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

Saturday, April 4th, 2015

From pink-peach to peach-brown, matte to glossy, here are some of my current favorite peachy shades for spring!

  1. NARS Raquel — a light, bright pink-peach with a glossy finish
  2. ColourPop Button — a light-medium, pink-peach with a matte finish
  3. Bite Beauty Caramel — a peachy-brown with warm undertones
  4. Urban Decay Naked2 — a medium, peach-brown with a soft shine
  5. MAC Yash — a medium-dark neutral peach with a matte finish

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

Sunday, March 29th, 2015

I was inspired by reader Dusty’s question about what was my favorite bright yellow eyeshadow to compile a top five of some of my favorite shades of yellow and orange! Hope you enjoy :) I’d love to hear yours!

  1. Make Up For Ever ME400 Buttercup — a bright, shimmery yellow
  2. MAC Bright Sunshine — a bold, frosted sun yellow
  3. Sugarpill Buttercupcake — a bright, matte yellow
  4. OCC Mimosa — a shimmering tangerine
  5. ColourPop Sunnies — a satiny tangerine orange

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

Saturday, March 28th, 2015


MAC Desert Roadtrip Cream Colour Base
MAC Desert Roadtrip Cream Colour Base

MAC Desert Roadtrip Cream Colour Base ($21.00 for 0.12 oz.) is described as a “golden bronze.” It’s a copper-brown with warm undertones and a lighter golden copper frosted shimmer-sheen finish. Becca Topaz (P, $38.00) is yellower. Bobbi Brown Bronze Glow (LE, $45.00) is a powder.Becca Topaz (P, $38.00) is yellower, powder. Too Faced Sun Bunny #1 (P) is a powder. Disney by Sephora Golden Sands (LE, $55.00) is a powder. theBalm Betty-Lou Manizer (P, $24.00) is darker, powder. Estee Lauder Topaz Chameleon (LE, $42.00) is a powder. Get comparison swatches / compare dupes side-by-side.

It had semi-opaque, buildable coverage that could be layered for opaque, true-to-pan pigmentation or blended out for a sheerer look. When sheered out, it tended to yield less shimmer, so the finish was more luminous than over-the-top shimmery. The consistency is lightweight, thin and spreadable, and blends out nicely on the skin, whether used on bare skin or over foundation. On me, it wore well for eight hours before fading.

The Glossover

LE
product

Desert Roadtrip

A-

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Dupes
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Saturday, March 28th, 2015

MAC x Mia Moretti Makeup Bags
MAC x Mia Moretti Makeup Bags

Long-time readers know that one thing I still collect are limited edition MAC bags, so I bought the accessories in the MAC x Mia Moretti collaboration when they went online this past week! There’s not much to say about these, as they’re in-line with MAC’s past limited edition makeup bag releases. I don’t think the tote is worth the money, as it has such a narrow width (about two inches) that it just isn’t wide enough to be a useful tote bag to me. I don’t even think it would hold more than a laptop and a book for school. All of the accessories will be easy to wipe down if you spill anything on them, at least.

MAC x Mia Moretti Makeup Bags ($46.00) is a set of three translucent makeup bags with red zippers and a honey-hued plastic exterior with a basketweave pattern. The bags nest within themselves, so you get makeup bags in small (7 x 3.5 inches), medium (8.5 x 5 inches), and large (11 x 7 inches). The shapes and sizes are useful and will store a variety of makeup items, and since they nest, they don’t take up as much space when you’re not using them.

MAC x Mia Moretti Tote Bag ($50.00) shares the same coloring, pattern, and design as the makeup bags. It’s about 17 inches tall, 15 inches in width, and 2 inches in depth. I just don’t think there’s enough depth to make this particularly useful. It seems a lot less practical/versatile as a result, since its carrying capacity is very much restricted by the width of the bottom panel.

See more photos! Continue reading →

Monday, March 23rd, 2015

MAC is Beauty is collection that launches March 26th now March 30th online (North America) and in select stores on April 2nd (North America) with select international stores to receive sometime in April 2015. It’s a massive collection with twelve lipsticks, sixteen fluidlines, five eyeshadows, four lipglosses, three nail lacquers, three brushes, two face powders, and an eyeliner. There are some shades and pieces that I didn’t have for you to review, and I’ll definitely do my best to buy them when the collection launches–I just can’t guarantee it since sometimes collections sell out so quickly.

Eight of the lipsticks had a Lustre finish, which is my least favorite finish MAC does from experience; I don’t have issues with it simply being a sheerer finish, I have issues with it for being drying, prone to unevenness/settling into lip lines, and being very short-wearing. It also strikes me as wholly unnecessary to launch eight of them in a single launch, as they often look similar applied (four of them are in the “warm peach/beige” family).

The Fluidline formula can be really great for wear, but they don’t always apply as nicely as you might want. I have found very thin angle brushes (263, not the 266!) and very thin eyeliner brushes work the best. The more pearly or glittery shades tend to perform less well compared to more matte/cream shades. The majority of the shades have been previously released, whether permanent as usual or as a limited edition shade in the past, but note that they’re now called “Pro Longwear Fluidline,” rather than just Fluidline. This appears similar to how MAC relaunched their Paint Pot formula (which is now called Pro Longwear Paint Pot). I couldn’t really distinguish differences between the original and “new.” At most, the updated formula might have a little more slip with some shades. If you already have the original, I don’t think it’s necessary to rush out and grab the new formula in the same shade. The sixteen shades featured in this launch will also be added to the permanent range.

The only product that really caught my eye was Blue Peep Fluidline as it is a more unusual eyeliner shade.  Make Me Gorgeous Lipstick was definitely pretty, but it’s dupable enough that it wasn’t as interesting to me.  It was good to see Pearl Blossom Beauty Powder get repromoted, but I wish the texture was better.

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