Sunday, April 12th, 2015

The Spring 2015 Report Card:  The Best Products from Q1

There are so many products releasing each month that it can be hard to keep track of what was worth considering that I wanted to try putting together a quarterly overview that looks at the last three months of reviews with a best-of-the-quarter compilation. I’ve tried to group by formula when it makes sense to, and other times you’ll see specific shades or a collection. I’ve only included products that scored at least A- or higher (or else we’d be here all day!).

You can always browse all of my past reviews by rating and choose your threshold (or go diving for those F reviews) as well as view any Temptalia Recommends products. For a list of all my all-time favorites, see my Editor’s Choice Awards.

Clinique Cheek Pops
Clinique Cheek Pops are now available in eight new shades! You can check out the full roundup here, but they performed extremely well and in line with the original four released last year. All of the new shades rated A- or higher: Fig Pop (A+), Heather Pop (A-), Melon Pop (A-), Nude Pop (A), Pansy Pop (A-), Pink Pop (A+), Rosy Pop (A), Cola Pop (A+).

VIEW ALL SHADES

Where to Buy

$21 at Clinique, Sephora

ColourPop Super Shock Shadows
We’ve reviewed a lot of ColourPop’s Super Shock Shadow range in the first quarter, and there were a lot of winners! Here are all of the shades that were rated A- or higher: 3 (A-), Acorn (A), Bae (A+), Bandit (A-), Chipper (A-), Desert (A), Downtown (A+), Drift (A), Eve (A+), Game Face (A), Get Lucky (A), Hanky Panky (A), Heat (A), Lace (A-), La-la (A+), Mittens (A-), Mooning (A), On the Rocks (A), Pop Rocks (A), Shop (A-), Smash (A), Snapdragon (A), So Quiche (A-), Sour (A), Sunnies (A-), Taco (A-), Truth (A), Rebound (Set) (A-), Shaanxo (Set) (A)

VIEW ALL SHADES

Where to Buy

$5 at ColourPop

ColourPop Super Shock Cheek
The ColourPop Super Shock Cheek released twenty shades of cream blushes from vibrant fuchsia to subdued neutrals, as well as three new, limited edition shades just for spring. I’m still working through reviews of the permanent range, but here were the top performers for Q1: Clutch (A), More, Please (A+), Olive (A-), Pie (A-), Rain (A-)

VIEW ALL SHADES

Where to Buy

$8 at ColourPop

Too Faced Melted Metals
Too Faced Melted Metals are a new, liquid lipstick with a metallic finish. There are eight shades with most falling in the B+ range, but there were two standout shades: Metallic Jelly (A) and Metallic Macaron (A-).

Too Faced also added new shades of their original formula: Melted Strawberry (A), Melted Jelly Donut (A), Melted Villain (A).

VIEW ALL SHADES

Where to Buy

$21 at Sephora, Macy’s, Beautylish, Beauty.com

Becca Blushed Copper is a stunning, medium-dark copper-brown with a very shimmery finish. It scored an A-.

VIEW ALL SHADES

Where to Buy

$38 at Sephora

Becca Shimmering Skin Perfectors are available in a liquid, cream, and powder format, and this spring, we worked through a lot of the newest formula, the Poured, as well as wrote up a everything you need to know guide about the family of formulas. The Poured (or cream) formula rated quite well across the shades released: Moonstone (A-), Opal (A-), Pearl (A-), Rose Gold (A-), Topaz (A).

VIEW ALL SHADES

Where to Buy

$38 at Sephora, ULTA

Bite Beauty Butter Cream
Bite Beauty Butter Cream Lipsticks launched as a new, permanent formula with eight shades. The blunt tip is supposed to make it ultra creamy. Gimmicks aside, the formula was excellent. I hope they’ll consider adding more cool-toned neutrals next! Here were the top performers: Hazelnut (A), Marzipan (A), Pecan (A), Rosewood (A).

VIEW ALL SHADES

Where to Buy

$28 at Sephora

Burberry Wet & Dry Glow Shadow is a new, permanent formula of eyeshadow with a more metallic finish. I loved both Shell (A) and Nude (A+).

VIEW ALL SHADES

Where to Buy

$29 at Nordstrom

Chanel Malice
Chanel Malice (A) is a medium, pink-coral with a luminous finish that is, thankfully, permanent. This is one Chanel blush that was well worth the hype.

VIEW ALL SHADES

Where to Buy

$45 at Nordstrom, Chanel

Chanel Rouge Coco
Chanel Rouge Coco was reformulated and launched with 29 different shades this spring. The formula was more inconsistent, as some shades did well and others were shorter-wearing and didn’t apply well. Here were some of the best shades reviewed so far: Antoinette (A), Arthur (A-), Etienne (A-), Julia (A-), Marie (A-), Misia (A-), Suzanne (A-).

VIEW ALL SHADES

Where to Buy

$36 at Nordstrom, Chanel

Giorgio Armani Eye Tint
Giorgio Armani Eye Tints are a new, permanent liquid eyeshadow formula available in twelve shades from your traditional neutrals to bolder blue and green. Six of the twelve were exceptional: Cold Copper (A), Emeraude (A), Green Iron (A), Minuit (A), Rose Ashes (A), Senso (A), Shadow (A).

VIEW ALL SHADES

Where to Buy

$38 at Norodstrom, Sephora

Guerlain Meteorite Compact
Guerlain Medium (03) Meteorites Compact is a lightly luminous finishing powder that gives skin a natural look without looking shimmery. It’s that extra oomph after you’ve set with powder to keep the skin from looking too matte.

VIEW ALL SHADES

Where to Buy

$62 at Nordstrom, Sephora, Bloomingdale’s, Neiman Marcus

IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Undereye
IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Concealer (A) is a fantastic, medium-to-full coverage concealer that covers evenly, smoothly, and wears long. I’d love to see the brand expand their shade range, as I have to mix two shades to get a good match (there are only four shades).

Where to Buy

$24 at ULTA

Kat Von D Shade + Light Contour Palette includes three highlighters and three sculpting powders in a slim palette. The palette had really soft, silky textures, which made it easy to blend on the skin. It may be more or less useful depending on your contouring application and coloring as the palette runs warmer.

Where to Buy

$46 at Sephora

Kevyn Aucoin Medium The Sculpting Powder has an unbelievable texture that’s very soft, smooth, and blendable. The color is more taupe-like, which makes it one of my favorite hues for contouring. I wish they had more shades.

Where to Buy

$44 at Beautylish, Sephora, Beauty.com, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom

Make Up For Ever Artist Shadow
Make Up For Ever Artist Shadows continue to be an impressive formula. I think I’m down to less than fifty shades (about half of them are blushes, too) that I haven’t actually worn, and there are very few duds. Here are the highlights from this past quarter: D552 Crystalline Gray Beige (A+), I212 Periwinkle (A), I318 Linen Khaki (A),I628 Reptile (A+), I824 Ocher Pink (A+), I872 Pearly Pink (A), ME232 Turquoise Blue (A+), ME614 Graphite Brown (A), ME644 Iced Brown (A+), S502 White Sand (A-).

VIEW ALL SHADES

Where to Buy

$21 at Sephora

Marc Jacobs Contour Duo
Marc Jacobs Beauty Hi-Fi Filter (A-) is a highlighting and contouring palette on a large scale. There are three combinations available, and the one I tried was the darkest of the three.

Where to Buy

$49 at Sephora

Marc Jacobs Beauty The Enigma
Marc Jacobs Beauty The Enigma (A) is a muted, neutral-themed palette that ranges from soft brown to gray and smoky black.

VIEW ALL SHADES

Where to Buy

$59 at Sephora

Maybelline Rebel Bloom
Maybelline Rebel Bloom Collection had an assortment of grades, but there were a few good shades in the release: Rebellious Raspberry (A), Black Orchid (A-), Coral Burst (A-), Rose Rush (A-).

VIEW ALL SHADES

Where to Buy

$7.49+ at ULTA

Sugarpill Loose Eyeshadow came out with nine new and permanent shades this spring! Here were the best ones: Charmy, Clickbait (A-), Countess (A-).

VIEW ALL SHADES

Where to Buy

$13 at Beautylish

Surratt Beauty
Surratt Beauty had a few hits that we tested this spring: Cuivre Eyeshadow (A-), Perfectionniste Lipslique (A-), and Soigne Lip Lustre (A-).

VIEW ALL SHADES

Where to Buy

$20 to $34 at Barney’s, Sephora

Tom Ford Lip Color Matte is a new, permanent formula that features more opaque, matte lip color. Half of the shade range were big winners: Plum Lush (05) (A+), Flame (06) (A), Pussycat (04) (A), Ruby Rush (07) (A).

VIEW ALL SHADES

Where to Buy

$50 at Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Saks, Bloomingdale’s

Tom Ford’s Spring collection was fairly memorable with four of the six pieces rating well: Spring 2015 Cream Color for Eyes (A+), Black Jade Nail Lacquer (A), Indigo Night Nail Lacquer (A), Raw Jade Eye Color Duo (A-).

Where to Buy

$32 to $60 at Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom

Urban Decay Sheer Revolution
Urban Decay Sheer Revolution Lipstick is new take based on their original Revolution Lipsticks, just sheerer and glossier. There were ten shades released and six of them did quite well: Sheer Anarchy (A-), Sheer F-Bomb (A-), Sheer Liar (A-), Sheer Rapture (A-), Sheer Slowburn (A-), Sheer Streak (A-).

VIEW ALL SHADES

Where to Buy

$22 at Sephora, Nordstrom, Macy’s, Beauty.com

MAC is Beauty seemed to be the best of MAC’s spring launches, but there were also MAC x Mia Moretti, MAC x Philip Treacy, MAC x Bao Bao Wan, MAC x Julia Petit, MAC x Cinderella that were reviewed. Click any of the previous links to get a closer look at the collections. Here were MAC’s top performers this spring: Burmese Kiss Lipstick (A), Stroke of Midnight Eyeshadow Palette (A-), Maria Moretti Lipstick (A), Cardinal (A-), Hollywood Cerise (A), No Faux Pas Lipstick (A), Opera Lipglass (A-), Tenor Voice Lipglass (A), Victoriana Lipglass (A-), Barbecue Lipstick (A), Boca Lipstick (A), Forbidden Sunrise Lipstick (A), Lavender Jade Lipstick (A-), Make Me Gorgeous Lipstick (A), Opera Lipstick (A), Oxblood Lipstick (A), Petite Red Lipstick (A-), Silly Lipstick (A-), Tenor Voice Lipstick (A), Victoriana Lipstick (A), Viva Glam Miley Cyrus (A), Petrol Blue Eyeliner (A-), Linda Blush (A), Blacktrack Fluidline (A-), Blacktrack Fluidline (A-), Blitz & Glitz Fluidline (A), Blue Peep Fluidline (A), Blue Peep Fluidline (A), Lowlights Fluidline (A-), Royal Wink Fluidline (A-).

Where to Buy

Price varies at Macy’s, Nordstrom, Bloomingdale’s

Tuesday, February 17th, 2015

Kevyn Aucoin The Contour Book
Kevyn Aucoin The Contour Book

The Contour Book – The Art of Sculpting + Defining ($59.00) (New)

This palette contains detailed instructions and all the shades needed to redefine the look of your face. Make cheekbones appear stronger, your face appear slimmer, or just create a more sculpted appearance. The Sculpting Powder allows you to contour your face like a pro without looking overly made up. Get the look by following the sculpting guidelines with the included Kevyn Aucoin contour instruction book. This set contains:

  • 0.04 oz The Sculpting Powder in Medium
  • 0.08 oz The Celestial Powder in Candlelight
  • 0.06 oz The Celestial Powder in Starlight
  • 3 x 0.06 oz The Essential Eyeshadows
  • Step-by-step contouring instruction book

Availability: Now exclusively at Sephora

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Monday, February 2nd, 2015

Kevyn Aucoin Medium The Sculpting Powder
Kevyn Aucoin Medium The Sculpting Powder

Kevyn Aucoin Medium The Sculpting Powder ($44.00 for 0.11 oz.) is a medium-dark taupe brown with subtle warmth and a mostly matte finish. Marc Jacobs Beauty Contour (P) is warmer. Kevyn Aucoin Sculpting Medium (P) is a cream product. MAC Sculpt (P, $16.50) is warmer, lighter. MAC Coffee Walnut (LE, $20.00) is a cream product, slightly darker. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

After falling in love with Kevyn Aucoin Sculpting Medium/Candlelight The Creamy Glow Duo, it seemed imperative to test drive the powder version of the contouring shade. It’s a very shadowy contour, so for those who have bemoaned the plethora of warmer bronzes and feel like there is too much orange in other products marketed as contouring powders, this might be a great option. It reads warmer in tone in the pan and swatched, but even against my warmer undertones, it read shadowy, cool-toned, and very much like a true contouring shade. The product is incredibly pigmented, and a little goes a long way. The first time I applied it, the contour was deeper and more dramatic than I anticipated, so less is more with this one. It had a silky, smooth, and blendable texture that applied nicely and sat well on the skin. The contour wears well for eight hours before fading slightly.

I wish the brand also had a light and deep option, because I bet they could nail the right variation in color and undertone so it could fit a wider spectrum of skin tones. I’d also like to see a price reduction, because when they changed packaging, they reduced significantly (0.23 oz. to 0.11 oz.) without reducing the price–the product is so, so good but knowing it used to be double the size for the same price is hard to overlook.

The Glossover

P
product

Medium

Temptalia Recommends
A

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Dupes
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Saturday, January 31st, 2015

When it comes to highlighters that illuminate and add a glowing sheen to the skin without emphasizing pores, I’m obsessed. Every year, there are so many fabulous limited edition highlighters that get released, but thankfully, there are also some excellent permanent options that I never tire of. Here are some of my favorites!

  1. Cle de Peau Delicate Pink — a soft, shimmering pink-beige
  2. Burberry Nude Radiance No. 01 — a sheer, liquid luminizer
  3. Kevyn Aucoin Candlelight — a warm, golden beige sheen
  4. Becca Moonstone — a shimmery, golden champagne
  5. Kevyn Aucoin Starlight — a shimmery, warm peach

>> See side-by-side swatches! <<

Sunday, January 11th, 2015

Peach is often like the lighter, softer version of coral, as you can find pink-leaning peach shades or more orange-leaning peach shades, so there is usually a shade that will work for someone! There are even more peachy-beige kind of shades that are more neutral. I love peach on the eyes, whether as an eyeliner or on the center or inner lid. The center of lid is great to really brighten, especially if you use darker, more contrasting shades on the inner/outer areas of the lid. The inner tear duct is a nice place for a pop of more shimmery peach that I find helps to open up eyes.

  1. Bite Beauty Leche — a satin-finished, medium peach lip color
  2. Kevyn Aucoin Starlight — a peach with champagne shimmer and warm undertones that works as a highlighter or subtle blush
  3. L’Oreal Highlighter (230) — brighten eyes with this peachy-pink eyeliner
  4. Make Up For Ever #I524 Pinky Beige — a light-medium peach with a pearly sheen to brighten eyes
  5. YSL Tender Peach (26) — a glossy, pink-tinted peach lipstick

>> See side-by-side swatches! <<

Friday, December 26th, 2014

My Christmas Look (2014)
The fabled Chanel Dragon…

I’ve grown so accustomed to having different eyeshadows on each eye that whenever I apply the same eyeshadows on each eye, I’m a bit taken aback by how it looks to match! I can’t say I wasn’t testing anything on Christmas (namely, the eyeshadows), but I did bring out some of my all-time favorites. :)

Look Breakdown

EYES: ColourPop Tea Party applied to inner third of lid, both applied with a narrow brush as well as patted slightly with fingertips. ColourPop Solstice applied to the middle of lid using a medium-sized, eyeshadow brush. ColourPop Sequin applied to the outer third of the lid using the same brush as before. ColourPop To-a-T applied into the outer crease using a synthetic rounded crease brush and buffed above crease towards the brow bone. ColourPop Fleek/Effect (dark brown side) applied into outer crease and diffused slightly above crease. Burberry Trench was dusted underneath the brow bone as a highlighter with a fluffy blending brush. ColourPop Fleek/Effect (teal side) applied with an angled eyeliner brush to the lower lash line with ColourPop Sequin smudged underneath. I used Sephora Blonde Ambition on the water line to brighten.

FACE: Guerlain Parure Gold (02 and 03 mixed equally) mixed with Kevyn Aucoin Celestial applied all-over the face with a flat-topped round, synthetic brush and buffed into the skin. I patted Urban Decay Naked Loose into the skin to help set and finish the base with a tapered powder brush. Tom Ford Love Lust was applied to cheeks to add warmth and color with a feathery blush brush. Kevyn Aucoin Starlight was dusted on top of cheek bones and down the bridge of the nose to highlight. Guerlain Wulong was lightly dusted all-over face to finish the look.

LIPS: Chanel Dragon applied to lips.

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