Saturday, October 9th, 2010


Lipstick Comparisons: $13 to $25 (Part 1)

In this price range, lipsticks tend to be more pigmented, have less synthetic scents, and wear an average of four hours. I’m not typically disappointed beyond belief with a lipstick formula in this price range. Brands from MAC to NARS to Smashbox fall into this price tier, while designer brands like Chanel, Dior, and YSL are in the next tier. There are really SO many brands and formulas to choose from in this category that I had to split this post into two parts!

Benefit Full Finish Lipstick ($18.00)

  • PROS: Creamy, opaque, glossy, wears for 3 to 4 hours, moisturizing
  • NEUTRAL: 0.10 oz., slight sweet scent
  • CONS: Very limited shade range
  • MY REC: These aren’t quite as glossy or as creamy as the Silky Finish line, but they’re more opaque. I still find them rather creamy and moisturizing, though. Some of mine seem to have a very subtle sweetened scent while others have none.

Benefit Silky Finish Lipstick ($18.00)

  • PROS: Creamy, moisturizing, glossy, wears for 3 to 4 hours
  • NEUTRAL: 0.10 oz., shades range from sheer to semi-opaque, slight sweet scent
  • CONS: Short shade range centered around pinks
  • MY REC: The Silky Finish is a much glossier, often shimmered lipstick compared to Benefit’s Full Finish range. These actually remind me quite a bit of Laura Mercier’s Stick Gloss. They’re more moisturizing than the average lipstick and have a slicker texture, too. Some of mine seem to have a very subtle sweetened scent while others have none.

Bobbi Brown Lip Color Lipstick ($22.00)

  • PROS: Creamy, slightly glossy, wears 4-6 hours, opaque
  • NEUTRAL: 0.12 oz., scent-free, more neutral/pink based shade range
  • CONS: One finish (semi-matte)
  • MY REC: I like the pigmentation and creaminess in the texture of Bobbi Brown’s Lip Color. Sometimes I get caught in thinking that Bobbi Brown is all about sheers, but then the Lip Color line always reminds me that it’s not always the case. Despite their creaminess, they’re not moisturizing; not drying either, but not particularly moisturizing.

Clinique Long Last Soft Shine Lipstick ($14.00)

  • PROS: Wearable shade range, creamy, moisturizing, semi-opaque
  • NEUTRAL: 0.14 oz., more neutral/pink based shade range, scent-free
  • CONS: Wears 2 to 3 hours (despite being touted as long-wearing)
  • MY REC: I think Clinique makeup often gets overlooked, but I like how much of their makeup is scent-free. I also think they’re worth more than just a glance given the price tag.

Illamasqua Lipstick ($22.00)

  • PROS: Opaque, true-to-tube color, wears 5 to 7 hours, lots of fun shades
  • NEUTRAL: 0.14 oz., scent-free
  • CONS: Mostly matte finishes, dry
  • MY REC: It’s important to note that while the texture itself seems a little dry, these lipsticks don’t suck the moisture out of your lips, but they definitely don’t impart any either. With an abundance of matte shades with drier finishes, these are not ideal for those with dry to ultra dry lips.

Korres Guava Lipstick ($22.00)

  • PROS: Creamy, opaque, moisturizing, wears 3 to 4 hours
  • NEUTRAL:  Guava-scented
  • CONS: 0.06 oz., limited shade range
  • MY REC: My biggest issue with these is how little you get; they’re half the size of Korres’ Mango Butter Lipsticks and $4 more. The Guava lipsticks are more opaque and not as glossy in the finish, but they’re a little less moisturizing than the Mango Butters.

Korres Mango Butter Lipstick ($18.00)

  • PROS: Creamy, moisturizing, semi-sheer, wears 3 to 4 hours
  • NEUTRAL: 0.12 oz., mango-scented
  • CONS: Name/numbering system doesn’t always match tube color, limited shade range
  • MY REC: I find these very moisturizing, and I love the glossiness of the finish, because it almost looks like you’re just wearing a gloss. If you have dry lips and haven’t tried these, you might want to give ‘em a shot.

Laura Mercier Creme Lip Colour ($22.00)

  • PROS: Creamy, semi-opaque, wears 3 to 4 hours
  • NEUTRAL: 0.14 oz., scent-free
  • CONS: Limited shade range
  • MY REC: I’ve found these to be very creamy, and they’re often more on the opaque side of color. They impart some moisture but I wouldn’t consider it a moisturizing lipstick.

Laura Mercier Stick Gloss ($20.00)

  • PROS: Moisturizing, glossy, semi-sheer, wears 3 to 4 hours
  • NEUTRAL: 0.12 oz., Berry-scented
  • CONS: Very limited shade range
  • MY REC: It’s very comfortable to wear and feels incredibly moisturizing–it’s just a shame that there are so few shades available.

The Lipstick Comparisons series is designed to provide a quick reference summary sheet for some of the many available lipstick formulas. It seems like most brands have at least a couple of formulas, if not half a dozen, and it can be difficult to find the formulas that will work best for your budget, coloring, style, or taste.

This is not necessarily a best of list, and it’s not exhaustive–it is based on actual lipsticks that I’ve tried; they are all, however, decent to excellent lipsticks. (And perhaps, some day, it will be an exhaustive list.) I have summarized my experience based on pros and cons, but also some “neutral” factors that may be pros or cons, depending on your preferences. I will update this series as I try new lipstick formulas.


Saturday, October 9th, 2010

Dior Holiday 2010 Collection

Dior Minaudiere Collection for Holiday 2010

“Black is the most elegant and surprising color,” Christian Dior said. Mixed with gold, it brings life to the most outrageous creations. From yellow gold to bronze gold and silver black, the new Christmas trend displays a range of dramatic shades to create a universe where gold becomes light, and black becomes sparkle. Prestige and radiance are the key words of the holiday makeup collection, a grandiose look featuring transcendent eyes, a luminous complexion and shimmering lips.

Dior Minaudiere ($80.00) (Limited Edition)

Paying tribute to the evening purse of the moment, the Dior Minaudiere features couture details like a vintage kiss clasp, a gold plaque engraved with the Dior logo and a black patent leather finish embossed in the iconic Dior houndstooth pattern. Available in two color harmonies: Grey or Pink tones. (Grey Golds is Saks Exclusive, Pink Golds available at all other retailers.)

The Collection (Limited Edition)

  • Five Golds (001) 5-Colour Eyeshadow ($58.00)
  • Endless Shine (529) 5-Colour Iridescent (except at Sephora) ($58.00)
  • Gold Edition Skinflash Radiance Booster Pen ($36.00)
  • Pink Stiletto (234) Ultra Gloss (except at Sephora) ($26.50)
  • Black Lame (992) Ultra Gloss (Sephora exclusive) ($26.50)
  • Czarina Gold (916) Vernis (except at Sephora) ($21.00)
  • Timeless Gold (226) Vernis ($21.00)

Red Cannage Travel Eye Palette ($44.00) (Limited Edition)

This deluxe holiday palette features four versatile eyeshadow shades: gunmetal silver, smoky brown, shimmering taupe and light pink. Availability: Department stores, Nordstrom & Bloomingdale’s

Red Cannage Travel Lip Palette ($44.00) (Limited Edition)

This chic red patent palette makes the perfect holiday beauty accessory. Featuring burgundy and berry lipstick shades and a light pink gloss, lips go easily (and stylishly) from day to night. Availability: Department stores, Nordstrom & Bloomingdale’s

Black Cannage Eye Palette ($44.00) (Limited Edition)

Create smoky, show-stopping eyes with this must-have palette. Featuring shades of midnight blue, gunmetal silver, shimmering taupe and white highlighter in Dior’s silky iridescent eyeshadow formula. Sephora Exclusive

Dior Deluxe Travel Palette ($75.00) (Limited Edition)

Travel in style with this sleek red patent cannage palette, featuring a mini Diorshow Extase Mascara, a mini pink Ultra-Gloss, a medium pressed powder, a blush and six eyeshadows. An inside mirror makes application and touchups easy. Availability: Saks, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Bloomingdale’s, Sephora

Dior Mini Brush Set ($60.00) (Limited Edition)

This elegant, couture-designed travel case contains four miniature, must-have brushes for cheeks, eyes, lips and foundation.

Availability: October 2010; spotted most things up at Nordstrom!

Friday, October 8th, 2010

Maybelline Bit of Berry Lipstick

The Sultry Season: Maybelline Bit of Berry Lipstick

Maybelline Bit of Berry Lipstick ($8.29 for 0.15 oz.) is a beautiful plummy pink cream with rich, opaque color and a slightly glossy sheen.  This is what I consider a drugstore gem, and it’s definitely one of the best Color Sensational lipsticks I’ve come across in texture and consistency, as well.  It’s very creamy, which makes application a cinch, but it’s also incredibly pigmented and completely covers my lip freckle!  I love that the color isn’t too cool, either.  It lasts three to four hours on me, which is about average.  I wish the lipstick smelled less synthetic and sweet, but otherwise, this one’s a keeper.

