maybe it “sinks in” more so it works better. Cream blushes may also wear longer (this is their purpose), and you could set a cream blush with a powder blush for even longer wearing.

      2.) Trio #1: Shroom/Shimmermoss/Black Tied; trio #2: Hush/Living Pink/Fig. 1

      3.) Expensive: Estee Lauder Re-Nutriv Ultimate Youth Creme, but it helps cope with my acne, which isn’t what it’s designed for, LOL. So I don’t know if I really recommend it across the board. I do like MAC’s Moisturelush for a good heavy face moisturizer, which is mid-range in price. For inexpensive, I really like Olay’s Complete, which is a nice, lightweight moisturizer that dries quickly and has SPF.

      4.) I really love Dermalogica’s Waterblock – it’s a spray on SPF that works well (SPF30) and it is reasonably waterproof. I also like Olay Complete, as I mentioned above. Shiseido SPF55 is a popular favorite because of how high the SPF protection is, but I find it a little goopy and greasy. SkinCeuticals Active UV Defense uses Mexoryl, which was a recently approved ingredient used for sun protection (supposedly better than other ingredients), which I like, too.

      5.) I have to go with Dermalogica’s Waterblock Solar Spray again, because it’s water resitant (though I wash my hands so often, I doubt it stays on for that long). I also like Elizabeth Arden’s hand cream.

  11. Maggie

    Hey! I have a question about a neutral eye shadow. I have fair skin about NW30 maybe a bit lighter, and I want something sparkly. I don’t really like pinks, but if that’s what you advise, I will buy it! Thanks!

    • Hi Maggie!

      Are you looking for a set of shadows for a neutral look or just a particular neutral shadow?

      For an easy neutral look, I really like: Ricepaper eyeshadow all over lid, Patina eyeshadow on the outer lid/crease, and your highlighter color of choice. If you want a deeper/darker crease, add Soft Brown or Brun eyeshadow to the outer crease.

      For a single eyeshadow? Gosh, I don’t think I could tell you! There are so many favorites in the neutral range. I regularly use: Bamboo, Bronze, Grain, Ricepaper, Shroom, Soba, Wedge, and Woodwinked.

    • natasha

      because you said sparkly, i’d recommend retrospeck. it’s a cute neutral eye and i love the sparkle it gives.

  12. Karen

    I am debating whether I should get MAC Paint Pot as an eyeshadow base. I already have MAC Bare Canvas Paint, Stilfe Paint and Lumene Eyeshadow base. I find Bare Canvas kind of “chalky”. While it grab the color really well, sometimes I really need to pile on a lot of eyeshadow to “hide” the chalkiness of Bare Canvas. I do like Stilife, but then it’s too shimmery. Lumene Eyeshadow base doesn’t give any color and doesn’t alter the texture of my eyeshadows, but it doesn’t really “grab” colors. I am wondering which Paint Point will you recommend for me? I am NC30, with typical Asian skintone. I have some pics of me on MUA under laa_cat.


    • I really, really, REALLY adore Soft Ochre paint pot. I feel like it just works sooo well, and I’m not really a paint pot fan. It’s a matte, creamy base that’s very neutral, and it’s not chalky. I found Painterly paint pot to be much like Bare Canvas – that same bit of chalkiness. Stillife is similar to Bare Study, as Bare Study is shimmery.

      Since you’re NC30 like me, I can whole-heartedly recommend Soft Ochre! Have you tried Urban Decay’s Primer Potion? A lot of people love that, too.

      • Karen

        There’s something UDPP that makes me so reluctant to try it. Probably it’s the genie bottle style packaging… lol… I heard Lumene is sort of similar to UDPP. Honestly I don’t mind my eyeshadow smudging a little bit after some time… I believe Paint Point will do a better job in “grabbing” the pigments :)

      • Pia

        Unfortunately I don’t get Soft Ochre here, but I just got layin’low and it works really great as a base or on itself. I haven’t worked with canvas paint before so I can’t compare it wit paint pot. But technically, hosted in pretty glass jar, ease of application, paint pot is definitely the winner. I love love paint pots and would buy all range of colors.

    • Stephanie D

      The paint pots are really good. I was really skeptical at first because I never really liked the consistency of the paints. I’ve boughten about 7 paint pots now!!! Bare study is a good base for any color really and the Delft is awesome if you do blues. The shadow really stands out over them and lasts all day. I have the UDPP,but I think the paint pots are better personally.

  13. plee

    Thank you for answering my questions. You are really helpful. I love this answer sessions.

    Do you recommend applying shadows wet? I read about it and watched a few videos. Does it contaminate the shadows?

    How long do you keep shadows before throwing them out?

    What school do you go to? What do you study? I read that you study law, but I’m not sure. Do you have any other jobs?

    How long have you been working w/ makeup?

    • I’m happy to be able to help :)

      1.) Personally, no, because I’ve seen that it’s left a permanent “wet spot” (looks that way, isn’t actually wet) on the shadow. I haven’t done it on any of mine, except for baked shadows (like mineralize eyeshadows), because you use those wet or dry without changing the product. It shouldn’t contaminate the shadow, because it dries quickly.

      2.) Technically, bacteria grows in warm, moist places–your lipgloss, mascara, etc.–but not so much on powder products like shadows and blushes. You can spritz yours with rubbing alcohol (or use rubbing alcohol pads) to sanitize them to remove any potential bacteria.

      3.) I go to Santa Clara University’s School of Law, which is a graduate program. No other jobs, this is really more like a hobby than a job (I’d make more money working at Mickey D’s, LOL!).

      4.) Since about September 2004. I just fell in love with MAC around that time, and it evolved from there! :)

      What about you – how long have you been working or lovin’ makeup? What keeps your days busy?

    • Stephanie D

      I wet alot of my shadows,especially when I am doing a bold color combo. I will only wet one side the pan because of the “spotting” on the surface. If you rub the spot firmly with a Qtip it will usually disappear in most cases. Some textures seem hard to blend evenly when wet,so just go back over it with a little dry and it should soften the look.

  14. Vanessa

    Ok, my questions are more of a “what would you pair with____” Out of my 150+ eyeshadows that I have, there are just a few eyeshadows that I just can’t seem to figure out what to do beyong the “combo” as it was sold to me. So, do you have any suggestions for the following e/s?
    1) Jasmine
    2) Fountain Bleu
    3) Iris Print
    4) Orange Tangent
    5) Sunplosion


    • Stephanie D

      I have Orange Tangent and I love it on inner lid and above crease with Humid in crease outer crease and Deckchair pigment on brow, believe it or not. Greens and peachy oranges can really look stunning together. Sunplosion is also another good one. I’ve worn that with the Orange and Bright Sunshine,Vanilla, Naked Lunch. I think that e/s was used for the Viva Glam look on Pam Anderson quite a while back (not with the gold,though).

