Saturday, November 13th, 2010

Vincent Longo Aurelia Perfect Shine Lip Gloss
Vincent Longo Aurelia Perfect Shine Lip Gloss

A Little Shine, A Little Shimmer

Vincent Longo Aurelia Perfect Shine Lip Gloss ($22.00 for 0.24 oz.) is an ultra sheer pink-shimmered plum-tinged gloss. It does not do much to change-up the color of my lips–maybe a touch darker–but it does add a fine dusting of shimmer and soft shine. It’s a smooth, non-sticky gloss with a subtle vanilla scent. It wears two to three hours on me, which is below average for me, but it fades away evenly so reapplication is easy. Good thing you get plenty of gloss in a tube!

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  • Product: 26/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: If you love a sheer gloss and not too much shine, you may like this one.

AVAILABILITY: Vincent Longo

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Saturday, November 13th, 2010

Le Metier de Beaute Romeo & Juliet Blushing Bronzed Duet
Le Metier de Beaute Romeo & Juliet Blushing Bronzed Duet

Le Metier de Beaute Romeo & Juliet Blushing Bronzed Duet ($65.00 for 0.49 oz.) contains a blush and bronzer in one. The brand’s blushes retail for $30 while their bronzer retails for $55. The duo, while an expensive investment, does pack a ton of product into the shiny silver compact)–by the ounce, it is cheaper than NARS blushes.

Unlike the Traviata, it appears these shades are exclusive to this duet. I asked Le Metier de Beaute yesterday for confirmation, but between you and me, the bronzer shade looks very similar to the bronzer in Traviata (which is available full-sized as their Sun Kissed Bronzer).

The blush is a soft cotton candy pink with subtle blue undertones and a micro-fine silver shimmer-sheen. It reminded me of MAC’s Dollymix (but more pigmented) or a lighter NARS Desire. The bronzer is a soft golden tan with more of a sheen than noticeable shimmer; it applies softly at first but can be built up for a more intense look. It doesn’t pull orange or red, so it’s more of a universal color.

Le Metier de Beaute does an amazing blush; the texture is beyond fine.  It’s like silk skimming across the cheek, and the way it glows with a beautiful sheen differentiates it from many other blushes on the market.

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  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: If you’re in the market for both shades, it’s well worth it. If you’re just looking for one or the other, then you’re better off getting something similar individually. Though the value is certainly there, it comes at a high investment cost.

AVAILABILITY: Nordstrom

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Friday, November 12th, 2010

NYX I Dream of St. Thomas Eyeshadow Palette
NYX I Dream of St. Thomas Eyeshadow Palette

Color That Doesn’t Break the Bank

NYX I Dream of St. Thomas Eyeshadow Palette ($8.75 for 0.28 oz.) contains five eyeshadows and is part of NYX’s Caribbean Collection of eyeshadow palettes. (I reviewed St. Lucia previously.) NYX is one of my favorite brands for more affordable makeup, because the quality is consistently high and the range is huge.

St. Thomas includes: a dark charcoal gray with soft silver shimmer (similar to MAC’s Knight Divine); brightened cotton candy pink with a satin sheen; bright silver with a near metallic shimmer-sheen (similar to MAC’s Electra); pale golden peach with a high sheen; and a medium-dark, mint green with a pearly shine.

The pigmentation was excellent on the pink, peach, and green shades; it was still quite good on the charcoal and silver shades, too, but a touch sheerer than the other three. My favorite shade is the minty green, because you don’t see that kind of color–or with such vibrancy–by every brand.  These shades have a soft, smooth texture, though there is some residual powder kick up during use.  NYX eyeshadows have worked well for me and only fade minimally, but not noticeably so until six or more hours of wear.

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

  • Product: 26/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: If you’re on a budget, NYX’s palettes are worth considering. They maintain quality and pigmentation while still keeping the price down.

AVAILABILITY: NYX

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Thursday, November 11th, 2010


Trish McEvoy Instant Pick-Me-Up All Over Face Color Quad

Ye Olde Swatches, Volume 1

Sometimes I get a little overzealous and swatch more products than I’m actually able to test. There are just so many new beauty products (and shades) releasing continuously through the year that I am not always able to conduct a full test for all of the ones I’d like to. But since I did take photos and do swatches, I can at least share those with you… No ratings/grades, because I did not finish testing these.

Would you rather at least see swatches and get a general at-a-glance kind of summary than nothing at all?  Or is it just confusing without a real review?

(Note, these do not and will never take the place of full reviews – but instead of relegating these images to the “unreviewed” folder, share them.)

  • Trish McEvoy Instant Pick-Me-Up All Over Face Color Quad ($42.00) is designed to “bronze, luminize, highlight, and blush.” It has four different shades, but each square is on the smaller side, making individual use more difficult but still possible. When siwlred together, it creates a light bronze with a shimmer-sheen that would work best on light-medium to medium skin tones.
  • Aveda Uruku Bronzing Kit in Amazonia ($55.00) includes a pan of a dual-toned bronzer and a buffing brush. The brush uses non-anhimal fibers, so it is cruelty-free. It’s a very, very soft brush, and I love that the handle is made from 25% PCR. The bronzer is literally just a pan of bronzer, so you’ll need to have a palette to put it in or grab one from Aveda. The color itself is a muted medium-bronze brown with soft gold micro-shimmer. It’s a little sheer, so the effect will be subtle.
  • Lancome Luminous Rose Ageless Minerale Blush ($29.50) is a gorgeous shade of muted rose pink-brown with very soft shimmer-sheen. It’s really pretty, but I haven’t gotten around to wearing it on cheeks yet. I’m not sure if I will, so before it’s totally stale news, I thought I’d share the swatches with you.