(You should be able to pick one up for less than $8, which is full retail price–drugstore.com has it for $6.22 at the moment.)

Is this the right berry for you? Would you wear it?

The Sultry Season is a series of posts featuring deep, rich shades of brown, berry, plum, and wine lipsticks and lipglosses — just right for autumn — that runs through October 2010.

See photos and swatches… Continue reading →

Friday, October 8th, 2010

Bobbi Brown Holiday 2010 Collection

Bobbi Brown Holiday 2010 Collection

So many people on your list, so little time. Not to worry: Bobbi’s holiday lineup of beautiful gift sets and perfect palettes has everyone covered from your best friend to your boss. (While you’re at it, why not treat yourself?)

Day to Night Palette (Cool) ($45.00) (Limited Edition)

Includes: Ivory, Flint, Charcoal, Pearl (Shimmer), Rockstar (Metallic), Gunmetal (Shimmer) Eyeshadows

Day to Night Palette (Warm) ($45.00) (Limited Edition)

Includes: Ivory, Oat, Espresso, Burnt Sugar (Metallic), Velvet Bronze (Metallic), and Black Plum (Shimmer) Eyeshadows

Pink & Gold Lip Palette ($45.00) (Limited Edition)

Includes: Roseberry Lip Color, Kir Metallic Lip Color, Pretty Pink Metallic Lip Color, Sunset Nude Creamy Lip Color, Italian Rose Creamy Lip Color, Brownie Lip Color

Sparkle Glamour Quad ($40.00) (Limited Edition)

She’s the first to hit the dance floor and has the uncanny ability to pull together an evening look in the back of a cab. From palest pink to deep slate, these glittering shades are made for New Year’s Eve.

Modern Classic Lip & Eye Palette ($75.00) (Limited Edition) (November)

Includes: Ivory Eyeshadow, Oyster Grey Metallic Eyeshadow, Antique Pink Shimmer Wash Eyeshadow, Quarry Shimmer Wash Eyeshadow, Taffeta Metallic Eyeshadow, Birch Eyeshadow, Heather Rose Shimmer Wash Eyeshadow, Navy Charcoal Eyeshadow, Gold Thread Metallic Eyeshadow, Espresso Eyeshadow, Grape Glitter Lip Gloss, Pink Bouquet Glitter Lip Gloss, Golden Topaz Glitter Lip Gloss, Paisley Rose Shimmer Lip Gloss

Lip Gloss Trio ($40.00) (Limited Edition)

Includes: Bright Pink Lip Gloss, Gold Glitter Lip Gloss, Kir Sugar Shimmer Lip Gloss

Crystal Eye Palette ($45.00) (Limited Edition)

Includes: Amethyst Metallic Eyeshadow, Diamond Shimmer Wash Eyeshadow, Star Sparkle Eyeshadow, Marine Metallic Eyeshadow

Deluxe Travel Kit ($115.00) (Limited Edition)

Remember the days when traveling was a chic adventure? Neither do we. This travel kit, which has compartments for every last beauty essential, makes the worst red-eye seem glam again.

Smoldering Eye Palette ($45.00) (Limited Edition)

Each palette features a base and an eyeliner color plus a bold metallic and a dramatic shade of Bobbi’s NEW Long Wear Eye Paint. Includes: White Eyeshadow, Tin Metallic Eyeshadow, Storm Eyeshadow, Onyx Long Wear Eye Paint

Sultry Eye Palette ($45.00) (Limited Edition)

Each palette features a base and an eyeliner color plus a bold metallic and a dramatic shade of Bobbi’s NEW Long Wear Eye Paint. Includes: Bone Eyeshadow, Antique Gold Metallic Eyeshadow, Caviar Eyeshadow, Brandy Long Wear Eye Paint

Smoky Eye Pa3lette ($45.00) (Limited Edition)

Each palette features a base and an eyeliner color plus a bold metallic and a dramatic shade of Bobbi’s NEW Long Wear Eye Paint. Includes: Ivory Eyeshadow, Heather Lilac Metallic Eyeshadow, Charcoal Eyeshadow, Port Long Wear Eye Paint

Availability: October 2010; spotted everything up at Neiman Marcus already and most everything at Nordstrom!

See more photos! Continue reading →

Friday, October 8th, 2010

Win $84 in Qtica!

One (1) lucky winner will receive Qtica’s Foot Repair Balm, Hand Repair Balm, Intense Cuticle Repair Balm, Intense Hydrating Therapy Lotion, and Intense Lip Repair Balm! (Retail value $156!)

Congratulations to Nicole Z.!

RULES: All entries must be submitted by October 14th, 2010 at 11:59 PM PST. This contest is open to continental U.S. readers only as pursuant to your local state/country’s laws. Winner will be chosen randomly and notified via e-mail. This post will be updated with the winner once the winner confirms.

Two Ways to Win

You can do one, the other, or both to maximize your chances of winning…

1.) Leave a comment on this blog post tell me which product you’d use first!

2.) Follow me on Twitter & tweet the following: Follow @temptalia & RT to win Qtica’s Intense Line ($84!)! Info + one more way to win: http://budurl.com/qticaset

Thanks to Qtica for their generosity to help us celebrate our 4th anniversary!

Friday, October 8th, 2010


Lipstick Comparisons: Under $12

The first part of the Lipstick Comparisons series features lipstick formulas available for less than $12.  (These are all actually less than $8, I believe!)

One of the easily detectable and distinguishing ways that more affordable lipsticks vary from higher end lipsticks is in the scent.  I have yet to find a lipstick in this price range that doesn’t tend to have a synthetic scent, and if not syrupy sweet or floral, often a nauseating mix of plastic and play-doh.  Sometimes they can also have an off-taste, too.  Both scent/taste are highly personal, though, and both dependent on your sensitivity.

Wear time can sometimes differ (noted below), but while I rarely find lipsticks that wear well for six or more hours, there are some that do wear for the average time for me (four hours is my average).

Maybelline Color Sensational Lipstick (~$8.00)

  • PROS: Decent shade range, wearable shades that tend to be more universally flattering (mass appeal), smooth, opaque, wears for 3-4 hours, color-coded packaging
  • NEUTRAL: Mostly “wearable” colors — nothing really out of the box, synthetic/generic sweet scent on some while others have a more plastic scent
  • CONS: Some shades tend to cling, which make them less suitable for those with drier lips
  • MY REC: The scent can be pretty bothersome for some, but it’ll depend on how adverse you are to certain smells. For a drugstore lipstick, they might feel a little pricey, so it may be prudent to wait for a sale. It doesn’t dry my lips out, but it’s not at all moisturizing, so those with dry lips should take note.

Milani Color Perfect Lipstick ($4.99)

  • PROS: Wide range of shades, creamy, moisturizing, opaque
  • NEUTRAL: Both neutral and brighter shades, synthetic/waxy scent
  • CONS: Frost finish shades are drier and less opaque, dated packaging
  • MY REC: The creamier shades are the best of the line; they’re incredibly pigmented and apply really well. The frostier shades tend to emphasize any dryness on lips.

NYX Round Lipstick ($4.00)

  • PROS: Ridiculous amount of shades, variety in finishes, opaque, creamy, affordable
  • NEUTRAL: Scent-free but strong plastic scent on some
  • CONS: Wears off after 2-3 hours, darker shades bleed
  • MY REC: When it comes to trying out shades, NYX is definitely a go-to brand. The creamy, smooth texture and the huge shade range helps it stand out amongst other budget-friendly options. NYX also occasionally has crazy bundled packages–I remember buying 30 or 40 lipsticks for around $50 one time.

Rimmel Lasting Finish Lipstick (~$5.00)

  • PROS: Good shade range, creamy, doesn’t dry lips out, affordable
  • NEUTRAL: Synthetic fruity scent
  • CONS: Wears off within 1-2 hours requiring frequent reapplication
  • MY REC: It’s a decent option if you’re on a tight budget and don’t mind reapplication.

The Lipstick Comparisons series is designed to provide a quick reference summary sheet for some of the many available lipstick formulas. It seems like most brands have at least a couple of formulas, if not half a dozen, and it can be difficult to find the formulas that will work best for your budget, coloring, style, or taste.

This is not necessarily a best of list, and it’s not exhaustive–it is based on actual lipsticks that I’ve tried; they are all, however, decent to excellent lipsticks. (And perhaps, some day, it will be an exhaustive list.)  I have summarized my experience based on pros and cons, but also some “neutral” factors that may be pros or cons, depending on your preferences.  I will update this series as I try new lipstick formulas.

(And yes, I recognize that the series photo does not include any of these brands! The image represents the series, not individual posts.)