Thursday, November 17th, 2011

The Tech Guy
Shaun, aka The Tech Guy, aka my boyfriend, was wrangled into doing his take on a “gift guide.”  He’s twenty-nine with normal-to-dry skin and suffers from no more acne (much to my envy!).  He has no dedication whatsoever to his writing duties here on Temptalia, given his absence of years (or however long it’s been) but, thankfully, is more attentive to keeping the site alive and well.

Shaun enjoys long walks on the beach, vegging out on the couch watching chick flicks, and cuddling with Mellan. Or maybe not! He handles all the behind-the-scenes action here at Temptalia, from tech support to server woes.


Holiday Gift Guide: Guy’s Guide to Gifts

The key for shopping for a dude, at least this dude, is not buying him anything he doesn’t trust or hasn’t used. He will generally make it pretty clear what he likes or dislikes. If he wants an iPad or any other Apple product, he will have mentioned his love or want for said iPad, but if he falls into the Android camp, then he most likely despises Apple and everything they stand for. We like the brands we like, and we don’t always have a good reason for liking said brand. It worked in the past, why shouldn’t it continue to work?

Aveda Men Pure-formance Dual Action Aftershave ($35.00 for 2.5 fl. oz.) | I haven’t tried a lot of aftershaves, but I really like this one. I’ve been using it for a long time, and it has never run out; that might be because I shave once a month and usually look like I emerged from a cave to check if it’s time to harvest. This has a fresh scent and goes on very smooth, and more importantly, it doesn’t burn like you stuck your face in alcohol after a shave. Another benefit is that it moisturizes so you don’t have to slather two creams on your face if you are comfortable enough with yourself to moisturize.

MACH3 Catridges (price varies depending on brand/quantity) | These are literally the most expensive things on the planet. Every time I start to feel my face being ripped off while shaving, I have to have a debate with myself about whether or not I should change the blade. Generally, due to blood loss, I will yield and switch out the cartridge only to curse myself later. These are a great buy, because we hate buying them, so if we don’t have to look at the price it’s all the better.

Amazon Kindle ($79.00) | This thing sells itself these days, and if your man is somewhat of a reader it might be time to send him into the digital age with an E-Reader. The Kindle is ridiculously cheap and most people are hooked into Amazon one way or another.

Batman: Arkham City ($59.99) and/or Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim ($59.99) | Ladies, let me tell you a little secret that will probably get me in trouble with men everywhere. If you want something and your man has been putting the kibosh on it, get him one of these games. Let them get addicted, and while they are playing, ask them for the aforementioned item. He’ll be so engrossed in the game that he’ll just grunt, thus giving you the approval to go obtain said item! Then when he asks about it later, just say he agreed to it while playing the game. He won’t be able to remember and you win! These games are both incredibly solid–Batman especially–just make sure that he doesn’t already own them. You’ll be able to tell if he has been holed up in front of a computer or TV for ridiculous amounts of time recently.

Friday, February 11th, 2011

Jason Wu @ NYFW Fall/Winter 2011
Jason Wu @ NYFW Fall/Winter 2011

Jason Wu @ NYFW Fall/Winter 2011

Aveda lead stylist Odile Gilbert created a sleek and elegant gilded twist using Aveda Smooth Infusion Glossing Straightener, Aveda Brilliant Spray-On Shine, and Aveda Control Force Firm Hold Hair Spray at the Jason Wu Fall/Winter 2011 show.

“The Jason Wu hair for this season is elegantly chic—like a piece of art. The ends of the hair are coated in 24-karat gold leaf and shaped like a feather, echoing the gold accents and feathers from the collection.” — Odile Gilbert for Aveda

Hair How-to

  • Apply Aveda Smooth Infusion Glossing Straightener to damp hair, from roots to ends, to smooth hair and add shine. Create a center part using a fine-tooth comb and blow hair dry straight. Use a flat-iron for super sleek length.
  • Create a ponytail at the nape of the neck and secure with an elastic. Spray Aveda Control Force Firm Hold Hair Spray generously to keep hair in place.
  • Coat the hair from roots to ends with Aveda Brilliant Retexturing Gel for a lustrous, polished look.
  • Divide the ponytail in half and wind the two sections together to create a twist. Secure the twist with an elastic two to three inches above the ends and mist with Aveda Control Force Firm Hold Hair Spray for hold.
  • Pull the ends of the hair up to the back of the head so the twist loops at the neck. Use bobby pins to secure the bottom of the twist to the base—so the ends of the hair fan upwards. Add a layer of Aveda Control Force Firm Hold Hair Spray.
  • Use a fine-tooth comb to coax the ends of the hair into a feather shape and set against the head using Aveda Control Force Firm Hold Hair Spray. Very gently apply gold leaf to only to the shaped ends with fingers and spray liberally with Aveda Control Force Firm Hold Hair Spray.
  • Complete the look with a generous layer of Aveda Brilliant Spray-On Shine for a high gloss finish.