    • 1) Jasmine all over lid, Sumptuous Olive on outer lid, Femme Noir in outer crease

      2) Vex all over lid, Fountain Bleu on outer lid, Prussian in the crease

      3) Gorgeous Gold on inner lid, Iris Print on outer lid, Contrast in outer crease

      4) Use Orange Tangent & Sunsplosion together and throw in Coppering for a sunset-ish look 😉

  15. Can I tap your expertise to think up a look? I’m a fair-skinned blonde with smallish blue eyes, big cheeks and easily flushed skin.

    What look would you recommend I wear on a day I want to feel especially beautiful? I typically wear Cover Girl VolumeExact mascara with MAC Embark as an eyeliner on my upper lash line and a creamy shimmery pink pencil in my inner corners. Lip gloss is usually Body Shop Lip Stain with Totally It! or Viva Glam VI lipglass or whatever gloss is at the top of my makeup bag when I’m done digging through it.

    • Sure, Kate!

      Do you feel really great when you stand out or more along the lines of looking really natural but beautiful? For me, especially beautiful translates to more neutrals than anything, but maybe bold red lips (like Viva Glam I) or a sultry smoky eye (think Blacktrack as a base with Carbon on top) is more your style

      When I want to feel especially beautiful, I really, really work on making my skin look SUPER FAB. I moisturize, prep and prime, and really take my time applying foundation. For fair tones, I recommend a cool pink blush like Well Dressed, for warmer tones, I recommend Margin blush or a coral/peachy blush for cheeks. I like to highlight cheeks subtly, just along the top of the cheekbones, too.

      I put a touch of a white, frosty highlighter (like Nylon) on the inner tearduct/corner of my eye to help open them up. I go with Ricepaper eyeshadow all over the lid and then something like Soft Brown in the crease – so it’s almost like I’m wearing nothing. Lots of mascara and just a little liner.

      Since you already have easily flushed skin, I really just recommend going lightly with a blusher that’s close to your natural flush and working more on highlighting. You could try using a black liner to line your upper lash line instead of Embark to draw more attention and open up your peepers.

      Feel free to follow-up, the better for me to help you out!

      • Christine, thank you so much! So if I went the soft and pretty look with the eyes and cheeks, but wanted a bit of a pop of color on the lips, what would you recommend? It could be either just a lip gloss or a lip gloss over a lipstick.

        • No problem, Kate!

          For a very light pop of color, I love lipsticks like Sweetie and Bombshell. For darker colors, I love Capricious and New York Apple :) As far as glosses go, Lychee Luxe and Cultured are awesome!

  16. christine

    Hi, would you wear a tinted moisturizer to the beach? How about cream blushes or cheek stain? Which one would last longer and be more suitable for the beach? I dont want to look like im wearing heavy MU. Just a touch to look alive. Thanks!

    • Hey Christine!

      It would depend on a few things…

      Scenario A: If it’s super hot, but a dry heat, then tinted moisturize would be OK, not perfect, but I might go for it. I like the idea of cream blushes over cheek stains, but depending on your skin chemistry, not sure which would last longer. I feel like you can get a lot of bang for your buck out of cream blushes, especially if they’re set with a powder blush.

      Scenario B: If it’s super hot, but a humid heat, opt for a lightweight powder or something loose blot powder… but you’re probably going to sweat whatever you put on, you know?

      Scenario C: If I’m going into the water at all, I’d probably just conceal a little if I felt self-conscious, but really, I’d go minimal to none. You don’t want your face running into the ocean :(

      I do like Prescriptives’ Comfort Cream because it has really, really subtle self-tanner in it (it’s for the face/neck) so that it helps bring out a really natural glow onto your face. You might try this instead if you want to “look alive” without really doing much.

  17. K

    I wondered about this before but never got around to asking (seemed too much work to log into my e-mail just to ask!) – what is your CMS (ie. blogging tool) that you use on your website? Specifically, I am a fan of the “Subscribe to comments via email” feature and I’m wondering if it’s integrated or something you added or coded yourself.

  18. Sarah

    Love ur blog.
    I am 16 nc 42, can u recommend a bronzer for fresh brew lipstick.

  19. Rachel

    I’ve been looking into using MAC foundation and I have oily skin so the MA told me that I should use the Satinfinish but reading online – many have said that Satinfinish tends to lead to more acne/breakouts as opposed to the Fix Fluid. Have you tried both and be able to help break them down a bit? Thanks Christine, you’re awesome!

    • I have no idea why she said that one… that gives you a “dewy” finish, and usually if you have oily skin, you want a semi-matte or matte finish, something like Studio Fix Fluid. I personally found Satinfinish to make me look oily, and I’m normal in terms of oily/dryness!

  20. Alicia

    Hey Christine I have a question about blush…I’ve never really used it and now that I’ve started I feel so dumb about missing out before on such goodness. Anyway I really wanna know how you go about deciding on which blush to use with your looks…I’m really clueless about blush I only own three Peachykeen, Style and Secret Blush and never know if I’m using the right one for any given look. Thanks lots in advance for being so amazing and helpful and love your site its fantastic.

    • Hi Alicia!

      It’s something you just kind of pick up the more you do makeup and just experiment with. I tend to go for peaches and corals when I do golds or green eyes. I’ll opt for a plum or mauve blush when I do pink or purple eyes. When I do blues, depending on what else is with it, I might for a coral or a cooler pink. If I do neutral eyes, then I may use any blush (but then coordinate with lipstick).

      Thank you!

  21. Andrea

    Some of the colors you use, MAC doesn’t sell anymore (ex Goin Bananas, Overgrown, Bluer Blue)…can you offer some replacement colors that MAC does sells as an alternative on your tutorials? I’m close to going Ebay!!

    • Hi Andrea,

      In some of my tutorials, I do this, but if it is an older one, I probably haven’t, but you are always welcome to ask me about specific colors. For instance, Going Bananas’ closest duplicate is Bright Sunshine, which is a PRO only color, but for a regular permanent color, Chrome Yellow mixed with Nylon would get you close (Chrome Yellow is similar in color, though a little more yellow, and you need to add Nylon to lighten & frost it up). Overgrown is similar to Bitter eyeshadow. A Bluer Blue is similar to Big T (which is available on the MAC website, even though it is LE), but you might get close mixing Electric Eel and Newly Minted.

  22. Heather

    How do you stay thin?

    What’s your favorite alcoholic drink?

    What’s your favorite tv show – the one you NEVER miss?

    :-) Thanks!

    • Hi Heather!

      1) I actually have tons of weight issues, I wouldn’t say I’m thin at all. I try to plan my meals in a way that limits me to only one large meal or meal full of not-so-good-for-you items per day.

      2) None – I’m allergic to alcohol! If I had one, I’m sure it’d be a pina colada, though I can detect the alcohol taste in alcohol versions and prefer them non-alcohol, LOL. Do I sound dull or what?

      3) Would you believe that I don’t have a favorite TV show? I don’t think I’ve had a favorite since 90210 went off the air! My boyfriend loves House, and as a result, I never a miss an episode of that ;P

  23. audrey

    I know this a bit TMI.. but I was wondering if you (or any other readers) have gotten brazilian waxes or do they prefer shaving? Do the waxes hurt? What’s a good way to shave without getting ingrown hairs? Is it good to use a shaving cream or something else like conditioner?

    another set of questions: I’m a NC40 and i was also wondering about how to know if you’re cool or warm toned. I read somewhere that for MAC, NC=Neutral Cool, but I know that my face looks more pinkish than yellow. Is that what you consider undertones? but then I also heard that for MAC it’s different b/c they name it COOL cuz they use the opposite to even out skin tone. is this true?

    thanks a lot. i know it’s a lot of questions. sorry! and if any other readers can comment that would be very much appreciated!

    • natasha

      OMG, getting a tatto is less painfull then getting a brazillian! but having said that, my therapist and i are working on it. i go for bikinis and every session, she takes it in a notch so hopefully by xmas, i’d have adjusted to the pain.

      • natasha

        i mean my wax therapist ….in case you think otherwise. LOL. that’s what we call them in singapore.

        • dee

          I never wax. I bought a mens trimmer from tj maxx. It gets the hair low without going all the way, so I never have to worry about that growth period. Even when I’ve shaved with no problem(no ingrown hairs) the growth(ie your feminie area) will start to itch a little bit. Unsexy! This keeps all that under wraps.

    • I get a brazillian monthly and yes it hurts. Truthfully the first time is the worst. The other ones aren’t nearly as bad because you don’t have the same amount of hair due to the growth cycle. I made the mistake of taking a few months off (it gets expensive) and then went back and it was just as bad as the first time. A good estician is KEY to a successful wax job. I had a girl I thought was good until I had to go to someone else and found out that she is MUCH better.

    • Hi Audrey, I know my readers helped you out on this one, so that’s really great, as I’ve never gone the wax route myself (though I think I may this summer).

      I know one way to shave & minimize ingrown hairs is to invest in throwaway razors. You want a really sharp blade every time you shave down there, and it’s good to use a loofah sponge to help exfoliate as the hairs grown in, which will help reduce ingrown hairs. It is a good idea to use shaving cream or some sort of shaving lubricant to help the process.

      NC means Not Cool, NW means Not Warm from what I know, LOL. But maybe I was misinformed on that! If you’re NC40, it suggests that you are warm toned. Look at the color of your veins on your underarm – if they’re blue, you’re probably cool; if they’re green, you’re probably warm.

  24. Hi Christine, you won’t believe it, but I was just about to mail you with the foiling shadows question!
    I have another one:
    Which Anti aging cream is the best, according to you? Is it a day/night cream only? Do you wear it all the time, under your foundation or separately?
    Also, on a personal basis – who takes out Mellan in the morning (you or BF) when you really wanna burrow down into the bed and the poor puppy really wants to pee badly?

    • Since I’m pretty young (21), I am most definitely NOT qualified to answer that question because I’ve never been able to judge anti-aging products to the fullest simply because I have very few signs of aging. Hopefully some readers can share their favorites!

      I always take Mellan out, LOL. My boyfriend sleeps like a rock, and he usually can’t hear the puppy bark in the morning. My body wakes up at 6:30 like clockwork, so I’m always mostly awake by the time he goes out (7:00am).

      • Thanks sweetie, for the reply, I hope you won’t ever need anti-aging cream cos you’ve got very nice skin :) I’m going to look around for that on Karen’s blog, hopefully!
        And LOL about Mellan’s walk – how come men sleep so deep? They can never hear all those disturbances – or maybe they pretend to sleep very well. Huh! My family dog would always wake up my mom, and next us sisters for his morning walk. Men!

  25. Hey Cristine,

    Its strange or mayb WEIRD for others,but i dont have any queries.yyy??…Cuz u always fullfil our desires!!,i just wan u to wish luck in everything u do.”The Very Best Of Luck OUR DEAR-EST”.:*


  26. Christina R

    Hi Christine

    I love reading everyones Q&A and that your also from Bay Area. I’m also from the South Bay.

    So, here are my questions…

    My question is how do you organize your MU collection? If anyone has tips, please share.

    Also, what is your skin care routine?

    BTW I love the fact that I can get my fresh dose of the upcomming MAC collections from your blog.

    Thank again

    • Hi Christine R.!

      1) Here was my most recent collection post, which shows my organization:

      I really like silverware drawers to hold makeup, as well as tins and vases.

      2) Cleanse with Renee Rouleau’s AHA/BHA cleanser, moisturize with either MAC Moisturelush or Estee Lauder’s Re-Nutriv Ultimate Youth Creme, sunscreen with Dermalogica’s Waterblock Solar Spray — that’s pretty much what I do. Sometimes I test eye serums, anti-aging products, etc. and I’ll add those to my routine, and other times I try out new moisturizers or a new cleanser. I cleanse/moisturize AM & PM, and I usually opt for a heavier cream for night.


  27. Arika BH

    christine, i love your blog it’s my favorite! i also love your new haircut. it’s super flattering. i’m nc400 in MAC hyper real. i have dark brown eyes and very dark brown hair i want color recommendations please. i love it when people just tell me what to buy, no guesswork.
    1) eyeshadow recommendations for a neutral eye, and a colorful eye. maybe plums, pink or greens?

    2)lipglass recommendations for a bronze, a bright flattering color, and a possibly a nude. i have the hardest time with nudes. it all so far has been too chalky or corpse like.

    thanks for your tips!!

    • Aw, I’m very flattered, Arika BH! Thank you so much!

      Neutral eye: Ricepaper all over lid, Soft Brown on outer lid, Espresso in the crease, and Grain to highlight — this is one I do a lot, and I’m NC300 in Hyperreal, so I think it would be just as flattering, if not more so, on your skin tone!

      Colorful green eye: Juxt eyeshadow on inner lid, Swimming eyeshadow on middle of lid, Sumptuous Olive on outer lid, and Femme Noir in the outer crease

      For your lipglasses… Try Explicit or Spite for your bronze, Lychee Luxe or Pink Poodle for your bright, and C-Thru or Prr for your nude.

  28. acuanette

    Are there haircare/hairstyling websites in the blog style just like temptalia? Thanks.

  29. Ross1977

    Hi Christine,
    how are you?
    I have a make up question for you! What’s your favourite make up? Can you tell me the products and the colours?

