Thursday, October 29th, 2009

Got a question? Now’s the time to ask it!

I’m taking your questions and answering them today. You can feel free to ask any question you’d like, beauty-related or unrelated. Feel free to answer other readers’ questions, too :) The more the merrier!

Go ahead, ask!

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.

371 thoughts on “Ask Temptalia Session #018

  1. Felicia

    Hi Christine, i missed out on nude rose from the dsquared collection and was just wondering what other lipsticks might be a good dupe for it (doesnt have to be MAC)?
    Thank you :)

  2. Anitacska

    Hi Christine,

    In your opinion, do you think it’s possible for Mac to make items and send out as samples if they don’t actually include them in collections in the end? Or perhaps rename them? Weird question, I know. The reason I’m asking is that I’ve come across two MSFs on MUA (and one of them I’ve seen on eBay too) that I’ve never heard of, they’re not included in your database and Google doesn’t seem to bring them up either. One is Bora Bora which looks a lot like Gold Spill and the other is Fire Island. Or are they just fakes and should I keep well away? I have not seen fake MSFs around, it’s usually eyeshadows they fake isn’t it? Thanks.

    • Hi Anitacska,

      There are three possible reasons that I can think of right off the top of my head:

      1.) Fakes — depending on the seller and the situation, perhaps they’re fakes.
      2.) They’re working names, which are temporary names (but sometimes permanent names) MAC has given a product while they work on the color story.
      3.) They’re unreleased products, which is why you might not find any information on them yet. Phiff! and She-Zam dazzleglasses were both available on various auction sites WELL before we had any information regarding either of the two. So they could either be working names or future products to-be-released if you know for sure they’re not fakes.

      I personally would likely wouldn’t buy them unless I knew it was a very, very reputable seller and knew that they often had unreleased MAC products in stock (as some do).

      • Anitacska

        Thanks. The lady on MUS who has them says they’re samples that were given to her by someone. Hm, I don’t know. She is new to MUA, but willing to send first, which to me indicates that she is genuine. Will think about it. Thanks a lot!

        • In the end, it’s kind of like… what do you have to give up to get them? There are a bunch of MSFs coming out with Warm & Cozy, so they could potentially be working names for some of those. You may want to give those descriptions a read & see if they match any of the ones she’s offering!

  3. BAM432

    Hi Christine- could you recommend 15 must have eyeshadows to fill a palette for someone in the NC37 range? Also what are your favorite 6 blushes? Thanks so much!!!

    • If you want some color, I tend to recommend getting one light and one dark shade of each color family, so you can kind of mix and blend to get in-between shades.

      Juxt/Humid, Freshwater, Expensive Pink, Goldmine, Beautiful Iris/Contrast, Bronze, Smut, Grain, Ricepaper, Nylon, Silver Ring, Carbon, Gorgeous Gold

      Blushes: Margin, Sunbasque, Plum Foolery, Well Dressed, Peachykeen, Dollymix

  4. Eyeris

    Good Morning!!!!
    I have a couple of questions..
    1. Do you recommend the MAC skinacare line? (moistureriser, face wash, eye cream, makeup remover, and exfoliator) If so which ones?
    2. Have you ever used MAC’s matt-ifying clear gloss as a primer?
    3. What crem blushes do you recommend? (MAC or Nars)
    4.Which nail hardener do you recommned?
    5. Last one what is the best combination (moisturiser, foundation, primer) to hide my pores. I hate that you can see them on my face…..Please help!!!
    Thank you soooo mmmmuuuuuuccccchhhhhh! you are the best!!!!!

    • Hi Eyeris,

      1.) I’ve never had any problems with MAC skincare, and it’s not too pricey. I don’t use a lot of it, personally, just because I’m always looking out for new things. I’ve really liked their Cleanse Off Oil and Moisturelush moisturizer, though!

      2.) I’ve never used it as a primer.

      3.) I love all of MAC’s blushcremes — I pretty much recommend them all! Posey is one of my favorites.

      4.) I like Sally Hansen for nail treatments!

      5.) Perhaps look into a pore minimizing primer and a light to medium foundation. A lot of pore size has to do with genetics, though, so it’s hard to do much about them.

  5. sandra

    Hi Christine
    Just wanted to say I absolutely love your site and thanks for taking so much time for this Temptalia sessions! ‘
    I only have one question, how do I cover up discoloration of my skin, caused by the sun (I do wear a SPF daily), I have some brown “spots” here and there…?? I’m a NC20/C2. Thanks!

    • Hi Sandra,

      You may want to try something that helps to fade spots or make sure you’re exfoliating regularly to help any discoloration or spots. I’d recommend using medium coverage foundation for a more even look. What foundation do you currently use?

      Thank you! :)

      • sandra

        Thanks Christine! I use the Studio Fix fluid, the studio fix powder (amazing coverage for a powder product) and sometimes the Face & Body foundation (every morning I look in the mirror and think, hey, how much coverage do I need today and then choose my foundation (hihi). I use the NC20/C2 and the concealer of studio finish in NW20 for the spots and NC20 for normal coverage.
        I will consider buying some product to fade them out.

        • Amber

          Hey Sandra – you may also want to look into products that contain hydroquinone to fade/lighten any spots or discoloration you have.

          • sandra

            HI Amber, I have tried some products with this ingredient, given to me by my dermatologist but it had a lot of side effects so I stopped using it, thanks anyway!

        • queenmarie

          Hi Sandra….I just wanted to say that Obagi makes some GREAT products with 4% hydroquinone in them which, I believe, is the highest you can buy–I use their C Clarifying Serum and also the Obagi Clear–both of which will help fade spots and discoloration, not to mention greatly improve your skin on the whole. They are a bit pricey but a little goes a long way–(The bottle of serum lasts me about a year) and they are fabulous products. I’m 45 and they have helped my skin alot–those and my precious Clarisonic. Just thought I’d offer that…….

  6. Nadine

    I’m soooo glad you’re doing another q&a!

    1. Facial moisturiser. I was using hope in a jar but I can’t bring myself to pay that much for it! Can you recommend a product similar? I loved how is wasn’t too oily/ heavy AND it didn’t leave my skin dry like
    some gel products do. I have comination skin, not much acne.

    2. did you ever hear anything regarding f&f in Canada? I’m going to Vancouver (aka Sephora) this weekend and I love me a discount!

    3. Thank you! I appreciate your blog so much. Although I probably spend too much on beauty products, I always enjoy readin your blog. I’m sorry you haven’t met your goal yet for the BCA. I did my part, I hope you get some large last minute donations!

    4. Who’s behind your blog. I think I remember that it was just you and your boyfriend? I just find it odd when you say “we”. 😛

    • Hey Nadine!

      1.) To be honest, I was trying to think of one, but there’s nothing that immediately pops to mind. I hope perhaps another reader may be able to help you better!

      2.) I’ve only heard from readers that it sounds like there’s an in-store F&F sale, but I do believe you have to receive an email or a postcard to be able to participate (and I have no idea when or if it already took place).

      3.) Thank you for your donation! I’m crossing my fingers we’ll make it, but it doesn’t matter — every penny counts, whether we meet an arbitrary goal or not!

      4.) I do everything but the technical stuff (like the site design and maintenance – I do the graphics/photos you see in posts typically, unless they’re free stock photos!). But anyway, the reason I say “we” is because Temptalia is a community. What makes Temptalia successful is not just me, but it is everyone involved – from the readers who come and comment and enjoy the information to the ones who hate the blog and continue to spread the word to my family and friends who tirelessly support and listen to me talk about the blog and so forth. It’s just not a me effort, it’s a WE effort. 😀

      • Just wanted to follow up on the Sephora in Vancouver, Canada question. The sale is only available if you have a F&F postcard given to you by a Sephora MA. Even if you are at the counter ready to pay & ask about the sale, they will tell you that you need the card.

  7. Hey Christine, I have 2 questions.

    What products are best for getting rid of discoloration like acne scars? And who are the most reputable sellers on eBay for makeup and beauty products? Thanx!!!

    • Hi Frankie,

      The biggest thing? Time. Time will help fade away a lot of that discoloration – and it is important to know if they’re just hyperpigmentation marks or if they’re truly scars. (Hyperpigmentation marks often look like scars, but they do fade away – though they can take anywhere from a few months to over a year.) I like Kiehl’s tone corrector that they have for hyperpigmentation and post-acne marks. Regular exfoliation is also key, as is sunscreen.

      I don’t really shop on eBay, but I do like All Cosmetics Wholesale.

  8. kpenn

    Hi Christine!

    1. What MAC mascara would you recommend, if you had to choose one? I’ve never tried a single one of their formulas, and I find it kind of overwhelming to choose one.

    2. Which MAC eye brushes do you use most often? I’m trying to build up a solid collection so that I can duplicate some of the looks you post.


  9. NuNu

    Hi Christine!!
    So excited that you’re having another Q&A.
    My question is about Mineralised skin finishes and Beauty powders/beauty powder blushes.
    As stupid as this may sound…I don’t quite know what these products are suppose to be used for and what they’re suppose to do.
    I swatched some of the MSFs yesterday and found that there’s apparently 2 kinds, 1 has a shimmery finish and the other is pretty much a matt powder.
    Is it suppose to be some kind of finishing powder?(I guess it has the word “finish’ in its name…)
    I also swatched beauty powders and I find that none of them show up on my skin, so…er….what exactly am I suppose to use it for?
    MAC MUAs scare me/are too snobby, so I never wanna ask them.
    Thanks so much for answering!

    • Hey NuNu,

      On beauty powder blushes — do you mean beauty powder blushes OR just beauty powders?

      Mineralize Skinfinishes: you can use these as highlighters, bronzers, or blushes — just depends on how pigmented it is on you. Like some are almost nothing on me, so they’re more like highlighters, while others show up, so they’re more like blushers.

      Mineralize Skinfinish Natural: these are the matte MSFs. They can be used as bronzer, contour powder, setting/finishing powder, or as foundation.

      Beauty Powder Blushes: these are ultra soft, more pigmented blushes. They’re blushes.

      Beauty Powders: these are typically all-over face powders. Some may be better used as highlighters, as they can be a bit shimmery, but overall, they tend to be powders to add a “glow” to your face.

      • NuNu

        Oh right, I think both beauty powders and beauty powder blushes?D’oh! well I suppose beauty powder blush is meant to be used as a blush. How are they different compared to a normal blush?If you had to recommend one MSF, one MSF natural and one beauty powder blush for an NC25 which would you recommend?I trust your recommendations cos I remember that you’re also an NC25 :D.
        Thank you SOOOOOO much Christine!

        • Beauty powder blushes always seem to be very, very soft and nearly matte – but also very pigmented. From the permanent MSFs, I’d say Soft & Gentle. You’re probably Medium in MSF Natural (MSFN). For a beauty powder blush, those were limited edition, but I liked Eversun a lot!

  10. Liana

    Hey Christine,

    I was reading your upcomming MAc Launch, Baroque Boudoir, and i was really interested in the cream lipsticks, i was wondering what the difference was between Cream lipsticks and Creamsheen lipsticks. Also which one do you prefer?


    • Cream lipsticks are slightly creamier, I’d say. I find Cremesheen lipsticks can be a little drying at times, actually. Either is fine for me – it’s more dependent on the shade itself! I’d probably opt for the creamier one though.

  11. coco72

    Hi Christine! I liked a lot your eyeshadows swatches. ¿Could you make swatches of MAC foundations? my skin tone is a NW25 but some girls in a forum says “my skin is light” with a NC35 foundation :@, I think if we had trustworthy swatches of foundations we could have an idea of the shade to buy, specially for who don´t have a MAC counter and buy their cosmetics on Internet

    Thanks a lot and kisses from Canary Island, Spain!

    • Hi Coco,

      I’m not sure what foundation you’re looking to see swatched, but I know a few other bloggers have done MAC foundation swatches already, so maybe a quick Google search for something like “mac foundation swatches” will turn it up for you :)

      I can say I’ll try, but realistically, I’m not sure when I’d be able to – it might months out :(

  12. What are 5 of the most flattering (for most skin tones) lipsticks from MACs permanent collection? Preferably in different colors, i.e. red, maroon, nude, etc.

    • Wow, that’s a hard question.

      Nude – Hug Me or Honeyflower
      Pink – Sweetie or Shy Girl
      Plum – Captive or Sophisto
      Red – Viva Glam I
      Brown – Twig

  13. Kelly

    What product would you recommend for covering up stretch marks/ scarring, and what product would you recommend to make them “disappear”?
    You’re THE most knowledgeable blogger, did you know that? I read a lot of beauty blogs– you’re an expert. Thanks for sharing your abundant knowledge with us!

    • I agree! Ive recently started my own beauty blog but I still check here everyday! By far the best!

    • Hey Kelly,

      I always hate to be the bearer of bad news, but not much, if anything, works on really minimizing or removing stretch marks that’s not more of a surgical/dermalogical/plastic surgery kind of procedure, TBH! Look for stuff with cocoa butter, shea butter, and lots of vitamin E — these are all really vital in healing the skin from scars and stretch marks.

      If you really want to conceal them, I always recommend Dermablend products for excellent coverage products. They just offer a huge variety of fuller coverage products for every skin imperfection, including a body foundation/cover up.

      Thank you! :) I’m so glad you like the blog!

    • Kristina

      It depends on the stage of development of the stretch marks. If they are still dark (newly formed) lasers can do wonders. If they are at the white stage (older) then I agree with dermablend, if you can find a shade. Google “make up for burn scars” and you’ll see many derma products avail from plastic surgeons and derms.

  14. Aeman

    Hi Christine,

    Which bronzer would you recommend for Salma Hayek type of a skintone? I’ve tried so many brands but either they look orange, red or just dirty. Please help!

    • What bronzers have you tried?

      My favorites are Smashbox’s Bronze Lights, Guerlain Terracotta, and Chanel Bronzing Powder.

      • Aeman

        MAC for sure and some other ones. So you think Guerlain Terracotta would be ok? I’ll look at all your recommendations. Thankyou so much!

        • I don’t love MAC bronzing powders myself – they’re just OK, they can run orange-y for sure. You may want to peep their MSF Natural line, and perhaps a darker-than-your-skintone shade would work well as a bronzer without being orange!

  15. kpenn

    I thought of another question!

    I am absolutely baffled about how to apply pigments. I love the colours, but I don’t know what brush to use and what technique to use so that they don’t end up all over my cheeks.

    I have so many of them, but I honestly never reach for them because I don’t know what to do with them…lol.

    • I always use mixing medium with my pigments – you can either purchase it from MAC PRO (via the phone or in person, depending where you’re located) – it’s water-based mixing medium, or else you can DIY it. To DIY it, it’s 1 part glycerin (I do 1 tablespoon) and 3 parts water (3 tablespoons water), mix it up, and voila. One or two drops and it’ll help keep the pigment adhered to your lid!

  16. rashmi

    hello christine
    here’s rashmi ur big big indian fan
    i told u in my email that m going back to india so wanna buy few things of MAC as they r not easily available in india…
    i wanna buy a good mac foundation , pls suggest me a good one my skin is combination and when i checked at mac counter the girl said m NW35 pls tell which one would be good as in india we do sweat a lot and i will be going to mumbai and its very humid there …
    hey u want me to send my pic to u to decide the type of foundation hahahah pls post in comment
    i do trust u a lottttt

    • Hey Rashmi,

      I really like their Studio Fix Fluid (liquid) foundation – it’s a matte finish foundation, so it’s good for any skin that is a little oilier. They also make a tinted moisturizer which is good for humid weather!

      • rashmi

        thanks christine for quick reply
        i have one sample of that foundation i bought from mac
        would u recommend buying mac 187 as well pls tell me coz i saw ur video using that
        pls tell me ur views for Everyday Minerals and Mac blush in Fleur Power ( i tried it at mac counter ) and good suggestions if i wanna buy only one …..
        thanks dear u r the best

        • I like the 187, but what did you want to use it for? For foundation, I much prefer the 109!

          I’m not a big mineral makeup fan, but Everyday Minerals is a good brand as far as I know. Fleur Power is very pretty :) Great blush!

          • rashmi

            hey christine thanks again for ur reply …
            i tried only fleur power so i dont know much abt other blushes … but just now u recommneded these blushes to somebody

            top 6 Blushes: Margin, Sunbasque, Plum Foolery, Well Dressed, Peachykeen, Dollymix

            so pls tell me i should try these or just order fleur power hahaha cant wait to try these i already written in notepad

            and i thought 187 is for foundation … so i was thinking to give it a shot for the foundation u recomended …

            • Did you like Fleur Powder? If you did, I think you should get that! It’s a great shade. Margin is my #1 favorite, though :)

              187 is great for foundation, but it can also be used for applying blush (particularly really intense/pigmented blushes to diffuse color) or highlighters like mineralize skinfinishes. I like it for foundation, but the 109 is better in my experience!

  17. Aeman

    Sorry I think it would be easier if I told you I use Makeup Forever HD foundation #120. Would that help?

