Sunday, December 29th, 2013

Choosing my top ten favorite palettes from the ones I tested and reviewed in 2013 was a lot more difficult than I anticipated! To give you an idea on how stiff the competition was, there were 128 reviews filed under “makeup palettes,” so you can see there were plenty to choose from! (And if you were curious, I have 1,261 posts filed under “reviews,” and the majority of those posts feature more than one shade, for the past year.) I considered which ones gave me warm, fuzzy feelings, that were high quality, and that I could really reach for over and over again. With those things in mind, here are my favorites…

What were your favorite palettes that you tried this past year?

Saturday, December 7th, 2013

Reader Rashmi requested a top five of burgundy lipsticks, and I have to say, finding a really lovely burgundy lip color that’s permanent is difficult. It seems to be a favorite hue to go-to for limited edition collections, though.

  1. OCC Black Dahlia — is a deep, dark burgundy with a hint of brown that lasts and lasts
  2. MAC Endless Drama — a deepened, semi-opaque burgundy red with a soft, frosted finish
  3. Giorgio Armani #408 — is a muted, reddish burgundy with a pearly shimmer
  4. Buxom Menace — a brightened, berry-ish burgundy with a shimmery finish
  5. Laura Mercier Merlot — a lightened, muted berry-burgundy with a natural finish

What’s your favorite burgundy lipstick?

Wednesday, November 20th, 2013

Laura Mercier Pearl Fantasy Illuminating Eye Colour
Laura Mercier Pearl Fantasy Illuminating Eye Colour

Laura Mercier Pearl Fantasy Illuminating Eye Colour ($24.00 for 0.09 oz.) is a pale, shimmering purple-tinged gray. Dior Constellation (864) #1 (LE) is a bit darker. MAC Time to Tango (LE, $21.00) is darker, bluer. MAC Pastelluxe #4 (P) is more shimmery. Tom Ford Beauty Enchanted #3 (LE) is darker, warmer. See comparison swatches.

The texture was soft, finely-milled, and blendable on the skin, though it could be on the powdery side at times. Pearl Fantasy had good color payoff, but it was not fully pigmented. I could see this being a formula that would work better when applied with a damp brush, as it would take down any powderiness while amplifying the color. When applied dry, the color was buildable to opaque color in two to two and a half layers of product. It wore well for eight hours with minor fading becoming apparent near the nine-hour mark.

Laura Mercier Twilight Caviar Stick ($26.00 for 0.05 oz.) is a cool-toned, medium-dark taupe with an emphasis on gray, but the underlying base color is brown. The finish was pearly–not quite metallic but not frosted. MAC Graphic Style (LE, $15.00) is grayer, powder. Urban Decay Armor (LE, $18.00) is a powder product. Urban Decay Mushroom (P, $18.00) is warmer, powder product. MAC Dynamic Duo 3 #1 (LE, $15.00) is darker, grayer, less pearly, powder. MAC Moth Brown (LE, $15.00) is darker, powder. MAC Stolen Moment (LE, $21.00) is darker, warmer, powder. MAC Electroplate (LE, $18.50) is similar. See comparison swatches.

It was lightly creamy, and it dried down quickly, so I would recommend working one eye at a time so that you can blend and work along the edges. It had fairly good pigmentation in a single stroke, and it was buildable to mostly opaque color coverage with two to three passes. I had light creasing after eight hours of wear, though, which was surprising to see for a long-wear product like this.

The Glossover

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Pearl Fantasy

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Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Twilight

B

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4.5/5

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Tuesday, November 12th, 2013

Laura Mercier White Magic Collection for Holiday 2013
Laura Mercier White Magic Collection for Holiday 2013

Model is wearing: Foundation Primer, Oil Free Suprême Foundation in Vanilla Beige, Secret Camouflage in SC-4, Loose Setting Powder in Translucent, Eye Canvas in EC-3, Illuminating Eye Colour in Crystal Fantasy and Opal Fantasy, Tightline Cake Eye Liner in Gunmetal Smoke, Faux Lash Mascara in Black, Mineral Illuminating Powder in Candlelight, Brilliant Glacé in Pink Prism, Nail Lacquer in Angel Wing.

Illuminating Eye Colour ($24.00) (Limited Edition)

  • Pearl Fantasy
  • Crystal Fantasy
  • Opal Fantasy

Tightline Cake Eye Liner ($23.00) (Limited Edition)

  • Gunmetal Smoke

Caviar Stick Eye Colour ($24.00) (Limited Edition)

  • Twilight
  • Sterling

Brilliant Glace ($24.00) (Limited Edition)

  • Pink Prism
  • Rose Prism
  • Nude Prism

Creme Smooth Lip Colour ($26.00) (Limited Edition)

  • Flamingo
  • Mocha Myth

Nail Lacquer ($18.00) (Limited Edition)

  • Butterfly Wings
  • Angel Wings

Second Skin Cheek Colour ($24.00)

  • Orange Blossom (Permanent)

Mineral Illuminating Powder ($32.00)

  • Candlelight (Permanent)

Availability: November 2013 at Nordstrom, Sephora, Laura Mercier

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Thursday, November 7th, 2013

Laura Mercier Artist's Palette for Eyes
Laura Mercier Artist’s Palette for Eyes

Laura Mercier Artist’s Palette for Eyes ($48.00 for 0.36 oz.) contains twelve eyeshadows. The palette leans just slightly cool-toned, though there are some warmer shades included. It’s a mix of peach, brown, and plum; with more matte finishes than the average palette. Some shades seem to be part of the permanent range, while others are not. The ones that aren’t include (based on looking at Laura Mercier’s website): Sparkling Dew, Violet Ink, and Espresso.  The palette is really consistent across the board; all shades had nice color payoff with some hitting it totally out of the park and others just being slightly under, but all the shades are easy to work with, blendable, wear well (eight and a half hours without creasing/fading), and apply easily.

Normally, Laura Mercier eyeshadows are $23 a pop for 0.09 oz., so the palette is a value of $92. The main advantage is that most people take years to even hit pan on an average sized eyeshadow (0.05 oz.), let alone one twice the size, so you get a lot more variety for a little more than the cost of buying two eyeshadows individually.  This palette is exclusive to Sephora, and it’s on a lot of wish lists from readers’ for the VIB sale, so it may sell out. YEP! this sold out late afternoon/early evening on 11/7. You might still be able to find it in store! (I wish I could have gotten this up sooner for you, but by the time I purchased it due to reader requests, received it, and finished testing it… this was as fast as I could do it. So sorry!)

Sparkling Dew is a pale, soft peach with a hint of pink and barely-there warm undertones. It had a soft, frosted finish. The texture was incredibly soft, finely-milled, and blendable. It had good color payoff. It was a smidgen on the powdery side, one of the drawbacks of such a soft texture, but it did not seem to show on the lid. When this is sheered out, the frost finish becomes more pronounced. Too Faced Whiskers on Kittens (LE) and Too Faced Spike the Punch (LE) are both warmer. Urban Decay Dope (LE, $18.00) is similar. MAC Easy Gesture (LE, $15.00) is similar. Marc Jacobs Beauty The Tease #4 (P) is pinker. Urban Decay Snatch (P, $18.00) is darker, glittery. MAC Orb (P, $15.00) is less frosted. See comparison swatches.

Guava is described as a “peach stucco.” It’s a light-medium, peachy-pink with a pale golden sheen and light warm undertones. It had a soft, frosted finish with good color payoff and the same soft, buttery texture that tended towards very, very slightly powdery. Too Faced Ringleader (LE) is slightly warmer. Urban Decay Snatch (P, $18.00) is glittery. MAC Dynamic Duo 1 #1 (LE, $15.00) is similar. Le Metier de Beaute Nouvelle (LE, $30.00) is warmer. See comparison swatches.

African Violet is described as a “violet copper shimmer.” It’s a cool-toned, violet purple with a golden frost. It had fairly good color payoff, and the texture was very soft but didn’t bind together as beautifully as other shades. Over a base, you shouldn’t have any issues with it. theBalm A1 (LE, $16.00) is less golden. Fyrinnae Meerkat (Pressed) (P, $8.25) and Fyrinnae Meerkat (P, $6.80) are brighter. theBalm rem (P, $16.00) is more muted, purpler. Urban Decay Bordello (P, $18.00) is warmer. MAC Neo Nebula (LE, $21.00) is pinker. See comparison swatches.

Plum Smoke is described as a “smoke amethyst.” It’s a muted, smoky purple with neutral-to-cool undertones and a matte finish. The texture was incredibly soft, finely-milled, and a little buttery, with great color payoff and no powderiness. Too Faced Mulberry (LE) is darker. MAC Stormy Pink (P, $18.50) is lighter, grayer, cream product. LORAC Mauve (P) is pinker. Benefit Rain Check (P, $20.00) is darker. Inglot #358 (P, $6.00) is similar. See comparison swatches.

Kir Royal is described as a “deep aubergine.” It’s a dark, burgundy-brown with a satin finish and warm undertones. It had fairly good color payoff, and the texture was fairly soft. Tarina Tarantino Deep Dahlia (LE) is darker. Kat Von D Wonderland (LE) is darker. Chanel Delicatesse #4 (LE) is similar. Kat Von D Fur Elise (P) is also similar. Make Up For Ever #141 (P, $20.00) is lighter. MAC Festive Delight (LE, $15.00) is similar. MAC Palace Pedigreed (LE, $15.00) is cooler-toned. Burberry Mulberry (24) (P) is similar but more frosted. See comparison swatches.

Violet Ink is a muted, neutral-to-warm eggplant purple with a matte finish. It had good pigmentation, and the texture was soft, blendable, and easy to apply. Tarina Tarantino Deep Dahlia (LE) is slightly warmer. Disney by Sephora Master (LE) is more shimmery. bareMinerals Nightcap (P) is more intense. MAC Fig. 1 (P, $15.00) is also more intense. Make Up For Ever #160 (P, $20.00) is brighter. See comparison swatches.

Vanilla Nuts is described as a “light neutral champagne.” It’s a cool-toned, pink-tinged beige with a matte finish. It had excellent color payoff, and the texture was very soft–it might look a little chalky on deeper skin tones. Too Faced Powdered Sugar (LE) is similar. Tom Ford Beauty In the Pink #1 (LE) is pinker. Marc Jacobs Beauty The Tease #3 (P) is similar. theBalm Matt Chung (LE, $16.00) is cooler-toned. NARS Douce France #1 (LE, $24.00) is cooler-toned. Guerlain Boulevard du Montparnasse #1 (LE) is whiter. Chanel Variation #1 (P) is shimmery. Chanel Premier Regard #2 (P) is similar. Inglot #356 (P, $6.00) is warmer. See comparison swatches.

Primrose is described as a “yellow pink with golden pearl.” It’s a light-medium, peachy beige with a frosted sheen. It had good color payoff, but it had such an interesting texture–it almost felt like a solid, wet cream product, but it is a powder. Tarina Tarantino Tiny Pansie (LE) is similar. Tom Ford Beauty In the Pink #2 (LE) is similar. Dior Chimere (821) (P, $30.00) is a cream product, cooler-toned. Too Faced Ringleader (LE) is similar. theBalm Stubborn (P, $16.00) is less frosted. MAC Jete (LE, $15.00) is darker. See comparison swatches.

Fresco is described as a “neutral beige brown.” It’s a medium brown with neutral-to-warm undertones and a matte finish. It had good pigmentation, and the texture was soft and blendable–just a tiny bit powdery. Sleek MakeUP Propose in Prague (LE, $9.99) is darker. Too Faced Cookie Dough (LE) is lighter. MAC Indie Spirit (LE, $15.00) is warmer. MAC Soft Brown (P, $15.00) is also warmer. Inglot #337 (P, $6.00) darker, grayer. See comparison swatches.

Bamboo is described as a “golden brown shimmer.” It’s a medium, slightly golden brown with golden champagne shimmer. It had excellent pigmentation, and the texture was soft, smooth, and buttery. Sleek MakeUP Lust in LA (LE, $9.99) is more golden. LORAC Pewter (P) is less frosted, darker. Marc Jacobs Beauty The Starlet #3 (P) is darker. Bobbi Brown Sandy Rose (LE, $21.00) is cooler-toned. MAC Superwatt (LE, $18.50) is a cream product. MAC Aloha (LE, $32.50) is grayer. bareMinerals A-Ha (P) is similar. Inglot #402 (P, $6.00) is darker. See comparison swatches.

Truffle is described as a “deep chocolate taupe.” It’s a medium-dark, chocolate brown with warm undertones and a matte finish. It had excellent color payoff with a smooth, silky texture that was never powdery. MAC Swiss Chocolate (P, $15.00) is darker. Make Up For Ever #17 (P, $20.00) is similar. Inglot #357 (P, $6.00) is lighter. Inglot #327 (P, $6.00) is darker. See comparison swatches.

Espresso is a deep, dark blackened brown with a matte finish and cool undertones. It had good pigmentation, and the texture was fairly soft and blendable, but a little drier compared to other shades. MAC Midnight Flurry (LE, $15.00) is similar. Inglot #329 (P, $6.00) is similar. Inglot #326 (P, $6.00) is similar. See comparison swatches.

The Glossover

LE
palette

Artist's Palette for Eyes

Temptalia Recommends
A

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

5/5

Results
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LE
product

Sparkling Dew

A

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

5/5

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P
product

Guava

A

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

5/5

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Wednesday, November 6th, 2013

Laura Mercier Holiday 2013 Collection
Laura Mercier Holiday 2013 Collection

Petite Baked Eye Colour Bonbons ($25.00) (Limited Edition)

  • Amethyst Trio
  • Bronze Trio
  • Emerald Trio

Luxe Colour Wardrobe Dual Decker Colour for Eye & Cheeks ($125.00) (Limited Edition)

Laura Mercier’s ultimate holiday accessory features a range of products that will leave your eyes and cheeks flawlessly glowing. Palette includes:

  • Eight eyeshadows in Morning Dew matte, Coffee Ground matte, African Violet luster, Ballerina Pink sateen, Deep Night matte, Dusk luster, Sable sateen and Crystal Beige luster.
  • Three Tightline Cake eyeliners in Black Ebony, Ground Espresso and Bleu Marine.
  • Two Second Skin cheek colors in Barely Pink and Heather Pink.
  • Face highlighter in Golden Shimmer.
  • Longwear Crème eye pencil in Espresso.
  • Double-Ended Crease/Smudge brush.
  • Travel Pony Tail brush.
  • Travel Flat eyeliner brush.
  • Instructional insert.

Color to Go Eye, Lip & Cheek Palette ($50.00)

  • Natural Nudes
  • Smoky Violet

Artist Palette ($48.00) (Limited Edition, Sephora Exclusive)

Enclosed in a luxurious textured, chocolate brown case, this complete compact includes a large mirror and 12 eye colors hand selected by Laura Mercier. Mix and match for endless eye looks. 0.03 oz x 12 in Eye Colour in Sparkling Dew, Guava, African Violet, Plum Smoke, Kir Royal, Violet Ink, Vanilla Nuts, Primrose, Fresco, Bamboo, Truffle, Espresso Bean.

Luxe Travel Brush Collection ($125.00) (Limited Edition)

The Laura Mercier travel brush collection features a chic clutch filled with nine go-to brushes for perfect makeup application while you’re on the go. Full-size cheek color brush. Secret Camouflage/Camouflage powder brush. Allover Eye Color/Pony Tail brush. Eye Crease/Smudge brush. Flat Eyeline/Angled eyeliner brush.

Line & Define Mini Longwear Creme Eye Pencil Collection ($45.00) (Limited Edition)

Cover your eyes in luminous color with a sampler pack of Longer Crème eye pencils by Laura Mercier. Includes: Violet, Espresso, Noir, Sage, Cobalt.

Shimmer Effects Mini Caviar Stick Eye Colour Collection ($40.00) (Limited Edition)

Includes Pink Opal, Amethyst, Rosegold, Sugar Frost.

Mini Lip Glace Collection ($48.00) (Limited Edition

  • Bare Nudes
  • Bold Brights

Souffle Body Creme Sampler ($60.00) (Limited Edition)

Includes Ambre Vanille, Almond Coconut Milk, Creme de Pistache, and Fresh Fig.

Bath & Body Travel Quartet ($50.00) (Limited Edition)

Crème body wash (3 oz.): pour onto washcloth and gently lather onto skin before rinsing. Body butter (3 oz.): a richly moisturizing butter that naturally soothes and protects your skin. Hand crème (1 oz.): warm crème in hands and massage into skin. Eau Gourmande (0.5 oz.): spray on your skin as desired. Available in Tarte Au Citron or Fresh Fig.

Body & Bath Duet ($48.00) (Limited Edition)

Indulge in the ultimate luxury of a warm, fragranced bath. These softly scented bath salts work to melt away the stresses of the day, while the Soufflé Body Crème exfoliates, softens and soothes skin. Available in Almond Coconut Milk or Creme Brulee.

Hand Creme Sampler Collection ($28.00) (Limited Edition)

Give hands a luxurious taste of ultra-rich and velvety hydration. Set includes: Fresi Fig, Creme Brulee, Almond Coconut Milk, and Creme de Pistache.

Body & Bath Luxe Quartet ($80.00) (Limited Edition)

Indulge and escape with Laura’s luxe quartet in three delectable gourmande scents, which contains Honey Bath, Body Scrub, Souffle Body Crème and a candle. Available in Almond Coconut Milk, Creme Brulee, or Ambre Vanille.

Votive Candle Sampler Collection ($65.00) (Limited Edition)

Get warm and cozy for the holidays with four of Laura’s delicious votives. Set includes Creme Brulee, Fresh Fig, Ambre Vanille, Tarte au Citron.

Availability: Nordstrom, Sephora, Neiman Marcus

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