    • Hi Ross1977, do you mean like my favorite makeup look or brand? My favorite brand is MAC when it comes to makeup and colors. For a favorite look, I really like Goldmine on inner lid, Rye (LE, try Patina instead) on middle of lid, Bronze on outer lid and crease, and Ricepaper on brow.

  30. Carmen

    Hey Christina,

    I was wondering if you could tell me how to use loose eye dust (mineral eyeshadow). It is really all glitter and glamour, but it doesn’t stay on too long. Do you have any suggestions? I tried using them wet (as suggested on some sites, but it still vanishes after a while).

    Hope to hear from you and anyone with usefull tips!


    • Hi Carmen,

      I always use mixing medium by MAC to make loose shadows and pigments stay on longer. I also find that if you use a good base, they adhere much better even when they’re simply patted on.

  31. bec

    Hi Christine,

    I’ve read/been told numerous times that one of the best indicators for determining your skin tone is by examining the colour of the veins on your underarm. The problem is, my veins appear green and many makeup artists first assumed I had warm skin but I know for a fact that I don’t. In fact, I’m quite sure I’m a Winter because I have pale skin with dark hair and dark facial features, and silver jewelry and colours such as jet black, snow white, reds, bright pink, jewel tones and icy pastels look great on me. Orange, certain shades of brown, beige makeup and clothes wash me out and gold jewelry isn’t particularly flattering on me. However, I don’t understand why there are times when I can wear SOME warm shades (with the exception of the aforementioned colours) and have veins that appear green in colour and yet, I can wear most shades from the cool end of the colour spectrum.

    Is it possible to have cool and warm undertones, and if not, is it possible to be cool or warm but be able to wear a limited number of colours from the other end?

    Thanks in advance!!!

    • Erin

      I think it’s possible to just be able to pull a bunch of colors outside of your spectrum off. I do it all the time- I’m a warm, but if I use a plummy blush and a good cool lid paint, I can do the silvery thing even though that should look horrid.

    • Just because you are cool toned definitely doesn’t mean you can’t rock greens or oranges! Some people are cooler and warmer than others – some are even fairly neutral. Some are yellow-toned to the point where cool/warm doesn’t work well for them.

  32. Liz

    I’m trying to come up with a pink and green eye combo, nothing too over the top. I already have Pink Venus, Expensive Pink, Juxt and Humid…..everytime I try to come up with something it looks very messy.

    Also, I’m looking for an everyday silvery blue eye.

    I love this site!!Thanks for all you do!

    • Pink & green together, I presume?

      When I do pink and green together, I usually throw in gold in between them. It is hard to blend such contrasting colors together, and the best way is to do so very slowly and using a fluffy brush like the 224 to do it can help.

      For your everyday silver-blue eye, try Vex all over lid, Moonflower on outer lid, and Naval or Print in the crease


  33. JK

    Which of MAC’s pencil eyeliners is most long-lasting (doesn’t fade, doesn’t move?) I bought a Technakohl in Earthline, but the color’s doesn’t glide on well, and it fades about as fast as any other eyeliner. Would Powerpoint be better/did I just get a color that’s less effective?


    • Hm, pencil liners? Powerpoints are probably the longest wearing, but I don’t find that they’re as smooth as a kohl (which is what I prefer), but they are meant to be waterproof and long wearing.

  34. Erin

    When I had pink hair (or blue/green/purple/red/yellow/etc.), I rocked it proper and wore whatever eyeshadow. You just have to adjust your coloring, blush is more important than anything in having a finished look. Fluorescent yellow was the toughest, I looked half dead unless I spent a long time on my makeup.

    Christine: My question is, do you have any complementary shades to recommend with Sketch? I like the idea of Sketch, but for example I tried it the other day with Neutral Pink and Quarry, and I have just warm enough a skintone that it just looked grayish and reminded me of like, vampire makeup. NOT the look I’m going for. How can I warm it up? (I’ve tried it with Cranberry and it was a little better, but other than that I can’t really think of anything.) I’m about to return it, which I hate doing.

    • Tanya

      groovy :) Its really great to hear all this positive feedback on sporting pink hair!!

    • Have you tried layering something like Stars ‘n Rockets or Coppering on top of Sketch? Sometimes adding some shimmer and lightening it up can realyl add dimension and make it more wearable for you!

  35. Erin

    JK- Powerpoints are much less likely to budge, although with my oily crepe-y eyes, they still do a little. That’s why I like to use colors like Handforged, gold that doesn’t look weird when it smears.

    • JK

      Thanks Erin! I think I’ll try the powerpoints out sometime. Does anyone have color suggestions for the powerpoints? I tend to wear grey, brown, or plum eyeliner.

      • Erin

        Industry is a good gray, and Bountiful Brown is a lovely gold/brown that doesn’t blink away.

      • natasha

        buried treasure is also a nice colour that you may want to try. i also like prussian which is a gorgeous blue and so there jade which is really pretty.

  36. gracie

    Hey christine
    was wondering about the fixing solution you use on your brush when you use Mac pigments. Is it water or oil based, and are there different products available.


    • Erin

      You can fake MAC’s mixing medium with a ratio of 3 parts water to 1 part glycerine, glycerine being rather inexpensive at drugstores.

    • Hey Grace!

      It is water-based. I make my own, which is 1 part glycerin (liquid, found in drugstores in the first aid aisle) and 3 parts water. I usually do 1 tsp glycerin, 3 tsp water, then shake it up, voila.

      Mixing medium does come in both water and gel form, I believe, if you buy it from MAC!

  37. Jane

    Can you tell me what the best brush for fluidlines is? I have a 266 but I find it makes too thick of a line. I was thinking about getting the 212 but it is always out of stock at my counter and when I did a live chat, the MA said that it is more for pushing liner into the lashline.

  38. Katie

    This question is for everyone, really- I’m 18 and just out of HS, and I’ve wanted to be a makeup artist for a long time, preferably runway and glamour makeup. I’ve done makeup for school plays and worked with special effects makeup at a costume store, but I have no portfolio or other experience. So I’m wondering if I should start out at a cosmetic counter at Macy’s or Ulta/Sephora, or should I try and freelance and get a portfolio together that way? Anyone have any experiences they would like to share?

    Also, what inexpensive brushes do you recommend? I love the Sonia Kashuik brushes, but I’d like to try some other less expensive brands before I splurge on the MAC and Bobbi Brown lines.

    • Amy

      Hi Katie,

      I’m not a makeup artist, but have tossed around the idea before, too. I’ve asked places, and often, the people at Sephora have started off by either going to beauty school/cosmetology school or they started at a counter where they trained and then moved on to Sephora.

      Gals at Bobbi Brown and Estee Lauder just told they applied and the companies sent them to training.

      I’d say go ahead and apply at a counter or two and look into a few classes at your local beauty school.


    • Tanya

      I am certainly not a make-up artist but I have worked with a ton…I use to do some pin-up modeling :) I would highly suggest you sign up for a class specific for make-up artistry…I am not sure where you are but LA here in California has a superb program that even offers housing while you do the course, if your attending the program from out of town. Be sure to really do some research before picking a school/course though. Maybe call all the make-up artists listed in your area and ask what school they attended. Secondly, start building your portfolio and word of mouth. Register for free accounts on all the model websites you can find and in the beginning be willing to do TFP/TFD which means you are willing to trade your services for either prints or a disk. YOU DO NOT NEED TO PAY FOR A PORTFOLIO EVER!!!!!! That way you get a portfolio started for free, you get to meet and know a ton of photographers and models :) its a huge win/win situation. Its how all the successful MA got started that I know. Even is a wonderful way to make connections.

      Yes, you can get work at a make-up counter but honestly it would not be my first choice unless you want to depend on the steady income of a counter job. If you need the money and stability of a job at a counter I would still strongly suggest you take my first paragraph of advice.

      If you need more help or have more questions about this subject…I can give you my email address…honestly this is one subject I have a TON of experience with :)

      • Katie

        Thanks for the advice, girls! I definitely need it and am taking it all into consideration :)

        & Tanya – I’d love to talk with you some more on the subject. My email is lonelyplanetgirl86 @ gmail dot com. Thx!

    • Tanya is a great resource, so definitely use her! If you have a nearby cosmotology school, you should check it out, too. I know that the portfolio is VERY important, so you should definitely try and get one together right away — borrow friends and family if you have to. You can also try to hookup with a burgeoning photographer and offer to do makeup for free if you can use the images in your portfolio. It’s a great way to get your foot in the door.

      Sonia Kashuk brushes are good, and you can get away with craft store brushes, too – there are many that are super soft and exactly like higher end brushes.

  39. Sarah

    What is the best face primer? I am sampling Mac’s right now and wonder if something out there is better. It definately makes powder lay nicer but it doesn’t make my face makeup last to the end of the day (I use Bare Minerals). Does NARS have a good one? Or I’ve read about Smashbox’s in the most recent InStyle.

    • Hi Sarah!

      I don’t personally use primer very often, so I can’t be that helpful. I do know that a lot of people love Smashbox’s Photofinish primer, though! I would say people gravitate towards Prep + Prime by MAC or Smashbox’s.

    • Sanayhs

      I’m primarily a MAC junkie, but I love Smashbox’s Photo Finish primer. I love it enough that I order it from their site and pay for shipping to Canada, as there are no local vendors. 😉

      • Nice! OK, I need to find it in the bowels of my apartment and finally try it!

      • Mikella

        Shoppers Drug Mart carries it in the small size (the original one). And you should order from Sephora’s website rather than the Smashbox site, because you only need to order $50.00 worth from to get free shipping + samples. So you could just order a full size primer and something else small, and get free shipping.

  40. Milan

    Hi Christine,

    I have a couple of questions:

    1. This first one is just one that I’ve always wondered about. Are all shadows in a pre-made palette supposed to be worn together? Like for instance if you have a 6 color palette (which I have a few from MAC) is the purpose for you to use all 6 in your look or should you really just pick and choose 2-3? Some shades are very similar in color so it makes sense that you could probably use all in one look in some way but some palettes have colors that are probably complimentary but not necessarily similar so those are the ones that I’m asking about.

    2. How do you apply gel liner (ie fluidline) to your waterline? Right now i’m dipping my eyeliner PENCIL into the fluidline a bit and then lining as normal but I know some folks use brushes (i’ve tried that…it was a horrible experience..I had fluidline all in my eyeball)


    • Hi Milan!

      1) They are meant to show you at least one or two looks that can be done using strictly colors in the palette. I would say in a palette of six, they don’t necessarily expect you to use six to create one look. In a quad, they do tend to insert colors that would work together, if you used all four. There’s no real rules, though! Palettes are designed to be portable and travel-ready so they should be self-sufficient.

      2) I use that technique as well, because I find it’s more precise and faster/easier. Brushes agitate my waterline, and I find I end up sticking my eyeball with bristles, LOL.

  41. Shefali

    Hey Christine! I have a question for you, but if anyone else can answer this question, I would greatly appreciate it!

    What shadows are available only in MAC stores and can’t be bought at Macy’s or Nordstrom? I know a couple of them, Bitter and Chrome Yellow. Are there any others? I’m going to the MAC store this weekend and since I don’t go often, I want to pick up some things that I can’t get at Nordies or Macy’s.


    • Hey Shefali,

      I believe you cannot get these are a counter: Chrome Yellow, Bitter, Orange for sure; possibly Electric Eel & Passionate. MAC discontinued a few colors that you weren’t able to score at counters, I think. There aren’t that many from what I remember, though!

  42. Eva

    You blog about a lot fo different brands and their new collections/releases – does it make a difference to you whether or not a brand is still testing on animals or cruelty-free?

    IMO animal testing for cosmetics is completely unnecessary, there are other (and better!!) ways and I try to buy products from those who use other ways of testing their cosmetics. No need for fluffy animals to suffer just so that I can look pretty, right?


    • Hi Eva,

      I blog about, test, and own products by brands that are both cruelty free and those that test. I do not think it is a necessary practice, but it is not something that extends to my usage of products, I would say. I believe the majority of brands I buy no longer test on animals, if I remember correctly!

  43. Mari

    Hello Christine!

    First off I LOVE the tuts you do! Lovin’ all the new things M*A*C has to offer! Thank you for givung us a heads up! 😀

    My question is about e/s: Kind of like a “What would you pair ____ with”

    1. Chrome Yellow (besides electric eel!)
    2. Electric Eel (besides chrome yellow!)
    3. Trax 4. Satellite Dreams
    5. Satin Taupe 6. Beautiful Iris 7.Cranerry 8.Quarry
    9. Freshwater 10. Simulated Copper (was in a quad 03′)

    Last on my list of ? would be what do you think of Loreal’s Decrease? I know UDPP is the sh- – of all primers but I was trying to start on a less expensive brand before going up the scale! Thank you so much for all of your informative topics!!! I am sometimes on here till’ 2 in the mornin’! whew! One would def. say I’m “hooked”! 😀

    • Vanessa

      I have a couple of combos for a few of the e/s you have mentioned:
      1) entire lid – Expensive Pink
      outer lid – Cranberry
      crease – Charred
      2) inner lid – Vanilla
      mid/outer lid – Quarry
      outer corner – Satin Taupe

      Hope this helps a bit :)

    • Thanks, Mari!

      Here you go…

      1.) Chrome yellow all over lid, Passionate on outer lid, Coppering in the crease
      2.) Juxt on inner lid, Electric Eel on middle of lid, Shimmermoss in crease
      3.) Parfait Amour on lid, Trax on outer lid, Contrast in crease
      4.) Parfait Amour on lid, Satellite Dreams on outer lid, Contrast in crease
      5.) Ricepaper on lid, Satin Taupe on outer lid/crease
      6.) Stars ‘n Rockets on inner lid, Beautiful Iris on outer lid, Contrast in crease
      7.) Goldmine on inner lid, Coppering on middle of lid, Cranberry in outer lid/crease
      8.) Bisque all over lid, Quarry on outer lid, Smut in crease
      9.) Aquadisiac on inner lid, Freshwater on outer lid, Deep Truth in crease
      10.) Simulated Copper all over lid, Carbon on outer lid and crease

      I think L’Oreal’s De-crease is a good cost-effective alternative to those who can’t afford or don’t want to spend that much on UDPP.

    • Today I’m wearing Moon’s Reflection on inner lid, Freshwater on middle of lid and blended over crease, Naval Blue in outer V and crease, and a touch of Contrast to deepen the crease. Very vibrant! I used Otherwordly as a base, but I think it would look cool over Delft as well.

    • Sanayhs

      An extremely simple and lovely combination utilizing freshwater:

      Juxt over the inner three quarters of the lid. Freshwater over the outer third of the lid. Plumage as liner. Highlighter of your choice, or, *gasp!*, none at all!

  44. Erin

    Hey all,

    I’ll admit it: I’ve never bought MAC. I typically stick to EL and Benefit for high-end makeup, but as much as I love color (and MAC’s considerably cheaper than EL in most things), by all counts MAC should be my brand of choice. Honestly, I find my MAC counter to be super intimidating, like they’d sneer at me if I came up and didn’t know anything about the products and had a neutral face on. I honestly feel like I’d need to study the MAC website for a couple hours before I even approach the counter!

    What are some good products to ease me into MAC? Paint pots, eyeshadow? I want to like MAC, I just have this idea that MAC users are this exclusive club and I’ll never ever get into it.

    • Hey Erin!

      You know, you should just walk in there like you own the place. I really hate snotty artists at MAC, and trust me, so many of us have had terrible experiences there!

      Are you all about lots of color on the eyes? If you are, I totally recommend getting a few shadows. Tell me more about what some of your favorite types of products or even colors, and I’ll recommend you some items!

    • JK

      I’ve found the MAC counter really intimidating too, but it’s usually worth it! I love love love the paint pots. I’m newish to makeup, and I’ve found them really easy to work with, on their own, as a base, combined with powder, as an eyeliner, whatever.

      Besides that, yeah, the eyeshadows are great…I might recommend a palette if you see a nice one so you can play around with multiple textures/colors from MAC.

    • If you encounter a snotty artist you should write a written complaint about them 😉 That’s what the manager at my counter told me to do about one of her staff!!

    • Sanayhs

      I know there are lots of horror stories about awful MAC employees, but they aren’t all like that! The vast majority of the employees at my local freestanding store are fantastic: nice, helpful and lots of fun if you chat with them a bit.

  45. Sarah

    One more question!

    What are the best 5 MAC eye brushes to have?
    I already have 239 and 217. But I want one that deposits more color in the outer corner of my eye. Crease brush?

    • You could try the 222 or 224 (the 224 is fluffier, I believe!).

      I like the 208, 219, 239, 249, and 266 as my five favorite eye brushes!

  46. Erin

    Thanks for your reply, Christine.

    My first experience with high-end makeup was as a 14 year-old at a Bourjois counter at Bloomingdale’s in NYC. I live in Kentucky, and the brand seemed sooo tres chic to me. I totally fell in love and bought a grass/lime green eyeshadow flecked with gold, and a violet (read: bright purple) Effet 3D lipgloss–two choices that were way out there on the color spectrum and I normally wouldn’t have chosen. Still, I was hooked.

    These days I do makeup for work in about 5 minutes. Usually for eyes I’ll do neutrals, as it’s the quickest option for me, but I hate feeling so boring. For work: taupes or pinks with several coats of black Magnascopic and a touch of black eyeliner on outer upper lids. For going out, I love a smokier eye with gray, plums, or occasionally brown. I always use powder shadows–I’ve never had muc look with creme shadows but am willing to give them another go.

    Any shadow shade ideas would be greatly appreciated. I’ve been disappointed in payoff/pigmentation with drugstore brand eyeshadows–I’d love to fall for a few great shadows.

    • Hi Erin!

      Since you haven’t gotten into MAC yet, I totally urge you to check out this series of posts I did for newbies:

      Just because I feel it can be really informative!

      With five days of neutrals, some of my FAVORITE neutrals to work with are: Soft Taupe, Espresso, Woodwinked, and Bronze. These are all rich, gorgeously pigmented shadows. I love Shroom and Ricepaper as highlighters.

      For a smoky eye, you could really get a lot of bang out of your buck by picking up Vex and Silver Ring – you’ll get a soft, subtle smoky eye. If you want to punch it up, throw in Carbon (black!), which is always a good shadow to have around because you can darken ANY look with it.

  47. Sarah

    Can u tell me about some blush for nc42 skintone.

  48. Amy


    Thanks for answering my blush question! I’ll skip the darker contouring color and see if that helps.

    I have two more questions.

    1. How would you make “hooded” eyes stand out? I have a prominent brow bone with a deep crease. I always see stuff about making small eyes look bigger or wide/close set eyes look more even, but not much about deep set or hooded eyes. You don’t have to name specific brands–just more colors or techniques. Thanks!

    2. What online sites do you buy from most frequently? What has the best freebies/free with purchase/samples/shipping policies that you have found? I usually stick to Sephora or Ulta, but find there are lots of other places with varying cool perks for ordering.

    Thanks again!

    • Hi Amy,

      1.) For deep-set eyes, one trick is to apply a light colored shadow to your lid to even it out because sometimes it looks shadowed from the deeper crease. Go light in the entire crease, except the outside. Also, lining both the upper and lower lash line may help bring them out. One of my favorite people to see makeup on is this girl: Check her out!

      2.) To be honest, I don’t do a lot of shopping online for makeup – I live two miles away from just about every makeup line you could want, LOL. But I do tend to opt for Nordstrom, Macys, Sephora,, or

  49. plee

    This isn’t a question, but just want to say your writing is very clear and effective :)

  50. K

    Hey Everyone,

    Christine I’m not sure if you can answer this or not, since I’m not sure that you’ve used Bare Minerals a lot or know a ton about it, but I figured I’d check. I was at the shiny Sephora in Times Square a few weeks ago and they had all the displays with the best of products (so helpful for makeup newbies like me)! Anyway, one acne product that supposedly works super well is Bare Escentuals Rare Minerals. So I bought some, but I’m not entirely sure when to use it in my makeup/cleansing process because it’s a powder. Do I do it under moisturizer/primer/foundation like I would with a creme acne product, or should I put it on after moisturizer but under primer? I’m just not sure where in the process a powder acne product would do the best work.


    • Hi K,

      I haven’t used Bare Minerals, but I’ll take a shot at it anyway!

      So you have the Rare Minerals Skin Reviving Treatment? If you go to their website (, it’s actually something you apply before bed and it works while you sleep!

      • K

        Sorry, I meant the Blemish Therapy, but with a little research I found some tips. From what I read, the reviews on it mixed, but it definitely reduces my cystic acne dramatically and helps with the redness. People seem to use it in a variety of ways in their morning/night routine. A lot of people have complained about the sulfur smell, but mine doesn’t seem to smell much at all, maybe they’ve improved the formula. Anyone else have experience with this stuff?

  51. tatiana







    • Hey Tatiana!

      1) It sounds like that pink lip combo is pretty subtle, so you could wear it with a lot of things…. pink, blue, purple, and smoky looks would all work well with them.

      2) I don’t know, Tatiana! Have you tried darkening them, and maybe making it a smoky pink eye instead?

  52. 1. What’s your favorite crease color?

    2. Should I eat a brownie for dessert, or ice cream?

    3. When are we going out next?

    4. Why is Brett Michaels so scary?

    • Hey Karen!

      1.) If I had to pick one, probably Carbon, just because you can use it any time and vary the concentration. I don’t think I have any one crease color I go to more often than others, LOL.

      2.) Both! Warm brownie with ice cream on top…

      3.) It better be soon, girly!

      4.) Because he’s like, fifty, and still chasing tail. Oh, and he’s totally drawn to the craziest and emotionally scarred girls. Poor man needs to be saved from himself.

  53. Ooh I have another question! How did you come up with Temptalia? :)

    • I was an active member in a Livejournal community for MAC Cosmetics, where I would post my looks regularly (back then, I did full makeup nearly everyday!). I created an archive for all my looks on a website, which then evolved into Temptalia the blog :)

      • I actually meant the word, lol. Should’ve been clearer in my question!

        • It just came to my mind as a variation of “temptation,” actually. I thought of it at maybe 15 or 16 years old, so it’s QUITE old. I had an online magazine called that, LOL, which was my diary.

  54. beret

    hi, I’d like to have your advice about a powder highlighter for cheeks.I am a NC25-30 and I am not looking for a warm highlghter like gold…thanks :) and I have an advice for you, I hope it won’t bother! just a feedback: Your eyebrows are too harsh in your makeups, I mean they are too black, Go for a little lighter shade and you will be amazed! thanks :)

    • Hi Beret!

      Are you looking for a pink or peach? I do like Natural Flare beauty powder for a peachy shade, or Tenderdusk for a pinker shade.

      My brows are naturally black – I already lighten them to a brown, so I’m not sure what else I can do. If I fill them in with a lighter shadow, it doesn’t look right – like it looks obvious that I have gaps and am filling in my brows (I’m already about 2-3 shades lighter than my natural color!). I appreciate the suggestion, just not sure what I can do.

  55. Kitten

    Hi Christine

    First, I love your site, your articles are always helpful & I really like the layout. Here are my questions:

    1. Do you get free makeup from the lines you review? For instance I saw you did a look with a new Dior eyeshadow quint that hasn’t been released yet (Gold Fever)…or does your bank account suffer like the rest of us to feed the obsession?

    2. I’m curious as to how you get the scoops on the new collections that come out, because you always have the info quite a ways before the launches. Do the companies give you this info or is it leaked?

    3. After MAC what’s your favourite line?

    Thanks, ever since I’ve been visiting beauty realted sites I’ve wondered about these questions in general!

    • Hi Kitten!

      1.) There are several brands/companies that do send some products for consideration. A lot of times I will go to the store/counter and play with new things, but I won’t buy them (I mean, I can tell you how I liked a lipstick without buying it for the most part, y’know?). If it’s before it’s been released, then it is likely that PR sent me the product! I would say I spend $200-400 per month on beauty products, though, and as a student, that’s plenty!

      2.) I have various sources. I often request information about upcoming releases from companies, but not all will release information in advance. I also use international sites (who always seem ahead of the game), and I do have some anonymous & reader sources, too.

      3.) I love Clinique, because there is something so fun and simple about their line that isn’t boring.

      No problem! Most beauty blogs are in contact with PR for beauty brands, just that few want to admit it!

      • Kitten

        Thanks for your reply – as for how much you spend on beauty products a month, you and I are in the same ballpark (somehow knowing this makes me feel less guilty ;). I think it makes perfect sense for cosmetic companies to send out freebies to bloggers, the internet is probably the cheapest and broadest form of advertising around. I read in another reply your boyfriend does the design of the website, let him know it looks great & is easy to navigate!

  56. I’m a new blogger, and I love reading your site. I check it daily, sometimes 2-3x a day (mostly to see new content). Do you have any tips for someone who is just starting their own beauty/fashion blog – especially on how to get the sorts of info that you get (like the info on the Summer 2008 collections)?

    Also – what kind of Law do you want to practice when you’re done w/ Law School?

    • Hey Stephie! I appreciate the support :)

      You have to be really pro-active and aggressive. While Temptalia is first and foremost a hobby, I do run it, in many ways, as a business, or at least a serious endeavor. I spend anywhere from 2-4 hours a day working and talking with PR firms and reps for brands. You would be surprised what you can find using Google and how receptive PR firms are to giving information to beauty bloggers :)

      I don’t want to practice law actually! I want to go into financial planning!

  57. Bethany

    I am completely new to make-up. I’ve hated it until I found your site and went to an MAC counter. Wow. When the lady did my eyes, the gold eyeshadow called “honesty” really popped out. All I get is a sheer barely there look. Or it all ends up on my cheeks or above by the eyebrow. I know I’m a newbie and need practice, but it’s frustrating. She sold me the 239 and 217 brushes as well. The 239 seems to just “flick” the eyeshadow off onto my face. I like the 217 brush though.

    I also bought an eye base called “bare canvas”. I love the other colors but “honesty” is driving me crazy. I live an hour from the nearest store so I can’t just go back and have her show me. Is it the shadow or am I just make-up retarded?


    • Hey Bethany! Honesty is a lustre finish, if I’m remembering correctly, which does mean it can be harder to get good color out of it because it is flakier. You will need to pack it on, which means putting a few dabs of it, and you should lightly tap it onto the lid. Are you using a base before you put on Honesty?

      I adore the 239, actually! I use it everyday!

