Tuesday, May 25th, 2010

MAC To the Beach Collection is Online!

Dust off those credit cards, To the Beach has now launched online @ MACCosmetics.comBut you have to be SNEAKY.  The full, splashy page is now up on the website!   The collection may officially go live tonight or tomorrow morning… Live!  It’s up on both the U.S. and Canadian websites.

Marine Life sold out at approximately 5pm PST on the MAC website; it looks like it sold out within two to three hours.  It sold out on Tuesday afternoon on the Canadian MAC website; Tuesday morning on Nordstrom.

You can grab Marine Life @ Nordstrom! Looks like you can do a search for the full collection & they’ll all show up here.  Use code BEAUTY for $5 shipping on beauty orders of $50+.

Macy’s has now launched the To the Beach Collection! But I didn’t see Marine Life…

Free shipping code for maccosmetics.com is BEACH!

You can find all of Temptalia’s reviews, photos, swatches, must-haves, etc. etc. HERE! :)

Does anyone have as much as fun as I do guessing what will sell out? I didn’t see it coming, but Easy Lounger is sold out (on the U.S. site).  Sand & Sun is sold out, which isn’t too surprising, but I will am eager to hear the reviews on it since I had to dig into it to get any color to show up… even on a base.  Hipness is gone now as well–definitely expected–can’t believe it took so long!

Tuesday, May 25th, 2010

Urban Decay Sephora Exclusive Eyeshadows

Urban Decay Hits All the Right Notes with These Sexy Six!

There are six Urban Decay Eyeshadows ($17.00) newly released and Sephora exclusives. All six shades are richly pigmented, smooth to the touch, and easy to blend. They really represent why Urban Decay eyeshadows are so raved about. Not a single one is sheer, and none of these have gritty or glittery textures, so they’re just beautiful, seamless shades for the color lover.

  • Woodstock is a vibrant medium hot pink with subtle fuchsia shimmer. It has a low pearly sheen. It’s not frosty at all!
  • Free Love is a warmed-up peach melon with a golden peach sheen and slight frost finish. It’s like a darkened version of X.
  • Psychedelic Sister is a medium-dark purple with red undertones and an iridescent violet sheen-shimmer. It’s not as blue-based as Flash.
  • Aquarius is a pale aqua-teal with a silver-metallic sheen. This was the frostiest of the new six.
  • Haight is a slight teal-blue with a frost finish and silver sheen. It’s different than Dashiki, but it’s not super teal like Shattered.
  • Dashiki is a brightened medium sky blue with a soft pearled sheen.

My favorites were definitely Woodstock, Free Love, and Dashiki. I don’t have anything quite like Dashiki in my stash, so it’ll be a nice shade for the summer season.  If you’ve been thinking about these, they really are fantastic.  These are some of Urban Decay’s more impressive shades, just in terms of texture and pigmentation.

Have you checked out Urban Decay’s new shades?

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

  • Product: 29/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: Excellent quality, richly pigmented, buttery texture–the best of Urban Decay’s eyeshadow textures.

Availability: Sephora

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Tuesday, May 25th, 2010

Summer Cleaning with Renee Rouleau — The Freshness!

Renee Rouleau Luxe Mint Cleansing Gel ($35.50) is a minty-fresh cleanser that leaves skin feeling refreshed. I’ve been using this as my AM/PM cleanser (not makeup remover, though) for the past three weeks, and I really just like the way it leaves my skin feeling, which is cooled and refreshed. It’s particularly been lovely for me as my seasonal allergies have been acting up!

Key Ingredients: Licorice Root Extract – anti-inflammatory properties, Peppermint Oil – vaso-dilator that increases circulation to bring fresh nutrients to the skin, Rosemary Leaf Oil – antioxidant skin energizer, Spearmint Leaf Oil – invigorating, circulation-boosting.

The texture is also thick without being heavy. It’s thick and gel-textured, so you don’t need much — really, you don’t — just one little squeeze and a pea-sized portion later and you have enough. Despite using it for three weeks, I’d say I’ve only used up about half an inch’s worth thus far, which means I anticipate a solid six months or more of usage out of this. It’s not a makeup remover, so while it removed my tinted moisturizer, it’s not going to get off long-wearing eyeliner.

I love Renee Rouleau, the woman behind the brand, even though I have never met her in person. (But seriously, sometimes I just want to go visit Texas so I can book an appointment at her spa so I can meet her.) She is inspiring as a female entrepreneur, but she gives real, meaningful skincare tips on her blog–actually written by her, gasp!–and it feels genuine.

Just for Temptalia readers, get Free Shipping with code TEMPTALIA from May 25th through the 31st.

