Thursday, December 24th, 2009

Lancome Red Stiletto Lipstick
Lancome Red Stiletto Lipstick

The Scarlet Season: Lancome Red Stiletto Lipstick

Lancome Red Stiletto Color Deseign Lipstick ($22.00) is a bold, ruby red with a very faint sheen with an otherwise played down, creamy finish. It’s bright and bold and yet not stop sign red, either. It feels creamy, hugs lips, and provides full color coverage in just one layer. It’s a solid blue-based red that lasts for a good five or six hours before subtly wearing away and leaving behind a red-tinged stain.

What about you? Would you wear this red?

The Scarlet Season is a series of posts showcasing and featuring my favorite shades of red lips–from glosses to lipsticks that runs through December 2009. You can sure expect to see a lot of red this holiday season!

See photos and swatches… Continue reading →

Thursday, December 24th, 2009

Natural Makeup with MAC Warm & Cozy

As promised, here’s a quick look I did using a bunch of Warm & Cozy products! I used Comfort mineralize skinfinish as a blusher in the first set of full-face pictures more to show you what it looks like on (and why I’m not keen on it) — I often do my best to use as many products from a single launch as possible, just to experiment and show you what you could do (or why you may want to pull pieces from your stash to complement a launch).

Comfort on me is like a dirty orange (and trust, I applied lightly–talk about pigmented, at least!), and By Candlelight is definitely shimmery/reflective — I only put the lightest it bit on the tops of my cheeks, but sure enough, BAM!

Today is exciting for two reasons: Christmas Eve (love, love Christmas! I have a thing for food and glitz and glam) and it’s Mellan’s birthday (he’s two years old today)! :) Super sweet reader Roxanne (@RockSlam) made an awesome collage, too. It’s SO cute. Totally made my day! (You can check it out in this post, at the bottom!)

Merry Christmas Eve to those who celebrate :) Happy winter, if you don’t!

You will need the following…

Directions: Start by applying Cuddle shadestick as your eyeshadow base all over the lid with the 249. Using the 239, apply Chamomile eyeshadow on the inner third of the eyelid. Next, apply Modelette eyeshadow on the middle third of the eyelid and lightly blend with the inner corner. Darken the outer third of the lid with Mulled Cider eyeshadow with the 239, gently brushing it into the lower crease. Next, define the crease by applying Embark eyeshadow with the 226. Lightly tap and brush Modelette  eyeshadow directly above the crease to soften. To finish the eyeshadow look, sweep Chamomile eyeshadow as a highlighter on the brow bone. Bring everything together by applying Urban Decay El Dorado Liner on the lower waterline and Dipdown fluidline on the upper lash line with the 208, and then sweeping lashes with Dior DiorShow Extase mascara.

For cheeks, lightly apply Comfort mineralize skinfinish to the apples of the cheeks and sweep upwards towards the temple with the 116. Highlight lightly with By Candlelight mineralize skinfinish using the 165 or 187. For more toned down cheeks, try Dior Coral Riviera blush with the 116.

For lips, apply Warm Me Up lipstick first, and then layer 2N lipglass for soft, neutral lips.

Check out more photos! Continue reading →

Thursday, December 24th, 2009

China Glaze Christmas-themed Nails

As I mentioned this morning on Twitter, I did a Christmas-y theme on my nails with China Glaze Ruby Pumps and Emerald Sparkle. I just alternated the colors for my theme :)  I used Zoya’s Color-Lock System for base, top, and drying coats!

I’d love to know if you’ve been doing any winter or holiday-inspired nails this season! Share what you’re wearing in the comments!

See more photos! Continue reading →

Thursday, December 24th, 2009

Rimmel Temptation Lipstick
Rimmel Temptation Lipstick

The Scarlet Season: Rimmel Temptation Lipstick

Rimmel Temptation Lasting Finish Lipstick ($5.19) is a bold, ruby red with subtle red shimmer (very fine!). It’s creamy, opaque, and wears for a good four or five hours. Even when it does fade, it leaves behind a nice stain (as many reds often do), so you could always slick on some lipgloss for a softer red pout later on. As far as drugstore brands go, Rimmel’s lipstick impressed me with its staying power and rich color. It had a sweet scent that felt a little synthetic, and the packaging feels cheaper than what I like, but overall, it was pretty good for $5! (As I mentioned previously, Temptation is Rimmel’s blue-based red, while Alarm is their more orange-based red!)

What about you? Would you wear this red?

The Scarlet Season is a series of posts showcasing and featuring my favorite shades of red lips–from glosses to lipsticks that runs through December 2009. You can sure expect to see a lot of red this holiday season!

See photos and swatches… Continue reading →

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2009

MAC Warm & Cozy Collection
MAC Warm & Cozy Collection

MAC Warm & Cozy Collection: Round-up

OVERALL, Warm & Cozy is a nice collection to see in the dreary, cold winter season. It’s not my favorite launch ever, and if you aren’t into the shades, there’s not much to do about it. It’s like the lipsticks, lipglasses, and eyeshadows all mirror each other. This is a very warm collection, though I don’t think the majority runs so warm that cool-toned MAC fans will have any serious problems working with these products.