      • Bethany

        I was able to go back to the store and the lady was so helpful! She suggested a paint pot (painterly),showed me how to use the 239 brush and how to use Honesty on my eyes. She also suggested brush 219 and I ended up buying two green colors, the brush and the brush cleaner. Now I love the brushes I bought. The paint pot is amazing and honesty is a beautiful color.

        I’m amazed at the generosity of these ladies to help me instead of making me feel inadequate. This is truly the first cosmetic company that has given me confidence. The fact that she was so willing to help me and teach me made it so much easier to buy the products.

        Also practicing on my daughter made it easier to know how to place the colors on my eyes.

  58. Juliette

    SOmetimes you say “we” when talking about your site..who all are you referring to? HOw many people work on this?

    If you are not working and are in school, how do you afford all your makeup? I’m just curious because im a working woman and can barely afford to make ends meet!

    THanks loveyou

    • Temptalia is owned and the presence is all me, but my boyfriend is essentially an equal partner who deals with the technical end like layouts, setting up the blog, making sure the site is up, etc. I also like to think of the site as a community–I guess the “we” thing is something I picked up when I used to edit for online magazines when I was a teen.

      I have take a $55,000 student loan per school year, which includes living expenses (which then include some “entertainment” money factored in).

  59. Sovann

    Hi Christine!
    Thanks for answering my questions!!! Love Ya!!!

  60. Katherine

    OK, here’s a “unmakeup” inspired question. I admire your ambition – towards your website, your law degree! Who has been your inspiration to make you succeed in life?

    • Hi Katherine! I’m not really sure. If I had to pick someone, I would say my mom, because she’s quite ambitious and she pushes both my sister and I fairly hard, or at least enough that we don’t want to disappoint her!

  61. Davina

    hey christine!
    just wanted to say i absolutely love your blog. i think the variety of posts you do is really cool and interesting and i love your product line reviews (esp. MAC!) since you’re honest about what you like & don’t like. very refreshing!
    anyways, i’m sure you’ve been asked these before, but just curious!
    1. you always line your waterline with feline kohl power. i love the way it looks and when i try graphblack, smolder or blacktrack it always gets messy when i blink. since feline is DC, its super hard to track down. is there any other e/l you would suggest, even different brands? (or should i just bite the bullet and keep looking for it?)
    2. i’ve always loved your teal & purple tutorial. i’m wondering if you have suggestions for sub.’s for these e/s that aren’t on the MAC website: Cinders e/s, Tease ‘n Teal e/s, Pearl of the Earth e/s, Metamorph e/s.
    3. Finally, what attracted you to MAC products? did you have a favorite makeup line before then?

    thanks so much! :)

    • Hey Davina!

      Thank you so much!

      1.) Even with Blacktrack, it gets messy? You may want to let it dry, or perhaps set your eyeliner with Carbon eyeshadow so it doesn’t run as much. You could try Bobbi Brown’s gel liners, too!

      2.) Cinders = Contrast; Tease ‘n Teal = Shimmermoss; Pearl of the Earth = Beautiful Iris; Metamorph = Juxt. Pearl of the Earth is the only one that I think is not easy to find a GREAT dupe for.

      3.) Nope, MAC was really my entrance into makeup addiction :)

  62. ElleBelle

    I love this game!! Here’s my Question, awhile ago I stumbled across a hand-me-down from my Mom and came to love it. It was called Revlon Instant Skin Brightener, they have stopped making it but i loved it :( It was a liquid (that pumped out of a relatively large tube and when mixed with foundation it provided the perfect dewy look and diffused flaws. Any ideas for (relatively) inexpensive replacements?

    • Hey ElleBelle!

      I bet you that Strobe Cream by MAC would do it. It’s basically an illuminzer, and if you do a search for illuminizing products, you should find PLENTY of alternatives. Even in the drugstore aisle!

  63. Sarah

    as u own so much makeup, do u believe in the time of throwing makeup according to expiration date or u just keep them.

    • Hi Sarah! I definitely believe in throwing them away at some point. I adhere to the rules for mascara for sure. I throw away lipgloss when it smells bad!

  64. Sonia

    I am 16 and I wear studio fix fluid. From the age 14, I started wearing concealer and powder. Do u think its a good idea or not?

  65. Melissa

    I recently bought All That Glitters eyeshadow. I wear C2 studiofix. I was wondering what you would pair this eyeshadow with.

    I also wanted to create a shimmery pinky eyeshadow look? What colors do you recommend?


    • You can pair it with sooo many things, actually! Try it with a neutral look – use browns like Soft Taupe & Bronze.

      I love Expensive Pink and Da Bling for my pink looks. I think Hush (a very light highlighter with pink in it) goes well to lighten any pink look, too.

  66. Liz

    Can you recommend a good dupe for Mac’s Blue Storm? Also, I have the Fafi quad #2 and I was wondering if the darkest shade in that group is similar enough to Black Tied or Carbon, or should I just purchase one of those shadows. Thanks for all your help!

    PS….I tried the green and pink eye with a little Goldmine thrown in there…FABULOUS!! Thanks for the help!

  67. Madiha

    Hey I love your blog, and it is the first time I came here.
    I am nc40-42 and I was wondering if you could suggest me some ideas for day time wear. I am 18 years old and I need a new makeup look for college. Usually, I am seen with kohl rimmed eyes and nude lips. I was wondering if one of these eyeshadows texture, honey lust, mythology, could be worn in the day and whether or not they are shimmery because I want to stay away from too shimmery eyeshadows. My second ? is that I want to know if expensive pink eyeshadow will look good on my complexion and the color it has because the way it is described confuses me. And I am also looking for a blush. Thank you so much, sorry for those many ?’s.

    • Hi Madiha,

      Yes, they can be worn during the day. You are young and wearing shimmery shadows won’t make anyone think twice! Honey Lust is probably the most shimmery. Expensive Pink can be difficult to work with, but I think you’ll be fine. You are dark enough where the gold flecks in Expensive Pink will stand out more.

      For neutrals, try things like Shroom, Ricepaper, Bronze, Soft Brown, Malt, etc.

  68. sara

    Hello I am so glad i found this web site I am really desperate I am interested in studying make- up but so far i have just found cosmetology schools I live in New Jersey an hour away from manhattan and i would be available to attend classes in New York too.
    I just want to learn how to do make up not hair cutting or coloring and stuff.
    could you please tell me about a nice place to learn it. It is my dream.
    Thank you so much

    • Hi Sara!

      I honestly don’t know very much about cosmetology schools… have you done any Googling for makeup schools in NYC? I’m sure there are some there!

    • A nice school Ï’ve heard about is Make-Up Designory.

      There are other places that give short courses like Alcone I’ve heard.

      Best of luck Sara and share your experience with me about whichever school you pick.