The Luxe Mint Cleansing Gel is recommended for those with oily/combination skin and not for those with severe redness or rosacea. It contains no artificial colors, synthetic fragrances, parabens, or sulfates for those concerned about ingredients. I have normal-to-dry skin typically, but in the summer I do get a little more normal-to-oily. I like this after a day spent outdoors or after a workout–very invigorating but not burning, stinging, or irritating–refreshing.

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

  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: For those with oily/combination skin looking for a no-fuss, easy-to-use cleanser that cleans skin well while leaving you feeling fresh, I think you may like this one.

Availability: Renee Rouleau

See more photos & ingredients! Continue reading →

Monday, May 24th, 2010

MAC 130 Brush

MAC 130 Brush: New Cream Blush Hero

The MAC 130 Brush ($38.00, supposed to be permanent now) is described as, “A short, round, flat-topped brush ideal for the smooth, easy application of foundations, creams, emulsions, and select powder products [and] features a blend of natural bristles and synthetic fibres.”

How does it work for…

FOUNDATION: I think those who normally use the 187 will find the 130 a welcome addition to the duo fibre line-up. Though the brush head is much, much smaller (think like a stumpy 188), the compact, dense brush head allows for greater control and blending as well as it’s small enough to get into the nooks and crannies (like around the nose). The shorter fibres also provide for significantly less streaking and clumping of the bristles (huge reason why I’m not a big fan of the 187 for foundation). If you liked the application of the 109 but found yours shed unbearably, I think you’ll also like the 130. I still prefer my 109 a little bit over the 130.

CREAM BLUSH: I’ve been finding that the 130 is better than the 188 for cream blushes lately. I like the firmer, stiffer brush head, rather than the more springy fibres of the 188. It gives me more control, precision, and helps to blend out the color in small, buffed circles. You can see me demonstrate how to applying cream blush using the 130 in this video (along with the 131).

POWDER BLUSH: Really not a big fan of this brush in powder products — I just don’t find that it delivers the soft, natural, and effortless color and finish that traditional blush brushes do, like the 116.  It’s better for buffing out blush than so much for applying it.

The 130 is definitely a must-have brush for those who wear cream blush or bronzer on a regular basis. The stiffness (it still has give, though!) makes it so easy to apply and the circular brush head makes it easy to buff into the skin. The bristles themselves are as soft as you would expect from MAC.

The only thing I noticed is the brush has a tendency to have some splayed bristles if you aren’t extra careful to reshape it perfectly after washing. (I re-washed the 130 brush last night, and it’s much tighter, with only 3-4 bristles pulling away.) It doesn’t affect the utility or the application of the brush, but it’s something I noticed when photographing.

What do you use the 130 for?  Is it a must-have for you?

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

  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: If you’re in the market for a brush to apply liquid foundation or cream blush, the 130 excels at both tasks. It’s better than the 187, arguably as good as or better than the 109 (depends on who you talk to, ha!), and beats out the 188 for cream blush.

Availability: Nordstrom

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Monday, May 24th, 2010

MAC 131 Brush

MAC 131 Brush: A Duo-Fibre Multi-Tasker

The MAC 131 Brush ($40.00, limited edition and available with To the Beach) was originally released with Colour Craft (July ’09), and I’ve owned it since and used it once. I spent the past couple of weeks testing it out for the first time and seeing what it works best for. MAC describes it as, “Flat, tapered brush that contains a combination of short and long fibres … [i]deally suited for Mineralize Skinfinish Powders.”

How does it work for…

FOUNDATION: When it comes to liquid foundation, it does the job. I liked the application and finish better than the 187, because it seemed a lot less streaky (which is why I moved past the 187 to the 182 and now use the 109). The application with the 131 is quite a bit different, given that it’s a flatter, slightly tapered and angled brush–you don’t blend in a circular motion here. It’s more about soft sweeps and pulls to get the product blended on your face.

CREAM BLUSH: I prefer the 130 (also available with To the Beach but appears to be permanent) or the 188 (permanent) over the 131. The 131 is nice for blending out the color initially, but I find that being able to buff small circles is one thing I really find preferable in technique that the 131 doesn’t make so easy. You can see me demonstrate how to apply cream blush using a stippling brush like the 131 in this video (along with the 130). It is better with more emollient/thinner cream blushes than thicker consistencies.

MINERALIZE BLUSH/SKINFINISH: Like the 187, using the 131 to apply mineralize color products like the blushes, blush duos, and skinfinishes helps to soften the color and diffuse some of the glittery particles. It gives a very soft, subtle color and deposits a light layer of the sparkler/shimmer. I think it’s nice on some of the more pigmented, dirtier, or glitter-heavy shades, particularly for those with more visible pores. I think if you have the 187 or 188, you may not find the 131′s application far superior. I like the 131 a bit more, but it’s a close race. It’s also smaller than the 187, so it may be more manageable on cheeks in comparison.

MOISTURIZER: I actually found myself liking the 131 more to apply moisturizer than anything else. I spritz the brush with a little water, and then I apply my moisturizer–very clean, sanitary, and soothing. Of course, whether it’s vital to have a single brush for this purpose is debatable!

My personal feeling about the brush is that it’s a nice, high-quality brush that certainly is useful and can be used with different products, but if you are an avid brush collector, it may not be a must-have brush. I just didn’t and still don’t find myself reaching for it very often. I just want to repeat that there is nothing wrong with this brush–it has the same excellent standard of quality from the softness to the construction to the ability to multi-task as MAC brushes. It hasn’t reinvented the wheel for me, since I already own the 187 and 188.

I did an entire series of reviews on all of MAC’s Face Brushes, so definitely check that out if you’re looking for a particular brush.

What do you use the 131 for? Is it a must-have for you?

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

  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: If you already own the 187 and 188, you may not find this brush revolutionary. You may not even find it’s worth it, if you’re on a budget, and you own those two. It’s better suited for blush and mineralize products from the testing I did.

Availability: May 25th online at maccosmetics.com, May 27th in-stores

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Monday, May 24th, 2010

MAC Chromagraphic Pencils
Pure White, Basic Red, Process Magenta, Genuine Orange, Primary Yellow,
Landscape Green, Marine Ultra, Hi-Def Cyan, Rich Purple, Black Black, NC42/NW35

MAC Chromagraphic Pencils: Review, Photos, Swatches

Last week, MAC PRO launched a full collection of Chromagraphic Pencils. Each retails for $14.50, and all the shades are permanent at PRO stores. This collection is only available at PRO stores, but anyone can shop at a PRO store. You can even call up your nearest PRO store, and you can place a phone order for a flat-rate shipping cost. Keep in mind that these are PRO products, which means they were designed with the makeup artist in mind, not necessarily consumers.

These may seem familiar because MAC released two of the flesh-toned shades with Pret-a-Papier (NC15/NW20 and NW25/NC30). The other eleven shades are new. Chromagraphic Pencils are creamy pencils that glide on easily and smoothly. According to PRO, they are meant for lining and defining, which makes sense as they have other products (like Chroma Cakes and Paint Sticks) more suitable for larger areas.

I do really like the flesh-toned shades for use on the lower waterline to open up the eye. I find that the NC15/NW20 achieves that the best (the others being a bit too dark on me) myself, and I’m about NC25. Black Black is really intense, and it is safe for usage everywhere but the lips, and that’s the one I chose to test-drive first. It stays pretty well on the waterline and lash line – it looks intense and dark from a normal viewing distance, but up close, I can see that it looks a little faded–but it hadn’t faded any more after the initial inspection and stayed on for about six hours for me (on the waterline, over eight on the lash line).

The following shades are not to be used in the lip area: Black Black, Marine Ultra, NC15/NW20, NW25/NC30, NC42/NW35
The following shades are not to be used in the eye area: Basic Red, Genuine Orange, Process Magenta
The following shades are not to be used in the inner rim of eye: Basic Red, Process Magenta, Genuine Orange, Primary Yellow, Landscape Green, Marine Ultra, Hi-Def Cyan, Rich Purple

The darker, more pigmented shades will stain the skin a little if worn for prolonged periods of time. I did not wear the swatches of these for very long, but it took quite a bit of elbow grease to remove them entirely.  I think these are certainly a quick and easy way to put detail on body/face painting efforts.  I’m not necessarily sure how much use most of us would get out of these, though (which is just fine–these weren’t made for us!).

  • Pure White is a crystal clear creamy white.
  • Basic Red is a primary red, subtle orange undertones.
  • Process Magenta is a brightened pink, not quite fuchsia, definitely magenta.
  • Genuine Orange is a rich, almost neon tangerine orange.
  • Primary Yellow is exactly that–bright yellow.
  • Landscape Green is a medium grass green.
  • Marine Ultra is a darkened medium sea blue.
  • Hi-Def Cyan is a creamy sky blue.
  • Rich Purple is a darkened, red-toned purple.
  • Black Black is an intense, almost wet-looking black.
  • NC15/NW20 is a light beige/fleshy shade.
  • NW25/NC30 is a darker version of NW15/NC20. Almost looks like a darkened peach.
  • NC42/NW35 is darker version of NW25/NC30. It looks a bit peachy/orange on me.

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →