Friday, May 21st, 2010

Alford & Hoff Moisturizer

The Tech Guy Shaun, aka The Tech Guy, aka my boyfriend, has been kind enough to grace us with his first beauty review!  He’s twenty-seven with normal-to-dry skin and suffers from no more acne (much to my envy!).

Shaun enjoys long walks on the beach, vegging out on the couch watching chick flicks, and cuddling with Mellan.  Or maybe not!  He handles all the behind-the-scenes action here at Temptalia, from tech support to server woes to being my shoulder to cry on.

I take on this task with an open heart and an empty stomach because Christine won’t feed me until it’s complete.

I’ve been using Alford & Hoff’s Moisturizer for what feels like a year but is more likely about two to three months. It’s a very thin moisturizer and goes on smoothly. It dries as quickly and easily as it goes on and requires very little working into the skin. By the way, I’m just making up all of this terminology as I go, so forgive me if I’m sounding pompous.

What’s great for us guys is that the packaging is lightweight and easy to use. It’s simple… yet sophisticated. You also have to twist the top to get the pump to appear, so I played with that for a half hour before my first use. The most miraculous thing about this particular packaging was when I sadly finished the bottle.

I pulled and pried on the top of it to see if there was a precious morsel left in the bottle, but I found that it was COMPLETELY EMPTY. I don’t know what kind of space age science they used when creating this bottle, but it didn’t leave anything left. And when I say it didn’t leave anything left, I mean the thing was bone dry! I was prepared to take a hacksaw and saw it in half to get the precious bits left at the bottom, but to my amazement it was all gone.

I’ll give this moisturizer one critique–and it’s not so much a critique than a warning–if you’ve just shaved and plan to put this moisturizer on then you might want to reconsider. It BURNS!!!! If you aren’t used to using aftershave or some equivalent then be prepared for your skin to feel like it was pressed into a waffle iron. And what guy can’t relate to having their face pressed into a waffle iron? Am I right?!

The most painful part about this moisturizer isn’t the post-shave sizzle–it’s the price tag. It’s hard enough to get us guys to put on moisturizer but paying 75 bones for it will be nearly impossible. This is where the ladies come in!  If you want your man to moisturize, don’t show him the price tag. Just buy it and sneak it next to the toothbrush. You may also want to chip in the extra 5 bucks for the version with SPF, because a lot of times I had to choose between this moisturizer and a moisturizer with SPF and the SPF version almost always won unless I was moisturizing at night.

Recommendation:   While reluctant to conform to my “review structure,” I (Temptalia) was able to weasel out, “I liked it, but I can’t justify $75!”

Availability: Alford & Hoff

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Thursday, May 20th, 2010

Bobbi Brown Lip Shines
Brownie Nude, Papaya, Rosy, Sunset Bronze, Plumberry, Desert Rose

Bobbi Brown Lip Shines, Part Deux

I originally reviewed Lip Shines two weeks ago, which included Nectarine, Pink Glisten, Raspberry Pink, Moonlight Rose, Berry, and Maple. I had several readers email and comment inquiring about the other six shades, and now I’m happy to report that here they are! :)

  • Brownie Nude is a brownish peach-red with a glistening glossy look–very opaque, too.
  • Papaya is brightened pinky-coral. It applies nearly entirely opaque with a very soft shimmer-shine.
  • Rosy is a darkened rosy red with semi-opaque color and glossy sheen.
  • Sunset Bronze is a deep red with orange and copper flecks of shimmer. It’s not quite opaque, but it has plenty of pigment. It’s almost metallic with the copper shimmer in it, too–very pretty–and I could see this working really well during the fall and holiday seasons.
  • Plumberry is a darkened reddish plum with a glistening sheen and semi-sheer color. It has a smidgen of gold shimmer. This one had a tendency to slip into my lip lines a bit.
  • Desert Rose is a soft, muted rose with a glossy sheen. Surprisingly, despite the lightness of the color, it’s nearly opaque on my lips.

You can read my full review of the formula here, but to recap on why I like these…

  • Long-lasting color–three to four hours before it starts to fade, and it made it through a frappuccino
  • Feels like a combination of Chanel’s Rouge Coco and MAC Slimshines
  • Scent-free, taste-free
  • Non-drying, most shades provide nearly full-color coverage

My personal favorite shades, now having seen all of them, are: Pink Glisten, Raspberry Pink, Papaya, and Desert Rose.

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 love lightweight, semi-sheer to semi-opaque color that’s moisturizing without requiring re-applicatiion every hour, I think you may find these to your liking.

Availability: Bobbi Brown

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Thursday, May 20th, 2010

VS Makeup Be Mine Lipstick
VS Makeup Be mine Lipstick

The Summer Season: VS Makeup Be Mine Lipstick

VS Makeup Be Mine Perfect Lipstick ($12.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a creamy, brightened watermelon pink. It’s totally opaque, and it wears well–a nice three to four hours before it starts to fade. It has a soft, glossy sheen but no shimmer. VS Makeup Lipsticks are sleeper hits, in my opinion, because they really have amazing texture, color pay off, and wear.

Is this the right pink lipstick for you? Would you wear it?

The Summer Season is a series of posts featuring bright, vibrant shades of coral, orange, and pink lipsticks and lipglosses — all perfect for a summer of fun — that runs through July 2010.

See photos and swatches… Continue reading →

Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

Essie Summer 2010

Essie Summer 2010 Collection

Summer is special. Aside from the wonderful outdoor activities that we wait for all year, we also revel in the opportunity to now wear lighter, brighter and more playful clothing. Finally, we can shed the wool and mohair for cotton and linen. The keyword for summer is: fun! So indulge in seriously sensational color! Don’t be shy — make it the time to play with bold, playful color combinations.

“This year’s runways reflected the ease of the season with youthful, upbeat clothing in feminine fabrics,” explains Essie Weingarten, President and Founder of Essie Cosmetics, Ltd. “I was inspired by the vivid pastels at Versace and the splashy fl orals at DKNY. I created this collection to reflect the youthful, fun-to-wear flirty frocks.” The summer fashion trend is all about mixing and matching, and the summer color palette allows for the same fun and freedom. Choose Miss Matched for fingers and Pretty Edgy for toes, or whatever you fancy – since there is no more matchy-matchy!

Nail Lacquer ($8.00)

  • Miss Matched Sweet, sheer, ready for anything pink
  • Haute as Hello Racy, scorching coral
  • Knockout Pout Hot supercharged pink
  • Vermillionaire Heart pounding red orange
  • Demure Vixen Iridescent cocoa mauve
  • Pretty Edgy Vivid palmetto green

Availability: June 2010 at www.essie.com and fine spas, salons and beauty destinations nationwide.

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Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

Korres Eyeshadow

Korres Eyeshadows ($16.00 for 0.06 oz.) are smooth, blendable, and pigmented.  I’m actually surprised at how well-rounded Korres’ line is, just because I came to know them as a skincare brand first, rather than a makeup brand, but they can do both well.

  • #42S Green White is a sky blue with a silver-white frost sheen.
  • #44S Golden Green is a light, springy chartreuse green with yellow gold sheen.
  • #46S Olive Green is a smoked out gray-brown with a taupe sheen.  I really don’t see much green in it, but it’s a lovely cool-toned brown with maybe a smidgen of khaki olive in it.
  • #84S Sky Blue is a darkened periwinkle blue with violet and a bright, nearly metallic sheen.  This one is more like a stormy blue sky, maybe.  Not at all sky blue (in fact, they could have named #42S Sky Blue without missing a beat).

I’ll definitely put together a look using some of these shades, but after playing around with some combos on my eyes (nothing finished!), I like the way these blend together.  They’re very smooth and apply evenly. The packaging is simple and functional–plastic square flip-top compacts.  The back of the compact has a colored label and labeling information, so while I could see clear lids being more functional, the backs do give you a good idea as to what’s inside.  I would, though, like to find out who names the colors, because they never seem to quite work…

At the moment, Korres has their eyeshadows marked down to $7–so, I’d say at that price, these are most certainly a steal!

Also available in:  #12 Base, #22 Orange, #34 Golden Brown, #74 Light Purple, #27 Golden Bronze, #82 Light Blue

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

  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation:  If you like softer, more muted variations on color, Korres Eyeshadows seem to offer a selection of shades that will give you color without being bright or too bold.

AvailabilityKorres

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Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

La Prairie Corail Lipstick
La Prairie Corail Lipstick

The Summer Season: La Prairie Corail Lipstick

La Prairie Corail Cellular Luxe Lip Colour ($55.00 for 0.12 oz.) is an intense, gold shimmered coral-red. La Prairie lipsticks are top-notch quality with a top-shelf price, too. To put it simply, the ingredient list in the Luxe Lip Colours include a line-filling complex an caviar extracts. I always do notice that my lip lines are de-emphasized after wearing the product for about fifteen minutes or so, but it’s definitely just a temporary affect from what I can tell. Granted, it’s impossible for me to wear the same color everyday for long!

The color itself is smooth, rich, and lasts a solid six hours on me. Yes, six hours! before it starts to fade a bit. Surprisingly, it’s not drying at all–the texture is silky and glides onto lips with ease, but it’s not overly creamy. It’s a stunning shade, and it certainly comes at a price. For those who can afford the indulgence, La Prairie lipsticks are excellent.

Is this the right coral lipstick for you? Would you wear it?

The Summer Season is a series of posts featuring bright, vibrant shades of coral, orange, and pink lipsticks and lipglosses — all perfect for a summer of fun — that runs through July 2010.

See photos and swatches… Continue reading →