Q&A

Q: What was your inspiration for this look? How did you collaborate with the designer to create the look?
“Jason’s Baroque-meets-American-sportswear collection this season includes muted black, whites, and nudes highlighted by shots of antique gold, so we wanted to create something simple and elegant—with a touch of luxury.” — Odile Gilbert for Aveda

Q: How could a woman achieve this look on her own?
“To adapt this style for real life, create a sleek pony with Aveda Brilliant Spray-On Shine and twist into a bun at the nape of the neck, with ends fanning up the back of the head. Clip with a bright metallic barrette or hair pin to add a shot of glamour. Spray with Aveda Control Force Firm Hold Hair Spray for a controlled and elegant finish.” — Odile Gilbert for Aveda

Q: What is the inspiration for your collection? What is the look you are capturing?
“My collection was inspired by Robert Polidori’s gorgeous photographs of the restoration of Versailles. I loved the juxtaposition between Versailles’ rough undersurface revealed during renovation and its opulent Baroque décor, so my clothing this season is a mix of luxuriously embellished fabrics and signature American sportswear. There are over fifteen types of laces, including a delicately falling leaf motif lace that I embroidered onto day and evening pieces and a gilded lace gown with black and white ‘gear’ palettes.” — Jason Wu

See more photos! Continue reading →

Friday, February 11th, 2011

ORGANIC by John Patrick @ NYFW Fall/Winter 2011
ORGANIC by John Patrick @ NYFW Fall/Winter 2011

ORGANIC by John Patrick @ NYFW Fall/Winter 2011

Aveda lead stylist Antoinette Beenders created “Model Off Duty hair” using Aveda Pure Abundance Hair Potion and Aveda Control Force Firm Hold Hair Spray at the ORGANIC by John Patrick Fall/Winter 2011 Fashion Week presentation.

“The ORGANIC by John Patrick hair for this season is a very real and natural look that can be adapted to fit anyone’s style. It’s like messy teenage hair with a bit of glamour, inspired by the idea of a ‘Model Off Duty’ who quickly pins her hair back This collection is very ‘90’s romantic—full of mismatched textures. I love how the hair is beautiful and unfussy, echoing the ‘elevated grunge’ vibe of our clothing.” — John Patrick of ORGANIC by John Patrick

Hair How-to

  • Sprinkle Aveda Pure Abundance Hair Potion throughout the hair for matte texture. Massage with fingertips at the root for slight volume.
  • Gently backcomb hair at the crown, using a wide-tooth comb to create a textured, ultra roughed-up look, while leaving the ends of the hair untouched. Spray with Aveda Air Control Hair Spray for light hold.
  • Using a Mason Pearson brush, loosely brush the top of the hair back to smooth backcombed portions. Allow hair to part naturally.
  • To create the textured, half-up style, twist and pull one-inch sections from above the ear on each side of the head. Use bobby pins to secure the entwined pieces at the occipital bone at the back of the head.
  • To keep the haphazard look from being untidy, finish with a holding mist of Aveda Control Force Firm Hold Hair Spray.

Janell Geason, Global Educator for Aveda Makeup, created a gorgeous, glowing look using Aveda Tourmaline Charged Hydrating Creme, Aveda Inner Light Mineral Tinted Moisture SPF 15, Aveda Petal Essence Single Eye Color in Opal, and Aveda Nourish-Mint Sheer Mineral Lip Color in Opal (launching Autumn 2011) at the ORGANIC by John Patrick Fall/Winter 2011 Fashion Week presentation.

Makeup How-to

  • Complexion: Prep skin with Aveda Tourmaline Charged Hydrating Creme for luminosity. Using the Aveda Flax Sticks Blush Brush (#9), lightly apply Aveda Inner Light Mineral Tinted Moisture SPF 15 to the face for extra glow. Apply Aveda Inner Light Concealer to even skin tone under the eye and set with Aveda Inner Light Mineral Loose Translucent Powder. Skin should look hydrated and glowing. Using the Aveda Flax Sticks Blush Brush (#9) gently brush Aveda Petal Essence Single Eye Color in Opal (or similar light, natural shade) to highlight the areas where natural light reflects: bridge of the nose, center of the forehead, chin and cheek bones. Skin should look hydrated and glowing.
  • Eyes: Prep eyelids with Aveda Inner Light Concealer to even skin tone. Using the Aveda Flax Sticks Medium Eye Color Brush (#2), apply Aveda Petal Essence Eye Color Trio in Gobi Sands—using the middle color of the palette—from the lash line to the brow. Use the Aveda Flax Sticks Eye Smudger (#5) to brush that same color along bottom lash line. For a dewy effect, dab a drop of Aveda All Sensitive Body Formula on the centers of each eyelid for a dewy finish. Curl lashes and lightly apply Aveda Mosscara in Earth to top and bottom lashes.
  • Lips: Prime lips with Aveda Nourish-Mint Lip Definer. Lightly apply Aveda Nourish-Mint Sheer Mineral Lip Color in Opal with fingertips. Touch Aveda Nourish-Mint Rehydrating Lip Glaze in Morning Rose to the center of the lip for a hint of color.