  18. Renee'

    Hi Christine!!!
    I just want to ask what would be the best MAC brush to use with the Studio Sculpt concealer?

    • It’s such a thick concealer, I’d probably say the 217 or the 249. I know they’re eye brushes, but I like them for concealer :) The 217 is better for blending it in!

  19. Chiara

    Hey Christine =)

    I’ve got one little question for you. I recently bought the estee lauder Double Wear light foundation, but it seems to cake on my face. Which highly annoys me. Could it be the fact that i’m not using a primer? I apply my foundation (as always) with a Stippling brush, i use a moisturizer, finishing powder AND fix+

    My previous foundation was SFF, applied in the same routine as described above. I have an oily/combined skin. What primer would you recommend?

    Love from Belgium!

    • You may try spritzing your brush with water or Fix+ to sheer it out, because it sounds like it might be a little heavy OR drying on your skin. It shouldn’t cake on your face just because you don’t use a primer! A primer may help reduce it, but it shouldn’t be too bad even if you skip (as I rarely wear primer myself).

  20. Kelly

    I felt that MACs Select SPF 15 Foundation went on rather greasy and never seemed to set/ dry on my normal-dry skin. Is it just meant to look “dewy”, requires a powder, or did I apply too heavily perhaps?
    The terrible way if performed makes me question MAC foundation in general. (I’ve also used Mineralize Satinfinsh and it preformed similarly, just more sheer.)
    What is your diagnosis, and what would you recommend?

    • It’s a pretty lightweight formula, and I do believe it’s supposed to have a little dewiness to it as well. Mineralize Satinfinish is definitely dewy, and I didn’t like it myself.

      I like MAC Face & Body and Studio Fix Fluid for their foundations. I used SFF for about three years before moving on!

  21. Karen

    What is the purpose of spraying a brush with water or fix+ prior to adding foundation or e/s? Does it make a pretty big difference?

    • For me, it does. I think it makes the foundation extremely blendable, feel lightweight, and you never wear too much. I find that we often over-apply just based on one pump or whatever, and the added moisture to the brush sheers it out so you wear exactly what you need and layer more where you need it and not *everywhere*. I personally find it yields me a more “flawless” application than without!

  22. kristie

    Hi Christine,
    I’m a huge fan of your website. Thanks for all the detailed swatches and coverage on all MAC releases. My question is how do we get invites to the “sneak preview” or release parties for MAC collections. Do you have to be a makeup artist or can we sign up somewhere? Thanks!

    • Hey Kristie,

      The preview parties are usually by invite only, but they’re definitely open to everyone – like it’s not just makeup artists or anything. I’ve usually received a postcard invitation in the mail that says to RSVP, but I’ve also cheated the system and called the store to “RSVP” even though I never received a postcard. You can also ask your local artist in-store about upcoming events and they’ll usually let you know and ask if you’d like to come!

  23. daphne

    This is a sort of silly question…but can you make a list of MAC dupes for the Stila All Doll’d Up palette, as far as they exist? It’s actually not for me to dupe the palette (I have it!), but to see how I can use the colors of the palette to fill in for MAC shadows I may not have :) Thanks!

  24. Elysia

    What Highlighter Color would you use for say a green smoky eye which includes Humid? I always find mine looking too shimmery.

  25. Karen

    Hi Christine,

    Thanks for doing this!! I have a couple of questions –

    First, it is regarding to the expiration date; Is it really bad to use any makeup item after the “supposed” expired date? I have blushes, eyeshadows and lipsticks from quite a long time ago, I don’t know if I should stop using them.

    Second, Can you recommend a few coral pink lipsticks for NC35 skin? Any brand is fine.

    Much appreciated!!!


    • Hey Karen,

      It’s probably really gross, and we probably don’t want to see our makeup under a microscope or anything. I imagine some issues may be infections from bacteria and the like. I’m no expert on it, and I am totally not science-brained in the least.

      But in general, liquid/cream products harbor bacteria very well (you know, wet and moist!), but powder products are harder to become bacteria breeding grounds.

      For lipsticks, you can sanitize by dipping the lipstick into rubbing alcohol, and powder products can be spritzed and wiped down with rubbing alcohol as well for some sanitizing. Lipglosses are impossible to sanitize, which is why I use recyclable disposable lipgloss wands so I don’t get my germs in it (I figure this keeps it much, much cleaner since I’m not getting my lip germs into the product).

      It’s really up to you. A lot of people subscribe to the theory of “if it doesn’t look, smell, or feel different, I’ll keep using it” but others adhere strictly to the dates.

      NARS Casablanca and Guerlain Corial Passion are two corals I like.

  26. Hi!

    Love your blog, am loving the scarlet season posts as I love red lips!! OK couple of questions :

    1) what is fix+ for and what do you do with it?
    2)any recs for a replacement for prescriptives traceless tint level 1? am finding this a nightmare
    3)what grey eyeshadows would you reccomend for me, I find lots of greys just turn icy blue on me?also what are the best taupe e/s?

    Thank you thank you thank you lol. ( I’m sure to think of other questions once I posted this!)

    • Thanks, Dani! Glad you’re enjoying the new series :)

      1.) Fix+ can be used to refresh or set your makeup. It can also be used to wet your brush before application. I don’t really use it. It feels like fancy water to me, so I have a hard time paying for it.

      2.) Is it just a tinted moisturizer? I haven’t tried it myself, but I love Kiehl’s and Korres’ Tinted Moisturizers.

      3.) Any brand in particular? I will just assume MAC, but feel free to ask for another brand if that’s your preference: Electra, Silver Ring, and Print. What’s taupe to you? LOL. I find taupe to be a hard color to describe and seems like it varies person to person!

      • Hi Christine!

        1) does that mean I can use it to sheer down foundations before applying?
        2)yep its a glorified/glowy tinted moisturiser, my main thing is its the right colour i.e. very pale I’m dita von teese pale so having hard time finding pale colours in either foundations of tinted moisturisers!! Any recs greatly appreiciated.
        3) I’d describe taupe as quite a cool colour a mix of grey and brown…… Maybe a couple of recs for Bobbi Brown? I love MAC but have lots of trouble with their greys!

        thank you for taking the time to answer all our questions, much appreicated x

  27. MJ

    Hi Christine!
    Is it ok to wear blush even if I have pimples on my cheeks? Whenever I go to makeup counters to get a lipstick or eyeshadow, they are always recommending me to get whatever blush they want me to try or is it because they want me to buy more stuff?
    What liquid foundation would you recommend for acne prone combo/oily skin type? I have tried MAC and Make Up For Ever but I broke out from them. Now I am using Laura Mericer Tinted Moisturizer but it is not giving me enough coverage.
    What eyeshadow colors would you recommend for a pale asian girl (Make Up For Ever HD Foundation #120) for a neutral eye makeup? It can be from MAC, Bobbi Brown, Chanel, or etc. Would Chanel Quadra Eyeshadows in Mystic Eyes be ok for a neutral eyemakeup?
    Sorry for asking so many questions. Thanks for any help you give me!

    • Hey MJ,

      I’m no skincare expert, but I’ve used blush on my cheeks despite having acne. I think it’s just important to make sure it’s not your blush that’s breaking you out!

      At counters, it’s two-fold – they might just want you to buy stuff, because it is their job to sell and push products, but it just depends on the person working. I’ve found a lot of artists who never push anything on me and only make recommendations when I ask or they’ll ask if I’ve seen x and y new product yet.

      For a liquid foundation, I really like Guerlain Parure Gold right now, which I know is pricey… prior to that, I was really happy with DiorSkin Nude liquid foundation, which is light to medium coverage.

      For a good neutral eye, I like MAC a lot – they just have a lot of stand out neutrals. I love using Ricepaper, Grain, Arena, Brun, and Satin Taupe a lot!

      And yes, Mystic Eyes would definitely work for neutral makeup!

      • MJ

        Thank you so much for your answers! Will be checking out the foundations and eyeshadows this weekend! One more question – is blush really necessary in my makeup routine? If so what blushes would you recommend? Thanks again!

        • No problem, MJ!

          To be honest, I do think so. Everyday? Nah, you can get away with it, but it really does make a look come together and has a more finished look. I didn’t think it was true until I started to wear blush more often.

          I love Margin, Plum Foolery, and Peachykeen for three great starter shades.

  28. apfelwinter

    Hi Christine!
    Thanks to you, I started to collect and use MAC brushes few months ago. So far, I have:
    184 for counturing, 165 for highlighting, 249 for paint pot, and 239 for eye-multitasking. (on the grounds of your posts.)

    Could you recommend to me 3-4 other must-have brushes for starters? (I don’t need brow and lip brushes.) I read your brush posts, but it’s hard to pick.