I haven’t had a chance to wear anything in a look yet (but I will, never fear!) since these just arrived this afternoon (yay overnight shipping!), but I’m a little worried that there’s not even variation–like one might look washed out if you just used these products together. Of course, that’s my goal, so definitely shall see…

When it comes to neutral eyeshadows, I’m going to hold MAC to a very high standard, because they have so many stunning neutrals in their permanent shade range. I think they’ve released better neutral shades in other limited edition collections, but moreover, I’d much rather put my money towards their permanent neutrals than the four released in this launch. They’re just okay; not terrible, but none of them really spoke to me. Chamomile seemed to be one shade that I could see picking up and using, because it has a satin finish, rather than a matte, yet it’s not too pale or chalky, so even medium to dark skin tones could use it.

The lipsticks and lipglasses were okay; I liked Siss and Warm Me Up the most out of all of the lip products. I think the lipglasses could have used a little more range, and part of me is just tired of seeing milky pinks… The tinted lip conditioners were lovely as always–in terms of the feel–but the germaphobe in me just wishes they would come in tubes instead! Both shades are wearable, give noticeable color, and work well for everyday wear.

I’m not sold, but I haven’t given up yet, on the mineralize skinfinishes this time around. By Candlelight really seems way too frosty to bear, while Comfort reads surprisingly orange (which isn’t a good look on me), but I’ll give them a chance. I do think mineralize skinfinish fans will like By Candlelight overall, even if it has an ultra frosty finish, when used with a lighter hand. Comfort is one of those shades best seen in person to determine whether it’s a must or not.

The shadesticks are nice, but they all run a bit heavy on the frost. I don’t mind shimmer or frost, but sometimes it can be too much and look garish. I think if layered with matte and satin finishes, these shadesticks could really deliver some lovely looks. I’d just be wary of using too many frost-finish eyeshadows alongside them!

The nail lacquers are interesting, but I think they’re both really a matter of personal preference. Neither formula was fussy to work with, and I think they gave a nice, opaque result.

Temptalia’s Recommendations

Must-haves: Warm Me Up Lipstick, 2N Lipglass, Feelin’ Good Tinted Lip Conditioner, Cuddle Shadestick

Nice-to-haves: Siss Lipstick, Light That Fire Lipglass, 3N Lipglass, By Candlelight Mineralize Skinfinish, Close for Comfort Tinted Lip Conditioner, Chamomile Eyeshadow, Nurture Shadestick

Skip: Spiced Tea Lipstick, Mulled Cider Eyeshadow

Product-by-Product Reviews

What do you love? What do you hate? What are you picking up from Warm & Cozy?

P.S. – MAC also launched one new product (Mineralize All-Over Lotion), alongside Care Blend Essential Oils (2), and repromoted their Lip Conditioner Tube and Lip Conditioner Stick.  I will review both the lotion and the essential oils tomorrow or the next day, after I’ve had a chance to test them a little more thoroughly.  I also forgot to purchase the new mascara, so I won’t be able to review that for a week or so, sorry! :(

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2009

MAC Warm & Cozy Collection
MAC Lipglasses: Feeling Dreamy, 2N, Light That Fire, 3N

MAC Warm & Cozy Collection: Lipglasses

At first glance, I thought I would be really in love with the lipglasses, but they weren’t as much my cup of tea as I had hoped. My favorite was definitely Light That Fire, while 2N was next.

  • Feeling Dreamy is a milky beige-pink with iridescent icy pink shimmer. It really has a tendency to settle into lip lines, so it wasn’t looking so dreamy on me (oh, pun!). It isn’t a particularly original shade – kind of typical of MAC.
  • 2N is a creamy fleshy peach-beige. It also has a milky look, so it also settled into lines like Feeling Dreamy, but it’s less noticeable from afar so it’s wearable on its own. I had 2N from the N Collection originally, but it looked different from this one (lighter, paler). I’m not sure if mine has changed over time or something, so I only photographed and swatched the one that released with this launch, for reference.
  • Light That Fire is a bright orange-based coral with lots of orange and gold shimmer. It’s very pigmented for a gloss, actually. It has a grittier texture than the other three glosses, because it does have a healthy dose of shimmer. It was like an orange version of Lychee Luxe. It’s a shade that appeals to me, but it’s not one I’m going to run out and buy a back-up of. I do like that I haven’t seen this shade too often (if at all–nothing comes to mind immediately) from MAC, though.
  • 3N is a brownish shade with orange–beige to keep it from being straight brown. It has lots of gold shimmer, and it looks very creamy on, despite the shimmer. This one looked the best on my lips — even coverage, softened edges, and didn’t settle into lines. It was also quite pigmented. When I compared 3N to my original 3N from the N Collection, it seemed about the same.

See more photos and swatches! Continue reading →