Q&A

Q: What was your inspiration for this look? How did you collaborate with the designer to create the look?
“John Patrick and I were inspired by the idea of a girl quickly pulling her hair back and pinning it. The concept of reflection inspired the collection, and we loved the idea of a woman sitting down at the mirror to create a realistic and unique hair style for herself. This season’s ORGANIC collection is elegantly devil-may-care, so the perfect nonchalance of the hair complements this aesthetic perfectly.” — Antoinette Beenders for Aveda

Q: How could a woman achieve this look on her own?
“This look is all about unstudied style, so it’s easy to recreate. Prep with Aveda Pure Abundance Hair Potion to create tousled texture and backcomb hair at the crown with a wide-tooth comb. Spray with Aveda Air Control Hair Spray for light hold and randomly pull side sections of hair back, pinning erratically, just above the nape of the neck. Finish with Aveda Control Force Firm Hold Hair Spray and you’ll be set for the day.” — Antoinette Beenders for Aveda

Q: What was your inspiration for this look?
“I wanted to create a makeup look with luminous skin to reflect the sheer chiffons of the ORGANIC collection. Like the clothes this season, the makeup look is effortless yet chic.” — Janell Geason, Global Educator, for Aveda

Q: How did you collaborate with the designer to create the look?
“John Patrick and I spoke about how true natural beauty is the ultimate luxury. We wanted to allow the models’ beauty to be the focus, so we decided to simply enhance their faces with a fresh, subtle makeup look. The pure, non-distracting style allows the ORGANIC by John Patrick story to speak for itself.” — Janell Geason for Aveda

Q: How could a woman achieve this look on her own?
“This look is all about the flawless, glowing skin that every woman loves. To create this youthful luminosity at home, hydrate the skin with Aveda Tourmaline Charged Hydrating Creme and even skin tone with Aveda Inner Light Mineral Tinted Moisture SPF 15 and Aveda Inner Light Concealer under the eyes. Highlight the areas that light naturally reflects—forehead, cheekbones, and the bridge of the nose—with Aveda Petal Essence Single Eye Color in Opal. For a dewy eye, dab a drop of Aveda All Sensitive Body Formula to the centers of each eyelid. A touch of Aveda Nourish-Mint Rehydrating Lip Glaze in Morning Rose completes the perfectly pretty look.” — Janell Geason for Aveda

Q: What is the inspiration for your collection? What is the look you are capturing?
“My collection this season is inspired by the retrospective of 1960’s post-war Italian artist Michelangelo Pistoletto. His work focused greatly on the productivity of randomness and the concept of reflection—two notions that greatly influenced our hair and clothing looks this season. My collection is also very ‘90’s inspired: full of floral chiffons, lengthy skirts, unruly knits, and plaids. For Fall/Winter 2011, it’s all about mixing textures to create a romantic effect.” — John Patrick of ORGANIC by John Patrick

Q: ORGANIC by John Patrick is well respected for its sustainability principles. Have there been any changes or new methods for maintaining environmental consciousness this season?
“I am incredibly thankful and excited to be working with Aveda, both for their strong creativity and environmental stewardship. Both ORGANIC by John Patrick and Aveda have an unrelenting concern for sustainability, so our partnership is very strong. At the ORGANIC presentation this season, we are thrilled to be incorporating a film detailing the sustainable manufacturing process of the garments in the collection.” — John Patrick of ORGANIC by John Patrick

See more photos! Continue reading →

Thursday, December 23rd, 2010

Aveda Brushes
Aveda Flax Sticks Daily Effects Brush Set

Quick Review: Aveda Flax Sticks Daily Effects Brush Set

Aveda Flax Sticks Daily Effects Brush Set ($65.00) includes a Medium Eye Color Brush (#2), Brow & Lash Brush (#7), and Blush Brush (#9). The handles are made of 30% natural flax fiber and 70% polypropylene (90% is post-consumer recycled resin). The bristles are 100% taklon, which means they are synthetic and not made out of animal hair.

The bristles on all three are incredibly soft; no scratchiness whatsoever, and the blush brush was extremely dense. I liked the Eye Color Brush the most, because it picked up a good amount of color without puffing it everywhere. The blush brush could have been a touch firmer, but otherwise worked well for me. I have not tested these brushes for longevity or put them through extensive washing/using tests, though, so I cannot comment on long-term conditions.

Welcome to Swatch-all-idays! To start 2011 off on the right foot (or post, as it may be!), Temptalia is going through a backlog of products we have photographed, swatched, and often tested but in a slightly different manner. Quick reviews may be partially incomplete, such as a blush may only be swatched on the arm rather than shown on the face. It is our hope that what we are able to provide is still helpful!

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: As set, it’s a nice value, because you’re getting three high-end brushes for about $20 a pop (while the face brush would certainly be more valuable).  They’re soft, seem sturdy, and didn’t shed.

AVAILABILITY: Aveda

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →