Tuesday, June 15th, 2010

Zoya Remove+

A Love Letter to Zoya Remove+

Dear Zoya Remove+,

I doubted your prowess once, but I never will again. I thought, “Surely, there are other polish removers that can do just as good of a job… maybe even better… and more readily available.” But no, I was wrong. So, so wrong.  Why did I stray?  Why did I try to fix something that wasn’t broken just to save a couple of bucks?

I did not realize how gentle you were on my cuticles and nails and fingers.  You never dried them out, but you always took care of business–you removed every last bit of polish without me having to exert much effort.  You made my life easy, and I didn’t even realize just how easy!   I would have people ask me, “What do you do to your nails? They are so healthy!” and I always answered so cavalierly… “Nothing!”  But it was you… all along it was you!

But I did stray, and I discovered how harsh other removers can be.  How cruel and cold and unloving!  They may remove the polish without much fuss, but they sure do leave a disaster in their wake.  Scaly, dried out skin, tortured cuticles, and the harsh scent of chemicals.

My dearest Remove+, you hold my heart, and I’ll stay true to you.  Know that you reign supreme in my heart of hearts!

All my love,
Temptalia

Zoya Remove+ is available in several sizes, depending on your polish removing needs. The bottle pictured above is their largest size at 32 oz., which retails for $25. I actually took advantage of Zoya’s deal where you can pick up their Color Lock System (which I love) PLUS the 32 oz. Remove+ for $40. (Which really means you end up with 40 oz. of Remove+ for the win!)

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

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

Recommendation:  In a convenient flip-top bottle that pumps out just enough remover, Zoya’s Remove+ does an excellent job at not only removing your polish but keeping your nails, cuticles, and fingertips soft, conditioned, and prepped for the next manicure/pedicure.

Tuesday, June 15th, 2010

Rimmel Glam'Eyes Mono Eyeshadow

Beauty on a Budget:  Rimmel Glam’Eyes Mono Eyeshadow

Rimmel Glam’Eyes Mono Eyeshadow ($3.99) come in several shades, but I recently tested out three shades:

  • Royal Violet (400) is a lightened lavender purple with subtle white shimmer.
  • Sapphire (450) is a nearly matte, periwinkle blue.
  • Posh Peacock (500) is a gorgeous shade of blue with an aqua-teal shimmer-sheen.

These are definitely some of the better textured eyeshadows from mass that I’ve encountered recently. They’re also quite pigmented without having to maneuver in certain ways, like packing it on, using sponge-tip applicators, etc. Glam’Eyes Mono Eyeshadows work best with brushes, as the eyeshadows are quite silky. I found a sponge-tip felt a little rough on the shadows–like it was causing the shadow to break apart a bit.

Posh Peacock (500) was definitely my favorite, because it was richly pigmented (more so than the other two I tried), and it was just stunning when swatched. It was vibrant and had depth when I’ve come not to expect that from a lot of eyeshadows on the market these days.  The other two shades were decently pigmented, but they were a little more on the powdery side, which is due in part to their more matte texture.

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

  • Product: 25/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: They’re not the best eyeshadows I’ve tried, but they’re very good. For $4, they’re a great entry point for those looking to play around with eyeshadows or even just brighter colors in general, without breaking the bank. And for those who get a little thrill out of brilliant drugstore scores, you may want to pick up one of their new Mono shades.

Availability: ULTA

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Tuesday, June 15th, 2010

Cle de Peau Extra Rich Lipstick
Cle de Peau Red Abundance (R2) Extra Rich Lipstick

Decadence in Lipstick with Red Abundance

Cle de Peau R2 Red Abundance Extra Rich Lipstick ($60.00 for 0.14 oz.) is a wicked, wicked, wicked shade of vibrant red. It’s a slightly orange-hued red with ridiculous pigmentation and glossy sheen. This is not an affordable lipstick–this is, quite easily, a lipstick that epitomizes luxury. The color is rich, smooth, and clings to lips for hours (I had six hours of wear, including a meal) and retains much of the sheen throughout. It’s not a heavy, thick, or particularly creamy lipstick, but it’s hydrating and doesn’t leave lips parched after it’s removed.

The Exra Rich line-up includes a total of eight shades: R1 Black Bacara, R2 Red Abundance, R3 Leonardis, R4 Danse du Feu, T1 Halloween, T2 Just Joey, T3 Baby Julia, and T4 Calliope.

The lipstick itself is shaped into a baguette, where the edges are designed to help you apply it as if you were using a lip brush. While I didn’t have any trouble applying it without a lip brush (the swatch is an application straight from the tube), I don’t know about it being particularly owing to the design. It’s pretty and unique as far as lipsticks go, but in terms of making it easier to apply, it felt about the same to me. The lipstick also contains Vitmain A Acetate, which is supposed to be the first lipstick formulated with it, which gives it both the texture and the moisturizing properties. I found the lipstick easy to apply–no drag–but it’s not creamy like YSL Rouge Voluptes; it’s smooth and feels like silk against lips.

Where this lipstick excels, as with Cle de Peau’s lipsticks in general, is de-emphasizing lip lines, giving lips a fuller, plumper look (but make no mistake, it’s merely from smoothing out lip lines–no actual lip plumping here). R2 also happens to be a very pigmented shade that really showcases the brightness and depth of this particularly red hue.  I’ve also experienced particularly long wear with this shade (which does lightly stain even as it begins to wear off in the sixth hour), but even in the lighter shades (to-be-reviewed), wear is surprisingly lengthy.

Price aside, is this a red you’d wear?

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

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

Recommendation: If you’re in the market for a truly stunning red and don’t mind the splurge, Cle de Peau’s R2 makes an excellent orange-toned red.

Availability: Saks

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Monday, June 14th, 2010

Make Up For Ever Lab Shines

Make Up For Ever Lab Shine Lip Gloss

A new range of 35 lip glosses is now available at the Make Up For Ever Boutique in NYC (tell them Temptalia sent you, LOL!). There are three finishes: Diamond, Star, and Metal. The Diamond Collection utilizes Make Up For Ever’s Diamond Powder for a shimmering, glittery shine. The Star Collection is blended with Make Up For Ever’s Star Powder for a mother-of-pearl finish. The Metal Collection utilizes Make Up For Ever’s Metal Powder for a chrome, mirror finish.  Each will retail for $18.

All three finishes boast pearl pigments that reflect and refract light for exceptional shine. A combination of hyaluronic acid and Camelina oil add moisture to the lips and improve elasticity, while beeswax and tetraester create a non-sticky texture that effortlessly glides onto the lips.

Diamond Collection

  • #D0 Diamond
  • #D2 Amethyst
  • #D4 Grenadine
  • #D6 Magenta
  • #D8 Baby Pink
  • #D10 Fresh Pink
  • #D12 Quartz Pink
  • #D14 Indian Pink
  • #D16 Beige
  • #D18 Copper
  • #D20 Tangerine
  • #D22 Papaya

See details for Star Collection, Metal Collection, & another photo! Continue reading →

Monday, June 14th, 2010

Benefit Stay Don't Stray

Packaging Woes with Benefit Stay Don’t Stray

Benefit Stay Don’t Stray ($24.00 for 0.33 fl. oz.) is a creamy, smooth neutral eyeshadow base. It’s a light beige, which will be a little tinted on the fairest of skin tones, but it will be very flesh-toned for light to medium skin tones. It reminded me a good deal of MAC’s Beige-ing Shadestick, which was always a popular eyeshadow base. Stay Don’t Stray has a near-matte finish, but there is an ever-so-subtle satin-sheen to it that’s really difficult to see when applied on the eyes.

Stay Don’t Stray is a fantastic product – it gives your eyeshadow something to adhere to without muting those eyeshadows and never creased, smudged, budged, or faded when I used this as an eyeshadow base. For those with imperfections or require some color-correction, this is the kind of base that excels in that department. It’s opaque–this is not a sheer, invisible base in the vein of TFSI and UDPP. This is much more like MAC’s Paint Pots, but it has the consistency of a liquid, rather than a thick cream.

For primer underneath a concealer, it worked well, but I think medium to dark skin tones may find it doesn’t work right.  It seemed to accent my concealer to the point where it didn’t match me at all.  It also was best applied before foundation, but then the foundation covers it up quite a bit.  It works in terms of keeping concealer put, but the color of it makes the concealer stand out a little on my skin tone (like the concealer appears darker – like the base is accenting the color, rather than blending it in with my skin tone).  It works best with cream concealers rather than more liquid-y ones, as well.

Where Stay Don’t Stray fails is in the packaging. I’m completely astonished that the packaging made it through R&D and testing, because one pump and you have more than enough to cover your entire face. The label around the packaging is cute, and I like that it stands up, and while the idea of a pump might be great (less contamination), it distributes far too much. Ridiculously too much! It’s such a shame, because inside is a product that really holds its own amongst eyeshadow bases, but the subpar packaging is so frustrating.

If you wanted to use this, you’d have to pump into a separate jar so you wouldn’t end up wasting a lot of the product–you don’t even need very much at all to get full coverage of both lids, let alone as much as a pump (or a half-pump, or a quarter-pump!). I tried on multiple occasions to ease the product out of the pump, but it’s just not easy to get as little as you need.  More often than not, I ended up with far too much product and nowhere to apply it to!

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

  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 3/5
  • Packaging: 1/5

RECOMMENDATION: Make sure you read where this product really failed on, because it might not bother you. The product itself is excellent, but you’re just not getting as much as I’d expect for the price tag, plus the packaging is poorly executed.

AVAILABILITY: Benefit, Sephora

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Monday, June 14th, 2010

Estee Lauder Pure Color Gloss

Estee Lauder Pure Color Gloss Collection

Estée Lauder introduces the next generation of color with high-impact glosses that drench lips in enviably chic shades. Lasting shine, maximum moisture and three multi-dimensional finishes combined with vibrant color and nuanced tones, set the stage for a modern, sensual look. A special collaboration of six fashion-forward shades by Estée Lauder Creative Makeup Director Tom Pecheux folds into the irresistible collection of bold, juicy hues and subdued neutrals, redefining color for lips. Experience a collection of rich attitude and saturated color by Estée Lauder.

“Gloss brings a highlight and sensuality to the face. For me, a woman who wears a gloss looks like she wants to be kissed!” – Tom Pecheux, Creative Makeup Director, Estée Lauder

Features

  • Exclusive True VisionTM Technology wraps pigments in a crystal-like coating to provide intense, brilliant color and shine
  • A subtle to high-impact color palette ensures a shade for all skin tones and desirable lip looks
  • Smooth, even pigments impart a soft, fullness to the lips
  • 34 sleek shades of natural nudes, edible berries, seductive reds and sensual plums
  • Vitamin C and Vitamin E moisturize and help protect lips
  • Multi-functional humectants enhance lips’ emolliency and moisturization leaving lips immediately soft and hydrated
  • Over time the condition of the lips improves, feeling and looking younger and healthier
  • Non-sticky, non-tacky formula leaves lips beautifully cushioned
  • The new flexible, precision applicator delivers the perfect opacity in an even and fluid application
  • Exclusive signature fig scent

See shades… Continue reading →