    • Hey!

      What do you do most often? Do you wear liquid foundation at all? Do you do gel eyeliner?

      I adore the 109 for liquid foundation, but that’s all I use it for. I love the 116 for blush, and I find it makes applying blush SO easy. For eyes, the 217 or 226 (224 if you can’t find the 226 anymore) are excellent choices for a starter set — I’d probably opt for the 226/224 over the 217, just because it makes crease color a breeze.

      • apfelwinter

        Thanks! I think I’ll have a nice set with 226/224 (I’m thinking of the 109, but I still can’t imagine using a brush instead my fingers…)

        And I was laughing my a* off when I read your comment about Pokemon syndrome:DDDDD Exact!

  29. Jessica

    Hi Christine, I was wondering if you can recommend any dupes for the smoke and mirrors pallette? Thanks!

  30. Agnes

    im running out of my current bronzer (MAC Golden) & I’m in the search of a good natural matte bronzer for NC25 skin. any recs?

  31. Anja Nicole

    Hi Christine, I am a NW 45-50 what would you suggest I use to contour with?

    • I’d probably suggest using a shade or two darker foundation, to be honest. MAC has a sculpting powder line out, which is good, but I think that their deeper shades are just so-so.

  32. Alison

    Hey, I was wondering if you could rec a dupe of MUFE sculpting blush 20-satin blood orange? They discontinued the line and I was really hoping to snatch it but was unforunately not in time. It’s the shade in the picture that shows up whenever you google it – definitely orange but subdued and irridescent.

    I see some companies send you items to review. Is this solely because you have such a popular blog or is this something you can request from them or get on some kind of list? I’ve always been curious.

    BTW – you got me totally hooked on Chanel’s Dragon Rouge Laque. It’s AMAZING. Very pricey, but I’m thinking of buying another color already. Your blog is also seriously getting me to consider a sole Guerlain purchase (my wallet can’t handle a lot)…what do you recommend? I want something unique that will totally rock my socks. I trust you 😉

    • Hi Alison,

      I haven’t seen that MUFE blush in person, do you know if it’s really intense or does it look like it does in the photos (which seems like a light peach)? If it’s a peach you’re after, there’s MAC Peaches :)

      I imagine that, at this point, it has to do with the popularity of the blog, but many of the relationships I have are long-standing. I would say that in today’s beauty blogosphere, popularity is more important than it used to be in order to establish a relationship with brands/PR. You can always try to contact the brand yourself or wait for them to contact you (guess which one will leave you waiting longer, lol).

      So glad you love Dragon! Isn’t it stunning? I had to buy all of the Rouge Allure Laques – the formula is outstanding!

      Oh, wow, one Guerlain item. Wow. Tough! You know, I really love their blushes – they’re just so soft and pretty. But argh, what kind of product! Give me something to go off of – at least like… cheeks, face, lips, eyes…!

      • Alison

        Hmm…I already have so much makeup but I need something to halt my blush kick here of late…maybe eyes? I always go for wild colors, so it’s hard to find neutrals that impress me, but I’m sure you could do it! Some earth-toned Guerlain eyeshadow shade…preferably not in a $70 palette…

        I’ll go investigate MAC’s peaches. Is it irridescent or matte? I think Satin Blood Orange has a sheen.

        P.S. Is there a reliable product that will help grow back sparse brows? Mine are still recovering from junior high (about ten years ago). And do you know if the infamous Shu Uemura eyelash curler works well on Asian eyelashes? I can’t use some curlers because of the shape of my face.

        Sorry for all the questions. Luffles!

        • Hey Alison,

          Bronze Dore Eyeshadow Quad is kind of earthy – a mix of greens and browns. Brun Mordore is very, very pretty and it’s a great more neutral eyeshadow palette.

          Peaches is matte, I believe!

          I don’t think anything works *spectacularly* but I have heard a lot of people rave over Anastasia’s brow enhancing serum.

          I am pretty sure the shu curler will do you good! :)

        • Lauren

          Rogaine for women on a q-tip 2x/day should help with your eyebrows!

          • happybadfish

            I wouldn’t put it on my eyebrows if I were you. Do not vary application other than described on the package. I read in a scientific journal that rogaine can cause hair to grow in area’s that it was not applied. This side effect does not seem to have a specific rhyme or reason. But it is typically lower on the face than where applied.

        • Dee

          I was actually told by the lady who threads my eyebrows to rub a bit of castor oil on the missing area every night. I’ve only done it a few times, but I do believe it’s working.

    • Lauren

      Hey Alison…I googled the blush you’re talking about, and it reminds me of Style by MAC…its an orange with a beautiful sheen…might be worth checking out, along with Peaches!

  33. evangelia

    hi christine! can you rec a pigmented chartreuse e/s please?

  34. Devin

    Hi Christine!

    I was thinking about trying a YSL mascara but I’m not sure which one to try. I curl my eyelashes and I noticed that some brands do not hold the curl and they end-up going limp. Do you have any suggestions? Thank you!!

  35. Silvia

    Hi Christine,

    thanks for this session!
    I just got the Lipstick Vegas volt. Is it somehow similar to Red Full-stop? Because in Germany we did not get Red Full-Stop and I really liked the color.
    Then another question. I have normally straight lashes, so I use a Lash Curler (Shu Uemura) and then waterproof Mascara from L’oreal. It has to be waterproof, otherwise my lashes don’t hold the curl. I tried Macs waterproof mascara and also fibre rich lash, but my lashes go back to straight. Anyone having similar problems? Is it just L’oreal for me then?
    Also I really think you are doing a great job! am always happy to visit your website and see what’s new :) and thanks for not skipping the rating system!

    • It’s brighter, more orange in it compared to Red Full-Stop, which has more of a reddish tinge to it, BUT they are quite similar!

      Hmm, I haven’t had any issues with MAC mascaras holding a curl, but my lashes are pretty thin and they’re not stick straight, so that might be why. Though I gravitate towards Plushlash or Zoomlash for my mascara (from MAC).

      Thanks for your support, Silvia! I’m glad you like the rating system :) It’s really hearing from those of you who *did* like it that persuaded me to work on it and see if we can’t find a good medium for everyone!

  36. Tina

    Hi Christine,

    I have a few items from the MAC trip collection – what other site can I sell them on besides EBAY?

  37. kayla

    have you tried the temptu yet?! what did you think?

  38. Andrea

    Hey Christine

    Im just getting into higher end make-up like mac & urban decay & Im good doing a look with golds & neutrals but its harder for me to use dark colors or do a smoky eye.

    So basically does practice make perfect? I cant expect for my make-up to look good the first few times I do it.. How long did it take for you to get your eyeshadow perfect after you first started?


    Does macs mineralize satinfinish foundation really give a dewy look? What brush would you recommend using with it? Is the 187 good with it?

    • Hey Andrea,

      Yes, practice really does make perfect! :) I felt like it took me nearly a year before I “got the hang of it,” you know? And that was just eyes!

      It gives a very dewy look — it was too dewy for me, I felt like I looked like an oil slick! The 187 is fine with it, though I prefer the 109 for all liquid foundations!

      • DW

        Mineralize satinfinish is super pretty! Get a sample if you can. It was the first foundation that I ever wore after going bare faced for so long. I tried studio fix fluid, studio sculpt, their spray foundation, and face and body, yet I went back to mineralize satinfinish. It’s LoVE.

  39. Bettina

    I just need a few suggestions for what to pair trax with and what to pair rule with?

    • Try pairing Trax with golds like Goldmine and even reddish browns like Antiqued – very pretty! Rule, I like with Coppering, Goldmine, Juiced (I think that may be discontinued now, hmm), or browns like Bronze.

  40. Faiza

    Hey Christine,

    No questions, because you answered all the ones I had.

    What I do have to say is that I love you!! You are an amazing individual and you do so much for your readers. I really look up to you and you inspire me a lot. I wish I could learn time management, I don’t know how you manage with so much going on in your life.

    I visit Temptalia everyday, even though I don’t comment much! I especially love it when you do new looks. Take care and good luck with everything that you do!

    • LOL, happy to have answered them nonetheless! :)

      Thank you so much! I know you’re a long-time reader, so your support over the years and months have been incredible, and it’s really great to know you’re *still* finding something to read here at Temptalia!

  41. Lacus

    Hi Christine! First i’ve to say that i love temptalia… thanks u so much for doing this job for us.
    Can you recommed any dupes for sorceress palette?
    i don’t have a lot of true violets/purples from mac (i always finish shopping pink/red based purples like trax, star violet, signed sealed…) and i need them, but i don’t feel myself ok wearing blue based violets (like poison pen)… any recs?

    (i’m spanish and i know that my english sucks, sorry about it!!!)

    • Thanks, Lacus! :)

      Phloof! = White Rabbit
      Hold My Gaze = no dupe (sorry!) – perhaps a mix of Flourishing and Goldmine.
      Edge of Dark = Knight Divine
      Magnetized = Beautiful Iris
      Hypnotizing = Satin Taupe
      Altered State = no dupe – perhaps a mix of Sketch and Contrast

      Have you tried some of the purples like Beautiful Iris, Digit, and Parfait Amour? Maybe you’d like those more!

  42. Daria

    Hi Christine,

    A question for you. I usually don’t wear concealer, but on SOME days (you know those days) I feel I need one. In your opinion, what’s the best concealer out there? I prefer something light, creamy, and easy to blend.


    • Right now, the best concealers I’ve tried are Laura Mercier’s Camouflage, Eve Pearl’s Salmon Concealer, and YSL Touche Eclat. Camouflage is the better priced and more accessible of the three. I don’t love any of them beyond measure – still kind of searching for my HG! I’ve heard excellent things about Dior’s Flash Concealer or something like that, so I may try that next.

  43. Elizabeth

    Hey Christine!

    What is a good dupe for Way to Love lipstick? I heard it was amazing! I got Nude Rose thinking it would be close but I’ve heard it doesn’t even compare. Any suggestions? Thanks!

  44. christine

    hi christine,
    What is the best red lipstick in ur opinion? And tinted moisture? Thank you. I love it when u do this post!

    • Right now, Chanel Dragon Rouge Allure Laque hands down!

      Tinted Moisturizer – I adore Korres’! I also really like Kiehl’s (which is more moisturizing).

    • Alison

      I have to totally second that Chanel shout-out! Rouge Laque is simply the most amazing thing I’ve ever used on my lips, and that’s saying a lot.

  45. Hi Christine,

    This is not a beauty related question so I hope that’s ok.
    I’m a full time student and I’m so inspired by you because you seem to manage your time wisely.

    Could you give me tips on how to manage my schedule studying, blogging, working, lunch invites,events, boyfriend, etc?
    How do you categorize your schedule and priorities?
    Oh and lastly, do you have any note taking tips/tricks during class time? xoxo

    • Totally okay! :)

      Since I’m in California, I pretty much have very few blogging-related events/invites, so that’s one thing I don’t have to struggle with compared to those that are in, say, NYC!

      I found it’s really important to stay organized and have a schedule. Plan out different things or set aside certain times every week where you’ll do something – e.g. I have set aside chunks of time where I photograph/swatch products. When I’m more organized, I can spend less time looking for things and more time working. I also try to read and prepare for school more on the weekends, because I find that for blogging, the weekdays are more important to be a more active poster than on the weekends (since everyone is out doing stuff!). Before midterms/finals, I do try to get stuff written up in advance so I can concentrate more on my studies than the blog!

      For note taking tips… hm. I am really simple – I just do the topic in bold, then I have a bullet list of the points the teacher has made. Most of my teachers also make their lectures available via iTunes in case I miss anything, which can help.

      Good luck!

  46. latindolll4

    Hi Christine,

    Can you recommend a good concealer? I’m NW45, I’m tan and choosing fundation and concealer is usually
    a problem.

    Thank you so much !

    • Have you tried Laura Mercier’s Camouflage? I like that one, and I also like MAC’s Moisturecover – which has a really wide shade range, so that might be helpful for you!

  47. Hanna

    Christine! so great you are doing this again. I was totally waiting for it.
    I love your blog and rarely buy anything from MAC before i have seen your swatches and reviews (I have to order online)

    I am in Canada but going to U.S this coming winter for 2-3 months on a little road trip. So my question is, can you tell me were the CCOs are located? I am dying to visit one or two….
    We will mainly be in the Palm Springs area (climbing in Joshua Tree) and we are also heading to Las Vegas, Arizona, Utah and Oregon near Bend. My husband does not like big cities, so no need to recommend any in L.A. San Fran a.s.o.
    I have no idea how many CCOs there are? But thought I would ask.
    Thank you for yuor great work!

  48. Hiya Christine :)
    Was just wondering if there was any reason as to why you are now moderating comments instead of autmotically publishing them straight away?
    Keep up the FAB work! x

    • We’ve been getting a really big increase in spam coming through, and to help minimize any really NSFW kind of spam, moderating comments lets us prevent those from getting published!

  49. Hi Christine,

    Girlie I luv luv LUV this site. Your definately helping alot of people with these questions they have about makeup. That being said I wanted to know what will be some of the spring/summer makeup trends. Everything is sooo dark (but still lovely) now!! Also, what is your foundation routine and the products that you use. I have extremely oily skin so does that mean that I can skip the moisturizing part??

    • Thanks, Sara! :)

      CORALS will be big this spring from what I understand. I also see a lot of beiges and creamy neutrals being done.

      Right now, I’m using Guerlain’s Parure Gold Foundation and Laura Mercier’s Translucent Powder for my foundation routine!

      And oily skin doesn’t mean you can skip the moisturizer!! NO way! You can use a lightweight moisturizer, but you still should be doing it :)

  50. Hi Christine,

    LOL Im back!! Another quick Question!!! What are some of your winter makeup tricks and routine. Alot of times when i use my Smashbox Photofinish primer, it makes my skin dry when i have breakouts. Also alot of my Urban Decay Primer Potion tend to dry up? What is a girl to do???

    • I always use a luxe/rich/heavy cream at night time. I apply it 30-45 minutes before I plan to go to bed, so it has a good chance to soak in. One of my favorites is MAC Moisturelush!

      For your UDPP, I’d say just make sure you’re really putting the cap on tight! I haven’t had any issues with mine drying out :( You may want to try Too Faced Shadow Insurance, which works just as well as UDPP, but it has a tube form, so there is less air in it.

  51. DoDe

    Hey christine!
    Have you used the model in bottle spray? if so thoughts…..

  52. Rita

    Hi Christine!
    I don’t know exactly my skin tone, but I think I’m about NW/C20. My skin is basically pink based, and I have redness, but my face is also very orange-y (freckles etc). I lean to warmer colours (I’m a redhead), but I also wear some reddish purples and greenish teals.
    What Mineralize Skinfinish Natural shade would be the best for me? You have said earlier that Medium is pink based and would not be good for warmer girls. (I want to get rid of the reds on my face and wear a warm foundation.)
    Do you think the Sorceress palette would suit me – or is it too cool? I have not been able to see it myself since it’s coming out next week only here in Europe.
    What about the MMM face kits? Is Hocus Focus possibly too cool and Fab-racadabra too dark for my skin tone?

    • I’d probably say Light Medium! You may want to try Make Up For Ever’s Green Color Correcting Primer – it’ll help cancel out redness.

      I think you could wear the Sorceress palette, particularly since you already wear reddish purples!

      I think Hocus Focus would be lovely on you!

      • Rita

        Thanks Christine! I already have the MUFE Primer, but it’s not enough. I need to use a concealer, too. Now I remember another thing. Do you have any experience on (Studio Finish) skin correctors? I’d really need something extra for my very dark eye circles!

        • Oh, well, at least you already have it, lol!

          They’re okay. I haven’t found too many concealers that are hands down amazing! I’m actually going to try Dior’s AirFlash or something-rather concealer soon, because they tell me it’s better than YSL Touche Eclat, which I like a lot!

  53. rashmi

    u r THE BEST
    thanks a lot for all ur knowledge sharing … u are spending ur day with all of us helping out i must appreciate ur step in doing this

    If you have knowledge, let others light their candles at it.

  54. Jessica

    I have another question for you; I normally have oily skin and use a cleanser for oily skin but now that the weather is getting colder I think my skin is overproducing oil. Can you recommend a cleanser for my skin type? Thanks again!!

    • What cleanser have you been using? For oily skin, I like gel cleansers best. I like Clinique Wash Away as one rec for a gel cleanser. I’ve also found that Purity Made Simple by Philosophy seems to be a good choice (the foaming version in particular) too.

  55. Noemie

    What’s your favourite kind of music? Who is your favourite singer?

    • Probably hip hop/pop kind of music. I like music from all genres, though – it’s all about my mood for me! I couldn’t pick a favorite singer if it was a life or death matter. My boyfriend always pokes fun at me because I am very bad at picking out one favorite!

  56. Deirdre

    Hi Christine,

    I just love this blog. My question, what other eye shadows would you pair the new Devil-May-Care from Holiday 09 with? I want to do a look and I have a ton of purples or should I not go the purple route? Help, thanks.