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Thursday, November 11th, 2010

MAC Tartan Tale: Chapter 2 Overall Review & Roundup

Of all of MAC’s holiday offerings, I do like their miniaturized sets the best, because I find them to be on par with full-size products.

The pigment sets are definitely the most value-oriented set, and I think the holiday sets are an opportunity to try out a variety of pigment shades without laying down $19.50 for a full-size pigment.  Pigments can be really hard to use up in their entirety, so the smaller vials are perfect–and still more than enough for most!   I would just caution you that each set does include either a few permanent or repromoted shades.

I’m not as gung-ho with the lipglass sets, but I do like that they included a lot of new shades in each of them, rather than the same repromotes each holiday season.   The sets are a little more economical than buying full-size lipglasses (on a per ounce basis), but I like that you get to try five shades for the price of two.  Lipglasses have a lot of variability; some are more pigmented, some are creamy, some are frosty.

The only item I did not like much was the nail lacquer set, because the shades themselves were a little finicky.  I found two of the shades had a tendency to be streaky, and four of the five needed a full three coats for opaque color coverage.  Though the shade selection did not affect the overall score of the set, I think it’s worth noting that none of the shades are groundbreaking–and MAC has done some interesting shades in the past.

Reviews, Photos, Swatches

Temptalia’s Recommendations

Must-haves: Pigment Sets

Nice-to-haves: Lipglass Sets

Skip: Nail Lacquer Set

Don’t forget to Check your stash for…

FROZEN DREAM (repromote), ELECTRO LUSH (repromote), MIMMY (repromote), REFLECTS BRONZE (permanent), GOLD MODE (repromote), GILDED GREEN (repromote), REFLECTS PEARL (permanent), SILVER FOG (permanent at PRO), SOFTWASH GREY (repromote), MAUVEMENT (repromote), REFLECTS BLACKENED RED (repromote), NAKED (permanent), BLUE BROWN (permanent), DARK SOUL (permanent), NOCTURNELLE (repromote), ASIATIQUE (repromote), BEYOND JEALOUS (repromote).

Recommendations by Skin Tone

Please note that this section is merely suggesting shades that would complement a particular skin tone better than other shades, but these lists are meant to be rather exhaustive of the entire collection; it’s not reflective of must-haves for your skin tone. When it comes to cooler/warmer skin tones, these are products that lean noticeably cool/warm and therefore complement the corresponding skin tone better (but it does not mean you can’t wear a warmer product if you’re cooler!).

Light, Medium, Dark Skin Tones: I think all of the sets would work equally well across the range of skin tones.

  • Best Picks for Cooler Skin Tones: Sassy Pink, Cool Thrillseekers, Smoky Thrillseekers
  • Best Picks for Warmer Skin Tones: Sassy Coral, Sassy Neutral, Warm Thrillseekers

What are you loving? What are you looking forward to?

Thursday, November 11th, 2010


Nail Lacquer: Asiatique, Beyond Jealous, Nocturnelle, Vice is Nice, Vintage Vamp

MAC Tartan Tale: 5 Naughty Little Vices Nail Lacquer

This year, MAC has created a miniature set of nail lacquers, which includes two new (and exclusive) shades as well as three repromotes. The set itself is limited edition.

This includes: Asiatique (creamy classic red), Beyond Jealous (blackened blue green), Nocturnelle (black-as-night black), Vice is Nice (classic metallic gold), and Vintage Vamp (deep black wine).

  • Asiatique is a bright, cherry red cream. It applied opaque in two coats, and it went rather smoothly–not streaky at all. This is a repromote.
  • Beyond Jealous is a green-teal tinged black cream. This applied rather streakily; I needed three coats to get an even, smooth look. I think three coats was necessary just to achieve total opacity, too. This looks rather black regardless of the lighting, though. This is a repromote.
  • Nocturnelle is a dark black cream. Three coats. It’s come out a few times before.
  • Vice is Nice is a shimmering lightened gold with soft yellow tones. The finish looks like a metallic frost to me. It did need a full three coats to get an opaque result, and you can see some brush strokes. It is golder than China Glaze Midnight Kiss.
  • Vintage Vamp is a deep burgundy-red cream. Like several of the other shades, I did need three coats for this, and the first two layers applied on the streakier side.

Each vial contains 2.5g/0.09 oz., while a full-size polish contains 0.34 oz. There is a total of 0.45 oz. worth of polish in the set, which is just under a polish and a half worth of product. MAC’s Nail Lacquer retails for $38.24/oz., while this set works out to be $56.67/oz.  I would expect a bit more given the price tag.

Given some of the application issues and the overall uniqueness of the colors (low), I don’t know if this would be the best introduction to MAC’s nail lacquers or even a great deal. MAC has done some really interesting shades, but this set does not include those. A black, red, and dark red cream just feel too standard. There’s no reason to settle for streakier, less pigmented formulas at this price point when competitors in this price range do it better. Just from the quality issues I had, it’s not a must-have based on my experience.

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  • Product: 24/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: The formula on these is just so-so; the majority needed three coats, and a couple had streaky application.

AVAILABILITY: MAC

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