  57. Sans

    Hi there
    Love your site the best part is that its updates so ofter I love it ! I refresh the page constantly when im at work …tee hee

    QUESTION: Im hearing things about hourglass mineral veil (primer) have you used it?…do you think it accentuates pores and scars ?
    I just began using NARS Sheer Glow and it needs a primer I like smashbox since it fills up my scars (oddly) but i just wanted to try something new i didnt want to be stuck in the 18 th century of products…lol

  58. Kaleen

    Hello Christine!

    1. I have trouble working matte eyeshadow into my looks, because I have so many shimmer colors and not too many mattes. Do you have any tips for me?
    2. Do you think you’ll review any of the Hard Cany at Wat Mart line?
    3. I recently broke my habit of biting/picking at my nails and they are finally growing back! The trouble is they are peeling and breaking constantly. I have some length, but I don’t feel like they have any strength or health to them. Do you have any great nail treatments to recommend?

    Thanks for another great question and answer session!

    • Hey Kaleen,

      Try apply the matte first, before you add any shimmers! I find this helps keep mattes looking matte :)

      I do plan to review the Hard Candy line (well, some products from it) soon-ish, lol.

      Sally Hansen makes awesome nail treatments!

  59. Mary007

    Hey Christine,

    Is there a “rule” as to what blush color to use? Is it depending on your eyeshadow? I seem to have a hard time determining what blush goes with what eye makeup. Maybe I’m color blind but I just don’t get it and I sure don’t want to look like a clown! Need some advice!!! Thanks!

    • I don’t think there are “rules” so much as, perhaps, common combinations that work. I think a lot of it just comes from practice/experience – learning what works for you, what you like best. I like pairing green eyeshadow with coral blush; pink blush with blue/purple eyeshadow; bronze/coral blush with neutrals/golds, etc.

  60. Haley

    Hi Christine…I was just wondering what you would recommend foundation wise for someone with very oily skin? I’ve used Bare Escentuals and the Urban decay mineral powders, which do nothing for my shine, it always comes through in about 2 hours or so. Does mac make something for this? …I have never tried any mac foundations or concealers… What would you use? I’m not sure if you have oily skin or not, but any advice would be appreciated! Thank you, Love this site and your ask Temptalia sessions!!!

    • I’d go with something that talks about having a matte or velvet finish – you don’t want to see dewy, glowy, etc., because it’ll probably just accentuate your oiliness! I’d recommend using a face primer first or a mattifying product (both will help minimize oil showing through) and then a matte foundation on top. Set with loose powder or blotting powder!

  61. Hi, Christine!

    I love your site lol I’m addicted to it. And so is my favorite MUA at my local MAC Counter at Macy’s. She actually has one of your tutorials for the Photorealism quad up with a big note up to visit your site!

    Anyway lol I have two questions for you, please.

    1. I have Urban Decay’s Gash lipstick and its the only red I can seem to get away with. But 22 bucks for a lipstick can be a bit steep. Is there a dup close to this in MAC’s line?

    2. I have New Vegas MSF and I LOVE IT, but it always turns me really glittery and a bit orange. Is there a way to wear this without that happening?

    • Hey Jessie,

      Aww! That’s amazing! Thank you for sharing that story with me :)

      1.) The closest I’d say would be Dubbonet, but it might be a little darker. If you think Gash is perfect, I’d probably just buy Gash and not fool around with dupes — sometimes it’s better to fork out a little extra but get exactly what you want than pay for a dupe and not love it… I find I always end up caving!

      2.) I might try wearing it over something else, like another blusher, maybe even a pink or purple blush and seeing if that helps with the orange-ness!

      • You’re welcome, and thank you!

        I don’t usually look good in reds. but I think its cause this is a dark blue-based red and not a red/orange based. I dunno, I suck with that kind of thing lol

        I think the only blushes I own are springsheen, moon river, other worldly, and daft pink I think.. Which blushes would you suggest? I don’t know my MAC foundation number, but I’m stuck somewhere between light and medium when it comes to MAC’s tinted moisturizer lol

  62. Andrea

    Hi Christine!! I’m just wondering what your favourite peach blush is? And what your rec would be for an NC20 with a bit of redness in the cheek area?

  63. Tiffany

    Hi Christine! How are you supposed to use Make Up For Ever’s microfinish powder? do I put it on my face after I’m done with foundation & blush? Thank you!

  64. Vanessa

    Can you compare MAC Smoke & Diamonds with BB’s Pewter from the new collection? They look very similar!

    Also, which foundation would you recommend for combo skin? I currently use SFF (NC30) but found that it oxidizes on me! I tried MUFE HD but seems like it made my face appear more “dewy”. I’ve been using for SFF for years but I think it may be time to move on…!

    Thanks Christine! I’m a daily reader.. love the blog!

    • I find Smoke & Diamonds to have more brown in it, be a bit darker, and overall have a very frosty (vs. metallic) look to it. They’re definitely similar, but they’re not identical to me!

      You could try MUFE Mat+ Velvet – it’s just like SFF!

      Thanks, Vanessa!

  65. Becky

    Could you tell me which collection MAC Fresh Buzz lipstick came out with? Thanks! x

  66. Christine,
    I’m a new blogger, any tips on how to get noticed? I did purchase a domain name and am switching from blogger to wordpress. How do I get noticed and on the PR people’s radar?

    Thank you! Love your site and am a subscriber.

    • Hi Cindy,

      This will sound silly, but hard work is probably the biggest thing. Work hard, build up your audience by providing them with the information they want, and you’ll start to feel more at home in your niche. One thing to remember is that the beauty blogosphere has a lot more blogs today than it did two years ago or even just six months ago, so it is harder for newer bloggers to get noticed — the big thing is to just keep at it, do it because you love it, and let your passion shine.

  67. Kristina

    Hi Christine!

    I have always wondered what your ethnic heritage is? I have almost every background in me and wherever I travel the locals want to claim me as their own. I was curious where your beautiful, exotic look originated.


  68. a few more questions…

    foundation is such a toughie for me. no one can seem to match my color. i have MAC NC50 and MUFE HD 173 and 175. I have to use a combo of 2 or more (depending on the season and whether or not im still tanned). Is there any 1 color that is somewhere between the MUFE HD 173 and 175, or something that doesnt appear as ashy as the MAC NC50? Should I be useing a tinted moisturizer? Or is there a primer that gets rid of the ashy look?

  69. Lena

    Hey, I love your blog and had a few questions! 
    1. I have dior’s incognito eye palette and sephoras natural island sunset palette, but I wanted to know some ways I could use them. I don’t know if you own these but if so I would love some advice!
    2. I recently became a fan of nars products and i am considering purchasing their cream blush in cactus flower and one of their eye palettes, either the essential one or pleasures of Paris. I havefair skin and blue/grey eyes, would you recommend these or anything else by nars?
    3. What gold eyeshadow would you recommend for me, any brand? Also undereye concealer? I have dry skin so I find it hard to find a good eye concealer! 
    Thanks so much! Love what you’ve done, I always come to temptalia when I need beauty advice! Keep it up!

  70. tehreem

    have u tried neutrogena blemish treatment foundation??? It has saliysic acid in it. Is it any good. Have u heard anything about it. Also…why doesnt sephora carry MAC???? ur doing an awesome job with the blog!!!!!! LOVE IT!!!1

    • I haven’t, Tehreem! I’d personally prefer to use spot treatments over an all-over product, just because I’d fear it could be drying on the skin!

      I imagine MAC doesn’t want to be sold at Sephora is the primary reason!

      Thank you!

  71. Lilly

    Hi Christine:
    I love your site. I bought MAC steel blue pigment, it’s a beautiful color but I don’ know what to pair it with, can you tell me what colors will go with this pigment? Thanks a lot.

  72. Kylie

    Hi Christine!
    I absolutely love your blog and it’s so helpful! This is going to be kinda long so I’m apologizing beforehand.
    1. I have been using mac’s MSF natural and I just recently found out that it is the cause of my breakouts. I was thinking about getting BE mineral veil. What setting powder do you recommend that’s under $25?

    2. I want to get the mac eyeshadow quad but I’m not sure which four to buy. I was planning on getting just a neutral lid color (brule), a matte crease color (cork), and a more glittery crease color (tempting). What would you recommend? I wear MSF natural in medium plus if that helps at all.

    3. I use mac’s select cover up (NW25) but its a bit too dry and I was planning to try mac’s studio sculpt. Is that concealer more moisturizing? I also heard that you are supposed to use NW for concealing under eye circles but wouldn’t NC match it match your skin color if you’re an NC? When I put it on my eyes it looks kinda “pasted” on and doesn’t match completely. If you know any good concealers for dark circles please recommend!

    4. This is random but what mac eyeshadow is close to lancome’s honeymoon?

    • Hi Kylie,

      No need to apologize! Asking questions is the whole point of this post!

      1.) I like MAC’s Transparent Finishing Powder, actually. MSFN breaks me out, too, but the finishing powder by MAC doesn’t. I think it’s under $25 or just thereabout. I like that it’s transparent, too!

      2.) I’d probably say perhaps Shroom or Ricepaper – softer shades that can be lid or highlighter colors.

      3.) Studio Sculpt is going to be dry, IMO. Have you tried their Moisturecover? I have heard it both ways, and I tend to prefer the same shade. I find going the opposite looks funny on me…

      4.) Goldmine would be the closest permanent shade, but it seems like a deeper gold!

  73. Bb

    May I ask where you work?

  74. Mary007


    Somewhere in your blog I’ve read that you’re a student…what are you studying? What state do you live in?


  75. Sasha

    Hi Christine,

    I have a huge issue with eyeshadow. I would love to wear it, but everytime i do, it looks horrible and dark. My eyes look like they have lost their elasticity, and I am only a teenager! They eyeshadow appears rough and I have tried using all kinds of primers to smooth out my eyelids. What can i do to make my eyeshadow smooth and true to its colour? Thank you :)

    • What primers have you tried? What brushes/applicators are you using to appyl the eyeshadow?

      Do your eyes look bad when you’re not wearing anything?

      • Sasha

        I have tried both too faced shadow insurance and udpp, as well as mac paint pots and even concealer. I use mac brushes to apply my eyeshadow. My eyes look horrible when i am not wearing anything. They’re very dark compared to the rest of my face. I am an NC45 if that helps at all. thanks so much christine :)

        • After reading up possible causes of dark eyelids, here is what I’ve found:

          – could be a deficiency of vitamin B and omega 3s
          – could be from lack of sleep/being tired
          – could be from dehydration (not enough liquids/water)

          Because it could also be related to a medical/skin condition, I’d actually recommend you to ask your doctor about it and see what they could do to help you first!

  76. DonnaN

    Hey Christine, gotta sa–BIG fan of your site and all the info….KUDOS!

    I have recently overhauled all of my makeup and am wearing my bareEscentualy Matte makeup, but since the weather is starting to get colder, I’m noticing the coverage is lacking. It’s great for summer, but I think I need something different. Any recommendations for something that’s got a bit more coverage? I’m very fair (I wear the FAIR color minerals).

    • Hey Donna!

      Thanks! :)

      Are you looking for mineral makeup? Or powder? Let me know and I’ll try to give you some recs!

      • DonnaN

        Liquid/Powder/Mineral….anything that will give me more coverage! I’m open to any suggestions…..

        • Korres Wild Rose Foundation has really good coverage (medium to full) and it isn’t drying! (And more budget-friendly than my other recommendation, which would be Guerlain Parure Gold — steep at $78.)

  77. Jade

    I was just wondering if you thought that the UDBook of shadows 2 was better or worse than the first one. Shadows only-not including the look book or eyeliners, etc. I really have a tight budget and am wondering if I should shell out that $50 to get it-is it that different from the first one?

    What do you think of Jo Malone Fragrances? I’m thinking about getting the coffret with a friend. (splitting the cost)

    Do you like Stila Kitten Eyeshadow?

    Do you know of a good clear, glittery liquid eyeliner?

    What do you think of Korres Eyeliners?

    • Hey Jade,

      They’re about the same, IMO. I think I’d say I like the second one slightly more than the first! It is different from the first one, though. At first glance, it seemed similar, but after opening it up and swatching, I didn’t think so any more.

      I think Jo Malone is lovely! I have a few candles and soaps, and love, love the potency and lines of the scents.

      I like Kitten, but it’s not a HG for me or anything.

      Clear base with colored glitter? Urban Decay makes a ton of those! :)

      I like Korres’ eyeliners – they’re not my favorite liners of all time but they’re nice!

  78. Hey Christine! Just wanted to tell you how special it is for me to read your blog every day! You have such a passion for beauty and it really comes through in your dedication to this blog. I can just tell you have a loving personality by how you take the time to answer everyone’s questions.

    I was actually wondering what you are working towards in school? Also, how did you and your boyfriend meet? I can tell he’s very special to you and he’s so great for coordinating the technical aspects of this blog!

    Thanks for everything you do!

    • I’m so thrilled to have you as a daily reader, Kara! Your support means so much to me! :)

      I’m in a JD/MBA program (law/masters of business administration), and I have about a year and a half left. My boyfriend and I actually met online–we were both playing some silly word game–like… 10 years ago, online. We didn’t meet in person until four years ago, though! How we managed to stay in contact for ten years is beyond me!

  79. happybadfish

    Hey Christine,
    I have very dry skin. I do find that I can’t set my makeup with a powder because it causes my skin to look like it is all peeling off.
    Do you know of a way to set my foundation and concealer with out drying it out??

    Also, I prefer to use lip stains to lip stick, but lip stains are hard to find. Do you know any cosmetic lines that make a good lip stain??

    • Hey!

      Do you use a heavy/rich cream at night? I know that it can be annoying to use something heavy before you apply your makeup, but I find that at night is a great time to SUPER MOISTURIZE! your skin since you can let it sink in. I always apply a heavier cream at night and do so about 30-45 minutes before I go to bed, so it has plenty of time to sink in.

      I’d also recommend misting your face with a bit of water after you’ve applied your setting powder to help reduce some of that cakiness!

      Vincent Longo makes the best lip stains that I’ve tried, but I haven’t found any AMAZING lip stains, unfortunately.

  80. Jasmine

    What’s your favorite permanent MAC beauty item?

  81. LBaker

    Hello Christine,
    Thanks for taking the time to do this, I know there are a lot of appreciative gals out there. My question is: Can you recommend some colors for me (eyeshadows and blushes). I am a very fair NW20 with green eyes. I am a loyal MAC girl but am not opposed to trying a new brand either. Thank you so much again :-) LBaker

    • Eyeshadows – Freshwater, Deep Truth, Bronze, Woodwinked, Parfait Amour, Shroom, Gleam

      Blushes – Springsheen, Well-Dressed, Peaches

      Hope this helps! :)

  82. KIKI

    Hey Christine,
    I have to tell you how much I love this blog! Thanks for putting so much time into it!

    1) What are your top 5 neutral everyday wear MAC eyeshadows?
    2) Would you recommend the studio sculpt concealer for both blemishes and under eye circles?


  83. Tahnee

    What would you reccomend for a tinted moisturizer? Everything I have tired offers no coverage at all. Im in search of something to just even out my skin tone quickly when im in a rush.

    • I find Korres gives me light to medium coverage, but tinted moisturizers are just, in general, sheerer/light coverage. You could try taking a medium or full coverage foundation and just mixing it in with your normal moisturizer and maybe get the coverage you want that way.

  84. Mary007

    In some of your pictures your hair and eyebrows looks very dark, is that your natural hair color?

    • I do fill my eyebrows in with either Espresso or Brun (or for a particularly dramatic look – Carbon!), and my hair is my natural color (a very dark brown/black, I guess!).

  85. Anna

    Do you make money from the blog?

  86. Mary007

    What are some of your favorite lipgloss?

    • I love Guerlain KissKiss Gloss in Fraise a Croquer and the green one they came out with this summer… totally blanking on the name. Cle de Peau Gloss #2 is stunning! From MAC, I adore more than I can name, but some permanent shades that I like are Lychee Luxe, Luminary, and Nymphette.

  87. Mary007

    Sorry for my curiousity! I feel like I’m interviewing you! LOL! How tall are you?

  88. Desiree

    Hey Christine:

    Few questions :-):

    1. I hope you won’t be offended but I wanted to know what your ethnicity is? Always been curious!

    2. I’m about an NW40/43 or actually a MUFE mat velvet #70, and i was wondering what kind of MAC lipsticks would you recommend that are matte, satin, amp. creme, or maybe a fuller coverage lustre?

    3. I attempted to use the 109 brush for my liquid foundation and the brush got all soft and my makeup went streaky–I had to quickly switch back to my beautyblender sponge. What is your technique to make it work? 😉

    • Hi Desiree,

      1.) Nope, not offended, so don’t worry! I’m half Vietnamese, quarter Swiss, quarter German! :)

      2.) Half ‘n Half, Fresh Moroccan, Hipster, Strength, Sophisto, Polished Up, Dubonnet, Diva, Girl About Town, Sweetie, & Up the Amp.

      3.) I just spritz the brush with a spray or two of water, and then I blend the foundation in. I do apply the foundation in little spots using a concealer brush first, though – just so it gets on my face, rather than putting a pump on my brush.

  89. Daria

    Hi Christine!! Hope all is well.Thank you for your time to answer these
    : 1) What light therapy skin tools have you tried/heard of/liked and do you think they really work? Have you heard of ANSR? Thats what I am thinking of buying. Or have you heard of the new claro for acne avail at nordstrom?

    2) What was your favorite MAC palette from Magic Mirth and Mischief and are you thinking of getting any of the mini pigments being released this week?

    Thank you Christine!

    • Hi Daria,

      1.) I haven’t really tried any – I’ve tried ThermaClear, which is a heat thing for acne. My problem is it requires a behavioral change to use them properly and regularly, and I suck at that :(

      2.) Sorceress is probably my favorite, just because Hold My Gaze was so unique. I doubt I’ll get any of the mini pigment sets since I think I have them all in full size :)

  90. Venessa

    My question is: how do you clean your lip brushes?
    I’ve tried using brush cleanser, regular soap, oil, makeup remover, and no matter which one I use (or if I use them all) there is always a residue left on the lip brush.

    • I use baby shampoo for the most part. Sometimes I use MAC’s brush cleanser, but overall, just baby shampoo! I’m surprised the oil didn’t break down the lip gunk!

  91. Mary007

    It seems that keeping up with this blog would be a full time job. How do you manage your time going to school, studying and managing this blog, plus personal time…do you sleep?

    • I’ve always been very, very efficient. I speed read (helps tremendously in school), and I live with my boyfriend, so I pretty much see him all of the time (he works from home) so we don’t have to “make time” to hang out really. I like schedules, to-do lists, and planning — all things that help keep me relatively organized and on task! I admittedly don’t sleep as long as I’d like, mostly due to stress (of managing everything, ha!), maybe six or so hours these days.

  92. Mariana


    I don’t know if you can answer this or not…I have very oily, acne prone skin and have found that MAC MSF natural works best as a foundation for me (doesn’t break me out like liquids) but I find that it slides off by the end of the day. Do you know what I could do that would help it to stay on better or an even better product I can try. Also,I can’t wear any makeup with SPF b/c I break out horribly with it too. Thanks so much and LOVE the site!

    • Hey Mariana,

      Have you tried wearing a primer underneath it or even a mattifying product? I think either of these could help prolong the wear of MSFN!

  93. Hi Christine!

    I have dehyrdated combo skin that breaks out when I am in school and stressed out.

    I had a few questions:
    1) I was watching your tutorial on applying foundation where you use water. I was wondering if you can also use Fix+ or Jurlique rosewater balancing mist?
    2) I have really deep pores that foundation just sinks in after a few hours. I was wondering if you can recommend a primer that “fill” those pores but can also control oil.
    3) I don’t know if you’re a hair expert… but I was wondering if you can reommend something that treats split ends. I dye my hair often and that resulted in tons of split ends. But I have really layered hair, so I can’t just snip off my ends because then I’ll just have to cut my hair short (which I don’t want to do…).
    4) I was wondering if you use a lip primer, or something that covers your natural lip colour. If you do, can you recommend one?

    Thank you so much! You’re a huge life saver =)

    – Sheila

    • Hi Sheila,

      1.) Yes, you could use either of those!
      2.) If you don’t have any reaction to silicone, I’d recommend a silicone based primer like Smashbox Photofinish Primer.
      3.) I’m not much of a hair expert (my girl Pursebuzz at is all things hair for me), but I’d suggest deep conditioning treatments regularly and make sure to use thermal protectants whenever you style your hair. There’s no real way to treat a split end, as far as I know, other than trimming it off and keeping it from moving up the hair shaft.
      4.) I rarely do, but if I do, I just use regular ol’ concealer or foundation! Cheap and easy! MAC has Lip Erase and their Lip Primer, but they just feel and look like concealer to me.

    • Rosie

      I’m using Urban Decay’s Pore Perfecting primer and it fills more pores in pretty well.

  94. *neena*

    Hey Christine!

    Thank you so much for doing this regularly!

    Here are my questions:

    1. I am a fan of MAC’s Mineralize skinfinish. Could you recommend which ones I should use for highlighting and contouring. Even if its a discontinued color I would like to know. For reference I am a NC44.

    2. Can you recommend a pink, red and a maroonish/burgundyish shade that would work with my skintone.

    3. Can you recommend some pink and purple eyeshadows that would work with my skintone.

    Thanks Again!

    • Hi Neena,

      1.) I like Gold Deposit or Soft & Gentle for highlighting, and then I recommend Dark or Deep Dark MSF Natural for contouring.
      2.) Eyeshadows…? Expensive Pink, Coppering, and Cranberry!
      3.) Expensive Pink, Da Bling, Beautiful Iris, Parfait Amour, Stars ‘n Rockets

      No problem!

  95. Pamela

    I’ll start off by saying I LOVE reading your site. The work you put into it is evident and it’s so helpful as a resource for new collections and advice.

    I am wondering if anyone has a suggestion regarding makeup “caking” or “pooling” – but it ONLY happens on my nose. If I don’t used a moisturizer (and I’ve tried tons!) my nose is too dry and the makeup looks gross. I have tried Smashbox primer, Monistat Anti-Chafing, and Fyrinnae and no luck so far. I use Studio Fix powder (N3, I’m super pale) buffed in with the 182 and it looks great for about 2 hours and then starts to collect and shine in my pores. Fix+ did nothing to help when I tried it out. Any ideas?

    • Thanks, Pamela! Happy to have you as a reader :)

      You may want to get a blotting powder (pressed) that you can carry around and then blot it around your nose every so often – I know, a pain in the butt, but perhaps an easy solution. My only other suggestion would be to try a mattifying primer or cream on your nose area where it tens to slip off.

  96. shannon

    Hi Christine! I’m looking for a blue eyeshadow palette. I don’t have any blues and I’m feeling that urge to expand my collection. I’ve got green eyes, I’m blond and pretty fair. I was thinking of some gray-blues, but I want to be able to wear them without looking like I’m in the 80s. Any palette recommendations?

    • Nehru is a really pretty super dark black-blue that’s nice. I also like Tilt, which is kind of a tealish blue, but still fairly blue. Deep Truth is a great navy blue for a smoky look, too :)

  97. Val

    Hii christine. Thanks so much for doing these!!
    I asked about your 5 favourite lip product formulas last time and I was wondering what your 5 favourite shades were??


    • No problem!

      Here are the first five I thought of…

      Chanel Dragon Rouge Allure Laque
      Chanel Santal Rouge Allure Laque
      MAC Mari-sheeno Lipstick
      MAC Cult of Cherry Lipglass
      Cle de Peau #2 Lipgloss

  98. Eden Landers

    I know its pretty late..but I had a question! What MAC Beauty Powder/Blushes would you reccomend for light-medium skin? I don’t know my exact shade..just that it’s lighter medium lol! Loved reading all the Q& should do this more often! 😛

    • Pretty much any of the beauty powders would work on you, but I like Sunsparked Pearl a lot. For blushes, try Peachykeen/Springsheen, Margin, Plum Foolery, and Well Dressed!

  99. Rosie

    I looked up the mac pro longwear lipcolour on you blog and see some swatches. How long do they last and how often do you need to remoisturize? Also do they pretty much stay smooth?

    What’s a good red eyeshadow you could recommend?

    • They last pretty much all day if you don’t eat/drink. If you eat anything OILY, then it does break down a bit (as the majority of makeup is oil-based, so oil breaks it down), say like fried chicken! Overall, they’re really long-wearing and not quite as drying as the typical long-wear lipstick. However, you do need to regularly reapply the gloss part of it to keep it looking smooth and keep your lips feeling hydrated.

      Red eyeshadow? I think MUFE makes one – I want to say it’s #99!

  100. Karen

    Hi Christine. I love your blog.  You’re really doing a good job. My skin tone is medium beige. What coral blush(not necessarily MAC) would you recommend? Pink blush? What brand do you think makes the best eye liners? Thanks!

    • Thanks, Karen! :)

      Dior’s Coral Riviera! I love that one! Or Benefit CORALista 😀 For a pink blush, I love MAC’s Well-Dressed or Dolce & Gabbana’s Provocative (which I really like because it’s a dupe of MAC’s Don’t Be Shy Blush – which was limited edition with Barbie).

      I think Make Up For Ever and Urban Decay are neck and neck in my book. I like the feel and the shades from Urban Decay (I think they’re all just a smidgen brighter and softer), and they do wear really well, but MUFE does wear slightly better at the end of the day.